Group of women in a huddle with their hands in the middle. Shot taken from underneath.

“I Don’t Worry, I Live.”

Picture of Andrea - the woman featured in the articleIn honor of creating more awareness and celebrating individuals diagnosed with breast cancer, we thought it best to interview a remarkable woman who sheds light on alternative medicine and the power of the mind. Please enjoy her story.

“I don’t worry I live”, was Andrea’s response when asked “how do you feel 20 years after your diagnosis?” Her perseverance to heal and live a life full of passion and positivity proved to provide stability during her experience.

When asked “what led you to the path of discovery?” Her response was, “my father had been diagnosed with colon cancer and he convinced me to have a colonoscopy. With his extreme sense of urgency, I scheduled an appointment. My doctor advised me to also have a base line mammogram considering my family history. After the completion of both tests, I learned that I had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ at the age of 41.”

The plan of treatment was to promptly remove a somewhat modest mass through a wide excision procedure. “I was confident in the treatment plan proposed by my Oncology doctor. My boss was the first person I told and then my husband, he was immediately supportive. I was nervous to tell my daughter who was 16 years old at the time. Telling her made me feel vulnerable. I shared the news with my extended family and to my surprise they brushed it off. This was something I did not expect.”

After the procedure was completed, there was discussion of the possible use of radiation. Andrea was reluctant to oblige. She found little information at that time that would suggest this form of treatment to be beneficial to her form of breast cancer. Andrea ultimately declined radiation and sought out the advice of a Chinese Medicine Practitioner. “I went to see a family friend who was a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Chiropractor and Acupuncturist. His post care treatment plan was quite different than the suggested post care treatment plan recommended by my Oncology doctor. My decision to move forward with my new doctor and his holistic post care treatment plan felt good. Acupuncture was at the forefront of my new plan. He gave me various herbs and supplements to take to help support my immune system. He also advised me to remove all the silver fillings in my mouth (which I did). All in all, I received excellent care and guidance.”

“Life is finite. I came to understand that in a new way, to not take things for granted or waste time”, was Andrea’s response when asked “what was the most surprising thing you learned about your yourself during this experience”.  Being proactive helped to minimize the overall outcome for Andrea. She expressed her sincere gratitude for the initial base line mammogram that was recommended.

When asked “what would you say to someone who just found out they have breast cancer?” Her response was, “Don’t let it define you, it doesn’t have power over you. It’s not who you are”.

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