Yasmin is a Radical Remission survivor of stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. Diagnosed at the age of 34, she combined conventional and complementary approaches to overcome incredible odds – and went on to become a healthy and proud mother. Today she has no evidence of cancer.
Here is her story in her own words:
A diagnosis of cancer is always a life changer and it was the start of a whole new chapter of my life. In 2003 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer.
Going from appointment to appointment was extremely overwhelming and sent me into a tailspin until I discovered Ian Gawler’s book, “You Can Conquer Cancer”. When I opened the book and read the first few pages my eyes were opened to the fact that I could take control of getting well and that I could heal myself, I was truly empowered. I devoured that book and many others, which enabled me to approach fighting cancer in a whole new way. The knowledge I gained, I translated into my daily life. I realized that in order for me to beat cancer everything had to change.
Work was very busy at the time, and my right breast was sore, slightly bigger than the left, felt hot and inflamed and it also had a rash in the center of it. Breast cancer didn’t even cross my mind, so of course I soldiered on. After a few days I thought I’d better have a check-up so I went to my GP [General Practitioner] who thought it might be an infection or a possible spider bite, so she gave me antibiotics. These didn’t make any difference to the symptoms. So I went to see the GP again and she referred me to a breast specialist, still breast cancer didn’t cross my mind and the GP made no mention of it either – no lump right! I had a mammogram and nothing showed up, the breast specialist gave me more antibiotics. Still nothing changed but I carried on as normal despite the discomfort.
I was content at that stage to leave it, I mean two doctors and a mammogram and no mention of cancer, I was sure it would resolve itself soon. But I began to have that nagging feeling in my head so began searching the net for answers. All I goggled was inflamed breast and the first site to come up mentioned the words ‘inflammatory breast cancer’ with a list that read like the past 10 days. You can imagine my shock when reading this. I immediately made an appointment with the breast specialist for the following morning. The doctor turned pale and left the room when I mentioned it looked like IBC. He came back 10 minutes later to say they would be giving me an ultra sound and an immediate biopsy.
The next morning he rang and said to me, “You were right, it is Inflammatory Breast Cancer’. As it was an aggressive fast growing cancer, I began with conventional treatments. First 4 rounds of chemo to shrink the tumour didn’t work. So I researched and found another chemo agent that reduced the tumour enough to allow surgery. I had a Radical Mastectomy in which they found only dead tissue and no evidence of cancer.
Radiotherapy followed as a precaution. My pathology was sent to MD Anderson clinic in Houston and they said ‘they would consider my outcome a cure’. I think the second round of chemo gave me the time to be able to rid the cancer from my body by doing all the hard work I put in with all the complimentary treatments I did. I was thankful for this window of time.
I delved deep in those first days and what I slowly realized was that I had been very stressed and overworked for many years – your typical A type personality. From here I realized that the way I worked had to change dramatically but that would be in the future. Right now, my main focus was to heal my mind and my body.
I realized the importance of conventional medicine and was grateful for all the wisdom and advice from my specialists. However, I knew the best way to beat the cancer was to combine complimentary therapies with my medical regime. I intuitively knew that I was going to survive this, but that only I could heal myself.
Meditation and visualization became the key for me and I would do 2 hours of meditation per day and two 30-minute sessions of visualization each day. Each visualization would be targeted to whatever treatment I would be receiving at the time. Doing these daily hours of practice allowed me to tolerate the chemotherapy, the surgery, and my fear of needles by keeping me calm and focused on the desired outcome. Even in my darkest moments (and there were many) I would push myself to get up and meditate. I felt a renewed sense of myself and that my body was wise and it could heal itself.
I also combined this with a stringent supplement regime which took into account keeping my immune system strong and reducing treatment side effects (I had hardly any!) and also inhibiting cancer cell angiogenesis, I created a nutrition program based on the knowledge I had gathered, drank fresh juices throughout every day and ate a mostly raw diet. I cut out processed food, sugar and dairy. Everything I put into my body was organic.
I was never sick with chemotherapy, my surgery was extremely successful with a quick healing time and I had no radiotherapy burns. This I attribute to my meditation, visualization, nutrition and supplements.
After being told I may never conceive due to the chemotherapy, I am now a proud and happy mother to a fabulous seven-year-old son and I live a happy, healthy and active life. Being a cancer survivor, for me, reminds me daily to give thanks for waking up healthy, for all I have and how to live life. I am passionate about living in balance and empowering others to do the same.”
“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up.'” -Anonymous
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