At some point that first week after my husband came home from hospital and started chemo, he went back to work. I proceeded to attempt to get our ducks in a row. I called our financial planner and set up an appointment for later that week, I also got a referral to a lawyer so I could get our wills updated. I had no idea how long my husband was going to be able to work (even worse, I had no idea how long my husband would live). I had folded up my part-time small business a few months before in order to focus more on the kids and other projects… little did I know the magnitude of the project that would arise and occupy so much of my time.
I met with the financial planner and filled him in on what was happening… and cried. I met with the lawyer… and cried. It was a rough week. I was home doing these things, preparing for what I absolutely dreaded… my mind plagued by what was going on. I asked my husband when he came home one day… “When you go to work are you able to forget? Not think about it for a while?” He said he was, which I was very grateful for, because I wasn’t… and it was torture.
I spent days in front of my computer searching for answers. I researched and made lists of supplements that had possible cancer fighting properties. I read about alternative therapies. There was so much information out there and I felt overwhelmed by it and the enormity of my task. I needed to find a way to cure my husband, I just didn’t know how to start.
Of course everyone was telling me to put my faith in modern medicine, that plenty of people survived cancer these days. As far as I could tell, we were being offered the best of what was out there. But the more I read, the more I worried about the side effects and collateral damage caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Would my husband be like my father and many others, have the cancer go away in one place only to have it come back or explode somewhere else?
Then a book arrived on our doorstep… Anti Cancer, a New Way of Life. It was sent to us from a friend, a breast cancer survivor, who had heard the news about my husband through the grapevine. This book would provide the starting point that I had been looking for, as well as lead to closer friendships. It also provided sound scientific reasoning that would convince my husband he needed to take heed of its advice.
The book is written David Servan-Schreiber, a scientist and doctor who was diagnosed with brain cancer. It spoke to my husband from the very first page and he had read it cover to cover within days of its arrival. It provided a road map as to how I could structure our diet to harness the power of the most nutrient rich, cancer fighting foods. It also outlined everything we should avoid, not only food, but other things as well. I think everyone should read this book, and I cannot be more grateful to our friend for sending it to us at a time when we needed it most.
Now let me just say we ate what we thought was a very healthy diet before all this. I would buy organic fruits and vegetables (though perhaps not exclusively), we didn’t eat too many sweets, or fried foods, or soda. I always tried to have more than one veggie on the plate at dinner, but our meals usually centered around meat. We didn’t eat too much fast food, but we did eat it on occasion. And cheese, we ate a lot of cheese (but I thought this was good for you… you need calcium right?). If you had asked me then were we eating a healthy diet, I would have said yes, absolutely. If you ask me that now after over a year of being on an anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory diet, I would tell you that what we were eating before was negatively impacting our health, all of us. Every single member of my family has seen measurable improvements to their health over the past year.
I relearned how to cook, my family relearned how to eat, and we all became more aware. And in the beginning it wasn’t that easy… but I realized you don’t necessarily have to know exactly where to start, you just have to start somewhere. And so I did, with food. The other thing I discovered is that once you start, you gain traction, and you can find your power. Once the blinders come off and you become aware of how you can take control of your own health and see results, it is amazing and empowering. The evolution and healing had begun. And it is an evolution… because I am continually learning.
More to come…