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I Wish I Would Have Known

Well it is half way through October and we have seen post after post about breast cancer. I will be one of the first people to tell you about my story and all the symptoms I had, the signs leading up to my diagnosis, the ways I could have detected it earlier, support for when diagnosed.

But you know what I really wish someone would have shared with me?


I mean I remember reading a random magazine article or two about preventing cancer.

I think I knew just as much as anyone else about how blueberries and spinach prevented cancer. But that was about it.

Maybe it was because the information wasn’t available or maybe I was so blissfully ignorant because cancer had never affected my family and as far as my 30 year old brain was concerned, it wasn’t going to. I was invincible, right? As many people think they are today.

Well I wanted to be one to tell you what I wish I had known.

I wish more companies, more doctors, more articles were focused on preventing cancer versus what to do when you have cancer. Because if we could keep cancer from happening in the first place, then we wouldn’t need all this other stuff. Right?

Let’s face it, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer. Read that again.

One in 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and I bet that statistic is going to continue to grow.

So why wouldn’t we be putting our efforts towards preventing cancer in the first place??

I think money has a lot to do with it, I mean how will all these organizations stay afloat without cancer? But that is another article for another day…but worth pondering.

What I want to focus on is truly helping prevent people from going through what I faced (face). And I know cancer can stem from genetics, but I didn’t have that connection and many other cancer survivors I meet nowadays have no link to genetics…also worth pondering.

Genetics may load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

So here are a few things I wish had started doing when I was old enough to start making decisions for myself:

  1. I would have removed every product with the ingredient “Fragrance” from my house… they can also disguise their name as “parfum or perfume”

  2. If you don’t understand an ingredient that you are putting in your body or on your body, do not buy it. Other ingredients to look out for:

  3. SLS 4-dioxane, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), PEG compounds [These are all known carcinogens linked to organ toxicity]

  4. ALSO: products you put on your body should be healthy enough to eat.

  5. Stop believing that commercial products and commercial marketing care about our health. More than half sold on store shelves are harmful.

  6. I would have avoided these household products:

  7. Air Fresheners – these synthetic fragrances (even unscented) can trigger allergies and asthma

  8. Dryer Sheets – are one of the most toxic products in a home. They can trigger allergies, asthma, skin irritations, and/or lung irritation

  9. Cleaning products with artificial fragrances – companies are not required to tell you what is in their “fragrance” …. 1/3 on store shelves are toxic

  10. Antibacterial Products – my plastic surgeon told me about this one, he said when companies produce an “antibacterial product” it is pure marketing and I shouldn’t use it. They actually encourage the development of drug-resistance to superbugs. Which is why antibiotics are not working like they used to.

  11. Bleach – produces fumes with high toxicity to your throat, eyes, nose, lungs. Their toxic gases can cause serious lung damage (lung cancer among women is surpassing breast cancer... does anyone see the connection here??)

  12. Products that create suds [ shampoo, dish soap, bubble bath, laundry detergent] the chemical that creates these suds that we think we need for cleanliness is incredibly harmful to our bodies and our environment

  13. Throw away the Yankee candles and the Scentsy. #toxic

I wish I had known that all these harsh chemicals can mimic your hormones and they can disrupt your hormones which can trigger diseases like breast cancer.... what I firmly believe happened in my situation.

I would have used the ThinkDirty app more confidently and the Environmental Working Group to guide my decisions.

I wish I would have known about these things earlier, so I could learn what better decisions I should have made.

Lifestyle is so important and I wish someone would have emphasized that to me. That this is truly the only body I get.

I would not have drank so much alcohol, I would not have binge-eaten all that junk food in college (because of too much said alcohol)… I would have not told myself that I “deserved” something that is truly not good for me.

I would not have messed with my hormones with birth control. (I had estrogen fueled cancer).

I wish I knew that cancer cells loved sugar. I would not have eaten so much sugar.

Does it seem odd to anyone that most sickness in our country occurs between the months of October-February… exactly when the holidays are correlate with flu season? #notacoincidence

Sugar breaks down our immune system, so why on earth do we feel this need to supply ourselves and our children with treats when it actually hurts their system?

I would have asked myself, is this really worth it?

I know many say #youonlyliveonce and #livingmybestlife and that is so true, but does that mean we should be destructive to the only body we have?

I wish I would have known about organic food and why that matters.

I wish I had known about pesticides. And how that can wreak havoc on our systems.

I wish I had known about keeping a system that was anti-inflammatory and how having an inflamed body can lead to cancer.

I wish I would have known how harmful conventional milk can be.

And what are we teaching our children when we feed them crap with ingredients we can’t pronounce or lather them with toxic crap that costs $1 from the sparkly, smelly section in Dollar Store? All when their precious bodies are just trying to grow.

And I am one of the most frugal people you’ll meet you guys, but where I invest my money is in the health and wellness of my family. I work in wellness, my passion lies in wellness.

So as we approach the middle of October I wanted to shine a light on a subject I wish I knew more about 20 years ago. If I made better decisions then, maybe I could have prevented my devastating battle with breast cancer.

I am certainly going to do everything in my power to prevent my daughters from this terrible disease and anyone else who will listen.

And this is not to carry a dark cloud over anyone’s day.

It is about knowledge is power and you can take knowledge and then you can become empowered and when you become empowered and tell fear to kick it, then you can truly live. And live healthfully.


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