Friday, April 12, 2019

Does Cancer define me?

                                                                             Day 11

I do/don’t let cancer define me, I let my fight, my life and my faith define me, cancer is just a chronic illness I have.


You have probably read other cancer patients online say that they don’t let their cancer define them.  I have cancer friends who are emphatic about cancer not defining them or changing their lives.  I embrace the change that cancer has made in my life because I allowed it to be for the better, and I think I was lucky to realize that God had a plan for my cancer.

I guess when I stop and think about it, I do let cancer define me, but in a positive way.  I have been very open about my cancer since the beginnings.  Having cancer has changed me, my priorities, importance of family, importance of health and wellness and just how short and precious life can be.  My goal is to help as many of my survivors as I can.  It helps to make my horror story and physical misery worth it.  If I were to look at my book of life and write a brief bio on what defines me, cancer would be just one more thing (albeit a big one) that showed off my strength and determination.  Another dangerous illness that I survived. (I had an extremely bad case of mono in 1997). My definition of myself is that of a survivor, a fighter, and a warrior. 

It may feel like cancer defines you because of how all-encompassing it is, and how it affects those around you.  That's ok, feel it for a season and then accept it.  For most it changes you, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Some only for the duration of treatment, others for the first few months and years after, but there is a small few of us who it has changed forever.  I hope I will never be the same after cancer.  I was always a survivor, fighter and warrior before cancer, and I will continue to be those until I am gone. 

*exert from Successful Survivor Guide, by Kat Davis

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Top 14 Anti-Cancer Superfruits you should add to your diet

Some fruits have the ability to fight against cancer formation. Cancer is nothing but uncontrollable growth of cells. Our body contains lots of cell, about more than 100 million cells. Cancer starts with one cell which affect the other cells and bone marrows.
Apple : Apple has antioxidants and flavonoids that helps the activity of vitamin C. Thus helps in lowering the risks of colon cancer, breast cancer
Acai Berries: Acai berry is one of the most nutritious berries on the planet. This fruit has been heralded for centuries for its healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting properties. Research reveals this antioxidant-rich berry may help suppress and repair oxidative damage.
Strawberries: Strawberry has high antioxidant power hence it is a best protective fruit. Strawberry consist of Ellagic acid that prevent cellular toxin to affect DNA and provide amine ,which prevent leukaemia disease.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate fruit contains phytochemicals, that blocks aromatase, an enzyme which convert androgen into estrogen  that prevents breast cancer.
Avocado: Avocados include its ability to boost heart health, improve digestion, prevent cancer, enhance liver health, and help in weight management.  It is a rich source of good fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytosterols.
Kiwi : Kiwi is a good source of potassium and magnesium, vitamin E. Kiwi fruit has Vitamin C content twice as orange. Kiwi block the formation of nitrosamines thus prevents cancer formation in our body.
Goji Berry: The health benefits of goji berry include its ability to strengthen the immune system, improve eyesight, and control diabetes. Goji berry also provides improved liver health, cardiovascular protection, potential anti-cancer impact, and protection of brain cells and skin from UV radiations.
Grapes: Grapes contain phytochemicals such as resveratrol that affect the cancer. Daily intake of Grapes in women mainly cures breast cancer formation.
Mangosteen:  Mangosteen berries destroy cancer and stop tumor development at each stage of the cancer forming process.
Citrus Fruits: Citrus Fruits such as lemon, lime, kiwi, orange – rich in vitamin C ,which is an important  property that prevent cancer and enhance immunity for long time period.
Soursop: Soursop is mainly used to treat all types of cancer and tumors, as well as depression, fungal infections, high blood pressure, and parasites. In addition to its amazing cancer-killing properties, soursop also contains vitamins C, B1 and B2, calcium, and significant amounts of phosphorous, potassium, and magnesium.
Dragon Fruit: Dragon fruit, rich in nutrients and low in calories may be beneficial for fighting chronic illnesses, improving gut health, and boosting immunity. It is high in fiber as well as various vitamins and minerals. Health benefits of dragon fruit  weight loss, control diabetes, lower cholesterol, and boost energy levels, it may also be protective against certain cancers.
Blueberries: Blueberries work by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules, which is the genesis of the formation of all malignant tumors. The berries also help stop oxidative stress, DNA damage, and cancer cell proliferation.
Noni Fruit: Noni fruit does appear to have antioxidant, immune-boosting and tumor-fighting properties, and is hailed as a general health tonic.

