Chemo Detox and Infrared Sauna

Here’s what I experienced on my detox path. Saunas have mixed reviews and I share what side of the debate I’m on in my post.

One of the things I said during and after chemotherapy was that I would never do it again.  If i knew then what I know now, I would do everything I could to avoid chemo.  One of my hopes is to someday soon get my journal typed up to share with all of you.  I don’t consider myself a nobel prize author or anything of that nature, but I think I can write well enough to capture and hold the attention of my reader.  Back in 2013 and 2014, my now husband would read my journal entries after I had written them.  Some made him laugh so hard he cried.  Others just made him cry because of the pain and fear I was in on a daily basis. The good days were awesome and I made the best of them.  The bad days were awful and I tried my best to hold my chin up and just get through the day.  The really bad days were scary for both of us. My goal is to avoid cancer recurring, and definitely avoiding anymore surgeries, chemo and radiation.

You can’t reach a goal without a plan. In the beginning, I didn’t have an articulated plan. I fumbled through, doing a lot of research and trying things out. I didn’t have one person or professional to guide me. I worried a lot and stressed a lot, always wondering if I was on the right track.

The Detox
My detox path started somewhere along the way.  It’s hard to pinpoint today exactly when the transition started.  Maybe I’ll find it in my journal.  I do know that my self-education of what I was going through and what I could do to avoid it again, started during my treatments.  I read books and articles by highly regarding oncologists as well as alternative medical professionals.  When I say alternative, I speak of it as the current medical profession does.  The alternative medical professionals are actually medical professionals practicing the kinds of medicine that have been practiced for centuries.  So they are truly the traditional medical practices. We kind of have it all backwards here.

At any rate, my detox started around three years ago.  I did not know what I was doing was detox.  I just knew that everything I thought was healthy and safe, was clearly not.  I wanted to learn all I could to turn my health around and thrive; not just survive.  I wanted the opportunity of a long, healthy, happy life.  One where I wasn’t always looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I wanted to have dreams and bring them to fruition. I wanted to lose the worry and stress because I knew it was detrimental to my health.

A lot of what I did seemed based on common sense once I really got to the bottom of it.  My actions became rather instinctual.  I turned down the volume on the outside noise and listened to my gut, and my body generally.  I kept reading and researching.  Eventually I hit a point of redundancy about a year ago. Everything I was learning turned out to be things I instinctively knew and had already implemented. Every time I read something I would say, “hey, I do that.”  I had reached a point where there was little new knowledge.  Now, I’m not saying I know everything.  Far from it.  What I am saying is that the general knowledge around what I needed to do to regain my health was mostly inside me.  The details are the things I still read into every day.

At that point one year ago I was presented with an opportunity, a choice, on what to do with my knowledge and my passion.  I decided to venture into health coaching as a way to reach out to others and share what I learned.  This week, as my program draws to an end, I decided to take up another opportunity to dive deep into an area that has been a large part of my detox: essential oils.  I will be spending my summer and part of the fall obtaining a richer understanding of essential oils, their history, chemistry and practical applications.  I can’t wait to bring that knowledge to you.

But back to my detox path.  I want to report back on my progress.
My intentional path, where I realized what I was doing, started in October.  At that time I started an actual, self-created detox program.  I started to feel generally crappy at times.  No major detox side effects that were disabling.  Nothing like that.  The one thing I noticed most is that I was experiencing what I referred to as chemo legs.  They would get like lead. During chemo, they would get so bad I couldn’t make it up the stairs to bed some nights.  I would just sleep on the couch.  When it happened during my detox, it wasn’t like that.  It didn’t keep me down.  It kept me from running, but did not impact my daily living activities.

Detox : Phase 2
In February we purchased a far infrared sauna.  I did months of research on infrared saunas before taking the plunge.  I researched detox protocols and how to support detoxing with the use of sauna.  I geared up and jumped in.  One of the things I read was how it’s common to experience past illnesses, traumas, pain, etc. when detoxing.  It’s related to cell memory.  The cells of our body store information throughout our lifetime.  Think of it like the tequila (or whatever did it for you) moment.  It’s that time where you ate or drank something and got so sick that whenever you heard mention of it, saw it or smelled it, you nearly wretched all over again.  Even if whatever it was didn’t cause the illness.  For example, I came down with my 7-year stomach flu one time after having a spaghetti dinner at a restaurant.  For the longest time I couldn’t eat spaghetti.  I had to relearn that it was the flu that made me sick, not the spaghetti. No doubt part cellular, part psychological.

Over the last few months, I’ve been experiencing little bits of this here and there.  I wondered if it was real or whether it was more of an effect of what I read about detoxing.  Until last week.  Mid-week last week, everything started tasting, well, off.  Nothing tasted right.  I thought maybe I was coming down with something.  I thought maybe it was the move into a new house and new environment.  I had the diffuser by my bed, so I switched up my blend to one for respiratory support.  And then it dawned on me.  I have chemo tongue. Yep, another term I used during chemo.  Chemotherapy targets and kills fast-growing cells.  Hair, nails, and apparently tongue cells are fast-growing cells affected by chemo.  I recall one night we went out for dinner after picking out a wig.  We went to an Indian restaurant and I was eating mint, jalapeno sauce like it was hummus.  I couldn’t believe it when I found out what it was.  I like spicy, but I can’t handle that spicy.  But it was the only thing that had even a little flavor to it at the time. My kombucha wasn’t  as enjoyable and my spicy hot kimchee was barely noticeable.

To Detox or not to Detox
So what’s my point?  Everyone has an opinion on whether or not detox works, or whether sauna works.  But it’s like anything else.  We’re all different and we experience the same things differently based on our chemistry and what we’ve gone through.  If asked my opinion, I would say that detox works, and sauna works. That’s my experience.  I’ve created my experience based on what I needed and what my body was telling me. We all have that ability.  The ability to turn down the noise, the media, the advice, and listen to what our gut tells us.  Just because society or the government says something is okay, or something is bad, doesn’t make it so.  We are now getting a glimpse of that with our food and diets, pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines; the list goes on.

My challenge to you is to turn down the noise and just trust yourself.  Go media free for a week; but no longer or you’ll miss my next blog post.  Then check back in and let me know what you learned from yourself.  We are all divine beings imparted with a priori knowledge.  Meaning, we are born with all we need to know.  We just need to quiet our minds once in a while and remember all that we forgot. And don’t be dismayed if you’d feel more confident with support. Reach out to a health practitioner or health coach ???? who understands the importance of detox. Detox is much more than what you eat. Detoxing your life is necessary for change. You can drink carrot juice until you turn orange, but if everything else in your life is toxic, stressful or out of balance, you still won’t glow or thrive.

The landscape is changing. It is far more cost effective to invest in getting healthy than to get out from under diseases once they take hold. Think of the lost time, work, productivity and money that comes along with illness. I view my position as one of having it to do over, as long as I’m still here. And that’s the path I’ve chosen. What path will you choose?

Yours in Wellness,


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