For Anyone Who is Coping with Cancer + Plant Based Ground Walnut Sausage

December 8, 2018 / Molly Patrick /

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My sister, Kirstie, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer recurrence earlier this year.
She is currently undergoing treatment and is doing a KICKASS job of coping with cancer.
I shared my sister’s news about her cancer with our amazing Dirty community a few months ago and the outpouring of love and generosity was enough to take my breath away.

The amount of supportive emails I received after sharing her news was truly amazing. There was one email in particular that touched me in a way that an email never had. This email was a gift and it was from a woman named Peggy. It arrived in my inbox on a day when Kirstie was in the depths of hell. She couldn’t keep food down, she was in excruciating pain, and she was more scared than I have ever known her to be.

I live in Hawaii and my sis lives in Idaho, so I was getting the play-by-play from my mom and dad, who were there with her. On this particular day, Kirstie, who will usually talk on the phone no matter what, did not have it in her to put the phone to her ear and talk, or even to listen.

Peggy’s email didn’t just touch my heart, it went right in and cradled that sucker like a mama lamb. I emailed Peggy back right away and asked if I could share her email with my sister. She gave me permission and I promptly called my mom. I asked her to please put her phone on speaker and make sure it was loud enough so Kirstie could hear my voice.

I began to read the email. My voice was shaky with emotion and I did my best to get through it without crying. At first I could hear Kirstie crying, but as I continued to read it she got quiet. She listened. She relaxed. When I was done, she expressed how thankful she was that Peggy took the time to email with her story and advice. She then closed her eyes and she took a much needed nap.

Peggy’s email was one of those winks from the universe, giving you a little something to hold on to. The timing of it still gives me chills. I asked Peggy if I could share her words on our blog because if they were able to comfort and inspire my sister, they could comfort and inspire anyone. She gave me the green light and today, I am sharing it with you.

Enjoy, my dear.

Xo
Molly


At the time I was diagnosed with cancer (an aggressive adeno cell carcinoma), I was 24 weeks pregnant.

My Ob-Gyn referred me to an oncologist who wanted to take the tumor out PRONTO, which would have terminated my pregnancy. I was 31 years old and it was the first and only pregnancy of my life. I wanted that baby more than I wanted anything, ever. So I said no to the surgery.

He said as an alternative, they could do surgery the minute the baby was ‘viable’ (4 pounds), at which time he would do a c-section and then a hysterectomy immediately afterwards. I agreed and I carried on, with the cancer growing, for 6 more weeks. On surgery day, baby weighed 4 pounds 4 ounces, and as a safety, spent 19 days in NICU. That weight fell to 3 pounds 11 ounces on the day we went home from the hospital. SO TINY. Like a tiny, tiny little doll.

I stayed awake for my c-section, saw the baby was perfect (albeit tiny), and then they put me to sleep and did the hysterectomy. I didn’t have any cancer in my lymph nodes and they got the entire tumor with the surgery, so they declared me “cancer free.” That was in April.

Six months later, in October, the cancer metastasized. I had an orange-sized tumor on the base of my spine that made it inoperable, and cancer-like fingers spreading to my bladder, spleen, colon, rectum, and hip. It was now stage 4. They apologized, oops, they didn’t ‘get it all’ after all.

I panicked and thought maybe they didn’t know what the hell they were doing, so I traveled to Houston for a second opinion. I spent 2 weeks there having every test under the sun. Their conclusion: they agreed, no surgery could be done. They wanted me to undergo chemo and radiation, but the difference was that they wanted me to have a colostomy first. At least my own doctors at home were willing to do the chemo and radiation first, and THEN do a colostomy only if necessary. I went to another doctor in my hometown for a 3rd opinion.

It’s apparent how differently you’re treated in this kind of seemingly hopeless situation than when you’re a “normal” patient. They took me back to their fancy conference room and the doctor sat down by me and put his hand on my hand and said, “Dear, get your affairs in order.” At this point, no one had given me a “time limit” yet on how long I had to live—I just knew it wasn’t good.

So I asked him how long he thought I had to live and he said maybe a year. I went back to my own oncologist furious and shrieked, “Tell me how long I have to live! I’ve just been told a year!” And he said, “We’re going to try like hell to give you more time than that.”

