This is My "Why"
The fight for my life
My Journey to Healing
Determined to change the trajectory of not only my life, but the life of my children for generations to come, I began my health journey as a young adult.
After watching my beautiful, sweet, seemingly healthy, picture-perfect Aunt Juanitta, deteriorate and die of colon cancer at only 26 years old, a picture etched into my memory for life. And then, my own mother’s fight with lymphoma for decades. Knowing that every female on my mother’s side has some form of cancer.
I became a healthy, fit, wife, mother of two, Licensed Medical Massage Therapist, Fitness instructor, and Personal trainer. I taught all forms of health, fitness, and nutrition in the studio I owned and operated. I've coached people toward a clean lifestyle of health and fitness for my entire adult life.
Watching the unhealthy SAD (standard American diet), fast food, and a grocery store full of crappy processed, quick and easy foods. I was hell-bent on growing a healthy and fit family of my own, not being fed all the junk processed foods, not surviving on fast foods full of toxins, and teaching them to live a healthy life. So I studied, I learned, I shared and I taught, but most importantly.
I lived this!
The Crazy Health Mom
I detoxed my house, canned and processed my own food, and made my own laundry detergent. We did it all. I was the crazy mom that didn’t give my kids easter baskets full of candy and chocolate, they received fruit baskets. I was the crazy mom that sent healthy snacks to school for the entire class, just so my kid would not be fed skittles for doing well on a test. I was also the mom that sent my own kid to grade school with his favorite ninja turtle lunch box and thermos, full of his healthy snacks and his Ninja Turtle power juice, which made my son feel empowered by his choices.
This “power juice” was his healthy green smoothie colon cleanse and yes, he drank it like a champ. Lol.
I was the mom that didn't have a house full of processed foods, I cooked whole foods every damn day! Not because it was easy, cheap, or always fun. But, it was what I was convinced would lead me and my family down a path of health. I was at the top of my game, with two healthy-fit kids, running a fitness studio, doing massage therapy, and teaching people proper body alignment.
Sharing health and nutrition with anyone that would listen. We live in a small town, so I had “my people, my tribe”. I went to school with these people, we raised our kids together, and I was comfortably leading these people. I was enjoying all of the benefits and directions my education had led me towards. Everything was great until it wasn't.
The Day It All Changed!
It was February 8, 2002, at 8:00 am and it was also my son's 13 birthday and the middle of my daughter's senior year of high school. This is the day my life as I knew it was over. While getting dressed to go in and teach a fitness class, and doing the wrestling match of trying to put on a sports bra is when I went to pull the rolled-up bra out of my armpits I felt it.
There it was, a lump!
A lump in my right breast was big enough to palpate. Then and there, at that moment, I knew something was wrong. I will never forget the co-worker that came over and prayed with me as my knees buckled and I cried. As life around me became a blur, somehow I managed to go teach that class. Walking out of that class I had no idea how much my life was about to change.
Within days, I was in the doctor’s offices for every test they could throw at me. I was immediately sent to Oncology. Ironically, the same Oncologist my mother had seen for years. This man was not my favorite, and I'm sure I was not his favorite either. I struggled with him during my mom's journey.
I wanted to help her, save her, feed her nutritional foods, and help her body fight this awful disease. We had butted heads on more than one occasion. He was an Oncologist, he did what he knew to do. But, that was my momma he was filling with the poison known as chemo. That was my momma he was cutting on.
Healthcare vs. Healthy Living
As you may guess, my input was not very well received. So needless to say, when this man became my team leader, this was a very hard pill for me to swallow. I didn't take Advil, I didn’t have a glass of wine, and I didn't put toxins in my body. Now this man is about to explain to me what toxins are needed to save my life. He was not concerned about my thoughts on nutrition, supplements, or herbs. He could have cared less how toxic-free my life was. He sure as hell did not believe there was any “healthy” way to fight my type of cancer.
