Anti Cancer (an old way of life)
Some of my early memories are of the smells of the health food store, coming home delighted to have 'candy' - honey and sesame seed treats. It was the 70's and my Dad was a hippy, health food fanatic, runner, into yoga and massage. There was no processed food, no added sugar and no red meat in our home. I was fortunate to grow up hearing his knowledge of nutrition. To me it was common sense. I realized in adulthood that we were the exception and not the rule in America.
In spite of his overall healthy way of life however, my dad was taken at 75 by bladder cancer. I wouldn't say that i have been a nutrition purist or half as physically active as my dad in his life, but not bad compared to the general population. Yet, here i am at 51 battling adenoid cystic carcinoma.
This might lead you to say well why the heck would you bother to still think that nutrition and exercise impact your likelihood of getting cancer? You should have subsisted on cheetos woman! I still believe that you are what you eat. I also think that genetics and our (poisoned) environment have a huge impact. I would say that now, i believe stress and mental health are also a much large part of our health than i allowed myself to acknowledge prior. My dad struggled with mental health, depression, and negativity throughout his life. I have struggled with anxiety, negativity and STRESS throughout my life.
Owning my own small business has been incredibly stressful for me. Financial insecurity has been incredible stressful. I have always worked myself as hard as i can, and taken pride in that. About 10 years ago I realized that my grandparents both were suffering from dementia and were in danger of being institutionalized because of their failure to reach out for help. I am an only child and only grandchild. So it was my responsibility and one i wouldn't turn away from. I managed their affairs and kept them in their home across the country for many years. My mom seemed to just not be capable of helping. It was several years later that she was formally diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Just as my grandparents were passing, she was declining to the point that i had to repeat this process for her. I'm still in that process.
Sure i was stressed to the max. But hey, this is how i roll, right? I didn't need help! I could do this! I am Sonya hear me roar! I see now that i should have said yes when asked if i needed help, i should have reached out for more of it. I am now convinced that this long long history of stress and lack of adequate stress management laid a fertile ground for cancer to flourish.
'Anti Cancer A New Way of Life' reiterates in a user friendly way the lessons i have always known about nutrition, exercise and mind-body relationship. (I didn't always listen to that knowledge, obviously!) While i did skim over some of his personal anecdotes, i do recommend this read overall. He does not cast off western medicine, but rather speaks of how the 'terrain' ie your body can be helped to combat cancer in concert, by giving it the strength it needs.
I'm dialing in further on nutrition. I am keeping up mild exercise through radiation and intend on getting more serious when I'm through with it. I am going to focus on my mindset, stress management, and savoring all the wonderful small moments of my LIFE.