Cancer is not the boss of me.: Take care of you!

Cancer is not the boss of me.: Take care of you!: As a cancer survivor everything seems to revolve around the cancer.  Your schedule is mandated by doctor appointments.  Every day is uncerta...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Take care of you!

As a cancer survivor everything seems to revolve around the cancer.  Your schedule is mandated by doctor appointments.  Every day is uncertain if you feel well or not and have limitations.  It's irritating I won't lie.  There are times when you feel dictated by this disease and it's irritating.  I for one feel the need to rebel when I feel my disease is taking over my life.  This may sound a little immature but it's true.  I don't do anything too crazy, just impulsive trip to an amusement park or some other outing in a big public setting. This is a big deal, because as a current patient undergoing treatment your immune system is more compromised and the doctors like to make you paranoid about getting sick from a common cold turning into pneumonia! God forbid someone sneeze or cough near me I flinch.  It's crazy. 
Life alone is busy and as a mom it's busier.  Work, house, kids, bills, family, friends and disease.  It's a handful.  We need to remember while we are taking care of everything, and everyone else we need to care for us too.  That means taking a nap, getting nails done, not because you need to but because you want to.  Relax.  Yes you deserve it, you need it!  It's healthy.  Get a massage, facial, relax in a pool or hot tub, sit outside in the sun and read a book. You don't need to be rich or a Real Housewife to take some time to pamper yourself.  It is totally possible to pamper on a budget.  Bubble bath is usually $5, you can do an at home facial for $2.99+, a manicure is as low as $15, or you could spend more and go to a spa. Don't neglect your own wellbeing. 
My sister is so crazy busy with her girls, her church, her husband's business and her huge family and friends.  I used to make her a bubble bath and set the timer for an hour and basically lock her in the bathroom and force her to relax.  Now that she has Chron's disease she hasn't slowed down at all and she is constantly in an out of the hospital with flareups.  If she doesn't slow down and take this disease seriously it can turn into colon cancer.  Now that we are older and live further apart and I have my own family I can't do that forced relaxation for her anymore, and I can tell her health is suffering for it.  She has the ability and finances to pamper herself, and she does care for herself, she gets her nails and hair done, but is in such a rush and usually multi-tasking when she does it that she doesn't get to unplug and enjoy it, these appointments are just a task on her schedule nothing to sit back and enjoy.  She looks amazing but it takes a toll on her health.  You can have it all!  You can have balance in your life.  You just have to take it to heart and do it. You deserve it, we all do.
Remember it is not selfish to care for yourself, it is self care!

Cancer is not the boss of me.: Importance of Nutritional Supplements in battling ...

Cancer is not the boss of me.: Importance of Nutritional Supplements in battling ...: When taken correctly, vitamins, herbal supplements and natural remedies are very beneficial to one's health, especially when so many ...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cancer and fatigue

As a cancer survivor myself I can tell you that the fatigue associated with treatments and after treatments is no joke!  Fatigue can sneak up on you and knock you off your feet!  Other times you could feel great to start and 1/2 way through doing something physical you feel exhausted.  There are some days I feel like I can sleep on and off all day.  Why does this happen?

Well there are medical, physical and emotional causes of this fatigue.

Medical causes should of course be gone over with your treatment team of doctors.  Medical causes could be anemia (low red blood cell count), infection, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition, medication side effects.  You should always be honest with your medical team and inform your oncologist or nurse if you experience this.

