#325 How Imperfect Actions After Breast Cancer Can Lead to Amazing Outcomes

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In 2011 when I heard the words, “You have breast cancer.” It was scary, I was confused, overwhelmed, and ignorant of all the things involved in the journey that was to come. 

In 2020 when I heard the words, “You have cancer throughout your body.”  I thought my life was over. But, after I recovered from the shock I made a decision to figure out how other people healed from cancer and how I could do it too. 

I’ve been on this path for nearly three and a half years now. 

There’s been a lot of time, effort, determination, frustration, money, fear, joy, excitement, and learning along the way.   

It hasn’t been linear and I haven’t always stuck to my plan but I continue to work on getting better and in this episode, I’m going to share with you the results of all the imperfect actions I’ve taken along the way. 

I say imperfect actions because who knew if they would work or not? 

Who knew if they were the “right” things to do or not? 

We never really know until we’re on the other side. 

I hope this episode will give you the encouragement and support to let go of second-guessing and jump into taking your own imperfect actions on the way to creating your life that’s better than before breast cancer™ 


Helpful links: 

Work with Laura 

The Metabolic Approach to Cancer 

Radical Remission 


Follow me on Social Media: 






Read the full transcript below:

Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a certified life coach, and I'm a breast cancer thriver. In this podcast, I will give you the skills and the insights and the tools to move past the emotional and physical trauma of a breast cancer diagnosis. If you're looking for a way to create a life, that's even better than before breast cancer, you've come to the right place. Let's get started.

