Today marks exactly two years since I had my surgery for my bowel CANCER…. (be warned it’s a long post…ooops sorry)

So in August 2102 I endured a 9 hour surgery for a very aggressive Stage 3 bowel tumour with metastasis to my small intestine, abdominal muscle, right ovary and 14 lymph nodes.

Following surgery I spent the next few weeks trying to sort out my feelings about it on one side, and surfing the web for possible alternative treatments on the other. I had been given a 16% chance of survival if I did not do the recommended Radiation and Chemotherapy treatment and a 50% chance of survival if I did do the treatment, which would supposedly buy myself some time

One thing was in fact crystal clear to me since day one. I wouldn’t allow anybody to poison me in order to ”kill” my cancer, possibly killing me as a delayed “side effect”. I don’t have a bad relationship with death, we just don’t know how and when. “When” never concerned me much. I had already watched my father go through chemotherapy from Bowel Cancer, when his cancer came back my father took his own life before the sickness from conventional treatments took him.

I’d rather live a short, healthy and fulfilling life than a long, mediocre one. That’s why I never spared myself, diving head first with passion in embracing this cancer as an opportunity for me to change the way I was doing things in my life.

It made perfect sense to me to actually try and heal my body instead of using the recommended toxic chemo drugs. I respect the courage of everyone’s choice though if they do decide to do the treatments.

People think I was brave to cross the border and receive alternative medicine to save my life and yet I think people who do chemo are brave. I realise many choices are made quickly because there is a sense of urgency instilled by the oncologist for us to act quickly.
We may save ourselves more harm if we take some time to research healthy alternatives. We are part of our success, and deep down I knew I could do this my way, and I wanted to choose what was best for my body.

My health history wasn’t to flash prior to this diagnosis, I had already been through 3 surgeries to my belly. Faced with the reality that I couldn’t have children from the internal chaos created from a hospital bug following emergency surgery while I was travelling in Australia. My internal & external scars had already manifested to a very real outcome that I had to face.

I did not expect that after all the mental and emotional exhaustion that had come with my journey so far that I would be then faced with a Cancer Diagnosis. I was tired from surgeries and had developed chronic fatigued. The journey was rough at times, I can still smell the anesthesia and feel all the IV needle pricks and of course I felt the pain in my emotional body.

You go through shock at first. It’s a choice to adjust and love yourself regardless and believe that you will be loved again scars and all. We’ve all got something that doesn’t fit in our scope of the perfect body. I think our soul can become more beautiful as more scars collect on the outside. If people worked out their souls as much as they worked out their bodies, this world would be a better place to live in.

At the time of my diagnosis. I had made another big decision. I didn’t intend to allow cancer to rule my life. I never pitied myself, once I had reached that place of acceptance, I wasn’t going to allow others to do so. I felt so positive and inspired to find a new way forward through this process.

After living through this, I tell my story to as many people as will listen as I believe that I made it through all of this for a reason. It may sound a little weird but I chose to thank my cancer for coming and saw it has a blessing in many ways. I want to be an inspiration to others. I want just one person to make a decision to see a doctor after hearing me, or maybe I can help someone live through a cancer diagnosis. If I can help someone make a decision on his or her journey in this crazy world or if someone can look at me and think, wow, look at what she went through, look at what she was told, but she is still here, so I can do it too, then it was worth it. You don’t have to listen to the odds and the statistics. Cancer is a label, a phrase, not a way of life or a death sentence. Just look at me! I am living my truth and I love every minute of helping others to live theirs too.

Whenever someone asks me about my health and how I’m feeling I say, “I’m awesome, I feel so good!” because the majority of the time I am and I do. I still struggle with an underlying level of fatigue but I live a very full, happy and healthy life – despite having cancer cells in my body.

So What did I do?

  • Ozone Therapy – I had IV Ozone treatments in a clinic in Auckland by Dr Wayne McCarthy, after 8 treatments I bought my own home treatment machine which I still continue to use every week as part of my healing process. Ozone therapy is an incredible rejuvenator, normalizer, detoxifier, regenerator, immune enhancer and physical and mental energiser. You read more about Ozone here…
  • I changed my diet – eliminating sugar from all forms. Iv’e learnt that most forms of sugar including (dried fruit, honey etc) play merry hell in my gut. I limit my fruit intake to berries and the low GI fruits.
  • I eliminated wheat from all forms and I hardly eat any grains but if I do I stick to the Gluten free options of Quinoa, Buckwheat or Rice.
  • I greatly increased my vegetable and good fat intake. I still make vegetables juices as part of my weekly routine, I juice wheat grass (wonderful for your energy) and green smoothies.
  • I make bone broth every week. I include it in my slow-cooked casseroles, stir fries and bowls of soup. I try to get this into my diet everyday if I can.
  • I have added fermented foods into my diet. (Coconut Water Kefir, Sauerkraut) for the good bacteria which my gut needs
  • I still eat red meat, but I did stop eating it when I was initially diagnosed, but as I listen to my body I feel my body functions better with small amounts. I do my best to find free range/organic animal meats & buy the casserole cuts to slow cook most meats. I buy organic chicken and eat fresh fish a couple of times a week.
  • I took control of my own destination, without giving my power away to the oncologists and doctors and made decisions that really sat right for me
  • Followed my intuition and allowed myself to be guided by my own inner voice
  • Use herbs and supplements – BioHawk Turmeric/Ginger/Galangal root powder – I treat my food with this wonderful supplement and treat myself after meals. My Herbalist/Naturopath creates a herbal tonic for my needs which change all the time but this includes herbs for stress, hormones & liver support & my immune system etc These can vary from Astragalus, Withanea, Milk Thistle, Rehmania, Liquorice, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Skull cap, Zizyphus etc
  • I take a natural organic source of minerals, trace elements, vitamins & amino acids and also include extra Selenium, Iodine, Vitamin D, Digestive enzymes, probiotics, Omega 3 Oils
  • I have energy medicine treatments – Accupuncture & Shiatzu Massage, Reiki & PEMF
  • Released my suppressed emotions (a work in progress) – worked with a EFT practitioner
  • Increased positive emotions
  • Embraced social support
  • Deepened my spiritual connection through meditation and mindfulness
  • Started to follow my life’s purpose “I now love what I do” – I work with other people diagnosed with cancer who need support on this journey of healing.

I believe within my entire being that food and the simplest lifestyle changes can be your medicine, and you were born to be well. All we need to do is create the right environment for your body to heal, thrive and feel alive.

Meet Justine

I’m Justine Laidlaw – Colon Cancer Survivor, Integrative Cancer Coach, Life Coach, Dr. Kelly Turners RADICAL REMISSION workshop facilitator and Thermography Breast Screening technician (Godfrey Integrative Medical Clinic) based in the beautiful Bay of Plenty town of Tauranga in New Zealand. Read More

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