After being diagnosed with cancer in 2016, Cheryl Lapansee from Michigan talks about her experience and what she has done to help herself recover from the disease combining both lifestyle improvements with modern medicine.
Youtube Video: Energise Academy Interview: Mark Bryant and Cheryl Lapansee
Mark: Hello, everybody. Here I am again from Florida, and I thought I'd do my first ever interview. The interview's with Cheryl, and she's from Michigan and somebody I've met over here in the Hippocrates, and she has an amazing story, as well, which she can share. Just tell us a little bit about what happened, how you found out that you had the cancer, then how you took steps to overcome that.
Cheryl: Okay, thanks for talking to me Mark. I'm glad to share with you. First of all, I was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and what I noticed right away was they wanted to rush me instantly into chemotherapy, and I just felt like I needed to take a breath and think about what to do next, so I started researching and I met some people, and everything kept leading me to the Hippocrates lifestyle. So I put the doctors off and said I wasn't going to do chemo or radiation and I came to Hippocrates and it helped me get my life in order in so many ways and the biggest thing is the health, losing 90 pounds in six months. So carrying all that extra weight and all the toxins that go with it was detrimental to my health, along with all the other things in life that can cause cancer to be able to grow in your body. So, losing that weight and changing my whole terrain ... I have been dieting since I was 11 years old, my mom put me on Weight Watchers when I was 11. Any diet you or anyone could ever mention, I'm sure I've tried. I would lose some weight, gain it back plus more. I was very busy and active though, I was on autopilot. Just go, eat quick, go, keep going.
So losing weight, my body just like ... As soon as I started eating this way, my body was just like so happy. Nutritionally sound and just drinking the green juice ... I was one of the people who loved it from the start. I was so happy eating and drinking this way. So when that weight fell off, I was like, "I can breath." So the cancer became inactive, 10 months was doing great and then the cancer became very active again.
Mark: Had you gone back into work, or had you added stress back into your life?
Cheryl: No, I was still working, still the same. I think your body forgives you for a lot of things, for 51 years of doing it the wrong way, it let go of so much, but I think some damage had been done that needed something more aggressive to help it. So then, January of last year when I had the recurrence, I decided to go ahead and do the chemo and the radiation and the surgery and then more chemo. So I've just come off one full year of all that. So of course I was bald, no hair, no lashes, no brows.
Mark: I remember when I first met you.
Cheryl: Yeah, yeah and it's all coming back. I have hair now, it's coming back. So going through that system even, with this as part of it, I went through it so much better than most of the people around me.
Mark: What did the doctors and the nurses say? Because you were doing it as well as doing the treatment? Or did they not really find out?
Cheryl: No, I did share with them what I was doing, what I was eating and I'll never forget one of my appointments, the doctor said to the nurse in the hall, "Go check Cheryl in room five, you need to see how she looks and how she's doing on this." And so, three or four nurses came in 'cause I had my cute wig on, I still wore makeup, I didn't want to act like a patient. Had my green juice with me, talking about how I was doing the chemo with all the support I was, you know, used to having from here-
Cheryl: I had some hard days, I'm not saying it was always easy but I would be going in there eating the right way, drinking the right way that's most appropriate and there's so many people eating cookies and pizza and sugar and drinking soft drinks while they're having their treatment and those are the people I saw really bearing the heaviest load of the treatment.
Mark: Yeah, 'cause when I had the treatment and I weathered the chemotherapy well and I was doing a lot of juicing and switched to organic and drinking clean water and things like that but when I got to hospital I had a very toxic treatment, it was hard to eat anything and then the deep recovery phase, I find it difficult to integrate that back in until much later. So you're here now and you're now on the ... You're just going for the home straight now, yeah?
Cheryl: Right, so what I did is I came here after the first kind of chemo, I came for a week before the second kind of chemo, I came for another week. After radiation I came for two weeks, after surgery ... Like, I kept coming just to keep myself on track as well as I could but I was doing this at home though. So I was juicing everyday. There wasn't even one day on chemo I didn't have my wheatgrass 'cause I just wasn't feeling well but eating and drinking this way, and doing saunas and I was doing vitamin C IV's, helped me get through it all much better.
Mark: Yeah, you look amazing.
Cheryl: Thank you.
Mark: And you've been to the fitness classes?
Cheryl: So my goal this time was to go to fitness. 'Cause I've been not as high energy during that whole year of treatment and more tired, so I was not exercising much. So this trip, my goal was to work on fitness and I was going to yoga and, you know a little more gentle classes.
Cheryl: And I was planning a gentle one and in came big strong [Evelyn 00:05:48] and I'm like, "Oh no, I'm not trying your hard class yet." It's like, "Try it, just try it." I made it through and my body was so happy. Again, just like when I was nutritionally sound, my body was happy. So I did four classes a day for the past two weeks. So those two hours and ... plus walking and the energy just keeps getting higher and higher.
Mark: Yeah, I think there's three things. You know, like the food is really important-
Mark: The fitness, the movement, the exercise is the second thing and then the third thing is like the mental and emotional and even the spiritual part of the healing journey.
Mark: How's that been for you? You just mentioned before that that's kind of like where you're getting the exercise going again and then there's like the next step here.
Cheryl: Right, so the emotional and the stressful part of it. That stress is hard. Like, that's where I'm also focusing on right now because things happen to you that we find out you're carrying since you've been a child. There are traumas that we carry that are within ourselves and working on those-
Cheryl: Exactly and I have really cool baggage-
Mark: Suitcases, suitcases full-
Cheryl: ... lots of matching baggage and then some little extras on the side. So seeing the therapist here helps me so much because they have different ways of helping you process things that you've experienced and even things that you can't put into words because you were too young to even explain what happened to you but things that happened are still within your body. So working on that is helping to free my body also.