Laura Lummer 0:33
Hey, there, you're listening to Episode 325. And I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm excited to be here, I'm going to share some good news, some interesting insights with you on this podcast. And before I get into it, I want to ask a favor of you. I haven't asked this in a little while. And it would mean the world me if you are a repeat listener, if you could leave a rating or review for the show. If you're a new listener, if you hit the Follow button, or if you're watching us on YouTube to subscribe to this channel. It would mean everything not only to me, but somewhere else out there in the world. Maybe just like you who came to this podcast, you found it on Apple or Spotify or audible or my heart or would not my heart, I heart I Heart Radio, or something like that, and you found it and it helped you in some way. Or you heard a tip or a tidbit on this podcast that helped you feel like you weren't alone in something or that gave you a little bit more motivation to live on yourself and take care of yourself. When you leave ratings reviews follow and subscribe a show, that algorithm shows the show to more people. And I would love for that to happen. Because to think of anyone out there struggling with living with trying to figure out a way through breast cancer, to be able to have a little more support is amazing. And together as community we can all take part in that me by continuing to put this out there, and you by leaving a rating or review. So the show is more easily found by other people. So if you could take a moment to do that, I would tremendously appreciate it, it would mean everything. Thank you so much. So I want to follow up on something that I talked about a couple weeks ago. I mentioned a couple weeks ago on the podcast that I was going in for my first pet scan. And yesterday I finally got the results. And I'm pretty happy with them. I gotta tell you. So if you're not familiar, if you haven't heard me talk about what my initial recurrence diagnosis was, was in October of 2020. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and it was in both of my hips. Both my femurs, my pelvis kind of spread throughout the pelvis, it was in three of my left ribs, my right shoulder blade, the right side weight, the left side, the left side of my forehead, I had a five and a half centimeter tumor in the lymph nodes that were in the right side of my chest. They weren't under my armpit necessarily like you couldn't feel it, you couldn't touch it, there was no palpable love. But five and a half centimeters is considerably large. My chest had over a liter and a half of fluid in it. And my right lung was partially collapsed to the fluid around that lung had cancer cells in him. And there was fluid around the pericardium around my heart, it was not a good situation. Now this PET scan, which was my first pet scan again, I just want to remind you that I don't have something to compare it to I'm going to talk about that in a minute. This pet cat scan showed that there was no active cancer in my bones. There's obviously a footprint and leaves behind you know that there was disease, we can see there was disease, but none of it is showing metabolically active on the PET scan. None in my bones. And what lit up was a lymph node in the right side where that original tumor was a lymph node there that lead up to an ID. So I guess there's a scoring of how brightly something lights up on a PET scan. And anything that's below five or six, they're not really worried about it's not super active. over a six, they're starting to say okay, this is this is active here, what's going on. And that lymph node lit up to a 14. So that lymph nodes got some metabolic activity going on in it. But let me just state it's a lymph node. It's not a tumor. And the difference from that is that there's no blood supply going to this right there. It's an enlarged lymph node at this point in time. And because I don't have a previous PET scan, and because it's very small, the question is, is this a new lymph node? Is this something that's just always been there? Is it something that's been there and just suddenly it's a little more metabolically active, to hard to really tell because I don't have something to compare it to. And because it's so small, it it was it on a previous CT scan, it's kind of hard to tell, we know, right, those of us who think imaging is the be all and end all. And then we get a breast cancer diagnosis and go into imaging and figure out that there's a lot of limitations when it comes to imaging. And if you've listened to my story on this podcast, you know that I have not had a lot of good luck with the way images are interpreted. Right that when I was originally diagnosed with stage four, on a CT scan, I had had two years prior to being diagnosed with stage four, there was already a tumor in that right side of my chest, but it didn't make it from the scan into the report that went to my oncologist. And since then, as I've been in treatment of this last three years, there's been many, many things that have been missed or misinterpreted on reports. So I'm really careful about all the questions I asked about those. And I'm really careful to look at them myself, Google about them, make sure that I understand them. So I have lots of good questions from my doctor, when I get reports about scans. Because I know it's not a perfect science. And very busy people are interpreting these writing reports that they send in. So it's important to know the state of your body, the condition of your body to know questions that you want to ask when you do see the report or speak with your doctor about the reports on a scan. So definitely something that I think a lot of people take for granted. When we get a I know I certainly did, when you get a report, a scan report, there's like, okay, that's what it is. But don't be afraid to ask questions and look deep into it. And if you notice, or feel something going on in your body to ask about what is seen in that area and just dig into it. Right? I think it's important. So because we don't have the PET scan, we don't really know is this new? What's going on with that lymph node, but I just want to share with you my and what it means to me. Right, what this means to me and where I'm at right now. So for me, I think, Okay, I have known for a couple of