Lynn Harris: Overcoming Breast Cancer, While Living Life On Purpose
[Moderator/Interviewer Note: This is the story of the ongoing journey of Lynn Harris, that she has provided to us in the form of a written interview. But before we get to that, I want to add some perspective to her story. Here goes.
Four years ago, I had a chance to get to know Lynn Harris in the capacity of her home program consultant. Lynn came to Hope4Cancer Treatment Centers with a worrisome breast cancer diagnosis. As a young mother, proud wife and successful business owner, she had plenty to live for. Today, she lives a full and content life, playing her multiple life roles with pride, and a tremendous sense of purpose. In order to live a normal life without what she feels is the unnecessary label of being a “cancer patient”, she has chosen the hard path of not sharing her diagnosis with others, except those who need to know (that is why she appears in this article under a pseudonym). She knew this would stop her from living her life as Lynn Harris – for that reason, she chose to forego all the sympathy, as well as the occasional empathy.
Over the years, I have had a chance to develop a strong friendship and get to know her for the tremendous woman of strength that she is. I admire her ability to find purpose and meaning in every little thing she does – everyday. There are many ways in which people handle a cancer diagnosis. Like other cancer patients, she has had her phases of unpredictable uncertainty and anxious waiting. But she has never let that faze her from greeting and valuing every day as a gift from her Maker.
Lynn’s approach is, by far, one of the most courageous, positive and faith-filled ones I have ever seen. She lives her life seemingly effortlessly. If you knew her, you would never be able to guess that she has battled cancer for the last four years.
I would urge all patients suffering from cancer to read her words very carefully (and read between the lines as well), because I do believe her thought process has brought a powerful synergy to her treatments from Hope4Cancer.
Today Lynn’s cancer remains well under control and progressively getting better. It gives me great pleasure to share the story of my dear friend Lynn – my sister-from-another-mother – with you.]
Lynn: This week is 4 years since I went to Hope4Cancer and it is the best decision BY FAR that I have ever made! I have really never had a bad day! The treatments just built my body up so I could fight and get healthier and healthier.
Most of all I still get to be a wife, mother, daughter, business owner and most of all, just ME! Not a cancer patient, cancer survivor … I just get to be a healthy, normal person!”
Most of all I still get to be a wife, mother, daughter, business owner, and most of all, just ME!”
How did you find out that you had cancer? What was the diagnosis?
I went to have what I thought was a cyst drained and found out it was cancer. It was breast cancer.
What made you decide to choose alternative treatments instead of conventional treatments?
Probably like lots of others, it was hurry, hurry, quick, quick, them making your appointments for MRIs, and other doctors, etc. When I showed up for the MRI at the hospital where I was told to go, I was told that since I hadn’t met my deductible. I would have to pay $2,800 up front – just for one MRI. When I challenged that, I was told that I would have to reschedule. I would wait 3-4 hours at doctor appointments, and I couldn’t get any results over the phone.
When I got my biopsy done, I was there for 5-6 hours then had to come back in a couple of days, again to sit and wait for hours and hours to get results. It was by far the worst time of my life. It is like you are walking around in a fog, that I now know I didn’t have to be in. I don’t believe there is the huge rush you are made to believe, except in very advanced cases of course. You can step back and assess your options. From this nightmare experience I was led to Hope4Cancer – what a HUGE difference!
How did you come across Hope4Cancer, and how and why did you decide to get treated there?
I had a friend who had asked for prayer for her Dad, he had esophageal cancer. She was worried because he had decided to go to Mexico for treatment. I was getting emails from her and praying for her Dad when I went in to get “my cyst” drained. Well, I emailed her to now pray for me, because I found out that my cyst was actually a tumor. I never wanted to be a cancer patient, cancer survivor, I just wanted to be “healed ME” and I still am, thanks to Hope4cancer.
How did you feel at the clinic?
Love this question because for me, it was a night and day difference from what had I experienced. Different in every way!! I felt loved, cared for, valued and healed! Everything about this experience was different. I actually loved being there. I made friends with the other patients and doctors, nurses, and even the chef and cleaning people. Oh, and especially Jesus the driver! Some didn’t even speak English but their sweet spirits and smiles just made everything OK! The food was amazing; my Mom said this is like eating at a 5 star restaurant! Even the presentation was beautiful! The nurses didn’t hate their job! They smiled and nicely held your hand and made everything so much easier.
Dr. Tony has the sweetest spirit. He talks calmly and acts like you are the only person on the planet when you are with him.”
Can you share some thoughts about Dr. Jimenez and how he compares to other physicians?
I realize some people may like their conventional doctors, but I sure did NOT! Dr. Tony, on the other hand, has the sweetest spirit. He talks calmly and acts like you are the only person on the planet when you are with him. It may be the end of the day, he has had no lunch, and he needs to see 5 more people, but he will spend 1-2 hours with you, never in a rush.
