A personal breast cancer account: Life after cancer

By Pure Matters

I appreciate life and value the relationships with my family and friends. Yes, a normal life will resume with less doctor visits and treatments, yet the questions will continue. Questions that now relate to being healthy and staying healthy.

After my chemotherapy ended, I was able to take an IV drug called Herceptin. This drug was bio-engineered by Dr. Solomon from Calif. If a breast cancer patient was Her 2 Nu positive, they are a candidate for Herceptin. The trial for Herceptin ended five months early due to a 75 percent reduction rate in metastasis. Typically, researchers get excited about a 2-3 percent reduction rate in metastasis. My oncologist was one of the doctors involved in the trial; therefore, I was able to begin Herceptin a couple of months post chemo, which was five months before the drug was released to the public. Herceptin is a one year IV treatment with very minimal side effects. The major side effect from Herceptin is a runny nose.

I also had lymph nodes removed in my left arm and needed to be fitted for a lymphedema sleeve. These sleeves are crucial to use on an airplane. These sleeves help to regulate drainage through the lymphatic system. It is very important to get the sleeve custom fitted to your arm. I found it helpful to learn some lymphedema massage techniques. I was very conscious not to lift heavy objects in my left arm including my kids.

Life began to feel normal: less doctor visits and more hair growth. I feel that being mindful, letting go of what I can't control and accepting my best efforts at accomplishing my goals keeps me healthy. I workout regularly, I try to eat a clean diet with healthy oils and fats and I keep my regiment of vitamins and supplements.

When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors. To overcome these multiple deficiencies, I changed my diet and included supplements to help strengthen my immune system. Some supplements that build up the immune system and enable the body's own cells to destroy cancer cells are the following: IP6, flor-essence, anti-oxidants, vitamins, mineral and EFA's (essential fatty acid found in fish oil). There is some basic information related to breast cancer that I try to remind myself of constantly. For instance, cancer cells feed on several different things. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Table salt has a chemical added to make it whiter in color. A better alternative, I find, is sea salt.

I look forward to reading your story and how you managed to navigate through breast cancer and beyond…

–Jessica Lilienfield