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  • drkaycierosen

The Full-Circle Breast Cancer Recovery Journey

Next Stop, Who Knows? Aboard The Cancer Bus

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my brain instantly rewired.  

I have been working in the natural health field since 1999, helping women make holistic choices to regain health and stay healthy for the long-term.  So when people ask me about what I chose for my cancer treatment and why I chose it, they tend to be surprised at my answer.

When I chose my treatment, the only thing I could think was “I need to do whatever it takes so I am here for my kids.” So, I listened to my doctors, looked at the data, and chose what made the most sense for me at the time: Surgery, Chemotherapy, and Radiation. It felt like I hopped on the “Cancer Bus”.

And the Cancer Bus served me well. I liked and trusted my doctors, my path was clear, and I had plenty of support along the way as I went from stop to stop.  The road was trying, it was often uncomfortable, and it was certainly exhausting. But, there was clarity and purpose to what I was doing. I brought an acupuncturist and naturopathic doctor on to my team so I could get holistic support while I was going down th bumpy treatment road. When I came out on the other side relatively intact and cancer free, I was overcome with gratitude for my Oncologist, care team, and all the scientists who'd helped get us here. I was given a little “graduation” certificate at my last radiation appointment and sent happily on my way.

Surprisingly, that was when the confusion really kicked in. It was as if the cancer bus pulled over to the curb, opened the door, let me out, and drove away. I had no more appointments, nobody checking to make sure I was ok and the cancer wasn’t back. It felt like the bus had left me in an unfamiliar place, in a body I hardly recognized, with no clear path back to who I had been before.

PLUS – I was exhausted, my body hurt, my sleep stunk, I was having hot flashes and night sweats... I was an anxious wreck! Though I was “healthy”, free of cancer, I was not the version of healthy I remembered and wanted to return to.

discomfort after breast cancer treatment

What If There's A Better Way?

The Full Circle Breast Cancer Recovery Journey.

Though survivorship can feel isolating, you are not alone. 

Once I “hopped off the bus”, I no longer had a friendly team of experts ushering me along a well-worn path.  I realized that it was my turn to look at all my years of working to balance women’s hormone health and digestive function and start building a bridge back to health for myself and my new community of survivors. 

I found that, for women who have had breast cancer, the stress of treatment and the treatment itself profoundly impacts the whole body, but specifically your hormones and digestive health.

Aha!  Now this is an area where I have the experience and tools to facilitate the journey back to not just “health”, but holistic wellness.

My practice, the Golden Naturopathic Clinic LLC, has provided support to Breast Cancer Survivors since 2006.  As a naturopathic endocrinologist, I specialize  in hormone and gut health, two of the most challenging areas for survivors to find full recovery. So I started with what I knew from all my years of practice, and took a deep dive into all of the available studies and scientific research so I could develop a system that would help survivors meet three primary goals:

  1. Minimize side effects from treatment

  2. Heal faster after treatment is over

  3. Prevent cancer recurrence

The result of all these experiences and research is Thriving Survivors, which I created to help you navigate your way back to feeling your best as a survivor.

Breast Cancer Recovery Isn’t A Straight Line, It’s a Full Circle  

Surgery, Chemo, Radiation, and Medication can all be important stops on your path to becoming cancer-free. However, the journey does not end there. 

So, where to next?

I always start with the basics. If we can prioritize our health and our needs first, this lays the foundation for the road to recovery.  The “Four Pillars of Health Transformation” is what I call the essential, easy steps you can take each day to come closer to thriving.  

The Four Pillars Of Health Transformation for Survivors:

  1. Mind - Your brain controls your body’s ability to digest and heal. When your mind relaxes, your body can thrive.

  2. Movement - your body is designed to move! Daily exercise reduces stress and improves healthy hormone production. 

  3. Nutrition - strive for optimal nutrition and balanced blood sugar. This helps minimize inflammation and optimize hormone balance.

  4. Rest - your body can only repair itself and create healthy hormones during rest! 

Each pillar supports the innate healing process your body knows how to do–if only given the time, space, and building blocks.  

This holistic approach is transformative.  While going through cancer treatment is in the hands of competent professionals, this puts us in the driver’s seat of our own recovery.  Each moment and every choice we make to practice self care and to follow the paths that bring us joy and inspiration, the more we can embrace being a Thriving Survivor.  

When you come full circle - with renewed health, happiness, and hope - you become a beacon of vitality for your closest loved ones and others on the path. Your story is an elixir you can share, uplifting others.

Because of this, Thriving Survivors fosters an online breast cancer support group where we can love and uplift one another, ask questions and share experiences. I, Dr. Kaycie, hosts monthly webinars, diving into essential recovery topics like sleep and hormone health. I also bring in experts from my network to discuss their specialties and their applications to the full circle breast cancer recovery journey. The group is for women who are passionate about supporting one another through the challenges of breast cancer recovery.  

Thriving Survivors, Dr. Kaycie Grigel

Off The Bus, Onto The Path Of Full Circle Recovery

So, are you ready to take the first step on your full-circle journey to recover fully, faster, from breast cancer? The Thriving Survivors are here to help. Beyond our community, we also offer online courses that educate women about how to navigate breast cancer treatment: Heal From Surgery, Tolerate and Improve Chemotherapy Efficacy, and Rebuild Health After Treatment. You can check out all our courses on the Breast Cancer Recovery Programs page of this website

At Thriving Survivors, we believe in making the journey full circle. We don’t just lead you off the bumpy bus ride; we walk alongside you, guiding you back to yourself. Through our holistic approach that encompasses Mind, Movement, Nutrition, and Rest, we help you reclaim the life that you put on pause. 

The true journey to recovery isn’t just about treating the disease; it’s about nurturing the person who fought it. It’s about coming full circle to a life where health, happiness, and hope are renewed. From surviving, to thriving - your journey is just beginning.  

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