months, that I've been letting myself slide here and there, right? I've been letting myself have a taste a taste, right? A taste of this, a bite of that. And I would say that from my husband and I went to Italy in November. And we had an amazing time. If you follow the show or follow me on social media, you saw the pictures from Italy, it was absolutely incredible. But like something happened when I came back, and I remember I was speaking with my naturopath against about this. And I said, you know, I just, I just feel so good. And my tumor markers are so good at all. My labs are good. And my naturopathic labs are good. And I just felt like, I've released this right? I don't, I just feel so good about letting go of this energy of cancer being in my body. And my naturopath. We had a wonderful discussion about it. She's amazing. And she said, This is great. And I'm so glad and focus on that and go with that. But remain diligent in what you do. And I was like, I will, I will. And I did, and everything kept getting better and better. And what are we people do what it was wonderful human beings do, when things are really good. We test our boundaries, right? We test our boundaries, we get a little cocky, a little arrogant, we're like, well, it's all good. You know, maybe you had a weight loss goal and you lost all the weight and like wow, I was so successful, I've lost all the weight, I can have that piece of pie, right and we start going back into those old behaviors kind of testing our boundaries. And when that happens, I think that we also start to slide out of routine. And routine is super important when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. People say things to me like oh, I don't feel inspired or I don't feel motivated. And I think that that is not as important as having well established routines, well established routines meaning for me for instance, for example, I make my bone broth on Sundays I fast this many hours on these days. I do my longer fast on these days and write it in the calendar and get in the routine where I started to slip a little bit was my god this of course I do that. It's a habit now. And with some of my fasting not writing it in and then go oh gosh, did I skip that day? Did I miss that day? What time did I stop eating yesterday? Right? So little little bits of slipping here and there and then just thinking Ed's fine. It's fine, right? Being out of ketosis for several days at a time and being like, it's fine. I still low carb. I'm still doing good. I'm still feeling good. So when I talked about going in for the PET scan, I said And I look at this as data, right as feedback on what I'm doing what's working, what's not working. So based on that, based on what I just shared with you, the way I look at the results from this PET scan is get back to routine, right? That it's not okay. If I slip here and there, it's not okay. If I slide out of ketosis here and there now, is that the result of this thing lighting up? I have no idea, right? But can I make that change in an intent to make sure that that lymph node has less fuel? And to support my immune system better? Yes, I can't. That's what I have control over. Right? So I look at that and say, okay, you know, I've I've taken some actions. And I've taken a lot of great actions, and I've taken some that weren't great that weren't perfect. And now I can get back to the drawing board, I can see that as I test, my boundaries have gone too far. And I'm going to reel that back in. Now, could that have always been there? Is that something that's always been there, and it's just a little active right now, I don't know. But it doesn't matter to me, right? It doesn't matter if it's always been there, it's just residue from the big tumor that was there. It's just telling me it's active, I don't want it to be active, I want to stay quiet. And so I'm going to step in even more, and get back to staying in therapeutic ketosis and being very focused on my food tracking, because I kind of got away a little bit from the food tracking, which on a daily basis shows me my actual macros. And I would get away from that a little because I was like, Oh, I already know because I eat this way all the time. And so I want to get back to it and make sure and I might be right, as I start to plug my food into the chronometer that I use, it might show me that I am right and that my macros are good. And that I just have to not deviate from my plan, I need to just be a little more focused on it, and more focused on reining in my fasting time, because that autophagy and the improvement in my immune system, when I go into long, fast is really important. So for me, it isn't that I haven't been doing that. But I haven't been tracking all those things in the way that I was initially. And so if this little guy is still active in there, I want to be as diligent as I can. And I want to share that with you. Because I think here's something that's important. I am in no way shape, or form regretting anything that I've done or haven't done, I am not beating myself up. It's not my fault that this is lighting up. That's not how I think about this. I think that what's important is that as we go through life, we take actions towards the things that we want to create towards the way that we want to live. And I get asked this, or I get hear this comment a lot when I coach people that they say, I don't know how to do it, or I need somebody to tell me how to do it. Or how am I supposed to figure this out? Like taking that question, how do I figure this out? How, how do I do it? What's the right thing, and kind of turning it on its ear and saying not that I don't know how, but I'm figuring out how right I'm figuring out how to support my body's ability to heal. And I do that by taking imperfect actions. I do that by listening to how other people heal their bodies, trying it out for me than I listened to like there's someone in my group of people that have my group of peers, who has had an incredible healing from a stage three pancreatic cancer many years ago. And I listen, as I listen to this person talk about, you know, I'm easy on this, and I'm easy on that. And I started maybe I could be too. Well, maybe I'm healed enough that that could work for me too. And with having something show up as still metabolically active. I rethink that decision now. And I think

