Channel: Haleh Banani
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Imagine if the person you loved most was diagnosed with cancer and they died, even though they went through all the medical attention. What would you do? If you found out that a few years later you got diagnosed with the very same cancer? How would you handle that situation? What would be your reaction? Would you seek the same medical attention? Or would you try something new? Our special guest today Shireen, hottie experienced this firsthand. her beloved twin sister, yes mean was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27. And passed away. I lay at home ha at the age of 33. A few years later, shareen was diagnosed with the very same cancer. And the way she handled the
situation whether it was her attitude, her faith, and the way she is treating it currently, is truly phenomenal. And it is a source of inspiration for myself. So I want to introduce you to my dear and beloved friend and sister masala shooting hottie welcome. Thank you, honey. Thank you for having me here. Of course, of course. Tell me what did your twin sister yes mean mean to you?
To the point that you would feel my excitement, I just feel hurt.
even feel her pain, you still feel a pain, even if we're different, potentially, even if we're far apart. And I remember so many times I mean something and wake up and in your mind
that there was a very special bond and I remember you telling me about yes mean that when she was pregnant, and she was about to go into labor? You were I think in Turkey while she was in debay. And you felt the pains right? You felt the labor pain? And you told your mom, I think yes mean is and they were so what an amazing close connection. Right? It was wonderful. And you were identical twins, it was hard to tell the two of you apart.
So she was the closest person to you, who was like my he was my friend and my sister and everything upon law. So how did losing her affect you?
Honestly, and I opened up for me, because I feel as if he was like an angel who would
grow as a person he was alive and through your suffering and her
after her death, they're
proud of myself. And I've learned from her it's really my life upon Allah. So this one experience of having a you know, your sister, your sister that you were so close to so connected with when when you lost her it was actually an eye opening experience. And you know, I remember when you lost her I was so concerned about you and I, I felt that you are probably you know, maybe you're falling apart and and maybe you're just emotionally devastated. And I remember calling you and I said you know how are you shooting and Mashallah that you know, you have a very cute and
this very high pitched voice and Mashallah, it didn't drop a decibel like you were like, great, everything is great. And I was just really amazed by the way that you were able to handle something so difficult, where usually most people are completely depressed or devastated. They are just, they lose hope. So how are you able to handle hearing that news? The thing is, the way I saw her death is
higher than that. And he was asking a lot for that. I know
what you went through was there a reason for her to be accepted in a better place, and maybe wanted to accept her prayers and
for getting bad for accepting her prayer and
Sharla. So it really has to do with your perspective because from a psychological perspective, we need to really
It's our interpretation of the events in our lives that shape us. It's not necessarily the events, right? And since you chose to look at it as her prayers are being answered because she wanted to have a higher station in the Sahara, and Allah is, you know, purifying her, you accepted it, and you were, you're fine. And I remember one of the things you said in that on that phone conversation, you said, Unless plan is perfect, and that I can tell you Mashallah, I use that you know, the, the example of the way you dealt with this and many of my lectures about having the sense of acceptance for what happened. So, that is, that is truly Mashallah remarkable. And tell me what was your
reaction to when you got diagnosed, it was how many years later,
four years after she passed away, I
found out that I had cancer. And I
had this feeling that I don't want people in great detail. I didn't know I didn't have a reason to eat healthy before, because I will already always be and you know, some people, most people think of eating healthy when they want to be great. So I didn't have everything. But when I became a mother, I, I wanted, like all of us, for my kids. And I would focus on not eating, they're not healthy food, and they're not thinking the whole lifestyle.
I was diagnosed with cancer, I knew that I had something, I knew that
that wasn't an option. Because you saw your sister go through chemotherapy, she she suffered greatly. And I want to say right now that this is not medical advice, this is just a knee. I'm not a doctor Shane is not a doctor, it is just about sharing her experience. And it's very important that whatever whatever we share today, it is just about, you know, her personal experience. We're not advising anyone to stop the chemotherapy or not to seek that treatment, nothing against it. I'm sure many people have been cured through chemotherapy. And I really it is just and it's very important to consult your doctor before you do anything. But this is just about her unique experience. So you you
saw her go through that she suffered for several years. And then she passed away. So you you basically decided I'm not going to take the same route, correct? Yeah. What did you decide to do instead?
have been in
the non invasive way of
non invasive way I'm just repeating it because you're speaking of very little and
I want everyone to hear what you're saying is very important. So so it's a non invasive way of treating cancer which What does that consist of?
