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by Doreene Clement
There it is again. I muttered to myself, frustrated as I washed my arm. Every morning for five or six days in the fall of 2003, I noticed this rust-colored sticky stuff that appeared in both drips and smears on my left forearm and thigh. I had no idea where it could be coming from.
Finally, on Sunday morning I found the answer. My eyes followed my hand as I wiped the steam from the bathroom mirror. Looking past my fingertips, there it was. To my shock and horror, the rust-colored sticky stuff easily dripped from my left nipple.
In disbelief, I collapsed into my bedroom chair, swirling with a mix of grief and fear. I stared at the blank white wall, feeling vacant, distant, disconnected from what I had just seen in the mirror. All I heard was that loud, penetrating silence that surrounds and encompasses every thought and movement.
I called my doctor and was told that this was not an emergency room issue, but did need immediate attention. It could be cancer or another of many health challenges. Then, I began to wonder, what now? What is next?
After an exam, the breast cancer specialist made an appointment for that same afternoon to have both a mammogram and an ultrasound. They took two sets of two x rays on each breast and a third x ray of a specific area of my right breast. I realized I could have two areas of concern, not just the one.
Next, was the ultrasound. I could see the area of my breast where they had done the extra mammogram. There was a dark mass which had a very different pattern than the rest of my breast. After the biopsy, I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductile carcinoma, a rare, aggressive, deadly cancer that can quickly metastasize to the bones and lungs. Next is death. I had symptoms of both bone and lung cancer.
The ultrasound of my left breast showed a trail of little beads. Masses unevenly lined up from my underarm to my nipple. This could not be good, I thought. These masses were rubbing against several ducts, causing bleeding and discharge. That was the rust-colored sticky stuff. My left breast was diagnosed with a rare hyperplastic disease involving multiple ducts. My oncologist felt that I also had cancer in this breast. She was deeply concerned, and wanted to immediately remove the mass in my right breast and cut off 1/3 or more of my left breast. From now on, on medical history forms, I would check the box for cancer.
Even before these diagnoses, I had already decided that I did not want surgery. In my heart, I really did not believe I would live through a surgery, much less the chemotherapy or radiation. I preferred an alternative approach. I did have my health insurance to pay for most medical expenses, but it did not cover alternative therapies. Also, I had previous long term health challenges. I wanted a fix, not just a partial solution. I chose Mye Cell treatments in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and worked with Dr. Melenie Dunn, NMD in Scottsdale, AZ. Her number is 480.556.6700. I am now cancer-free.
I have the confirmed belief that each of lifes moments hold a purpose and a gift. There are no accidents. Nothing is random. Lifes lessons come hand in hand with their opportunities. I do not always remember to live by these beliefs, but I do always come back to them. I knew that this particular lesson was about trust. It was about my ability to trust. It was about my confidence in myself. My confidence in God. The lesson was about realizing, knowing with every breath and every beat of my heart, that I Am Blessed. We All Are.
Doreene Clement, a cancer victor and author
of The 5 Year Journal, is currently writing
a new book, Blessed, about her life and her
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