"I'm often asked, 'How do you get through the chemotherapy?’ My answer: with the guidance and support of my naturopathic doctor.”
In 2012, Becky had never heard of naturopathic medicine or its effectiveness for patients. But it was during that year her entire world flipped upside down, introducing her to the power of naturopathy.
After what she assumed were “a few stomach pains and possibly menstrual cramps” turned into a trip to the emergency room, doctors diagnosed her with a rare cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), which was found in her small intestines.
“The first surgeon I saw told me that I basically was not going to make it through this,” Becky said. “[The surgeon said] it was very rare, and not many physicians or surgeons know much about GIST.”
At the hospital, Becky was assigned an oncologist who was not of her choice. The cancer was removed, and she was sent home ten days later to deal with the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis.
“I have a wonderful, supportive husband and three beautiful daughters who were only 7, 9 and 11 years old when they were told their mommy had cancer,” Becky said. “The surgeon told me it would take about eight months to get back to normal … [I’m] pretty sure there is no ‘normal’ after cancer.”
Only a week after she returned home, a co-worker of Becky’s husband recommended they try a naturopathic doctor, as he had heard about many successes related to naturopathy and its approach to cancer. Despite her doubts about natural medicine and its effectiveness, Becky decided to set up an appointment.
After her first visit with an ND, Becky was surprised by the amount of time the doctor spent asking her questions and addressing any concerns. It took some time for her to open up, Becky admitted; she had grown accustomed to the 15-minute visits with her primary care doctors, who often left her with many unanswered questions.
“The chemotherapy hit my body hard, and I was left with severe side effects from the first chemotherapy drug,” Becky said. “My oncologist at the time took me off of the chemo pill—which left me afraid of the cancer returning—and put me on antibiotics that made the problem worse … My ND found a treatment through naturopathic medicine that helped my whole body and allowed me to battle through.”
Becky explained that her naturopathic doctor has always and continues to make sure she is taken care of, and also follows up with her to make sure protocols are working, then adjusts and researches until they find one that works.
“I believe in the team effort, and I continue to see my team of doctors that include my oncologist, primary care doctor, surgeon, and the team MVP: my naturopathic doctor,” Becky said. “I often get asked, ‘How do you do it, and how do you get through the crap that you have to deal with during chemotherapy?’ My answer: I have been fighting it with the guidance and support of my naturopathic doctor and naturopathic medicine, along with the tools and education that I have been introduced to along the way.”
Becky added: “I am always pleased to refer my ND and the college [SCNM] to friends and family. Cancer is a hard and terrifying diagnosis to be given, but it has changed my life and my family members’ lives forever, and it introduced us to much healthier and happier lifestyles.”