It was the question I asked myself when I was diagnosed at the age of 28. I did not fit the typical profile of a breast cancer patient. I had had a child at 22, breastfed my child for almost a year; I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, did not take any drugs and had never had a serious illness in my life… until then!
I was lucky enough to be cared for by a compassionate surgeon who made me feel that I was a normal healthy young woman (minus 1 breast!) and I should consider myself lucky to be alive. Not for one moment while I was in hospital did he allow me to feel sorry for myself.
And so that was probably the biggest lesson I learned after the brush with breast cancer – that I needed to change my mindset – from being afraid, uncertain, to being absolutely certain that I would get over this. Transforming this negative energy of fear, doubt into the positive energy of hope, love and happiness was what I needed to stay healthy and move forward with my life…
I also learnt that exercise was key in recovering from breast cancer. I was given stretching exercises the day after my surgery, made to walk and move around as much as I could, without overdoing it of course. I as encouraged to get fresh air and sunshine by walking around the grounds of the hospital whenever I felt like it.
Dr Michael Bender, my surgeon was an avid believer in ‘you are what you eat’ so he gave me sound nutritional advice all those many years ago – advising me to stay away from meat (especially those injected with hormones and other chemicals), stay organic wherever possible and consider sticking to the diet I grew up with – rice, vegetables and fish.
Thus 28 years later, I am healthier than I have ever been in my life, full of infinite energy, am passionate about what I do – pilates, yoga, meditation and this passion has turned into a business. I am also passionate about food and lately my business has evolved into one that incorporates good nutritional advice to provide a holistic service to my beautiful clients and friends.