Everything from the food I need
to hear like whatever I put on like
everything like everything and I witnessed this because they you know you moved and I remember when I found out that you were diagnosed with cancer and I remember crying because I felt I just couldn't believe that you're about to go through this upon Allah. And I did see that you really changed everything around because first before we get into it what you did tell us a little about how you used to eat let's let's hear that. Cuz that's a funny story.
All the time.
Chocolate I remember. Chocolate was your favorite. It was my favorite. Even for my wedding. I will
read down diamonds and gold if I think Oh wow. So you said I don't want diamonds or gold. Just give me chocolate.
So yeah, a very unique passion for Talia
apparently always reminds me of the miracle.
Like the menu, the meal table before you go to dessert,
but you are always drawn to dessert so you would junk out you weren't really careful because you you didn't have a weight issue so you thought hey, I can get away with it. So a lot of times people when they don't have a weight issue then they feel like they have kind of a free pass to eat whatever they want. I went through the same thing in my teens and adolescence. So that was your history where you didn't care about what you're eating and then you suddenly had to change everything from the products you use from the detergents the what you were eating What was that like? That must have been very overwhelming
make it a lifestyle. But no, I didn't even think about when I moved my body when I
liked a fruit and vegetables when I only when I'm feeling hungry. Everything is so intuitive. Now I learned how to listen to my body and it makes so much difference
through listening to your body your eating to fuel it not just for the taste and the pleasure because I think that's where a lot of people fall short right? And we end up doing the emotional eating we end up getting eating things that are just temporarily enjoy enjoyable and not thinking about what does our body needs. So you started using food as medicine tell us tell us what that means to you using food as medicine.
Like it now I never thought that food is like this meal for ourselves.
builder for our tissues. I never thought of it like I never appreciated food and
I had to do like to survive
by controlling my cravings and everything at the beginning it was very hard
feelings inside me that this is all for the best. I had a feeling that this is gonna work like pushing and pushing and pushing and no I
I do enjoy it. So initially, it was daunting because everything had to be changed I'm sure it was a little bit hard because you have to you know give up a lot of things that you're you're all the temptations all the things you see everybody eating around you and so after you went through that difficulty and you saw the results then it's now something you enjoy Mashallah
beautiful Mashallah. So what does it start doing like as you and actually before we get into that, I think what's really important what really stands out in your story and in your character is your optimism Mashallah Tabata Kala right? So you have a certain optimism, you knew that you're applying this and it's going to be effective, how important is it to have that sense of optimism when dealing with something like this?
remind myself that
I like I'm doing great. I had to remind myself that
I knew that I wanted
to be when
I wanted to do my part I wanted to see it while I live here. I wanted to live policy I wanted to
do everything I wanted to care about kids. But I always remind myself
to get the time and you're like food and like grass and fresh air and sunlight and everything and then you have to get it wherever you like. Getting everything in there very easy way. You are the
want it now? Give me my cure now today.
But it's about having the Subbu. Right. So having the patient, having the optimism and being willing to work hard. That's that's a really important aspect. And I've worked with individuals who have had either chronic illness or cancer, and they're the research on it is the fact that the optimism when you believe in a treatment, it has a profound impact on how well you you get cured, it actually strengthens your white blood cells. And it has it is amazing. So what goes on in your mind will affect your body. So that was it was beautiful that you had that sense of belief in what you were doing. And what did you start noticing as you were eating clean and give us a little bit more
specifics? I know you are doing a lot of juicing, you're doing certain certain ways to detox. For
me, man, I would only speak a little bit louder, sweetie, if you can come closer, because some people are saying that they're not able to hear
better, just a little bit louder.
For the first three months, what did you do? I only do I do?
Okay, it was like,
very hard not to eat. But I do like
Every hour you are doing just juicing juicing vegetables. That's hard. That takes a lot of time and preparation. And I know your house was always filled with vegetables. Michelle
has always vegetable, fruits and vegetables. Okay.
They always ask me you
would ask you that.
When you are grocery shopping, they thought you have a store.
Say No, it's all for me.