It was during this time that my life was the darkest. I had a six-month-old baby and stage 4 cancer. It’s hard to put into words, but here’s about the best I can do: when I thought about the future, the days ahead had a black cloud over them. Like, I could visualize a calendar and all the days were blacked out. I couldn’t think about the future because I didn’t feel like I had one anymore. It’s hard to explain, but cancer doesn’t just mentally rob you of today, it mentally robs you of what time is left, too (if you let it).

My baby was about 8-months-old when I started treatment. My oncologist gave me a ton of stuff to read and one study showed that something like 40% of people who took the kind of chemo I was taking didn’t lose their hair in clinical trials, so I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to lose my hair. And I didn’t. My mom was worried because it seemed like whatever I read, I believed, and it became my truth. That was all fine and dandy with the good stuff—but I was reading some pretty bad stuff, too.

I was rocking my baby one afternoon and I was reading a medical publication from the UK about a trial they did on cervical cancer patients who were pregnant at the time of diagnosis. It was a small group because you don’t get a lot of pregnant women diagnosed with cervical cancer DURING their pregnancy, especially not at 24 weeks! Most of “us” who are diagnosed “during” pregnancy with cervical cancer already have the tumors at conception, and most of the time the cancer is detected very early in the pregnancy and then the pregnancy is terminated.

So the study was done on a very small, specialized group of women. I was reading the results of their treatment (which would be the same treatment I was to undergo) and after 3 years, 80% of the women were dead. After 5 years, they all were dead. I was sobbing. I was sitting there, rocking my baby, holding that study, sobbing, and my mom walked in the room and asked what was wrong.

I told her what I had read and she snatched the paper from me and tore it up and threw it in the trash. “I don’t want you reading ANYTHING that doesn’t make you feel GOOD. Do you hear me? Do NOT poison yourself with that kind of garbage! You aren’t a statistic!” She was pissed. This leads me to my first suggestion:

One
Do not waste a MINUTE of the precious time you have doing anything that doesn’t make you feel BETTER. Even when I was undergoing radiation, I found a way to make myself feel better about it. I laid there on the table feeling super empowered. Like, “Hell yeah, hit me right there with all that. Yeah, hit me again! Kick ass! Do your thing!” I found it a lot easier to be positive and stay positive once I decided to eliminate the shit from my life that was bringing me down.

For me, it was mostly the literary resources, the clinical trials, the data in general about ‘my’ type of cancer that were available to ‘help’ me. They didn’t help me. They made my circumstances feel more grim. There was also a community member who sometimes visited me and she was SUCH a Debbie Downer so I put an end to her visits.

For me, the ‘feel bad’ triggers were the statistics (good and bad) and broody, negative people. For someone else, the triggers could be completely different. If there’s anything in your life that’s keeping you from being positive, man, cut it loose. Even if it’s an important person. You can always have them back in your life at a later time.

I’ll never forget the odds they gave me about my treatment, since surgery was not an option. They said there was only a 50/50 chance that I would respond to the treatment at all. If I DID respond, only about a 50% chance that the treatment would prolong my life more than 3 years, and only a 25% chance that it would prolong my life for more than 5 years.

Not great odds, but I had the best motivation in the world: I had a new baby and my husband (now ex-husband) was an alcoholic and didn’t have the ability or facilities to raise our child alone. For the sake of my baby, I HAD to live.

I took the treatment and my doctor kept gently reminding me that when they did the follow up tests, even a slight decrease in the tumor size would be GREAT news because that would mean it was responding, and if it shrunk during treatment, it would likely continue to shrink more, even after treatment. So they were pounding this into my head, “It will still be there when we’re finished, but don’t panic, all we care about is that it’s decreased in size.”

During this time, while I was taking treatment, I got incredibly sick and weak. As an example, I couldn’t sit on the toilet without my mom or sister kneeling in front of me with their arms around me to hold me upright. My sister bathed me and the water in the bathtub turned red. Everything was scorched and sore. My mom had to move in because I couldn’t really care for my baby properly by myself anymore and my husband didn’t help. This brings me to my second suggestion:

Two
While my mom was living with me, she would make me do this breathing exercise that I thought was ridiculous. I was so sick and super bitchy. I would whine and complain—but finally I just gave in because she was relentless. I realized quickly, though, that it REALLY did help me.

