I was planning my funeral...now I'm planning my future! Cyndi Johnson's Journey
My journey to a healthier life began with a Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis March of 2018 at the age of 49. Upon finding my breast cancer, 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 taxotere, a chemo drug. Eventually I needed radiation on one of the ribs because it was causing me so much pain.
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.
Then in July of 2020, two years after my diagnosis, I found Rooted Green Wellness and 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.
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 I am exercising every day. I feel good and I’ve been able to eliminate many medicines that I had been taking for years. Not only am I down 17 pounds, my cancer is now NEAD (No Evidence of Active Disease)! Yes, that’s right! In July of 2020, the same month I found Food for Life, my scans showed a tumor in my right lung, the rib on the right was unchanged and one of the lesions on the left had improved slightly. But in just seven months of eating WFPB, all of my cancer tumors have disappeared! So much so, that my oncologist stopped my infusions! For the past few months I’ve only been taking the estrogen blocker. I still see the oncologist every three weeks for labs and to check how I’m doing. My scans are every 12 weeks.
Since I am not receiving chemo or targeted therapy, the only thing attributing to my remission is my diet. It has saved my life so that I may enjoy many more years. 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.
Research says that Metastatic Breast Cancer patients that are HER2+ have a 27% chance of living beyond five years from diagnosis (American Cancer Society). Five years! 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.