I have been a huge fan of what is known as natural remedies’ for at least 25 years. I have saved my family thousands of dollars in medical costs during that time frame. My journey began in earnest when my two youngest sons were babies. My husband was let go from his job. When this happened, I became vigilant about doing everything I could to keep our family healthy and out of doctors offices.

My journey to researching natural and alternative remedies had begun!

I have researched many remedies and ‘tried them on’ myself and my family. I have learned what works for me. I wrote a book about my Top 13 Natural Remedies. (The number thirteen is my favorite number, but not when it comes to being sick.)

My book includes affordable remedies for ailments such as the common cold, corns and urinary tract infections. (If you would like to learn more,  click here.)

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I received a lot of encouragement from a few close friends and contacts from my former day job as a telemarketer for a local charity to share my breast cancer story in a memoir. Writing it was a very cathartic experience. Nearly seven years later, there are parts of my book that I can’t read without crying.

My religious experiences have taught me to be obedient to the principles by which good health is obtained. (I have done my best to follow this advice.) Nevertheless, those things that happen to me in this life will be for my good and benefit.

When I received my breast cancer diagnosis on November 22, 2011, my husband and I agreed that one of those benefits would be for me to share my story so it could be a blessing in the lives of my sisters who are on a similar journey.

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The title of my breast cancer memoir is: Dear Sister, Today Is…One woman’s breast cancer journey. It is about my personal journey with breast cancer; the importance of faith, family and friendship, the lessons that I learned and what I wish I had known beforehand. There are A LOT of lessons that I wish I had known beforehand.

Some of them are:

Being vigilant in doing your monthly breast exams. Nobody should know your body better than you do! If you are only seeing your doctor once/year, he or she will not be as familiar with any new lumps, bumps or changes in your breasts as you are. 

My doctor at the time told me that he encouraged ‘his girls’ that were in their early twenties to be vigilant in doing their breast self-exams. This way they would KNOW what is normal for them. This would enable them to notify their doctors when their cancer was at its earliest stage and increase their likelihood of long-term survival.

Mammograms don’t see everything. Younger women are more likely to have dense breast tissue. It is easy for cancer to hide in them. This is also true if you happen to have larger breasts. (This was my situation.) The lump that I found was half the size of a pea. There were several other lumps in my breast that were NOT seen on the mammogram. Learn why it is very important to trust your intuition and your gut instincts. They are seldom wrong. Trusting mine was one of many things that I believe, ultimately saved my life.

The most difficult chapter for me to write and the one that I believe more women need to be more vocal about. In Chapter 5. I talk about what I believe more doctors should inform their patients about: Their option NOT to have reconstructive surgery.

Unfortunately, we are conditioned to believe that a large portion of our identity is determined by our bra size and the need to have breasts. I will let you read the rest of my story and see for yourself what is truly important.

There are a lot of lessons more lesson that I wish I had known beforehand that I believe will be helpful to you or someone you love who may be on a similar journey. (You can purchase my memoir  here.)