She would coach me and say, “Take a deep breath in. Breathe in all the good in your life. Breathe in that sweet baby. Think about the sunshine, warm on your face. Think about the birds singing and the breeze blowing. Big breath in. Breathe it in. Now breathe out the bad; all the bad shit. Push it out. Let the bad stuff all go. The cancer, the fear, the worry. Breathe it out, baby. Get rid of it. Now breathe back in, the sun, the moon and stars on a clear night, the ocean, the mountains, hear your baby’s first words, see that first step onto a school bus, breathe all the good stuff in, way deep in. There’s no room for the bad anymore with so much light inside you. Now exhale—and push what’s left, all the bad, push it out.”

And so it went. We did this big and slow and deep. And it truly helped. I could relax and let my fears ago, even if only temporarily. With that kind of focus, I could fill myself up with only positive thoughts. We did it a lot. Sometimes I would cry and scream into a pillow. But then I’d stop and do that “good in, bad out” thing and it helped.

Here is my third and final suggestion:

Three
Don’t empower the cancer by seeing it as a separate entity who’s invaded your body and who’s out to get you. My body is my body. My arms are mine, my blood is mine, my cells are mine, even the ones that mutated and turned into cancer. All my parts work together to be ME and all of me wants me to live! Every part of me wants to get well so that the “whole me” can live. I tried to see the cancer as trying to help me win, too.

Like, it knew it had to take one for the team and GTFO (get the f*&# out) so that we (all my parts) could go on. Does that sound like crazy talk? Having cancer makes you think crazy things. But it helped me to not view the cancer as the enemy who was desperately out to get me. I knew it was apologetically saying, “Shit man, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I didn’t mean to do this to us.” And that helped me cope somehow.

After I finished my chemo and radiation, I had to wait 30 days to find out if the tumors had responded at all. That’s a hard wait. It’s like sitting around a month waiting to see if you’re going to live or die. My mom and I took the baby on a road trip to visit family. I was pretty sick, but it helped pass the time. I came home and underwent tests then waited another day or two for results.

My oncologist finally called me. I remember where I was. I was dusting my bedroom dresser. He said, “I’m a man of science, you know that. But this… this isn’t anything I can explain. We had hoped for some small sign that the tumors had decreased in size, any change at all would have been a victory, but we never expected this… they’re GONE. They’re all gone. There’s nothing left but scar tissue. The cancer has completely vanished. All of it. It’s a miracle.” My oncologist literally used the word miracle. I LITERALLY fell to my knees. They buckled. I fell to my knees and I wept.

I promised myself I would never take this beautiful life for granted and I made some big changes, including divorcing my husband (who I had been with for 16 years), moving houses and eventually moving to a whole new town. I completely changed careers (twice), and I remarried a wonderful man who is truly the loveliest human being I have ever known (and, as a side, one who has wholeheartedly embraced our Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle).

I sit here typing this up, remembering it all and how hard and how shitty it was, and how strong my mom and sister were in helping me through it all. I know now that they were shattered, but they never let on. They were so stoic for me. I never knew they had doubts and their strength filled me with hope.

I thought I might suck all the life from them, but it was the opposite. They filled me with theirs. I still wake up every day and say, “Yay! I’m here and I get to do this thing another day!” Not kidding. I really do that.

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading my story—and I truly hope you can glean something from it that will make a tiny difference in your life.

I have a super easy way of figuring out how long ago my battle with cancer was because it’s the same number as my daughter’s age. She’s 20. Her name is Molly.

Lots of love,

Peggy


Peggy, I have read your letter 5 times now and I can’t get through it without getting chills and tearing up. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you share your story with me, especially at the moment you did, but the word that comes to mind is grace.

Thank you with all of my being for reaching out with your words, they helped in a time when nothing else could. I would love to meet you and your sweet daughter one day and give you both a big hug. Life is so strange and hard and magical and I am constantly reminded that none of us are alone. We are all connected.

Deep bow to you, my dear.

For anyone who is struggling with cancer right now, my heart goes out to you. I hope you find some strength in Peggy’s story. Just a glimmer of hope is all you need sometimes to KEEP GOING. You are not alone. We are all in this together.

