I found it in my shower.
It was an ordinary day. I was wet. I was soapy. I was standing under the water, scrubbing myself up so I’d be all clean and shiny.
And then, there it was – a big bump, a large lump. As I rinsed away the suds I felt it. My fingers moved over it. Uh-Oh!
Long story, short version: I went to the doctor, doctor sent me to the hospital, surgery was scheduled, lump was removed, lump was diagnosed as benign - amazing, huge, tremendous sigh of relief.
Lesson to be learned: Good health is very valuable and can be taken away at any moment.
There is simply no way to control whether or not disease will strike us. But still, there are things we can do to lessen our chances.
Being an absolute magazine fiend who reads every glossy book she can get her little hands on, I couldn’t resist borrowing my mom’s copy of AARP Magazine. Within the pages I found the story of a physician, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 31. For him, the occurrence was a chance to learn. And as he learns, so can the rest of us.
He notes that a weakened immune system, along with inflammation within our bodies, fosters the accelerated growth of cancer cells.
We can change this, though, he says. (YAY!)
His prescription includes:
When your sweet tooth starts aching just tell it to “shut it!!” Sugar causes inflammation. Sugar is fuel for cancer.
Eat foods that will bolster your health. Top cancer fighters to add to your meal plan range from herbs and spices (thyme, rosemary, basil, turmeric, ginger, mint), to omega-3 rich fare (salmon, walnuts), to cruciferous veggies (broccoli), to garlic, to onions, to berries (raspberries, blueberries), to dark chocolate (the best suggestion yet!!).
Get up and get moving. Exercise staves off so many diseases and does so much good stuff for us.
Be all Zen like and lower your stress level. It’s an unavoidable fact of life, but there’s plenty you can do to fight it. Get a little bendy and try some yoga, or simply practice a little meditation.
Make your home a haven by reducing toxins. With plenty of “greener” products out there, it’s getting easier to avoid the chemicals that don’t do our bodies (or the earth, for that matter) any good.
And if you’re in doubt, if you don’t think lifestyle choices make all that much difference, consider this:
Researchers at Ohio State University studied a group of women who’d all battled breast cancer. A select number of the ladies followed up their conventional treatments with an altered diet, workouts, and stress reduction techniques. During the 11-year-long study, those who changed their daily habits were found to be half as likely to die.
Images courtesy of flickr: shower (3/27/0b by tommy.gronbeck), veggie shot (12/17/08 by Madolan), yoga (4/12/07 by myyogaonline), cancer symbols (8/28/07 by ♥mrsapplegate)