Within the next few weeks, this man spent countless times with me, explaining how my type of cancer was rare and deadly. That all the nutrition in the world will not stop this aggressive, triple-negative, breast cancer. He explained that my cancer needed to be removed with a partial mastectomy. He would confirm with other specialists on my form of cancer, and give me a plan to save my life.
It looked a little like this:
- Partial Mastectomy
- Two forms of chemo
Otherwise known as cut, poison, and burn. He took the time to explain my options which were, that I had none if I wanted to beat this and kick some cancers ass.
I had to do it all. His quote to me was this “ I'm going to do everything in my power, to beat this, I'm going to get you as close to death as I can get you, and bring you back”, “if you survive this, I never want you to go through this again!” At this moment, my heart changed, I felt true fear of dying, fear of telling my family goodbye, fear of not seeing my kids grow up, and fear of telling my husband to go be happy when I'm gone.
Fear of laying on the couch with an IV of pain meds like my aunt Juanitta while my family stood around staring at her saying goodbyes, while she was trying to put on a smile like everything will be ok!
It was so confusing then and now. Was she going to be ok? Hell no, she wasn’t ok, behind her brave smiles and tears stood two little boys, that were about to lose their momma. Was I going to be ok, or is this just the beginning of the end?
The Beginning of The End?
You just don’t know at that moment. But what I quickly learned, was the heart and the knowledge, of the man fighting to save my life. Dr. Ahmed, my oncologist, my leader, was the man that cried with me, saying he was sorry to have to do this to me, sorry for how hard this was going to be on me. But he wanted me to survive. At that moment, I knew and trusted this man with my life. I knew God had brought me to him, through my mother, to save her life and mine.
He was a soft voice, with a strong mind, and kind eyes that talked me through every move he made and every medicine that went in my veins and body. I needed to know and understand. I don't like surprises. I wanted to know, and he did just that. He assured me every step was necessary. One step, one day, one moment, one choice at a time.
We eliminated my cancer!
They're Only Boobs
Mastectomy? Not what I wanted to do, but the decision of life or boob, I'll take life! They say it's only boobs. I get it but they were my boobs! They fed my babies, and were a part of me! But, this was actually easier for me than chemo. I had a good plastic surgeon that said, “do what you have to do to save your life, I can always fix it later!
Deal. So we did a partial mastectomy.
My Body Their Toxins
It was spring of 2002 and it was Chemo time. The time I'd dreaded more than anything. The time that scared me to death. I knew my body did not like toxins. I knew my body overreacted to everything foreign. I knew in my heart this is going to be hard. I've always been the peacekeeper, I’ve never been in a fight in my life and now I'm the fighter for my life.
Port went in, and chemo began.
Every 3 weeks like clockwork, I would sit for hours, in this big room, with 10-15 mostly older people, a big screen TV blaring “the price is right” at full volume because they were all hard of hearing. All asking me the same question so kindly, “Hey sweetie, you are too young to be here, what are you doing?”
At thirty-five years old I surely never dreamed this is what I would be doing. I would sit there, put in my headphones, and listen to my beloved Michael Stanley music and he would take me away for the next few hours.
The Hard Part, The Hair
On day ten, after my first chemo, my doctor gave me permission to travel so we headed to our condo in Florida. Just me, my husband at the time, and a best friend. The hard part was about to hit. At first, I was worried about nausea and sickness, but they had good meds and steroids to keep that under control. Which was a big win, but next came time for the hair.
There were no meds to stop my hair from falling out. I was an 80’s girl, with some big crazy hair. Again, they would say, “it's only hair". Yes, but it was my hair! The reply in my head was always something like this, “They're only balls, but I don’t see you offering to chop them off with no choice of your own.” I was getting a bit snippy by now. Nothing that I ever really liked much about my hair, in fact, it was always one of my biggest insecurities growing up. But at least I had some, and the thought of losing it was not easy.