XO
Molly

Plant Based Ground Walnut Sausage

Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (160 g)
  • 1 cup cooked cannellini beans (175 g / canned or made from dried)

Instructions

  • Place the sage, thyme, basil, marjoram, fennel seeds, rosemary, cayenne, red pepper flakes and salt into your food processor and process for about 20 seconds, until the fennel seeds and rosemary are chopped up a bit. 
  • Add the walnuts and cannellini beans to the food processor and process until there are no big chunks of walnuts. Don’t over process because you don’t want a smooth paste. You want it to be crumbly. If there are some little pieces of walnut and beans, this is just fine. 
  • Add a bit more salt if you think it needs it and transfer the mixture to a container and store in the fridge just like this. 
  • When ready to eat, heat up in a skillet and add to Tacos, Burritos, Pizza, Pasta, or Salad Bowls. It’s also yummy as a dip. 

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with holding on.

Xo

Molly

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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54 Comments

  1. Julia on December 8, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Thank you thank you for this! I’m sending it to my sister who had her first chemo treatment this week. It was hell and even though she was told she is “incurable” we are still believing in a miracle. This gives us hope.

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 9:51 am

      Hey Julia, never stop believing that you’ll get your miracle. Sending love, Peggy.

  2. Gloria on December 8, 2018 at 9:26 am

    5 stars
    You’re the best! I’m always inspired and heart-warmed with your posts. And, your recipes are YUMMY! Bless you…

  3. Elyse Sokoloff on December 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Well holy shit, you weren’t kidding. I’m sitting here with a soaked Kleenex. I love all of these and I plan on sharing it with a friend who has a new BC diagnosis. Thank you for letting Molly share this. Much love to you and much love and meg healing vibes to Kirstie.

  4. SW on December 8, 2018 at 9:33 am

    My husband had a huge tumor in his leg and had his whole femur removed and replaced in September. Now we know there is a spot in his lung that needs to come out. Here are many more small spots in his lungs that might start up. He’s only 34 and we have 3 young kids (8, 3 and 1). This past year has been a horrible nightmare.

    The only way to get through is to believe with my whole heart that he will survive, and one day be the person who can encourage others in this way. Thank you so much for this story and I am rejoicing in your miraculous recovery! All things are possible!

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Yes! It sounds like you’re working hard to stay positive and that counts for so much. I love it that you’re already planning to win and then to help others. Sending love! ~ Peggy

  5. Maggie on December 8, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Cue ALL THE TEARS!!! Thank you so much for sharing your story, Peggy! I know I’ll be coming back to read it many times.

  6. Molly Drožda on December 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

    “I didn’t mean to do this to us.“ This really resonates. If we can see cancer not as an enemy but as part of us that is sick and malfunctioning … all that energy that would go into hating the enemy can be raised to loving the self and healing. (also, my name is Molly and my mother was Peggy ☺️)

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Love it! ~ Peggy

  7. rissa on December 8, 2018 at 10:07 am

    WOW!! Touching, inspirational, beautiful. It reminds me that in the darkest of times, whatever that might be, there is hope and love. I needed that right now. Thank you Peggy. Thank you Molly. Tons of heartfelt hope and love to Kirstie. XOXOXO

  8. Jacqueline O'Connor on December 8, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Oh my heart is so full right now. Thank you Peggy and thank you Molly…both Molly’s!

  9. Lyndsey Hafer Williams on December 8, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Peggy! I’m bawling my eyes out and cheering for joy after reading your story. The ending paragraph gave me chills!! Thank you for sharing your story with us!!

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 9:58 am

      All thanks goes to Molly (Patrick). She is the medium who made this sharing possible. Unrelated, thank you for all that YOU have shared. I’ve loved reading every one of your posts. xoxox ~ Peggy

  10. Laura on December 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Grace indeed. Bravo.

  11. Deb on December 8, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I’m beyond moved by this story….just beautiful, thank you Peggy!! ❤️

  12. Debbie on December 8, 2018 at 11:18 am

    The power of belief! Miracles do happen!!! And you, my dear, are living proof. Thank you for sharing your story, Peggy!

  13. Suzanne Murphy on December 8, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Wow .. an amazingly powerful story. This resonates so strongly! Thank you for that Peggy and to Molly for posting it ..

  14. Kate on December 8, 2018 at 11:53 am

    5 stars
    Peggy, this is — as Molly said — a gift to us all. Thank you, beautiful CFDG sister!

