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Local author shares tragic journey and path to empowerment

 

By Melissa Robinson

  Looking back, Julie Mills realizes that all of her life experiences, the good and the terrible, have brought her to where she is today, and her hope is that others may learn from her struggles and learn to educate and empower themselves.

Local author, Julie Mills’ new book, Here’s the Deal About Cancer, is a firsthand account of her family’s own battle.    

Photo by Melissa Robinson

  The former McDonough resident, whose parents, John and Judy Davis, still live in Henry County, now makes her home in Gwinnett, and works as a certified massage therapist, lymphedema therapist and oncology massage therapist. She is the owner of Body of Health and Life Clinic in Snellville, GA, and has written a book about her family’s experience when her husband was diagnosed with cancer, with the hope that her experiences will help others cope with a life-changing diagnosis.

  Here’s the Deal About Cancer chronicles Mills and her late husband, Tommy’s, brain cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. In the spring of 1998, Tommy seemed the epitome of a health. A Navy jet fighter pilot and bodybuilder, he enjoyed physical activity and always seemed perfectly healthy. It was after suffering with chronic headaches and a near blackout while on fighter jet maneuvers, that the couple received the devastating news of Tommy’s malignant brain tumor.

  Mills said it was during the most trying and difficult time of her life that she was expected to make critical decisions and she is hoping that her experiences will help others facing the same type of crisis. She also wants people to know that in addition to traditional medicine, there are alternate therapies and lifestyle changes that can positively affect even the most complicated diagnoses.

  “My goal is to help people,” said Mills. “I kept journals during our journey and my goal is two-part—to tell our story and to guide people in similar circumstances. We didn’t make all the right decisions, but by writing the book, I hope that others can avoid the mistakes we made.”

  In her book, Mills tells how her husband, after being given two years to live, enjoyed life for nine years after his brain tumor surgery. She chronicles how she had to make the decision to sign his retirement papers, while he lay helpless in a hospital bed, and the turn their lives took when they decided to educate themselves and learn about the disease that had turned their world upside down. 

  Mills kept journals during her husband’s treatment, up until 2007, when he died. It wasn’t until two years later that she began looking at her journals, and decided to start writing a book about her family’s experience, along with what she learned along the way regarding health and quality of life. Mills found a way to turn her tragedy into hope and now spends her energy as a therapist helping people live fuller, healthier lives, and assisting cancer patients with regaining their health and improving their quality of life.

  In her book, and with her patients, she gives practical advice regarding diet and simple ways that people can make small changes with big results. She maintains that changes can be simple and beneficial, for instance, eating a carrot a day can cut the stroke rate in women by 60 percent and eating cabbage once a week, can reduce the incidence of colon cancer by 60 percent as well.

  “It’s not rocket science, but by making small changes, such as more fresh foods, less processed foods, and quitting the drive-through, your health can be better,” she said. “I’m not saying don’t enjoy a treat, what I’m saying is, go to the parties, enjoy holiday food on those special occasions, but eat better in your daily lives.”

  Here’s the Deal About Cancer is available at barnesandnoble.com, Amazon.com and at Mills’ clinic. For more information, visit www.bodyofhealthandlife.com.

 

 

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