Life Isn't Fair
I’m learning real quick that life is not fair and there is nothing fair about this journey. We made it about a half an hour away from our condo when my head began to tingle and itch. By the time we pulled in and unpacked, I had a lap full of my curly crazy hair. By the time I could get to the bathroom over the sink to brush it…. It was gone. Only a few whispies of hair left. My dear friend Leslie held me as I cried, and told me how beautiful my bald head was. We laughed and cried as we tried to find the funny in being bald. No longer being late to everything because my hair takes too long to dry… No longer 80’s hair that is NOT in style at the moment… how light I will be able to pack….And think of the money ill save on hair products. When I returned home, another best friend came over and helped me finish off the last of those whispies. We also cried together, and tried to find the positives, as she tried to convince me I had a nice head. Melissa was my person, my voice of reason, and my bestie. But, I knew her too well and could see the look in her eyes, she was scared and so was I.
I chose to find the good in not having hair… tried to joke when I could. But it became the new normal. I mostly missed my standing lunch and hair appointment with Kathy, another best friend, that has always been my constant, level headed, call it like it is friend. She always found a way to pamper me and just make me feel loved and valued. A kindness I will cherish forever. Most of the time I would only wear a hat or scarf over my head when I went out in public. I never did wear my wig. At home with my family, I was fine. Hair became the least of my worries. At this point, the steroids and meds had me looking like a moon face, or blow fish, no eye brows or eye lashes… AND a bald head… I wasn’t fooling anyone… I was sick and I looked it!
Blessings of a Small Town
One of the most heart felt moments of this journey, was when my family and friends held me a "hat shower". An open house per say, during this weekend, I was blessed beyond measure. Touched to the depth of my soul by the love and compassion showed to me from not only my family, but our entire little town. From grade school to high school teachers, old school friends, past employers, patients, co-workers and acquaintances. More people than I could have ever dreamed of. Hundreds of people came through my home, not only to support me, but to support my entire family. They had a table set up that anyone could decorate, paint, or make me hats and bandanas. My kids, my nieces and nephews, all the kids of the neighborhood, made me the most special head coverings, that I still have to this day. The adults hung a huge calendar on my kitchen wall. This calendar was what they used to fill in for me. To step up, and be the wife and mother I was not able to be at this time. My house was cleaned. Laundry was done. Meals were on my table every night. My errands were taken care of. And most importantly, they all helped me keep my kids' lives as normal as possible. This was not an easy task, as my husband was working all that he could. My daughter was a dancer, competed and travel a lot for classes and competitions. My son loved playing hockey, and played at an ice arena an hour away. These family and friends made sure every task and moment was taken care of. Not for just a few weeks, but for the entire year and a half of my journey. This measure alone, is one of the most humbled, heart felt moments I will forever cherish about our little town.
Another moment of forever humbled & grateful.
The Long Fight Began
Fast forward though the next 12 treatments of chemo (one every 3 weeks). Chemo, then 3 weeks to recover, then chemo again. My body was strong, Dr Ahmed was able to hit me with every treatment on his plan. My blood counts would drop, but then come back up. My body was fighting. But this treatment was taking its toll on every organ in my body. First to go was my thyroid. I was alway fit and healthy. My comfortable weight after two kids was always around 110-115 lbs. I never had an issue with thyroid before…This chemo regiment destroyed my thyroid. I started gaining weight like crazy, could not stay awake, and my heart rhythm was off. My body started to derail quickly. Synthroid to the rescue…. I began this medication, and slowly some the symptoms began to fade. The weight never came off, but I was awake and able to function.