Okay, so you weren't used to seeing what else did you do?
eating anything that was like, frosted or anything that is not
made by a law. Okay, so you did away no pasta.
Cookies and sugar and all that good stuff. You said no more right and no, no carbs either. No rice, no bread, nothing only fruits and vegetables. Okay. And, and at the beginning at the beginning, we asked him hit very hard.
So, like, I love my pain, and my
pain. And okay, so the detox was affecting all your senses. Wow. Yeah. And, and it was like for a couple of months.
Gosh, in my I lost movement in my dorm. Because I end and why am I blind? He was trying to think that
I lost movement. I wasn't able to open my mouth. And pretty much everything got worse before it goes. Oh, and that that is it difficult reality that many times as we're trying to make something better sometimes with like marriage counseling, things sometimes get worse before they get better, right? because everything's coming out. So you have to just have that patience to stick with it. So even though you are going through all this, you you felt like okay, and you were consulting, there were some holistic doctors that you were consulting, correct. For. There were so many people who were doing the same thing, or the same thing, right? Hey, there's like a group that they all care
what they went through. And this is what actually made me push more because they kept saying this happened to them before and just keep pushing and keep doing what you're doing. You're doing great. It really
it's amazing when you have the support of a community and this is part of the reason I started the Get Healthy with highly healthy Muslim woman Facebook page. And so it's a free group just to provide that support because sometimes doing it on your own. It's difficult and I know I needed accountability. I know other sisters are struggling. So when you have that support, and I'm so glad that you you saw a community that was going through this
First of all, you don't feel like you're the only one going through it. You feel the sense of togetherness and, and it really does help psychologically.
Mashallah, so they started supporting you you made changes, and you would what? From time to time you would get bloodwork done and just see how it's a is it progressing? Is it spreading? You were checking all this right?
Up and down, right?
Like my tumors move before they close and
go away. But the testing, people
keep doing that, and you'll get there. Okay.
Mashallah, and so what did How long did it take? How long did this process take? And what kind of results Did you get by doing all this clean? You know, eating clean and avoiding all toxins? avoiding all sugars? What? What were the results?
to get the answer. And
the thing is now I, I learned so much more than eating healthy, I feel that
it taught me how to appreciate my more how to appreciate everything, like I really found you to love the fabric, every third of
this time coming on my plane,
enjoy every detail and enjoy my life. Because when you kind of feel that you're, you're limited on time, you try to do that you are appreciating everything, because you felt that you got a new lease on life, right? It's like I was all you know, God forbid, it was a bit scary to be diagnosed with the same cancer that your sister got. But then all of a sudden, you find this new way of eating, you regain your health, and it's just like, Oh, wow. It's, it's amazing. And I think I sense that from you a lot. The appreciation.
Hey, I really can't be more grateful.
Given about the information I stumbled upon, and for not brushing it off, I feel I'm really blessed to have the opportunity to live this kind of life right now. I mean, I don't have any fear.
I feel that I don't have to any longer be afraid of any kind of disease or losing anyone or anything. You came to terms with it, you came to terms with losing a loved one, which was a very difficult test at a very young age, and then being diagnosed. So these were two trials that usually would devastate most people. And I think one of the most important lessons is recognizing that our body is an Amana, Allah has given to us this body of interest, right? And I always use the analogy of if you know, if someone gives you I don't know if they give you a Lamborghini, you know, they say here, you have my Lamborghini for a week. I don't know who would do that. But if they do, right, how
are you going to take care of it right, you're not going to go off roading. You're not going to slashed the tires, you're not going to you know, do anything you're going to take good care of it because you feel like it's been given to you in trust. And someone's going to ask about this. Like what happened to what happened with this dense right. And I feel that our body is so much infinitely more valuable than any any possession we could have. How do you feel about the body being an Amana? What's your perspective?
I can't hear you come closer.
I was thinking like days ago that if any of my friends and friends entrusted me with their man to water then Oh, you're okay if any of your friends gave you plants to take care of okay? I would never forget to water them and take care of them. So the common law this body is really interesting to us.
