Personal Story: Meg Wolff, A Life in Balance
Like most survivors, I like to think there’s some higher reason behind my going through cancer. And maybe I’ve searched for meaning twice as hard, as I’ve lived through it two times.
It’s been 20 years since my first recovery (from bone cancer) and 12 years since my second one (from advanced invasive breast cancer). I realize with certainty that I wouldn’t be here, writing this, had I not learned about and tried a plant-based diet.
In 1998 I had been through it all – a leg removed when I was 33, a breast removed eight years later, and chemotherapy and radiation. After all that, my doctors sadly told me that the cancer would return within a year. I wanted to live so much – I had a loving husband and two children (a son, 12, and daughter, 8) who needed me. But everything seemed so hopeless.
Until … a doctor I visited mentioned that some women with breast cancer had been helped by a healing plant-based diet. Something enormous clicked for me, hearing her say those words. This wasn’t a foreign idea to me. I had read about the benefits of plant-based diets. But many years later, standing in the doorway of this doctor’s office, I knew, in a profound way, that I was now ready to try this. I left that office feeling like I’d finally figured out something that offered hope, and I hit the ground running.
At first, the people closest to me were deeply concerned, viewing me as pathetic for thinking that changing my diet was going to work. But I was undeterred! I kept happily and hopefully cooking my brown rice, learning to make healthy soups, and chopping my vegetables. And I … Started. Getting. Better. I was sleeping through the night for the first time in years, and other problems beyond the cancers that I’d lived with for years, like ulcerative colitis, were fading. My coloring returned to normal and then to rosy healthy. I slowly and steadily improved.
As I got better, I couldn’t learn enough! I voraciously read everything I could about plant-based eating and was happy to see the science backing up what I was doing. I was lucky enough to learn about The Cancer Project (TCP) through a little local newspaper ad featuring actor Ed Asner. When I visited the PCRM and TCP websites, I felt I’d just hit the jackpot – seeing so much useful information in one place, including a wealth of scientific evidence to support the plant-based nutrition approach I was taking.
PCRM and TCP are such amazingly helpful, educational organizations, full of doctors, scientists, educators, and nutrition experts, and I’m proud to support and promote their efforts. I love that they’re certifying people as “Food for Life” cooking instructors, demonstrating to more and more people how easy and beneficial it is to cook in a healthful way. I’ve completed the instructor course myself. I’ve always felt so grateful for just being here – and compelled to share my experiences and lessons.