Surviving stage IV ovarian cancer for 29 years
Gail Ingham contacted me on my Facebook fan page as I was busily finishing my manuscript for my upcoming book, Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer. If only I had heard from her a month earlier; she would definitely been in the book. Oh deadlines! But I wanted to make sure you hear her amazing story, so I’m featuring it today.
My journey started 29 years ago. I had pain and never experience abdominal main unless I was in child birth. After an examination they determined there was a mass. During surgery the cancer was both ovaries, out- of the uterus, through the wall of the rectum and four malignant tumors towards the intestines. After surgery, I had 13 chemo treatments that consisted of Cytoxan, Cisplatin and Adriamycin.
I could not eat most items; they made me sick. The only thing that tasted good were vegetables and plant foods, so I started eating them multiple times a day — even for breakfast with my eggs. I prepared my own spaghetti sauce from fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs and spices (no sugar) and still do this even today. I was fortunate;, with the eating changes, I did not miss one treatment.
I had two young sons, which helped keep me active. It was agreed that I would send them off to school and at the end of the day, I would meet them when they got home. Staying active with them helped with the neuropathy that comes from chemo. I also discovered that horseback riding is great therapy for neuropathy. It helps balance and build the body, plus it works the brain. To further help with balance, I also did simple exercises in the kitchen while fixing food, cleaning, or just being with the boys. I still work on it; not just because of the cancer, but also because of getting older.
I have been cancer-free for 29 years. Because I believe in total healing, I still work at being healthy naturally. That means I continue to eat healthily, exercise, and incorporate relaxation, laughter and enjoying family of friends. I am extremely fortunate I do not need medication because of health issues from the cancer.
Cancer is something you have to fight and fight hard to beat the rest of your life. After you have been diagnosed with cancer you have to realize there isn’t too much you can do to get to your optimum health. I speak to groups to help make an awareness to this disease. I encourage women to get a full gynecological exam on a regular basis because pap smears do not detect ovarian cancer. Just as important, I want women to know there is hope; don’t give up.