Cancer? We've Got This!
Interview with Author, Influencer & Cancer Survivor Juliet Mitchell.
Interview with Juliet Mitchell with Author of the book "Cancer? We've Got This!". Juliet is an expert on organic living, health and wellness, and public speaking. Besides being a cancer survivor, she leads corporate health retreats and seminars. She is often featured on radio and TV.
**** Video Transcript ****
Chia: Welcome. Thank you for being here today. I'm Chia with Chia Silver Lining, and I'm really excited to be here today to introduce you to Juliette Mitchell. I have been waiting for a long time to finally meet Juliette. I read about you, ironically, here in California, and in several magazines that featured your story. So when I read it, I got really excited. I had to find you because I think we've been put together in this misadventure of cancer.
Juliet: Yes, for sure.
So, first, tell us a little bit about your journey, and then how this all came about.
Okay. So I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in 2013, and of course, anyone that gets a diagnosis like that, I was 44. And just like, you know, like what? Like I thought the doctor was like picking the wrong person when he called me, like, you know, I was a fitness girl, right? You know.
You said you were a runner.
I was a runner. I didn't really drink alcohol very much. I didn't eat really that great, but I didn't eat horribly either. So anyway, when you get such a horrible diagnosis like that, your whole world just goes into a complete spin. And mine did.
And you had a little girl?
I have a little girl.
And that adds a little bit of panic as well.
Yeah, totally. Because you're like -- and anyone knows that has kids or grandkids -- to think of the thought of, you know, not beating this and what is going to be left for your loved ones. Or, even the journey through it. How is your loved ones going to weather the storm as you try to fight this battle?
God, I just need to know if I'm going to live or die from this cancer. And I'm not getting up from here until you talk to me or until I hear something.
So I was telling her the night before my surgery, because when you have ovarian cancer, you have to have a hysterectomy. And so for my surgery, I took a run on the golf course and I laid down on the golf course and I looked up at the sky.
Cancer Breeds Both Fear and Faith
I do believe in God. Some might not believe in God. But for me, you know, I do believe in a higher being, higher power -- God -- and I laid down on the golf course after the run and I said, "God, I just need to know if I'm going to live or die from this cancer. And I'm not getting up from here until you talk to me or until I hear something."
So it wasn't like the clouds parted or anything like that, but I laid there for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and all of a sudden, I got this really quiet voice inside that said, "You're not going to die right here, right now, from this cancer. That's not going to happen." And then I actually got up and went running.
But the reason I tell you that part of the story is because I really believe that not only is it a physical fight, but it's an emotional and mental and spiritual fight, too. So I think that at that moment, I had already laid the groundwork for myself emotionally, mentally and spiritually, that I knew that I was going to get through this. I knew that I was going to beat this.
I'm not saying that I didn't have doubts when I was deathly sick after having chemo and thinking, you know, how can I? I don't know how if I could take another treatment. I definitely had those thoughts that go through my mind.
Like what if what if that was just my imagination, you know? But then I would refocus myself back to, "No, I'm not going to go there." It's normal to have those thoughts, but I'm going to pull my mind back from those thoughts, and I'm going to focus on that.
God told me that I'm going to get through this.
Fear and Anxiety When Facing Death
Because there's a lot of anxiety.
Oh, my gosh. I was having panic attacks.
It is. It's compounded with the anxiety. So, yes, we talked about your mind and the strength of your mind. As you go through this, I think it's important to find education and hope. I think those are two components that can help us survive.
Yeah. And I think to also not to beat yourself up.
If you're watching this video, and you are in a bad state of mind and think, "Oh, I'm not going to make it because I'm such a worrywart." I was worried. That's why I needed to go to to seek some spiritual guidance and to get my mind and my emotions right because I knew that that it was off kilter.
So the next day, I had my surgery, and it was clear cell carcinoma. Usually anything that's clear cell carcinoma in the cancer world is a death sentence and is super aggressive.
My oncologist told me that if I would have come to him five weeks later, he would have given me a death sentence. So literally, I was at stage one when I saw him, but if I would have come in five weeks (later, I would be stage four). So I really knew at that moment that God had a deeper plan for my life, that this wasn't by just chance.
You know, the doctor saw one other person in my situation in 30 years, so I felt like I was getting a second chance at life. So, I went into this like an Erin Brockovich mode. I wanted to know everything I could about the C-word, you know. And if I did play a part, what part did I play in all of this? Because I really wanted to beat this. I really wanted to see my daughter get married.
