Cancer Survivors Susan Gonzales (breast cancer) and Sam Corti (cervical cancer) to be Guests.

My guests for Saturday are Susan Gonzalez (left)  and Sam (Samantha) Corti.

Susan Gonzalez, RN, BSN has been educating people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle since graduating with honors from Molloy College in New York in 1986.  She is a Registered Nurse in the states of New York and Georgia and received additional training in Cardiac Rehabilitation, nutrition, stress management, and smoking cessation, and also became registered as a Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer in 1999.

Since her partnership with one of the top preventative cardiologists in the country in 2000, she has personally counselled hundreds of patients on creating and meeting their own healthy lifestyle goals.

As a warrior against cancer causing ingredients in personal care products, Susan launched her own all-natural organic skincare line, MOON Organics Inc in 2010.  As developer and CEO she continues to expand the line, catering to the needs of those going through treatment for cancer.  She was featured as one of The Story Exchange’s “inspirational women” in 2012.

Susan’s mission is to take what she’s learned and pass that knowledge to others. Having been a cancer patient as well as a caregiver, gives Susan a unique perspective on health issues and this motivates her to produce accurate blog articles with well cited research.  She advocates natural healing and is a strong believer that we must take full responsibility for our own health and wellness in all areas of life: diet, exercise, spirituality, as well as self worth and social health.

She hopes to continue her mission to educate in her first book “100 Perks of Having Cancer Plus 100 Health Tips for Surviving It” due to be released in the US and Canada in spring 2013

Sam Corti, my second guest,  was written up in articles in England for shrinking her deadly tumor with an anti-cancer diet. Her story follows:

When I was 23 years of age I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in situ which was treated with a cone biopsy and a Letz biopsy.  After the hospital was satisfied that they had removed the cancerous cells, I received colcoscopy every three months for a year, then every six months, then a smear every six months.  Finally after three years I was back to having yearly smear tests which I never forgot to have or postponed, as I was fully aware that having smear tests was the most important way to catch abnormal cells if they were to re-appear.

Thirteen years later at the age of 36, I was blessed with the first of two children, now aged eight and seven.  Since the children were born my monthly cycle became heavier and heavier, I put it down to hormones.  About four and a half years ago, after experiencing slight spotting I went straight to the doctors for a smear.  The smear was clear but my doctor recommended colcoscopy just to be on the safe side.  Colcoscopy showed nothing abnormal.  Life went on and I struggled through my monthly cycle which was getting increasingly heavier with worsening pains.

Six months on, whilst chatting to girlfriends in the garden amidst a children’s tea party I decided to make an appointment to go to the doctor and discuss my heavy periods. The locum doctor told me to take Neurofen.  Not happy with this I decided to make another appointment and see a different doctor.  This time the doctor said that the cause was probably fibroids, however because of my history she recommended an ultrasound.  The ultrasound was done, within 24 hours I was called back to the surgery and fast tracked to the hospital where a biopsy was performed, along with a MRI scan, a CT scan, a chest x-ray and blood tests.  One week later I was sitting with my husband in an appointment with a consultant and told that I had cancer of the cervix, and my case was being handed over to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge.

After investigative surgery at Addenbrookes, in the recovery room I was told that I had severe cancer of the cervix, graded at 4a (it only goes up to 4b), it had wrapped itself around my bladder, bowel and spread into my lymph nodes.  The one positive was that the tumour was mobile so the oncologist was going to recommend surgery followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  Unfortunately this would mean an 11 hour operation involving very intricate bowel surgery and resulting in a colostomy bag.  He gave me a 50% chance of survival and beating it.

It is difficult to describe the following 48 hours, life continued as normal – with young kids it’s impossible not to carry on.  I saw friends and family and discussed my situation; everyone was distressed, concerned, and supportive.  The feeling of not being in control and putting my life in the hands of others was huge, as was the worry that if I carried on as normal and didn’t see this as an opportunity for change then I may not get through it .  This is when I decided to take control of my own destiny, health, life and beat the cancer.

The first book I read was titled Anti Cancer – A New Way of Life, written by David Servan-Schreiber, a fantastic book that kick started a complete change in the way I eat.  I went on to read numerous other books stating with scientific proof that food and nutrition is key to avoiding, beating and surviving cancer.  Convinced I had nothing to lose I embraced the anti-cancer diet wholeheartedly, totally focused myself on positive thinking and prepared myself for battle.

The operation was a huge success.  In the recovery ward I asked which side my colostomy bag was on – left would have been temporary and right would have been permanent.  I was told there was no bag.  Over the following few days several consultants visited me and expressed their amazement at their findings during surgery.  The tumour had, it seemed, shrunk.  They had not been able to locate it around my bowels and indeed had called further surgeons into theatre for 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions.  They removed 9 lymph nodes, of which only 1 was cancerous and I was in theatre for only 4 hours while a radical hysterectomy was performed.

Two months later, in January 2009, I underwent a five week course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to back up the surgery.

Now I am fit and well, have had a clear MRi scan and appointments with the oncologist are down to every six months. My skin is clear, I feel radiant, I rarely get sick and I have lost weight.  There is no question that the expertise of the medical team at Addenbrookes, the love of my husband and children and the support of family and friends have all played their part in my recovery.

But, I am absolutely confident that the anti-cancer diet I follow resulted in the miraculous shrinking of the tumour.

My diet consists of drinking several cups of green tea daily, eating several portions of vegetables especially cruciferous vegetables, incorporating herbs and spices (especially garlic and turmeric) into cooking, eating wholegrain, Soya and fruit, especially berries and trying to avoid sugar, processed food, dairy and meat.

I heard a lot of great things about green tea being a truly wonderful source of anti-oxidants, polyphenols and catechins as well as having other health benefits. I discovered a favorite and also learnt it was one of the best sources of all these health boosting elements. This tea was Japanese Sencha.

I sourced some fresh Sencha and started drinking it in huge quantities. That’s how was born. Tea4life is my own online company selling green tea directly to customers around the world.

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