My journey to a healthier life began with a Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis March of 2018 at the age of 49. Initially, the diagnosis was breast cancer, but just days later we found that the cancer had actually metastasized to the bones, specifically four ribs on the left and one rib on the right plus a tumor that developed later in my right lung. I began a regimen of an estrogen blocker daily plus targeted therapy infusions every three weeks. Additionally, I completed five rounds of a chemo drug called taxotere. Eventually I needed radiation on one of the ribs because it was causing me so much pain and wasn’t responding to treatments.
I thought about eating healthier and getting more exercise after my diagnosis, but quite frankly, I was feeling sorry for myself so I indulged in all the food and alcohol I wanted and I definitely wasn’t exercising. My prognosis wasn’t very promising or hopeful so I began to live life even more recklessly than before.
Then in July of 2020, two years after my diagnosis, I found Rooted Green Wellness while they were hosting a virtual four-week series called Food For Life: Cancer Survival and Prevention through Gilda’s Club. Something was pulling me out of my depression and I wanted to fight my cancer instead of surrender to it. After that four-week series, my husband and I took a five-week series, Kickstart Your Health. Two months later I took Rooted Green Wellness’ class, Food For Life: Breast Cancer Prevention and Survival. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their plant-based Thanksgiving and Christmas classes, Tackling Hormone-Related Cancers plus I’ve grown so much through their incredible book club where I have read The Cheese Trap and Healthy at Last. Their daily posts on social media offer suggestions and recipes that keep me going.
To say that Rooted Green Wellness has changed my life is a gross understatement. From that very first class, I jumped in and I haven’t looked back. I’ve adopted the eating lifestyle of Whole Food Plant Based and my husband is on board as well. Seven months after converting completely to eating WFPB, all of my cancer tumors were so small that they couldn’t be detected on my PET/CT scans.
There are many side effects of cancer plus the side effects of ongoing treatments are endless and tiresome at times. Cancer that has metastasized to the bones can cause pain and swelling so over the recent years I have had a few other health setbacks such as a fractured foot then surgery on it plus a total hip replacement. I continue my daily estrogen blocker and infusions every 21 days. Additionally, I have scans every three months in order to monitor any progression.
Research says that Metastatic Breast Cancer patients that are HER2+ have a 27% chance of living beyond five years from diagnosis (American Cancer Society). I celebrated my five year Cancer-versary last March and I’m still considered stable. I believe wholeheartedly in this healthy lifestyle and I know that it has helped me fight Stage IV cancer. The research is astonishing and Jill and Joel personalize all of the information while putting the tools and amazing recipes into my hands.
Five years and going strong! I hope to be a part of the research that shows by committing to a whole food plant based diet, I can live a lot longer than five years. My journey continues and thanks to Rooted Green Wellness, I will continue on a healthier journey.