by Geneva R. Anderson
I have been battling ovarian cancer for almost 20 years, a miracle when you consider the death rate from this killer. Following surgery in 1994, I heard those famous last words, “We got it all,” only to discover in the spring of 2005 that the cancer had metastasized to my lungs. After enduring four years of chemo, and believing God was directing me to change, I elected to stop treatment in July 2010. For me, this journey has been as much a spiritual one as it has been physical. Was there fear in deciding to stop chemo? Absolutely! But I was stopping chemo because I believed God wanted me to stop; thus, it became an act of obedience and trust.
Concurrently, I changed my diet to vegan/vegetarian and started juicing. Within three weeks, I was feeling so much better. Life on chemo was . . . not a life at all! CT scans in January and March of 2011 showed significant tumor growth. In fact, after the March report, my oncologist told me I had less than a year to live. How could that be true when I was feeling so great? I opted to stick with my veggies and juicing. The next CT scan in July 2011 showed things turning in my favor. As an added bonus, I also lost 60 pounds!
I never felt really well on chemo, lost my hair twice in four years, and saw what it was doing to my body in side effects that remain to this day. More than three years after stopping chemo, I am going strong and have even launched a new career as a professional speaker. My lesson was that I could take charge of my health and give myself a better quality of life with the potential to defeat any dread disease in my body. I would rather have a shorter quality life than a longer — albeit miserable — life that chemo was supposedly giving me. Ecclesiastes 5:20 sums up both the emotional and spiritual side effects of chemo on my life: “For he will not much remember the [bad] days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” I would never have chosen cancer; but cancer has become the crucible for growth in my relationship to God, of learning in reality that God is good all the time! I can now say (and mean it!), “Thank you God for what having cancer has taught me about who you are and that your grace is more than sufficient.”
Since I am not a medical professional and do not give medical advice, I am not suggesting that anyone stop treatment. However, my personal experience supports my truth that the body that God created has tremendous power to heal itself when given proper nutrition.
The medical establishment is slowly coming around to the importance of diet and nutrition for treating many diseases and, more importantly, preventing them in the first place. A recent CT scan has shown that several tumors are shrinking while others have remained unchanged. I am encouraged to stay on track with nutrition, and aggressively pursue alternative, non-invasive, non-toxic treatments.
For me, this is a better way than what standard medical practice had to offer me. My research even revealed that the particular ovarian cancer cell I have does not respond to chemo!
I am grateful that God gave me the knowledge and courage to take charge of my health, and that my healing journey has increased my faith and my joy in my spiritual life.
Bio: Geneva Anderson is living her dream to be a professional speaker and communications coach. Her company is Open Door Communications. Geneva says, “I help people who put both feet in their mouth at the same time, because those folks don’t have a leg to stand on!”
She also writes a blog, Light for the Night — Encouragement for the Dark Places of Life, which can be found at: http://genevaanderson.org. Geneva enjoys speaking to civic, professional, and faith-based groups. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.