October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and here at KNESKO we stand behind supporting continuing research for prevention and early detection of this heartbreaking disease and fostering support and love for its victims.
To bring to life what it’s like to live through breast cancer, I spoke with Kayle Martin, two-time breast cancer survivor and founder of the blog Cowgirls and Collard Greens – a popular blog that celebrates having a healthy vegan lifestyle and conscious living – to get her personal insights on what it’s like to survive and thrive after breast cancer. Read her story here and prepare to be inspired.
Tell us how you found out you had breast cancer.
I was laying on my stomach writing a letter to a friend and randomly felt a lump on my breast. I didn’t think anything of it – I was only 30 after all, and healthy, with no history of breast cancer in my family. But I still decided to get it checked out. I was expecting my mammogram results to come back negative and literally almost fell on the floor when I got the news.
What was it like learning you had breast cancer?
I went through all the feelings – shock, confusion, anger, fear, hopelessness. It was definitely a process, but eventually I made the decision to embrace life and to tackle my cancer head-on rather than let it defeat me. If I was going to be a true survivor, it was totally up to me to take charge of the battle rather than letting it defeat me.
What was your approach to the healing process?
After undergoing my surgery for my first diagnosis of breast cancer, I decided that I didn’t want to go the standard medical route of undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. I didn’t want to put my body through that. I did a lot of research and decided to take a holistic approach to my healing. I changed my diet to raw vegan. I took natural supplements. I exercised. I focused on maintaining spiritual centeredness. I basically eliminated everything negative from my body and environment and focused on restoring wellness naturally. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer the second time, I unfortunately didn’t have the option to avoid chemotherapy and radiation. But despite undergoing these aggressive treatments, I didn’t get sick the way most people do. I was still able to be active – take hikes in Lake Tahoe, go out with friends. I felt great, and I completely attribute it to the lifestyle changes I made and my focus on maintaining holistic wellness.
What has changed in your life as a survivor of breast cancer?
Getting breast cancer was the best gift I could have been given – that I wouldn’t give to anybody! As a survivor, I’ve made a conscious decision to embrace positivity and to live a happier, healthier life. I also make it a point to tell my story to help others on their own journey to achieve happiness in their lives. Additionally, I counsel newly diagnosed cancer patients as I know how scary it is when you first find out you have the “C” word and don’t know what to do or how to feel. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone who has been there and can help you focus on the things you can control, like staying positive and maintaining healthy living as much as you can.
If you had one piece of advice to give to women out there who are diagnosed with breast cancer, what would it be?
I would say to be your own advocate and take charge of your health. Research what you can do to best enable your body to fight the cancer. And most of all, don’t give up! Continue to live your life every day doing what makes you happy, and surround yourself with the people you love.
In support of all women out there experiencing breast cancer and to promote finding a cure, KNESKO will be donating 10% percent of all proceeds from our Rose Quartz Collection in the month of October to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Click here to shop the collection.
Ladies, let’s keep on fighting.
KNESKO Founder and CEO