Breast and Cervical Cancer Survivor: Against Cancer with Beauty and Wisdom, I’m Healthier

Edith Shih
Founder of Chinese
Rehabilitation of Cancer

Breast cancer cervical cancer

Getting cancer is like a drain full of sludge.
Sludge must be cleaned and then fill the drain
With clean water; keeping water filling in so that
The drain will be clean forever. Don’t you think
That the drain full of sludge is hopeless! Actually,
There is still a chance.

Born with a poor health, without a concept of keeping healthy well-being. Since the day I was born, I have been a weak person who easily gets sick and allergy. My immune system was terribly poor and always faint if I stand too long at school morning meeting. I used to regard myself as a person with a bad health, indulged myself to act like this, and never thought about changing it.

I didn’t feel deeply nor seriously when I first got cervical cancer in 1998. I only had my tumors removed. The US doctor suggested me to cut off the entire uterus because I was old and had no plan to get pregnant again. According to the information I have checked, the suggestion of a gynecologist and many women who have done that surgery, I knew about taking hormones by schedule and enduring many discomfort of the body. That was why I decided to make the choice of Sturmdorf operation, the tumor only. The faith I had at that time was “not worrying about my appearance, but the side effect that happen to my body for I wanted to keep more healthy part of me.”

After the surgery, I thought I was alright and didn’t think about adjusting and improving my life. Who knew that nightmare would happen so soon. The following year I was found to have breast cancer and this time I noticed the look of the doctor. His pitiful eyes made me realize that I was indeed a cancer patient. I can’t neglect myself anymore because curing cancer is not difficult, but the difficult parts were the recurrence and transfer afterwards. That second time I got cancer was the time I truly thought about changing my body condition to avoid the third, even the fourth cancer happen to me. That was the first time I decided to change my lifestyle.

I refused to take chemotherapy for prevention while I was in the US. The doctor suggested me to have my entire right breast cut off (or partially) and to undergo chemo and radiation therapy. But  I chose to cut partially (only the tumor) and take radiotherapy instead of chemotherapy, and they were painful. The environment made me uncomfortable, so I asked the doctor why I should take chemotherapy and the doctor answered me with two words, “for prevention”. I don’t want to be in agony just for preventive cure. The doctor disapproved of my decision, therefore, I had to sign a waiver of not undergoing chemotherapy. The female surgical doctor of San Francisco Medical Center said, “If my family gets cancer, I might think about surgery. But I won’t think about chemotherapy nor radiotherapy.” I can deeply understand the doctor’s consideration. If I was to take prevention, I want it in my own way.

During the period of radiotherapy, I exercised everyday to increase immunity and living a routine life – I woke up at seven in the morning and walked around the neighborhood. I had never exercised nor sweat, but now I do it everyday. Taking a hot bath after exercise accelerates my blood circulation and makes me fresh. Then, I drove myself to the hospital for radiotherapy. Maybe it’s because I kept walking, exercising, taking a hot bath and taking TXL, that my body is strong with good immunity. At about the third week, some of the patients came in on a wheelchair and the young were even pushed in on a sickbed. During the therapy, people who cure and nurse all segregate and protect themselves, so I think “Healthy people are afraid, what about us, the sick ones?” That is why I keep doing all those things during the therapy instead of nourishing my body after the whole therapy because that would be too late. Until the late week, I drove myself to the hospital and walked like a normal person. The doctor was very surprised at my physical strength and gave me a prize medal for my courage after seven weeks of therapy.

Keep the habit of caring for my health after the therapy. Getting cancer is like a drain full of sludge.  Sludge must be cleaned first and them fill the drain with clean water; keeping water filling in so that the drain will be clean forever. Don’t think that the drain full of sludge is hopeless! Actually, there is still a chance. So, even my therapy was over, still I keep this habit of caring for my health in order to keep this drain clean forever. Of course, the past bad habits were accumulated for decades, and I spent seven years adjusting myself. There is no hurry in such a case. Now, I eat vegetables, tofu, five cereals and nuts every day and live a normal and simple life. I don’t have to live in the mountain or change a lot in my life; I can live an anti-cancer life in the current environment. Some US organic groups to convalesce establish camps to keep in good health in the remote highlands with beautiful scenery. People live there and eat “rare” food. I wonder if that is good and whether I can keep living like that after I return home. Would it recur? A friend of mine who also got cancer believed in drinking rare potato juice can cure cancer and he drank nothing but rare potato juice every day, still he died.

Change constitution and listen to the voice from your body. Everyone has different constitution. You should have known better than the doctor about the body you have used for thirty or forty years. So, I insist on “listening to the voice of your body” My constitution is a bit of acidity, so I started to eat less meat and quit delicate desserts. I once read a medical article which says the delicate white sugar rejects all the good vitamins out of the human body, so I have eaten brown sugar or black sugar since then. And I quit all the sweet drinks. The wonderful thing is after you change your constitution, the body naturally rejects all harmful food by itself. Once I ate with my friend who ordered a soup of soft-shelled turtle and persuaded me of drinking one bowl. My body began swelled after twenty minutes and I was terrified. My body was telling me not to touch the food. Beside the body rejects harmful food naturally, my self-healing power gets stronger and activate my defending system. I used to be allergic to a lot of food and sleep lightly and easily woke up, now I eat more, sleep well, and defecate smoothly.

Thank you, cancer, now I become healthier! Except for the change on life and diet, I started introspection on my personality. I used to be an excessively strong person who wouldn’t let others find out that I got sick twice.  Of course, family and doctors were there to support me, but they couldn’t help me with my pain. I was the one that made my body this way and I should be the only to take responsibility. During the process of self-criticism, I realized that I was too competitive and irascible.  Asking for perfection give me too much pressure and this is exactly what I should change myself about. According to my personal experience, taking CAM is not just a simple treatment on symptoms but getting at root of it. Taking good care of oneself from the body, the heart and the soul and taking advantages of the Chinese and Western medication make you listen to the voice of your own body so that you can choose your body with exercise, qigong (a system of deep breathing exercises), yoga, organic diet and Chinese medicine etc. Thank you, cancer! Now my body is better, and healthier than I used to be before I got cancer!

Among those flowers in the world
Believe in yourself
You will find the stage that belongs to you.