Cancer – How Do I Slay the Ugly Dragon?

I have been a proponent for quite some time now that Cancer that ugly beast can be beat given the right circumstances and by doing the right things. I am talking about stacking the deck in your favour so that you have 4 Aces in your hand to beat that flush or 2 of a kind.

Now I don’t want to bore you with the reason we get cancer because the majority of the world’s population knows that it is the chemicals in the air we breath or some of the foods we eat amongst other things that causes it, but what most people fail to recognize is the simple fact that most people that succumbed to this deadly disease are usually deficient in 4 main nutrients the body needs to fight cancer. That is vitamin D, vitamin K, beta-carotene and folic-acid. These are the four aces you need to win that hand of poker or slay that dragon that wants you dead.

First of all, what I want to talk to you about is Cancer Prevention. Cancer prevention is defined as active measures taken to decrease the possibility of or incidence of cancer. That is what I mean when I say let’s try and stack the deck in our favour when it comes to preventing Cancer. Those that have been consumed by this ugly dragon named Cancer have been deficient in vitamins D, K, beta-carotene and folic acid. If is possible to be deficient in certain nutrients so that the immune system cannot fight off the rapid growth of this disease then who is it to say that by giving your body these same nutrients in abundance cannot help to cure this disease.

All I can say is, I was dying 4 years ago from my liver disease and the doctor only gave me 3 weeks to live since my liver was shot. But not only was my liver shot, my kidneys and pancreas were in pretty bad shape too. A good friend of mine named Chuck Debona turned me onto Juicing, so I juiced avidly everyday, carrots with broccoli, spinach and parsley. I would always change the drink with different combinations with an apple and or celery thrown in. My point is I gave my body all those nutrients that most people are deficient in when they die of Cancer. Now what has that got to do with cancer as far as my liver disease. Everything because it has to do with changing your diet to give your body what it needs nutrition wise to either prevent cancer or cure cancer.

On my journey back to health I met a man named Jim Whalen who had testicle cancer. The doctors only gave him a couple months to live since it spread into other parts of his body. Jim’s prognosis looked pretty grim since the doctor’s didn’t give him much hope. Guess what the same individual Chuck Debona who turned me onto juicing also brought carrot juice everyday for 2 months into the hospital for his friend Jim. Everyday Chuck would bring in a different combination of carrots, spinach and apple or carrots, brocolli and apple, or wheat grass, spinach and brocolli and guess what? Jim started to get better and his doctor’s who thought that Chuck was just a nutbar started to take notice. By the way guess what, Jim Whalen is still alive and well today when his doctor only gave him a couple months to live.

Now according to many specialists in regards to cancer including Doctor Mercola who has the number one Natural Health Website on the planet, many studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D is correlated with increased cancer risk. Not to mention beta-carotene supplementation has been effective to decrease the risk of lung cancer. Now here’s the killer. Analysis from published articles from the 1970’s by Joyce McCann PhD and Bruce Ames PhD from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute that a multitude of infirmities are in correlation to vitamin K deficiency.

According to Doctor McCann and Ames that a lack of Vitamin K is linked to bone deterioration, arterial and kidney calcification, cardiovascular disease and Cancer. Did you hear that, yes Cancer. The verified findings are published in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Now if you are a Cancer Patient please take special note. Regarding Paxil and Tamoxifen. There have been Alerts and Warnings published that there are dangerous side effects due to increased risks of dying from breast cancer since the risk increases the longer these two medications are used simultaneously. Furthermore you could qualify for compensation if you have been taking these harmful drugs at the same time. That is why I am an advocate of Natural Healing all the way. First of all I was cured of Cirossis of the Liver and secondly I have personal friends that have beat Cancer by going on a raw food diet with lots of carrots, brocolli, spinach, celery, garlic, ginger, and many other vegetables I don’t have time to name.

Breast Cancer Survivors – What Does Losing Weight Mean?

Yo-yo dieting. Can you identify? For breast cancer survivors it’s a double entendre.

My weight has flip-flopped for many years, long before receiving my first breast cancer diagnosis. Not that I was very heavy to begin with, or gained huge amounts of weight. I’m talking about that extra pesky 15-20 pounds around the stomach on my 5’7″ frame.

Much of that weight gain is due to compulsive overeating, a binge disorder with which I have struggled since teenage years. My mother would chide me at sixteen for eating a quart of ice cream when I got home from school, when dinner would be in two hours. And when I received three Easter baskets every year, I wouldn’t just bite off the chocolate bunny’s ears. I’d ingest the whole thing along with a few marshmallow eggs for good measure an hour before a meal.

Things only became worse when I got married and had kids. The boys always had sweets in the house, so Stealth Mom would grab a stash of cookies or a quart of ice cream on her way upstairs to her computer. I even stole candy from my sons’ rooms, always promising myself that I would replenish their supplies. I’d also gulp down chocolate chips-intended only for cookie dough-straight from the bag in which they came.

I thought my diagnosis of breast cancer, the estrogen-receptor-positive kind, would put a stop to bingeing on high-fat goodies. Because estrogen is made by fat cells. I needed to reduce my fat intake to quell any cancer cells that might lurk in my body. My weight zoomed up during chemo treatment, as does the weight of most breast cancer survivors, but I got it under control soon after chemo ended by resuming my exercise regimen.

At least until I received a second diagnosis of breast cancer at 52.

The pathology of this second tumor warranted the “big-guns” chemo that made me gain about 15 pounds. The added baggage proved hard to shed this time as menopause sank in and age crept up on me. I believed, however, that my secret snacking could continue because I was taking a daily estrogen-depleting medicine Arimidex to ward off a recurrence. Surely this medicine would attack any estrogen produced by my fat cells. But I couldn’t help reading those articles reporting a higher risk of recurrence in overweight and obese women. Was I considered overweight? Not according to my body mass index and the standard medical charts. Still, my clothes were feeling tighter and tighter, not only on the bottom, but on the top. Now was the time either to clean out my wardrobe of all the size-8 jeans and other accoutrements that went with the slender figure, or actually try to reduce.

In March 2010 I discontinued the Arimidex. The doctor said I had taken it long enough. At that point I realized I needed to get rid of all extra poundage. I no longer had my prescription crutch to lean on. Plus, I wasn’t sure if my husband was so thrilled anymore with the way I looked. I wasn’t flabby, but neither was I svelte as in the days of yore.

Something had to be done.

So I decided in early June to do what millions of Americans try to do each year: lose weight. This time it would not be a diet, but a so-called lifestyle change. I had already attempted such a feat in 1999 because I developed lymphedema, a swelling condition worsened by weight gain. The weight came off and stayed off for six months. I thought I had it licked. Wasn’t a habit formed in three weeks?

Alas, the weight started coming on again, little by little, as I snacked a bit here, a bit there. I stopped avoiding buffets and church potlucks. I resumed walking the candy aisles of the drugstores and supermarkets in search of sale items to put in my secret storage drawer next to my computer. How could I give up my comfort food, my emotional eating fix?  I found myself back to where I was:  20 pounds heavier with an arm swollen with lymphedema.

But 2010 is going to be different. In three months I have lost over 17 pounds. My not-so-private secret? Consciously eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding any kind of sweet snack or dessert. Journaling my eating patterns and weighing twice a week also helps. I only eat three meals a day, choosing whole grains and small portions.

People have started to notice my weight loss, even though it doesn’t show dramatically on my body. Young adults and baby boomers have complimented me, and my husband thanked me. I was thrilled to get visible results and enjoy better-fitting clothes. To go with my new figure I bought new skinny-jean leggings.

But then the inevitable happened. A senior asked me if I was all right.

“Yes, I am fine. Why do you ask?” I ventured.

“Well, I noticed you lost some weight.”

“Yes, I did. And it’s a good thing.” I wanted to sound convincing, but wasn’t sure if I was getting across to this concerned lady.

“Is it? I just hope it’s not your cancer.”

Well, this comment burst my bubble. I expected someone to make this observation eventually, as weight loss in a cancer survivor could be serious, could mean wasting away. But I was hurt that this woman thought I would not tell her if I had a cancer recurrence. Of course, I would tell everyone who would listen so more prayers would go heavenward.

Then I remembered that this poor soul had lost her husband to cancer. That explained everything to me, and increased my compassion for caregivers and widows of cancer patients.

As a breast cancer survivor I advise eating right to improve one’s health, and exercising if appropriate. As I am not a doctor, I strongly suggest asking an oncologist about the advisability of weight loss for an individual patient, especially if osteoporosis or anorexia is a possibility. And if the weight loss is involuntary, a cancer survivor should definitely seek medical help.

I’m happy with my new weight and hope to maintain it for life. Binge eating did not suit me nor my size-8 pantsuits. Yo-yo’s are out, bon-bons are out, but pom-poms are in. I’m cheering for patients and survivors to get into the groove of healthful living.