My Story

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I am a stage 4 rectal cancer survivor (cancer free since June 2011), writer, motivational speaker, healthy food advocate/activist, vegan, practicing Buddhist, ostomate, and well-being coach.

I did a great deal of research to find out why I got cancer and then how to get well while I was recovering from my illness. In a nutshell — I am positive that I got cancer from eating processed foods that are loaded with chemicals and genetically modified  ingredients. I chose to get conventional treatment to fight my cancer, but included alternative treatments as well. I stopped eating all processed foods. I became vegan literally overnight. I juiced. I drank green smoothies. I took supplements and drank Noni juice daily. I still do all of the above and I am cancer free and feel great!

That being said I still face some challenges. I have a permanent colostomy bag. I use a walker to get around because of neuropathy and balance issues caused by cancer treatment. I am living a “new” normal.

So what’s this blog about?  It’s about life after cancer, living with a colostomy bag and walker, my vegan lifestyle; dipped in occasional political discourse.

Its about my journey back to wellness. I share with you what helped me get back to good health and stay that way.

Its my hope to inspire others to live life to their fullest. A Stage 4 diagnosis is only a number and not a death sentence. I am living proof.

*  Anything I post here are only suggestions, and things I do to keep myself cancer-free, so if it doesn’t resonate with you — skip it.

You can read more of my story at the American Cancer Society’s website

This video includes 2 out takes (I have no idea how they made it into the final cut…oh, well! Enjoy!)



48 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Thank you for your sharing your blog spot. I enjoyed reading your successful recovery story which serves as an inspiration and encouragement to others with similar predicament. I pray for your continued good health and well being…Namaste!

    • Thanks for your kind words. My purpose is to help others and pay-it-forward. So many beautiful souls helped make my world better when I was going through treatment and continue to do so. :)

      • I love your story! Would love to share with you my book on Buddhism…very similar style to Brad Warner (also my favorite author!!!). The title of my book is Be Your Sh*tty Self: An Honest Approach to a More Peaceful Life. Would love to send you a PDF for your viewing!

      • Hello Mark! I checked out your website and it looks interesting. I like the title too. Yes, you can send me your PDF if you like. Do you want me to review it on my blog? Namaste!

      • That would be amazing! Thank you so much. Happy reading. I hope this book brings you peace and joy…and of course laughter!

      • I hope all is well! I just wanted to follow up with you. Did you receive my book in PDF form? I hope you are enjoying the read! Let me know when you post about it so I can promote your blog! Thanks. Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hey there! I’m so sorry that you had to go through dealing with cancer – how awful! I must say that you look like you’re living life to the fullest now. You really look great and happy. Anyway, I’m excited to find your blog because I’m a fellow vegan. I’m also interested in Buddhism. I don’t consider myself a Buddhist, but I’ve read a lot about Buddhism and find it very inspirational. Right now I’m trying hard to develop a daily meditation practice. I’m going to follow your blog and I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you better.

    • Hello Celeste! Welcome! I won’t lie, going through cancer treatments sucked but I made it and I am a stronger person for it. I won’t say it was a “gift” either, because I can do without gifts like that, BUT it woke me up and I don’t walk around around on ‘auto-pilot’ as much and for that I am grateful. What’s that saying? “Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.” — Reading and practising Buddhist philosophy has definitely helped me stay on track as well.

  3. Hi Inge! Lisa here, (“Goodbye Dancer, Hello Cancer”) thank you for dropping by my blog. I am absolutely loving your site & all the different aspects you have to check-out! I couldn’t help but smile when you mentioned Oprah’s “a-ha” moment – that’s what I call mine too; great minds must think alike. ;) I was able to return to dance after my 1st surgery & during my 2nd chemo regimen, but unfortunately had to take another hiatus after my recurrence. Like you, chemo wrecked havoc on my body so I’m still recovering & discovering what this “new normal” life entails. I definitely can’t complain though, I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t just get a second, but also a third shot in this crazy world. As five of my favorite guys say…keep hangin’ tough! <3

  4. great to hear your voice. and its very encouraging to know there are stage IV people living fully, gracefully and deliberately.

    my wake up call was after my son’s death 11 years ago. that was when I made major changes in my life – began to challenge myself as an artist and as a soul.

    my breast cancer diagnosis was a chance to test my strength especially my outer image. I needed to let so much go and focus on the inner flow of energy.

    looking back at everything – It makes sense, in an odd sort of way. the challenges gave me great insight and I gained spiritual/soul growth that I would have other wise missed out on.

    my new diagnosis – “wrecked-tail” cancer along with a possible diagnosis of lung cancer is still unveiling itself.

    today’s goal….be present, live fully in the now….

