Episode 179: The Mindset of an Incredible Cancer Survivor w/ Carmen Weir

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HORIZONTAL HEADSHOT, CARMEN WEIR, CANCER SURVIVOR, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Introduction

[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Well, hello my friends. Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show about an awesome cancer survivor.

We are talking to someone named Carmen Weir. She is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner, and she has a heck of a story. We are talking about cancer today. It is a part of Carmen’s story, and generally speaking, cancer is a little more serious than some of the things we discuss on this show.

Now, do not get me wrong because I’m not discrediting the things that I’ve been through or the things that many others have been through, but there’s a certain aspect of cancer that can’t be denied. It is the idea that one may pass away in the relatively near future if this is not addressed.

That is sometimes the case with other conditions that we bring on this show, but a lot of the times it’s more that the person suffers for decades and is still hanging in there. They’re suffering very long term as opposed to having this idea of, okay, I could actually die in a year or two if I don’t get this under control.

CANCER PATIENT, TIMELY TREATMENT, POSSIBLE DEATH SENTENCE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

So, it is completely crappy in a different way when you are dealing with something like cancer. We take a different approach of it with that. We’re not always just going the 100% functional route. This person has a clock over their head to some degree. We don’t know exactly when it is, but we can kind of get a general idea.

An Open-minded Cancer Survivor

If we don’t do something in a certain timeframe, there is going to be a period in the future where that clock will run out, and it’s a lot sooner than most of us would like. That’s just what it is. I’m not trying to get too serious right from the get-go today, but I’m just saying what it is. That’s the fact of the matter.

Because of this, it’s important that we recognize all the sides and all the choices that the person decides to make. This is a serious thing, and we need to respect anyone who makes their own decisions with this or goes through this. Carmen Weir is such a wonderful example of someone who really used their head when dealing with cancer.

CANCER SURVIVOR, HYBRID CANCER TREATMENT APPROACH, WESTERN MEDICINE PLUS HOLISTIC PRACTICES, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

She took some functional approaches. She also took the Western approach when necessary. She said “yes” to some Western things and “no” to others. She did some functional things and did not do other functional things. She did what she thought was right, she kept a level head.

I can’t speak for this completely because I’m not someone who’s dealt with cancer thankfully. But I would imagine that people that are dealing with this, especially if you’re newly diagnosed, would greatly benefit from a podcast like this. So this might be something to share with a friend or family member. It might be something to share on your social media if you find that to be appropriate. I don’t know.

I think you’ll really like this one though. I want to read her bio and then we will get into this today.

Hysterectomy, Chemo, & Holistic Practices

Carmen came to FDN after several health crises. I should have specified this before. There’s a lot more than just cancer here, but that is going to be one of the main focuses of the show. I just don’t want to throw a curve ball here with the rest of this bio.

In April 2019, she was diagnosed with RA, otherwise known as rheumatoid arthritis. A follow up DEXA scan showed she also had severe osteoporosis. Given the option of low-dose chemo for the RA and drugs that didn’t truly build bone, she looked to other more holistic approaches and hired a famous functional medicine doctor. I’m not sure who it was, but she labels it as someone who was famous.

These two diagnoses were just the beginning for her though. Later in 2019, she was diagnosed with, yet another autoimmune disease known as Guttate psoriasis, and I had to actually look that one up admittedly. I’m familiar with psoriasis, of course, but I had never heard of the Guttate psoriasis. It seems like the main distinction there is that it is characterized by psoriasis patches that last extremely long periods of time and are very resistant even to Western medicine treatments like certain creams or whatever. It could be very hard to get the flare up down.

CANCER SURVIVOR, HYBRID TREATMENT APPROACH, HYSTERECTOMY, CHEMO, HOLISTIC APPROACHES, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Then in March of 2020 (very bad time for this, if you guys remember what was happening in the beginning of March 2020), the big daddy of them all was revealed: Stage III endometrial cancer. Carmen chose a hybrid approach to the cancer, undergoing a radical hysterectomy and chemo alongside many holistic practices.

Using Cancer Experience to Help Others

It was during her cancer journey that she realized her passion and mission in life were to help other people find health outside of the Western medical model of sickness care. On New Year’s Eve of 2020 (what a great day for this), with a body clear of cancer and a heart set on becoming a difference maker, she signed up for the FDN course to set her intentions for life after cancer.

What you guys will appreciate in this episode, and it is an appreciation that will grow stronger and stronger the longer you listen, is the rock-solid mindset this woman developed. I mean, it’s badass, man. It’s something you can’t fake. I’m a huge believer in the self-help books, but I don’t necessarily believe you can just read your way to this type of mindset.

Because of what Carmen has dealt with, and because in many senses she has kind of stared the idea of death in the face, and she approached it in such a positive and incredibly wise way, you’re not stopping this woman. I mean, there’s nothing you can do to her at this point that I think would shake someone like this.

CANCER SURVIVOR, CANCER EXPERIENCE LED TO FDN, HELPING OTHERS, FDN PRACTITIONER, HEALTH COACH, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

She has taken one of the worst things that could happen to someone and flipped it completely and just said, okay, I’m going to use this for power. I’m going to use this to help other people. I can’t commend her enough. Carmen, thank you so much for coming on this show and sharing your story. Without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode.

All right. Hey there, Carmen. Thanks so much for being here with us today.

[00:05:25] Carmen Weir: Well, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to tell my story and talk to you, Evan.

Analyzing Health History

[00:05:29] Detective Ev: Obviously, the audience just got to hear that bio. That is a heck of a lot of stuff, and I know that there’s more to dive into today. I was saying to you off air too, we get a lot of autoimmune stuff on here, a lot of chronic symptoms. Those are very severe and scary things. I mean, my family’s dealt with the autoimmune stuff directly. I’ve dealt with the autoimmune stuff directly.