A Cancer Diagnosis Didn't Make Sense
And and your curiosity piqued, though I do see that you all of a sudden had this burning desire to know more.
Yeah, because it just didn't add up. I had no family history. I was fairly healthy. I didn't have any diseases or autoimmune disorders prior to (the diagnosis). Nothing. I did develop an autoimmune disease later, but I didn't have anything at the time, so I was just really complexed, you know.
Talk about that for a little bit. I think that's interesting that you said the statistic for genetic testing for cancer is, what, 5 to 10%? Yes. And so it leaves us with a lot more questions than as we go through our lives. And you have to wonder then what is out in the environment. What is going on?
And that's the journey you took.
Yeah. I just wanted to know everything I could on the C word. So as I started to study and read every medical journal and every book, I just started to see a common theme throughout these books. I basically knew there was something that had to be going on in my environment. And then I realized that I was living on a golf course.
The guy next to me said his pool was turning green because of the runoff of the chemicals from the lawn.
Now don't everybody freak out who lives on a golf course at this moment.
But it's a great story.
Yeah. I lived on a golf course, and I found out that there was, you know, several women on my street at the same time having the same cancer that I did. And the guy next to me said his pool was turning green because of the runoff of the chemicals from the lawn. And we lived in an area of the golf course where we were getting sprayed double time, you know. And when I called the golf course to find out what chemicals they were using, the superintendent of the course was out with cancer. So I was really like, "this is like crazy" because we're all not eating the same thing, but we're all in the same environment and breathing and ingesting the same thing.
I knew at that point that it was the golf course. So, I sold my home, and I later came across an article that said If you lived within 2000 feet from a golf course, your chance of cancer goes by 30%. Wow. So I didn't even live 2000 feet. I lived right on it. And but I also knew from my from my studies, and from what I learned that it wasn't just one thing. It wasn't like every person that was on the golf course got cancer.
See a full report on toxic fairways at https://perfectearthproject.org/health-effects/golf.
There was some other stuff that I may have been doing. And I came across a common thread that your liver plays a huge part (in you getting cancer) because it's the filtering house of your body. And if the liver is strong, it can filter out toxins that don't get stored in your cells.
I was going through a divorce, so it was the stress (that was the second reason I got cancer). I believe that it's the multitude of things that give you cancer.
Like Suzanne Somers says, "It's a tipping scale on any given day." If there's too much of a bad thing, then it tips you, and it starts to mutate that cell. Well, for me, it was the stress of the divorce. It was living on the golf course. It was ingesting the chemicals.
A Problem with Tylenol
I wasn't sleeping good at night, so obviously my immune system was probably a little compromised and all that. But I was taking Tylenol PM to go to sleep and taking it for a long time. (Tylenol PM can cause liver issues if taken over a long period of time.) I just didn't know.
That it was going to affect you.
Well, I just I didn't know. I never really took a lot of Tylenol, so I just didn't know that, even though it's like it says right there on the bottle. So my my liver was was hugely compromised. In fact, after my first chemo, they always check your blood because they want to see what your white cell count is, and my doctor said you can't get your next treatment because your liver can't handle the chemo. He then said, "You really need to stop drinking."
Oh, my gosh.
Oh, my goodness, what is he talking about? Like, I don't even hardly drink. Maybe one drink of wine.
So I'm like, "this guy's crazy."
But he made me to start thinking what is damaging my liver? Then I came across a list of medicines that damage your liver, and the first or second one on the list was Tylenol. And I was like, "Oh."
I instantly gave up those Tylenol PMs and my liver enzymes came back.
Everything you're putting in you matters.
Pure Girl, Toxic World
I did in my research and found the Gerson Theory of Therapy was one of the most known holistic approaches to healing and curing cancer in the world. So I got their books, and I just studied. It's basically being a vegan, which my oncologist even told me. It's like if you go vegan, you cut your risk of reoccurrence by like 40%. So I was like, "Oh, done. No more meat, right?"
It might not be for everybody, but it was a choice.
Did you actually try that?
Oh, I'm totally vegan. I've been vegan for ten years now.
It's extreme discipline.
Yeah. Well, you know, do you want to live or do you want to die?
Absolutely. That's a good point.
Illness or diabetes.
Yeah. This can be very healing for many people.
Right. Well, I am a pure girl in a toxic world. That's on my blog and Instagram. But a lot of people that follow me don't know I have cancer. I would say probably half my audience has cancer. A majority of them are women that have had breast cancer and who want to try to live a cleaner life, you know.
Many people I know struggle with diabetes. I come from a very Latin border area. And so we do have a huge following too in diabetes, which goes right back down to nutrition at the end of the day. It's a huge battle in our region.
But here's the wild thing. The Spanish/Mexican has a lot of things in their diet that are really anti-cancer. That's awesome. They have a lot of avocados. They have a lot of tomatoes. They have a lot of onions. They have a lot of garlic. They have a huge detox for the liver and the body, which is cilantro.
I do think some of those things definitely affect cancer, so I chose to take on the Gerson therapy. So that's what I do. I do juicing. Just finished it. Carrot and apple and ginger, and I do three of those a day and then I do celery, celery juice and then I do a green Gerson anti-cancer juice, which is like a ton of these greens. And then I have a cleaning lady here that can't use any chemicals, not even a little.
Cosmetics for Cancer Patients
What about your makeup. Could you touch on it a little bit.
Yeah, I was first just like, "oh my gosh, what am I going to do?"
I'm just like, "I'll never look beautiful after cancer ever again. Forget the Brazilian blowouts. Forget all of this. No Botox, no fillers, no. Oh, my gosh no. When you go through cancer and you lose your hair, you already feel bad. I should say I felt so un beautiful at the time, you know? But, I knew that I'm beautiful, but the loss of a woman's hair is such a huge, huge thing for her.
And you just don't feel good. I think it's important for us to take care of ourselves, even even when we're not feeling good because it does. I think it's is a little healing.
Totally. Yeah. 100%. When I first put on those wigs, I was like, "yes, good God, you know, I feel good again." So I started studying ingredients, reading labels. And then I came across a fabulous website called EWG. It stands for Environmental Working Group.
Now, ladies, this is like your golden key and men too. But basically, they work for us, the consumers. They only work for donations. It's a group of scientists. They don't work for any big corporation. They basically study ingredients in personal care products and in household products.
So hair products, makeup, nail polish, anything, all that stuff. So they rate them from ten being extremely toxic and high cancer causing and a high autoimmune reaction to zero, which is no cancer causing ingredients, no autoimmune reaction. They even go so far as studying hormones, which is really very important when you have a female cancer such as breast or cervical or ovarian cancer.
On the site, you can see if a product is going to affect any type of hormone or if there's a synthetic hormone in there. So that just became like literally my Bible. I would go to the grocery store, and I would pull out my app. "What is this product?" You know.
You want to live 90% of your life, whether it's what you eat, whether it's what you think, even what you put on your body: It has to be clean.
Great for me.
Right? And this was back in the day ten years ago when "clean beauty" wasn't a part of the world that it is now. Clean beauty is now so much more accessible and easy to get products. I always make sure that what I find has to be cancer free. So all the products that I buy, you know, and we talked about beauty counter, beauty counter. I love BeautyCounter.
I love their mission. I think they fight for the consumer to be able to have a cleaner product.
Yeah. I would say that 90% of their products are cancer free. They also do educational classes, which is good. I call it the 90/10 rule.
Okay. I like that. Tell us about the 90 day.
So the 90/10 rule is that you want to live 90% of your life, whether it's what you eat, whether it's what you think, even what you put on your body: It has to be clean. And then you're going to have 10% of it being toxic.
So but you've eliminated 90%, right?
And so my 10% is my hair dye. I get my hair dye and a little Botox, but I have used my own fat for filler.
Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So those are great options.
Great options because it's your own natural body fat from your body. If you follow me on my blog, I'm really big on nail care, everything that's cancer free and stuff like that.
I love it. That is so important. As soon as I came out of my cancer, when I could kind of breathe a little and see life again, that was huge for me. As I said, all the things that I wish I would have known or could have known or somebody would have taught me is what we try to put in to a silver lining. Our boutique: it's a wellness boutique that has one person there just to vet every product that we put in it. So every product has a mission to teach everybody to make better decisions. Our boutique really focuses on exactly what you're saying: being able to make more educated decisions.
A Hard Talk about Makeup with Daughters
I have had a very hard talk with my daughter because she goes to her dad's and then her dad buys her toxic makeup. I'm like, "You really shouldn't be using that." I can only do what I can do when she's here. We don't have complete control.