I love how he travels all over the world looking for options to make us better. I can’t remember ever in my life meeting a sweeter human being, really. I don’t think he saved me or healed me, God did that. But I do believe he was meant to be my doctor, and more than that ,my dear Godly friend on this journey!
After you came back home, what are some things you needed to change to accommodate your treatment program?
I just “decided” to do it. I ran a million dollar business, home schooled my beautiful Russian daughter and did all my treatments every day! I continue to do all that today.
It works if you make up your mind to do it. This is what I needed to do to stay well so I do it. It isn’t hard, no pain, and I do lots of other things at the same time. You can read, make calls, play games with your kids, pray, do your devotional, watch a movie, be on the computer and catch up on many things. Just decide like I said to make it work and you may find you get more done, like I did.
Tell us about the discipline it has taken over the last four years to stay consistent in every aspect of the program. How have you kept yourself motivated and on task, while living your life on purpose?
I do my treatments whether it is Christmas day or my birthday, it makes no difference to me. I eat what I was told to eat. Yeah, maybe sometimes I wish I could eat something else, but for the most part it is good! And anything you really like, there is a healthy alternative to it! Really everything. We have healthy ice cream, gum, cookies and air popped pop corn!
This is not suffering, it is just FOOD. Once you switch and change your ways, you will never go back. Educate yourself on what is in food and how they grow it, make it and process it and you won’t miss it! Use your treatment time to have some ME time, we Moms never do that and most times we do need to slow down and appreciate life!
How has the Hope4Cancer team helped you over this long journey?
Well, I call my aftercare consultant my brother from another mother. I don’t know where I would be without him and the whole team. They are my family. The past 4 years don’t even feel long and I know we will be together in one way or another for many many years to come, if not forever.
Pam and Marcy are like sisters to me, I wouldn’t want to know my life without them! Dr. Tony and Marcy are a force for healing! They live and breathe it every day and care deeply about each and every patient. They are an amazing team – work and marriage. My husband, Mom and I are blessed to have met them and call them our dearest friends now. Wow all this and I thought I was getting cancer treatments. God is so good! ALL the time!
How did you respond to the treatment?
Seems to me like the cancer was very slow growing and slow to go away. There has been a spot there for over 10 years. But to think, it hasn’t grown or spread. I am happy. Over the last year the tumor has reduced in size about 30% and I had one lymph node that was enlarged and it shrunk over 50%. Dr. Tony and I both were excited!
Do you ever regret having chosen Hope4Cancer treatments over the conventional “standard of care”?
NO WAY! I am so thankful that God guided my path; he is always so smart to do that, even when we can only see the light at our feet! What price do you think you would have had to pay (that you did not) had you chosen conventional treatment? Lots of pain, sickness, loss of work, life and being me! One thing I have chosen is to share this journey with only a very few people and I can say after 4 years I am so happy about this decision! Because of Hope4Cancer I have gotten to do just that – “be me”, not a cancer patient! The fact that you don’t lose your hair, feel sick, lose weight, and look different makes a huge difference. I got to go on with my life, and no one even knows about my diagnosis.
Because of fear, people go on the path most traveled. The path least traveled may be your path, so pray and seek God and don’t get too much advice, especially from anyone who has never been in your shoes.”
What advice would you give a patient trying to choose between conventional and alternative cancer treatments?
Take your time and talk to people who have been there. Because of fear, people go on the path most traveled. The path least traveled may be your path, so pray and seek God and don’t get too much advice, especially from anyone who has never been in your shoes. Only you know what is right for you! It is your body and you know it best. Even Dr. Tony says that!
Charles Capps says,” Your words are the building blocks of which you construct your life and future.” I am so glad Dr. Tony knows that your healing not only has to do with your body and medicine but also your mind, which is programmed by the words you say to yourself everyday.
Sometimes the fear of the unknown influences how people make decisions. How did you come to grip with the fact that you were “taking a chance”?
I felt like conventional medicine was much more of a chance. Not only a chance but a detriment to lifelong healing!
Would you recommend Hope4Cancer Treatment Centers to another cancer patient?
Absolutely! It has been a blessing to talk to other patients as they make their decisions, and then so neat to see what they say after they go. I am sure they don’t remember, but they say some of the same things I tell them in the beginning, about loving the staff and the amazing food, Dr. Tony’s caring spirit and feeling “at home”. You just have to go and then you will “GET IT”. There is another way and there is nothing hoaxy about it. It is true healing the way God meant for it to be!
This interview and pictures are published on our blog with the explicit, written permission of the patient. We value our patient’s privacy and would never divulge personal information without their consent.