And we need to take care of it, you need to enjoy it. Thank you for letting us do the things that we do. But we hardly ever thank you for anything. That's true we punish we punish ourselves and a lot of times I have I've done a lot of work with individuals who have underlying self loathing, you know, they really they hate themselves for one reason or another. And they actually on a subconscious level are punishing themselves by the way they eat. Either they starve themselves by not eating and you have the anorexia you have the bulimia or they overeat as a way of like punishment of You don't deserve to be happy You don't deserve to look good. And so there's a lot of
psychology involved with you know, eating clean and seeing your body as an amount of but that's a turning point for most people when they realize that this is something they have to answer for. Right It's not just your something that you can do whatever you want with it, we have to be answerable. How has it changed your vitality maybe Mashallah your like your skin and how you feel in general.
I got rid of all the write up that I used to use. And I found myself like getting rid of everything all the problems I had all the product would be hard for me honestly, I think I could do away with the preservatives and the cookies. But the products that's that's a huge adjustment not to use anything is limited like my
food choices. My advice would be like 5% of every store. There's only have 5% Well, you're limiting spending this is good. All the husbands are gonna be like yeah, yeah, get on this diet.
No more products. No more, you know, excessive spending. Okay, so only 5% of the products you can usually use. Yeah.
And that's it. Yeah, all the other stuff you know, it's not doing us any good. All right.
help that you feel good, right.
So being you've got to take care of your body from the inside out. So the beauty and you know, this is very deep because, you know, we talk about inner beauty right? That inner beauty of like when someone has a good character, when they have integrity when they have ethics when they when there's goodness and there's like purification of the heart that is that is pure beauty. Right? And you need to have that it's like a precursor to the external beauty. And I think it's in the same way you have to internally as far as on a molecular level take care of your body in order to look beautiful on the outside because it shows it shows on your skin it shows on your hair and everything right
yeah, yeah so Mashallah, I'm so glad that you know we had you on here and want to see if there are any questions that we can take on because I'm sure many of the sisters are you know, our sisters and brothers are curious let's see where some of the questions are her talk and give lots of people motivation and inspiration. Who are exactly and that's why I have her on because I know that there are so many people that the first thing that goes out the window when you're sick or you lose someone is your sense of hope. You feel like somehow Oh, that has Allah forsaken me or what why am I being punished but you didn't look at it like that. You saw it as a blessing in disguise right.
My son in law she's asking did shareen have organic fruits and vegetable? Yeah, absolutely. She will not touch anything.
She comes over I'm like oh gosh, I hope I have berries I gotta have my berries for shooting because yeah, she you know there's a lot of there are a lot of restrictions but you know it is it's definitely worth it. Let's see what other comments are coming up so sorry for your loss shooting.
May Allah reward you sister with Jenna so see you you're getting lots of dogs Mashallah. And Sister fatmus saying Mashallah. Tabata Colombia, unlike ranchu, a very long and healthy life, sister Shireen to prove to the world that it is Allah who heals, not the doctor doctors treat the patient
Allah heals the cure the patient, nothing against doctors we love doc
I don't want this to be a bash session against doctors they are you know, they're serving our community especially now during this you know, you know COVID and they're really on the front lines doing so much and there's merit to what they're doing. And this is just one perspective this is one way of you know of treating cancer that we are sharing with you. Okay, and sister holla May Allah make done that so for those who are home Oh, we have Suzanne here I can hear Can you
Alright, so people are tuning in, um, let's see what other comments or questions and sharing a saying Mashallah, how in tune you got with your body eating intuitively, to fuel your body and using food as medicine. It really is phenomenal. And you know, I made a decision since September 1, it's been now how many days 23 days on hamdulillah to just get super healthy. And it does feel amazing, you know, you feel that you're taking care of yourself, you feel the sense of like you're being responsible, you're being an adult, you're not picking out you're not eating things that are going to destroy your health and really my my biggest motivation is to avoid the diseases you know,
because both my parents, they had the neurodegenerative diseases, you know, Alzheimer and my mom is suffering from ALS. And I see that and I'm like, I really need to be responsible and do whatever it takes to avoid those diseases. So what what was your motivation in staying healthy?
wanted to do my part and I knew that
it is time to go It's time to go but I really wanted to live healthy and here is my girl and I think that was the biggest motivation she has Mashallah three beautiful daughters, Mashallah Tabata Kala they're like nieces to me. And and that's a motivation, right? And we all we all have to be responsible, right? We have to live our life in a way that is responsible because one day if we don't take care of ourselves, what's gonna happen what's gonna happen to our kids? What, what are we going to face right? So it is so important. I know that a lot of people kind of let themselves go during the pandemic.
