So, person number one who kicks butt this week is my friend, Lisa Stiles. I cannot say enough about this beautiful, beautiful friend. Lisa and I met in 2009 when she was the external recruiter for the Junior League of Plano. She was such a cool chick that it didn’t surprise me in the least to find out that she was also a Delta Zeta sister. GO DZ!
Lisa was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer last May – ironically almost a year to the day that Ali was diagnosed. She immediately went into what she calls, “Warrior Mode”. She read. She interviewed doctors. She went to “Cancer College”, as she says. A year later, she is cancer free. I make that sound incredibly easy – it wasn’t. But, that’s not why Lisa kicks butt.
She was one of my first calls after Ali was diagnosed. I wish I could copy all of her emails into this blog. She gave me so much great advice – and so much love and support. See, Lisa completely embraced the “Mind, Body, Spirit” approach to beating her cancer. Something I believe in completely. She investigated how diet modifications can help reduce free radicals in your body, fight the cancer you have, and prevent new cancers from forming. Lisa was distressed at how the medical community is hesitant to incorporate nutrition into treatment. “I think the truth lies somewhere between conventional medicine and responsible health choices,” she wrote me.
Lisa also empowered herself to beat her cancer. She asked questions and made her doctors justify and explain everything they recommended. “Being a smart, proactive patient is the best thing she can do for herself,” Lisa told me about my sister. During treatment, Lisa was absolutely the same bubbly, loving and outgoing person that she was before her diagnosis. I’m sure that wasn’t always the case, but she knew that maintaining a happy attitude, and “making time for peace every day” was the only way to get through this. She found things – like gardening and doing yoga – that gave her a sense of calm, and made them a part of her daily therapy. She also learned to say “No.” – “Saying NO is the best thing that I got from all of this! :-)” She learned to surround herself only with love and happiness and focus on only Lisa.
Most importantly, she told me to go buy the book, “Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips” by Kris Carr. As Lisa wrote to me, “It saved my spirit and possibly my life.” This book was exactly what Ali needed at the time. I cannot say enough good things about it – it’s serious, funny, and beautiful. It’s not a medical dictionary – it’s real-life tips that patients can use to get through this. Everything from eating right, to buying a hot-pink wig, to when to play the “cancer card”. You can check out Kris’ website at http://www.crazysexylife.com/. If you know someone who has recently been diagnosed, this is the one thing that I recommend to buy them immediately.
I cannot thank Lisa enough. She has taught me so much in such a short time. I’m so glad that you are with us, girl. And, I’m absolutely honored that you’re my friend. xoxo