  5. I opened this earlier but couldnt get to reading it straight away but knew I had to read so kept it open and am happy I did. You are truly beautiful and I agree with celestedimilla that you look like life itself. All the best and congrats for your courage:) x

    • Dear Len Li, with all due respect, I already answered this question. First of all, I do not read Chinese, so I have no idea what the article says. Secondly, did you look at my picture on this blog? Does the woman in the video look like me? Even a little bit? Is my name used in the caption of this video? If it is, the person editing the video has made a mistake. As for being attacked by the pro-GMO scientists, I expect they will take the side of the corporations who pay them to agree with them.

      I am guessing you do not live in the United States or you wouldn’t have access to this blog. That being said, China has a lot more problems than just GMOs. What about all that air pollution in Beijing? I mean seriously. The government has a big screen video showing the sun setting because the pollution is so bad, the real sunset cannot be seen! And what about the censorship? How about the lead in toys and other things. The labor camps. The government ripping off farmers by stealing their land to get them to move to the city (to do slave labor in?). This is not meant to insult you, but the USA is not alone when it come to corrupt businesses and government officials. All these world leaders have an agenda and it boils down to lining their pockets with money and power.

      • Sorry for having bothered you with this. I knew you have answered another person on this issue. But I had the impression that the other person didn’t show your this picture, so I just post it to be sure. It is true that when I looked at the picture, I thought it wasn’t you. But on Chinese equivalent of twitter, there are people who believe it was you. I think this will clear things up once and for all.

        Mr. Cui’s TV show raised controversy in that the woman in the picture, which was a screen shot from Mr. Cui’s interview video, claimed to have recovered from advanced stage of cancer without undergoing any surgery or chemotherapy, but by simply eating organic and raw food. Mr. Cui didn’t specify the name of the woman in the video. People learned that Mr. Cui had interviewed you. In addition, yourself were not shown in Cui’s video, so some thought that the other women, who told a somewhat similar story (Similar in that she also had advanced stage of cancer, and recovered, but of course you did undergo surgery and chemotherapy), was you. I think people mostly concerned that your story was misrepresented by Mr. Cui in his video.

        Sorry again for this mess. I completely understand how frustrating or even angering it can be to be mistaken for someone else.

  6. Len, I am sorry for snapping at you. Its not your fault and I understand how others can be led to believe that person is me. Is there any way you can send me a translation of the article? If I understand you correctly my interview was not included. However, I plan to make a rebuttal video via YouTube today or tomorrow. Like I mentioned before…these corporations stand to lose billions in revenue if GMOs are not sold to consumers. Do you have FaceBook? If you do here is another page you might be interested in …

    I will send you an email with the YouTube link when it goes live.

  7. Len, Are you the one who updated the article with the picture and story from my blog? And if my interview was not in the video then do you know how my email address and name became part of the story?

    • I’m not the author of the article the link of which I posted here, nor did I post it on any website. I’m just someone who’s interested in this matter and following the development. Translating the entirety of the article involves too much undertaking and language skill than I can master, but I can give you a rough idea of what it’s about. I don’t want to sugar coat it, but it’s a seriously implicating article, mostly to Mr. Cui — and for those who believe the woman in the picture were you — also to you. The article suggests that Mr. Cui’s investigation about GM food had lacked integrity in that he reported the miraculous but false story of someone (the woman in the picture) recovering from advanced stage cancer simply by eating organic food. Part of the reason that the article consider the woman’s story as false was because it considered she and you are the same person, and her story in the interview is inconsistent with the contents of this blog.

      I don’t want to give you the wrong impression that I’m on the “same camp” as you regarding GM food. Actually, our opinions on this matter are about as far apart as it could be. But that doesn’t prevent me from admiring the inspiring story of your valiant battle with cancer. I have watched your “Dancing Through Cancer” video. It’s both funny and moving.

      The matter of GM food is of intense controversy in China — to such a degree that the discussions about it can no longer stay civil. I tried to trace the source and author of that article, but without success. It seems the original article was posted on a popular Chinese social media, “”, but it seems that it had already been deleted there. Copies of it are circulating around Chinese web space, with no mentioning of authorship.

      Many people, including me, are citing your rebuttal here about being the same person as the woman in the picture in Chinese social media. Mr. Cui and his associates are also trying to clear the misunderstanding. Once again I feel sorry about the situation, and hope it will be rectified soon.

    • I also don’t know how your website and information was discovered. You were not in Cui’s hour long video, but I’m not sure if he mentioned your name somewhere else. Considering Cui is a prominent figure in China, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone did an online search of his name with key words such as cancer, GM food, and it leads to your blog.

