Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lifestyle changes...a matter of life or death

I saw the naturopath oncologist on Thursday. She provided me with a wealth of information. Sadly, I was turned off by her pushiness to sell me $200 worth of supplements (a one-month supply) at the end of our appointment.

We got into a bit of an argument when I told her my current situation, divorce and now medical bills, had created a very tight budget for me. She got nasty and said this was my life we were talking about and if I wanted to live I needed to take these supplements, and of course, buy them from her since "they were of the highest pharmaceutical quality". I told her well, if it was a choice of a roof over my head or the supplements then I would have to choose the roof. It sort of ruined the good feelings I had been feeling up to that point.

Regardless, I did walk away with a lot of knowledge and $100 of "essential" supplements that she said was a must. I haven't taken any of them yet since I have to run them by my traditional oncologist to make sure she approves. There was a green tea extract, some sort of cumin powder mixture that I'm suppose to drink, and a mushroom capsule. I looked them up online and two of them, the green tea extract and the cumin powder do seem to have a history of building the immune system. The mushroom stuff was referred to as "folk" medicine. I really didn't like the high pressure sales. I'm sure they make a lot of money off of this stuff and it seems wrong to tell a cancer patient who has no money that they need to buy this stuff or their cancer will probably return. Obviously, I'm still a bit disappointed this happened.

Now for the really big changes in my life. I have to totally change my eating. I'm going to organic vegetables and fruits, with emphasis on the vegetables and small amounts of fruit (sugar is sugar). Small amounts of animal protein that is free-range and organic. Mostly chicken and fish, very little, if any, red meat. I'll be eating as little processed foods as possible. More lentils and beans, but I have to really watch the carbs due to I need to keep my insulin levels stable. I'm not diabetic but my fasting glucose has always been on the high end, in the 90's. Not pre-diabetic, but too close for comfort.

Portion sizes have to change to smaller meals and more often. Gone are the days of starving myself to death so I can wear size 6 jeans, then binge eating my way right back to size 18. Now it's really eating to live.

I'm also cutting back on dairy, which is a little sad because milk has always been my beverage of choice. Everything I've been reading talks about animal products causing inflammation, including milk. If there are cancer cells running around in my bloodstream, they're looking for inflammation. That's where they'll reseed and start growing. Small servings are okay, but big glasses of milk with my meals are no longer on the menu. Fermented dairy, like yogurt, is okay, but very low sugar.

Processed sugar is completely off the menu. Everything I've read indicates cancer feeds on sugar. I've known for years that sugar isn't a good thing to be eating. It always trigger cravings, and I really don't miss it. The key for me is to avoid it 100%. One bite triggers cravings for me.

I had already starting eating like this about a week ago when I was reading about cancer online and how important nutrition is to prevent the cancer from returning. I'm finding it a lot easier to eat like this than I expected. There's a bonus too, I feel so much better already.

I also can't believe how much better organic food tastes. It taste incredibly delicious. I baked a a free-range, oganic chicken last night with organic carrots, yukon gold potatoes, celery, asparagus and onion. It was literally one of the best meals I've eaten in my entire life. I had no idea there would be such a difference in the taste and texture of the food.

There's a whole list of things I have to work on besides nutrition, like sleep, exercise and my mental attitude (handling stress) are just a few things. I'm reading a couple of books that are really helpful, Five to Thrive, "your cutting-edge cancer prevention plan". And Love, Medicine, and Miracles. These are great books and are giving me a lot of insight and knowledge on how to deal with my cancer diagnosis.

My oncologist (the traditional one) gave me the go ahead last Wednesday to return to the gym. I still haven't gone, but I plan a visit this morning. It's only been 2 1/2 weeks since my total abdominal hysterectomy. I feel better but I'm far from 100% recovered. My workout will be gentle, just enough to get my heart rate up and light weights.

One thing I haven't mentioned in a long time is my binge eating. When my evil, soon-to-be ex-husband lived here I would get up in the middle of the night and eat. Not a little, but a lot. It was serious, out of control binge eating. That went on for years. It was a constant battle and barely a night went by when I wasn't in the kitchen at 1 or 2 a.m. looking for something to eat. I would eat a huge amount of food and go back to bed, alone in my bedroom.

A strange thing has happened. When my husband was arrested for assaulting me and I have a restraining order against him, my binge eating came to a halt. I may have done it a few times right after he left, but I haven't done it for months (he's been gone six months). In hindsight I know it was my unhappiness and feelings of not being loved that caused the binge eating.

I'm feeling very positive about my fight against cancer and my life. These life changes are challenging, but this really is a matter of life or death.


Sarah G said...

((Diana)) You can beat this! We're all right here with you 100%! I'm only an hour or so away if you need help!

ABBY said...

Diana you are one remarkable woman.
I know the dietary changes you've made will make a huge difference.
I've never heard of a DR pushing supplements so hard. That is really terrible. But glad to know you got some good information.

Velda said...

Hi Diana, glad you found me again. I've just spent some time reading your journey! You are one brave and strong, powerful woman. It's so true what you said in your last post about being glad for the cancer. It sure changes everything in your life and everything looks different!! Kepp strong and keep positive. I was give a death sentence when I was diagnosed, 4-12 months, well, my friend, 2 days ago was 3 1/2 years!!! I met a man with the same diagnosis and it's been 12 years, so don't ever give up!!oxox

Lyn said...

Sending hugs. This sounds really hard but doable, and I know you are HIGHLY motivated. Still praying for your peace and healing.

Roxie said...

You have such a great attitude about your diagnosis. I am sorry that the natural doctor did not understand your financial situation. Makes you lose faith in people, doesn't it?

Deniz said...

I'm so glad that you getting good support from those around you, and even more that you are the feisty, brave Diana fighting this thing every step of the way. Go girl!

On the dairy and inflammation side - it 'may' be worth investigating alternatives (goat, maybe?) as well as the fermented types if they are something you'd find it hard to give up entirely.

Huge Zen hugs from the UK. You are in my thoughts whether it helps or not and you are so right that every day is a precious gift.

june said...

We're all here for you, Diana, every step of the way, with cyber hugs and support from around the blogosophere and around the world.

Everyone here has said what I'm about to say, but it's a message that we want to keep repeating and reiterating - you are truly one strong woman, Diana. Don't allow that one doctor put a damper on your motivation, your determination and most of all, your energy and positivity. When I read what you'd written about the attitude she gave you about buying her supplements, I truly wanted to just smack her upside her head - a few times! 'Tough love' is one thing, but she had clearly over-stepped the mark, and I'm appalled at her comments and her insensitivity to your needs and what's going on in your life. I really do feel like slapping her for being so disrespectful (to say nothing of her being more money-driven than compassionate and caring).

Hang in there, Diana.