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Archive for the ‘Never stop fighting’ 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.

http://www.realage.com/eat-smart/

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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