But the cancer thing has a weight that comes with it that I don’t think is always there with certain autoimmune diseases. There’s such a threat of the person not being here with us if this progresses too fast. We’ll get into that for sure. I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself.

I want to start with today just when did the health symptoms even start for you? What was life like before that? What were you doing? When did you first notice that some health stuff was going on, Carmen?

HEALTH HISTORY, CANCER SURVIVOR, SOMETHING HAS ALWAYS BEEN OFF, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:06:13] Carmen Weir: Well, I think that I’ve always eaten pretty healthy and always thought that I felt pretty good, but I think that something has always been off.

In 2018, I had a lot of feet problems. The bottom of my feet were really sore. I went to my regular doctor, who, the one that I had at that time was awesome. She said, I’m going to send you to a podiatrist. So, I went through a series of appointments with the podiatrist.

In Constant, Miserable Pain

I had just a fatty tumor on the bottom of my foot, and I had that removed. It wasn’t cancer or anything awful. After that got removed, that particular place on my foot felt better, but the ball of both feet were still sore. I kept going back and going back and going back. I said, why did the bottom of my feet still hurt?

I said, I can deal with the pain, but I don’t know what this is. I don’t know where this is going to leave me in 10 years, you know? I was worried about, what is this? So, I spent the summer and the fall of 2018 with very sore feet. Went through all of these appointments, went through the surgery.

Finally, my, again, regular doctor, I went back to her because the podiatrist was not telling me anything. She said, well, let’s just run some blood work here. She didn’t tell me what it was. So, we ran the blood work, and it was over the charts high for rheumatoid arthritis. Of course, I got referred to a rheumatologist.

CANCER SURVIVOR, FEET PAIN, BODY PAIN, INFLAMMATION, RA, OSTEOPORSIS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I already knew that it was RA and was kind of prepping for that. I did in fact see the rheumatologist who said, yes, you have RA. By that time, it wasn’t just my feet, my whole body ached. It was a chore to get up. I was foggy brained. I needed a half an hour of a hot shower to get my body moving. Life was kind of miserable.

A Cancer Survivor: Going Gluten, Dairy, & Sugar Free

An online friend told me about a book called The Wahls Protocol. She said, you have to get this book. It’s a game changer. So, I got the book. The day that I went to the rheumatologist was the day that I cut out gluten and dairy and sugar.

CANCER SURVIVOR, RA, OSTEOPOROSIS, INFLAMMATION, GLUTENFREE, DAIRYFREE, SUGARFREE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I know this isn’t normal, I’ve been told this a hundred times. That’s not normal, Carmen. I don’t know who you are, but in five days I felt better.

[00:08:33] Detective Ev: You know what? I mean, if it validates you at all, and I swear to God I’m not just saying this. As someone who gets to talk to all these people all the time, maybe that’s just why, I get to interact with all these individuals. I have heard some very dramatic things where things turn around very quickly with that. I mean, we don’t want to tell our clients that, cause it might give them a false expectation. But I’ve heard this.

That’s actually amazing that it got you there. It’s even more amazing to me that you were lucky enough to have this friend who knew about The Wahls Protocol so early. Were they already into the functional side of things? Were they like, a “natural” person? How did they know about that?

[00:09:03] Carmen Weir: She was an online friend. She has MS.

Detective Ev: Oh, okay. There we go.

Carmen Weir: That’s what Dr. Wahls has, although her protocol works for all autoimmune. She knew that so she knew that it would help. Yeah, she was very holistic in her own health, but she was not a practitioner.

A Cancer Survivor: RA Plus Osteoporosis

[00:09:21] Detective Ev: Obviously with the bio having been said, it’s like, I’m thinking about how much stuff still was to come. My gosh, knowing that you already made some of these changes that can really be quite significant for people and then all this other stuff comes. That’s kind of crazy.

So, you felt better in five days, but obviously there were still multiple diagnoses to come. What happens after five days? Like, what does the next year look like for you?

[00:09:44] Carmen Weir: Well, and I did feel better. It wasn’t that I was completely cured or that everything was fine.

CANCER SURVIVOR, RA, DEXA SCAN, OSTEOPORSIS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Then in the follow up with the rheumatologist, probably just normal protocol for them, I was sent to do a DEXA scan. I did that about a week after my initial consult with the rheumatologist. That showed that I had severe osteoporosis. So of course, I had another appointment with him.

He wanted to put me on methotrexate for the RA, and he wanted to put me on one of those terrible, quote/unquote “bone building drugs” that also have black labels on them. I was just not into that. I eventually, I saw him a few times during 2019 and fired him at the end of it, because he was very condescending.

In the meantime, in the fall of 2019, I got this terrible rash. They were little red bumps that were not really itchy, most of the time, and I didn’t know what it was. So of course, I was trying different holistic things, essential oils, aloe, and different things. It would not go away. I ended up going to my regular, my pcp (primary care physician). She referred me out to a dermatologist, who gave me some steroid cream.

A Cancer Survivor: Plus, Guttate Psoriasis

When you get this, it’s Guttate psoriasis, and when you get it, it sticks around for about four or five months. I mean, these things just don’t go away. It’s not like, oh, put this cream on for a week and it’s gone. I had tried so many things that wouldn’t make it go away, so I did do the steroid cream. They did eventually go away.

In that same timeframe, I had frozen shoulder. So, it was kind of a mess. But I had done a lot of different holistic things. One of the things that helped absolutely everything was my acupuncturist.

[00:11:41] Detective Ev: What is going through your head as this is all happening?

CANCER SURVIVOR, LOTS OF DIAGNOSES, AUTOIMMUNE, RA, OSTEOPOROSIS, SKIN ISSUES, FEET ISSUES, CANCER DIAGNOSIS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, METABOLIC CHAOS

Because, in the beginning you stated, I’m trying to do what I can, I live a healthy enough life. And in a fairly short period of time, let’s be honest. I mean, we’re only talking about like a year or two here, more or less. You’re getting multiple things going on.

