My Story of Surviving Breast Cancer Holistically

Every October, I see pink ribbons everywhere and as we all know, these ribbons act as an important reminder to all of us: Breast Awareness Month! As a breast cancer survivor, I appreciate all the awareness campaigns, and I want to create more awareness on surviving breast cancer holistically.

I see advertisements in all marketing ads promising to donate a percentage to breast cancer research and finding a cure. There are runs, walks – just about everyone willing to go the extra mile for women everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong – I am grateful, and yes, I am a “survivor,” but my point is that even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is centered on finding a cure, there are already alternatives to radiation and chemo.

My name is Mary Jo and I am breast cancer survivor. I would love to share my story with all of you, hoping to provide information of alternative and nutritional advice by research that I have acquired on my road to fighting cancer.


I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

Almost nine years ago, I was diagnosed with not only breast cancer, but two melanomas at the same time. Luckily, both were under stage two but according to my doctors, the options were as usual: lumpectomy and radiation with a follow-up of Tamoxifen (which blocks estrogen).

After tons of research and having an unsuccessful lumpectomy, I decided to go ahead with a bilateral double mastectomy even though it was the most aggressive option. A board of 13 doctors discussed me having another lumpectomy, and after making my decision and going through with the mastectomy, my Oncologist read my pathology report and finally agreed that I had made the right decision.

I then asked him why so many doctors would advise me differently, to which he answered, “Well, this is the norm.” Norm?? No! We are all individuals with different needs, beliefs, and information.

We do not have to be victims of cancer.

While I was debating whether to go for radiation and Tamoxifen, I deeply felt that I did not want to go down that road. My mother had stage three breast cancer at age 60.

She too had a bilateral mastectomy but did not do radiation or chemo due to her having Tuberculosis when she was younger. She lived until she was 85 with no signs of cancer returning.

9 Breast Cancer Prevention Tips That May Surprise You

Surviving Breast Cancer Holistically

This is when I did even more research and decided to totally change my lifestyle. This massive change included staying on an alkaline diet, absolutely no alcohol, and sugar was a definite no! I then found a doctor who was a huge advocate of vitamins and also believed in a strict alkaline diet. I had found his name from one of Suzanne Summer’s books on cancer.

He put me on 1400 mg. of Curcumin (a strong anti-inflammatory), with a combination of 50,000 units of Vitamin D3. There is also a vitamin called DIM (indo 3 carbonate) which keeps estrogen out of the breast (I believe that every woman should be on this vitamin).

I also switched to an alkaline water filtration system.

A good friend of mine told me about the book The Enzyme Factor which is now my health bible and sits on my bedside table. This book is an easy read and makes so much common sense.

It provides simple, effective, and realistic information, and I’ll share some of that here. First off, exercise is a must. This is when my yoga practice came into my life.

For me, yoga not only keeps me strong and fit, I’ve also found it to be a major stress reliever. The book also goes into detail on your diet regimen, and sheds light on which foods are helpful and which foods you should avoid.

I stayed on the strict diet of no sugar and no alcohol for over five years and yes, now I will splurge and occasionally treat myself to ice cream, but since I started feeling so good, I listen to my body and actually want to stay on this clean and healthy diet and lifestyle.

For me, yoga not only keeps me strong and fit, I’ve also found it to be a major stress reliever.

Now, almost eight years later, I have had no signs of Melanoma or cancer returning, and I remain confident about the decision that I made.

Surviving Breast Cancer Holistically: There are Alternatives

We are all individuals with individual needs and you just have to find the right doctors that will treat you like an individual and respect your unique needs. Being a hairdresser for over thirty years, I have talked to so many women who felt scared by their diagnosis and were sorry for not doing enough research.

They listened to their doctors and later regretted the treatment and path that they took, some having cancer come back two to three times.

I am not saying that everyone should follow my path because everyone has different circumstances and stages of cancers.

What I am saying is that regardless of your situation or the choices you make, be strong, do your research, and then feel 100% confident about the decision that you make. Yes, it is scary but it truly does not have to be. We do not have to be victims of cancer.
Mary Jo standing in front of one of her paintings in Scottsdale, Arizona. See more of her art at MaryJoFineArts.com
This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult your doctor for any health-related questions or concerns.

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