  8. Thank you for the “like” on my post, Mental Health Day 14. I am now a follower of your blogger and believe the information you share and the advice you give will be helpful as I journey down through life as a Breast Cancer Survivor. I really enjoyed listening to your vlog and added it and Your Story to me reading list for future reference.

  9. Thank you for electing to follow my “Golden rule” blog.
    I like your blog name, very clever and appropriate.
    Any comments you wish to make on my posts would be welcome.
    Your story deserves to be widely publicized.
    Regards, Ken.

  10. Great story!! I think it’s really important for us to get out and shout from the mountaintops about this, so people know they have options! If you ever find yourself in the southeast, please let me know…I’d love to have you over for the best vegan mac and cheese you’ve ever had :) <3

  11. Can I ask you something? You mention you still followed the path of aggressive cancer treatement through the medical system AND took on a very healthy diet, outlook and lifestyle… is that correct? The reason I ask is because I have stage 3 breast cancer and like you, I told my medical team to go for it. Do everything they need to do to save my life. I am happy with my decision and am thinking that I should too be chipping in and helping my medical team starting with my diet. I am a coeliac so I dont eat gluten. I am ready to do more to build my body up for the fight of its life. My question is, do you still agree that cancer patients should still seek the medical assistance they need? I ask this because I have a friend who is dead against chemo and such. She feels that all of the treatment and fixes are found in foods and healthy lifestyle only. I look forward to your thoughts on this. Thank you and congratulations on being cancer free :)

    • I believe medical treatment is a personal matter and choice. I had all sorts of well intentioned people tell me I was “doing it wrong” and those same people never had cancer. I listened to my intuition and I made the right choice for me. I suggest you do what sounds right for you. Its your body and your choice. You get to decide on conventional, alternative or integrative, no one else. I think rebuilding your immune system is very important. Eating healthy makes sense whether you are sick or well. Researching side effects and treatments is important and finding other breast cancer survivors is a big help. Tell your doctors what you are eating and any supplements or herbs so they don’t interfere with treatment. Sending you positive, healing energy Amanda!

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I have always planned on doing it ‘my’ way and the way of the doctors but I was a bit stumped as to how to deal with others thinking I was doing it wrong. I shall continue on my journey with fighting this cancer my way. Thanks again and thank you for sharing your journey with us all xx

    • Thank you! I look forward to reading more about your journey. Wish I was as thoughtful and conscious about my behavior when I was your age. It probably would have saved me a lot of problems.

  12. Great to read this conversation. I have fairly advanced bowel cancer with metastases in the lungs. I too am taking an integrative approach, meaning I follow the medical model of treatment plus include my own eclectic mix of modalities, for want of a better word. I have done much research to decide what appeals to me and feels right. I have not gone for anything too extreme, but include a good diet of mainly fresh foods, organic where possible, juice (vegetable), herbs supplements specifically designed for cancer and backed up by research evidence. However, I also put a lot of faith in spiritual and energetic work to aid in the healing – increasing the flow of the universal life force or energy through my body through regular and varied practices. On top of this I am putting plenty of effort into my emotional life and psychological selves, trying to find blockages and heal from past hurts and traumas. All of this is designed to boost my immune system from both a physical perspective and a mental one. Doing all these things, which I call positive actions, help me to keep positive and live a full life. I have a lot of time on my hands and I use some of this for reflection, allowing the thoughts to bubble up, even though some of them bring up painful memories and feelings.
    It’s great to see so many other people taking some kind of control over their healing. A research project in America lists many attributes of cancer survivors, and most are connected to a positive and proactive approach to life and healing. For the full reference, check out the following link:

    All the best to everyone, Phil

    • Its lovely to connect with you Phil. I agree 100% with you. My life completely changed after my cancer diagnosis and I still do all of the things you mention. We are not just bodies and in order to get back in balance, (heal) we must address and care for our complete being, body/mind/spirit. I was the one who came up with the idea that I needed to care for my whole self. All my doctors wanted to kill the cancer, they never mentioned supplements, eating healthy, meditation or anything like that. It was all up to me to find survivors and to learn from them. I was always attracted to holistic health, but I didn’t really understand the importance of living it 24/7 until I got sick.

      A part of me (my intuition) wanted to eat healthy and care for my body, but I was caught up in the “rat race” juggling 3 part time jobs, not getting enough rest, putting up with way too much bullshit from bosses and co-workers, and not saying no. Getting sick forced me to stop and take a look at what I was doing to myself, how I played a part in the drama called “My life.” I didn’t love myself 100% because I thought putting myself first would be selfish.

      All that changed but I am still a work in progress. I am happy to meet you, another person who understands that it is up to us to take charge of our health, before we get sick, when we are sick and when we are well. It is a lifetime commitment and we are worth the effort.

      I look forward to reading your posts.

      Be well! Inge

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