So, was there any thought process in your head of like, this didn’t make sense? Or did you just think, hey, maybe this is something that happens to some people.

I know that you listen to this show, so you kind of know I’m fascinated with figuring out what was going through people’s minds at that time. So, what were you thinking?

[00:12:13] Carmen Weir: Well, I was pissed off. Just let’s be honest about it.

A Cancer Survivor: Tough, Negative Emotions

I had changed so many things. I was working with a functional doctor, and we had done labs. We had done different protocols to fix my gut, fix my hormones, and fix this and fix that. I was just baffled that I was doing so many good things and I had made so many different things different in my life that this was still going on.

I thought maybe this is like the detox. We’ve stirred up some different things and they’re all kind of getting themselves out and manifesting in those ways. But mostly, I was just kind of mad.

CANCER SURVIVOR, EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF HEALING, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

At the same time, I wasn’t in a very good marriage. Now that I know what I know, looking back, I can say that emotions and where we’re at in our head have a huge play on how healthy we are physically. I didn’t really realize that at the time how much that would’ve affected what was going on. But I think that did have a large effect.

You know, my attitude and just not understanding, as well, that I thought I eliminated gluten, but I probably didn’t because it’s so insidious in so many different things. Probably the cream I was putting on my face every night was inundating me with some gluten. The labs that I’ve run since do show that I’m pretty gluten sensitive. So, I think there were a lot of underlying things that I wasn’t aware of.

Knowing that the work that I had done with this functional MD, I could see where there were pitfalls and I was working on those things, but I wasn’t completely putting it all together the way that I can do now.

A Cancer Survivor: Negative Emotions’ Effects

[00:14:13] Detective Ev: I appreciate that you brought up the anger thing. I cannot remember who it was, but there was only one other person throughout all these episodes, believe it or not, that admitted to that anger aspect.

I think that is something a lot of people feel. But then when we’re telling the stories, I don’t think that they’re lying, but we don’t even recognize that. It’s not always the socially appropriate thing. It’s like, oh, I was sad, and I was upset. Well, it’s like, of course, but people forget how frustrated. I was angry too.

CANCER SURVIVOR, EMOTION ASPECT OF HEALING, EMOTIONAL EFFECTS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I totally get this. It’s unfair. You’re like, how is this happening to me? Or how is this happening to someone else in our life? Of course, now that you and I and other people are able to make the connection that the emotions actually are very linked with this, clearly that’s not a particularly helpful emotion when we’re going through it, but it does matter.

For those listening, it is perfectly normal and perfectly okay to feel a little angry when this stuff’s happening because it’s not fair. You know, we got one life to live and it’s not cool when we’re dealing with these kinds of severe things. So, I just appreciate you recognizing that. I think it’s validating for other people who listen to this show, because I know other people experience that. It’s sometimes hard to talk about.

Now again, I kind of have some insider knowledge here, having the bio, and I know that the audience has this as well. We all know what’s about to come up. Not only do you get these diagnoses and the autoimmune stuff, but we’re about to escalate into a cancer type of diagnosis.

A Cancer Survivor: Losing Too Much Weight

So how did that happen? Did you go somewhere and get like a checkup, or did you have new symptoms? What led to you going to the doctor to getting that diagnosis?

[00:15:42] Carmen Weir: Well, when I started the Walls Protocol, because I was eating so healthy (and I’m not overweight, I weighed about 110 pounds), I immediately lost 10 pounds. So, by early summer I was down 10 pounds from eating better, just getting rid of junk.

Then in the fall I suddenly lost 10 more pounds. And right around Christmas time, because I was kind of peri menopausal and was still bleeding, still having my cycles, I started a weird cycle, and it didn’t stop.

I was working with my functional MD; I saw her in February. I had gotten all my blood work done again because we were close to a year out from the RA blood work, and I wanted to see where it was without medication. I had all that done, and my numbers dropped about a hundred points with no medicine. So, we were cheering that, and we were so excited.

CANCER SURVIVOR, LOSING TOO MUCH WEIGHT, BLEEDING, ULTRASOUND, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

She was still worried about my weight. I told her that I had been bleeding nonstop since Christmas. She said, you need to get in and have an ultrasound. You need to get the ultrasound because you’re at that age. She said, and you also need to gain some weight. She said, it’s just amazing how quickly things can go sideways if you don’t have any padding. I mean, I weighed like 90 pounds. She was very worried about that.

So, I went in and had the ultrasound. I could tell that something was going on because she was very casual about it, but she kept going to one spot.

A Cancer Survivor: A Difficult Cervical Biopsy

I thought, oh, something’s going on, she keeps getting pictures over on that side. They just thought it was a fibroid. I was referred to a gynecologist who said, okay, we’re going to do this and if it’s just a fibroid that I can see, I can just take care of it right here in the office.

I thought, well, this is going to be great. This will be nothing to it, you know? It didn’t turn out that way.

[00:17:50] Detective Ev: Obviously, I’m guessing then, the diagnosis came pretty soon after.

[00:17:55] Carmen Weir: Yeah. It wasn’t a fibroid. She had tried to do a pap smear, which was kind of crazy. Well, she scheduled me for a cervical biopsy. I looked online of course, and it said that it’s nothing to that procedure, it’s just a little biopsy. I can assure you that it’s not nothing.

It’s amazing because I actually did have a fibroid right near my cervix, and that was making the cervical biopsy almost impossible. The best way that I can explain it is like, if you’re trying to open a door that has a brick behind it, the door won’t open.

