Photo Credit: Noe Montes/FoodPix/Getty Images
My life was in full swing -- I had no time slots in my Franklin Planner for more cancer! But in 1995, at age 45, I received my second diagnosis of very advanced and very aggressive breast cancer, which may have been caused by the radiation treatment that I'd received for a childhood cancer. I was shocked and really angry this time. I couldn't believe it. I never questioned that chemotherapy and surgery would play a role in my treatment. But my risk of a recurrence was so high, I was determined to design a nutrition action plan with the best chance of tipping the scales in my favor. In short, I wanted everything that I put in my mouth to help maximize my potential for long-term survival from cancer.
So What Should I Eat?
The daunting truth was -- and is -- that scientists still have lots of questions about the best anticancer diet. But I didn't have time to wait for years of research. So I scoured libraries, reading nutrition studies in search of foods that offered tantalizing hope -- as opposed to hype or potential harm. I spoke with the researchers to get their thoughts about the diet plan I was developing.
Just as important, I worked hard in my kitchen to see if this ultrahealthy diet was doable. Could this dietitian actually "walk the walk" instead of just "talking the talk?"
Five years later, I have not had a recurrence of cancer. And I have tons of energy -- I never nap! I realize that there are no magic bullets, but I don't think anyone will dispute that diet plays a role. My hope is that my diet can help all women fight breast cancer.
Start by changing just one component of your diet at a time; focus first on what seems easiest to you. Maybe that will be making my Phytochemical Super Shake every day. Don't ever forget that every little change is potentially helpful, and any change is better than none.
My Diet Plan
Here's the healing plan I devised, the one I wish I'd been given by my cancer center after my last diagnosis.