My mission is to help women dealing with autoimmunity, cancer, and unfulfilled lives like I was take control of their healing, preserve the integrity of their bodies, and live life on their terms!
Ok, So I Gave Myself Cancer...
Yup, as it turns out, my health has always been in my hands. The way you treat yourself, feed yourself, care for yourself, and the way you engineer your environment all contribute to your state of health or disease. Unfortunately, I wasn't doing a good job of any of these things for many many years and it all eventually caught up to me.
I am sensitive to dairy (gluten too), only I didn't know it until I was 30 when my body started to fall apart and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. What I didn't realize at the time, was that Hashimoto's was actually my second autoimmune condition. I had actually developed Lichen Sclerosus around the age of 8 or 12 (I've had symptoms as long as I can remember), a rare and very nasty condition where the immune system attacks genitalia.
Lichen Sclerosus is not only rare but usually presents in post-menopausal women. So my symptoms were brushed off as bacteria or yeast and I went undiagnosed for 25yrs allowing things to progress into vulvar cancer. I was diagnosed with vulvar cancer (stage 1b infiltrating squamous cell carcinoma, moderately well differentiated of the vulva) in August of 2017. My case was Keratinizing, which means it developed from a tear that wouldn't heal from Lichen Sclerosus.
The standard of care for vulvar cancer that has not yet metastasized is to surgically remove it. Often, the area is also 'sanitized' with radiation therapy and a low dose of chemotherapy is given to aid the radiation therapy.
Unfortunately for me, the cancerous lesion was very close to my clitoris and my gynecological oncologist wanted to remove my clitoris to ensure clean margins. I refused. I was only 37 at the time of my diagnosis and this particular kind of cancer has a recurrence rate of 12-37%. I wasn't going to compromise the integrity of my body on the first round of treatment with such a high recurrence rate.
Turns out squamous cell carcinoma is Warburg-type cancer driven by glucose fermentation and inflammation, which I would later learn and use to my advantage.
So I went ahead and allowed the surgery but refused to allow them to take my clitoris. Thank goodness my surgeon complied with my wishes. As a result, he was unable to get clean margins but did significantly reduce my tumor burden. I was given two options:
- Undergo a second surgery and allow them to take whatever they needed to take in order to remove all of the cancerous tissue.
- Submit to an aggressive round of 35 radiation therapy sessions alongside low-dose chemotherapy.
The side effects of radiation to the lower torso would have included blistering skin, extreme fatigue, and burning diarrhea. Not to mention, I would have fried my reproductive organs and been put through premature menopause. I also could have lost my rectum, burned my intestines together, and damaged my bladder. I would have also lost all elasticity of the vulva and vagina, lost sensitivity and feeling to the area including my clitoris, and totally fried the mucous glands. All of this would have equated to sexual dysfunction for the rest of my life. You bet your ass I refused.
Books on The Metabolic Theory of Cancer
These resources helped me through my diagnosis and treatment decisions.
I Refused Conventional Cancer Treatment...
Instead, I was treated by a naturopathic oncologist and my primary care naturopath who put together a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment protocol.
I worked through each area of my life and changed everything including leaving a very lucrative and high-profile job as VP of Growth & Demand Marketing, where I was shouldering an immense amount of stress, and I opened my own marketing firm. I did a lot of emotional work, learned to manage stress, and worked hard to recover from burnout.
I’m Cancer-Free and in Autoimmune Remission…
I was declared cancer-free in February 2018. Bonus side effects of my healing journey included both of my autoimmune conditions (Hashimoto’s and Lichen Sclerosis) going into remission. My fatty liver and gallstones went away. My hormones balanced, I lost nearly 70 lbs, and a ton of other ailments just disappeared. I’ve been working to maintain and continue to optimize my newfound health ever since!
I’m Paying it Forward and Helping Others…
I learned so much during the process of reclaiming my own health, that I enrolled in formal education to help others. Now I am focused on maintaining my own healing and consulting with and educating others.
I work one-on-one providing customized nutrition and lifestyle interventions and support specialized for oncology and autoimmunity. I provide evidence-based approaches to nutritional care. I focus on bio-individuality and empowerment in my client protocols driven by personalized lab and genetic data.
My Education and Credentials
Degrees: Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy, Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology with a certificate in Ethics, Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
Certifications: Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, and Oncology Nutrition Consultant.
Board Certifications: American Association of Drugless Practitioners and American Association of Wellness Practitioners.
Professional Memberships: National Association of Nutrition Professionals and the Association of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioners.
Disclaimer for Cancer Patients
I don’t consult on cancer treatment as I am not a licensed medical professional. I am a Functional Nutritionist. My services are reserved for folks interested in working with me on nutrition and lifestyle changes to optimize their terrain and undermine cancer by creating a non-cancer-friendly environment alongside your chosen treatment plan. This approach can help mitigate treatment side effects, amplify treatment effectiveness, and protect healthy cells. I do not treat anything specifically and treat everything non-specifically.
You can find the protocol I used for my own treatment here. I do not divulge doses as they were specific to me and my case and are not helpful to others. In my opinion, the best way to address a cancer diagnosis is by doing as much research as you can and building a robust team of both conventional and alternative practitioners.
Here are some additional resources I can offer:
- Therapeutic Ketogenic Diet for Adjunct Cancer Support Facebook Group
- Books on The Metabolic Theory of Cancer
Once you have decided on treatment with your team if you find that you would like to hire a nutritionist to help you with your nutrition and lifestyle to support that treatment, I would be happy to discuss working together.