Laura Lummer 14:06
maybe I can ease up on things as much as I thought I could ease up on things. And that's perfectly okay. That's how we figure out how to heal by doing things, trying that and saying, where's the balance in my life? What in my life can I do that I enjoy? How can I figure out how to enjoy other things that serve me really well. And we're just always in this process of figuring out how and taking imperfect actions, imperfect actions, meaning it won't always work. Something will always end up exactly the way we think it's going to end up. And so we test, we assess we try and we figure out so being here on the other side have an extensive stage for cancer diagnosis and telling you what I heard from this PET scan. I think a lot of stuff that I did work and I'm super proud of the journey so far. And now I can see that I can do a little more of what I believe. I'll talk to my naturopath about it, we'll look at my supplement plan again, we'll see what else can happen here. Of course, I talk with my standard of care oncologists. And we're watching it and just waiting to see what's really going on there. And as my team and I observe it and treat it, we'll figure out how it works, right? We'll figure out how to do this. And I just want to keep emphasizing that because I know you're trying to figure out how you're trying to figure out how am I supposed to eat? How am I supposed to exercise? How am I supposed to balance my stress? How do I figure this out? And a lot of times, you may even want to take a step towards something. But the fear of not knowing how stops you the fear of being wrong or making a bad decision. I hear this a lot people say I'm afraid of making a bad decision. Well, in doing that, and not making any decision is making no decision a good decision is making no decision and bad decision. It's only in making the decision to take some kind of action, that you'll figure out what you need, and how it works in your life. Will fear come up will doubt come up or self doubt come up as you try new things. As you tweak the way you eat. As you work on improving relationships. Yeah, did a little bit of fear come up? When I see a PET scan that says Oh, you have active cancer in a lymph node? Yeah, of course, I'm human cancer can kill you. I'm not stupid, right? But then I take a minute and say, let's put this into perspective. Let's look at how far I've come. Let's look at all the tools in my toolbox. Let's look at the reality of what I've done. Because I could sit here and say, but my God, I do everything I do so much more than almost anybody I know does. So what, that doesn't change anything. What is is that there's a lymph node there lighting up? And the question is what's within my power to do something about that? Right. And that's it. I think that this allowing the self judgment and the second guessing and the self doubt, to come into decisions you make on moving forward. They never serve you. And you always have that choice, I could absolutely have that choice. Now, I could say to my husband, I wish I would have never eaten a croissant. When we were in Italy. I wish I never would have had that lemon cello, but also true. I love the experience we had in Italy, I had a wonderful time in Italy. And now I have some data that and I'm not saying that it was back in November that this created I just have some data saying cancer is active. And I know that high blood sugar, I know the carbohydrates, I know that gluten, I know that all of these things can have an impact on the immune system. So I won't do those things. And we'll watch this little lymph node. And we'll watch it get dimmer. Right? I believe I watch it get dimmer, because I know that I can do things to help to support that. And I have an excellent medical team that's supporting me. So as you go through this process, think about in your life, what imperfect actions are you taking. And that doesn't mean judge them as being imperfect. It means keep taking actions, keep trying things, keep doing things that lead you to feeling the way you want to feel. You want to feel healthy, you want to reduce risk of breast cancer, you're living with breast cancer and you want to do stuff to build your immune system and support your immune system. Just keep taking actions and know that they won't all be perfect. Know that you will always get exactly what you wanted to get. I was really excited because I have a friend who's a physician, and she looked at my pet scan report with me. And she said, this is fantastic. She says I thought your whole body was gonna light up. I can't believe that we're just looking at a lymph node. And she's like, and it's just a lymph node. It's not a tumor. It's a lymph node. And I said, I know. Like, that's so exciting. And it's funny because I think about the shift in perspective, right? I think about a time in my life, when if I had had a PET scan, and they said, Oh, you have cancer in the lymph nodes in your right chest wall, holy cow, that would have been terrifying. But now I have a very different perspective. And I say, oh, okay, okay, well, one has a lot less cancer than I used to have. And two, there's a lot that I can do to support my body's ability to heal that lymph node. So I wanted to share this news with you all because I've received so much support from this community. So much encouragement, I didn't want to leave you hanging. If you're someone who heard me talk about the PET scan. I've gotten a couple messages of people asking if everything was okay. And everything is great. And so much closer to what I have my eye on right so much closer to that brass ring of no evidence of disease, but like my naturopath advised me, it's important for me to stay diligent on the path that I know is a path that supports Healing. Alright my friends. Have a wonderful day and I will talk to you again very soon and until then, take good care of yourself and keep taking imperfect actions to support creating the life. You want to live a life that's better than before breast cancer. I'll talk to you soon




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