Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Having Cancer is the one time in your life when you need to concentrate on yourself first before all the other people in your life. If you don’t make your well-being a priority you won’t have the stamina to do the things in life that might have seemed effortless before.

Someone close to me has joined the Cancer Club, what an unexpected blow. I had hoped this members only Club would stay quite exclusive; the fewer members the better. Remembering the initial days and months of my initiation into the C Club led me to think of the research I did and the steps I took to arm myself for battle with this most formidable of foes.

One of the first things I looked at was my diet. Through the reading I did, I decided to take a holistic approach to my diet and  decided I wouldn’t go on a “diet” but to make a lifestyle change. I have always been concious of the importance of eating healthy and have studied nutrition for years. There is a significant difference in my mind to eating according to a formula such as the “Food Pyramid” and eating for optimum immune system support. When trying to eat more naturally & to support a body that has had or is going to have surgery, chemo, radiation, hormone therapy – whatever the challenge the fuel being put into the body needs to be mindfully chosen to enhance your health not harm it.

There are a few things I would suggest as the first steps in making your food choices healthier and once adopted as your new program for health should become a permanent part of your eating habits. If you search you will find much of the same information I am suggesting and if you visit a naturopath will probably have similar advice. The benefit of visiting a naturopath is that they will know you from their questionaire and the diagnostics they may use to tailor a plan specifically for you. I don’t want to in any way discourage you from visiting a naturopath or a dietician.

First steps Elimination of the least beneficial things in your diet and lifestyle choices.

  • The Number ONE food change to make would be eliminate everything white from your diet. No more white sugar, no more white bread, no more white flour, no more white pasta, no more white potatoes, and no more white rice.
  • No more cold cuts of any sort. Ham, salami, all of it is loaded with nitrates, fat and salt and is of no benefit to your body that is fighting cancer.
  • No more soda pop, no more sugared drinks, & even more important than sugared drinks is diet drinks which are absolutely forbidden.
  • Cut down on fat and salt. Try to stop eating chips, popcorn, etc.
  • Reduce the amount of red meat in your diet.  (tricky that I know, when I was undergoing treatment and for a long time after I had low iron) giving up red meat wasn’t recommended for me. You can cut down on red meat to a couple of times a week just keep it lean and not fried.
  • Get rid of – (throw it right out) any and all instant packaged convenience foods that besides being loaded with salt is also loaded with chemicals and preservatives that does your poor body a great deal of harm.

If you are able to achieve some of these things Fantastic, don’t stress yourself out over it. Just tell yourself you will feel better (and you will) if you can support your immune system and make it easier for your body to concentrate on the most important task at hand.  I will talk more about what should be INCLUDED in your Cancer Fighting Arsenal next post. If you are interested in visiting a site with fantastic food advice, nutrition recipes and much more visit the Real Age web site which includes a section by the Drs. Roizen and Oz.


I know from experience that in the coming days and months for some people undergoing cancer treatment, food becomes  part of the battle. Trying to eat when you don’t want to, but you need to. Trying not to lose too much weight, trying not to gain too much weight. There are some soothing foods, comforting foods, foods that seem to make you feel good as soon as you start eating them. I will get to them in the next post and will include some recipes from time to time. Meanwhile you will find that most of the recipes I have featured on this blog are truly delicious and healthy.  Stay strong.

Learn wisdom from the ways of a seedling. A seedling which is never hardened off through stressful situations will never become a strong productive plant. Stephen Sigmund

there is always light at the end of the tunnel

there is always light at the end of the tunnel


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Taking ownership of the cancer you’ve got is part of the counselling I have had.

Really, it sounds ridiculous but Learning to say even silently “my Cancer”  does help one accept the having of it.

I did seek the advice of a psychiatrist. Basically he told me there was nothing wrong with me psychologically, I had the bad luck to have cancer & it was up to me to learn to live with it. ****!

I don’t think I can even remember the roller coaster ride of emotions I have ridden since being diagnosed with Melanoma. I have been alone & listened to music I could sing along and cry with. I have been mad as hell and wanted to find someone or something to blame. I have wondered what did I do wrong that I must go through this suffering? Feeling sorry for myself doesn’t last too long. I/ you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have moments of doubt and sadness.

I haven’t dealt fairly with the ongoing challenge of living with a supposed death sentence. Every doctors visit is fraught with anxiety. Every blood and urine test might mean things have changed for the worse in your body. Every new symptom or ailment needs investigating. It gets really, really tiresome. You can only share so much with your significant other, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, friend, parent. After a while you feel really alone because you get really tired of explaining the latest findings to someone, anyone. Not only that but you do feel that it is your job not to make any more worry or stress for that other person in your life.

