CSN Login
Members Online: 11

Life Changes

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

As everyone on this site knows, cancer brings on many life-changing experiences. For me, it brought about getting very real, becoming very true to myself. And since ending treatment I have morphed into a certified Pilates instructor and a holistic personal trainer with plans to open my own studio called 'Breathe' by the end of the year so I can help others achieve and maintain balanced whole wellness. I'm also in the infancy stages of creating a jazz quintet called 'The Stardust Social Club' and will be in full swing by early fall. I've decided that I need to declare what I want to do, who I want to be, and do it. Be it.

Yes, I have days that I feel like I've been run over by a Mack truck. I have days that I poop in my britches. It takes me a good 10 steps to really get moving in the morning due to hip and back pain. But hey, for the first time in my life, I'm truly LIVING. I expect great big things from my God. And I'll forever be grateful to that lump I found in my butt in the fall of 2010 that got me here.

Peace and blessings to all.

Angela

Cheyenne's picture
Cheyenne
Posts: 72
Joined: Apr 2012

What a wonderful post! This is one of the best examples I've ever seen of someone making lemonade out of lemons! :o)

sephie's picture
sephie
Posts: 514
Joined: Apr 2009

you are truly a fabulous person to find so much good out of this horrible experience. go for it!! good for you!!! sephie

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 501
Joined: Jun 2011

Beautiful post - thank you so much.

rds711
Posts: 113
Joined: Dec 2011

It is really amazing how something so traumatic can lead you to such a wonderful place in life! Live outloud Angela!!!!

Randy

cap630
Posts: 148
Joined: Jul 2011

You are amazing and an inspiration!

lil lady
Posts: 36
Joined: May 2009

You are my hero today

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 520
Joined: Jul 2009

Angela
What inspiring news! Congratulations. Makes me want to get out of corporate America more than ever! Ughhhh....I wish I could but that gnawing fear of not having health insurance....

Wishing you success and most of all a happy heart and healthy body!
Liz

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Liz ~ I was so very afraid of the prospect of no health coverage, but it has all fallen into place (so far) for me. I elected Cobra coverage when leaving my state employer when first diagnosed with Cancer. Fifteen months with an additional 6 months at the end with no changes in coverage or premium ~ except the employer contribution to the premium, of course, is not there. (Mine is BCBS, about $400 per month with $2500 deductible, 80/20 in network, $4000 annual out of pocket max.) I am still under this coverage and at then will be eligible to roll over into the Texas Risk Pool. Quite a bit higher premium (around $600 per month) for less benefit ($5000 deductible) but it's THERE, and I will make it doable.

I'm am exploring adding group insurance coverage to my 'Breathe' business. Comparing it Texas Risk Pool to see if it's worth pursuing.

You can also look at it this way, Liz . . .you can use your Cobra for 21 months to educate/change your career path and then go to work in your new career with a business that does have group health insurance. It's a risk, I know. But what's living without risk? You and I have beaten anal cancer. We can move that rubber tree plant. :)

Hoping high,

Angela

shirlann54
Posts: 161
Joined: Aug 2011

'YOU GO GIRL'I,m happy for you.Just having had cancer is such a life changing experience.I take better care of me then i did before cancer.And i enjoy life more.Good luck with every thing .....Shirley

AZANNIE
Posts: 371
Joined: Mar 2011

Best of luck to you in your new and positive journey. Wish I lived closer so I could go to your studio!

Ann

z810840b's picture
z810840b
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

Lets face it...its easy to feel sorry for ourselves after going through cancer ...The scariness of the disease....the treatment...and the after effects of treatment.I look forward to your positive posts Angela..I need a good kick in the pants sometimes..And you do it so gracefully.. Thank you.....Hugs ..alyse

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Yesterday. right here in my hometown, I finally found a GP (MD) who is on the same page with me regarding integrative medicine. She is newly out of medical school and subscribes to the quote "You can never medicate yourself out of the what you behaved yourself into." She strongly believes that traditional chemo and radiation doesn't 'cure' cancer. It can remove it. But to cure cancer is to cure ones immune system. Chemo and radiation further compromises your immune system so it's VITAL to boost your body with super high nutrients during and following treatment. I've said over and over that a super healthy diet designed to boost your immune system is so important in preventing and curing cancer and it's so nice to have an MD who isn't 300 miles or more away who agrees!

