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By Sari Huhtala

Maria Lavoie’s eyes smile as she shares some of her newfound knowledge from a health documentary she recently watched. Given a megaphone she likely would land herself on a street corner spreading news about natural health. It is almost immediately evident she is crazy about health. But who can blame her? Doctors warned if she didn’t go through with the radiation and recommended course of treatments in all likelihood her breast cancer would return within a year. Two years later, she is still breast cancer free and living life to its fullest.

“I feel, at 50, the best I’ve ever felt in my life because I literally detoxified my body and have an incredible amount of energy and feel amazing. Thank you cancer,” says Lavoie, a Greater Sudbury resident and business owner.

It was in March 2015 that a biopsy confirmed the lump Lavoie had discovered on her breast was in fact breast cancer.

“The reason I got cancer was from six or seven years of intense stressful events in my life that were not managed well,” Lavoie explains. “I knew I was under stress, but you don’t think you’re going to get cancer. I felt like I was in pretty decent shape, exercising and eating healthy, but I did have a sweet tooth and ate quite a bit of sugar. It didn’t even occur to me that the stress would lead to cancer.

”That diagnosis immediately propelled her into action. Scheduled for a lumpectomy two weeks after the diagnosis, Lavoie wasted no time before she buried herself in research on the disease. Until the lumpectomy results came through she would not know if the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

“I basically stopped life to focus on what cancer was and how to heal,” Lavoie says. “I wanted to educate myself. What is cancer? What does this mean? I would literally read from morning till night to educate myself.”

She watched documentaries like The Truth About Cancer to get a clear idea of all the alternative solutions available to her, and to get a better understanding of the medical system and its protocols for cancer.

“(The doctor and health care providers) scared the crap out of me when I first got the diagnosis, but in that two weeks I educated myself to the point that I realized I had a lot of options.”

A cancer diagnosis can either paralyze one with fear or motivate one into action. For Lavoie, that diagnosis was all the motivation she needed to completely overhaul her lifestyle. By the time she went in for her lumpectomy appointment she had completely cut out sugar from her diet, started on a raw, vegan diet, along with daily juicing as part of her detox plan, and researched all of the possible ways to get her immune system back to health.

“It took me a few days to give up sugar, but I knew from all of the research out there that sugar grows cancer cells, so this was one of the first things I had to do,” Lavoie says. “I knew I had to build my immune system back up. The reason I had cancer is because my immune system was shot.”

She embarked on a ritual of daily visualization, in the mind’s eye celebrating news that the cancer didn’t spread, “I also did mindful breathing and visualized that when I was inhaling angels were coming to the tumour and with the exhalation they were taking the tumour away. I believe the mind is very powerful.”

The lumpectomy results showed the cancer had not spread, yet it was recommended to her that she undergo 25 radiation sessions – five days a week for five weeks as a preventative measure, and that she continue the prevention with Tamoxifen, a medication that blocks the actions of estrogen.

“I realized the medical system is basically an assembly line. I already knew ahead of time that after the lumpectomy that they were going to want to do radiation and give me Tamoxifen. If it weren’t an assembly line, then how did I know how many radiation sessions the doctor was going to want me to do, and that they would want me to take Tamoxifen? This is the protocol for everybody.”

“I met with the surgeon and was told that I only had a certain window to do radiation and that if I didn’t have it then there’s about a 70 per cent chance the cancer will come back in the first year.”

“I looked at all the side effects of the radiation and the Tamoxifen, and you know what, I’m not even that smart, but to me it seems pretty simple when you analyze all of this because you cannot get cancer if your immune system is healthy. If you’re just doing conventional cancer treatments you are not fixing the problem. If my cancer comes back it’s not because I didn’t get radiation, it’s because I was not continuing a healthy lifestyle.”

She realized through this journey how little attention the medical system places on having a healthy body when healing with cancer, Lavoie says. The culture around cancer “fascinates her,” she says.

“I’ve had people, when I’ve told them I have cancer, say to me “How come you have your hair? Then when I tell people I didn’t have radiation they look at me like “Oh my God, she’s going to die.”

But this healthy lifestyle path is “forever,” Lavoie says. “You can’t just fix your immune system and then go back to your old ways and think you’re going to be fine.”

Along with regular vitamin C IV treatments through a naturopath, she started taking Essaic™ tea. The natural herbal formula was discovered by Rene Caisse, considered Canada’s cancer nurse, in the 1920s. For the history on Essaic™tea and how Caisse helped people many heal with cancer visit www.essiacinfo.org.

Beta-glucon, an immune modulator that makes the immune system smarter, Lavoie continues to this day, along with other natural supplements, juicing and conscious eating. She’s introduced sugar back into her diet, but no refined sugars – only natural sources like coconut sugar and dates. Infrared sauna sessions are also part of her regular detox routine.

She eliminated anything stressful from her life. That also meant detaching herself from toxic people, and recognizing if a work project was causing stress it was time to cut ties.

“You basically have to get rid of the garbage out of your life. You have to take care of yourself first.”

She takes no pharmaceuticals and hasn’t visited a doctor since the lumpectomy. She visits a naturopath every three months for a check up. Thermography imaging shows there is no breast cancer, she says.

“Here I am two years without cancer, but the whole medical community basically said I need to do the conventional treatment or the cancer would likely return within one year. I’m cancer free and I didn’t follow the conventional treatment, so why don’t I have cancer?’

She started a website crazyabouthealth.com just to let people know they have options for cancer healing.