After almost 10 years of what most people would describe as remission I had a new scare- (more…)

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Getting past the initial shock and horror of a cancer diagnosis  is not easy. My parents weren’t really well and were gone as “Snowbirds” to Florida I decided I wouldn’t tell them right away. That left them out as part of the support network you might think of. The decision to keep the Big C from the children wasn’t even debatable in our case. Being told that you will die within the next 10 years simply meant making those 10 years the best possible years you could give to those much loved kids. We were there when a friend’s wife died leaving a 13 year old daughter motherless & it was just inconceivable to me that I leave my kids at the age when they most needed me.

Melanoma is a cancer that can travel to innumerable parts of the body. Lungs, lymph, brain, bone, skin – other organs. The nightmare for the patient is not knowing where to look, not knowing what part of your body will be affected.  There is probably not a part of my body that hasn’t been scanned, xrayed, utrasounded, or looked at in some way or another. It would take a whole other blog to discuss why a public health system like we have in Canada is so necessary for equitable treatment for all. I have spent countless hours year after year being scanned, injected & prodded in cold sterile medical rooms. After a while it becomes comforting being there knowing that the technician who is only doing his or her job is hopefully keeping you one step further from the grave. I have been astounded at how warm and kind most people working in the field of cancer treatment and diagnosis are.

After what seemed like an interminable wait I attended my appointment with the Oncologist. While the prognosis wasn’t good and keeping track of the progress of the disease seemed to be the most important thing; I did as my family doctor suggested and asked for adjuvant chemotherapy with Ergamisol/ Levamisole. OK the Oncologist said BUT most people don’t stay the course. (more…)

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Feeling like a chicken shit. I have been reading Lisa Ray’s blog http://lisaraniray.wordpress.com/  and I think I’ve missed the boat. I started this blog to inspire and inform my kids or others with inquiring minds about all kinds of “Stuff.”

I never intended to get personal and reveal too much about myself – what would be the point?  Well I’m thinking that if there is something I have to say that will help someone else on a similar journey maybe I ought to stop hiding and get on board. I mean it seems selfish having beaten the odds not to share that fact. (more…)

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Eat for a Future

OK Kids the biggest risk to your health is heart disease. Heart disease is affecting younger and younger people every year. Here is a strategy to minimize your risk, if you are young and healthy and want to stay that way learning now to Eat for a Future might be one of the most important things you ever do. It is most very significant for the young person whose health has been compromised. Today more and more of our young people are facing serious health challenges at younger ages. NEVER doubt for a moment that all life is created equal and precious. You who feel marginalized, overlooked, spurned by the in-crowd have more in common with the stressed weight obsessed young social butterfly than you know. The isolation and loneliness so many of us live with is a crushing burden. A burden that is harder and harder to bear if you develop vitamin deficiencies, weight control issues and health problems. Unfortunately the skinny among you can have just as much or more to worry about when it comes to blood pressure. If you: smoke, eat too many salty food/snacks, don’t exercise, and eat poorly you may be at even greater risk of High blood pressure.

The thing is that having a larger perspective and imagining a future that is healthy and happy is something you can and should do. You must value your life, I know it’s hard sometimes to care about tomorrow in this screwed up world but take it from me when you are really standing face to face with your mortality the vast majority of you will wish for the choice to choose life. Take pleasure in the small things, be the best person you can be. I have tried sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully to inspire those close to me to eat in a healthier way. Imagine if you will that you have been told that unless you change your habits that you will develop a terminal illness. How does that make you feel? Like a large foot just kicked you in the stomach? Well my dear, it is quite literally true that unhealthy lifestyle will kill you sooner or later. The problem really is this; for you cynics out there that say “I don’t care.” You think that dying young is preferable to dying sick and old, but you don’t get it yet; you will be young and sick and dying.

The most difficult hurdle to cross is accepting that you have to make a change and following through with the desire to change. My eldest son was critically ill during the blackout of August 2003 with life threatening antibiotic resistant pneumonia; learning at the age of 19 that life can be fragile was a difficult lesson for all of us. (more…)

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Outraged Sickened & Shocked

HMM! Let me see if the public wants to be sure that the free fertilizer used on farmers fields is actually safe make sure there isn’t anything going down the drain you wouldn’t want to eat. Sure!

Almost every level of government including the UN have websites promoting the use of biosolids on farmers fields as perfectly safe with little regard for the growing body of evidence to the contrary. Why? There is no satisfactory solution to the problem of what to do with all this waste.

According to the UN in most communities, the land application of biosolids is usually limited to marginal or agricultural lands that are used for either animal feed or crops that are not ingested raw. That’s supposed to make me feel better?

Please read this post and pass it on. If we the People don’t keep this issue alive Nothing will change.