CANCER SURVIVOR, CERVICAL BIOPSY, LOTS OF BLEEDING, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, CANCER DIAGNOSIS

It was very painful, and it was very bloody. I don’t know how she got enough tissue to be able to get some cancer tissue, but luckily, she did. So, I went in after the cervical biopsy, about a week later, I had an appointment with her to discuss. That’s when I got the cancer diagnosis.

A Cancer Survivor: The Diagnosis Response

She was shocked. She was a wonderful doctor. Lucky me, I always seem to get the doctors that have the interns following them. There was an intern watching me get my cancer diagnosis.

CANCER SURVIVOR, RESPONSE TO CANCER DIAGNOSIS, SHOCK, FREEZE RESPONSE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

You know, it’s what everybody says. It’s complete shock, you just freeze. You can’t believe what you just heard.

I came home and I got in my sauna.

[00:19:23] Detective Ev: I’m guessing even though you went into the sauna, that the thoughts were not as relaxing as one might typically experience in there.

Carmen Weir: No. No.

Detective Ev: Listen, I’m sorry to dissect this too much, but even when you and I were talking off air, you just strike me as like a very real person. So, if it’s ever too much, let me know. But I mean, what is that like? Because I know that people say these certain things, but you already are going through the ringer with these other health issues. It probably seems like they’re getting better, and we even have blood work to show that some things are moving in the right direction.

And now this. I mean, what the heck’s the thought process for you when all this happens now?

[00:19:57] Carmen Weir: Yeah, I didn’t know what to think. You know, It’s scary. Nobody wants to hear the C word. There’s a reason we call it the C word. It’s the big scary guy in the corner that nobody wants to talk to.

Yeah, I was frozen for a couple of days. I just didn’t know what to think. Once I got through that initial, Oh my God, what? I have cancer? This is like the one thing that doesn’t go through my family, you know? I’m like, Okay, okay. What?

A Cancer Survivor: A Correlating Family History

Then, when you get the cancer, they want to do some genetic testing. Because they thought there was something they thought that I might have that would make it more hard for some of my other family, that they should have regular testing. I didn’t have that. But they wanted to do this genetic testing and they had to have the whole history of my family with cancer.

CANCER SURVIVOR, HEALTH HISTORY, FAMILY HEALTH HISTORY, CANCER HISTORY, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

When I talked to my mom about it and when I started putting it all together, like all the pieces of the cancer that have been in our family, I was like, oh, we kind of really do. I was like, Wow! So, I kind of worked through all of that.

Of course, when you get a cancer diagnosis, you start getting a lot of phone calls and a lot of appointments. Here’s the extra little bonus because it’s just how I roll, the pandemic started in March. So, everything that I did, I had to do alone because nobody could come in with me.

That was at the very beginning when everything, like normal appointments, weren’t being made. Nobody got to go to see their doctor. You had to be emergency level to get a doctor appointment at the end of March 2020. They laid out the red carpet for me and welcomed me in.

Yeah, there’s just this kind of, I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s kind of a floating place where you’re just like floating in this little spinny place where you’re like, wait, what? You’re trying to figure out what actually just got told to you, you know?

A Cancer Survivor: Cancer Treatment Rush & Stress

[00:22:17] Detective Ev: Yeah. We had an aunt of mine several years back now at this point, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Unfortunately, we did end up losing her from this. To watch this process, because again, I had seen a lot of illness in my family, especially in the autoimmune realm. I had really seen no cancer. I didn’t know anyone who dealt with that.

CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLAN VS. AUTOIMMUNE PATIENT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLAN, TIMING, RUSH, STRESS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

You’ve heard of it a million times, of course. But I didn’t get affected by this indirectly or directly. When this happened, I was just shocked by the differences in how it is addressed. Where like, my mom had these symptoms for years. It took her seven years to even get a diagnosis of the autoimmune disease she had, which was Graves’ disease.

Whereas my aunt, I saw her on Christmas. It was normal as can be, she’s happy. She’s hosting it at her house with my uncle. Everyone’s eating, having a good time. And all I hear, literally five or six days later, is that Aunt Karen’s going in for brain surgery. I’m like, What? Like, she was fine. Apparently, she had been having these headaches, Carmen. Then she went to the doctor, and she found out about this.

Listen, I know a lot about health stuff. I don’t want anyone to think I’m pretending that I know all about cancer here. I do not know about that. But I know that I saw a woman in my life that was totally seemingly normal and, in my opinion, did not look like she was in dire need of such a serious surgery. I mean obviously the tumor’s gotta go. I understand that.

A Cancer Survivor: Cancer Treatment Stress Effects

But at the same time, is that rushed process or the weight that comes with this diagnosis, is that actually helping the client? Because you just described this, this floating feeling and just being in shock for a few days.

I mean, how does one feel when one day they’re fine in terms of not having a diagnosis and then five days later they’re going in for one of the most invasive surgeries that someone can do? Just the stress that that must put on one’s body. I don’t know how we would ever quantify this. I don’t know how we would measure this exactly, but I feel like that’s gotta be worsening the situation that they’re already dealing with.

CANCER SURVIVOR, CANCER TREATMENT STRESS, RUSHED TREATMENT STRESS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I mean, it’s not a situation not to be stressed about. It’s obviously serious. I’m sorry, I’m not actually posing a question here, I guess. But I just wish we could do better for these patients. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. Because I cannot imagine that that high level of stress, the rushed aspect of it, the life changing things that happen overnight, I don’t know that that’s a hundred percent benefiting the person.

I mean, you’re the one that’s dealt with it, so maybe I shouldn’t be talking. What do you think about this? Do you think there’s any validity to this?

Commercial Break – Try the FDN Course for Free

Well, I know of at least one way we can do better, and that is by getting more people like you and me out there in the world actually doing this work and helping other people from a functional perspective.