    You wrote about not separating out cancer as attacking the body or being seen as an enemy, and you are totally NOT crazy for that. I believe a lot my own healing began when I not only fell in love with my body but began to ask all my parts for their names (they answer when we allow for the silence to hear them). As I began relating to them with their names — Harry, my heart, Barbara, my blood, and Artie, my arteries, etc — I fell in love even more.

    This goes for thoughts too — the ones filled with fear, anger, distrust, self-hate. They are my friends trying to grab my attention the only way they know how, through painful interruptions that say, hey, over here, please acknowledge us, we have a message for you. Now instead of pushing them down, stuffing them with food or distractions, I welcome them and listen to them. They’re just scared. And after I hear them out, offer them love, they move on. Fear wants to move on with love, just like all of us.

    Thank you again for your gorgeous letter, Peggy, sharing it with us all, and inspiring us all. Much love to you and your family, especially your miracle daughter Molly. The name shared with our own Molly Patrick is no coincidence!!

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Yes! I like the way you think! <3 And if we ARE crazy, at least we're not alone! Love to you, Peggy

  15. Ginger Masters on December 8, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Oh my. Tears. 💓

  16. Jess on December 8, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    That was a good read. I’ve still got a tear rolling down my side cheek…… I thought that was your mom for a minute. Wow. Sending out big hugs to anyone going through some hard shit or helping a loved one… Cuz that’s hard too.
    Merry Christmas and mad dirt power to y’all 🎄💖🤘🌈

  17. Petra Hennek on December 8, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Cancer. Two profound things that stick out in my memory about my mother’s experience was her unending faith that if she followed the “rules” she would recover completely. The other was hope. Our family literally begged her to not have surgery because the prognosis was 90/10 not in her favor to become out of surgery. All she said was we can never give up hope. She came out of surgery. She never did give up hope. Positively amazing. Hope and being positive is everything. This was indeed an amazing read and gift.

  18. Deb on December 8, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Peggy, I lost my mom to cancer early last year. It is what led me (and many of my family members) to WFPB living so it was a true gift to all of us that she gave us after she was gone. I truly believe she nudged me to watch FoK. I miss her so much, especially this time of year. I’m so grateful that your daughter was able to grow up knowing you and vice versa. And thank you for sharing your story. Powerful and inspiring even for those of us who are basically healthy. How are we spending our days?

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Thank you, Deb. I’m sorry about your mom. It was my greatest fear that Molly (my Molly) wouldn’t ever know how much I loved her. She is, by far, the greatest blessing of my life. I’m beyond grateful that I was given the gift of time so that I could show her. xx Peggy

  19. Annu on December 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    5 stars
    Thank You Thank You for sharing this Peggy, Molly. I see this email and the message within as very metaphorical. “Cancer” can also be a metaphor for all that darkness in the way of beliefs , habits, toxic relationships, that we sometimes hold in. Thinking it’s serving us, but its obviously not helping. Peggy’s mom sounds like the wisest woman ever. There’s actually a yogic pranayam practice that explicitly states that when we expel breath during that practice, we see illnesses, darkness leaving our bodies and to receive sunshine in when breathing in. The fact that Peggy’s mom knew that intuitively is mind blowing and we as a community are grateful to her for that.
    This post made me cry buckets but I am also comforted by the fact that Peggy’s message will uplift so many of us. Thank You Peggy, Molly for sharing. Hugs

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Hearing someone acknowledge how wise my mom is, that touches my heart. My mom had breast cancer nearly 40 years ago, and she’s now 77, and she’s still here with us. She and I and my daughter, Molly, spent the day together yesterday making Christmas cookies. How lucky are WE???

  20. Cynthia on December 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Come on…. I’m here bawling just wishing I could tell Peggy what a kick ass human she is and to Molly for sharing this with her sister and us! It’s stories like yours that make us see the world differently and give us hope. Thank you and the happiest and healthiest holidays to everyone! Xoxo

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      Hey Cynthia, happiest and healthiest of holidays to you and yours, as well. Thank you for caring and for your kindness. And for telling me what a kick ass human I am. Sending love, Peggy xx

  21. Sue Serpico on December 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you so much Peggy, and Molly, for sharing this powerful, beautiful, and inspirational story. It is a testament to love, to determination and courage, and to the incredible power of the human spirit. My thanks and love to you both.

