It was really a normal day for me. I was a 37 year old educated woman working in a professional job and taking care of my husband and son. I went for my annual May gynecological exam and my gynecologist suggested that we do a mammogram on a lump that we had been following for years. I had a history of fibrocystic breast disease and had had a fibroadenoma mass removed previously. This lump grew back in the same place and had the same characteristics. I had the mammogram and went on vacation with my husband. Upon return, I was called by the doctor’s office and told I needed another more definitive mammo because they found something that looked suspicious. Had another one and went on another vacation with my husband. Upon return from this trip, I was referred to a specialist who explained that there might be a chance I had cancer. We could watch for about three months or have the mass removed.
I immediately got a second opinion from a breast specialist and the rest happened very quickly. [I] [h]ad a biopsy, then a lumpectomy and was told it was cancer and I needed to have an axillary dissection to see if there was any spread to the lymph nodes. There was – 6 of 17 were positive. My cancer was both metastatic and aggressive. I am African-American. And that made my prognosis quite poor. 2-5 years was all I was offered with chemo, stem cell, more chemo, radiation and tamoxifen. It was the eve of the Peachtree Road Race, July 3, 1996. My husband was planning to run……………..we were in shock!!
As I went from doctor to doctor exploring my options, one thing was clear, I was going to die and no one offered me much hope. Finally, after not getting any good news, I decided to stand on what I know….my knowledge as a health professional, my understanding of how lifestyle affects your health and my faith in God. I decided to be anointed, as the Bible says in James and went to Wildwood Lifestyle Center and Hospital in wildwood, GA for their lifestyle improvement program. It was there that I was convicted abut making significant lifestyle changes in my life, and to only take the radiation for as long as my body could handle it.
I changed my eating, sleeping, working and socializing patterns, getting rid of anything that was wearing me out……..including some relationships!!!!! I became a true vegetarian, and began a journey of creativity and discovery of delicious plant foods!!!! I discovered the wonderful world of phytochemicals and their benefits for cancer and a whole lot of other health issues that I wasfacing. Gone were the animal products,(milk, cheese, eggs, ice cream, yogurt) highly processed foods, caffeine containing beverages, etc!!!
In six months, my health had improved remarkably, and by nine months, even more so. Nearly twelve years later, I am still grateful to God for his mercy to me and am practicing the lifestyle that I believe is disease-preventing and health-enhancing. I call it BEST WAY:
- Bedtime Regularity
- Simple Diet
- Yielding to Divine Power
I would advise every woman to practice preventive medicine/lifestyle habits; do regular screening exams, and to be proactive about their health. We would no more buy the first item we saw in a store !!!!!!!! We should SHOP around for health professionals who support our belief systems and not PUT ANY MONEY/INSURANCE DOWN until we are satisfied. Save your breasts and the rest of your life/health and the life/health of someone you love!!!!!!!!!!!! It will really be Somethin’ To Shout About!!!
BIO: “Donna Green-Goodman, MPH graduated from Oakwood College with a degree in Home Economics-emphasis in nutrition. She received the Master of Public Health in Health Education and Promotion from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. Donna’s professional career includes working for the GA Extension Service, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris College, SC-Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the GA Division of Public Health-Office of Nutrition. Donna believes that lifestyle changes are vital for health and well being and that people are more likely to change when they see us praticing what we preach. When not conducting health seminars or cooking classes, Donna spends time with her first love-her-family-husband Eddie and son Edward IV, [Ivey].”
~by Donna Green-Goodman
WOMAN OF THE MONTH: OBY NWAOGBE
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