TRY THE FDN COURSE FOR FREE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

If you’ve been considering the course, and maybe this is something that you want to do. You can go to fdntraining.com/tryfdn, and this will allow you to try the FDN course completely for free, no credit card required. I think it’s going to take more than this, but this can be a good step, and it’s probably the most relevant step for you if you’re listening to a podcast like this.

So that is fdntraining.com/tryfdn to try the course completely for free.

All right, now back to today’s episode.

A Cancer Survivor: Connecting with Other Cancer Patients

[00:25:15] Carmen Weir: I think you’re right though. That’s the thing that just chaps me the most is that you get a cancer diagnosis, and the rush is on. You know, it’s like a black Friday, 6:00 AM door opening. Oh, we gotta get you in and we gotta, we got. It’s like this cancer didn’t come in overnight.

You certainly have weeks, if not months, to do research, talk to people, get some other opinions. It doesn’t have to be rushed, like what they do. That just tworks me because I see it happening all the time. I align myself with cancer people now. I tell people, cancer people are my favorite people.

CANCER SURVIVOR, CONNECTION WITH CANCER PATIENTS, LOVE FOR CANCER PATIENTS, HELP OTHERS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Because once you’ve been given that diagnosis and you gotta go, whatever path you’re going to take, you are going to become a warrior going through that, you know? It’s scary, it’s hard, and getting to the other side is not a cakewalk. So, I love cancer people. But I hate it when I see that they’re doing that to people.

They did that to me, but they learned pretty early on from me that I wasn’t somebody who was going to get pushed around. I had an entire care team. I had like seven people, I’ll just continue with my story. I didn’t know this at the time, but whatever came back on that sample must have told them that this looked pretty advanced. They never let on to me about that.

A Cancer Survivor: Stage III, C1 Cancer

It did turn out to be endometrial cancer. It was a grade two, which is kind of medium as far as in the grade. When they grade it, they’re saying how fast it’s growing. It was a grade two. They don’t stage it until after surgery and samples. The plan for me was a Da Vinci hysterectomy.

I had two surgeons. I’m a Midwesterner, I live in Wisconsin. So, UW-Madison is highly touted as a great cancer place. I had a UW surgeon for my lymphadenectomy, and my provider did the hysterectomy. So, I had two surgeons. I had just different people from UW and from my provider.

Then I had a care manager. They worked together, but they were telling me even before surgery that chemo was probably going to be recommended and probably radiation. Here’s how the human spirit works, at the beginning of all that, I thought, well, I’ll do radiation, but I am not doing chemo.

CANCER SURVIVOR, STAGE III, C1 CANCER DIAGNOSIS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Then I got online, and I started searching. I got through all the research after my surgery. It came up as Stage III, C1, that’s not very far from the highest stage. There is no stage five. So, the only reason it wasn’t a stage four was that it had metastasized, what they would call micro metastasized, in every one of my reproductive organs.

My right ovary was nothing but a tumor. It was in my fallopian tubes. It was coming down my cervical canal. It was obviously in my uterus. It was everywhere. If it had spread to other organs, then it would’ve been a stage four. But it hadn’t, so it was a 3C1.

A Cancer Survivor: The Western Medicine Protocol

They took out 10 lymph nodes. There was a little bit of cancer in two of them. There were suspicious cells in the pelvic wash. It was one of the things that they want to look at is the invasion of the uterus wall. That was over 50%, so it was late stage.

CANCER SURVIVOR, SURGERY, CANCER TREATMENT PLAN, CHEMO, RADIATION, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Pretty shortly after the surgery, they came up with the six rounds of chemo and they wanted me to do 25 rounds of daily radiation for five weeks.

Then also three brachy therapies, which is the internal therapy. I started researching based on what they wanted to do and the percent of remission or extra years of life that I would’ve got from doing the radiation. It was really minimal.

The repercussions of having the internal radiation were not good. Not to get too explicit, but it turns your vaginal wall into leather. That didn’t sound very fun to me.

[00:29:58] Detective Ev: No, it does not.

[00:29:59] Carmen Weir: I had a chemo oncologist, a main oncologist, a radiation oncologist. I had lots of different doctors trying to talk to me. I didn’t like the radiation oncologist. I flat out asked her in the appointment, I said, I get that you want to get the wind. I said, but when do we get to talk about my quality of life? I just said “no” to that.

About halfway through my chemo, they had called me to ask me what I had decided about the radiation. I said, well, I don’t think I’m going to do it. (I wasn’t a candidate to do them concurrently.) I said, I thought I’d wait till after I had my scan, after chemo, see if there was still any cancer. Then maybe I would do it.

A Cancer Survivor: Saying “No” to Radiation

They said, well, oddly enough that, I know it sounds counterintuitive, but if there is still cancer then we wouldn’t do radiation. I said, well then, I guess I’m not doing it. She said, well, can we call you after chemo? And I said, yeah, you can call me after chemo.

CANCER SURVIVOR, SAYING NO TO RADIATION, TREATMENT PLAN, DECISIONS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

Instead of calling me, they made an appointment, and I got a letter in the mail that had an appointment set up for me. I called the UW and canceled said appointment. When I canceled it, the lady said, do you need to reschedule? And I said, nope. So, I just said “no” to radiation. But at the beginning, that wasn’t my mindset.

I went into chemo very unafraid. Like I said, I had worked with a functional MD, and we had a protocol set up. I was doing a lot of other holistic things. I went into chemo a very happy person every time I went. I looked at it, it was a day for me to get my focus back on what it was, this was my one job that summer. That was my one job. That got me back into focus.

A Cancer Survivor: The Mindset Aspect

My functional MD at the beginning, told me that I was going to have to find a way to be grateful for this. I thought she was out of her ever-loving mind. As I went through the process, I discovered that I am grateful. But she also told me that when I go into chemo, that I should ask that chemo to bless other people who have ailments.

