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Dr. Onik talks with Rachel and Jamison Dye, founders of The Cancer Box, a resource designed by cancer survivors to empower others on their journey from victim to victor. But before The Cancer Box was born, there was the cancer.
In 2018 Rachel and Jamison were living an idyllic life in Washington state with their growing family. An avid runner, Rachel went for her usual five-mile run around the lake, a route she’d been running since she was a teenager. Two days later, in sudden and tremendous pain, she was rushed to the ER and admitted for emergency surgery. Rachel had a golf-ball sized tumor removed from her colon, woke up with a colostomy, and for several days awaited test results. The verdict? Metastatic Stage IV Colon Cancer. The 27-year-old mother of three was told she may only have six months to live.
Not only did Rachel and Jamison not fully understand the diagnosis, but they also knew little about cancer. “The first thing we did was just breath,” recalls Jamison. Next, they called Rachel’s parents and their pastors.
The couple intuitively knew they had to take some time to decide how to move ahead, but the pressure to act quickly given a death-sentence-diagnosis is tremendous. They didn’t just want a physical treatment plan; they wanted a spiritual and emotional plan too. The hope they lacked came from a nurse who told them of someone she knew who beat the same cancer and Rachel leaned into her belief that she would live.
Dr. Onik and the Dyes discuss some KEY COMPONENTS of their strategy:
++ Determining who’ll be on your “team”
++ The importance of “soul-care”?
++ How to choose an oncologist
++ Diving into the research
++ Becoming your own advocate
++ Building a nutrition plan specific to your body’s physiology
++ Learning to navigate emotional trauma
Jamison, a project manager by trade, began doing the research and building the support team while Rachel recovered from surgery. The couple continued to follow their own path, emphasizing the importance of prayer, trusting themselves and God. One day at a time, Rachel made progress, healing in many areas of her life. After Rachel entered remission, the couple began processing all they’d been through. They had amassed loads of information and began wondering, “What does life look like now?”
The Cancer Box was born.
The couple decided to lean further into their experience and create the resource they wished they’d had on their journey. Already being peppered with questions from others battling cancer they knew they had developed a knack for coming up with meaningful solutions. The Cancer Box is a monthly subscription of tools and resources for the body (e.g., vitamins, snacks), mind (how to handle side effects) and soul (uplifting reading material) to empower people to take charge of own their care or aid someone they love.
The Dyes experience has brought them something unexpected that they deeply cherish—an even closer relationship to God. Dr. Onik too has no doubt that he was given cancer to prove a point (although he says he didn’t like it at the time) and that is, prayer combined with his unique treatment DO WORK! Remarkably, Rachel says she wouldn’t change it. “Even if I could undo my cancer, I wouldn’t because I can see how God was using it in our lives and our marriage and our family to refine and change my heart.”
Rachel has been cancer-free for over a year.
Dr. Onik wraps up by answering your questions. To submit a question to the Mailbag, use the contact page on Dr. Onik’s website.
For over 40 years Dr. Gary Onik has been pioneering advances in cancer treatment that have rocked the field of oncology, inventing an entirely new branch of cancer treatment now known as “Interventional Oncology” based on his innovative minimally invasive techniques. Both doctor and patient, he created a cancer vaccine and successfully treated his own terminal prostate cancer using his invention. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Onik is an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, working closely with his colleagues to develop the next generation of cancer fighting technologies. His latest work, using immunotherapy to treat metastatic cancer, offers hope to those patients with literally no other options.
DR. GARY ONIK https://garyonikmd.com/
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