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+25
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Thriving or Surviving? That's the question I ask myself daily.

Since I've been diagnosed with breast cancer, my life has taken a turn in a different direction. All of a sudden I had to stop taking care of everyone and start taking care of me.  My days are now filled with things I need to do for me.  Between juicing, food preparation, doctor's appointments, therapies, etc., there's no time for anything else.  

I always believed that a good home can't prosper without a healthy wife and mother. But I never thought that one day I would have to learn to practice what I preach. Let me assure you that taking care of yourself is a full-time job, and one that I'm not enjoying doing.

Old habits are hard to break. A dedicated type "A," I was always doing, going, worrying and planning. Now I have to take a deep breath to keep myself from screaming when I hear how important it is for me to stay calm and stress-free. I try to stay cool and composed while spending endless hours on the phone with all my family and friends (who I LOVE DEARLY), reciting the latest healing progress. But my boob has now become everyone's business, and it gets old very quickly.  

Don't get me wrong. I feel loved and blessed having all the people in my life take the time to constantly check up on me. But when I hear my kids' friends discussing my "boob situation" with a concerned look on their faces, I don't know whether to laugh hysterically or cry uncontrollably.

Thank GOD I still have my sense of humor!  So for all of you (my virtual friends), here is the latest update on my "condition":

My day begins with juicing. What was fun and delicious at first now makes me want to puke at the thought of any vegetables.

I'm supposed to plan my meals and eat everything that's good for me, which consists of just about everything I really don't like. I eat constantly but don't enjoy much of it. And to make it worse, I've gained few pounds.

I argue with all of my doctors, and negotiate everything. After spending a tremendous amount of time researching and consulting with doctors who are not involved in my treatment but have full understanding of what kind of tumor I had and can explain it to me in terms that I can understand rather than words I can't pronounce, I've decided not to have chemotherapy or take hormone blockers. I did sign up for radiation, but without tattoos.  

This, too, has to be negotiated and resolved. My oncologist said to me, "Most of our patients come in, get the prescribed treatment, and follow it to accordingly. You come in, refuse everything we offer, and back it up with data that makes sense to us. So we have to go back and think of what to prescribe for you to be happy and us to be satisfied that you're getting the treatment you need." Between us girls, I'm not their favorite patient. ☺
I'm seeing a medical doctor that practices alternative medicine and doing things that regular doctors do not believe in. Such as restricted diet, along with ozone therapy, acupuncture, vitamins, etc.  I can tell you that my psoriatic arthritis has been completely reversed.  

Can I share a secret with you? IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!

As much as I hate to admit it, we dig our own graves with fork, spoon and knife. And until we embrace the fact that food is there for fuel and not for pleasure, we will continue to fight this battle.  When I figure out how to embrace this, I will write about it. Until then I just eat my lentils, pretending it's risotto with wild mushrooms in a cream sauce, and beginning to believe that my thoughts alone are making me fat.

I'm slowly getting used to the idea that regardless of what I want, for the next week of seven weeks of radiation (that will be performed 5 days a week), I will have to stay put. Knowing that, I'm opening lines of communications. I'm announcing that I will be bitching and moaning, and sometimes I will be so tired that even that will be a chore.

I beginning to understand that this business of "I'm a survivor" comes with strings attached. Now I owe it to everyone around me to be healthy and happy, and I owe it to myself that much more.

I get it....it's just that practicing what you preach is a lot more difficult.

p.s. THANK YOU to all of you my virtual friends, for your wishes, prayers and blessings, and for giving me the place to vent.
With Love and Gratitude.
Y

+25
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Member Comments

    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • WOW!ohhhhYana! It is a huge task researching all there is to know about breast cancer, and the doctors can be a bunch of butt-holes, just because they think they have the degree to be so lol, but you‘re doing the right thing by doing your homework and searchong for other alternatives. With all the new technology out there today this can be beaten and you can overcome it! I just wish my mom had the chance to. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, God bless you in your health, mind, body, soul and spirit.happyheart



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Good for doing what needs to be done for you!!!
      You can beat this!!
      Blessings!!
      heartheart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Thank You Yana for reminding us that OUR health matters. And to not just accept what the Drs say. I do believe part of being healthy is in our thoughts. So of course if we are uncomfortable with what the Drs want to do our thoughts are going to prevent the healing or slow it.

      So mind does matter!

      Keeping you in my prayersheart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Thanks Ladies,

      This made me smile, hope it puts a smile on your faces too.

      A Friend Is Like A Good Bra...  

      Hard to Find
      Supportive
      Comfortable
      Always Lifts You Up
      Never Lets You Down or Leaves You Hanging
      And Is Always Close To Your Heart!!!  

      AND, just a thought for all the women out there.... .....

      MENtal illness,
      MENstrual cramps,
      MENtal breakdown,
      MENopause...........

      Ever notice how all of women’s problems start with men?.........And

      When we have real trouble it’s HISterectomy!!!!

