Cancer

Pain

I read an interesting article by Philip Yancey today talking about pain.  In summary, Philip suggests that pain can either turn us away from God or turn us toward God.  I think that is a true statement.   None of us like pain and we may even ask why there is so much of it in life.  As Christians, we can blame it all on the "Fall" (Adam and Eve), but that doesn't offer much help or seem relevant for our pain today.  We still would like to know why God continues to allow such pain and suffering. 

First, I believe that it was all a part of God's plan.  In my case, God used the pain to draw me closer to Him.  Nothing around me seemed to matter when I found out I had cancer.  At first, I didn't want to see anyone; but I sure did talk to God.  I'm not sure I was all that pleasant either; but I knew He would listen and not interrupt.  God did eventually lead me to what I should do; but not until I had vented all my anger and frustrations. 

Secondly, I believe it is because He loves us so much.  What, you say?  Hear me out.  If you love someone, you want the best for them.  God wants the best for us.  The best is what He has planned for us.  It is what we were created for.  Sometimes, we need a wake up call to discover what that is.  I know I did.  I can't say that I have arrived or that I've got it all figured out.  But I can say that I am a whole lot more at peace with myself and my life.

Thirdly, I believe it is to prepare us for the future events that will surely come as the Word of God tells us.  There is coming a time of great tribulation that will make it extremely difficult for believers of Christ to exist.  Perhaps, we will not be here, because we will be taken away in the rapture.  I don't know, Bible scholars can't even agree.  But I do know, this is a time to put oil in our lamps, in other words to build relationship with our creator, God, so that we will be ready for whatever happens in the future.

So, even though we do not want to embrace pain, we need to look at it from different perspective and see what is in it for us.


Mosquitos

I am never bothered by mosquitos in Sidney; but here, in Ontario they are a nuisance.  The question then becomes, what do you do to avoid being a bug's dinner?  Most insect repellants are loaded with toxic chemicals, of which DEET is one.  I do not wish to purposely put any known chemical on my body. 

Years ago, when we were travelling across Canada on our motorcycle, we came upon a campground that was making and selling an insect repellant by the name of "Bite Me!"  It was made from essential oils and it worked.  I have never been able to find it again.

But the good news is there is a spray called Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant that contains essential oils.  There is also a push-up stick that you rub on your skin called Badger Anti-Bug Balm which contains 100% USDA organic essential oils.  Even better news is that both are completely safe even for children and pets.  They are also paraben free, phthalate free and ph balanced.   Now, I need to find these products here in London, Ont

However, if I can't find either of these, I just might make my own.  Here is an all natural recipe that I found.

Combine the following essential oils:

1/2 ounce citronella oil or peppermint oil
1/4 ounce lavender oil 
1/8 ounce tea tree oil
1/8 ounce jojoba oil or almond oil – preferably organic

Dilute in 16 ounces of  witch hazel and pour in a squirt or spray bottle. As a general rule, do not use essential oils undiluted.

Have fun and don't let the bugs bite!


Parsley

Parsley looks nice as a garnish on the side of your plate.  But, have you ever wondered about the benefits of parsley?   For one, it supposedly helps to freshen your breath.  But did you know that parsley provides plenty of antioxidant power.  Further, and more importantly, parsley contains volatile oil components that have been shown to inhibit tumor formation, partiularly in the lungs.  You can read more at livestrong.com - an article about parsley juice and lung cancer.  The research from the University of Missouri also claims that parsley is an important food to digest if you have breast cancer.

Having said that, I have included a couple of recipes to help you consume more parsley.  The first one I found was called 

The Body Can Heal Itself Juice
 
5 Carrots
4 Handfuls of Fresh Spinach
1 Handful of Fresh Parsley
4 Sticks of Celery

Juice all ingredients and serve.

This recipe is taken from the The Diva's Guide to Juices and Cocktails available from The Raw Diva Store.

Another recipe I found was from Kalyn's Kitchen

Carrot and Parsley Salad

6 medium sized carrots, peeled, then grated
1 bunch parsley, chopped fine (about 1 cup chopped parsley)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Peel carrots, then grate coarsely, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then chop finely with food process or chef's knife. Put carrots and parsley in mixing bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then mix into salad. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I barely used any salt). Serve immediately.
This recipe has been adapted from Bistro Carrot Salad in Jack Bishop's book Vegetables Every Day.

Life

I just read a quote by Elbert Hubbard and I had to laugh.  It said, "Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive."

In the years before cancer, that was definitely not me. I took everything seriously.  Having cancer and now being a survivor has most certainly made me rethink about how I view life.  Why is it that people get so bent out of shape about so many things?  Why does everything have to be just so?  Or, even worse, why does it have to be my way?  I have learned to step back and ask myself, "Will it matter a year from now, a month from now, a week from now or even tomorrow?"  If I can honestly answer "No" to any of those questions; then I really don't need to worry.  I can live my life without trying to please everyone and at the same time not expect everyone else around to please me.  I can be myself and allow others to be themselves as well.


