Battling Breast Cancer – From Fear to Courage: The Diagnosis

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 13, 2008, the day before Valentine’s Day. I cried for four days. It was my wake-up call.  After hiding out in my office, I got myself together. I  started to deal with my new reality, methodically, like an athlete in training.  Armed with a high school-level knowledge of anatomy and a lot of common sense, I started my research.

I found an unnerving amount of information on cancer and glucose. I immediately cut my sugar intake, starting with my daily hot chocolate (with extra pumps of chocolate in skimmed milk with whipped cream); a pastry; and a Big Grab bag of M&Ms. (Humans are wired to have a sweet tooth, and mine is ridiculous.  My brother, David, called me “Cookie Bear.”)

So began a lifelong struggle to give up the sugar.

My chiropractor, Dr. Melanie Six of Six Chiropractic in Alexandria, Virginia, gave me two books to read:  It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong and Eat 4 Your Type:  Four Battle Plans for Cancer by Peter D’Adamo. The first book inspired me.  (I know Lance is now a disgraced doper, but he is also a cancer survivor and founder of Livestrong Foundation. His book helped me have hope and courage.)

I didn’t want to be a passive participant in this medical drama. I didn’t want to simply show up at the doctors’ offices and the labs, and take the drugs. My question to Dr. Six was: “What can I do for myself?”  She gave me another book called Eat Right 4 Your Type, which outlines the blood type diet.

The author of Eat Right 4 Your Type is a naturopath physician. He described the immune system of my rare blood type AB+, as “not even having a lock on the door.”  My reaction was, “Whoa.”  In contrast, the common type O has a “high-tech security system.”  Based on that assessment, I accepted that my immune system is probably challenged. If diet mattered, I didn’t want my body to work any harder than it had to in dealing with the treatment.

I adopted the diet the next month.

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20 thoughts on “Battling Breast Cancer – From Fear to Courage: The Diagnosis

  1. Pingback: Battling Breast Cancer – From Fear to Courage: The Diagnosis | Rebecca Dru

    • Thank you, Dr. Six! I honestly don’t know how things would have gone without your guidance. I was able to make informed decisions throughout the year because of the information you made available to me. Thanks for being part of my team of health professionals!

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    • Thank you, Sharon! I will be dropping the next post later today. I’m glad I was already working with a health professional who made information available to me so I could make my own plan of action.

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  2. B&J

    Kim
    Your story will be inspirational to many. Most importantly it is funny. Having said that, I must tell you that an “unnamed” cyclist has hired me to represent him in his defamation suit. By the way does MD have that “truth” defense?

    We breathlessly await the next installment.

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    • Thank you, B! You know defamation is not my area. We can talk off-line. Expect me to hit you up on your (and J’s) amazing tales of surviving two famous catastrophes and how those experiences impacted your view of life. No one works or plays harder than you. Next installment will be a little later today!

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  3. mo

    Great blog and bravo for sharing! I love eat right for your blood type. Sounds like a fad diet but anecdotally quite sound. Wonderful to see you healthy and on the courts. Now I shall call you cookie bear razor. Too cute.

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    • Thank you, Mo! I go into a bit more detail about how my body responded to the diet — other than weight loss — in the next post. Stay tuned.
      Signed: “Cookie Bear Razor.”

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  4. Carol

    I can’t wait to share this with my cancer survivor friends. I’m sure that they will join you in sharing stories of a challenge that so many women endure. Keep up the good work. Writing it down is so healing…

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    • Thank you for your sentiments, Carol. There is more to come in this series. Your friends’ contributions are welcome here, too. I don’t believe we are powerless in this situation. Stay tuned!

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  5. Hi Kim, I totally agree with your plan of attack, and ability to make a life-style change. I myself had challenges with cancer. Like yourself, once you have a plan set, ensure your plan will allow you not to quit! Here it calls for inter-strength and truly pairing with faith. Love you lady. From one winner to another!

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    • Larry, believe it or not, you’ve been a role model for dealing with adversity. If I had not been able to play tennis with my right arm, I would have started from scratch and learned how to play with my left. That’s what an athlete would do. Thank you for your comment!

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