My name is Marie Chronopoulos. I’m from Yeppoon QLD Australia. In July of 2008 I was diagnosed with myxoid liposarcoma. I was 41 years old. I had 4 children, a wonderful partner and a career that was everything I had ever wanted. My entire world came crashing in around me as the doctors delivered the devastating news.
I had discovered a tiny little lump on my collar bone. That little lump on my collar bone, which I thought may have been a cyst, would turn my entire world around. A biopsy was performed and the results came back as myxoid liposarcoma. I was asked if I noticed any other lumps. I mentioned that I had pulled a muscle in my right leg (hamstring) and that it wasn’t healing. Yes, you guessed it – a primary tumor – and the mass was half the size of a football!
I was given CT scans, MRI’s and Ultrasounds along with bone scans. Through the scans they discovered the extent of the tumors: two in my left breast, a huge mass on my right thigh, a tumor on my right hip and one under my left arm pit… and a tumor that was attached to the main artery in my right leg behind the knee. I had two specialists: one was a sarcoma and pancreatic cancer specialist and the other was an orthopaedic surgeon. My hip and right femur needed to be replaced but first they need to remove the primary tumor. I was told to go home and get my affairs in order. They didn’t hold much hope for me. All they could do was remove the tumors, replace parts of me and hope for the best. Chemo wasn’t an option.
Two months after diagnosis, I had my operation and they removed two tumors from my right leg and breast along with the one in my armpit. I still had one tumor behind my knee and one on my hip. I was told to go home, recover from the surgery and to come back in 3 months. If they found no more tumors, then they planned to operate and take the one behind the knee along with a hip replacement. What I have is rare and slow-growing. The doctors don’t know much about it as, out of all the cancers, I have one which is 1% of all of them. So, no research has been done and basically they can’t tell me much, only information based on 1% and the outcome isn’t good. So with all that information, I decided to go on a life-changing exercise to see if I could kick the shit out of this thing!
I went into a detox program for 10 days. Then I started to research diet and cancer which has led me onto the path I am on right now. I have eliminated refined sugars/ sugars out of my diet. I eat a low-carb diet. My meals are fresh, organic where I can, diary free, gluten free, preservative free, I juice and enjoy smoothies, I stick to a lot of superfoods and foods that are alkalizing. I exercise nearly every day, meditate and laugh as much as possible even when I feel like crying. I have let go of things that don’t severe me well and I have learnt forgiveness, gratefulness and the meaning of peace. I also allowed God into my life. I prayed and I believed.
This has been my secret to healing myself. Within 3 years I was cancer-free. The doctors couldn’t believe how great I looked and felt and that I was cancer free. I meditated and visualized the tumor behind my knee disappearing and within 7 months of diagnosis the doctors couldn’t find it on any scan!
Eight years later I was planning a trip with my daughter to Thailand. I had really bad sciatic pain which I felt during some exercising in the gym. I knew I couldn’t sit on a plane for a long time so I decided to see my doctor and have a CT scan and get a nerve block to help with the pain. It was this decision that saved my life a second time. The CT scan showed a tumor behind my pancreas which had nothing to do with the sciatic pain. It was the luckiest thing to have happen to me. Little did I know at the time that the discovery of this tumor at this point would save my life. Any later and it would have been deemed inoperable. I was told to go on my Thailand holiday for 2 weeks and upon my return I was admitted to hospital in January 2015.
I was given a Whipple procedure. They removed a third of my pancreas, a third of my stomach, bowel, intestines and removed my gall bladder. I was on life support for 6 weeks. It was the most horrendous operation. At one point I didn’t think I was going to make it out of this alive. The pain and the sickness was so excruciating and frightening. Each day I prayed, I saw myself well. That was my focus. The more pain I was in the more I believed and the more I prayed. It took 6 weeks lying in a hospital bed not being able to feed myself, I couldn’t walk, my stomach was getting pumped out every 2 hours, I was on insulin and being treated as a diabetic because they had removed a portion of my pancreas and weren’t sure if it was going to function normally. Thankfully it did in time.
My road to recovery from that day has been the most amazing experience to say the least. I was fully recovered with in 4 months. A little frail however I knew that it would be just a matter of a little more time before I would get my strength back and be stronger and fitter and healthier than I ever was. Today 17 months later I am that vision I had. I am the fittest the healthiest and the strongest I have ever been. And I am nearly 50!
This is a quick snap shot of my story. I’m sharing my story because I believe that what I have done what I have achieved is something anyone can do too. I want to inspire people to take control of what is happening to them, believe in healing yourself, make healthy changes in your life, visualise, breathe deeply, stress less and take action to being the best version of you no matter how old you are and no matter what disease you have. Never never give up. I don’t have time to give up, I have too much living to do.