The Damage Begins
During this time, we also discussed being very careful of watching and preventing the side affect of neuropathy that was very likely with the chemo I was taking. We chose to change one of my meds, due to the fact that my mother had awful peripheral neuropathy in her feet from the chemo she was given. We did not want to take that chance with mine. I still had hopes of going back to my life as a fitness instructor and a massage therapist. He changed the recipe for my chemo and gave me one that was less likely to cause neuropathy. This was good for a couple treatments. Then the neuropathy began in my hands and my feet. This was not good. And one of my big fears for my long term health. If I survive this gig, I wanted my life back. Dr Ahmed first apologized again, and then explained I had no other options. The cancer I had needed to be fought with one of these two medications to be successful. They both can cause neuropathy. BUT, he could give me some Lyrica and Neuronton to help with the nerve pain until we can finish treatments. His hope, and mine was that the nerve pain would go away as soon as treatments ended… or shortly after. (Two more meds to add to the collection)
Life Became a Blur
During the next few months, life became a blur. I was sick, my body was tired. If this was living, I was beginning to wonder if I could do this. By now, I was getting quite emotional and scared. My body hurt, every joint, every muscle. My mouth had blisters all in it, my teeth were loose. My toe nails fell off. My neuropathy was so bad I would crawl to the bathroom if my meds wore off, because my feet hurt too bad to touch the floor. Depression was kicking in, imagine that! But wait… We have some meds for that also. Zoloft and Paxil with an occasional Xanax, when things got tough. My anxiety was awful, my brain was a mess. I couldn’t remember my own name half the time.
My ability to function became worse and worse. The pain from the neuropathy was becoming unbearable. Off to pain management to learn to “manage my pain”. After months of trial and error with every pain med they could give me, we landed at the top of the narcotic scale. Oxycontin 120mg for the long term pain, and Dilaudid 24mg, for the break through pain. This ended up being my protocol for the next 18 years. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No exceptions. This did not take the pain away. But it allowed me a few minutes at a time on my feet as I could tolerate the pain. My entire world revolved around taking these meds. Every move I made was planned around my pain and medication schedule. I needed these meds to even function at a minimal level. Not only did I need to stay on the meds for my pain, but by now my body was so addicted to these medications, that I would be sick like clock work as the meds came in and out of my body. As much as I hated these medications being in my body, this was the only way I could take the pain of the neuropathy.
As if Oxycontin and Dilaudid were not bad enough. Wait, it gets even better. That A.D.D. that I always struggled with, was in full force! So let's add in some Adderall, that just might help. Then some steroids and Meloxicam for the joint pain and arthritis. Some Nexium for the acid reflux…some Phenobarbital for the seizures. At this point I was beyond worrying about the toxins. I just wanted to feel better and get this over with. Then, I would do my thing, and heal my body.
They gave me numerous meds to help with the side affects of the last medication. It just kept snowballing… As the list of meds grew, my health just continued to decline. I was not a part of a “health-care-system”. I was definitely a part of a “sick-care-system”.
Looking for Answers
This regiment of medications to help me with my symptoms, lasted for the next 18 years. During this time, I sought out the best of alternative therapists. I tried every therapy, every herb, vitamin, or modality I could get my hands on. I felt like a damn voodoo doll of therapies. I was willing to try anything. Here are just a few of the modalities I tried to help heal my body, and stop this horrifying pain of neuropathy.
- Dry needling
- Vibration therapy
- Myofascia work
- Fascia blasting
- Detox foot baths
- Compression Therapy
- Custom insoles for my shoes
- Infrared light therapy
- Magnetic energy therapy
So many of these therapies felt good. They would give me some relief in the moment. But none of them gave me lasting pain relief. None of them were enough of a difference to allow me to skip a pain pill. I was desperate, I needed some relief. I knew if I ever wanted off of these meds, I had to heal and stop the pain, so the meds were no longer needed. I knew my body needed nutrition. And I knew God gave me this miraculous body, and He made it capable of healing. I just had to find the right path to do this.
I was feeding on fruits and veggies, clean proteins. All of the ways I used to eat. The ways I coached my patients to live by for their own health. I honestly believed this to be true. I ate pretty healthy comparable to the SAD. I used my education to nourish my body. I made my own whole grain breads, I made my own clean salad dressings, I drank milk kefir (barf), I made home made kombucha and water kefir. I cook whole foods at every damn meal. I don’t eat fast food, EVER. No processed foods.
