As told to Britt Julious
The first time I was diagnosed with cancer was about 18 years ago.
That was melanoma. I don’t think I considered myself a cancer survivor. They removed tissue from my shoulder and then I never really thought much about it after that. Then, in 2016, around Memorial Day, I noticed some blood-tinged mucus in my stool. I treated it like I thought I knew how. I’m a chiropractic physician and a certified clinical nutritionist. But by the time we got to Labor Day and nothing changed, I thought I had to go in. Within the first minute or so, I could see a mass on my colonoscopy. They did a CT scan from my chin to my pelvis and what came back was a spot on my lung as well.
I cried. It was a real blow. It’s like, ‘What? One [cancer] isn’t enough?’ It’s two separate cancers. One is not metastasis from the other. Even the oncologist scratched their head a little bit.
After the diagnosis, I took charge. I cut back on carbs. I was taking different supplements. What I was trying to do was keep the body healthy, but starve the cancer. I had lung surgery and rectal surgery. Where I drew the line in my treatment was that I did not want to do chemotherapy. The gut surgeon said he wouldn’t touch me unless I did something. I agreed to do radiation therapy.
I was looking for something to help me along the way. Cannabis was absolutely wonderful. It was a most compassionate herb. It brought down the nausea. It got me off the pain medication quite quickly. It also really opened my heart. It made me sensitive to the beauty that surrounds us. I was feeling a lot of love. It also gave me insight. It made me a lot more aware of myself and how I handle my stress. I don’t know what my journey would have been without it.
I’ve become more comfortable with waiting. No matter what I did, the body still had to heal itself and was on its own schedule. It is nothing I can speed along.
Most cancers give us time to contemplate our own death. Death doesn’t frighten me. Healing and curing are not necessarily the same. I think we can be healed—bring wholeness and holiness into our lives—without ever receiving a cure. I think it’s possible to die from cancer healed—free and clear