- My Story
- Rogue Keto
Look into my resume and get to know me
I was born with a dairy allergy (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 12 (that’s the earliest I remember symptoms), a rare and very nasty autoimmune condition that affects the skin of the vulva.
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 a 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.
Without clean margins, I was given two choices:
1. Undergo a second surgery and allow them to take whatever they needed to take in order to remove all of the cancerous tissue.
2. An aggressive round of 35 radiation therapy sessions with 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 could have lost of 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.
Instead, I treated with a naturopathic oncologist and my primary care naturopath. I used a therapeutic ketogenic diet (I got to eat a lot of keto ice cream), high-dose IV vitamin C therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and supplementation. I also changed my entire life 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 went out on my own as a marketing consultant. I also did a lot of emotional work, learned to manage stress, and worked hard to recover from burnout.
I was declared cancer-free in February of 2018. Both of my autoimmune conditions (Hashimoto’s and Lichen Sclerosis) went into remission and I lost nearly 70lbs as a result of my healing journey. I’ve been working to maintain my new found health ever since!
I’m focused on making the transition from focusing on my own healing to educating others. I’m sharing my story and earning my Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner credentials at the Nutrition Therapy Institute.