On November 4th, 2010 at 8:30am my husband Brian Lee underwent a colonoscopy to determine if he had Celiac Sprue. His symptoms were an uncomfortable feeling of bloating after eating wheat and some bright red blood in his stool. At 10:30 am I was rushing him to a CT scan. There, doctors found a tumor the size of an orange in his colon. The tumor had perforated the wall of the colon and the CT showed at least 3 lymph nodes were affected. By 1pm that afternoon my husband, 35, had a preliminary diagnosis of Stage 3b Colon Cancer. He had no family history of cancer.
That morning we woke up just the two of us. That night we went to bed a threesome; Kara, Brian and Cancer.
I think anyone who has been diagnosed or had a loved one diagnosed with cancer can identify with the Charlie Brown’s teacher moment where everything just… slows…down…and you’re listening to a doctor say “Wha-wha-wha, wha-wha-wha…Cancer.” Cancer has this paralytic power. The idea that something can take over your body or someone’s you love, without permission, renders you helpless. You hold your breath and hope whatever treatment or course of action the doctor gives you works.
When Brian was diagnosed we didn’t have a lot time to grieve. The doctors were worried about an obstruction happening which could lead to organ failure. So I treated his cancer like I would a breaking news story. I deciphered the facts from “hearsay”. I did my own research. Then I pitched the doctors, not the other way around. Brian and I agreed he needed surgery. However, we believed changing our lives, our diet, and our thought process were the key to him being the first survivor of cancer I had ever known. Up until November 4th, 2010, no one I knew in my life had ever survived cancer. This diagnosis was not only a test of Brian’s courage and strength, but also mine.
The first thing I noticed was there wasn’t a huge support system for an alternative thought process when it came to cancer. I also was discouraged to find the statistics on chemotherapy stopped after 5 years. There was no way for us to know how many of the colorectal patients who received chemo survived past 5 years. Brian was only 35, I needed him around a lot longer than that. Finally, I noticed the diet. We were given a list of foods with no nutrition for Brian to eat before and after surgery. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we focused on what we could control instead of what we couldn’t. We could control what we ate, what we allowed in our homes, and our outlook on life. My job was to make a plan and fight for Brian. Brian’s job was to fight cancer.
Today, without chemo, Brian is officially cancer free. He continues to practice alternative methods to fight cancer, such as mistletoe extract and meditation. We had many miracles happen during his journey. Some, I believe, were man made by us and others of which I believe were our passed “cancer” angels watching out for us. We were lucky enough to find one doctor who said to us, “I’ve seen people survive longer or even just survive by believing the lymph nodes lit up on their scans because they are fighting the cancer not spreading.” That one doctor believing in us was enough positive energy for us to battle the naysayers.
Brian and I believe in balance and prevention. We do not promote anything other than life balance to keep you both mentally and physically well. We are not 100% vegan nor do we place unobtainable restrictions on our lives. We live an everyday person’s version of a “clean” lifestyle. Everyone’s story is different, this blog is just here to help you decipher what yours story will be:) All we know is, 1/2 of all men and 1/3 of all women will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. We also know statistics can make your brain melt as experts twist and turn the math to make it work out for whatever industry benefits the most from the conclusion. This website is meant to make you laugh and help navigate a world bombarded with negative imagery and conflicting information.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist. I can’t promise this website will cure or prevent anything. I know there is a lot of hype and panic on the Internet and it can be very difficult to navigate. We live in a world were everyday a new report tells you, “this will kill you!!” I believe STRESS is the biggest killer. I hope this site helps you separate the fact from the fiction. I hope it makes your laugh when you want to cry. And I hope it gives you the tools to turn your life into lemonade. Whether it is cancer or something else, it can be hard to change your thought process. I am here to tell you, you can. You can change tomorrow, don’t worry about next week.
Love and Light KK