My wife Gayle went from a perfect mammogram and annual check-up in January 2019, to being given a Stage IV metastatic breast cancer diagnosis just five months later.
It was a crazy, emotional whirlwind the first three months. We entered a world we knew nothing about and were forced to digest tons of input from every direction, and with no expert guidance on how to use this information to ensure a whole-body approach to beating the odds.
We didn’t just want to kill the cancer, we were seeking restorative health.
What we needed was a holistic cancer support coach. At that time, we didn’t even know such a human existed.
Gayle and I were definitely overwhelmed the first two months after her cancer diagnosis. As a holistic cancer support coach, I have found that most cancer patients I talk to have a high level of uncertainty around everything in the beginning. There is just so much to digest.
There is a massive amount of information thrown your direction, accompanied by an environment of rush rush rush. Then there are the many different views and opinions from doctors, family members and well-meaning friends on what a cancer patient should and should not do that the patient also has to manage.
It’s easy to see how this big scary diagnosis can be mind-blowing and overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact that it often creates analysis paralysis. You move into sheep mode, or equally detrimental, you overthink everything and subsequently do nothing. Neither is an optimum place to be.
On top of all that uncertainty, overwhelming feelings and opinions, no one who is newly diagnosed with cancer can wrap their heads around the thought that the simplest and most obvious solution/plan could be the right answer to get them through this.
Cancer patients are repeatedly told (or at least feel) that cancer is a very complex situation so they think the solution should also be very complex.
Don’t get me wrong, cancer behaves differently from person to person. The same type of cancer can have different origins in different people. And there is still so much that is unknown about cancer. So much!
But there is hope. My wife Gayle took massive, brave action and six months after she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, she stopped it in its tracks. Her 6-month scans showed no active cancer. Now, nearly 4 years after the initial diagnosis, she is thriving. She recently weaned herself off her pain medication and is back to leading 6 to 7-mile rugged hikes.
During the early months after her diagnosis, we were flying by the seat of our pants and boy what we would have paid to understand and know what I have learned and am about to share with you. It could have made things less uncertain and less overwhelming for us. You see, I have discovered that if you approach cancer with a battle plan, it helps – it helps reduce the fear and bring some clarity to the process of healing.
Utilizing this battle plan can give you a 10,000-foot view of the situation. It can be used as a guide or an outline to help organize all the information and help you understand what (on a high level) needs to be done to help you beat cancer odds.
You don’t have to have it all figured out to get started and make an impact on your health. The battle plan can help you move from analysis paralysis to taking the first step with maybe a little less fear and more confidence.
Here is your cancer battle plan
- Understand what cancer is and who the enemy is. It may surprise you.
- Detox. Cancer takes root in a toxic environment so you need to shift the environment.
- Rebuild your natural defenses. Your immune system is your best ally in this fight.
- Bring in the right treatments/supplements. Understand your options.
- Stay positive, manage stress. Mindset plays a key role in healing.
- Create a team of providers to help. Surround yourself with the team you need to help you take a whole-body approach to getting well. Including a Cancer Nutrition Coach is a good idea.
I do have some words of caution with this battle plan – don’t get too rigid in following it.
What, you say?
This battle plan is simply an outline and a guide. A 10,000-foot view. If you get too rigid with any plan, you could derail your success by missing an opportunity.
If you look back at all the pivotal moments that transformed your life in a big, hairy, audacious way, I bet you will find most of those moments were unplanned and happened unexpectedly.
Am I right?
Life is a mystery and you really never know what may show up. So, you’ve got to be like a bamboo tree with your approach — rigid but flexible whenever necessary. Bend but never break.
You might be thinking okay, then why have a plan at all. To answer that, I will quote the great Dwight D. Eisenhower who said “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless…but planning is indispensable.” Who can dispute Eisenhower’s success at Normandy.
So, plan indeed but also commit to being more flexible as you go through figuring things out. Commit to making a cancer coach part of your team. They will help you sort through the process. You can find a list of certified holistic cancer coaches to choose from through the beatcancer.org organization. Or reach out to me and let’s chat.
The best reason to work with a cancer nutrition coach is that you will find a refuge in an otherwise overwhelming sea of cancer. That alone will bring hope and reduce fear.
Yetta Blair, CFNC, CHCC
Yetta is a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor and speaker. She studied whole-food, plant-based nutrition with T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. She is a food driven analyst and works with clients to help them use nutrition principles to solve the root causes of their health symptoms. She knows that functional nutrition is the answer to our current healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large, and wants to inform as many people as she can of the power of food to heal. Her promise to clients – if you eat better, you will feel better.