I'm moving on to bio-identical hormones and slightly increasing my thyroid intake to find an optimal hormonal balance within my body. She also totally agrees with my holistic breathing practices and thinks that visual/guided imagery, reflexology and massage therapy combined with my Pilates classes are a good mix for whole wellness. Finding her is just as exciting for me as getting that first 'all clear' reading after treatment ended. Prayers have been answered. God is good. All the time.

Can I hear an "Ommmmmmmmm?"

Angela

AZANNIE
Posts: 371
Joined: Mar 2011

Congrats on finding a dr who practices integrative medicine! That's great! Sadly, I didn't realize the impact that treatment would have on my system. I guess I was more concerned that the cancer be destroyed. Live and learn and needless to say, this has been a learning experience.

Ann

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2819
Joined: Jan 2010

All I can say is you are awesome! Love ya!

lowens's picture
lowens
Posts: 33
Joined: May 2012

Angela,

What is your hometown/state? How long ago was your treatment completed? I am just 7 weeks/almost 2 months so I assume my body is and will be healing for some time now. How long do you believe it took your body to heal, to get to its new normal?

You have a great attitude and approach to your health; I strive to be like you. I just went to my Gynocologist Wednesday where they drew blood to check my hormones. I may be coming back to this site to ask you more questions about bio-identical hormones. There is always something new to learn these days when it comes to my health.

I always look forward to reading your posts. Keep them coming; you are helping me and I am sure so many others.

Lisa

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

But at times, I too, am uncertain about everything. I just pray and give myself a pep talk every morning before getting out of bed to set the tone for my day. Your thyroid is probably the most crucial hormone that regulates your body. Even though 'normal' ranges for THS levels is anywhere between .3 and 3., ideally it should be 1. or under. But there are other circumstances with T3 and T4 readings so I would recommend finding someone who has experience working with menopausal women and thyroid function ~ not just a doctor who is fine with 'normal' THS level of, say, 2.10 (like one of my former doctors was.)

I live in San Angelo, Texas. My treatment ended in January of '11. I had my treatment at Scott & White Cancer Center in Temple, Texas, a well respected teaching hospital in Central Texas. But these excellent oncologists are conventional practitioners only. No integrative medicine practiced at Scott $ White. (but I'm working on that. :))

I suggest following Roby Mitchell, MD, who initially opened my eyes to hormonal imbalances. He is out of Amarillo, Texas and is a BIG advocate of women's health. You can find his website at www.drfitt.com. He also is on FB. He works with other physicians who want to expand their knowledge of integrative medicine, especially as it applies to hormone balancing. Very inspirational man . . .and not a big fan of the current 'medical establishment.'

Shes_my_hero
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

It means so much--to a newbie like me--to hear such an encouraging outlook from a woman who has the same spit-fire determination that my hero, my daughter, has. She's my hero when I see how she is taking on this fight! Just 32 years old, mother of one terrific 12 year old, she was diagnosed in April with T1 Squamous Cell Anal Cancer. After 2 chemo rounds and with three more RT left, we're at the final stretch of this phase. Life has changed for everyone in the family, and in a way, everyone who is praying for us. CS Lewis said that prayer doesn't change God, it changes me. And my experience is that it's true. We see the hand of God in the little details ever since the diagnosis, making a way in the darkness. And we trust in His perfect love to get us through. May God bless each of you who post here. Your courage and generosity means more than you may know.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2819
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry your daughter's circumstances have brought you here, but she sounds like a very determined person who will come through this just fine. She is at the end of treatment, which is the roughest part, but please know that recovery happens pretty quickly and soon she will be feeling much, much better! With your support and the support of her family and friends, she will do great in the healing phase. Please keep us posted on how things go for her.

Shes_my_hero
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

and your daughter sounds like one. Facing anything in life, the ONLY thing we have control over is ourselves. Our minds and our actions. We control what we let in our heads. We control feeding ourselves with positive thoughts or negative thoughts, surrounding ourselves with positive people or negative people. We choose whether to make excuses or to not make excuses. To talk about 'doing' or actually doing something.

