Two times Cancer survivor
and this is my story
How I ended up on the road I'm on now!
On April of 2009, I found a lump in my right breast and another one on my chest during a self-examination. After running a biopsy, I was diagnosed with stage 3B breast cancer, that had metastasized to a few of my lymph nodes. At the same time I started having thyroid problems. Ultrasound revealed a thyroid nodules, and biopsy showed cancerous cells. Shocking right? I couldn't believed it, 2 cancer diagnosis within 2 weeks.
Endocrinologists were pushing for thyroid removal, but knowing that thyroid cancer was the slowest growing cancers, after discussing everything with my oncologist, I decided to focus on my breast cancer first by refusing thyroidectomy at that moment and repeating biopsy in a month.
Follow up thyroid nodule biopsy a month later did not show any sign of a cancer.
That thought me a lesson not to make any rational decisions out of fear, and trusted my gut instinct and saved my thyroid glands.
End of 2009 and 6 month of 2010 I went through mastectomy and reconstructive breast implant, followed by six months of chemotherapy and radiation.
Chemotherapy put me into premature menopause with severe hormonal changes and side effects, like hot flashes that would come every 30 minutes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, weight gain, mood swings, body pain and other symptoms.
From chemotherapy I lost my hair and eyebrows, nails on my toes, and my fingernails turned black. When I would look at my face in the mirror, I wouldn't believe that the person in the mirror was my own reflection.
After my treatment I was put on tamoxifen, and I was on it for almost 6 years.
Somewhere deep inside my conscience, I knew I should stop taking tamoxifen, but fear of cancer coming back was stoping me from doing so.
After my treatment, life sims started going back to normal. I was following a fairly healthy diet. I worked hard 12-14 hours day on running my business, plus being a mommy and wife. Without realizing how much stress I was putting on myself.
In 2015, I started feeling discomfort and cramping in my lower abdomen area. A couple of months laters, I started bleeding again, as if it were a regular menstrual cycle, which I have't had since 2009. I visited my gynecologist, and he ran tests and performed an endometrial biopsy. A few days later he called me saying: "Maya, I'm so sorry... cancer came back with metastasis to the endometrium". It sims world turned upside down, I stood there still, holding the phone to my ear for some 10 minutes, trying to grasp what I just heard. Suddenly, everything went blank. I just felt that I was floating in space in the darkness all by myself. NOW WHAT? I was thinking to myself.
Next couple of weeks was an agony for me. Going through additional testings, asking all this questions, that no one had an answer for me.
Why I got breast cancer. I had no family history?
What could have caused me getting a cancer?
What triggered cancer to grow in my body?
Can diet cause cancer?
Can lifestyle cause cancer?
What should I do different to heal?
How long do I have to live?
How my kids and family will be without me?
Am I going to have more chemotherapy? and many more other questions.
During my visit to see my oncologist to discuss treatment plan, as my doctor was explaining how she will approach my treatment, suddenly I had a strange feeling, more like an instinct. I was listening to my doctor and nodding my head, saying "OK"towpath she was saying, but the voice inside my had was whispering "Maya, don't follow this. Don't listen. Don't this is not going to work. You don't need this. You know what to do".
I had ho idea what to do and where to start from at that moment, but I left doctors office with an incredible feeling of no fear, I left with more of determination and believe.
The next couple of weeks wore all about research, learning and understanding. There were lots of moments with doubts "what if I'm wrong? Where do I start? What should I do?" Question after question was popping into my head every second, and one night I couldn't fall a sleep with all those thoughts, I turned my head to the window and with faith, said "God, guide me to the right path, give me a clue please, I'll take it from there." Moments later I opened my computer and suddenly came across a video with about cancer and natural healing. She was saying, if you don't know where to start, start by eliminating sugar, dairy, gluten and animal products while going through your healing process, starting with green juicing, and smoothies. That is how my healing journey started and that is how my entire life had changed. I remember that day clearly, September 13, 2015.
Truly for me cancer was really a blessing in disguise.
My first cancer experience didn't teach me much. By the second time around, I learned more than I thought I could. I had a complete 180 life experience that was improved for the rest of my life. I consider myself truly blessed for the opportunity to have approached this life changing news with faith rather than fear.
Learning how power of a nutrition and lifestyle modification can heal us and desire of helping people brought me to this path of functional nutrition and holistic coaching world.
I'm extremely grateful for knowledge I gained and was able to change my life and giving a chance to help others.
My credentials :
Graduated nursing school in my home town Baku, Azerbaijan in 1989. My family moved in United state in the beginning 1992. Here I worked in the medical industry as phlebotomist, medical assistant and office manager for 14 years.
Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP)
Certified Holistic Cancer Coach
National Association of Nutrition Professionals (HANP)
National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching ( NBHWC)
Certificate from Functional Nutritional Lab - Full body system
Chestnut school of herbal medicine.