      Send this to all women to  have a laugh AND,

      Don’t forget to have a mammogram!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Ladisheets wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • your in my prayers Yana. Our health is so important. Im glad your taking an active roll in your own healthcare.

       have a wonderful day, Brenda aka.ladisheets



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Thanks for sharing Yana, I’m going to print this one out lol.estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lana Levi wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Dear Yanachka,
      Ad to your research this: Over the past few decades, the use of humor has been proposed as a potential adjunct treatment for various medical issues. In the field of psychiatry it has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety.
      About three decades ago, the use of humor as a method of treatment had stirred up a considerable amount of interest in various fields, including psychiatry.  By the 1980s, hundreds of references regarding humor in various fields of healthcare had been reported, verifying an ever-growing attention to the potential clinical use of humor.  Humor has been reported to enhance immune system functioning (Dillon et al 1986), aid in pain reduction (Adams and McGuire 1986), aid in stress and anxiety reduction (Trice & Price 1986, Dixon 1980, Nemeth 1979), and to promote general health (Carroll, 1990).

      The idea of humor in medicine continues to arouse interest today and has gained a considerable amount of followers.  For example, the American Association for Therapeutic Humor supports the use of humor as a healing method and there even exist handbooks on its use in psychotherapy (Franzini 2001).  

      Best wishes



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Wow, this sounds so much like someone else I know who had to endure all of the inquiring and loving friends and family. I am grateful to you for the easy way it was to talk to you about a mutual friend, and how you were there every time I sought you.

      I am just going to send you a BIG HUG! :) Soemtimes it is so hard to communicate, the way I like to without words, in the virtual land of friends.

      Kathy



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Darlene Sabella wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Thank you for this outstanding message from you.  I love this message as this is what my daughter taught me while she went through the same as you.  Food became her focus and health food stores, organic stands, research everything, then she discovered Gogi Berries, and eats them like candy, they are the most nutrintional food in the world.  God Bless you my most adorable friend...love darskiheart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Stine050 wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Butterflies are free.  Keep soaring!heart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • (( )) and lots of love Yana,  It’s not fair for anyone-let alone a wonderful person like you, to have to go through this dreadful ordeal.

      but, I can tell you from my grandmother’s experience-attitude is truly everything.  My heroine, this woman battled some form of cancer all of her life.  She was a “healthy food advocate” before the days when this was not only known, but recognized.  she walked every day and always said she was fine.

      Keep your bright outlook, your spunk and your sense of humore-all will see you through this successfully

      love you,



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Ditzychick wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Hey Yana, sending big hugs to you right now and you keep doing what your doing cos its obviously right for you xxx



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Cheekymonkey wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • heartheart hey, Yana!!! How is your bum these days?? ( I didn’t ask about your boob lol) as we have discussed in some length I’m proud of you and thank you.
      Love and hugs
      Cris



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Djo1 wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • heart I truly admire you. And if you‘re not their favorite patient...that’s ok. Maybe they’ll learn something from you estatic



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • heart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Esther Bloom wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Yana,
      I have been there, but years ago, I believe that we can help ourselves by eating right and healthy. There is so much to learn and know what is right for you. My prayer for you is that God helps you to make the decisions that are best for you and I will be praying for your remission.  

      God Bless,
      Esther Bloom
      heartheartheartheartheart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Terry Gray wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Yana,

      My aunt is in the stages of breast chemo, radiation etc at Mayo in Phoenix. It looks very promising after 1 year.
      We are grateful.

      Your story struck me because she claims her spririt and healthy lifestyle have helped her so much.

      My prayers and wishes go out to you. You are a fabulous writer and I cannot help but feel your fear, yet you seem so strong.  

      God bless you and may he wrap his arms around you.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Coralee Flug wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • You are so right it is all about food and taking care of ourselves. Cheering you on from afar...

      Keep challenging them! and Fighting every day!

      and bitch away thats what friends are for
      Coralee



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Psfowler wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Hi Yana,
      Your blog hit my inbox. Thank you for sharing and for reminding me what is important and what is not. And it is an awful shame that we wish for our boobs to get some attention to no avail...but then when they capture everyone’s attention we would wish they would leave them alone! God Bless you and Godspeed in your healing. Pam



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Holly_golitely wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Yana,

      Thank you for sharing this. You are definitely hitting the mark that our diet plays an important role on how our body functions. I admire you courage and determination for taking control of the situation and conducting your own research rather than going along with the traditional course of treatments. I will include you in my prayers for continued strength and healing as you face this present challenge.
      God Bless,

      Holly



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Glad to read you stood up to those doctors, so many of them just don’t see the forest for the trees. I have a friend who is a breast oncologist who hung her shingle out in Missouri recently. She was one of my surgical residents way back when and I highly recommend her. If you want her web site or Face Book info, PM me.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Melanie Seals wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • You go Lady!!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy recovery. Stay strong and positive. Thanks for all you give.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Yana,

      Can we say you are surviving now in order to thrive in the not too distant future?  One of my best friends went through a situation similar to yours.  She also chose radiation and no chemo.  Three years later she is doing great!  I pray that this very difficult time passes quickly and that you will soon be able to do so much more of what you want to do versus what you have to do. I hope it helps to know that we all care about you!  Feel free to vent to us as much and as often as you want! If you feel like crying, or even swearing, let it out.

      heartheartAnne



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • heart Sounds like you are putting the same flair and dedication into this that you do into everything else. happy
      My prayers are with you.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • Thank you Ladies,

      It’s because of your friendship and prayers I feel as good as I do.  