CANCER SURVIVOR, CHEMO, MINDSET, PERSPECTIVE, POSITIVE MINDSET, EMOTIONAL ASPECT OF HEALING, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

So, when I went into chemo, I would have my list of people who were suffering with different things, and I would ask that chemo to bless them too. It’s a mindset thing. You know, I didn’t go in angry. I didn’t go in thinking; I can’t believe I have to sit here for six hours and take this crap putting poison into me.

You know, I call it the blessed poison. That’s what I called it.

[00:32:36] Detective Ev: I mean, I wouldn’t be the one to say it having not been through it. But since you’ve been through it, you are literally correct. I don’t think anyone could argue that feeling terrible about it and negative about it is going to support the situation. It simply won’t.

My aunt, I couldn’t believe that she transformed in almost a positive way. It was unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it, the mental fortitude to get through something like that. And as you’re describing this story, it always gives me an enhanced perspective when I hear from people like you.

A Cancer Survivor: The Blessing of Western Medicine

I mean, what you guys are actually going through is so additionally stressful to the body. And we know how much stress the body has to be under to even get to this place to begin with, especially, you know this as an FDN. It is remarkable that anyone makes it out of this. I mean, it’s actually very hard for me to understand and wrap my head around.

One thing I want to really throw in here, cause I don’t think this happens too often on the show. I just appreciate you guiding us through the journey and not just talking about the natural stuff. Because I always say on this show, Carmen, that we’re not against Western Medicine. There’s a time and place for everything. We just want to be able to make informed decisions as individuals who are getting treatments done or maybe have chronic disease or whatever.

SERIOUS CANCER DIAGNOSIS, CANCER SURVIVOR, WESTERN MEDICINE, SURGERY, GRATITUDE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I think what you did makes perfect sense. You have a later stage thing going on. It’s pretty scary, it’s pretty serious. This might not be the time to go do the juice cleanses or whatever. Like, we gotta do a little more than that. Thank God Western Medicine was here for you to help with some of these surgeries.

Now no one’s arguing that’s ideal. Obviously, we would’ve liked to avoid that to begin with. But if we’re already in that position, sometimes we gotta be intelligent with how we’re mixing both things together. I know that you said in the information that you sent to me that you also combined a holistic approach with this.

A Cancer Survivor: Holistic Practice of Gerson Therapy

What were some of the holistic things that you were doing? Was that just a maintaining of the diet you had been on or were you adding in additional therapies, holistic-wise now, as well to this treatment for you?

[00:34:31] Carmen Weir: We added in. We did a little Gerson therapy, which is very complicated, it’s for cancer.

CANCER SURVIVOR, HOLISTIC PRACTICES, GERSON THERAPY, COTTAGE CHEESE AND FISH OIL, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

We didn’t do all of the Gerson therapy things, but there’s a mixture of like this cottage cheese and fish oil. We did that. Because I was so thin, we did some, it sounds really gross, but she made me do it. I don’t drink coffee, but I drink chicory root. In my chicory root, I would have to put in ghee, like two tablespoons of ghee in my quote/unquote “coffee.” So, we did that.

I did a lot more juicing instead of my smoothies because the juicing gives you just the nutrients that you can quickly absorb. I had some absorption problems before the cancer. So yeah, some more juicing. You know, I didn’t get a lot of help with my supplementation. I was kind of thrown into finding that out on my own.

Sloan Kettering has a website that tells you drug interactions with certain supplements. The only thing my functional MD told me was no vitamin A, C, or E. Other than that, I was on my own. My oncologist wouldn’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t take.

A Cancer Survivor: Wanting to Feel Capable

You can also do some intermittent fasting. A lot of people will fast during chemo because it makes it more effective. I didn’t do that because I was really thin. I got under 90 pounds at one point, so I didn’t feel like that was something that I would want to do. I do it now, but yeah, so there were some different things.

When I got home from chemo, I went out and walked a mile. You know, I just stayed really active. In fact, the big joke of my chemo was after my fourth chemo, I Blackjacked my driveway because it needed it. I was at a really, really low point and feeling like just a bucket of mud. I wanted to feel good about something and I wanted to feel capable.

It was kind of funny because I kind of had to stay out of the sun and my driveway gets a lot of sun. So, it was a little bit of a struggle with the sun. But I mean, guys in my neighborhood were coming out going, oh, you should come and do mine.

CANCER SURVIVOR, NEEDING TO FEEL CAPABLE, ACCOMPLISHED, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

You know, I’m out there with no hair and here I am at 88 pounds out there doing that. And they’re going, you should come and do mine. You know, So, that was kind of fun.

But I didn’t do it for anybody else. I did it for me because I needed to know that I could accomplish a really hard task.

A Cancer Survivor: The Answer to Cancer Recommendation

[00:37:10] Detective Ev: If someone is listening to this today, and I know inevitably it will happen, considering our audience at this point. Let’s say they are in the midst of the cancer stuff. They are working through this.

Maybe they’re listening to this just to even get some advice or get some tips while they’re also doing whatever treatments their doctor is recommending. What would be your advice to an individual who has received that cancer diagnosis and is going through this? Advice, obviously, that would support them in actually getting through this successfully.

RECOMMENDATIONS, THE ANSWER TO CANCER, DOCUSERIES, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:37:39] Carmen Weir: Well, one of the things that really got me through, there was a docu-series on (just like talk about Heaven sent, it just dropped into my lap, and I own it now). There was a series called The Answer to Cancer. It was a lot of alternative doctors. That is a series that I would recommend to anybody who has cancer.

You’re going to hear the same thing over and over from all of these different doctors, not because they’re all promoting the same product, but because it’s such a mindset thing. So, that’s one thing is The Answer to Cancer. It’s a Jeff Hayes film. You can pick and choose the modules that you watch. If an interview is not tickling your fancy, you can fast forward and watch a different one.

