Joy Petrie speaks about her journey through chemotherapy and how she beat cancer.
“If ever I had cancer, I would never have chemo” I used to say. This was my lifelong belief.
In late 2017, a 7.5cm lump was found in my abdomen, turning out to be Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). I still held that belief for months after I was diagnosed. “I would sooner die than have chemo,” I told my sympathetic GP as the tears welled up in my eyes, and I meant every word of it. Health and nutrition were two of my favourite subjects, and I believed I could beat it naturally.
I embarked on some natural therapies, including the Breuss Diet, amongst other things but the lump had other ideas and was soon 9cms, about the size of a softball growing in my gut. I was told I would only have about a year to live if I did nothing, as the lump would keep growing. At 60 years of age, I knew that 12 months would fly by. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t just cut it out, and I finally learned that it is fatal to have lymphomas removed. I felt chemotherapy maybe my last resort so I embraced the whole journey, ‘warts and all’.
From the moment the lump was discovered I changed my whole diet for the better, eliminating all meat except for Australian seafood, all dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and eggs. Basically a Seagan- a seafood eating vegan. It is my belief that this helped my system release the chemotherapy drugs as quick as possible because my system was not clogged up with ‘crap food’.
During 2018, I endured some of the strongest chemotherapy over a 4 month period. Six rounds in all, given intravenously in hospital, taking over 100hrs each (5-6 day stays). It is a gruelling process, a time when I learnt so much and wanted to help other people navigate their way through, by sharing what I had learnt along the way.
By writing a book I wanted to ‘lift the veil’ and give constructive tips, suggestions and advice for the uninitiated. As an aid for those undergoing or about to undergo chemotherapy treatment, and their recovery. The book includes many subjects, including the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects, because I still viewed it all from a healthy perspective. There are also recipes for food, room sprays, hand wash, and home-made laundry detergent, as you can only use natural products while undergoing chemotherapy. Self-care is a huge factor in getting through it all. I wanted to share things that nobody feels they need to mention but needs to be known. My true success was to be given the news that I was in remission. The huge lump that I had dubbed ‘Lulu’ had shrunk into oblivion, with no sign of it returning.
‘By shining the light on the processes then maybe it won’t seem so dark.’
The Carousel would like to thank Joy Petrie for her story.