By Black Girls Juice

(Tracie before diagnosis/now with Chemo)

She’s known to be the life of the party, the line dance queen; even her license plate says “Go Tracie”, but one morning in March 2013 the party girl stopped dancing temporarily when she discovered the large lump in her right breast. She wanted very much to believe that it wasn’t cancer, especially since she had been driving around for months with her script to have her annual mammogram. Days turned into weeks before she mustered up the strength to have the mammogram.

The call came in during working hours; the radiologist informed her that she was to have an ultrasound immediately. Without thinking the tears began to flow as she digested the news of the abnormality. Those around her had no idea what was happening, let alone had they ever seen her cry before. She was suddenly exposed and vulnerable and now had to share with others that she might have cancer.

The Ultrasound proved true, my dear friend and colleague was told she had Stage 2 Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a very aggressive form of cancer most popular amongst Hispanic and African American Women. We were all devastated! How could this be?

Fortunately it didn’t take long for Tracie to adopt the “down but not defeated” attitude, for her faith is strong and her family and friends have rallied to her side to help her beat this! Every other Friday she reports to the Norfolk, VA based oncologist center for chemotherapy surrounded by family and friends during her entire treatment time.

A downside to chemotherapy is the effects it has on the immune system, particularly the white blood cell count, so much so that if the count is too low she would have to miss chemotherapy which would be a setback to dissolving the cancer. So every day following chemo Tracie reported back to her Dr. for an injection of Neulasta to boost her count. In many ways this was an inconvenience.

This is where I come in, I’ve began juicing in October 2012 and believe me when I say, Tracie wanted no parts of my juicing lifestyle. Even though she saw my weight loss results and watched me become pain-free from my life long history of rheumatoid arthritis. In fact she would joke me constantly, until a friend and breast cancer survivor told her that beets were great for boosting the white blood cell count. There was only one problem; no way was she going to eat a beet! Humbly she asked if I’d make her a beet based juice, and I could not have been happier to do this for my friend.

Here we are months into the treatment and she is totally free from the Neulasta injections because of her high white blood cell count, something she contributed to her regular Black Girls Juice beet combination. Now she solely relies on the beet juice instead of the shots.

Tracie’s Black Girls Juice™ Beet Combination

2 oranges
15 strawberries
1 granny smith apple
¼ of Pineapple (core included)
1 -2 large beets

What’s next for Tracie? This fall she will undergo a double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery then radiation and I’ll continue to make her juice to boost her immune system and help speed up recovery following her surgeries and radiation until the all clear is given and she is CANCER FREE!

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