I believe in miracles, and I just experienced one. My doctor might call it an aberration or a strange phenomenon. For many western medicine doctors, a miracle is too far of a stretch. Miracles are outside of their paradigm. Western medicine doctors save lives and do amazing things, but sometimes they get mystified. I have stumped my doctor to the point of her seeking another doctor’s opinion on how to explain what she said is not possible. They are confounded.
I had two weeks to wait for surgery. I could tell my doctor wanted me to have the surgery the following week based on my results, but it was a holiday week (Independence Day), and she wasn’t doing surgery that week. So I had two weeks to wait. I asked her what I should do during those two weeks and her answer was “nothing”. I did everything instead. Let’s begin at the beginning.
On Monday June 16, 2014 I had my annual pap exam with my gynecologist. She found 3 things wrong: Active HPV (Human papillomavirus), and atypical glandular cells and atypical squamous cells. I was then scheduled for an in-office biopsy, which occurred the following Monday June 23. This procedure was terribly painful, and I almost passed out.
3 days later, I got a call from my doctor. She said that the results were not good and that a more in-depth biopsy as outpatient surgery was indicated. She did not read me the exact wording of the lab report, and I am glad she didn’t. It would have freaked me out even worse than I already was at the time. But later, I got the actual report and it said that in my cervix, the biopsy showed “Severe squamous dysplasia/carcinoma in SITU.” Not a good diagnosis. The doctor also mentioned a hysterectomy might come later.
I had had some problematic pap tests over the years due to HPV, which I contracted in the 90’s, and I had had an in-office biopsy before, but nothing serious ever resulted. This new development alarmed me to put it lightly. I thought to myself, “I have 2 weeks to get rid of this issue” and immediately made changes. Because some people have asked me what I did, I will share the information with the caveat that this is my experience and my body, and I cannot promise this list will have the same results for you if you have a health concern.
(This list is not in exact order but includes all the measures I took while waiting for surgery.)
Diet: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –Hippocrates
I immediately stopped eating beef, pork or chicken. I did have occasional fish and one small piece of chicken on the 4th of July. I had been leaning towards a vegetarian lifestyle for years, and for many reasons I was moving away from eating meat. A few months prior to this health issue cropping up, I had read two books advocating a plant-based diet, “Become Younger” by Dr. N.W. Walker, D.Sc. and “Tissue Cleaning Through Bowel Management” by Bernard Jensen, D.C., Ph.D., Nutritionist. Ironically, I was currently reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell, II, MD also a proponent of plant-based eating lifestyle.
I also stopped all alcohol consumption for one full week. In the second week, I had a glass of wine for a couple of special occasions.
I reduced or eliminated most sugar with the exception of indulging in my own homemade vanilla ice cream on the 4th of July. But I avoided all other deserts, sweets or even favored syrup in my lattes.
I am a coffee drinker and kept coffee in my diet but if I went out for a latte, I had only one shot of espresso and no favoring added. When I brewed my own, I reduced the quantity, and again no sweetener of any kind.
I had already moved to a 95% gluten free diet a few months earlier, so I kept to that program as well.
I also had been and continue to be 90% dairy free using almond milk instead of cow’s milk. I do however still sometimes enjoy cheese.
I never have been a smoker or drinker of soda, so that is just an added information piece. I drink tons of water with a lemon wedge all day long every day.
Before I move into what I did eat, let me explain the basic reasoning for what I reduced or eliminated. I believe that meat and alcohol promote an acidic environment in the body, which can feed “bad” cells. I wanted an alkaline internal environment, so I ate foods that are linked to that balance. I wanted to starve the bad cells and feed the good, fighter cells. Sugar suppresses the immune system, so that is why I also cut back on sweets.
So what did I eat? Tons of vegetables and fruits! My typical breakfast begins with Bob’s Red Mill-gluten free muesli with almond milk and fresh fruit on top. I also sprinkle ground flax seed, chia seed and hemp hearts on top. Sometimes I have hot cereal as the base using Earnest Eats.
Salads became my choice for most lunches and dinners. I often went to Mad Greens and healthy restaurants and ordered soups and/or salads with a variety of vegetables. My snacks were fruits or vegetables. I would often go to Wholefoods and wander the produce section looking for a vegetable or fruit that I had not eaten in a while. And I became obsessed with drinking one Evolution Fresh drink each day. These drinks are cold pressed and full of fruits and vegetables. I would often take one to a party to drink instead of alcohol.
I have taken the nutritional supplement Juice Plus for over a decade, and of course I continued that. The supplement I added during the waiting period was Cellular Forte from Integrative Therapeutics. It says on the bottle that Cellular Forte with IP-6 and Inositol provides support for the immune system and helps promote natural killer-cell activity.
Outside Help: I immediately reached out to my acupuncturist. I have had monthly appointments for years, and she and I are a great team on promoting my good health. I received an acupuncture appointment with take-home herbs and the Cellular Forte mentioned previously. And I accepted her support and belief that all would be well because my body has always responded well to our efforts of improving any condition that came along in the past.
