I Thought I Had it All
I’ve been in digital marketing since before you could advertise on Google when I started teaching myself so I could promote my business. At the time I owned several non-medical home-healthcare agencies on contract with the state to provide services to the cognitively disabled, seriously mentally ill, and elderly populations. I was also still in college at the time, I’ve always been an overachiever.
Over the years I worked may up the chain working both agency-side and brand-side with some pretty cool brands. Credits include The Smithsonian, UGG Australia, Teva, Google, PapaJohns, ISOTONER, Totes, ESET, PetSmart, Infusionsoft, and numerous others. I traveled the world speaking on digital marketing and teaching AdWords. I contributed to two books. I was working to death but had a big fancy title, VP of Growth & Demand Marketing, a fancy salary of a couple hundred thousand a year plus an uncapped bonus structure aligned with revenue growth of the company, and…well, that’s about it. Although, I thought I had it all.
Vulvar Cancer Changed My Life
I was diagnosed with vulvar cancer (stage 1b infiltrating squamous cell carcinoma, moderately well differentiated of the vulva) in August 2017. Keratinizing (developed from a tear that wouldn’t heal from Lichen Sclerosis (an autoimmune skin disorder diagnosed at the same time), not HPV).
I had surgery to remove the nodule in September 2017. However, I did not get clear margins because I refused to let them take my clitoris. Post-surgery I was given two treatment options:
- Additional surgery to let them remove whatever they needed to remove to ensure clear margins, including my clitoris.
- Radiation and low-dose chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancerous cells.
I refused both options. I am young and we’re dealing with cancer, it’s a little early to allow castration given the high incidence of recurrence (12–37%) with this type of cancer. Radiation was out due to side effects (I could have ended up losing my rectum and had to have a colostomy bag) and chemo is just plain toxic and is reported to only work like 2% of the time.
Instead, I went the controversial route choosing naturopathic oncology over conventional treatment…cuz I don’t do anything the traditional or easy way.
My Cancer Treatment Team
- Naturopathic Primary Care Doctor (NMD)
- Naturopathic Oncologist (NMD, IFMCP, BSN)
- Gynecologic Oncologist (surgeon) (MD)
- Vulvar Specialist (MD)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
- Licensed Massage Therapist & Reiki Master Practitioner (LMT)
- Hubby, Friends, & Family
My Cancer Treatment Plan & Lifestyle Changes
My post-surgical treatment plan to clear what was left behind in surgery and improve overall health included:
- Nutrient IV’s with high-dose vitamin C 3x/wk for 12 weeks
- Hyperbaric oxygen chamber 3x/wk for 12 weeks
- Strict whole foods ketogenic diet, zero sugar or sweetened foods other than stevia and a lot of fat (dairy & gluten free due to allergies)
- Intermittent fasting on a 16hrs fasted, 8hrs eating schedule for cell regeneration
- Low dose naltrexone
- Supplementation of curcumin, high-potency multi-vitamin, vitamin A (deficiency), vitamin D (deficiency), iodine (deficiency), 10 mushroom complex, modified citrus pectin, fish oil, probiotics, digestive & protease enzymes, high-dose melatonin, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) suppositories, and vitamin B-17
- Reiki energy healing
- Daily detox rituals including dry-brushing and oil-pulling
- Stress management – resigned from high-stress job
- Meditation & visualization
- Sunshine & earthing
- Regular, good quality sleep
- Quit drinking alcohol
- Quit smoking – I was a major cigar connoisseur
My Cancer Treatment Results
January 2017 my MRI came back with minimal thickening where I had surgery and no lymphoratomy (lymph node swelling) indicating my immune system is not working overtime to fight anything off. The thickening is believed to be scar tissue from the surgery. Bloodwork is beautiful. I’m cancer-free!
I will be regularly monitored and continue with maintenance nutrient IV’s, ketogenic diet, supplementation, daily exercise, weekly detox, and stress management.
My Lichen Sclerosis is completely gone. I’ve dropped almost 60lbs. My skin is awesome, energy is good, I’m sleeping like a baby, and I feel amazing! My Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (TPO Antibodies) and general inflammation (CRP) are also improving.
During treatment, I quit my big fancy, high-profile job and started HDC Digital. I now own my time, my stress levels are managed, and I’m earning more than I was working myself to death. My relationships are stronger than ever. I have developed a spiritual side that wasn’t there prior to my diagnosis. I’m living/loving life, helping others find the right combination of treatment solutions for them, and am so thankful.
Who would have thought that cancer would be the best thing to ever happen to me!