Christine Elliott



How Cancer Changed My Life

My name is Christine Elliott and I am currently 34 years old. In August of 2020, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer (triple positive). I was 31 years old at the time. I underwent 5 months of chemo, 2 surgeries, 1 year of Herceptin, and 21 days of radiation. In addition, I decided to do multiple other naturopathic and integrative therapies. Those included IV vitamin C, Mistletoe, and Hyperthermia treatments among many supplements.

Shortly after my diagnosis my husband and I decided to preserve my embryo’s as I was told Chemo would render me infertile. We managed to secure 2 embryos and to this day I have so much love for those two little possibilities.

At the time, I was absolutely terrified. Stage 3 is not “catching it early” and worst of all there was a spot on my lung directly behind the breast cancer. I spent 5 months in Chemo and during that time we could get a successful test result on the lung nodule. So, instead, I had to wait, wondering and fearing the worst. was it stage 4? Would I make it?

My one saving grace was that I had lots of time to talk with my Naturopathic doctor during that time. She helped me to understand my options and gave me hope. Unlike my doctors who unfortunately just didn’t have the time in their busy schedules.

Once chemotherapy was complete It was time to decide on surgery. I had had an “extraordinary result” during my chemotherapy and the once 7.6 cm tumor was now 1.2 cm. I opted for a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy due to the size. Once that was completed I had to decide what to do about my Lung. I opted to have it surgically removed. The surgery I had was called a “Lower Lobe Resection” and caused me a severe amount of pain. My body reacted to the intrusion unfavorably and I was left with very little ability to catch my breath. That remains to be one of the scariest moments of my life.

A few weeks later I received news about both surgeries. My breast tumor was completely gone and the lung tumor was found to be in fact cancer. I was shocked at that moment as the doctor went on to explain that It was cancer but instead of metastatic breast cancer, it was instead a second, primary lung cancer. I had two cancers at once.

I had been feeling fine and healthy regarding lung health with no concerns at all.

That’s when it hit me… If I hadn’t had breast cancer at the exact same time, on the same side, in the stage that it was in I would have never had the testing necessary to discover it. I would have been getting sicker and sicker from lung cancer and not even knowing it… Breast cancer in essence.. saved my life.

I hung up the phone in a daze. I had been given a second chance at life. There was no evidence of Cancer in my body at that time and with only radiation and medications to complete I was nearly finished with my active treatment.

I vowed at that moment to never take life for granted. To always live life to the absolute fullest and never hold back.

I did just that. Since my active treatment was completed I have begun mentoring women in remission to heal their minds and reclaim their lives, I went on my dream trip, I stopped apologizing for who I was or constantly trying to please people, and I volunteered for many different non-profits and organizations helping to advocate and raise awareness for cancer in my home town and I am still growing today.

I know it is unconventional to say that cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me… and trust me.. it was awful. However, I chose to change my life for the better as a result and I will never look back. I didn’t choose cancer but I did choose who I was going to be after cancer. This changed my life completely.

So, my advice to the reader is this… No matter what happens to you, no matter what trauma you go through. You can always choose who you are going to be afterward. This choice will affect the rest of your life. What will you choose?