On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Locavore in training

If I pass the blood test on Thursday - I will - I can return to chemotherapy on Friday.  In the meantime, I'm making some small efforts to do more to help myself.  Listing all the medical staff yesterday rather jolted me into realizing how much help I have received and at no cost to me.  My medical care is a spousal benefit through Steve's retirement so I have had free-to-me cancer treatment for over a decade. Hey, I may not look like it, but my old, decrepit bod is worth well over a million bucks!

Even with this current relapse I remain an outlier.  I have outlived my prognosis many times over and no one knows why.  That's the definition of a miracle, a positive outcome with no understandable science to explain it.  Yes, you can say I had an awesome response to Taxotere - a nine-year remission is more than the 18 months expected - but no one can say why that awesome response stuck and stuck and stuck.

Every now and then I have to ponder this.  Was it the two years of imagery I did with a physician specifically trained in that field?  The sole purpose was to strengthen the immune system.  Or was it the many who prayed for me?  I was touched by the elderly British woman who sent me a card saying she had had a mass said for me in England.  Ironically, she died of cancer a few years later and I'm still here.  How about all the meals and desserts brought to our door?  Or was it the core belief I hold (even if I know it isn't true) that no one else can care for Youngest Daughter and I absolutely have to outlive her? Maybe it's because I haven't used alcohol for eleven years because I was prescribed a medication that warns against it and also because alcohol is correlated with breast cancer.  Who knows?

On the other hand, I've just about done everything wrong.  I turn up for treatment and chat and laugh with the nurses, but I don't nearly follow the healthy food plan the dietician suggested.  Not only am I weak on fruits and veggies, I opt for way too many Big Hunk taffy bars - and any other treat that comes my way.  I certainly haven't overdone the exercise suggestion either.

While I was eating a healthy breakfast this morning - poached egg, sprouted raisin toast with marmalade, pink grapefruit, a latté - it occurred to me I could step it up easily just by becoming a locavore, someone who chooses locally produced foods.  In this county it would be easy because there are so many farms with certified organic produce.

This morning I took baby steps.  The poached egg came from one of my own hens in the backyard - that's as local as you can get.  In addition to a balanced formula, the girls eat most of our kitchen scraps.  Yesterday it was mango peels and they loved them!  The marmalade came from Kozlowski Farms, chosen because it is a Sonoma County business and because the first ingredient listed was oranges, not sugar.  The milk (from a local dairy) in the latté was organic, dairy being the one place where I have consistently chosen organic after the dietician advised me to ten years ago because I have an estrogen sensitive cancer and need to avoid additional hormones.  I did walk three miles this week, a bit of a challenge because I really feel weak and, in fact, took a five minute bench break each of the three days.

Baby steps, baby steps, that's as far as I've gotten this week.....

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet little pup. Your words are amazing. My dad is having a second round of chemo, and I'm hoping he gets an "extension" on life too. Nine years, that's awesome!


Related Posts with Thumbnails