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what i did to survive breast cancer

July 27, 2012
by Rhonda

I’m back

And I am fine.   Thank you to those who inquired after my health.  I promise to update if my current good condition changes.

I flew from Toronto to Paris and back.  The flight was 7 1/2 hours.    Before I left I needed to deal with the lymphedema warning I got after surgery.  Thank you to all the people who gave me their advice and told me their experiences!

My oncologist and family doctor  finally got back to me hours before I left.  The oncolgist said not to wear a sleeve, and my doctor said to wear one.   So I chose not to.  I took off my ring, and kept an eye on my hand, elbow and arm.  I also tried to raise my arm during the flights, as inconspicuously as possible.  I had no swelling, and weeks later my arm is fine.


Visiting Edith, who I haven't seen in 30 years.

Lunch with my daughter in Paris

I wish you all the best in your tough journey and that your future is full of good dreams that you never even knew you had.

March 26, 2012
by Rhonda

What should I do? Lymphedema and Air Travel

I need your advice, opinion and experience.

Seven years since I had all my lymph nodes removed.  I was told at the time that I would eventually get lymphedema.   Not a question of “if”, but a question of “when”.

I haven’t had any signs of it so far… (despite a stupid and horrible accident where I burned my arm in two places, plus a few cuts, bruises and insect bites.)

Ok, now for the big test.  I am taking a 5 hour overseas flight.  Conventional wisdom says cabin pressure changes  can/will cause lymphedema in women who have had lymph nodes removed.

My Questions:

Do you think I should wear a compression garment on the plane?

Or maybe just bring one, and if my arm feels wierd, put it on?  Or will that be too late?

Any other advice?

Thanks you for your help!


February 20, 2012
by Rhonda

Dandelions as Cancer Treatment

Dandelion tea is being studied in Windsor, Canada as a possible remedy for cancer.  A patient got better, who wasn’t supposed to, and he atributed his success to dandelion tea.  A private donor gave money to his oncologist to do further studies. Effective way to treat acne from the first time – take Accutane Online.  The test group will be about 24 patients.  Money and expertise going towards natural and simple therapies is the real news story here.

Dandelions cleanse the liver and has some chemicals  that encourage cell death to cancer cells, but do not harm good cells, the roots contain 40 naturally occurring chemicals.  Dandelion are rich in vitamins and minerals.



Dandelions (Taraxacum)  are found worldwide.  They are edible and medicinal. The leaves are common in salad, steamed or stir fried,  the roots can be made into a coffee substitute, and the leaves and flowers can be made into tea.

Susanna Moodie  writes about this in “Roughing it in the Bush” in 1852, a book that has inspired me since I was a kid.


Dandelions grow everywhere.  In north america people use large amounts of herbicides to destroy dandelions.  If you are going to harvest the plant make sure you find a garden, or field where no chemicals have been used for many years.  Please watch out for people who lie about using herbacides, I know at least three people who say that they don’t, but do.


The spring is a better time to harvest the leaves.  I add a few tender ones to salad.  You can add a few leaves to soup stock.  The dandelions that grow in well toiled and fertilized soil often have the most tender leaves.


The fall is the best time to harvest the roots for coffee.  They can get quite thick…about the size of your thumb.  It is quite a bit of work to harvest enough to make dandelion coffee.  Dry them, cut them the sizes of coffee beans, roast them, and then grind them.  Boil the grinds to make coffee.  I like the flavour.  One night I drank two cups, and I have to saw I had extremely weird dreams.  I’m just telling you the truth. You can buy the roots already dried and roasted…but they call it tea.


Use the leaves to make tea.  You can use fresh or dried.  You can even throw in a couple flowers. Or buy it…it’s still winter here!


January 27, 2012
by Rhonda

Does The Pink Campaign Suck?

Now that there is so much money in breast cancer donations, what motivation is there to find a cure or prevent it?

Ever wonder why there is no cure by now?
Why are more and more women are getting breast cancer?

The goal of the pink ribbon and campaign and foundations like the  Cancer Society is to make money. The fundraisers make high salaries. Yes they make donations with the money you give them, but most of these donations goes to pharmaceutic companies. I believe cancer can be prevented, and can be controlled, but not necessarily by new and more drugs.  Causes of cancer, and alternative approaches  are areas that need more research.  This may entail lifestyle changes and there is little money in that.

Many women fighting breast cancer don’t like being pigeon-holed, feminized, or stereotyped by the pink ribbon campaign.
Before you “run for the cure” or buy something pink, consider lending a hand, and/or an ear to women, and their families that need help, and may not ask for anything. People are kind and generous. Don’t let these qualities be instituionalized.

A film about the pink ribbon campaign will be released next month called Pink Ribbons, Inc.

The website thinkbeforeyoupink.org claims to be the only breast cancer foundation that does not accept funding from big pharms, and their prime objective is to monitor the pink campaign.

There are two books that examine the pink ribbon campaign and the concept of the “dream cause”:

October 24, 2011
by Rhonda

Top Thirteen Health Myths

These common “Healthy Lifestyle’ untruths can make you very sick.

  1. Sunshine is bad
  2. Fat is bad
  3. Meat is bad
  4. Salt is bad
  5. Eggs are bad
  6. Butter is bad
  7. Raw milk is bad
  8. Wine is bad
  9. Marijuana is bad
  10. Chocolate is bad
  11. Whole grains and bread are good
  12. Skim milk is good
  13. Soy is good

September 20, 2011
by Rhonda

Wheat Belly

Cardiologist, William Davis,  observed his patients get better when they stopped eating wheat.   Davis explains  in Wheat Belly how wheat has been rudely manipulated and changed over the years, how wheat causes surges in blood sugar levels, making you tired and hungry, how it causes disease, aging,  high pH, celiac diseare, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and weight gain. If you are fighting cancer you don’t have room in your diet for wheat products.

This trend towards omitting wheat is not news to some. Other authors have approached this subject in compelling ways, such as Sally Falon in  Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition , and Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, and Mark Sisson,The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss.


June 24, 2011
by Rhonda

Un Grande Courage

Fanny Burney 's account of her mastectomy.  Copyright 2011 Rhonda Abrams

1811 Mastectomy

In 1811, Frances Burney undergoes a mastectomy in France.  Her experience is recorded in a letter to her sister.

Although a bit gruesome and heart wrenching, her courage and her ability to withstand the pain is inspiring.  With only a glass of wine to calm her, she is conscious through the whole three hour operation, except for a few moments of fainting.

She lives another 29 years.









June 20, 2011
by Rhonda

More Proof : Low Carb – less Cancer

Another study shows that a low carb diet reduces cancer risk.

Why?  The  cancer feeds on sugar and sugar weakens your imumme system.

If you are fighting cancer, or just want to avoid it, one of the most important things you can do is quit grains (bread and cereals) and reduce sugar.