Overcoming Breast Cancer
by Trish Powell
doom and gloom, but it might not be life as you knew it! I have the t-shirt “I survived
breast cancer” and though my path may not be the right path for you, any survival
story gives hope and encouragement, so here is mine.

I felt the painful lump, and rushed off for a mammogram. (Or should that be, I felt the
lump, and rushed of for a painful mammogram?) Anyway the diagnosis was that it
was probably a cyst. This at least gave me some hope in the time between diagnosis
and operation.

It was though a cancer, and small enough that I did not have to loose my breast. The
surgeon did remove a Lymph gland as a precaution, something I don't think they now
do unless necessary. The surgeon told me he thought that he had removed all the
cancer and it should not return. But, yes there is always a “but” as a precaution I
should have radiation treatment.

I talked this over with my husband, and we decided that I wasn't prepared to have the
treatment. If the surgeon thought he had removed all the cancer, that was good
enough for me. I just wanted to get on with my life. We did think though that he
would try to talk me, or even bully me into having the radiation treatment. I was very
surprised then when the surgeon said, “Well if you don't think it will help, then it
won't!” He then went on to explain a little of the power of the mind, and how attitude
plays a major part in the recovery process.

Off the hook, not a bit of it. “Even if you don't have the radiation treatment,” the
surgeon said, “you must still take the Tamoxifen, especially as your family has a
history of cancer.” I had read a little about this drug, and was horrified to think I would
be taking it for the rest of my life! Back to discussions with hubby, (This support is
invaluable, so if you don't have this sort of support in your life, get a coach) and a
great deal of research. The answer for me was a resounding “No” I would try other
ways to keep the cancer at bay.

Not long after I returned home, I caught an infection, and ended back in hospital. It
was some form of pneumonia and was finally brought under control with heavy doses
of antibiotics. I was very weak and felt worse than I had after the cancer operation.
The surgeon cheered me up by explaining that an operation often weakens the
immune system, which is why I caught the infection. Now having fought it off, my
immune system was in good working order, so I should expect to make a full

During my convalescence I had time to think about the breast cancer, what had
caused it, and how to prevent it happening again. I was and still am convinced that it
was caused by stress. The surgeon had told me how long the cancer had been
growing, and was surprised that it was not bigger.

The early growth of the cancer related to a very stressful period of my life. During that
time I had also suffered from blackouts, which only happen to me when I am
extremely stressed. However, once this period had passed, I went through a tranquil
phase during which time I believe the cancer remained dormant. The medical
profession will argue that I have no proof, but I think in the near future we will come
to understand a lot more about how stress affects cancer and our life in general.

At this time I had been married about thirty years, and as I have said my husband was
extremely supportive, so we sat down together and discussed ways of making our life
stress free. Like most couples with a house and 1.5 children, we had decided to go
the full Monty and have 2, and the debt that went with it. We were both working and
able to service the debt, but it was always something I worried about, so we made
becoming debt free our number one priority.

I also looked at my diet, being a non-smoker was a plus, but I figured I could be
eating healthier food. I cut out the biscuits and cakes replacing these with fruit and
nuts that I could nibble on between meals. I also increased the variety of vegetables
at meal times and the number of times we had red meat. Yes I am a believer; if we
were meant to be vegetarian then we would have a different digestive system. If you
don't eat meat because you don't like killing animals then you should take a closer
look at nature, you should also wonder if plants have feelings. Our diet is too
important to have fads.

I love walking, but at this stage in my convalescence, I only had the energy to walk to
the mail box, so I started a regime of simple floor exercises such as sit ups, to build
up my strength. This became a morning routine that I still follow .and of course
walking is one of the best exercises you can do.

In my research towards a healthy life, I read loads of books, one of them, “You can
Heal your Life” by Louise Hay, made a big impact on me. I followed through with
some of the suggestions and looked at life from a different perspective. I took up
meditation and was amazed at how much better it made me feel. I was able to relax
and let my cares lift away, while my body healed itself.

Happiness and contentment contribute to our peace of mind. My husband and I
decided we weren't really happy with our way of life, so we changed it. We had
virtually brought our children up on boats that we lived aboard and cruised, but for the
last few years of their schooling we had decided to move ashore to give them the
best chance. Now they had both left home, to go traveling of course, not to uni as we
had thought, we could also go back to a life we had enjoyed and still hankered after.
Being settled didn't suit us so we sold up and bought another yacht and are cruising.

We move on when the mood takes us and money allows, we have a very relaxed
attitude towards life and keep our stress levels down. I walk a lot, get plenty of sleep,
eat a balanced diet, meditate and enjoy life. Will it keep the cancer at bay? I don't
know, but it is now twelve years since my op and I have never felt better.

Breast cancer made me look at life in a different way, and for that I am grateful.

About The Author

Trish Powell

For the full results of Trish's research into a healthy life or to answer your questions
on life after cancer visit her web site at
Being diagnosed with breast
cancer is one of the most scary
things a woman can learn.

We know a great deal about it
because information on breast
cancer is in just about every
woman's magazine, along with
awareness articles in papers and
a staggering amount on the
internet. Yet still it is a gut
wrenching moment when you
find you are one of the statistics.

There is though life after breast
cancer. It does not have to be all
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