Julie Molesky has always considered herself to be healthy and active. However when she was preparing for a Caribbean cruise vacation in Jan. 2014, her gut was telling her that something wasn’t right with her health.

Just two years earlier, Julie’s gynecologist found a fibroid the size of a lemon in her pelvic area. She was told that it would go away during menopause, but it seemed to be growing larger. After a visit to her family doctor, who was convinced she was in good health, Julie decided to go to the emergency room. Her lemon-sized fibroid had become a football-sized, cancerous mass. She was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer and began her journey at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute (TCI) at Long Beach Medical Center.

“I was diagnosed on my 33rd wedding anniversary,” says Julie. “In that moment, I was ready to make some lifestyle changes and fight the disease.”

Two weeks after her diagnosis, Julie had surgery to remove the mass. A segment of her liver, 8 inches of her colon, her omentum, her uterus and 42 lymph nodes were removed during surgery. Soon after surgery, Julie started chemotherapy and attending classes at TCI. For the next eight months, TCI became her home away from home.

Julie believes that TCI’s “Beat the Odds” program was instrumental during her cancer journey. “Beat the Odds” is a comprehensive cancer survivor mind-body program designed to help patients and their loved ones effectively deal with the different aspects of cancer and treatment. She took the 10-week course twice.

“A huge part about healing from cancer is your mind,” says Julie. “Your mind is such a powerful tool and keeping positive is essential.”

Along with “Beat the Odds,” Julie changed her diet by cutting out sugar and eating natural foods. She visited a Reiki healer after each one of her chemotherapy treatments to bring positive spiritual energy into her body. She also began a rebounding exercise using a mini trampoline to stimulate her internal organs and keep her lymphatic system fully functioning during treatments. She was declared cancer free in Nov. 2014.

Apart from her day-job as a teacher’s aide for special needs kids, Julie is now an advocate for TCI and its programs offered for cancer patients. She attends the monthly “Boost the Odds” class, a healthy lifestyle workshop for cancer survivors, has shared her story with others by speaking at Team Spirit Long Beach and is a mentor in the Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support & Education program at TCI that pairs newly diagnosed women with someone who has gone through a similar experience.

“Cancer is a full-time job and it will be my job the rest of my life,” says Julie. “I will continue living a healthy lifestyle because I feel better than I ever have before. If someone I know ever gets cancer, I will be there to guide them and show them what I did to beat it.”

For more information about the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center and the programs offered, call (562) 933-0900.