Written by contibutor Jean-Marie Payne of Btanjerine and A Simply Raw Life. Jean-Marie is a cancer survior who turned to Raw/Vegan food to combat this terrible disease with success.
As many of you may know, I have cancer, and that is the main reason for why I have taken on this new way if eating. But it wasn't until today that I truly realized that eating this way saved my life, and perhaps saved me from having to go through chemotherapy. So here's a little back story.
In February/March of this year (2012) I noticed a lump randomly appear on my back. It was the size of a pea. I was concerned, but I also was super busy with a 2 month old baby and a 2 year old, so I didn't have that much time to think about it. I did go to a doctor who told me it was a lipoma (a benign fatty tumor). Around this same time, I started working out with my trainer and I expressed to her that I was looking for ways to care for the kids and get a healthy meal in. She suggested smoothies. She told me they are easy to make, clean up, and eat. One healthy meal down without too much fuss, I liked it and ran with it. I had a shake a day for almost a month in a half. I always added kale or Swiss chard to my smoothie. During that month in half to 2 months the lump barely grew.
The following 2 months after that was a different story. One of my BFF's was getting married. I was at my parents for almost 3 weeks and on a family vacation. Let's just say my eating habits changed drastically! I was drinking tons of alcohol, eating dessert after every meal, and my meat consumption was through the roof! In the next 2 1/2 months the same lump on my back grew to be the size of a plum. I had no idea, but I was feeding it!
On June 30th I had the "lipoma" removed and was informed that they made a mistake and that it was indeed cancer, a Sarcoma to be exact! And I was going to need another surgery, and soon, it was “high grade” in their opinion!
This was a lot of information to digest. But one thing I knew was my diet had to change. A week or so after my diagnoses I called up Christine (of Just Glowing with Health). I needed her opinion on this, and how food could affect my health. She told me I needed to go raw. I needed to allow my body to spend as much energy as possible healing and as little energy as possible on digesting. I liked everything she had to say. So the following day, I went raw. Little did I know that it would be exactly one week before my next surgery.
I knew and felt in my soul that all these raw veggies were healing me. But it wasn't until I heard a few things that I received confirmation of what I held true. The first realization that my diet was working for me was when I talked to the anesthesiologist the day of the surgery. He said I had the most incredibly rich blood. He went on to say that this is not a bloody surgery so a blood transfusion is not even a thought but if it were I had so much blood to lose. He said it would be long time before blood was even a consideration. I found his comments pretty interesting. And it made me feel good to know that if my blood was that rich then my whole body was probably doing pretty good too.
The second comment that took me by surprise was from my surgeon after the surgery. He told my husband and me, “all went well”. And he was happy to say he didn't need to take a rib. Ok, at this point I'm looking at him a bit shocked. I had no idea a rib was up for grabs! He told us that he wasn't sure how much the cancer would have spread around the infected area, and my rib was right there.
The worst thing one can do when they have cancer is cut it out and then leave a little behind. That makes cancer very, very mad. So in the 2 1/2 weeks that I waited for my next surgery that thing should have gone crazy! After all it had already shown that it wasn't afraid of growth. It had grown like mad the past few months! But all of a sudden it was stunted. It was diagnosed as a high grade sarcoma. It should have metastasized to my lungs… but it didn't! And now all I face is a little radiation to make sure the infected area is clean of the Sarcoma.
There is more to my story as I continue on my raw/vegan journey that I will share with you along the way.
You can see how eating raw veggies saved my life, and why it is so important for me to stick as closely to this diet as possible.