Mark: Yeah, I mean for me, that's been the biggest part. Like the food part was the first focus, then you know, a lot of the psychotherapy and working on the mental health piece of the jigsaw and then sort of in the last six months is really looking at what my faith is, what my beliefs, what's my ... 'Cause at some level, we've got to trust that there's something else going on other than what we can see, hear, feel and touch.
Cheryl: Right, our thoughts affect every cell in our body.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. So yeah, that's the big project I think. For some, they can just focus on the food and they're on the home straight. Whereas for me, I think I've had to focus on a lot more.
Cheryl: Little more complicated than that, right?
Mark: A complicated set of circumstances.
Cheryl: We have some complications.
Mark: Yeah, so what's for you next? What are you looking forward to?
Cheryl: So I'm going to continue living this way.
Cheryl: I love food, I want to continue to be organic and juice. I'm looking forward to my body letting go of a little more weight and being able to continue exercising. Getting back to work, I've been off this whole year for treatment. I'm a teacher, so I'll be back with my students.
Mark: Wow, what age group do you teach?
Cheryl: Second grade.
Mark: How old's that?
Cheryl: Seven year olds.
Mark: I've got a seven year old, yeah.
Cheryl: They're amazing, I love them so much.
Cheryl: So just planning to go back into my regular life and carrying this with me and I'm sharing the message. People looking at me from work and my friends and my family like ...
Mark: "You've just been ill and you look really well, what's gone on?"
Cheryl: Exactly, they're surprised. I want to share this message and help people get on board and take care of themselves before they have a health crisis.
Mark: Yes. Yeah, that's ... So what's the biggest lesson you've learned from your cancer blessing?
Cheryl: It is actually a gift, you're right.
Cheryl: A blessing or a gift and that's what I've said, there have been so many gifts in it. The biggest thing, probably that you have time to learn what to do. You do not need to rush right in to, you know, traditional treatment.
Mark: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Cheryl: And some people may never need traditional and some might. So I'd say that you have time to learn and live your life the way your body is made work. Our body is made to heal.
Mark: Yeah and I think that's important, like you said. When you find out about it. You know, for me, I was on hospital on morphine that day-
Cheryl: Instantly, right.
Mark: ... so I was like ... there was-
Cheryl: No time.
Mark: No freaking wheatgrass would have saved me at that point.
Cheryl: No, right.
Mark: But yeah, I think, you know, for many, they can ... Doctors have opinions and I've met so many people and they'll take second opinions and third opinions and fourth opinions until they find something that is right for them and it was really hard for me when I decided to come here back in last February after I had the kind of ... second mini relapse because it was almost that I was turning my back on the doctor that had taken me through the transplant.
Mark: And it almost felt like I was turning my back on allopathic medicine but I ... and when I really thought about it, it was like, "No he's got his opinion and he's still on the team and I'm now adding another consultant into my team by coming over here." Yeah.
Cheryl: And that's what I learned too is that those two worlds do not need to fight.
Mark: Yeah, yeah.
Cheryl: They can work together to help the whole person become healthier in every way.
Mark: Yeah, and this lifestyle is like natural, it's not alternative.
Cheryl: Right, right.
Mark: It's not like ... There are lots of alternative therapies but this is like natural supporting, it's just a different way of lifestyle, or it's a different diet, you know?
Mark: Not that we ... we hate that word because it's usually just for a short period of time.
Mark: But this is a dietary plan for life, isn't it?
Cheryl: It is.
Mark: So if there was one thing ... I guess if there's one message, or one lesson that you can give to anybody as a gift, what would it be?
Cheryl: What would the gift be? Love yourself, take care of yourself.
Mark: Yes, love yourself and take responsibility.
Cheryl: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mark: So yeah ... go on, have you got anything else?
Cheryl: One last thing, be willing to try something different. Be willing to get over addictions to food. Be willing to go through a little detox time, it might be difficult, it might a headache or a struggle, but once you get through three, four, maybe five days, the relief, the clear-headedness, the body working so well ... So just be willing to work through it and see how it actually feels.
Mark: Outside of here-
Cheryl: Right, out in the ... people think this is crazy world, really that's crazy world.
Mark: So yeah, but in society, there's so much temptation everywhere for what tastes great but that's not good.
Mark: Yeah, and it's retraining the habitual habits that we've created.
Cheryl: Your taste buds will change, I can tell you, your taste buds will change because I used to be addicted to sugar and after I hadn't had sugar for maybe three months and I had a strawberry, 'cause I was not eating fruit ... It was the sweetest strawberry and it tasted so great. The natural sugar ... which I'm not eating hardly any of that either, but your taste buds will adjust and you taste again.
Mark: I had one last question, how much raw food ... cooked food do you integrate now?
Cheryl: I'm doing about 75-80% raw.
Cheryl: About 20%.
Mark: Cool. Well thank you for whoever's listened to this and hopefully by other cancer patients sharing their stories, we'll be able to help those that are perhaps at the beginning of their journey and they're looking at people that are perhaps even part-way through the journey, or even considered on the other side of their journey. So we hope you find this useful, and from Cheryl from Michigan, and from myself, Mark, from the UK both at Hippocrates in Florida ... If you've got any questions, please shoot them in the message below, I'll tag Cheryl in this, if she's okay with me doing that.
Cheryl: Pleasure, yes.
Mark: And if you've got any questions, you can obviously go direct to her and ask her any questions as well. So thank you for watching and goodbye.
Cheryl: Thanks, bye.
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