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What to Do When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn

What happens when life takes an unexpected turn?

Please read on to learn how one patient grappled with the news of her breast cancer diagnosis.

Melissa’s note:

“We were sitting around the fire at our family cabin reminiscing about the days when the kids were little and how they would toddle around too close to the fire with their marshmallow sticks. I was particularly watching my daughter as she held her newborn snuggled up in blankets. I glanced up at the sky and looked to the stars, just like I did when I was holding her. I had dreams about these days when she was little. I had dreams about her family coming here with us and watching my grandchildren explore the woods looking for fairy houses and frogs.

Earlier we went on a hike up the mountain. I wasn’t present at all. My mind has been spinning lately; so foggy. I was feeling a tightness in my chest almost like my heart would burst in two and I was focused on what that was all about. I have been so stressed out and lost in my thoughts. I completely forgot to notice my surroundings. I knew that John and the kids were up ahead and they always waited for me just past the fork in the road. But now I couldn’t be sure if I went left or right. Never have I ever taken the wrong path. But I found myself alone in the woods immersed in unfamiliar territory.

I lost it. I sat down amongst the ferns and decay on the forest floor and cried. Then I looked up at the towering trees and marveled at my relative insignificance. I thought to myself I matter. It would matter if I was gone. I did not think this was how things were going to go. What if I never saw them again? What if I lost them forever?

Shortly after my ugly cry, John wandered up the path and looked at me. “Make a wrong turn?” he said, “You’ve not been yourself lately.” I shrugged it off as a twisted ankle and my head in the clouds. He was skeptical. He knows me so well.

It’s all happened so fast. One minute I was well and the next minute my doctor is suggesting I find an oncologist. I cycle through my feelings. Grief seems to be the most prevalent. I should have listened more to my body. I dismissed the pain in my breast by blaming it on my morning runs. Maybe if I drank more water or had not missed my mammogram during the pandemic…maybe things would have been different.

There is no woman who isn’t surprised by their cancer diagnosis.

I just didn’t know how to tell my family.”

Has your breast cancer diagnosis left you reeling?

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can leave one feeling like life has gone off the rails. There is so much to contemplate and the treatment options can be overwhelming to navigate. The good news is that a naturopathic doctor specializing in oncology is the person who will help do just that – navigate options from a conventional perspective and also from a naturopathic perspective.

One of the primary goals of a naturopathic doctor is to help get the body back in balance. The truth is a breast cancer diagnosis requires an integrative treatment plan to be successful. One needs both conventional medicine and naturopathic wisdom to beat cancer.

As a naturopathic oncologist I am trained to safely manage complementary and alternative therapies for cancer patients undergoing conventional cancer treatments. I provide complementary medicine consultations regarding whole foods nutrition, botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, and lifestyle modifications to attain optimum health during cancer treatment and after.

If you have questions about integrative solutions for your health care needs, please contact Dr. Laura James ND, FABNO. If you live or work in the Bellingham, Washington, area and would like to learn more about a naturopathic approach to your health and well being, please call 360-738-3230 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.


July 30, 2022

Dr.Laura is the BEST. She is a life saver! Her work is stellar, exceptional, and completely deals withe the whole person. Her integrative approach is comprehensive. Dr. Laura is very well known and highly respected by physicians, health care professional as well as patients.

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