Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign
Posted on September 29 2018
We at Death Defied have a strong sense of compassion for everyone who pushes the limits and beats the odds in all aspects of life. That being said, Breast Cancer sits high upon that list. We feel so strongly on this topic that we have put together a special campaign to raise awareness and financial support to those who Cheat The Reaper the most. We asked our close friend Courtney to help out with the campaign and being a two time cancer survivor, she agreed to be the face of the Death Defied Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.
We have attached her story, in her words, in which she has taken multiple approaches to fighting this horrific illness, beat it twice, and has suggested the best organization in which we will be donating 100% of the Pink Thread hat sales to.
Here is Courtney’s story:
I was diagnosed the first time with breast cancer at the age of 24. I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I met with my oncologists and they had suggested a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. They pretty much said that doing it this way was the only way it will work. I was scheduled for 4 cycles of chemotherapy every 3 weeks. My first cycle of chemo I ended up getting really sick were I was rushed to the hospital as I had a fever. I ended up staying in the hospital for 10 days. I had little to no white blood cells, I was quarantined for 4 days. Nearly died from the dose of chemo they had given me, and my body was sick and weak. They adjusted the next cycles of chemotherapy.
Chemo was one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with to date! The pain and nausea is absolutely terrible, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was to sick and scared to go through with the radiation so I attempted the hormone therapy pill (tamoxifen) for a month. My body felt like I was still on chemo, so I stopped taking them.
Not even a year and a half later, I was diagnosed again in August of 2016 at the age of 26. They originally thought it was a recurrence, but after testing they found it was a new tumor near the first one. I met with the surgeon and oncologist, where they had told me that I needed to have a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. I agreed to do the mastectomy, radiation and hormone therapy as the chemotherapy nearly killed me the first time.
I had surgery in September, and radiation in February. A week before radiation you have to go for a 3D body scan to make sure they are radiating the correct spot. A day before radiation I had to go for an emergency biopsy near my scar and armpit. They had used the biopsy gun instead of just a needle which caused major nerve damage to the point where I was in severe pain daily trying to get my arm and shoulder into the correct spots. My radiologist had told me to take more pain killers before coming.
I just didn’t want to be taking more painkillers that early in the morning so I had gotten “Phoenix Tears” which helped extremely more than the opiates. Phoenix Tears is a product made from cannabis using the whole plant. It has cannabinoids that help with inflammation, pain and cancer. 16 days of pain. Radiation, pain-wise was horrible. After radiation it was hard for me to keep weight on. Among other stresses through the process.
Aside from the pain, Financial stress is the biggest burden on patients. I am extremely lucky for having such an amazing support system while others are not so fortunate. My first cycle of chemo, my friend had created a GoFundMe account where he raised $10,000 for food, gas, and medications. Without that financial support, I would not have been able to afford life, let alone fighting for it.
The second diagnoses, my amazing coworkers at the Canadian Brewhouse had a fundraiser in my name and we raised nearly $8,000 which helped me tremendously!
I started going to a naturopath oncologist after the second cancer diagnoses as I knew there were better options to treat cancer out there. Unfortunately, alternative therapies are pricey. I was spending $1,400 a month on vitamin C and mistletoe injections alone. I gave up sugar and dairy as those two things feed the cancer. I started taking a 1:1 oil of cbd:thc which helped with inflammation and quality of life. I’ve used cannabis oil my whole second diagnoses, and I truly believe that’s why I am cancer free today. The cannabis has helped me get off all the prescription drugs they had put me on.
Cancer is not a death sentence but a wake up call, the lifestyle I was living was killing me. I have no cancer genes nor any gene mutations. The genealogist assured me it was a complete fluke of getting cancer twice, but I don’t agree. I caused the cancer, my body produces to much estrogen, stress is a huge factor in illness, alcohol is bad for hormonal cancers, working too much, lack of nutrients and lack of sleep. It all adds up. I am extremely grateful to be alive today. I don’t regret anything as it has made me who I am today. Life is a beautiful ride and I am blessed to still be riding.
Thank you to Death Defied for allowing me to tell my story and for having me be part of their amazing campaign. You guys truly are amazing!!
- Court :)