      Big hugs to each and every one of you.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Mar 22, 2011
    • I am sorry your having to go through this . I believe taking care of yourself is a important thing and I’m glad you see that .  I will be praying for you !! I will be coming up on my 7 year mark !! Many smiles are sent your way .



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • You are in my thoughts and prayers always. May you continue to remain positive and continue to take an active role in your health and your body.  

      heartRoseheart



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Yana,
      Thanks for sharing and hey you know we all have your back.
      I truly believe 90% of the battle is positive mental attitude – as someone said to me on the start of my journey " are you in it to win it " and I have slowly day by day ...........
      Stay strong and also what are you doing for your birthday this year ?



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Sending you positive healthy vibes!
      Thanks so much for sharing this with us. You are a true inspiration I am sure, to MANY.  

      Also, to make super healthy consumption easier [and tastier] on you, look into Shakeology. It’s the healthiest thing I’ve ever seen and it’s reallllly delicious. It has vitamins in it that can’t even be found in food. The website is shakeology.com

      Dont worry about the weightloss parts in there- this can be consumed between meas or AS a meal. This stuff has even reversed diabetes. The ADA stands behind it. If you have any questions about this I can send more information to you.  

      I wish you the absolute BEST.
      Hugs!!



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Thanks for sharing with us, Yana. Such a serious subject, but you got me laughing with your sense of humor. Yeppers, it’s very much all about the food! But also take care with your hygiene and cleaning products, Ok?  

      Hugs,
      Cathie



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Sveta Rom wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Hi Yanochka,

      Thank you for sharing & great sense of humor.
      Take good care of yourself.

      Love & many hugs,
      Lana



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Tamara_el wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Thank you, Yana, for baring your wounds so that others may learn and grow. We cannot, as a woman’s tribe, help each other blossom if we do not share our travels so that others may strengthen their lives. It is brave to bare all and I as a receiver of your story appreciate your courage in all facets of slaying the Dragon of Cancer.
      Keep smiling and know that I am sending you all the positive energy I can to support you in your path.



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Dear Yana,

           You are an inspiration to us all in every way.  Doctors will come and go in our lives, but our own courage, strength and knowledge of what we need to do will be our own personal savior.  My mom always said, “you are what you eat” and this has helped me along the way.  You are in my thoughts and prayers each and every day.

      Much love,
      Maryheartheartheart



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie Wolf wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Yana,

      Hugs to you for keeping your spirits up.  Keep smiling and laughing, it goes a long way, plus it makes other do it back at you.  Laughter is the best medicine they say, who are we to argue.

      The doctors don’t hate you, they hate you make them think beyond their norm and see what other possibilities there are.  Stay strong.

      Thoughts, prayers and hugs for you, and for your family to help you in your darkest minute.
      Know you have so many fabulous friends here for you.

      Laugh, smiles and hugs,
      Stephanieestaticestaticestaticestatic



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Mary07 wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Yana,
      Sending you loving and healing energy.
      Mary



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Linda L wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Thank you for sharing your story!  Continue to be the beautiful person you are.

      Vent all you want, we‘re here for you.  Take care.

      Lots of heart,
      Linda



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Brimstone1968 wrote Mar 23, 2011
    • Hi Yana, you have so much strength going forward that I know you will be on the victorious end of this journey.  I am so proud of you for being your own advocate and encouraing us to do the same through your story for whatever we may face medically.  Will be remembering you in my prayers.  Blessings.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      T.K. Goforth wrote Mar 24, 2011
    • Thanks so much, Yana, for sharing you heart in an honest way.  I will also be praying for you and your health and all that concerns you!  May He give you the desires of your heart!

      It’s funny, I just wrote about our minds and attitudes on my blog...[Link Removed] from a neuroscientist names Caroline Leaf.  Fascinating!

      God bless you, and Godspeed to your health!

      TK Goforth


      Chickofalltrades, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Lingling wrote Mar 24, 2011
    • Yana, My good thought to you, you can do it, you can go over it, life is very strong sometimes.



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Mar 24, 2011
    • I wish I could be there for a chat (but then you already have enough friends and family there for you) happy

      I’m keeping you in my prayers. I know it will all be well with you. Just keep at it and don’t get tired of juicing!!!! happy

      It’s great that you still have your sense of humour. That will take you a long way to the healing process.

      God bless.
      All my love.
      Anne



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Tiggerk wrote Mar 24, 2011
    • Yana,
      Thanks for sharing what you‘re going through. I’m praying you’ll be well amazingly quickl,y. Take care!
      Kathy



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