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 A picture is worth a thousand words! It can also be a great conversation piece. Yes, this is me on the left 3 years after my  cancer treatment and on the right, complete transformation after my wellness journey. By the way,  you can transform your body like I did. So lets have a conversation about no longer just surviving but thriving after a cancer diagnosis. Anybody can be a survivor. It is not the days in your life but the life in your days.

After my cancer diagnosis in 2009, I realized that the treatment had taken a toll on my body. You know it has been said that sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease. Unfortunately, that is what happened to me and many others as I listen to their stories. 

In 2010 I was prescribed  a class of medication called aromatase inhibitors. They are designed to decrease the estrogen in the body to reduce recurrence of  ER+ cancer. Estrogen positive breast cancers are one of the most common types. I was ER+, PR+ and Her2+, also known as triple positive. 

Many of you may be pondering, I am in menopause so where is this estrogen coming from. We secrete estrogen from fat cells and also from our adrenal glands which sits on top of our kidneys. We continually have estrogen produced in our bodies. So the aromatase inhibitor also know as the 5 year pill can have severe side effects to include osteoporosis, joint pain, weight gain, and hot flashes to name a few. And lord have mercy, I developed most of these side effects! You name it I had it.

By 2013 I had gained over 30 pounds. I developed planter fasciitis and a condition in my spine called Facets disease. The medication caused me to have a poor quality of life. I knew that if I continued to gain weight it would lead to a recurrence of the cancer. Obesity can increase your risk of cancer. So I was desperately searching for answers.

In May 2013, I met someone who introduced me to whole food nutrition. I restarted my health journey at that time and started eating more raw fruits and vegetables. I started taking Juice Plus which is concentrated fruits and vegetables in a capsule. That was a game changer for me! I was flooding my body daily with all this “live” food. We are living bodies with living cells so it makes sense to give our bodies as much living foods as possible.

In September 2013 I decided to go vegan. My diet consisted of  85% raw food. That meant I ate a lot of salads and smoothies. By December 2013 I had lost 30 pounds and erased the side effects of chemotherapy. I became pain free for the first time in 20 years! I no longer required surgery on my spine. I realized that food was medicine! 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
-Hippocrates, father of medicine, 431 B.C.

I want to share another quote with you: 

“Your body can heal itself. It can do so because it has a healing system. If you are in good health, you will want to know about this system, because it is what keeps you in good health and because you can enhance that condition. If you or people you love are sick, you will want to know about this system, because it is the best hope for recovery.” – Dr. Andrew Weil

Wow, my body did just that in 2013. I stated earlier that a picture is worth a thousand words, the picture of me on the left was a sick body. The picture on the right is after I started fueling my body with whole food nutrition. My body made a huge transformation. This transformation was not just from the outside but the inside out. 

If you would like to know more about how to fuel your body with the right nutrition and go beyond surviving to thriving, please leave me a comment. What is holding you back from starting your health journey today?  You only get one body!

Carolyn Byrd

Carolyn Byrd has been a Registered Nurse for 38 years. She is a Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Holistic Cancer Coach and a Certified Breast Care Nurse. She recently worked as a Breast Health Navigator where she helped women navigate through their breast cancer journey. Carolyn is an 11-year breast cancer survivor and changed her health and prognosis with the power of whole food nutrition. She had an advanced stage breast cancer. According to statistics, only 1 out of 5 women survive this type of Cancer in the first 5 years. Her health transformation inspired her to become a strong advocate aimed at the physical, mental and spiritual health of others. She knows that it a blessing to go beyond a survivor to a thriver with the best quality of life. She now wants to help give people hope with the gift of health! She is married and have 3 children and 2 granddaughters. She has a passion for helping people have a healthy body, mind and soul.


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