But that actually changed my life. Kellyann Petrucci was in there because she’s an alternative doctor who had cancer. She said a couple of things in there that flipped my world. That’s how I got started. I don’t know how to describe it. I watch her interview probably every couple of months and I cry every time I watch it. It just resonated with me.

A Cancer Survivor: You Have to Believe

There’s going to be something in there for everybody. And I can tell you that that series specifically has a lot of breast cancer doctors in there. So, especially if somebody has breast cancer, that’s great.

Kelly Turner has a book called Radical Remission, and it’s the most inspirational book you’ll ever read on cancer. She interviews stage four, mostly stage four, some stage three cancer survivors, who did not do a lot, if any, Western Medicine and is surviving like 20 years later.

There’s things that you do and the way that you think, just practices in your daily life that will change your trajectory. It really will. Then the other thing that I tell everybody, and I totally believe this, pick door one, two, or three, doesn’t matter. But you have to believe in what you’re doing. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, that it’s going to cure you, it’s not going to cure you. That’s just my hard and fast rule now.

CANCER SURVIVOR, MINDSET, BELIEVE, BE PERSUADED, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

You know, it doesn’t matter what you pick, but you have to believe in it. I swear it’s like 80% mindset with cancer. You know, the body makes this tumor because things aren’t working right, and your cells aren’t signaling properly. I look back and I don’t know if I would’ve done chemo. I would’ve done the surgery probably; I don’t know if I would’ve done chemo knowing what I know now.

I don’t regret it and I said that at the time. No matter what happens down the road, I’m good with what I’ve chosen.

A Cancer Survivor: Upcoming Checkup

That’s the way you have to approach it. You know, I just think so much of it is mindset. You have to be diligent, and you have to do the reading on what your cancer is. Talk to people and go down these paths before you go in and just follow every doctor’s first recommendation, you know?

[00:40:49] Detective Ev: That’s what stinks. It’s like on one hand I’m so glad that we have the ability in today’s internet age, because it gives us access to the books easier, and we can find this information easier. I’m glad that patients are empowered in that way.

But it’s also sad to me that people dealing with something so serious need to go out of their way, in a sense, to also educate themselves while they’re dealing with something that is highly stressful.

Nonetheless, I appreciate those recommendations. I haven’t actually heard of either of those things. Again, I’m more keep myself in the autoimmune space, but this is amazing. I’m glad that we have this now for the people that listen. And if I’m not mistaken, you are, as of right now, you are cancer free, correct, Carmen?

CANCER SURVIVOR, CANCER CHECKUP, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:41:26] Carmen Weir: I am. I have my two-year cancer checkup next week. So, my cancer is known for coming back with a vengeance in two years. When I asked my oncologist, what does that look like? She said, we see it in a lot of places, and it’s considered incurable. She said, but there’s things we can do. Those things would be things like Keytruda, and I’m not interested in that.

A Cancer Survivor: Why is This Happening FOR Me?

But one of the things that I do want to say, I know we’re getting kind of close to the end here, I truly believe that cancer comes for a reason. That’s one of the things you’ll hear in that Answer to Cancer series. It’s God’s way at kicking you in the pants because you’re not living your life right in some way.

I truly believe that because I went into it just going, what is going on with me, and why me? And, you know, doing that floating space going, what? What?

As I went through it, I figured out why. I mean, I was in a toxic relationship that ended during my treatment and that’s why it came. If I would’ve had a cancer that would’ve only required an operation and everything was good, it wouldn’t have been enough to get him out of my life. So, it had to be this severe. That’s one of the reasons I’m grateful for it, you know?

CANCER SURVIVOR, MINDSET, POSITIVE ATTITUDE, PERSPECTIVE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

That’s the trick to the whole cancer puzzle, is that you have to scrutinize your life and figure out, what am I supposed to learn from this? You know? If we quit looking at things in our lives as, why is this happening to me? Change that question to, why is this happening for me? Because I truly believe that my cancer happened for me. I know

that probably sounds like, people are going, what? But I’m a better person today. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown, I’ve gotten stronger. I was already pretty strong, but I’ve gotten stronger. Life is much better than before cancer.

A Cancer Survivor: Being Led to FDN

[00:43:30] Detective Ev: Wow! This is as much of a motivational talk for me today, Carmen, as it is a health talk. Geez. Seriously, I mean This isn’t a joke.

You know, we get one chance at this life. When something comes in our face like that, that is rather serious. I’m someone who, I mean, I try to be as much mindset oriented as I can. I’m very into personal development. But that’s a true test. You know, you can’t fake that. That’s either real or it’s not.

I think it’s very genuinely inspirational to the people listening today. I appreciate this. I won’t keep you too long, but I’ll keep you for a few extra minutes. When you said that, I looked down at the time. I couldn’t believe we got through this.

CANCER SURVIVOR, PASSION TO HELP OTHERS, CANCER EXPERIENCE LED TO FDN, CANCER CHECKUP, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

But we have to talk about this for sure. The fact that you not only have this great mindset around this now, you actually said that you found your passion, like this life passion because of what you dealt with. That eventually led you to FDN. I just thought that was amazing. I mean, when you were going through the FDN course, were you finding some more healing opportunities in your body?

Were you maybe finding some stuff on the lab tests? Because I feel like this next checkup coming up in a week or two, that’s going to be probably great because you’re doing some of the best health stuff in the world. So, did you find any healing opportunities on the FDN labs?

[00:44:40] Carmen Weir: Yeah. Yeah. And to be honest, I’m due to get some labs run. I just don’t have the money.

A Cancer Survivor: Utilizing FDN for Self-Health Investigations

It was funny because prior to the cancer, I was estrogen dominant and actually had high testosterone. You figure this was a full two years from the first labs that had gotten done almost and, after the hysterectomy, which we know what that does to hormones. When I did that lab, the estrogen dominance was still there although all the numbers were lower, but it was still estrogen dominance and it was like, wow.

