Doesn’t it seem like for almost every new health claim that’s published, there’s one to contradict it? When you’re dealing with a cancer diagnosis or the fear of the cancer returning after treatment, knowing what to do and what to believe can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed.
I felt desperately out of control when we were blindsided with my husband’s cancer diagnosis some 13 years ago. I’d read an article about a pill, a potion or a berry that claimed to obliterate cancer cells and would fall into the following conversation with myself: “I have to order it! This is it! It must work! It has to work! The testimonials are so compelling!”
But then I would think: “Is this too good to be true? Why doesn’t everyone know about this? Why isn’t it on the 5 O’clock news? Oh, because it’s natural, the pharmaceutical companies can’t make money on it. Right?”
And my thoughts would continue, “Hmm, there’s no magic pill. I mean, it just can’t possibly work!
Can it? There are testimonials that it has worked. And they wouldn’t lie to cancer patients just to make a profit would they? No way!”
Even if I thought there was a really small chance it would work, I would buy it, whatever it was; usually it was a food or food supplement, and we would hope that this would at the very least help with some of the nasty side effects of Jim’s chemo.
Did it help? Maybe. Maybe not.
The only way that I knew to avoid that desperate, out of control feeling was to live a cancer preventative lifestyle. What is that you might ask?
Well, we now know, there isn’t one magic food, pill or potion that will kill cancer and create abundant health. What we did learn, however, was that we need to do for ourselves what our doctors can’t do for us and the formula for abundant health is: the synergistic effect of combining a wide array of nutrient dense foods, reducing our toxic load, regular exercise, healthy relationships, a fulfilling career or life purpose and a meaningful spiritual practice. These are the magic bullets that help build a strong immune system, happiness and help create an environment that’s inhospitable to cancer and other diseases.
I have included the following principals that worked for us and may be helpful to you:
Principal #1 – The foundation of our lives is our faith. We are comforted and challenged by it. Church used to not be a priority for us but a stage IV cancer diagnosis really helped us to get our priorities straight. Isn’t it funny how that happens? In all seriousness, we need and look forward to spiritual guidance each Sunday, and we know that it has a positive influence on everything we are and everything we do.
Principal #2 – We eat foods in season in their most natural pure state. Food created in a lab (processed), injected with viruses and bacteria (genetically modified) and sprayed with chemicals (pesticides) can’t be good for your body and aren’t – plain and simple! We don’t need a PhD in biochemistry to know this.
After Jim’s battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma we made the commitment to only purchase organic foods. Yes, it is more expensive, but I can’t think of anything more important than our health to spend our money on.
Principal #3 – We control what we can and don’t get too worked-up about what we can’t. We make the best decisions that we can when traveling and dining out. There were times on our journey to healthy living that we became so militant about what we were eating or not eating that it completely drained us and was a real social buzz kill. Nobody wants to hang out with that couple!
Principal #4 – We don’t haphazardly take vitamins. We used to and that created imbalances. Now we have an integrative doctor that runs a comprehensive screening to see where we’re deficient. Wholefood supplements are usually okay but it’s best to have a knowledgeable health care professional manage it.
Principal #5 – We exercise most days of the week by scheduling workouts as if they are doctor’s appointments. If we don’t have a set exercise schedule, we know that actual doctor’s appointments will have to be scheduled for sick visits and that’s no fun!
Principal #6– We can’t live in a bubble but we know that personal care products, cleaning products, home furnishings, toys, etc., can have a harmful effect on our health if made with toxic ingredients. It’s super easy to minimize our toxic load by simply reading labels and doing a little research online. I always refer to the Environmental Working Group for easy to follow information.
I hope you will adopt the principals that work for you, create your own, commit to living by them and enjoy vibrant health.
“Life does not happen to us; it happens from us.”
I would love to know what you do to live a cancer preventative lifestyle. Please leave your comments below.
Author: Suzanne Foglio, Holistic Health Coach and founder of Vibrant Life After Cancer