“So, when will you be done with treatment?”

A friend on Instagram posted this FAQ she gets when talking to friends or family about her natural and alternative treatments she’s doing for her cancer. Her answer was so spot on, I needed to make a post in agreement and add my own two-cents.

“I told my husband, Mike, I don’t typically know what to reply. He said, “The answer is when you don’t have cancer.” Even then there will always be things I do, including IVC therapy (just less often), to keep my body functioning as properly as possible to keep cancer at bay.

So, the short answer is I won’t be “done with treatment” any time soon. My particular cancer journey isn’t a short one, but that’s ok because Mike and I are trying to make lifestyle & treatment choices for my long term health for a longer term life!” — Jenny, @ShrinkTheMutant

And that’s the BIG picture right there. Making lifestyle and treatment choices for long-term health, for a longer-term life. I LOVE that. So much truth in that statement that resonated with my spirit.

It’s not an easy road to choose alternative/natural/holistic therapies for cancer treatment or other illnesses. When doctors stamp an expiration date on your life and tell you it’s their way or you’re dead, fear takes over. Research can be overwhelming. Where do you even start to look? Who do you trust? Is it even worth it? The doctors have the degrees — they must know the best way to treat you, right?

Wrong. YOU alone have the power and responsibility to be your best advocate, and make the BEST decision for your health and wellness.

“After an issue with my blood pressure, and adverse reaction to the medicine my doctor had me on, I tried taking a natural supplement in conjunction with the medicine, and it really helped,” a friend told me the other night. “But when I told my doctor about it, her first reaction was to get angry about my experiment. After she calmed down, she apologized and told me, ‘That’s fine if you choose to take that, but I don’t have time or the energy to research what you’re doing. I don’t want to learn something new at this point in my career.’ My doctor has been with me for over 30 years.”

And that’s the truth; most doctors know what they know from all their years of medical school, and anything else is fiction or requires too much effort to research outside of what they practice.

So when people ask me, “How much longer is your treatment?” I have the same answer as my friend on Instagram. I will be treating my body for healing until the cancer is gone. And after that, I will be taking preventative care of my body for as long as I have breath on this earth.

I am so blessed to have been introduced to an MD who believes in alternative medicine and is willing to walk this long journey with me. And for the holistic practitioners who are teaching me to support all of my body systems, not just fighting cancer. If it weren’t for people in my life who have healed naturally and shared that truth with me, I never would have known this was an option!

I’m proud of myself for listening to that still, small voice inside that insisted there was a better way, even as the oncologist chastised me for questioning the method to the madness. “I’ll be blunt with you,” he had said to me sternly, arms folded across his chest as we sat in the cold, sterile room a few months ago. “We aren’t going to half-ass this. We WILL do the surgery, and we WILL do radiation. It’s the ONLY way to save your life.”

To put that in perspective today, had I gone that route, I would no longer have a tongue.

Surgery would have happened two months ago, my right arm and throat would be slowly recovering from the mutilation of reconstruction, I would be receiving radiation to the head and neck, and I would “probably” be able to eat soft foods, but most likely have a feeding tube. I would not be speaking anymore.

With that “only option” as my motivation, I am 100% committed to healing naturally, and I am committed to be patient with my body as it heals. I don’t need to justify my choices.

Treatment looks like meditation, scripture, and prayer. High dose IVs. Eating healing foods. Taking a rest day. Mushroom tinctures and green tea. Rebounding for lymphatic drainage. Binging on Netflix when I need to shut off my brain in the hotel room. Taking a walk. Not hesitating when given the opportunity to get outside of my everyday routine.

So. How much longer, you ask?

As long as it takes. And I’m okay with that.