Cancer and Your Memories

I just finished watching a video about cancer and the real reason some people get cancer and others never will.  Along the same thought, some will survive cancer and others never will.  Although the video is advertising an e-book about the topic; it was very informative.  It made a lot of sense to me and touched on some of the areas in my life that I had worked on to clean up and clear out.  Dr. Ben Johnson states that internal issues are the real cause of cancer and he goes on to explain why.  I was particularly interested in the research that says all of our cells have memories; not just our brains cells.  Imbedded in your cell memories is everything that has ever happened or occurred in your life.  Even traumatic events that we may have forgotten are imprinted in our cells DNA. These events can be emotional as well as physical.  These events transmit negative patterns to the bodies cells and shuts down the immune system. 

The video is only 9 minutes long and you can watch it here:.
http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=168392&AdID=540590


Cancer and Your Lifestyle

Today as I was driving to pick up my grandchildren from school, I couldn't help but notice the blue sky above.  It was filled with puffy white clouds and the sun was warm and bright.  Suddenly, I realized that at this precise moment in time, I didn't have a care in the world.  It was shut out by the beauty that surrounded me.  Immediately, my thoughts went to how much I have to be thankful for.  The more I thought, the longer the list became.

I'm alive and I feel good.  I am healthy and well.  I have a great husband.  I have 2 wonderful daughters and son-in-laws. I have 2 granddaughters and 2 grandsons.  I have caring friends.  I have hair, etc.  You see, in 2001, I was told that I had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer, Stage 3 and had only 6-9 mos. to live, if I did not take the traditional chemo treatment.  And here I am, it is 2011.  Life is good.

Looking back I can see the hand of God so clearly in my life.  Back then, I wondered if the above day would ever be a part of my life.  There is quite a story as to how I arrived at this day; which is why, after saying I would, actually beginning and then setting it aside, I have decided to devote the next year to completing my story in book form.

But for now, I will just say that your lifestyle is very important and plays a vital part in your recovery.  By that I mean, first and foremost, your attitude.  Being thankful, forgiving others and loving yourself are all major players in your road to recovery.  In addition to the type of treatment you choose, you can choose how you will live your life through this journey.


Chia - a superfood

One of the foods that I recently mentioned, as being a superfood, is chia.   It has a light nutty taste, is odourless and easy to add to recipes.  I add it to my yogurt or oatmeal in the morning.  I sprinkle it in my salads and add it to muffins.  Chia seeds contain 20% protein with all essential amino acids, which makes for a good vegetal protein alternative with high nutritional, economic and versatile value.  

Chia is the richest non-marine whole food source of omega-3 and dietary fiber currently known to man.  It is nutritionally superior to flax, which I have regularly used for omega-3.  Omega-3 is extremely important for our health.  One study I read said that many people are deficient in omega-3. 

According to the American Heart Association, Omega-3 fatty acids can normalize blood pressure, while helping promote healthy heart and blood vessels.  Diets that include chia seeds dramatically lower the levels of triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase the level of HDL (good) cholesterol and Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.

Chia also helps strengthen muscles and bones with 6 times more calcium than milk.

Chia can absorb a whopping 12 times its weight in water, while flax seed only absorbs 6-8 times its weight.

Chia´s insoluble fiber reduces digestive transit time and removes toxins as it passes through the digestive tract.

Chia´s high fiber content and its ability to reduce blood sugar levels after meals inhibits the appetite, thus making it the perfect food for healthy, effective weight loss.

And finally, chia seeds contain chlorgenic acid and caffeic acid, and coumaric acid and caffeic acid are found in chia oil; these are antioxidants that play a major role in cancer prevention. 

So, there you have it, the facts that I have researched about chia.  I think one can easily agree that chia is indeed a superfood.


Superfoods

I have just finished reading a book by David Wolfe that talks about the 10 best superfoods.  I thought the list might include such foods as broccoli, spinach, blueberries, fish, etc.  But I was surprised to learn that none of those foods were included.  Instead he spoke about maca, chia seeds, goji berries, hemp hearts and cacao nibs, to name a few.  Frankly, I had not heard of them, let alone try them.  So I started researching a little and I couldn't believe the nutrients that some of these foods contain.  Also included in the list were spirulina, chlorella, coconut and honey, especially bee pollen and royal jelly. 

Presently, I do eat many different foods that I know to contain a good source of nutrients.  Foods like quinoa, miso, kamut and spelt have graced my table for years. I try to eat whole foods and avoid processed food as much as possible.  But as I have begun to add some of the superfoods above, I have noticed a big difference in my energy level, and I find I don't get hungry in between meals.  As a bonus I have noticed less stiffness all over and less joint pain. I can only think that my body is receiving nutrients that it has been missing for a while.

