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Embracing the Role of "Data G"

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

In our fast-paced digital age, we're often inundated with data. It's everywhere, and for many, it can be overwhelming. However, what if we reframed our relationship with data, turning it into a powerful tool for holistic healing and maximizing joy in our lives? This transformative concept was coined by MOJO Health’s founder, Julie Stevens. She explains in one of her podcast episodes that she was a Data G (data gatherer) in at least three situations that ended up saving her life.

Data G: A New Perspective on Data

Most of us don’t really understand what options there are to track health data beyond phone apps, watches, and scales - but it is in your best interest to understand how to best track data when it comes to cancer. In her book, "MOJO Healing," Julie Stevens introduces the concept of the Data G as someone who actively gathers and analyzes information about themselves and their well-being. It's about becoming your own advocate, taking charge of your health and happiness, and using data as a guiding light on your journey. Being a Data G means you can be “data confident” in knowing that you are doing the best for your health.

My Personal Journey Before I was a Data G

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when it comes to something as important as your health. My sister and I found ourselves in this very predicament, and not knowing what a Data G was, or that we could actively participate in our healthcare decisions, we placed our trust solely in what the doctors and lab reports dictated. We (along with several family members) were diagnosed with a BRCA 2 gene mutation and with our family’s history (my mother is a Breast Cancer survivor), the blaring red positive sign on the lab report and our doctors’ encouragement we made two life-altering decisions. We had our ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in the Spring of 2016, which threw us into menopause at the ages of 32 and 33. We immediately began taking hormone replacement medication following this surgery, and that will be a part of our lives for many years to come. We also underwent invasive surgery to remove our breast tissue and have them reconstructed in 2017. The reconstruction process lasted several years, with multiple revision and implant exchange procedures. The final results are nowhere near perfect, and probably never will be.

The Power of Being a Data G

Being a Data G is a game-changer when it comes to healthcare outcomes. Actively gathering and analyzing data about symptoms, treatments, and measures of responses allows informed decisions to be made. In our case, had we known the role of a Data G earlier in our health journeys, it could have led to different treatment choices, more personalized care, and undoubtedly, better outcomes. It doesn’t mean dismissing medical expertise, it means complementing that knowledge with data from multiple sources and practitioners- looking both at the disease and the ‘host’ or terrain. When in doubt, think of the basic scientific method: observing, hypothesizing, predicting, testing, analyzing the results to determine effectiveness. If your treatment plan doesn’t give you enough data, search for more!

The Truth of the Matter

The last part of our story has a devastating twist. The data that Myriad Labs shared originally, that led to both me and my sister going through this ordeal, along with several other family members, effectively ending our family tree, was incorrect. The risk was much lower than they had “warned”. But even more than that, we were unfamiliar with a topic called epigenetics. Epigenetics, per the CDC, is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Every single woman in my family may have shared the same gene that can lead to Breast Cancer - but having the gene is not a 100% guarantee that cancer will develop, regardless of the numbers on the lab report.

The alternative to surgery was to become a hyper-vigilant Data G - tracking every blood biomarker possible to find leading indicators of cancer activity, getting regular mammograms, watching our diet, environment, stress level, getting plenty of exercise, meditating, and getting plenty of self care. We could have healed our bodies and made them inhospitable to cancer, had we known that was an option.

Be a Data G

I invite you to embrace the role of a Data G in your life. Start gathering information about yourself, your health, and your well-being. Seek patterns, ask questions, and make informed decisions to actively engage in your path to wellness. If I had been a Data G all those years ago, my health and wellness would, without a doubt, be better - regardless of the decisions I made around surgery. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Be a Data G.

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