I “thought” I was doing all the right things. Nothing was changing. I was not getting better. They said, “nerves heal really slow, you have to be patient”. “Some nerves never heal, be patient”. I am patient! 18 damn years patient, I want my life back! Then they say, “neuropathy is permanent, you will have to deal with this pain forever.” “Here is the next 30 days of those prescriptions you will need to take. See you next month".
The New Normal
This plan became the new normal in my life. We repeated this ritual every month, of taking more meds, to cover more symptoms. Nothing was healing my body and my health was only getting worse. This monthly ritual only took me further and deeper into the “sick-care” system. I was relying on more and more meds. Getting sicker and sicker, watching life pass me by, watching my loved ones do more and more without me. My entire world revolved around my pain, and the medications that I had to take to even barely walk. The neuropathy in my feet had become so bad, my feet could not touch the floor without socks, shoes, special insoles, and pain meds in me. Literally, Oxycontin every 6 hours, Dilaudid every 8 hours, for the next 18 years, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This was now my new normal.
As my body deteriorated more and more, one system after another became symptomatic. My weight was over 200… on a body used to being 110-120. My Glucose was at best, Pre-diabetic (probably just un-diagnosed diabetic). Pain meds, antidepressants, anti inflammatories, anxiety meds, and every other symptom covering medication they could throw at me (and every side affect that went with them) became my standard of living. This was awful, this was not me, and this was surely not living. I was physically and emotionally broken, sick, unhappy, and unhealthy. My body was giving out.
Broken to Rebuilding
I had lived in this unhealthy cycle for so long. This all took a toll, not only on my physical body, but my emotional health also. My marriage of 25 years had broken beyond repair. Although he is and was a good man and father, we had morphed into two completely different people, with two completely different sets of wants and needs. When you are facing death, you seem to get a new perspective on life, goals and happiness. Needless to say, I then went through a heart wrenching divorce, that took more out of me than my entire cancer treatment. This emotional pain nearly destroyed me. It was the beginning of the end for me. I truly believed it was killing me. I can fight disease, I can fight and kick cancers ass. But this emotional devastation was taking me down.
By the grace of God, I survived that divorce.
Then married the love of my life, and wanted nothing more than to find a way to be healthy again. To live the life I had always dreamed of. To make my life matter again. I was finally happy, I was hell bent on living not just surviving. I have waited my entire life to be loved, honored and cherished as I am now. I didn’t survive all of this, to lose the fight now. I started learning to love myself, to walk with the Lord’s direction, and to stand up for my happiness for the first time in my life.
Fast forward to 2019, despite all of my attempts to find, and rebuild my health. I was still deteriorating faster than I could heal. Although I was finally happily married, I still carried much hurt and heartache to deal with. The meds were still a huge part of my life. And now, more of the side affects of the chemo, and the other meds that have been in my body for way too long, were showing their true colors of the path of destruction they have left in my body.
I was now in heart failure, and was having horrible symptoms. I could no longer walk down my steps with a load of laundry, could barely do steps at all. I was so tired and weak, I was not able to do much of anything. I knew my body was failing, my body was giving up, and frankly, so was I. I was only 52 years old. Knowing I was now in heart failure, my ejection fraction was critically low, and my body was tired. I now needed help again, a pacemaker and defibrillator was recommended to be installed, to help my heart work better and keep me alive.
At this time, I was still on all the pain medications. Desperate for any direction of help that I had not already tried. After many unanswered prayers. I went to the internet to research “how to heal neuropathy” and “how to withdraw and remove these horrible meds”. I knew I had to find a way to heal my neuropathy to ever have any hope in removing the pain meds. I knew enough medically to know my body regenerated every cell in my body. I refused to believe that that regeneration got to my feet, stopped, and said “I will not regenerate healthy cells past this point!”. I knew my body was not this stupid, and I know God had a bigger plan for me. I prayed and prayed to not only find a way to heal my neuropathy, but to help others heal this awful pain.
