A little over a year ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the help of quick-working surgeons and a wonderful oncologist, she was able to have a lumpectomy 30 days after her original diagnosis and began her chemotherapy a few days before Christmas.
My mother is a very intelligent and strong woman. She knew that she was heading into some tougher times, but she knew those times would be dealt with much easier if she had the proper tools. Her massive support system was a huge aid, but she also found some helpful hints in A Dietitian’s Cancer Story. She had done a ton of reading, and had listened carefully to her oncologist regarding her diet and some things that she could do to keep her immune system strong and energy levels high. As it is constantly mentioned on this site, green tea is incredible (it’s even better when accompanied by a great antioxidant). The book seconded this and gave her a great recipe for a green tea shake, which she tried and loved. Throughout her chemotherapy, she drank a lot of tea to help boost her immune system. I can personally attest to the fact that it worked wonders.
After her chemotherapy, she had to go through radiation treatments. These treatments are notorious for draining your energy and producing a lot of fatigue if you don’t preemptively strike against that. Her doctor told her that ginseng works wonders for people going through radiation treatment. My mother took ginseng pills and drank ginseng tea a few times a week in an effort to counteract the fatigue she would get from her daily treatments. Very rarely did she ever experience any drop in energy due to her treatments and she was able to easily maintain her happy demeanor.
Overall, a combination of great doctors, great attitude, and a great diet helped her go through the invasive stage of her treatment fairly easy. She went into it scared, but very prepared and ready to take whatever came at her head on. Now that she has moved on past the extreme treatments and into the less invasive, she still continues her healthy diet and drinks a lot of tea to continue to boost her immune system as the cold season bears down on us. It also helps to have a son who writes for a tea blog and provides her with the wealth of knowledge this place has to offer.
Ross Hammond, Bigelow Tea supporter and blog writer