Because of the cancer, we can’t do all of the things that we can do with most of our clients. My oncology team did not want me doing any hormones. So, we worked with some other adaptogens.

Yeah, I had some H. Pylori and just all the things that I learned in the process of getting through the course, it helped me be my own health detective. So that was really cool.

RA FLAREUP, HEALTH DETECTIVE, USE FDN EDUCATION, FDN TOOLS, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

I’ve actually had an RA flare going for a while, and I put myself on a gut protocol. I’m getting better. So, it’s good to have that information. Even though I can’t afford to run the lab, I know my body. That’s one of the things that you probably know as an autoimmune patient, but especially with cancer, you get really in tune with your body. And as an FDN you’re already really in tune with your body.

I knew that there’s some gut stuff going on here. So, I ordered up some supplements and started myself on a gut protocol and things are getting better.

A Cancer Survivor: Empowered with FDN Educational Tools

[00:46:19] Detective Ev: That is so true. There are other blessings in this if we look for them, but one of the blessings with chronic diseases is if you do choose this more natural route, yes, you become hyper aware. I don’t mean that in a paranoid sense. I mean that in a very good sense.

I think it’s how human beings were supposed to be designed. We understood our bodies and the world around us. I mean, think about it, What other animal needs a menu and nutrition facts to figure out what to eat? They don’t need that. They just know what to eat naturally.

Yet we are so far away, we’re so domesticated that we can’t even figure that out without doing podcasts like this and doing all this science and stuff. It’s actually, it’s ironic for someone like myself who’s in the space that we literally shouldn’t even need this. Yet, we have to because of how we have chosen to live as human beings.

FDN TRAINING, FDN TOOLS, TRUE HEALTH COACH, HELPING OTHERS, HEALTH DETECTIVE, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

So yeah, there is something to that for sure. And I’m glad that you are an FDN now and now have these extra tools and that empowerment that comes with, like you said, being a true health detective.

I have a good feeling about a week from now, and I mean that. I would not say that if I did not actually believe that. I think this is going to be good.

Maybe it’s just because of your mindset. Maybe it’s just contagious in that sense, where I think anything could happen in a week and yet Carmen’s still going to figure it out somehow. Maybe that’s the reason I’m saying that. So that’s more of a testament to you than it is my intuition, my friend.

Carmen’s Ideal Client

[00:47:34] Carmen Weir: I like to tell people that cancer came, we danced, we’re done.

[00:47:39] Detective Ev: I like that.

[00:47:44] Detective Ev: Well, Carmen, I know that you graduated in the grand scheme of things, only somewhat recently, right? I graduated five years ago. We have people on that have graduated 10 years ago. I know that you’re still only getting started with your practice and stuff.

But I’m curious, I know for a fact you’re going to resonate with someone that listens to this thing, especially because your story is actually quite unique compared to the other people that we bring on. So, who, in your best ability that you can describe it, who is your ideal client? Like who would you like to work with and serve in this work?

IDEAL CLIENT, LOOKING FOR THOSE LIKE OURSELVES, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:48:14] Carmen Weir: I think most of us that come to FDN, we’re looking for ourselves, you know. So, people with autoimmune, definitely people with cancer. Cancer survivors who want to avoid getting a recurrence and just any autoimmune, because what we do will help it.

We know that getting back into homeostasis will calm any autoimmune. And if we’re healthy, we’re not going to get a recurrence from cancer. So, I feel like I could work with anybody because I know what FDN does.

But yeah, cancer and autoimmune people.

Where to Find Carmen Weir & The Signature Question

[00:48:56] Detective Ev: Fair enough. All right. I will have this in the show notes of course, but where can people find you if they would they’d like to work with you?

WHERE TO FIND CARMEN WEIR, CANCER SURVIVOR, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

[00:49:02] Carmen Weir: I have a Facebook page. My business is named The Wellness Principle. It’s at cs, both capital letters, capital D, u b y a. CSDubya.

And my website is thewellnessprinciple.com.

[00:49:19] Detective Ev: Awesome. And we will finish up today, Carmen, with the signature question on the Health Detective Podcast. That question is, if I could give you, in this case, a magic wand and you could wave it and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s literally do one thing or stop doing one thing, what is the one thing that Carmen would get them to do?

[00:49:42] Carmen Weir: Well, I scream this from the top of my lungs. I swear this will be on my gravestone. Food is medicine, treat it as such. Food is medicine, and let it be your medicine.

[00:49:56] Detective Ev: All right guys. That’ll do it for today’s episode with Carmen Weir. I hope you guys enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed recording it. Of course, I don’t want to hear someone go through all this stuff, but at the same time, that mindset, it is encouraging, inspiring.

Conclusion

It’s just amazing to be able to hear that from someone. And it’s rock solid. You can’t fake it, you can’t buy it.

REAL GRIT, COMES WITH EXPERIENCE, CAN'T BE FAKED, CANCER SURVIVOR, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST

There’s nothing you can do other than actually have some type of lived experience or go through some type of challenge. Then on top of it, have the wisdom to actually use it for something good. Cause you can go through that stuff and most people don’t end up with that mindset.

In fact, I would argue that probably the majority end up with the exact opposite mindset, but not Carmen. It’s one thing for people like me to say it, who might not have been through something like cancer, but for these individuals out there that are suffering to get to hear something like this from someone who’s dealt with it, that’s real. That is a hundred percent real. I hope it helps those individuals.

If you guys like the information that we’re sharing, please consider leaving us a five-star review on Apple and or Spotify. If you’d be so kind as to do that, then I would love you even more than I already do. I’m looking forward to talking to you guys again soon with another interview.

But until then, please take care.

You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com.

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