Dr Boz to the rescue
During this time of much prayer, and searching the internet, I came across, Dr. Annette Bozworth. She was not only an answer to prayer, but also and internal medicine doctor that specialized in brain health. She was also a doctor that was learning to help and heal her very own momma through her cancer journey. Determined to save her mommas life. She just felt like the perfect fit for my Journey to Healing. She mastered a step by step path of this very controversial chemistry shift called “nutritional ketosis”. Although I have taught health and nutrition most of my adult life… I was very skeptical of any form of ketosis. I remember hearing in medical classes, “if you are not going to learn to do ketosis correctly, then don’t do it at all!” And of course when I first heard of keto, I automatically related it to keto-acidosis, which is of course very deadly, and avoided at all cost.
After much research, and binge watching everything I could get my hands on of this special lady (Dr. Boz as we call her). I began to change my thinking, began to open my minded to what she was teaching. What did I have to lose? Obviously, what I was doing, was not working! This new teaching went against everything I had ever been taught, and everything I ever shared and taught my family and clients alike. I had to open my mind and heart to this way of thinking and eating. I began to follow her teachings… slowly, skeptical and very cautiously. My heart was already in trouble and I did not need any more damage. So this “fat based” chemistry shift was scary for me. I was already “fat and unhealthy and now you want me to eat fat”??? This just repeated in my head, over and over and over.
Taking it all in
For the next few months I pursued everything Dr Boz taught. I watched her teaching videos over and over. I listened and learned all day. I slept with headphones on, listening to them all night. My brain was a mess, my body was a disaster, and my patience were running thin. I needed something to change. I started changing the way I thought, the way I ate. I removed all those “healthy, yummy fruits” from my home. I eliminated all carbs and what few refined foods (pasta) left in our home. I started tracking and learning how my personal chemistry shift was going. I was eliminating the carbs, lowering my glucose and doing everything to the detail of the Dr Boz teachings. But, my body and mitochondria were so damaged, my chemistry fought me every damn step of the way. I pursued on, kept going, carbs under 20 total carbs a day!!! No treat days, no cheat days. Patiently waiting for my chemistry to shift, and my body to begin healing. It felt like forever.
During this time, after numerous tests for my heart. These tests and scans not only showed my heart issues, but found more “spots” on my lungs, and a huge mass in my abdomen. While trying to continue with Dr Boz’s program as best I could. I was referred to the cardiologist to put in the pacemaker. This Dr looked at my scans, warned me about my heart issues. (Hight BP, ejection fraction critically low, Left Bundle Branch Block, along with Mitral Valve Prolapse). He recommended the pacemaker/defibrillator be put in. And recommended I begin a Vegan or Mediteranium diet! At this visit, I asked (begged) him to give me 6 months to continue to try and heal my heart and body before I had the pacemaker installed. He informed me I did not have 6 months to wait and that was a big risk. He did offer me 3 months, if I agreed to take the heart medications while working the program. So that is what I did. I went home with another 3-4 medications to add to my list of meds. And I jumped in to Dr Boz’s program with both feet and never looked back.
By this time, here was the list of my medications.
- Ketamine Cream
- Fentanyl Patch
- Lidocaine Patch
At this time, I also found Dr. Livingood (yes, that is his real name) in North Carolina. He was another doctor in it for the right reasons. He too, had a life changing “why”. He was helping and healing others, in honor of his Father, that he lost in the “sick care system”. He was helping me with detoxing my body, removing the meds, cleaning out my system and resetting my path. He took an active roll in helping me find the right path for me to heal. I was so desperate for his help in healing. We actually drove from Ohio to North Carolina to become Dr Livingood’s patient. He took X-rays, aligned my spine, and worked me over for days. Making sure the nerves that fed my heart were not impinged. Giving me tools and exercises to do to keep my body in proper alignment. He taught me to work on my Heart Rate Variability, and to calm my Central Nervous System. Him and his entire staff were vested in my health journey. They knew my goals and were helping me reach them. I still had a long way to go, and a lot of medications to withdraw from. But, I left there feeling stronger, trusting my doctor, and knowing I was on a good path to healing and making a transition out of the “sick-care” system. He was such a blessing of hope and guidance on my Journey to Healing. Another doctor I will forever be grateful for.
