I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma a few weeks after my 54th birthday in October, 2017. My world felt like it was crumbling in on me! I made the mistake of Googling survival rates of Stage 4 Melanoma. It was NOT good! I felt all alone and nowhere to turn for help. As with most cancer patients, you begin your cancer journey on a roller coaster ride with frequent doctor appointments and a new found relationship with medical professionals you want to put your trust in. For me, it was extremely difficult to do that since my diagnosis began with a mis-diagnosis of a mole that I had for more than a year earlier! When you Google the survival rate information, experts say that survivors live longer when the melanoma is caught early! I don’t think 1 year + is representative of ‘early’.
The first year of my roller coaster ride consisted of monthly appointments followed by a protocol of a clinical trial drug that was injected in my inguinal lymph node, where the melanoma had metastasized to, along with injection of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda. This was a 2-year clinical trial, but it abruptly ended in November, 2018 when I was at the hospital for my normal treatment protocol, but during my routine blood work, results showed an extremely elevated liver enzyme level! My oncologist told me I had to be admitted to the hospital otherwise “I could die from this”, although at the time I was feeling okay. I spent the next three days in the hospital on an extremely high dose of Prednisone.
That experience was the beginning of my ride on a NEW roller coaster that I was driving! I had a new found trust in God, rather than my doctors. I realized that traditional medical treatment was not for me. Instead of being a patient that had Stage 4 Melanoma, I was a person who had a disease that needed me to make drastic changes to allow my immune system to function as it was designed to do. In order for that to happen, I had to make nutritional changes and detox my body from the stressors and poisons that was causing a dysfunction of my current lifestyle. I decided to follow a holistic approach to my healing which consisted of a complete lifestyle change which included using food as my medicine. The next two years I spent a LOT of time doing research on how to heal my body through changes that my body needed to heal from the inside out.
During that time, I had weaned myself off of most all meat, dairy, eggs and dramatically decreased my sugar intake, eliminated processed foods and slowly started eating organic vegetables. If anyone wants to lose weight, this is the way to go! I lost 33 pounds after making those changes over a 9-month period. In September, 2019 I had a CT scan showing a reduction of my lymph node tumor by almost 50%! God can do miracles! Two months later I spent 21 days at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL learning how to eat even healthier than what I thought I was already doing, along with healing my body by boosting my immune system, which is what the body was designed to do….fight invading cells that cause illness and disease. HHI educates their participants in nutrition, exercise, stress reduction strategies, non-toxic therapies, detoxification programs, microbiome restoration and psychological approaches to emotional and spiritual healing. After returning home I was excited to continue with my new found way of a healthy lifestyle that allowed my body to heal on its own with healthy nutrients along with detoxifying my body and stress reduction.
Fast forward another year to September 29, 2020, where I had another CT scan. The original tumor is basically now the size of a normal lymph node and the pelvic tumors I once had are now gone! Even though God had blessed me with my improved health, I know that I cannot ever go back to my old habits, as difficult that sometimes can be. Our society has evolved into a fast-paced life of constantly on the go and living stress-filled lives which promotes eating processed foods that are produced on a factory conveyor belt rather than in a pesticide free garden. Throughout these last 3 years I have learned that I need to make the time to prepare my meals, which I look at as medicine that my body needs to continue to heal.
I feel that God has blessed me by giving me a second chance to bless others by providing a place to detox, destress and relax so their body can function the way it was designed without medications.
I have a Hydromassage Lounge Chair that is a relaxing start to de-stressing and loosening tight muscles. It consists of jets that shoot warm water in an enclosed system with pressure that you choose and areas where you want the jets to target. During that time, the Infrared Sauna is warming up, so after 20 minutes of massage, I ‘chill out’ in the sauna with temps that go up to 158. It has a bluetooth speaker inside so if listening to relaxing music is your thing or listening to a book or simply meditating for 15-45 minutes, however long your body can handle sweating out toxins. I spend the last 15 minutes in the steam shower rinsing off and clearing my sinuses and lungs with aromatherapy using essential oils for whatever treatment I need at the time.