Food Therapy by Denisa – a positive story about fighting a serious illness
We´d like to introduce you a story of Denisa Cziglová we met via her blog Food Therapy by Denisa. When we read it carefully, we found a story that can inspire you not to give up anything. Even Denisa says that her blog is there to show a positive approach in fighting a serious illness, because she was only finding negative reactions on the Internet that never gave her any chances or hope.
Hi, Denisa, could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Denisa and I´m 29 years old. Before telling you my story, I´d like to start with explaining how I lived before. I was modelling, I was at a university –career in Taxes and Economy and then I started to work in Economy Department of Faculty of Sports Studies. I had a long-term relationship, we were planning a wedding. It didn´t go that far in the end because while planning it, I collapsed in a department store and then I was taken to the hospital where they found out I had an immense brain tumour and they operated it straight away. Although the tumour was negative, I spent some more time in the hospital. During that year, I was under constant monitoring but I was still able to live my normal life. But in the autumn of 2015, it was found out that my tumour is growing again and is very harmful. Therefore, I underwent a surgery again and the results weren´t as optimistic as it was for the first time. It made me think and live differently.
How was your diet before the surgery?
I ate quite a lot of meat before, because I did a lot of exercise and I was in crossfit preparation phase and there were all those muscle freaks that gave me advice on how to get proteins. In their point of view, it means meat, meat and meat. When I was little, I loved sweet things and sugar was my best friend.
How was it for people around you when they found out about your disease?
It was a terrible shock for everyone, but I was always lucky to have people that supported me, first and foremost my five girlfriends I can rely on and I´m really thankful for all they have been doing for me. And my family´s and my boyfriend´s support has been also crucial for me. First, I didn´t want to tell anyone, because I wasn´t sure how the surgery would be going but later I was glad there were people visiting me.
Did you meet any other patients in the hospital? Are you seeing each other?
Yes, I met people with much more serious problems than I had. This was when I realized that I would manage it, that my tumour would be taken out and everything would be all right. With the girls I met, we still support each other and write each other on Facebook about our actual state.
Can you compare your philosophy of life before and after the disease?
Before the disease, I practically didn´t deal with any problems. I didn´t need to look for anything new or to change anything. I lived my student-party life, I worked a lot as well and I never had much time for myself. But in those days, I didn´t care because I wanted to achieve success and have a nice life full of affluence. Of course, this was when my body let me down and I started to perceive more things around me – although I tried to run back to everyday life and my work in my thoughts. I could do this until I ended up in the surgery room and then at the oncology department again; I told myself there: “Denisa, you are between life and death. What do you want to do to live?” This impulse was very unpleasant but it made me think of alternative approaches that can help me. I decided to start with herbs, I changed my diet, I cut down on meat and sugar (because these foods are like alimentation for tumours) and I started to drink fresh juices and to eat more vegetables and legumes. I must admit that it has been difficult for me to become a vegetarian that doesn´t eat sugar, especially at home when your family´s having coffee and some sweets. But the fact I feel better and more energetic is worth it. At the beginning, I was quite desperate standing there with a carrot in my hand trying to search for all information needed about vegetarianism, but it´s quite natural for me now and meat stinks to me. I started to google natural cosmetics as well because it also influences my body.
Did you decide to change your eating habits on the grounds of your disease then?
Yes. You do anything possible for yourself in such a state. People tell me sometimes: “I wouldn´t make it! How are you able to do it?” I always answer that if you like yourself, you are able to do it and if not, you become a victim who doesn´t fight. I experienced it in the hospital as well: Someone came to visit me with a sad face and I told them not to do it because I didn´t need pity. I write the same thing on my blog, purpose of which is not for people to pity me but to show them the value their life has, to make them fight for it and try to look at things from different perspective. I say to people in the same situation I was in: “Don´t be a sheep that gives up. Search for the choices you have.” This of course holds true only if there´s some time left because sometimes, the disease is faster than us. I also had a sad period when I doubted my own existence, because I was unhappy in my relationship but changing my diet changed my whole life and now I have a partner who knew I was ill and it didn´t put him off and he´s always by my side. It is a paradox that even in the worst moments I felt happy because I was so in love with him.
What are the benefits of vegetarian diet for you?
My health has definitely improved, I have more energy and it helped me change my thinking.
Do you have any favourite recipe?
I simply love my cauliflower and broccoli baked flat cakes. And legumes as well, because it is good for my skin, my hair stopped falling and my nails are nicer.
Could you send a message to people who have the same problem?
It is important not to be a sheep in a herd but to be strong. In some cases, doctors are our saviours but not for nothing are they sometimes called “killers in white gowns” – I would search for alternative possibilities of treatment. In my case, it means I don´t want to go through the chemotherapy, because the chances are fifty fifty and I can always ingest that poison at worst. So, love yourselves, fight and care about things instead of pitying yourselves and speculating about the state of your health. And I send word to healthy people that you can´t buy health. Don´t be always in a hurry, don´t stuff yourselves with chemical substances, care about yourselves and be careful about sugar.