Blessings of Lockdown
Hello Covid and lockdown. When covid hit the USA, Dr Boz happened to be in Hawaii with her son for a planned week. Funny how God has bigger plans, her week became 93 days “stuck” in Hawaii. This may be one of this biggest blessings to come out of COVID lockdown. This time away from her medical practice, allowed her the time to teach and share her step by step, 12 step process through this chemistry shift. This was exactly what I needed. I was blessed to be in her very first live class of her Keto Continuum. This allowed me to listen, ask questions, and learn how to apply these principles to my very sick, very addicted, very broken body. My body was broken at the cellular level. Which means, I needed to heal from the cellular level. This was a very slow, tedious, process. I felt like my body was fighting me every damn step of the way. Dr Boz kept repeating, “stay the course”. And that, I did. Each step that took most people a couple weeks to get through, took my body months. Nerves heal slow, just keep going! I had the mentality of “fake it till I made it”. My numbers were still awful, my glucose was still in diabetic range. My glucose was coming down, but not fast enough. I could not make a true ketone to save my life… so this time frame, was undoubtably rough. I felt awful, I had NO fuel or energy. The heart meds added more side affects, but, I “stayed the course". As I dove in deeper, experimented with my personal chemistry, learning how every darn thing that went in my mouth, gave me a big glucose/insulin response. I was learning how much insulin resistance really affected my body and health. I continued to struggle through this 12 week course with other “neurons” in Dr Boz’s course. I learned real quick that my body was not following these instructions as I wanted it to. As much as I was staying “consistently keto”, not cheating or wavering in the slightest, my body was not making the transition as I hoped. By now, my fellow classmates were making it through the course and seeing wonderful healing and responses. Coming off medications, reversing inflammation, healing auto immune disease, reversing arthritis, and losing weight, lots of weight. Me, not so much. I had lost maybe 10 pounds through this 12 week course. BUT, I stayed consistent, stayed in ketosis as best as my body would allow me. I was definitely “faking it, till I made it”!
Withdraw is Awful
With the help and support of my sweet hubby, he took care of me and helped me to wean myself off of the daily, 120mg of Oxycontin and 24mg of Dilaudid. This was not an easy or pretty process, and nothing I would recommend doing alone at home. But I knew enough medically to track my vitals, and how hard I could push my body. I would push and withdraw as hard as I could. Then take a break for a few days, and push again. This process took me 3-4 months. I truly believe staying in ketosis, and following this plan, helped me manage the withdraw symptoms, and allowed me to get through the awful withdraw as quickly as I could. When I finally took my last narcotic, I worked through the withdraw, and began to see some light at the end of this very long dark tunnel. I was off all narcotics and was feeling a little better. I was prepped and ready to take my body back through the entire keto continuum course again. This time was different. I was much more clear headed, much more prepared. I understood my chemistry better. I learned how to use the “tools and supplements” to bio hack my chemistry to help me over these road blocks that kept holding me back. This time through, I was jumping in with some understanding and experience under my belt.
The science began to make sense. My brain began to clear and heal I was able to comprehend more and more of this chemistry shift of science. As much as the science, had me prepped and ready to jump in again. My biggest blessing was when I went to my hubby, and said “I am not doing this to fit into my skinny jeans, I am doing this to save my life”. And “I cannot do this whole heartedly, while watching you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the couch every night”. I needed him not only to support me, but to join me. I am so blessed to say, "he did just that". We became partners again, we helped each other over the hard spots, we called each other out on our crap. He may not have understood the science of what was happening, but he followed my lead and direction. We struggled together, we butted heads, but we made progress. We learned our triggers, and habits. We pushed each other, changed our routines. And have been on this Journey to Healing together ever since.