Biosolids, also referred to as treated sludge, is a term used by the waste water industry to denote the byproduct of domestic and commercial sewage and wastewater treatment. These residuals are further treated to reduce pathogens and vector attraction by any of a number of approved methods.[1] Toxic chemicals such as PCBs, dioxin, and brominated flame retardants, may remain in treated sludge.[2][3] Depending on their level of treatment and resultant pollutant content, biosolids can be used in regulated applications for non-food agriculture, food agriculture, or distribution for unlimited use. From Wikipedia

Sludge News


The “land application” of sewage sludge has been promoted by EPA since 1993 as the preferred method of sludge disposal. Millions of tons of hazardous sewage sludge have subsequently been spread on farmland and parks in the United States, and many people living near sludged agricultural sites and many farm animals fed on sludged silage and hay have been made very sick. Many of these people have attempted to stop this practice. Now, since recent events have put a new spotlight on sludge, they are getting some help.

On February 25, 2008, Judge Anthony Alaimo of the 11th Circuit Court ruled that the sludge applications on a farm in Georgia were responsible for killing hundreds of diary cattle and contaminating the milk supplies in several states.

On April 14, 2008, an A.P. story called, “Sludge Tested As Lead-Poisoning Fix,” said: “Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.”

In May 2008, the A.P. followed up with more sludge articles, including, “No one knows what makes up sewage sludge,”

Then on September 10, 2008, Reuters posted a story on the pending sludge hearings in the U.S. Senate: Congress to Address Dumping of Sewage Sludge, by Jasmin Melvin

This video will leave you shaking your head. The premise of the experiment was that if children were to eat the sludge treated soil the sludge would mix with the lead & make the lead pass safely through their bodies. Dr. McBride a soil chemist from Cornell criticized study & doubts very much if it was safe for children. People were given incentives such as food coupons, a new lawn, doormats

Democracy Now interview of John Heilprin reporter for Associated Press

–         Sludge Tested as Lead Poisoning Fix in Poor Black Neighborhoods
Lawmakers and the NAACP are calling for an investigation into reports that federally funded scientific experiments in 2000 spread sewage sludge on yards in poor black neighborhoods to test if it could fight lead poisoning in children.


Fight Sludge visit  UNITED SLUDGE FREE ALLIANCE site for lots more info. Get involved you can make a difference.


Household Chemicals and Drugs Found in Biosolids from Wastewater Treatment Plants



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Fast Facts

Aging, Lack of Vit. B12 linked to Brain Shrinkage

A University of Oxford Study published in ‘Neurology’ tested 107 men and women aged avg 73 scanned with M.R.I. showing  no brain impairment were followed for 5 years. Blood tests were used to measure the levels of Vitamin B12. The group with the lowest levels of  Vitamin B12 lost twice as much brain volume as those with the highest levels.  The difference was significant even after allowing for initial brain size, age, sex, education, cognitive test scores and various measures of blood chemistry.  Other studies suggest that the elderly develop deficiency at a higher measure B12 level. Pending the results of further trials it is suggested that diet in the elderly needs to be well managed to ensure better than adequate B12 levels.

Authors. A. Vogiatzoglou, MSc, H. Refsum, MD, PhD, C. Johnston, S. M. Smith, DPhil, K. M. Bradley, FRCR, FRCP, C. de Jager, PhD, M. M. Budge, MD and A. D. Smith, DPhil, FMedSci
World’s Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of:
vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Food Serving
Cals Amount
Foods Rating
Calf’s liver, braised 4 oz-wt 187.1 41.39 689.8 66.4 excellent
Snapper, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 145.2 3.97 66.2 8.2 excellent
Venison 4 oz-wt 179.2 3.60 60.0 6.0 very good
Shrimp, steamed/boiled 4 oz-wt 112.3 1.69 28.2 4.5 very good
Scallops, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 151.7 2.00 33.3 4.0 very good
Salmon, chinook, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 261.9 3.25 54.2 3.7 very good
Beef tenderloin, lean, broiled 4 oz-wt 240.4 2.92 48.7 3.6 very good
Lamb loin, roasted 4 oz-wt 229.1 2.45 40.8 3.2 good
Cod, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 119.1 1.18 19.7 3.0 good
Halibut, baked/broiled 4 oz-wt 158.8 1.55 25.8 2.9 good
Yogurt, low-fat 1 cup 155.1 1.38 23.0 2.7 good
Cow’s milk, 2% 1 cup 121.2 0.89 14.8 2.2 good
Egg, whole, boiled 1 each 68.2 0.49 8.2 2.2 good
Authors. A. Vogiatzoglou, MSc, H. Refsum, MD, PhD, C. Johnston, S. M. Smith, DPhil, K. M. Bradley, FRCR, FRCP, C. de Jager, PhD, M. M. Budge, MD and A. D. Smith, DPhil, FMedSci

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