Monday, March 30, 2015

Oh, How I Love Proof....

When I was diagnosed with cancer in Sept 2013, my CA15-3 tumor marker number was 29, still within normal (under 30), but we know I had lots of cancer.  It has gotten lower every month, with it at 15 at the end of chemo in Jan 2014, when we know the cancer was gone. I started natural treatments then to build my immune system. I still had surgery and a year of Herceptin (a protein blocker). In November, while taking my last dose of Herceptin, the tumor marker number was 11.9.  I have only done natural treatments since then.  I turned down radiation and Tamoxifen (hormonal treatment for 5 years).

Most of the time, the doctor says the number goes up because this is a highly recurring cancer.  He was concerned, since I haven't had any treatment, and told me that he would call me if it was back up to 22.  If that were the case, he would get me in to do all kinds of scans and testing.

I just got the call from the nurse.  My CA15-3 number Friday, four months after my last "official" treatment ended and only natural treatments since is 11.1.  I'm so excited that all I'm doing is showing up as proof in the bloodwork and numbers!!!

Also, I've had a number of Naturopathic doctors* give me really positive feedback on my Killing Cancer Naturally article.  Even the Medical Director at Vitarock is interested in selling my supplements.  In addition, the Weston A Price Foundation took great interest in my root canal post and featured it on their Facebook page this past week.  I know I'm on the right path, and there's proof and validation in the feedback and in the results.  The number of people using my natural approach is growing, and I am starting to see all the wonderful results happening in them.  It's all going up from here!!!

* (Dr. Syliva Cimoch, Stamford Naturopathic, Dr. Karol, Alternative Medicine expert, Michael Redman, CEO, Oncolix, John Greene, Owner Mind Body Institute of America)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Getting Healthy Takes Time

I never thought I would be one of those health wackos

A year ago, I was stripped down to a shell of a person.  I was weak, bald, full of toxins from chemotherapy drugs and recovering from major surgery.  I would lay in bed at night and wonder how I would ever get my health and my life back.  And then I said to myself, "Make the best of what you have, and do as much as you can every day".  

I read as much as I could about how to get my body healthy and recover.  Much to my dismay, nothing happens overnight.  More importantly, nothing meaningful happens without effort.  And I was so broken down, I didn't know if I had the strength to do anything.  But one thing I have in abundance is determination.  I had an obligation to my children and to myself to be better than I was before cancer.  I deserve to be healthy.


What the experts say is true; it takes exercise, diet and time.  I'm going to be brutally honest, I have never been a fan of exercise.  I don't like how exercise feels when I'm doing it.  I don't like the muscle burn or the soreness days later.  And after 25+ years of actually doing exercise on a somewhat regular basis, I still feel that way.   The only exception is swimming.  I could do that for days at a time.  The only problem is, I don't have a pool.

Anyway, I know exercise is crucial, so I do it begrudgingly.  I started with a 10 minute walk on the treadmill every day.  Some days I walked 30 minutes or more, and some days I didn't walk at all. I tried not to get discouraged, and I would always try harder the next time.  I even bought .30 cent vhs tapes of exercise routines at the thrift store and I did those.

Now that I have a Roku, I get free exercise routines to my heart's content.  About five days a week I am doing Yoga for 30 minutes in the mornings.  It's extremely hard, but I love that I can pause and take a break whenever I need. More so, I love that I can see progress every single day.  Even my daughter loves to do Yoga with me.   I try to add Pilates when I can, and I have this awesome "Home Gym" that attaches to the door for resistance and strength training.  Worth every bit of the $25 it costs.


 The next vital step to getting healthy is diet.  Here again, I was in a situation I didn't want to be in.  I've never been a fan of "diet" food.  Sure, I loved some vegetables, like lettuce and green beans, but to be honest, vegetables played a VERY small role in my diet.  There were many days I didn't even eat a vegetable and saw nothing wrong with it.  I wasn't overweight, and I wasn't eating fast food or insanely calorie-rich foods from restaurants.  My meals were maybe a Ham and Cheese sandwich and some chips for lunch, and Pizza or Pasta for dinner.  What's so bad about that?

