Sometimes events in life force us to stop and take notice of what is truly important. Over the last few months spending time with my mom was that thing. My mom was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer in June 2011 and passed away peacefully on Oct. 17, 2011. My sadness is profound. She was my mom and my dear friend. She was an amazing and kind woman who did an incredible job of sharing her strength with all of us.
Over the last few months, I needed to step back from as much as possible and focus on being the best daughter I could possibly be. And this is what I did. She moved in with us and I spent every second I could with her making memories, talking and hanging out. She took care of me so well when I was younger, and it was my turn to return the favor.
It was a challenging time, as I was a poster child for the sandwich generation, with my mom's needs at the forefront of my mind and heart and my 2.5-year-old son's needs ever-present. I had to be in the moment as much as possible with what I was doing and try my hardest to be the best I could for both of them.
Researching Conventional and Alternative Methods for Treating Cancer
During the months of caring for Mom, I spent much time while she was sleeping praying and scouring the research for anything, conventional or alternative, that could help her in any way. I uncovered some incredible studies and amazing facts about nutrition, lifestyle and environmental changes that can have a huge impact on the risk of cancer developing or progressing. I want to share what I've learned, and I'll be writing a blog series based on my research. I hope that many others can benefit. This series is not just for people already diagnosed with some form of cancer but for everyone who wants to do everything they can to possibly prevent it in the future.
A Preventive Lifestyle Blog Series
Instead of calling this blog series "The Cancer Answer" or "Anti-Cancer Tips," I refer to it as... "A Preventative Lifestyle" blog series. I have come to know that the words we choose are critical, because they affect what our subconscious will focus on. The "war on terror" was a poor choice of words because we focused on what we did not want. I want this blog series to focus on what we do want... for every nerve, cell, tissue and organ to become whole, pure and perfect. Let's ruminate on that thought, shall we?
We can all protect ourselves by strengthening our body's natural defense system against cancer. Cancer lies dormant in all of us. Our bodies are constantly churning out defective cells. These defective cells can grow into full-blown tumors. But our bodies contain systems that detect and keep such cells in check. We must do what we can to optimize the functioning of these systems.
There is evidence that we can modify gene expression with changes in diet, exercise and stress reduction. What I found interesting is that as caring and wonderful as the oncologists and other conventional doctors at the Cancer Centre were, they did not suggest any of these lifestyle or dietary changes for my mom. Maybe they thought her cancer was too advanced. My research has uncovered situations where these changes had a significant impact. As a traditionally-trained medical doctor myself, I understand the importance of scientific evidence generated by double-blind studies to prove the efficacy of particular treatments. Yet these findings were lifestyle and diet changes whose impact has been validated by science, and in some cases are very effective. I think we should all know about these changes we can make.
Armed with this information we can live a longer, more healthful and full life. This information can help us to manage what I call our "personal landscape." Our personal landscape is our surrounding environment, our bodies, our minds and our spirits. Managing this effectively can help our immune systems mount the most effective attack on cancer.
Over the next few weeks, I will write about tips and topics I found astounding. Some of these things I knew and did not do, others of them I had never heard of but all of them seem to decrease the risk of cancer. I think that armed with this knowledge, we can all live our lives knowing we are doing what we can to help prevent cancer. It will also have the immediate benefit of improving your daily health, stress levels and overall happiness.
Future Blog Topics
What my extensive research unveiled was very empowering to me. It gave me the sense that even if we have a genetic predisposition to develop cancer, there are ways we can protect ourselves. We are to a large degree in control of our own destinies. I am not implying that if we develop cancer it is in any way our fault, but I am saying that we can impact our own well-being. The best approach to cancer prevention and treatment combines the best of traditional medical approaches, the best in alternative approaches and the best of our individual and personal power to implement them.
It is my hope that you will find some great tips in this blog series that will help you to live a longer, healthier and more vital life.
Dr. Carolyn Anderson is an eye surgeon who practices cataract surgery in Langley, BC and is a professional speaker who speaks on managing your energy. She founded an online magazine called Impowerage to raise money for macular degeneration research. She recently co-wrote a book, "Pushing to the Front: Front Line Strategies from the World's Leading Experts, with Brian Tracy.
Follow Carolyn Anderson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrCarolynA