From Ky-Lee H, Toronto
I grew up in a loving, very large and busy family. I refer to my childhood days as the microwave and Johnson and Johnson era. Everything was quick, processed and plentiful. As a child I suffered many health complications, always somewhat sick with bronchitis, hives, eczema, acne, weight gain and lack of energy. Into my teenage years, I always suffered severe menstrual complications and medical doctors would prescribe pharmaceuticals to me which never had much of an impact. When I became employed at London Drugs in British Columbia, my exposure to vitamins was daily and I found an interest in that.
When I moved from British Columbia to Toronto, the sublet I took over was a house full of studying Naturopaths in North York. It was a very brief overlap but I learnt a few things and started to pay attention a bit more to preservatives in food. I also began to have a strong interest in GMO’s and their potential cause of destruction to land, but my food, products and environment were never something I strongly related to my health. I was raised to rely on cures, so I was always searching for what extra can I take, what can I supplement, what can I do. If only at the time I had understood prevention and detoxing.
In December 2011, I was diagnosed with CIII Cervical Dysplasia; high risk cervical pre cancer cells. The diagnosis was given by a specialist at St. Michaels Hospital while I was receiving an IUD. The IUD was their solution to stop my heavy blood loss and erratic and frightening menstrual cycles. It took well over a year to get into see this specialist after many tests from various medical doctors with zero guidance and results. Quite possibly many different things factored into my 10 years of hormonal illness but I do know lack of knowledge about natural remedies and holistic nutrition were the biggest factor. Stress, environment and chemicals in food and products were making me estrogen dominant. I can look back and see how my cells were suffocating. I was told I needed surgery as it was my only option to prevent cancer. I was told my cells could be so far along that it could be cancer within the year. My boyfriend and I had already planned to travel to warm climates for the next four months, so my surgery preparation was scheduled for June 6th, 2012; the day before my 27th birthday.
I began to have a bit of an obsession with studying GMOs, Round-up and Monsanto. It seemed unnatural to the Earth and something I'd prefer to avoid. Immediately I realized how hard that is but when we could, we sourced organic and reduced our meat intake. After surgery I felt I was given a push and a chance to get healthy. After much depression, sleep paralysis and weight gain, I felt there was something I could do for myself but wasn't quite clear as to what.
In March of 2013 during my second checkup since surgery I was told the cells had returned almost immediately. They had failed to reach me via phone after my Nov 2012 check up. I was told my cervix may have to be removed, or at the very least enough of it so that I would not be able to have children. After this news, she proceeded to perform the check-up. The terrible bedside manor sent me into shock and uncontrollable emotions. There had to be another way.
Two weeks before this diagnosis, I was with my family in BC for the birth of my niece. My sister, the new mother, was diagnosed with a similar condition and my family history of endometriosis, cysts and hysterectomies was the topic of discussion during my trip. My other sister had recently got into health and fitness and was teaching me about hidden sugars. Although I was never a big cow’s milk drinker, soon after this would be the last glass I would ever drink. I fell in love with Kale and was enjoying running. All of this prepared me to deal with my second diagnosis.
Terrified that cancer was my inevitable fate, the doctors had already failed and provided no answers to what I could do in the meantime while I would await a second round of surgery, except for pain killers and rest. I took to the Internet and buried myself in research for 2 weeks straight. You couldn't pry me away from that computer. I couldn't believe my doctor hadn’t shared any of these tips with me; antioxidants, alkaline foods, lemons and oxygen for cells, vitamins and minerals, and to avoid chemicals in products as well as to avoid hidden sugars. My whole world changed and I was going to be my own guinea pig instead of the hospital’s. After consulting, or more so interviewing 5 MD's for a second opinion and to find one that would simply agree if I had a stronger immune system that my body might fight better, I found a doctor. He was from Ireland and practicing in Montreal, was soon to retire. I had moved to Montreal and he gave me 3 months to do it my way. I am extremely proud to say, I still have my cervix!
My eager interest, my ability to research and understand along with my aggressive passion to change the world; how better to do that than through the health of people and our Earth? If only someone could have taught me prevention; I can be that person for someone else.
Image courtesy by tiverylucy (freedigitalphotos.net)