My second breast cancer was first noticed as a suspicious area seen on my 10 year anniversary mammogram (What???? I was planning a celebration party!!!!), and subsequently determined to be malignant after a biopsy. This new primary tumor was smaller (1.4 cm) but much more advanced than my first breast cancer, having 9 positive axillary lymph nodes and 1 positive deep intermammary lymph node found with a PET scan, putting me at very high risk for recurrence.
I never questioned that chemotherapy and surgery would play a role in my treatment with this second breast cancer and had another mastectomy followed by 4 cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan. However, it was time to start looking at things in a new way. Because of my apparent high risk factors from the radiation therapy and who knows what else, I now knew I could no longer naively think that chemotherapy and surgery alone were all I needed to do to keep this cancer from coming back or even another new one from developing.
I was determined to figure out what else I could do to enhance the long-term effectiveness of these conventional cancer treatments and fully recover physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by identifying and changing various aspects of my lifestyle. The challenge that I accepted for myself was to see if I could put together a holistic "healing recipe", looking for the best ingredients that conventional oncology therapy had to offer and complementing it with additional therapies from the uncharted world of "alternative medicine". I wanted to try to "tweak my fate", tipping the scales in my favor for both fighting the disease and achieving the optimal health possible.
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