 

 


Hope

Recently, I have heard of so many people being diagnosed with cancer that it is overwhelming.  A friend of mine has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had a visit with her the other day and what struck me was the lack of hope she felt.  While it is true, no one wants to be diagnosed with any type of cancer and understandably may feel hopeless; it is just as important to realize that there is always hope.  Doctors do not and cannot know everything.  For one thing, they do not understand the importance of the human will.

In my case, I was told that I had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Stage 3, and it was the aggressive kind.  I was told that I had approx. 6 - 9 months to live if I didn't take chemo.  It seemed pretty dismal; and yet I lived another 5 years without any form of conventional treatment.  And for the most part, they were 5 pretty good years.  Actually, if truth were told, even though I knew I had cancer, I felt better than I had for a long time, as I detoxed my body and learned how to really take care of me. A CT scan, just six months after the initial diagnosis, showed that the tumors were indeed shrinking.

There are many things we can do to help our bodies in a situation like this.  One major thing I did was to  change my diet, and thereby began a process of detoxifying my body.  I paid attention to foods that were more alkaline rather than acidic.  I avoided anything that contained sugar, white flours and white pasta, etc.  I bounced on a mini trampoline and practiced deep breathing.  I also went through a process of detoxifying myself from negative emotions and allowed forgiveness to penetrate my being - forgiveness of others and of myself.

It is also important to avoid stress, if you can.  Unfortunately, there may be times in your life, when that is impossible.  In my situation, my grandchildren, (twins) were born at 24 weeks gestation.  This sent me on a spiral downward, from which I could not seem to recover on my own.  For a time, I felt hopeless, like somehow I had failed. I thought I would die. Be careful, if you find yourself in this trap.  It is not the truth.  This is where having a great support system around you, that believe in you, is so important.  I learned there is always hope, no matter how bleak the situation is.  I rallied around and took chemo and here I am today, healthy and well.

I am telling you this, because I believe with my whole being, that the biggest part of the healing from cancer is to believe that you will be well.  You must talk it, think it, act on it, live it, etc.  The power of our mind on a situation like cancer is huge.

So, if you or someone you know has cancer be encouraged; find the hope that is within and let it be your comfort and dare I say the first step towards your good health.

It says in Proverbs,  "Hope deferred makes the heart sick,.."


Juicing

Well, winter is upon us.  Here on Vancouver Island, especially, we just had several centimetres of snow and it lasted for awhile.  Usually, the bit of snow that we do get melts by the end of the day.  They say we are in for a very cold, hard winter.  So this prompted me to beef up my juicing. The reason is that when I was teaching JK in Ontario, I was juicing and I was never healthier.  Despite having cancer, I had no colds, sore throats or the usual laryngitis.  Since I continue to work with small children, this is the best line of defense that I know of.

I began juicing when I was first diagnosed with cancer.  My research at the time left no doubt in my mind that the best way to improve my health was to consume lots of fresh high quality, organic, vegetables.  Eating them raw it seemed would provide the best nutrients.  But, how was I to do that?  After further research, I stumbled upon juicing.  It seemed to be the answer to getting ample amounts of raw vegetables into my diet, especially since I was not a big vegetable eater, cooked or raw.  The other great benefit of juicing is that your body can absorb more of the nutrients from the vegetables.  My body responded well, as I began to feel better almost immediately.

People have often asked me what did I juice.  In the beginning, I only juiced carrots, celery, broccoli, green beans and swiss chard, as recommended by my naturopath.  Except for the swiss chard, these were some vegetables that I did like, although I liked them cooked.  But really, you can juice any vegetable.  Cucumber is very nice in a juice and juicing fresh tomatoes from the garden, well, all I can say is Yum!

Recently I have read, that some combinations of juice can cause nausea and/or stomach upset.  I didn't experience anything like that; but I didn't use cabbage and that seems to be one of the culprits.  Just listen to your body when juicing.  Your stomach should feel good all morning long.  If it is churning or growling, you probably juiced something you should not be eating.  So experiment and see what types of vegetables you like and the proportions.  I use a fair bit of celery because it is neutral; it dilutes the sugar content of carrots and powerful flavours of vegetables like broccoli, etc. Also, celery is very powerful at eliminating inflammation, which I believe to be a major factor in many cancers.

Several people have commented that juicing is complicated and time consuming.  All I can say is that if you have a good juicer, it's a lot easier than you think.  Clean up is minimal, if you do it right away.  The juicer that I used was the Champion.  I have used the L'Equip which is also very good.  With the Champion, you can also make yummy icecream/sherbet from frozen fruit.  It's a real treat that you can enjoy without feeling guilty.  My grandkids like it as well.

So if you haven't juiced before, why not give it a try!  If you have cancer and are reading this article, please do consider juicing.  It is well, worth your time and effort.  Along with a whole foods diet, exercise and deep breathing, my tumours began shrinking in 4 mos. as was proven by a 2nd CT scan.  Happy juicing!