Over the last 10 months I have mentioned some of the people who have assisted me through various chapters of this unexpected journey – those I’ve pretty much adopted as part of “my team”. My plastic surgeon, my Oncologist, the Oncology nurses, my physio, the radiation therapists…even the car guards outside the Radiation Bunker…the list seems to be growing! 🙂
Today I would like to introduce you to Megan.
I spent oodles and oodles of time, after my diagnosis and initial surgery, googling just how to survive and thrive through cancer. Now you would think this would be a reasonably easy task – merely finding some simple and practical advice on things like diet and the like: what should be avoided, what should be eaten, what should be supplemented…..well, take my word for it, if you ever want to feel particularly dunce-like for a day, start looking for nutritional help on the internet!
It was ridiculous! I would read just how good so-and-so was for the treatment of cancer and then the very next article I clicked on would poo-poo all that research and state just how useless that particular stuff was and not only that – it actually caused cancer! No jokes! I ended up being more confused than I was before (and that was BEFORE chemo-brain!). I totally get how ignorance can be bliss!
My intention had been to empower myself as much as possible so that I could take my health and well being into my own hands and implement whatever changes I needed to in order to keep me cancer free. However all the research actually did was make me afraid of EVERYTHING and crank up the guilt! I learned that I had clearly brought this on myself due to all my previously poor nutritional choices and my shocking lifestyle! I had used paraben and metal containing deodorants, I had worn underwire bras, I had not been vegan and not spent every waking moment juicing, I dared to eat fresh vegetables that I hadn’t grown myself, I bathed in water and drank from the tap, I wasn’t getting enough sunshine, I was getting too much sunshine, I hadn’t had children before I turned 30, I wore shoes imported from China…….. I felt like I should be wearing a neon sign saying “hello my name is Janine and I deserve to have cancer!”
I know I can joke about it now, but at the time it was awful! The fear of recurrence and my seemingly inability to do anything about it terrified me especially coming to the end of chemo. For six months I had been sitting next to soldiers fighting their 2nd or 3rd battle with related and unrelated cancers….
I mentioned to a friend just how despondent I was feeling about all of it; she previously had some health issues of her own and suggested I make contact with Megan a Nutritionist and B.E.S.T practitioner (don’t worry I had to google that one too!).
Pete and I arrived at Megan’s office one Saturday afternoon and although I can’t speak for him, I certainly must have had “my deer in the headlights look”. I honestly expected her to do exactly what Google had done to me, admonish all my previous dietary and lifestyle choices….be horrified that I was having chemo and even thinking about going ahead with radiation! I even had my answer ready: “yes yes, I know it’s ALL my fault, but can it be fixed? Is there ANY hope for me?”
To my total surprise, she never once made me feel bad about myself or my choices even if she noticed I was wearing Chinese shoes! Instead she very kindly and gently discussed all my past medical history: my surgery details, my treatment plans, the fact that I had never had any previously serious illnesses, that I still had my tonsils and my appendix and that there was no history of breast cancer in my family… She used the Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique machine thingy to check out all the systems in my body – an application I had never heard of and still don’t really fully understand! She printed out the results and I remember holding my breath waiting for the bad news…..
She looked as surprised as I was when she announced how well my body was actually coping under the stress, even with all the chemo. She sent me home with info on her recommendations, some suggestions on further (proven) research, supplements I could start taking immediately and things I needed to check with the Dent Doctor first before I could start taking them.
She obviously couldn’t make any magical-cure-all potion or claim that she could ever guarantee the cancer would never return, but I left her office feeling confident that I had found someone who could help keep my head above (the chlorine free ) water and not leave me to drown in an ocean of cancer fear and guilt.
I have been back to see her a few more times since then and each time the tests show my body is getting stronger despite the chemo, the surgery, the radiation and general expectations.
So I will carry on looking like a druggie at breakfast time with my handfuls of multivitamins, extra Vitamin D3, additional extra Omegas, the Salvesterols and Probiotics. I drink barley greens and take a calcium and magnesium concoction! I have weekly Neurobian injections and at the moment I’m having additional B12 injections just for the duration of radiation. And for someone who NEVER took pills at all – this is a MAJOR lifestyle change! – even if I do have to take out another bond to pay for it all 🙂
The next time I see her I will be going onto an eating plan to help with weight management and all the other menopausal side effects of the chemo and next phase of treatment – (cue the scary music)….. the Hormone Blockers!
I DO understand that even with all this extra help, there is NO guarantee of remaining cancer free. But I’m certainly going to ensure my body has what it needs to put up a damn good fight!
6 dates with the radiation-ray-gun machine to go….
“No matter how much exercise or energy healing I do how many soothing restorative walks I take through the woods, how many heads of raw kale I juice or don’t…there is no inoculation against illness. No guarantees, no way to wrestle life under control. There are merely best attempts. But surrendering the false hope that there is a single way to make everything, Just So, might just be the best strategy of all.” Gillian Deacon
“The only way I could conceive of waving a white flag,
would be during the process of folding it,
so to be used as a napkin later,
at our victory dinner.” Tom Althouse
“I take my only exercise acting as a pallbearer at the funerals of my friends who exercise regularly.”
“There’s no doubt that your genes contain very important information, but 65% of the influence can be attributed to the environment and your lifestyle – they determine whether your unfortunate genes come to expression. Hello! That’s a bit of a wake-up call, isn’t it?” Thorbjorg Hafsteinsdottir