*links are provided to various products I have found helpful. There are a few affiliate links where if you were to make a purchase, I would make a small commission.

Since my breast cancer diagnosis in January I have tried a wide variety of things to support my body’s healing journey. I’ve added dietary practices to my routine, learned about various kinds of at-home holistic treatments I could do in the comfort of my own home, and I have been intentional about spiritual practices. I’d like to say that I’ve developed a routine and have been very consistent with it, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.

Dietary practices include taking multivitamins – and I found vitamin patches for the days when taking pills just wasn’t going to happen because of nausea. We’ve bought lovely fresh leafy greens, veg, and some fruit and juiced them. After I finished the antibiotics for the staff infection, I began using enzymes and probiotics to restore my gut biome, which has helped. I ate fiber (flax seeds) to support healthy digestion (since I’m gluten, dairy and egg free, we use flax seed as an egg replacement). I’ve worked to keep my protein intake high. I try to stay well hydrated (70 oz of liquid a day). At the beginning I cut out refined sugar completely, but these days I keep it to a minimum. I drink a daily “Enterade: advanced oncology formula” which helps soothe the nausea first thing in the morning and supports the GI system.

Secondly, I have done all of the following at-home treatments at some point in the process: oil pulling or oncology mouth rinse to deal with chemo mouth, singing (good for the lungs), diffusing essential oils for relaxation/mood, sauna heat blanket to sweat out toxins, infrared heating pad for relaxing sore muscles, Epsom salt soak to detox, dry brushing for lymph node drainage, coffee colonics for liver support, and caster oil pack (worn over the liver) with Juvacleanse (a topical essential oil blend) for the liver.

Finally, spiritual practices such as prayer, reading, journaling, enjoying music, communion, tapping, and healing affirmations have helped me foster a sense of God-awareness. Tapping is the one on the list that is new to me, and I’ve found The Tapping Solution app for my device that’s made it possible for me to use tapping as a way to pray through a number of important issues. I listen to the provided meditations but make them my own by following my own spiritual intuition. I have found that to be relaxing, rewarding, and freeing. I’ve also met weekly or bi-weekly with a counselor since January, and that’s also been quite helpful.

At the beginning I was certain I was going to spend a few hours a day doing these treatments as a investment in myself and my healing. Not only that, I thought I was making long term changes and building habits that would make me stronger even when I was finally able to get off the cancer train. That may have been based mostly in my own need to simply DO SOMETHING to address my own concerns and fears about the potentially toxic treatments I was facing. And maybe I just wanted to somehow feel in control of something… However, I think we can agree that cancer isn’t really something you can heal with lots of busy activity – even holistic treatment activity. And feeling in control is an illusion anyway.

In time, as my energy levels tanked, it became difficult to do things like juicing or using the portable sauna because it meant getting out the gear, using it, and cleaning it up and putting it away afterward. I just didn’t have the energy. My Austrian helped with that kind of thing a good bit, but even with that help, I struggled to get it done. Then once I’m past the worst of the low energy cycle of chemo and start feeling better again – then I would rather spend my energy in other ways.

The journey of chemo takes months, and there’s something about the day in and day out nature of it... even when the symptoms aren’t big ones but pesky little ones… doing treatments makes me remember I’m not entirely well – a reminder I don’t always appreciate. (I started chemo in late January, it’s early May now and I am nearing the half-way mark of chemo.) So on days when I feel stronger and more energetic I’m more likely to work in the garden or play with the dog than I am to take that energy to juice some lovely greens and then spend some time cleaning the juicer. Energy is precious, and sometimes I’m making choices on the fly as to what would be most “therapeutic”. Sitting on the back porch in the early morning sunshine soaking up the beauty of the morning should be on one of these lists!

All that to say that I have completed my at-home treatments sporadically at best. Since my energy levels have gotten progressively lower over the course of chemo, it might be good to renew my effort on some of these holistic treatments. Maybe it would help my body through the second half of chemo. The nature of holistic treatments that support various systems of the body is so different than popping a pill – sometimes you have to decide they’re working rather than notice they’re working. Some have more of a spa quality, but I have decided that relaxation is a key element of healing, maybe relaxation even qualifies as a spiritual practice – only then I suppose we call it “rest”.

The hardest part of cancer is the mental game. I know that what I think determines how I feel, so I am careful about what I spend time thinking about. This is itself a spiritual practice often called mindfulness. In addition, being well rested is probably the most important aspect of staying strong – even when my body may not be.

What at-home holistic treatments have you found most beneficial? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

And as always, please know I’m here cheering you on in your healing journey! You matter! You are worthy of good care!

Sending love your way,


5 responses to “Healing from the Inside Out”

  1. Ginny Hartzler Avatar
    Ginny Hartzler

    Carmen, you are amazing. I went to your tapping link and studied it. What a learning experience; I had not heard of this before. You have delved into so much in such a short space of time that I know you are doing everything under the sun that is helpful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3 Generations Avatar
    3 Generations

    I’ve sure been thinking of you often. It is good to get a pulse on your inner self. You really are a hero to many today! Just imagine those who will be impacted in the future. ♥️♥️♥️ This I know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cindy Avatar

    Thank you for this post. You are taking good care of yourself, which takes strength and kindness. I’m thinking of you!💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bethany Avatar

    Thx so much for sharing. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rachel MIller Avatar

    Be kind to yourself with all the things you are trying to get done. You nailed it, It’s a way of trying to control our bodies when it failed us. Cancer, heart problems etc are all reminders that we are not in control. We can spend every minute of every day trying to stay alive but the stress of having to control our bodies can kill us as fast as the disease. It’s freaky scary to face our mortality. We can say we are OK doing it, until we actually have to do it. Then, it’s a difficult process. A heart knowledge, not just head knowledge. Sending love for the continued fatigue that you will experience. You can count on it. It’s part of the process. Sorry. Just be prepared.

    Liked by 1 person

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