Well, the problem was my body wasn't getting what it needed to survive and protect me from illness.  I loved homemade breads and desserts, but those left me hungry within an hour of eating them because they didn't serve a purpose in my body.  It was easy to eat several times a day and still be hungry.  And the thought of cutting off my favorite things when I was so miserable was not a plan I felt I could stick with.  So, I started to change a little at a time.

I made only one rule for myself AND my children.  "Eat whatever you want, but add a vegetable to every meal".  I wasn't depriving myself of anything, so it wasn't a big deal.  And I found that I started feeling better every day, and I had more energy for exercise.  I started to crave vegetables more often.  Adding the organic garden in the back yard helped with this even more, because I wanted to eat what I had worked so hard to grow.

I was becoming more adventurous with vegetables, trying new things and making old favorites a little fancier.  The kids were craving vegetables more often too.  It was like a whole new world of food opened up for us.  And the more plant-based food we ate, the more we wanted.

As the shift in my diet has happened, and it was VERY gradual, I also started to incorporate more of a meatless diet.  I still eat meat, but where I was eating red meat at least 4 or 5 times a week, I am down to once every two weeks.  And where I was eating some kind of meat, like pork or chicken, at least 2 times a day, I'm am down to once every two days.  I have also switched from cow's milk to Almond milk, which my daughter loves.

Now, as far as sweets, I recall when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was craving sugar like crazy.  I was buying candy bars at the store, which was not something I did often in years past, and they would be gone by the time I got to the car.  And I've heard many others with similar stories prior to their cancer diagnosis.   The tumors I felt were forming overnight, and all I wanted was to eat a bag of Milky Ways.  My body was definitely telling me something.  More sugar = more cancer growth.

 I already know the effect of sugar on the immune system, not just the effect of how sugar feeds cancer cells, so I have reduced my intake by about 75%, possibly more.  I still indulge on a homemade cookie, but I don't crave sugar anymore.  I don't sit around saying, "I really need something sweet".  Mostly I just want to drink tea.

The Point....

It's a bunch of little changes over a long period of time that make the biggest difference.  For instance, when I make bread or pasta, I try my best to use wheat flour instead of white.  I use brown whole grain rice instead of white.  I snack on carrots and celery instead of chips.  Many times, I will have a cup of Green Tea instead of a snack.  And all these things add up.

I don't "fall off the wagon", because I've made most of these things habit.  Even if I don't exercise today, I know I've done a year of it.  I know that adds up.  And when I exercise tomorrow, it won't be as hard as the first time, because I have stamina now.  If I eat a piece of pizza, no big deal, because most likely, I have a big salad along side it.  If I eat a cookie, it's okay, I know I'll just eat better tomorrow.

The biggest thing, and what I love above all, is proof.  I am not even close to the person I was a year ago.  I feel like a new person.  God knows I look like a new person.  I know I'm doing the best things for my body and my health.  I'm building a strong immune system.  And I'm creating an environment stronger than cancer.
 If I can do it, anyone can.  

Food Pictures

Here are some pics of the types of food I've eaten over the past year.  Keep in mind that my transition to mostly meatless is recent, and I still love cheese, eggs and butter.  Although, if I had more money, I would get those organically and locally.  That's just not an option yet.

Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Sauce

Shrimp Stir Fry with Garden Veggies

Fried Chicken Salad

Garden Veggies

This is a typical lunch for the kids when they are here

Natalie made this Whole Wheat Ravioli

I dry Kale for chips and for powder to add to meals

The kids eat this stuff like crazy!

My daughter Natalie rolling out Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles

Typical haul from the grocery store

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan Crusted Zucchini

And yes, I still make my Honey Wheat Bread

This is not a competition to be better than anyone else.  This is a competition to be better than I was.   I know I'm getting there a little at a time. You can do it too.