Physical causes of cancer related fatigue are the obvious over-doing it, pushing yourself, normal mom duties, but can be organ dysfunction, deconditioning (lack of physical exercise) due to bed rest, inflammation from treatments or medication.  Inflammation is a big issue for proper health and maintaining remission of disease.  Inflammation is a beast and I will go into that issue further in a future blog post.

Emotional fatigue can feel like you are tired to your bones.  Emotional fatigue can be caused by the obvious: stress, depression, fear of reoccurrence, fear of death, brain fog from chemo or radiation.  A cancer patient is flooded with what feels like a ton of emotions and thoughts, fears when we are diagnosed, hearing about treatment plans, surgeries and trying to cope or learn how to live after treatment.  Not to mention the stress we feel about the change in life and finances that are associated with it.

The general public doesn't seem to understand that fatigue is not a joke, it's not an excuse.  For a cancer patient or survivor it never goes away.  I have been dealing with cancer since 2011 and even now I find myself exhausted over seemingly simple exercises that didn't exhaust me before.  This change is frustrating. I still feel somewhat "young" but my body acts "old".  I spent the day at Disneyland with my family and the next day I was so tired I spent the day binge watching T.V. and napping.

As hard as it is to get used to, cancer fatigue needs to be taken seriously and you have to give yourself permission to rest, take it easy, nap.  Your body needs it, your health needs it.  Listen to your body when you need to rest, then sit back, get comfy and go for it.
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Don't let cancer be the boss of you!

Ok you may have cancer, but does cancer have you?  There is a big difference in how you think about this, and it is very true when the doctor's say that positive thinking is a powerful tool.  I will be the first person to tell you cancer effing sucks!  Dealing with cancer is not for the weak, it's hard, it's awful, it hurts, you feel sick, no one wants it.  But here's the thing my body may have cancer, meaning it is in fact inside me, or has done damage to my body.  I have it, it doesn't have me.  I am the one in control, not the cancer.  Yes cancer has limited my mobility and energy and all that BUT it doesn't stop me.  I might take it easy or it might make me take a pause on some things but overall I am not stopped, and it doesn't control me. 

How can you stop cancer from bossing you around?  I'm glad you asked.

1) Realize that you are in fact in control.  Who is calling the doctor?  The cancer?  No.  You are.
Who is choosing the medical treatments to fight this disease the cancer?  No.  You are.
Who is putting food in your mouth?  You Are!
You are in control.  So you tell the cancer inside you to back the Eff off and die.  It is a little bitch that has got to go!  You are in control not the cancer and you need to say it.  Say it every day in your head, out loud, in the car, in the shower, whenever and wherever you need to, to remind yourself and the cancer that you are in control.

2) Focus on foods that boost your natural body immune system, take vitamin supplements that target your specific cancer or support the immune system in general.  Take the time to learn if your cancer has any hormone connection and then stay away from hormone rich foods and supplements. (I.E. estrogen and soy products for ovarian or breast cancers)

3) Enjoy life.  You woke up today right?  Enjoy it, don't let cancer rob of you of a beautiful day.  There is ALWAYS something to enjoy or be thankful for.  You just need to find it.

4)  Take control of your medical care.  You have to be your own advocate or have someone close to you advocate for you.  Doctor's are overworked and overwhelmed and can't always give every patient 100%, so do your own research, ask questions, look into non-traditional treatments, herbal, Eastern, etc.

5) Spiritual.  Take time to feed your soul.  Our emotions are tied to our body and greatly affect our healing.  Find ways to feed your soul, a nature walk, sitting by the duck pond in the park, meditation, yoga, prayer, church, animal therapy, painting, watching the sunset.  Balance isn't myth, it is important, and more importantly it is healthy.

Next time you say, "I have cancer."  I want you to say, "I have cancer... but it doesn't have me!"

Dig deep and find that stubborn 2year old inside of you who threw a tantrum on the floor and use her to remind the cancer of who is really in control of you!  You are!