I'm just big on that because after cancer, my skin was grey, and I wanted to find a self tanner. It was the summer, and I finally came across a self-tanner that was for breast cancer survivors. I was like, "oh, my God". It's the little things like once your nose becomes aware of certain smells that you wouldn't think of this.
And these are the small things that she and I were talking about prior to the interview that I don't have the answer to cancer. She doesn't have the answer to cancer. We just have some things that we know to do that can help us decrease our odds of reoccurrence.
But there's something that can be in my environment that can cause cancer and that you didn't know and you're doing A, B and C, and then you end up with reoccurrence or you end up with cancer again. But it's not something to beat yourself up about. It's something that was out of your control that you didn't know. Right?
And and we talked about the storm, too. I think that it's important to talk about all those little things that come into our lives that create a perfect storm. It's not always in our control. And you're you're right about that. We still have to make it our responsibility to do our due diligence.
What Can Cancer Survivor's Really Control?
Right. Our control, like Olivia Newton-John. We were talking about how she had breast cancer 30 years ago and that she has a holistic clinic in Australia and everything. And then she came out and said she had a reoccurrence 30 years later and basically said I just need to go harder. But we still have to live our lives, you know?
And speaking of lives, this turned your life completely upside down, too, right?
Oh, my gosh.
You were an interior decorator prior to this.
Yes, yes, yes.
Talk about how God kind of works in your world.
Yeah. That brings us back to the book. It's like all the knowledge that I consume from my own journey. I felt like, "Oh my gosh. Wouldn't it be great to just be able to give it to other people? Everything that I've, I've learned."
So I wrote a book. It was the number one bestseller in Holistic Medicine on Amazon called "Cancer. We've Got This" by Juliet Mitchell, and it's basically 50 do's and 50 don'ts.
But there is also a section in the beginning where it talks about if you are just starting chemotherapy and radiation because there are certain things at that time that we shouldn't be doing.
For instance, we shouldn't be going into swimming pools. The small things that sometimes people don't think about because sometimes people will die in the in the time period after getting their treatment because they expose themselves to swimming in a lake that's still water and has a ton of bacteria. And then they have a cut and their immune system's down and they end up dying from a secondary issue wound, which they wouldn't have ever died from if they would have just been more conscious and aware of some things that they're supposed to do and not do.
Changing diapers is another big thing for grandparents who want to be around their grandkids who are newborns. You do not want to change diapers. You don't want to pick up dog poop, you don't want to do any of those things because there's bacteria and your immune system will be down (from the chemotherapy).
You don't think about that.
Dealing with Toxic Products
You don't think about it. I opened up a box a couple of years ago of some boots that I bought and they smelled hellacious. Have you ever bought a brand new pair of shoes and had this?
That chemical smell? Yes. Like when you get in a car. My dad always used to make us air up our car in a hot day because all those chemicals are just boiling up and you get into that car and that's what you're smelling. And that was before people even started talking about this. He already had a sense of those little problems.
Yes, because they put tons of formaldehyde all over the leather and the plastics so they don't crack. You want to remember this. But the dashboard used to crack because they didn't have formaldehyde. And then they figured out that we'll put formaldehyde on it.
So I researched why these boots want to make me throw up when I smelled them, and realized they come from China and the Chinese don't want you to get the shoes and open up the box to find a cockroach or a rat in there. They've killed everything. So they spray it with tons of pesticides and tons of chemicals so that it doesn't get mildewed and it doesn't have any bugs. That's why the smell is like a barrage of toxic cancer causing chemicals.
So one of the things I do is lay all of my brand new clothes, shoes, purses out on the sundeck. I let them air out for a couple of days, and it kills off the chemicals.
Yeah, great piece of advice.
Yeah. And anything that I can wash, I always wash. Yeah, but this is the thing. These little things don't cost anything.
No, just again, pure education.
But this is the sad thing. You're doing A, B and C, but you don't know about N or F. Right?
Yes. Yeah, you're right. But we've got to try. Right? We got to try. That's what you're doing. And thank you.
I have a little something for you. It's just a little something from Silver Lining. We do baskets for people to be able to give other people. Maybe we may not know how to comfort someone, but hopefully we've curated baskets that could give someone the kind of a comfort going through their cancer. So these are candles that have been curated for us from Soul Sparkle, with no chemicals. So I always say, why would you light a candle in your house that has chemicals for everybody just to have toxicity, right? So maybe just buy a candle with no chemicals. Yeah. Especially if you're putting it in your children's room.
