I Was Planning My Funeral - Now I'm Planning My Future!
Updated: Jun 27, 2022
What prompted you to change your diet?
In 2018 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. Through a support group facility I took my first Whole-Food Plant-Based cooking class. Soon after that class I took several more and immediately changed my diet. A few months later, I received news that my cancer was stable, so I have never looked back.
What obstacles or challenges did you face with the change?
The greatest challenge is cooking for my husband and my youngest son who is still living with us. Many times I have to add something for them to fulfill what they think is missing from a meal. If I were cooking for myself, there wouldn't be any challenges (except maybe the cost of food) but there are times when I feel like I'm making two different meals.
Why is a plant based/vegan diet important to you?
The health benefits are critical to my survival.
How has this changed your life/ lifestyle?
Right away I lost 17 pounds after switching to this diet, but I did gain some of that back this past winter. I'm very aware that I feel better even in the midst of cancer treatments. I am more educated about food and the health benefits of eating plants, and as I've already stated, my cancer is stable and I haven't had any progression.
What books, movies, or articles inspired or helped you?
I watched Forks Over Knives, and I started following many, many people on social media who practice a plant-based diet. I love the recipes and the information.
Do you have a favorite meal or recipe to share?
I had never made homemade soup before switching to this diet, but I absolutely LOVE making soup - especially during the long Minnesota winters. There are so many...but my favorite is Cajun Veggie and Potato Chowder from The Vegan 8 cookbook.
Tell us about yourself.
I was a high school English teacher for 27 years before my Metastatic Breast Cancer forced me into early retirement. I've been married for 32 years, and we have four amazing boys ages 28, 26, 21, and 18. I love to travel, boat, write, read, cook, go on walks and bike rides, plus I've always been the biggest fan of my kid's activities throughout the years. I recently started gardening and bird watching plus I have a giant, fluffy Great Pyrenees dog that needs lots of exercise.