Sherri’s “Mind/Body” Journey — Inspiration for Women Seeking Alternatives for DCIS and Breast Cancer — Guest Blog

My Journey from Invasive Triple Negative Breast Cancer

by Sherri Shilcrat

GET ACTIVE IN YOUR OWN RESCUE 

In July 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I always love to be in control which is why I argued back and forth with the doctor informing me of that.  I felt he was wrong, but finally realized that yes this was breast cancer and where do I go from here? 

The question in my mind was not why me but, what do I do about it?  What treatments?  What therapies?  The research began. I did decide to have the lump removed which I do not regret since I got the diagnosis of invasive triple negative breast cancer.  I cannot fight something if I do not know what I am fighting. 

The first books I read were Cancer Free – Your Guide to Gentle, Non-toxic Healing and How to Cure Almost Any Cancer at Home for $5.15 a Day both from Bill Henderson.  It changed my life and way of thinking.  I recommend both of these books for everyone diagnosed with cancer.  The third book I got was Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer.  This changed how I thought of cancer.  Cancer can be reversed – this book tells how, using clinically proven complementary and alternative therapies.   

HARD TO BUILD PEACE WHEN WE ARE IN A CONSTANT STATE OF WAR — MAKE THE MIND STRONG 

What I discovered is cancer can be described as multi-dimensional which means there are several components to a cancer diagnosis.  It isn’t just physical; it is through the brain, the mind.  Mind/body is what we all need to address.  We all need to be in charge of our brain not the other way around.  In one book a doctor noticed that success is dependent on the state of the mind of each person not necessarily the type of cancer or the stage.  If you think you will die, you will. If you think your treatment will not help, it won’t.  On the other side, if you think you will beat the diagnosis there is hope, and if you think your treatment is what you should be doing that is all you need.  Our brain programs us to think a certain way because of childhood, life experiences. This can involve stress, trauma, anxiety, and unresolved trauma.  That can be related to a cancer diagnosis, so we all need to change our mind, our thinking on a more positive level.  That is what I concentrated on.  Making the mind strong will in turn make the body healthy was my belief.  I did meditation daily, visualization daily where I visualized the cancer leaving my body, qi-gong, tai-chi, then exercising.  All done daily.  I never told myself I am working full time, I can’t do this — instead I made time with no excuses.  Meditation will make your mind strong so daily meditation was key for me.    

Now I knew the reason for my diagnosis of breast cancer and everyone needs to be aware of that.  Unresolved stress, PTSD, anxiety all finally did damage to my immune system.  So taking care of the mind is good but what would I do for the body and bringing up my immune system?  I interviewed many naturopaths to give me some type of answer and finally after weeks of trying to find out the answer it was given to me.  Vitamin C infusions.  Vitamin C infusions instead of chemotherapy which I was against in the very beginning.  In July, I had the lumpectomy, and in August, I began weekly Vitamin C infusions for 7 months.  I realized though that I needed someone that was more familiar with cancer than the naturopath and found a naturopathic oncologist that I trusted. I also availed myself to mistletoe injections which I feel helped turn the corner of my cancer.  Extensive blood work-up including hs-CRP, homocysteine, magnesium, vitamin d hydroxy, calcitriol, comprehensive metabolic panel, CBC with differential/platelet, iodine, ceruloplasmin. I also included Spectracell testing along with that to get at more nutrient levels.  Natural killer cell testing was done to show where my immune system was at, and a protocol was developed to bring that level up. Just note: we are all different, with different issues, different deficiencies so that is why in natural therapies there is personalization for everyone.   

The top issues for any cancer diagnosis — lack of sleep, unresolved stress, diet (not eating healthy) — if any of these are what you are experiencing, you need to try to resolve them.  Most people with stress cannot sleep the way they should.  We all can eat more healthy. 

Here are some common elements of supplementation — curcumin/turmeric, magnesium, vitamin d3, k2, vitamin c, alpha lipoic acid, iodine if levels are low, beta glucan. Be aware that just supplementing before having levels checked for some is not safe.  For instance iodine for some can produce hypoglycemia if you are taking too much, vitamin A, Vitamin D3, so please have levels checked first then decide how much to supplement. 

STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF DOESN’T MAKE YOU ARGUMENTATIVE. SHARING YOUR FEELINGS DOESN’T MAKE YOU OVER-SENSITIVE. AND SAYING NO DOESN’T MAKE YOU UNCARING OR SELFISH. IF SOMEONE WON’T RESPECT YOUR NEEDS, FEELINGS AND BOUNDARIES, THE PROBLEM ISN’T YOU — IT IS THEM. 

LIVE IN THE MOMENT— NOT THE PAST, NOT THE FUTURE, BUT NOW AND SHOW GRATITUDE FOR YOUR LIFEthe perfect recipe for success in treatment of breast cancer. 

About Donna Pinto

I am originally from New Jersey and moved to Los Angeles with my family at age 12. After graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in Journalism, I had a short-stint in magazine advertising sales before landing my "dream job" with Club Med. For two years I worked at resorts in Mexico, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic and Colorado. My husband Glenn & I met in Ixtapa, Mexico and we embarked on a two year honeymoon around the world. This was also a research project for a book we wrote called "When The Travel Bug Bites: Creative Ways to Earn, Save and Stay Abroad." I am also the author of a quote book for new graduates -- "Cheatnotes on Life: Lessons From The Classroom of Life." In 1997, we settled in San Diego and I was blessed to work part-time from home for non-profit organizations while raising our two boys. In 2010, a DCIS diagnosis changed my life. DCIS 411 is the culmination of my on-going journey and discoveries.
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