Survivor Stories 2014:
Phyllis Lomax Singh
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I found a lump in my left breast two years after being told cancer is not hereditary. The doctors had insisted I have a hysterectomy at 37 for malignant cellular changes found in a D&C for intermittent uncontrollable vaginal hemorrhaging. They assured me the cancer had been extracted and I wouldn’t need any additional follow up, especially since cancer is not a hereditary disease! Cancer is my family’s unfortunate pestilence. 19 aunts, uncles, and both of my parents either had cancer or have succumbed to the disease, as-well-as, 5 of my 9 cousins raised in Champion Township, in Northeast Ohio. That is a whopping 76% in the last generation and already at 55% in the current generation.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I was angry! The physician’s assured me I would have no further problems, but, you must remember it was an earlier time (late 80’s). It was a time when little was known about the disease process of cancer and many doctors were flying on their shirttails about how to proceed with treatment.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
The doctors wanted to progress with needle biopsy, lumpectomy/mastectomy, radiation/chemo. I had other ideas! I was a Believer with a great faith in God and I had seen what chemo and radiation had done to the lives of my family members. It had stolen quality of life right out from under them. The pain medications numbed their senses and drugged them into an oblivious unconscious state preventing any living in the true meaning of the word.
I went on a search and find expedition and decided I would choose an alternative route holistically. My doctors were in total disagreement of my decision and warned me “You will die.” I walked away from conventional treatments and never looked back. I changed my lifestyle and my eating habits. That was 28 years ago. I remain cancer free today.
My daily regimen includes eating organic or fresh food seasoned with turmeric, garlic, onions, fresh berries with lots of seeds like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc. I do not consume any white sugar, processed foods, or beef in any form. I tend to stear clear of meats in general and eat lentils, legumes, eggs, and soy for protein. I use Organic unsulfured molasses for potassium and take Vitamin D3 50,000 units weekly.
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
Within 8 months of changing my lifestyle and eating habits the breast tumor and lymph nodes could not be found. Repeated mammograms failed to locate the tumor once visible on earlier films. The radiologist even double checked to make sure the films over the previous 18 months were not from the same lot number in case it had been a defective batch of film. It wasn’t! My tumor was gone and so were the palpable lymph nodes.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
The most important advice I can give is “don’t be bullied” by the doctors. Take time to digest what you have just been told. A day or two, or even a week, will not make a difference. Taking the time to seek second or even third opinions can save your life!
6. How long have you been cancer free?
I have been cancer free for 28 years.
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
Lessons I learned from the experience prompted me to write my book, “Lord I’m Not Done Yet” A Believer’s Guide to Accepting, Living, and Dying With Cancer. It includes my story as-well-as guide for anyone with a terminal disease or cancer, including the caregivers.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
It is important to remember, it is your life and death, so it is important to do it your way. Don’t be bullied by anyone! Know the difference between hope and faith. Hope is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen, whereas, faith is a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Have faith in your healing and live your life your way!
Phyllis Lomax Singh is the Author of “Lord I’m Not Done Yet: A Believer’s Guide to Accepting, Living, and Dying with Cancer.” She is a Registered Nurse and Certified Holistic Health Coach specializing in Cancer and End of Life Living. You can follow her blog and Holistic healthy fit lifestyle tips and guidelines at: http://lordimnotdoneyet.com/.