We had all sorts of you know, comments about people gaining 1520 pounds during the during the lockdown, but you know, this is a good time to stay committed. Join us on the Get Healthy with Holly. Shireen is there Michelle? I have my dear friend, Suzanne better catch the nutritionist. We have Dr. nooshin Akhmed, we have professionals, holistic doctors, who are just going to be there to support you. It's healthy Muslim woman. And you know, we can all get healthy together because it's so hard to do it alone. Right? Tell me about how do you deal with you know, going to an event, right? Because usually, whenever you would come over, there's hardly I always tried to have
something for you. But there are a lot of things you couldn't eat. How do you deal with not being able to eat the things that other people are eating? And do you feel, you know, restrictive? How do you deal with that?
I pretend to make my food. But I also enjoy like going out with the people I love and sometimes going to restaurants or through their houses I I do stop them from moving at the same time. I either eat beforehand or afterwards and bring your own food
Like a year I would like I hate annealed we always have
we break the rules on he then have a loaded it's not It's fun. It's fun to see you have what everyone else is having. But but it's all about being responsible. So you do you know you do it just a little bit. And and you recognize that, you know, I think the most important thing is when someone is observing let's see if some people are looking at you and thinking oh my gosh, you know, she's so deprived. She can eat this. But in reality, it's basically you feel bad for people eating the junk, right?
It really like it gets to
point where you don't feel deprived it's kind of like someone who looks at a very religious person and says oh my god, how can they not party? How can they not do this? But in reality, the person who is choosing to that you see it as things that are destructive and it's not good for you, so there's no deprivation. I
you don't want it Yeah.
And that that's the turning point when you you know, at first you're like, oh, gotta hold back. Yeah, I really want it you know, but then it gets to a point and it also correlates with how you feel about the religion you know how Allah says that he there's the sweetness of Iman once you start something at first and may be difficult you may struggle but then you get the sweetness of human and a lot of will bless you where you can't wait let's say to get up for tahajjud you can't wait to do certain acts so it's like a lot of fade on let's see if there any questions would we be able to have a list list her changes she made will join our get get healthy with Holly on the Facebook page. And
Shane is there you can ask some questions she can put you know if you have some specific questions, you can ask it there and she can you know, maybe write some post she's been doing some creative stuff I'm telling you
I get inspired each day Mashallah. So we've got this let's see, Mashallah, when there is a will there is a way just like a law fair sister Shireen for sharing your healthy journey and for giving us hope and inspiration to the community. May Allah ketene bless you with complete chifa and best health see you got so much dawn Mashallah.
It was worth it for the DA my salesa Thank you everyone for joining in and I hope that you're able to join our group and inshallah get inspired to really take charge of your life and, and be healthy and and do whatever it takes to you know, to lead a life with just with passion with health and, and and enthusiasm, right? What is your advice to the sisters?
Not to my don't enjoy life by
being enjoy life.
Please expand on what do you mean by enjoying life.
the beauty that Allah provides. Yeah, walking, breathing, everything that you do.
We forgot to enjoy. We forgot to appreciate and really go after your heart. Because if I could do it and you can do it, if shareen can do it, you can do it and I was seriously she was the most unlikely person to get healthy to say that
and for her to do it and to do it in such a level Mashallah. It is you know, it is encouraging. And last thing I want to end on is how critical was it to have movement and exercise because that's something we didn't touch up on. Yeah, it's very, very important. I was at for two hours, two hours. I plan to back or an hour morning, hour at night, back to back back to back
two hours I definitely don't have
two hours a day Mashallah. Okay. Okay, I mean, 30 minutes is great as well. Do as much as you can just get out there, get out there and start walking and jump on a mini rebounder. I do yoga, and
it is really, really important to move that system and do whatever you can. And we've we've slowly I really recently started to believe in fully
that before but I think things are getting better and Mashallah, I think it's very important. So it goes hand in hand what you eat, how you move, being healthy. So inshallah thank you so much for sharing your personal story, your journey to good health Mashallah and to fighting fighting cancer and using food as medicine. Thank you everyone for joining in. Take good care.