My Journey to Natural Health as a Cancer Survivor
by Danna M. Kinsella 1/11/2018
“One day, you will go through a very difficult time in your life, which will include losing a child at birth and then immediately following, a bone marrow transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”
Does anyone grow up expecting this?? Of course not. I certainly didn’t. But this was the road I found myself on beginning in May of 2003.
Growing up as an active child who ran around outside almost every day, played at the park with her sister and dad, and was involved in basketball, track, and cross-country running in high school, I considered myself very healthy. I was never sick (besides having chicken pox and the occasional cold) and rarely missed a day of school from elementary all the way up through 12th grade. I got lots of sleep each night and always had energy. I don’t remember having to go to doctor appointments, except for the yearly physical exam needed for permission to play sports.
“So, how would someone like you all of a sudden, at 24 years old, find themselves at the brink of death, with barely enough white blood cells in your body to survive, fighting leukemia?”. I’m really glad you asked. Do I know the exact reason why or how this happened? No. But, I do believe there were some things that possibly led to this sickness. And that is one of the main reasons I am writing this now. I want to help as many others as I can. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Precaution is better than a cure.”.
I believe that we can ALL prevent disease by focusing on our nutrition and avoiding toxic chemicals found in today’s “food”, skin care, “health” care products, cosmetics, and the things we allow in our homes.
Does this mean that we will never experience sickness if we do these things? Maybe. Maybe not. We live in a fallen world where tough times come upon us even when we don’t understand or expect it. BUT, I believe by learning and being willing to change habits, as I did, you can severely lower your chances.
Soon after coming home from a three-month stay in the hospital, I started learning more about the food I was eating and what to eat instead.
This began a new journey for me that still continues today- 14 ½ years later. A friend gave me a natural foods cookbook. At first, I thought it was weird, honestly. I didn’t really feel like giving up the sugary cereal I ate in the mornings and triple chocolate ice cream I liked to have at night. I also started learning about the toxic chemicals that are found in SO many household cleaners, air “fresheners”, body products, and make up. Yikes! I was a bit overwhelmed at first! But, one thing I knew… I did NOT to want to be sick again. I wanted to go on to live the healthiest life I could possibly live. So, I started changing my habits, changing my grocery list, changing what I put on my body, and changing what I cleaned my house with.
Back in 2003, most people thought it was a bit strange to live like this. Organic supermarkets and natural alternatives weren’t very popular in the United States yet.
Over the last 14 ½ years I have learned more and more, and I am so thankful that these alternatives have become much more common. People are being educated and realizing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, even if cancer has not been a road they, thankfully, had to walk down. I have learned to avoid processed foods, toxic preservatives, processed sugars (and even too many natural sugar and fruit), soy, hormones, antibiotics, and dyes in my food. I realized many years ago that sugar severely suppresses the immune system, which can lead to sickness and disease, including cancer. I have also chosen to avoid dairy and wheat because of how I feel (bloated, fatigued, and foggy-brained) when I eat them.
I truly believe that switching my health and beauty products was an equally important decision, considering the fact that what we put on our skin, and even what we breathe in, immediately goes into the bloodstream, affecting every cell in the body.
As a leukemia survivor (cancer of the blood), you can imagine how I felt once I learned about this. I decided to switch my variety of low-priced, low-quality, yet high-toxin brands to Arbonne, a brand that follows European guidelines (which are much more strict, banning over 1500 chemicals in their food and personal care) and used botanically-based formulas instead. I have since become an Independent Consultant for Arbonne because of my strong belief in using pure and safe products.
I love helping others learn more and take proactive steps to creating a healthier lifestyle. I love seeing lives transformed. I want to make myself available to all those God places in my path, as I know He is using all the hardships I went through for good and to be a blessing to many.
Thank you Danna for sharing this. Just to clarify to readers, Danna wrote this, I inserted the pictures. If you would like to contact Danna about Arbonne, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and her site here.
Next week I will be sharing more details about Danna’s statement on the effects of the toxic chemicals in so many of our skin and hygiene products.
May you have a blessed week!