Dawn’s Journey: A Nurse, A Farmer, A Cancer SurvivorDawn Waack has battled breast cancer for so many years, the fight is familiar. “I’ve had it for 15 years,” said Waack, a nurse by trade. “So, it’s every day stuff for me. You learn to live with it.” Learning to live with it, and live well, [...]
Dawn’s Journey: A Nurse, A Farmer, A Cancer Survivor
Dawn Waack has battled breast cancer for so many years, the fight is familiar. “I’ve had it for 15 years,” said Waack, a nurse by trade. “So, it’s every day stuff for me. You learn to live with it.” Learning to live with it, and live well, has caused Dawn to take a serious look at her overall health, diet and weight. Now at a much healthier weight, she continues to live strong with the help of the Profile plan.
From Diagnosis To Diet Conscious
Waack was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. It was through chemotherapy, medication and surgery that she began to struggle with weight gain. “I’m estrogen positive,” she said. “So unlike most people going through cancer, I gain weight.” Over the course of more than a decade, Waack tried several different diets to lose weight and her cancer returned, again and again. “Since 2003, it’s been back five or six times.” she said.
Prior to joining Profile, Dawn had lost some weight on her own. After Waack successfully lost 45 pounds, her doctor recommended Profile to continue the journey. Because Profile products contain soy, Waack initially questioned whether a breast cancer diagnosis would prohibit her from joining because it has been thought that soy could increase the production of estrogen. Her doctor informed her of new studies that suggest otherwise, and that the incredible health benefits of losing weight were more important than avoiding soy. “They said the benefits of losing that weight outweighed any risk,” she said. Waack became a Profile member and has lost an additional 40 pounds* ever since. “When I lost the 45 on my own, I felt like I wasn’t losing it fast enough and I wanted coaching,” she said.
Living A New Life
The transformation has affected every area of Dawn’s including her energy levels and mental clarity. Her joints no longer hurt, her cholesterol levels have returned to normal and she can manage the work on her farm with ease. She purchased the land on the same day she was diagnosed with breast cancer and it holds a special place in her life. “Before, I wasn’t doing things on the acreage like I should,” she said. “I wasn’t up on the ladder and down on the ground pulling up weeds. I just wasn’t physically able to do it.”
Nowadays, Waack finds pleasure in the little things, particularly her job. “I became a nurse because of my battle with cancer,” Waack explained. She earned her degree in 2009 and was 42 years old when she graduated. “It helps me forget my own struggles because when I go to work, I am helping other people.” Waack would like to see a movement in health care that focuses on prevention and the use of food as a source of medicine. “We need to start looking at food as a medicine, in conjunction with what our health care providers say,” she said.
Waack enjoys cooking and the challenge of finding new ways to eat healthy. “My whole perspective on food has changed,” she said. It has been two and a half years since she has had to switch medications and she is prepared for whatever lies ahead, knowing she has done her best to feed and nurture a healthy body while fighting disease.
Someday, she wants to spend part of her winters in Arizona, but for now, she loves being a nurse and coming home to a beautiful South Dakota farm that keeps her busy. “Now I’m raising chickens and rabbits,” she said, laughing. “It’s not radical stuff, but they are things I wouldn’t have been able to do before and Profile has played a big role in making it happen!”