I also immediately scheduled a Colon Hydrotherapy session. Due to my previous study on the importance of colon health for the entire body, I wanted to cleanse. I also got an ionic footbath, while in the office for no extra charge. I am not sure about the validity of the footbath, but it feels nice and I didn’t pay extra. Cleaning out the colon by a good diet, maintaining regularity in bowel movements and occasionally having a colon hydrotherapy session does make sense to me, and so I made sure I had a hydrotherapy session while I waited for surgery.
The other outside help I got was to let some family and friends know about what was going on. I asked for their good thoughts, energy and prayers. Whatever their beliefs were, I didn’t care as long as they sent me positive energy.
Daily Habits: I have always been someone who exercises, and I consider myself an athlete. I continued to exercise, but I took the edge off. I usually swim 3x/week, 3000 meters each time. I shaved off 500 meters, so 2500 meters instead. I lift weights a couple of times a week, but I shaved off 5-10 pounds to make the routine just a bit easier. I continued lots of walks and dance lessons, which I have recently grown to love. I also used the rebounder especially the health bounce, which is suppose to support lymph movement enhancing the immune system.
I walked or sat in the sunshine for at least 15 minutes a day. I looked at the beauty around me and looked for beautiful clouds, flowers or landscape.
I performed breathing exercises especially practicing getting my lower abdomen to rise and fall with the deep breathing. I also regularly practiced Mind Control Relaxation exercises, which is similar to guided visualization and meditation.
I got more rest. I went to bed earlier and took more naps. I also kept my stress low and practiced releasing stress when it arose.
I picked up some funny books and movies. I made sure I read books or listened to audio versions or watched a comedy film each day so that I laughed out loud. I found reasons to laugh every day. I also listened to “happy” music. A few months ago I created a playlist of about 30 minutes of happy music, so I listened to that playlist often especially “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I made sure I sang and danced to it!
I wrote in a gratitude journal for 10 minutes every morning. I was coincidentally reading “Make Miracles in 40 Days” by Melanie Beattie, when this health scare started. I experienced my miracle during this 40-day practice!
I also read affirmations each morning and sometimes throughout the day. I was inspired by Joseph Murphy’s book, “The Power of the Subconscious Mind”. I wrote one of his affirmations on a note card and read it daily:
“My body and all it’s organs were created by the infinite intelligence in my subconscious mind. It knows how to heal me. Its wisdom fashioned all my organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. This infinite healing presence within me is now transforming every cell of my being, making me whole and perfect. I give thanks for the healing I know is taking place at this time. Wonderful are the works of the creative intelligence within me.”
While I swam, I would also chant to myself in the rhythm of my arm movements, “I am healthy, I am strong, I am well”. Sometimes that mantra would last close to an hour as I swam. I also put my hands on my abdomen when lying down and rubbed it while saying that I was healing and I was healthy.
I cleared clutter from my house and my life. I got rid of things around my home that weren’t purposeful or useful to me anymore. I cleaned my desk and my computer. Items that were not meaningful were deleted or thrown away. I evaluated my commitments and kept only what I enjoyed or found gave me some positive direction. At the same time, I worked in my garden. I created beauty and planted flowers that I loved.
Inner Work: I evaluated everything. I turned over my life and looked at all of it. I revisited forgiveness. I forgave the reason and situation that brought HPV into my life because that virus probably triggered this health issue. I looked at the reasons to live. The top two reasons were my daughters.
I made a decision to live and that I would accept growing old and the aging process and grief as I would surely have some when I live to a ripe old age. I could write another blog on the reasons to live and probably will soon. But for here and now, I was 100% committed to living.
Last but not least, I believed I would be well. The power of the mind is amazing, and I tapped into it. After all, I wrote a book about it! (Become an Athlete of the Mind). Time to practice what I preach!
I had outpatient surgery on July 9 for cone biopsy of the cervix with some scraping of the uterus to get some cells from that area too. Surgery went well, but I had to wait over a week for the lab results. My doctor called me on July 18 with the good news. “No evidence of residual dysplasia identified. Negative for dysplasia and carcinoma!” The best possible outcome had come true!
When I had my two-week postop doctor’s visit, I asked her if she was surprised by the results. She said yes. She said occasionally this condition might resolve over many months, but it was not possible in two weeks. I told her I did “a lot” while waiting those two weeks and even mentioned a thing or two, but she wasn’t interested. This lack of interest saddened me although I understand she is deep into the western medicine model and is just not in a place to go elsewhere at the moment. I felt frustrated about her lack of curiosity of the measures I had taken, so hence I am writing this blog post in case anyone else wants to know. I must reiterate that this is my experience and that each body in unique and each circumstance is also individual. However, I do hope this information might help someone else.
I will have another pap exam in November. I am maintaining most of the healthy measures I reviewed with some lightening up in a few places. As you can see from this blog, I am dedicated to health! I will continue to share my discoveries.
“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” –Seneca
My next post might be titled “Where Do I Go From Here?” I would enjoy your comments below. Thank you for reading about my journey. I wish you much health and happiness in your life!