Monday, August 13, 2012

Lisa Formato

Lisa is a unique and incredible melanoma warrior in that she is healing herself naturally.  I have SO much respect for Lisa and her decision to turn down "conventional" or western medicine and chose a more holistic path to ridding herself of Stage 4 melanoma.  I think that takes a lot of courage and I commend her for the path that she has chosen.  Because I am also very into health and doing everything you can to ensure a strong immune system, I believe Lisa is doing so many great things.  Please follow her blog if you chose to learn more about what she is doing to heal herself naturally.  Lisa's story is written below (in her words), and can also be found on our website.

Hi all. The name is Lisa, the age is 29 and home is Long Island, New York. When I was eighteen, after a pre-college physical, it was discovered that I had stage I melanoma. I underwent a wide excision surgery and was then sent on my way to college to live my life, practicing sun safety and regular visits to my dermatologist.

Then eight years later, I found a very enlarged lymph node under my arm and knew right away it was related to the melanoma years ago. Sure enough, BAM!  I now had Stage III melanoma.  I underwent a lymph node dissection, radiation, and a month of Interferon, a drug with horrid side effects. At that point, the doctors told me that they “got it all”.  I tried to return to normal life, but all three of the treatments left me weak, with frozen shoulder and plummeted my immune system.  Only a year later, the melanoma had spread to my lungs, spleen, liver, hip bone, and various other lymph nodes. I now had stage IV melanoma.

My support team and I went from one prestigious conventional hospital to the next looking for solutions to beat the melanoma and keep me alive.  I was offered opportunities to undergo some clinical trials that may or may not work.  Somehow along the way, I was lead to the holistic path.  And boy am I grateful that I was!

My acupuncturist insisted that I start taking this supplement that reportedly reverses people’s cancers and other life threatening illnesses. I was skeptical and thought it was quackery, but still decided to go pursue it since I had nothing to lose.  I heard testimonial after testimonial from survivors who swore by this supplement, so of course, I was intrigued. This was the first step of my holistic journey….

It was at that point that I stopped all visits to conventional doctors, refused conventional treatments and sought out to learn all I could about the world of natural healing. I learned that cancer is not an outside invader and that it is a deficiency of vitamins and minerals within our own immune system. I learned that the toxins in our body are the primary cause of melanoma and the usual culprit, the SUN, is not to blame. I learned that in order to control or reverse the cancer we have to change our body’s internal milieu. I learned that to beat the cancer you have to target the problem that created the cancer in the first place, not just take it out with surgery or blast it with chemo.

Eating healthy, exercising, managing our stress and breathing are CRITICAL. For someone who wasn’t giving very long to live, I am doing very well. My list of holistic treatments is endless…. from juicing, to taking herbal pills and injections, to enemas, to traveling to a biological clinic in Europe, I do quite a bit.  It is difficult to pinpoint what exactly did the trick but all I know is my blood work and test results are all really good.  I realize that everyone has their own path to healing, mine just happened to be the holistic route.  What I do know is that love, an incredible support system and an optimistic attitude is more than half the battle.

I have learned so much as a young cancer survivor. Many things in my life have changed; some things for the better and some things I didn’t want to change. I learned to live in the moment and embrace everyday with a smile and laughter. I learned to not fret the small things and I realized just how incredibly strong the human spirit is. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I can honestly say that a cancer diagnosis changed my life for the better. My life’s destiny is to spread the healing to those suffering and to prevent others from ever hearing the words, “You have cancer.” Parallel to my career of being a mental health therapist I am now a holistic health counselor to help others reach their optimum health and happiness. Please contact me on my blog at if I can help in any way.

Peace and Strength,
Lisa Formato

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