I believe with my whole heart that in fighting cancer, determination and staying extremely focused and positive is CRUCIAL. Gaining and maintaining optimal health is CRUCIAL. Being your own best advocate is CRUCIAL, even if it means questioning doctors and their practices. (And sure, we're going to have 'down' moments. That's being human and a vital part of the healing process. But I don't think we should allow ourselves to dwell there for too long.) To me, the medicine is secondary.

Chemo and radiation may win the battle, but a healthy spirit, mind and body win the war.

Send your daughter my love. She is going to be JUST. FINE. And she (and you!) can always come here for support.

Blessings to all,
Angela

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

Thanks so much for that CS Lewis quote. So true. We are reading The Great Divorce in our bible study class. Cancer slowed me down enough to participate in these classes at church and opened my heart and mind enough to hear and see a few things. I had cancer the first time at age 26. Life isn't fair but it's true that there are little gifts along the way if we open our eyes and hearts to them. Your daughter is likely going to be slowed down by this treatment for quite a while but it's amazing to see how far I've come this year and I'm 62! I'm so glad we have this site where you can be reassured she most very likely if not surely will come through this "mighty fine."
Fondly,
Sandy

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

I am so happy for you. You have always been an inspiration and source of strength to me with your posts. My life is changing too.I think it is wonderful we get to see life anew.

I now start my day with a smoothie of "Green Vibrance", Nutritional Yeast, Blueberries, a banana and Almond Milk. I feel so much better after doing this for a couple of months. I really think freeze dried is a great way to go when it comes to "fresh" greens. I use Walnuts in all my salads which I fix every day. But I believe I will go ahead and invest in a juicer as well as you have so many times advocated. I have given up starchy anything, except small quantities of rice now. (And a slice of Veggi NY Pizza once a week - usually with large quantities of spinach on top). My only dairy is non fat Greek Yoghurt which I save for dessert after dinner. I also use a product called "Calm" which is Magnesium Sulfate. This not only calms me but helps with calcium metabolism. Wheat and Corn are pretty much grains of my past, not my present or future as is clear that I just can't metabolism them very well. Unfortunately, I had to give up Cole Slaw for the same reason.

Good for you for going forth in your life with better health for yourself and everyone else. Music is so healing. It was no problem for me to return to my music church job, but I have not yet started back to my sales position. The church has offered me the opportunity to use the choir room as a voice studio and I had my first student there. I am going to prepare a brochure to set forth my philosophy and qualifications for more students. What a dream come true!

Thanks for continuing to be a source of inspiration. Fondly, Sandy

Angela_K
Posts: 370
Joined: Jan 2011

Great to hear that you've made changes in your diet that boost your immune system. I have been on vacation on the Texas Coast and can't wait to get to the store to "green up" for a weekend of juicing.

Colonoscopy on Monday, followed by a regular 4 month PET scan on Tuesday, all at Scott & White. I still allow full fat cottage cheese and non-fat Greek yogurt every once in a while and have eggs and avacado about twice a week. I also drink a little coconut water daily and stick primarily to dark, colorful vegetables, black beans, seeds, walnuts and lean protein from the colder seas. Some lower sugar fruit. Sardines almost daily. :)

No sugar, no wheat, no milk, no corn. No beer. (I miss my beer the most.)

Lots and lots and lots of clean water.

I did eat some wonderful dark chocolate ice cream this week. A ton of it actually. I cared not that my stomach hated me for it. My taste buds loved it. Also a lot of grilled fish tacos on corn tortillas. But seldom, seldom do I indulge quite so recklessly.

Eating cleaner has become a habit for me now. I don't really miss the 'other' stuff at all. I follow kind of a 90%/10% rule, eating clean 90% of the time. When I do indulge in the other stuff, I feel the negative effects almost immediately. Stomach issues and even worse for me, foggy head/fatigued. I can't imagine going back to my previous eating lifestyle when comparing how I feel. Will look into that 'Calm' product you speak of.

I'm so, so happy that you and others are choosing to make lifestyle changes for the better. Never easy. But not that hard either once you've made up your mind to 'just do it' and drop the excuses.

Please keep me posted on how you are doing and anything new and different that is working for you!

Mucho blessings from Texas!

Angela

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network