  22. Julia on December 8, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I am crying so hard right now. I just joined this community, so thank you for sharing this story, Peggy.

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you for your kind words. Welcome to this wonderful community! It’s unlike any other! ~ Peggy

  23. Diane on December 8, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    I just sent this to a co-worker whose sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank you for this and all the love.

  24. Suzanne on December 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    This was the best thing I have ever read! Just knowing that her and her families positivity got her though and kicked cancers ass is absolutely amazing. I now know in my heart that with all the love, family, friends and all the positive thoughts/ vibes/ prayers, Kirstie will kick her cancers ass.

    • Peggy Lee on December 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you for your lovely heart, Suzanne! Kirstie’s miracle is on the horizon. We are all claiming it and cheering for her. xx Peggy

  25. Patricia on December 8, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    5 stars
    No cancer here. Just years of illnesses, divorce and … .

    I am healthy now, but weak in body, soul and spirit.

    I have been in a pit of unhappiness that I did not have the strength to begin to come out of. The words of your story are my breadcrumbs, reminding me that there is a way upwards no matter how deep the darkness. So, I will be breathing in my sunshine, mentally calling to mind what is good in my life. Breathing out the bad and breathing in again the goodness.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings

    • Peggy Lee on December 11, 2018 at 10:11 am

      Patricia, may you stay so filled with joy and hope that there is room for nothing else. As a side note, my mom (from my story above, the one who taught me the breathing trick) is also called Patricia. Love to you! xx Peggy

  26. Kay on December 9, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Sharing wisdom. On utube can hear TTAC means the truth about cancer.
    Supplements curcumin,wisemens gifts,plant foods..etc

  27. Sarah on December 9, 2018 at 8:27 am

    My husband is a “miracle” survivor as well! What you said is so true and we lived the battle the same as you. No watching politics or news. Telling him that someone has to be the statistic that lives, why can’t it be you? Sobbing outside the hospital shower so he couldn’t hear me or see me not being the pillar of strength. He had NO idea. It has been almost 4 years since he has been cancer free. Yes we still have some PTSD moments, yes the doctor at the follow up still surprises us with things he wouldn’t dare say when we were in the heat of the battle, yes our children still bear the scars of our battle BUT we are all stronger and more resilient because of it. I LOVE the breathe in the good and breathe out the bad, it is brilliant! That would work for so many situations. I think I am going to tell my children to do that when studying for exams. Inspiration and strength can sometimes come from the deepest darkest places. Thank you for sharing.

    • Peggy Lee on December 11, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Thanks for taking time to comment. I have a young friend who had cancer a few years ago and she was given a VERY grim prognosis. She was told that only 5% of people with her type and level of disease recover, and every time she heard a success story, she felt like that meant she had one less chance to be a survivor herself. Like, all the success stories were “using up” all the “good statistic spots.” I love how you saw the good statistics as “that will be us!” and not “oh dear, if another person has gotten well, that’s one less chance for us.” Isn’t it odd how we can let our thoughts make us crazy if we allow them to? We can’t stand for it. Not just with cancer, but with worry in general. And regarding the breathing exercise, I’ve had so many people tell me (since this was shared) that they plan to use it for MANY other scenarios. I love it! How wonderful is that? xx Peggy P.S. True story: my friend is alive and well and cancer free, 5 years later.

  28. Cassie Cataline on December 9, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Yup, tears rolling down my cheeks. Bless you for sharing.

  29. Evelyn on December 10, 2018 at 6:02 am

    5 stars
    Molly, thank you for sharing this email. I know several people who are currently dealing with cancer, and I will share this with them. I know this story must have helped your sister. It is so inspiring!
    Please continue to keep up posted about her progress. We are sending her good vibes through prayer, good thoughts, and meditation.
    And thank you for your great blog and recipes. They are so good. Whenever I am serving dinner to omni people, I get on your site and pick one of your recipes. They are the best!
    Happy Holidays to you and yours this season!

  30. Go Jules go on December 10, 2018 at 7:28 am

    5 stars
    Wow. Wow. Wow. Miracles really aren’t something ‘out there’ – they’re within us, just waiting for our superhuman selves to realize it. Thank you SO much for sharing this. Chills for days!

