In 2011, Marcia was diagnosed with breast cancer. After trying the recommended surgery and chemotherapy, her cancer unfortunately recurred a year later, and she was now facing stage 4 breast cancer. At this point, she decided to combine the best of conventional and alternative treatments, and now – 7 years later – she remains cancer-free.
Here is her story in her own words:
Mine was an unusual case. I was the most unlikely person to develop breast cancer. I developed a rare type of epilepsy going through menopause which was due to low estrogen. My doctor prescribe bio-identical hormones (estrogen) to address the seizures. All the while, I noticed a large lump was growing in my left breast getting bigger and bigger. It had been misdiagnosed for four straight years!
To my utter horror, I learned that I had late-stage breast cancer after complaining about this lump for four straight years. I was taken to surgery within 4 days for my left breast, and then in the next two weeks I had to have an implant in my chest for the port. I went through a left-breast mastectomy and chemotherapy, which were really rough.
I knew about natural alternatives but I was facing off a serious cancer and I didn’t know if using Gerson Therapy [a specific vegan diet protocol] would really help. I didn’t have the money to go to Mexico [to a Gerson clinic]. Sometime after chemotherapy and radiation ended, of which I only took a few days off because I developed severe case of swelling of the left arm (later diagnosed as lymphedema due to lymph node removal), I decided I would just go vegan and start juicing. I would teach myself and I had already been taking the Budwig diet doses of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese. I was already a vegetarian, so I wasn’t sure that going vegan would make too much of a difference.
All the while, my right hand (and I am right-handed) began to go numb. But sadly, over the course of the next 6 months, I lost all control of my right hand. Meanwhile, I was still juicing and doing cancer alternatives. I began taking apricot seeds and tapered off the flaxseed oil once I found out that my estrogen went sky-high (word of warning to you ladies that are using it). I had no recurrences [of cancer]. I kept going, learning more recipes and growing my own garden which I’ve always done and harvesting only organic vegetables for juicing salads and raw foods. I felt positive that I had beat cancer
Meanwhile, my right hand went numb to the point where I couldn’t feel it to type and then it went limp and I had to resign from my university teaching job. I kept going back to the doctors asking why my hand was not working! This was my right hand I’m an artist and an author. Next thing you know, I had severe stroke symptoms and landed in the ER. They were about to release me when the nurse from my dental office called (divine intervention!) and said, “Remember that you had pains in your head, too. Do not leave without a head CT.”
The diagnosis was devastating – I found out that I had a brain tumor which was a metastatic brain tumor of my breast cancer – so now I was stage 4. I had waited almost a year, and the doctors never bothered to scan or search for what was wrong with my right hand. Then I had to face having brain surgery and possible disability as a result, my terminal illness, and the not knowing if they would get all the cancer in the brain.
After the discovery of the brain tumor I really tapped into my spiritual strength.
I decided to face my situation squarely, knowing that my mortality was looming and that I would determine in advance that I would live. I had an excellent brain surgeon and he removed most but not all of the tumor. It was a very difficult and dark process. When I left the hospital, I could barely walk and barely talk. I could not use my right hand to write with. After months of physical therapy, I was discouraged to learn that the cancer was still there. So, I learned from my oncologist that no matter what the treatment is in the blood, there is a brain-blood barrier that prevents the traditional chemotherapy from entering the brain.
I would have to seek some other form of treatment to address the cancer that was still there. I was angry – I felt betrayed by the medical system. And I could feel the cancer as a sharp shooting pain on my left side. I was put on steroids to address the swelling of the brain, which caused me to stay up most of the night. I didn’t like being on them and I began using frankincense oil. I found that I could take [frankincense oil] and reduce the steroids.
I also had a lot of energy so I stayed up and found studies on clinicaltrials.gov. That was a godsend because I found a study at Rush University where they were starting to do a limited form of radiation to the brain called stereotactic radiation. I was opposed to radiation, but this was a very low dose. Since the diet was not addressing the cancer because of the brain-blood barrier, I decided that this was my best chance at life. We, my husband and I, took the train up to Chicago and entered a new round of treatment at Rush University. The single treatment cost nearly $70,000 – thankfully covered by insurance. I went through four different visits and upon the fourth visit I learned that I was totally cancer-free.
I continued with my diet and herbal supplements including turmeric, Boswellia, and frankincense oil. I use a number of different essential oils. I also exercise daily (yoga) and do a prayer and meditation daily. I am a Reiki master and had others doing Reiki on me and I tuned into my inner guidance system – and prayer for internal blessings and support. I’ve become an expert on alternative treatments that you can use to prevent cancer including indole-3-carbinol, and many other estrogen-blocking foods. I’ve presented programs on my radio program and locally to help other cancer patients educate themselves about the vegan diet, juicing, and supplementation.
I have a Wellness Consulting practice today and I am 7 years out from this trauma, living cancer-free. I do hypnosis and Reiki as Wellness Alternatives and additionally I mix my own oils for my clients. I use CBD hemp oil as well as a turmeric and boswellia compound and I love the fact that I’ve been able to remain cancer-free.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As of April 2020, Marcia is thriving post-diagnosis.
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