The next time through the course, I began to feel the changes. My body was still much slower than Lances, but I could feel changes. I was beginning to come out of the narcotic fog I had lived in for 18 years. My blood pressure began to come down. And my heart rate began to get better. This was more than likely from those meds the cardiologist had me on and my keto journey. Every 3 months, as I returned to the cardiologist to have everything checked. He would give me another 3 months to keep going, keep trying to heal my heart and body. This was not a quick fix by no means and I had to stay on those heart meds, against my wishes, for the next year. But, eventually, he starting decreasing my heart meds. Every 3 months, one at a time. He would go lower and lower on the dose. He kept saying, “I may not understand what you are doing, but I can’t argue with you numbers”. This was a win for me! Eventually we got my dosage down to one pill left. He said again, “I may not understand what you are doing, but if you keep going like you are, I will remove that final heart medication.” But then, “you have to teach me how you did this”!!!!! DEAL!!! I was so excited, I knew I was making changes in my health. By my next visit, he took me off that last medication. And I took him every book of Dr Boz’s and all of my course notes. We sat and talked through this process. He took the books and info. Even though he laughed and said he don’t believe this process would fly in his house, as he and his wife were Indian and vegan. He was truly intrigued and open minded to learn. One more WIN… One more Dr taking notice of this detailed process of ketosis. I not only did not have to have the pacemaker, but I have reversed my heart disease and off all heart meds. I still, to this day, have Left Bundle Branch Block, but I am no longer symptomatic and have been fine without the meds.
Lance and I have been on this Journey to Healing for over 3 years. Since then, I have removed ALL medications. Let me repeat that…. OFF ALL MEDICATIONS. I still love to say this. A prayer and dream I thought would never come true. Together, we have lost 120#. Lance is at his Jr. High weight. We both feel better than we did in our 30’s. We still have health goals to reach, but we are getting there. We have taken our journey to the next level, by mostly being carnivore. This has helped my insulin resistance a lot. We have learned to apply the teachings of Dr Ken Berry into our journey. He really gave Lance a mans perspective to relate to. Dr Berry’s no bullshit approach, really resonated with both of us. I have had to learn to be patient with my body, adjusting the program as my body needed. Always learning to move forward on this Journey to Healing. I am no longer in chronic pain, my heart can do its job with no pace maker, my neuropathy is tolerable with no meds, I am no longer pre diabetic, or struggling to just function through life. We live each day to its fullest. Blessed every step of the way. Sharing our success with anyone that will listen.
Change is Happening
I will never forget, we were at our church, outside worshipping, the first time my bare feet hit the grass in 18 years and did not drop me to my knees. My neuropathy was healing. It may not be gone, but it is so much better.
Feeling so blessed to be given the chance at life again. GOD IS GOOD. It now has become, not only my prayer, but also my mission. To help share and teach, just as Dr Boz, Dr Livingood, and Dr Berry did for me. I have completed both of Dr Boz’s training courses. Keto Continuum and Brains: from trauma to repair. Which is her advanced class of healing the brain of addictions . I am in Primal Health Coach Institute, continuing to learn all that I can. We are helping not only our locals, but those around the world in our support groups.
The results are amazing. As you can see here in these before and afters.
I am now healthy enough to share and teach others that have fallen down this rabbit hole of illness. To give hope to those surviving a deadly disease, only to have the medications and side affects kill them. I pray to pay it forward and bless anyone that needs help. Giving direction and hope to those who feel lost and have given up on health and healing. I am so passionate to share this information and to help everyone, not only survive…. BUT TO LIVE AGAIN!
We now teach live classes weekly. A FREE support group, and a paid, one on one, coaching class. We are here to help you not only make this a lifeSTYLE but to make it last for a lifeTIME.
Forever grateful to these three doctors that are not afraid to think outside the box. Teach people to truly heal, and to give hope to those that others gave up on. Thank you Dr Boz, Dr Livingood, and Dr Berry. I am forever humbled, blessed and grateful.
BY GODS STRENGTH, LOVE AND GRACE
THIS IS NOT THE END OF MY JOURNEY, BUT THE BEGINNING OF YOURS
I can’t wait to help you