    P.S. – This also happens to be one of my favorite CFDG recipes! SO MUCH WINNING.

  31. Lisa Bagley-Heger on December 13, 2018 at 8:17 am

    What an amazing and inspiring story! I cried and got chills and am so happy to hear that Peggy is cancer free and that amazing baby will get to have her mother in her life. God bless you Peggy and thank you Molly for sharing!

  32. Nancy Gossard on December 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I have chronic leukemia. I also don’t view my cancer as the enemy. I love seeing that. It made me cry. I’m new to the group and going vegan for 2019 to see if I can improve my blood work. It was grace that brought this to me at this time, too.

    • Molly Patrick on December 25, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      I’m so glad you found us, Nancy.
      Here’s to an amazing 2019.
      xo
      Molly

  33. Alia on December 31, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Thank you so much for sharing the letter from Peggy.
    Like your sister I was also diagnosed with a stage 4 breast cancer recurrence earlier this year just a few days after my 29th birthday. It’s been 8 months now since I heard the words “It’s back”. Just 6 months after they told me I was cancer free after my primary diagnosis. It was hard to stay positive at first but like Peggy I managed to rid myself of the negatives and live life day in day out being happy and content. I will always hope for the miractle that Peggy has experienced. At the moment my tumors are stable but the doctors are confused by them. They keep fluctuating in activity as if they cannot decide whether to grow or to disappear. In two days I will have surgery to remove them from my liver and if all goes well I will once again have “no evidence of active disease” on my scan report.

    I hope that your sister is doing ok despite the cards she’s been dealt.
    I second what Peggy wrote that her mother made her do. I think it’s something everyone should do on a daily basis regardless if they are ill or not. To take some deep breaths while focusing on everything that is good in the world, and they releasing all negativities on the exhale – it healed parts of me that had been broken for decades. I no longer suffer with anxiety or depression. I have no taken my medications for months now because I don’t need them anymore. And I am able to live a fuller and happier life now than I ever did before I had cancer.

    Sending lots of love to you and your family.

    • Molly Patrick on December 31, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Thank you for your beautiful words Alia.
      I am so sorry you have been given this diagnosis.
      Sending much love your way, may your body heal and be free of cancer.
      We would love an update from time to time if you’re up for it.
      xo
      Molly

  34. Meryl on May 31, 2019 at 3:01 am

    Chemo #3 for me next week. I am very fortunate- my prognosis is excellent. Random links led me to this website this morning. I thank you all for the demonstration that I am far from powerless here. Saying a prayer for you all. Thank you for this incredible gift.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Hi Meryl, So glad you found us and found some inspiration, too. You are welcome to join our amazing community on Facebook, we’d love to have you! Sending warm wishes to you as you navigate your chemo treatments. ~Karen

  35. Cathy on September 28, 2019 at 7:43 am

    I was randomly looking through recipes here this morning, because I am unable to batch the meal plan this week. I saw the headline “For Anyone Who is Coping with Cancer…” I was diagnosed a month ago with breast cancer, and had surgery last week. So of course I clicked on this. I am fortunate that my cancer is Stage 1A, which is almost as good as it can get! I still have radiation, and potentially chemo ahead of me though. I am so grateful to Peggy for sharing her story. Reading this was just good for my soul today… Thank you.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Cathy! Wishing you the best with your upcoming treatment. ~Karen

  36. JCB on October 6, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Touching and so true. Speaking as one who has been battling cancer for two years now, a positive attitude and WFPB diet keeps me going as well as getting outside to exercise or just enjoy nature if too fatigued to move much.

    Question about walnut sausage because when I’m feeling good, I try to cook ahead for the days when I don’t feel up to it. Does it freeze well?

  37. Liz on October 8, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    As others have so eloquently stated, this is a beautiful and inspiring, important post. Many thanks!

    I’d also like to say that I love this recipe! I will make it will all ingredients one day soon, as I didn’t have any basil, thyme or rosemary. I did add onion and garlic powders. Fried some up in a dry non-stick skillet and ate it with reheated potatoes and some salsa. Yum! I’m going to fry and add some to a vegan GF lasagna soon!

  38. Heather on June 9, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Someone just posted this on someone’s question about a pork substitute and I just happened to see it. I’m fighting breast cancer right now. I really needed your words. I saved the post so I can read it over and over again. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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