Conventional vs. Alternative

Many times in life you will be faced with decisions on how you want to live your life, nourish your body and feed your soul. There are so many different approaches one could take, that sometimes we forget that we have a choice! Do you want fine china or clay pottery, a log cabin in the woods or an apartment in the city, a garden full of tomatoes or a beautiful patio to rest on. Choices, choices, choices!

Funny enough, the same applies when you are faced with a CANcer diagnosis. In my experience, shortly after hearing my doc utter “It’s Hodgkin’s…it’s a type of cancer…”, I was being scheduled for all types of baseline tests and treatments in preparation for the big dance – six months of chemotherapy. However, all I wanted to do was get on the internet and, first of all, research exactly why I DIDN’T have cancer, and secondly, on the off chance that I did actually have cancerous cells multiplying inside of me, how I could treat it WITHOUT undergoing chemotherapy.

Maybe this was because the word “chemotherapy” was just as scary to me as the word “cancer”, maybe it was because I didn’t yet know anything about it and just wanted to run the other way, or maybe it was just the fact that after one silly little biopsy I suddenly had someone telling me what the next six months of my life was going to look like…and it wasn’t sounding glamorous. Either way, I took to google and typed the terrifying phrase “alternative cancer treatments”. I read about people claiming to have been cured by eating a raw food diet, to using vitamin D therapy, vitamin C therapy, baking soda therapy, pancreatic enzyme therapy and by using cannabis in various different ways…

At this point, I was even more confused but found comfort in knowing that I was exploring all of my options, and the route that I would take would be MY decision.

I decided that changing my diet was a fairly reasonable thing to do – it wasn’t overly drastic, and I decided that even if it didn’t cure my disease, eating more produce couldn’t possibly harm me? It was also something I could easily manage on my own, and something that I could take action on immediately. Once I was told that I had cancer inside of my body, time seemed to become of the essence for me, and every minute I waited before going into battle was a minute too long. So I went to war armed with a fridge and a pantry stocked full of produce, nuts and seeds ( I eventually got a little more adventurous, but the principal remained the same :). I began to see drastic results when symptoms I had been experiencing for months started to disappear.

However, equipped with more knowledge and a greater understanding of my disease and the treatments that were available to me, I knew that my path was to undergo six months of chemotherapy. But now, this treatment strategy was my decision, and it was one based on me and my loved ones and what we needed moving forward. Although the conventional route would be mine, I continued to eat a raw food/vegan diet as a complementary treatment.

Nearly eight months have passed since these early days of my diagnosis, but it seems like a lifetime ago. Although I have not yet gotten the “C” word from my doc yet (“cured”, that is…), I have successfully completed my chemotherapy treatment, and have had multiple clean scans. The chemotherapy protocol that I was on was so efficient and so effective that it actually eliminated all of the active disease after just two cycles of treatment. Furthermore, after my first treatment, the chronic pain I had been experiencing in my neck and upper back had vanished! I thought I was dreaming! (which is actually something I hadn’t done for months, as my neck and back pain had interrupted my sleep to such a great extent). I couldn’t say whether or not eating plants could have done this for me, but certainly not in such a timely manner!

Now that my chemotherapy treatment is behind me, alternative medicine will be more a part of my healing and recovery process. I am so very thankful for western, conventional medicine to have gotten me through this tough life assignment, and couldn’t be happier with the treatment strategy I chose. I encourage anyone who is faced with tough and life altering decisions to make, to do your homework and be aware of your options. Because knowledge is power, and life is your decision to make.

With love,


-I need to give a big shout out to my hubby, Travis, for encouraging me to write this blog post. Love.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Arlene says:

    Another wise and wonderful post. You are too inspirational for words!


  2. Leslie says:

    Your blog is amazing Tess and is a wonderful life support for everyone as it applies to the day to day challenges as well as the bigger ones. Many thanks and blessings of light always!


    1. Your words make my heart so happy, Leslie! Thank you, thank you


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