Thursday, February 12, 2009
Words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards Wendi and Jim Dee for asking me to tell my Raw Story!
Here is the WHOLE story or you can read the edited version HERE
My Raw Story
By Debbie Young
“I need you to see the oncologist, right away.” Nothing can describe how it feels when that sentence is spoken to you. My routine blood test in December of 06 showed an elevated white blood cell count. I retested, thinking it was nothing. It went higher. So it was, indeed, something.
Fast-forward to an unfriendly encounter with a massive needle and 3 more blood tests in spring of 2007. Sitting nervously with the onc, he says its CLL, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia to be exact. I squeeze my husband’s hand even tighter. It’s at Stage Zero, no symptoms. There is no treatment. Say’s the prognosis is good, all the markers are good, so he gives me 7-10 years. An expiration date, if you will.
Then 47, I seemed healthier than most, rarely sick, the one who took care of everyone, a whirling dervish of activity. Did I mention that I was the mother of a 6 year old, step mom to a 16 year old, wife, auntie and sister? This can’t be right. I mean, is he saying I will never see my daughter graduate, get married and have children? Is he saying I won’t see my step kid graduate from college, or become a grandma to her kids either? I thank him, leave through the crowded waiting room and I am at peace. It could have been much worse. I could have gotten less than 2 years. I’m one of the lucky ones.
In the car, I excitedly tell my husband “ I have a chance, I need to figure out what it will take to make this better. I know I can do it.” But I had nothing, no ideas, no leads, and no amazing cures. Zilch. So I started at zero. This is where the story really starts.
Pre Cancer, the Internet was mainly used for emailing friends, looking up info and reading Perez Hilton. After my diagnosis, it has become my lifeline, my hang out, my support system and the source of my salvation, my raw foods diet. I searched day and night, read all about CLL, read about miracle diets, cures, all supposed to shut down the cancer factory that was my bone marrow. I cried, I screamed, I laughed and was encouraged, I thought I would lose my mind. But the truth is, I found my life.
A girl was on TV, she was young and cute and oh, yeah, she had incurable cancer. Hubby says she has a book, crazy sexy, what? I don’t know. I told him I don’t have time to mess around with some stupid book like that. Kept reading, starting meditating, looking for toxins, quit using deoderant, got distlled water. I was like a health detective, determined to find out who done it. The most likely suspect turned out to be… well, me, Mrs. Young, In the Kitchen, With a Frying Pan.
Libraries are my second home and one night in October of 07, I happened upon that Crazy sexy girl, what’s her name again, hey she kinda looks like me (I wish!) and she uses swear words (Just like me!) and she’s talking about juicing and wheatgrass and raw food. Many tears and a few hours later, I have found my life raft. I crawled up on to the Crazy Sexy boat and found my way to Raw Food Island. I read all the books Kris reccomended, watched her documentary, found her blog, the crazy sexy life forum that is my playground and worship center. I became connected with other raw folks on give it to me raw, read all the great blogs like Wendi Dee’s and found struggling canser (yeah, we misspell cancer to keep it in it’s place!) cowpokes, just like me. I went raw overnight, no baby steps, just went for it.
So was I cured? Did I just become canser free with one juicing session or one raw food meal?? No, actually, I got worse. Many people were concerned, told me maybe it was not going to work. But I knew it was working. I had seen painful lumps on my finger joints dissolve under my fingertips, my lower back pain was gone, I dropped over 15 lbs in the first year, my sleep improved, a skin tag dissapeared, my elimination was, finally, normal. I had energy galore and felt lighter in a way I cannot describe adequetely. My love of writing and sharing my life bloomed with my blog, www.debbiedoesraw.blogspot.com. I started getting colonics, juiced green every day, cut sugar, all cooked and processed foods, diary, meat, caffiene and alcohol out of my life. I made the farmers market my main place of business and friendships formed there too. Whole Foods is my pharmacy, like Kris likes to say!
Here is how my blood work went: (Normal white count is 11K or less)
3/07 At first onc visit: 17K
4/07 At bone marrow biopsy: 21K
12/07 (1 ½ months raw) 29K and I weighed 138 lbs
10/08 14.9K weight 126 lbs
At the last appointment, I asked if I could go for six months instead of 3 months and he agreed, warning me that I have a compromised immune system, and that if I got sick I needed to contact my Doc immeadiately. I never get sick. So whose immune system is low? Not mine!
Yesterday, I did over 5 hours of intense exercise and I felt great and I feel great today. I make sure I get plenty of sleep, meditate as often as I can and keep stress to a minimum. I eat very simple foods, indulging in a raw treat or restaurant occasionally. I juice about a quart of green juice daily, drink green smoothies, eat a daily salad, love fresh organic fruits, nuts, seeds, and some dried fruit. Many folks I love have changed their ways too and they are doing fantastic.
I am sure of the fact that I will be raw for the rest of my life. CLL is part of that life, part of me. I am at peace with it. I always remind myself: I have Leukemia, it doesn’t have me! I am so very blessed by my networks and friends on line, many of whom I have had the pleasure to meet and hug in person. My story is not over and I don’t have an expiration date stamped on my forehead. May anyone who wishes to live life to the fullest find the joy of living raw foods and juicing! It literally has saved my life and I am so very grateful for that and for all my fellow raw friends.
Tune in tomorrow for the Adventures of Raw Model and Debbie Does Raw!
Anthony and I at Raw Spirit, taken by the Multi Talented Bueller
That's all I'm saying for now.. you have to come back to find out what adventures we had!
With humble bows of gratitude