Written by Heather VanNest
One of the hardest decisions a cancer patient has to make is deciding which treatment is best. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are considered standard treatments.54 year-old, Sherry Malin, from Palm Harbor wanted to share her story with 10 News viewers to let others know some cancer patients are choosing not to follow conventional treatments.
She went against her doctor's wishes to try an alternative treatment in Mexico."I've always said I would not go for chemotherapy because I have seen too much of it."
A mammogram and biopsy in Tampa confirmed stage two breast cancer in her right breast last year. Sherry made the tough decision to go against her doctor's wishes to try what many conventional doctors consider to be controversial, nutrition based, experimental treatments offered at a hospital in Mexico.
She told 10 News Anchor Heather Van Nest it was not scary for her to go against what conventional doctors recommended because she saw too many people go through chemotherapy treatment. Her father, sister and brother all died before the age of 40. She also watched her husband's mother die.
Sherry decided she did not want to go through all of that and she says, if she didn't make it, she wanted to do it on her terms and be able to do what she could during that period of time.
She says cancer was a wake-up call to take better care of herself.
Her treatment plan includes taking dozens of vitamins each day, eating fresh foods and no longer sweating the small stuff.
"I learned to handle stress. Stress has a lot to do with it so nothing bothers me. You don't worry about things.Yes, so if things fall a part... oh well... life goes on I'm still alive."
Sherry found growing her own organic garden in her backyard and choosing to eat fresh foods everyday gave her some control back in her life.
Sherry shares her journey on her blog and says this is a personal decision. She says quality of life is most important to her.
The nutrition based therapy she had for 3 weeks in Mexico is not covered by insurance and her vitamins/supplements add to the monthly out-of-pocket costs.
Sherry follows up with her doctor here in Tampa. Dr. Peter Walton says he is amazed at how well she is doing considering she did not have surgery or chemotherapy. Her latest CT scan shows no cancer in her chest region.