You guys, I've stumbled upon a game-changer!
No, it's not new information, but I'm finally taking it to heart.
A year ago when I was diagnosed, one of my first thoughts was about a woman named Kris Carr. I'd seen on Oprah many years ago as she had (and still has) an incurable cancer that was found while she was in her early 30's. The approach for her treatment was to "sit and wait" since there was no treatment, and several years later, she is still happily alive with a tumor that hasn't grown.
I remembered her because she was telling the millions of viewers that she does a daily dance in her kitchen, and her tumor has taught her to enjoy life. She has since made millions with her book Crazy, Sexy Cancer that has been a phenomenal medical movement.
Since I was determined to make something good out of my diagnosis, I immediately ordered her how-to book, along with her Crazy, Sexy Diet cookbook. I've since given away the how-to book since I was already doing all of those self-help recommendations and it offered nothing new. I took this as good news since I was already halfway there.
But I kept the cookbook, read through it, and promptly tossed it aside as treatments began and continued throughout last summer.
I knew sugar was a big no-no with cancer, but for some odd reason, I wasn't worrying about it. I happily chowed down anything with sugar, including my almost-daily chai lattes.
Fast forward to several months after treatment when I was gifted a cruise by my sister.
It wasn't cancer that snapped me out of my fog of realizing how bad sugar is.
No, no, no. It was vanity.
Or more specifically, it was my passport picture.
I was shocked to see an old, tired, chubby woman looking back at me.
Is that what I look like in real-life?
This also coincided with the news that a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer metastasis throughout her body. When I spent time with her, it finally dawned on me (or scared the bejeezus out of me) that I could be in her position one day, too. Especially if I've been so cavalier about my nutrition.
Now, aside from sugar, I've had a fairly decent diet. I'm not big on pasta (except during chemotherapy!), I get my fair share of daily fruits, I can do better about my intake of vegetables, I eat appropriate portions (most of the time), I cut out coffee, I drink only almond milk,
But I also knew I could improve it.
I spent last summer exchanging all of the products in my home to natural remedies, including my makeup, shampoo, lotions, and soaps. I began drinking water from my local Coop, and I met with a Naturopath who put me on natural supplements to suppress cancer. I adopted a habit of using essential oils on my body, in my diet, and in a diffuser, and I enjoyed massages and acupuncture during the length of chemo treatments. I bought a small trampoline and a body brush, both of which have not had much use, oh well.
I was getting healthier in all sorts of ways.
It was the damn sugar that I could not seem to kick (or didn't want to).
Then I read "How to Starve Cancer," and I got serious. It made sense in so many ways, that I decided to amp up my health regimen and tackle what I call my "Phase II of healing." I then pulled out Kris' book.
Sigh. It takes what it takes.
And to my surprise, it hasn't taken much.
I have cut out sugar, including my almost-daily chai latte, and have replaced it with a tea latte instead. It's not as exciting since I'm not getting the serotonin high, but I'm getting used to it. I'm also beginning my day with a green juice and have ditched anything gluten. I never considered this to be a problem for me until I read Kris' book.
I am already feeling better and have already lost weight. Easily.
I am not hungry and have not craved anything. I cannot believe I didn't heed the advice of friends and my Naturopath to cut out sugar earlier. I have tried, but have always gone back. Ahem, that's the nature of addiction.
But now with statistics in my hip pocket and a very real possibility that cancer could strike again, I feel better equipped to stick to this new way of life.
Besides, I feel great. Perhaps that should be the #1 reason to stick with it!
It is now a year after initially writing this blog, and sadly, I am in recurrence.
I'd spent most of last year sticking with my new eating plan, up until Halloween when I added Reese's peanut butter cups, then it all went to hell with each subsequent holiday.
Do I believe that reintroducing sugar caused my cancer to return?
Not necessarily, but we will never know, will we?
In the meantime, I've re-read my books and feel more committed than ever to eliminate sugar once again. Mostly because I don't want to take another chance--whether sugar is to blame for my recurrence or not--and because I know that when I quit sugar, I lost weight quickly and easily, and felt great.
I want that again, period.
I don't have to blame cancer in order to take a deeper look at my eating habits, then change them--just because it's the healthy thing to do.