It also has messaging, so all the messaging is appropriate, which I found was hard when I was going through my cancer. And I don't know if you found that, but not everybody knew what to say or said the right thing. Right. And it was a little bit hard on me to keep my spirits up when people couldn't say the right thing. So I got a little nervous. I decided to create the right messaging and make it easier for others.
Speaks to what we're talking about, finding that connection to the soul. Yeah.
Wow. Thanks so much.
Oh, no, thank you. I'm the thankful one. I get to sit here with you. I've got one other little tiny gift. Okay, so this is a bracelet that's very dear to me. It is made by one of our cancer patients. And it is made out of, of course, the porous stone, the pumice, which you can put your aromatherapy on it. So if you're going through a headache or a tummy ache, you can always select your aroma. So you add your aroma for whatever your ailment is and it absorbs it. But she pays for her infusions by making these for our boutique. Oh, for me, it has so much meaning in it too.
I am definitely putting this on my blog. I am just in awe.
But how wonderful would it be if people could also receive your book in one of our baskets? So tell us, how can we get your book?
Losing Friends As a Cancer Survivor
Can I just add one more little?
I remember you did shared with me about (how friends and family reacted to my cancer). I had a lot of friends that abandoned me.
I had a lot of friends that circled around me with support. But, I was devastated as well when I lost some of my really close friends. I thought, "how can you not call me anymore? How can you just ignore my phone calls?" I was devastated. Shouldn't you be really nice to me right now?
You're living their fears, right?
Exactly! I had my my best friend of so many years say that she was not into health or fitness or anything. And she was like, if you have cancer, what does that say about me?
And so through it all, I started to process why some of these people wouldn't return my phone calls or abandoned me or left. I started to realize that it didn't have anything to do with me. It had to do with their fears of not being able to handle someone having cancer.
I think it's really important that if you're listening to this message that this has nothing to do with you. It doesn't mean that you can't get through this. It has to do with their weakness, their own fear of possibly looking at death or looking at disease that they can't deal with. And I think it's really important to understand that it's not about you. You will find the people that will support you, and you surround yourself with them.
Telling Your Children About Cancer
And then the one last quick story I'll tell you.
So, as you know, as my hair started to come out (from chemotherapy) and this one night, my daughter, who was five, had to brush her teeth. So I said, "Go upstairs and brush your teeth."
But as she ran upstairs, I realized that my hair was in clumps by the sink. I thought, "She's going to see my hair while brushing her teeth."
I wasn't yet prepared mentally to have that conversation with her. And I was like, "Oh crap, what do I do?" So I ran upstairs, and I heard her brushing her teeth on her stool, and she was like, "Oh, Mommy, you lost your hair. You're not going to be beautiful anymore. Mom, you're not going to be like a princess. You're not going to be like a mermaid."
She was going through this whole dialogue in her head, and I thought, "Here it is. What I do is how she's going to handle it."
So she came out of the bathroom and she looked at me and I said, "Come here, Katie. Mommy is losing your hair, but it's a good thing. It shows that the medicine for the Bad Boo-Boo guy (my cancer) that's in Mommy's tummy is killing it."
It's working. It's working. And you get new hair.
Yes. So it's actually a positive that mommy is losing her hair. And I said, "Katie, sometimes in life, some of the most beautiful women don't have hair."
And she said, "Well, then, mommy. You are the most beautiful. And she jumped down to play with her Barbie's.
So it's by the way you react that tells your kids or your grandkids that it's OK because it's the truth. Yeah. Mommy just feels sad about losing her hair, but it shows her that the medicine is working, and I'm getting better.
It's all positive. My daughter was about the same age, and she hated me like she hated me. And I was like, "Oh, my gosh, I never expected that reaction." But then she completely shut me out of her life completely. Time has healed our relationship. And I'm blessed that out of all this hard stuff, I ended up getting the best deal: The silver lining. So you're right. It is it is hard for us because we see the fear in everybody else.
Well, thank you so much for doing what you're doing. It's so needed. And it's it's it's. I'm just in awe of you.
Well, we're all surviving together. I'm blessed to be among these wonderful, strong women. So thank you for being an influencer in my life and in so many people's lives. And we're blessed to have your story.
Please keep sharing with us. Thank you.