Challenge accepted

Another writing challenge has hit the cancer community, Ann Marie of chemo brain set this one in motion, so here I write, challenge accepted.

The question asked is basically what words anger, annoy, or irritates. I have to say high on the list for me is the shit storm of diet ideas that I “must or need to” follow. Though at times the advice is pretty good and often makes sense and are things I enjoy, sometimes it just isn’t practical practice. Firstly, I lost 15 pounds within two weeks when I was diagnosed with the return of my cancer and began chemotherapy. I could barely eat a cracker let alone a pile of kale and a blender full of beets. Now that my appetite is back, my nausea eased, I try to eat healthily, though I still taste metal for three days out of the week. Secondly, and news flash for Miss Carr and her band of guru’s (BTW: I really like Kriss Carr…however) my doctor, who is quite the bigwig cancer guru, completely debunked the whole alkaline/ph body balance theory and said he is all for healthy eating but as far as he is concerned a pastrami sandwich could stand up to half of the ‘cancer curing’ ideas out there. I get advice from my acupuncturist, advice from great books such as Carr’s book or The Anti-Cancer book, or The Gerson diet or the this, that and the other thing and all of them at some point contradict each other. Yes, there are some theories that across the board make perfect common sense and align, however as far as cancer curing properties, research hasn’t backed up any of the advice. So friends, family, non professional nutritionist and random French chick calling on behalf of so so, take your cumin, maple syrup, cottage cheese, and juicing alkalinity bullshit and tread lightly. Two months ago, I was living off of chicken soup and wheat grass shots, not a bad thing. I want the data but I don’t want your “shoulds”. I appreciate the love and cure alls but at the end of the day I just want to be able to eat a salad, and a bowl of linguini with clams with lots of reds, and maybe a glass of wine without feeling like “eeeek, uck”. (see my post entitled Flavor Fail)

At the end of the day, I was the healthiest eater I knew….lots of veggies, minimal red meat, and everything organic, and yet, I still got cancer, so why now will organic parsley cure me, yet didn’t prevent this mayhem within? Yes, I have a sweet tooth, but I don’t think a few bites of chocolate a week, some ice cream on occasion, and the PMS gummy bear craving caused my cancer. At the end of the day, I would of course try anything to rid myself of this disease, but I don’t need some distant aunt whom I haven’t seen or heard from in years popping up with emails about cumin and cottage cheese and how I MUST try “this or that”. Can you tell that I am irritated?

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8 comments on “Challenge accepted

  1. billgncs says:

    agreed, some people seemed to think I needed some mushroom extract to save me. Right… and they take this crap how often?

  2. bornbyariver says:

    oh, yes. I was told that my mom needed to fast for a week and it would cure her lymphoma. I replied “thanks for your concern, but she is emaciated already and if calorie deprivation would work I think she’d already be cured.” dietary cures are appealing to many folks- does it make cancer seem less scary? But diet hasn’t been proved, really proven, to cure a cancer once you have it already. That being said, if the patient feels its right for his/her body to juice, take vitamins, whatever, I say go for it. Its just unfortunate that you have to listen to other people tell you what is right/wrong for you to do for your health, as though cancer makes you somehow less informed on what’s right for your body than a random person on the street. I also hate the broad suggestion that an inferior lifestyle caused the cancer– sure, if 1000 people eat poorly, drink heavily and smoke like a chimney, they will collectively have more cancer than the 1000 people that eat veggies and exercise. Yet for many types of cancer, nobody can tell an individual that some aspect of their lifestyle was what caused the disease. And even if you happen to have a lifestyle- related tumor like lung cancer from smoking, so what? It doesn’t mean you should be subject to judgement by others. We all make decisions which are harmful to our health in some way.

    • jelebelle says:

      Indeed! The judgement is interesting. A friend of mine calls this new age guilt. People who make all of these healthy suggestions as if we hadnt thought about it already. We could defiitely go on about this topic! Thanks for reading.

  3. Thanks for sharing this with me. I love a good rant and this is good. And, I love very PRACTICAL, accurate and compassionate comments.

    AND, How did I NOT know about this blog???? I have new reading to do. I just saw your survivor post….. I’m going to suggest you cut and paste that entire thing (or provide a link) in the comments on this post…

    http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/2012/06/03/reframing-cancer-survivorship/

    I don’t know if you “know” Marie but YOU ARE WONDERFUL…..

    Big hugs!!

    • jelebelle says:

      Thank you AnneMarie…I recently just found your blog too. Marie at JBBC has connected a lot of great women and stories πŸ™‚ thanks for the suggestion about my survivor post…I had thought about that topic quite a bit. Looking forward to catching up on your writing as well! Hugs.

  4. jlpaddock says:

    Thanks for finding my blog. πŸ™‚ I love being connected to other fabulous women walking a similar road. And you’re in Seattle! I miss it so very much. Especially in summer.

    My two most cringe worthy comments during this: “You just have to stay positive” Ummm, no. I just “have” to be authentic. I wrote a whole post about this because people were driving me crazy. And, “Oh, you have breast cancer? My dad’s 2nd cousin had liver cancer and he lived so you’ll be fine.” Umm, thanks? Silly people. xx L

    • jelebelle says:

      Nice to ” meet” you πŸ™‚ Yes it gets a bit much at times…everyone means well I suppose. And yes Seattle! though summer isn’t here yet….boy do I need it this year. Looking forward to reading your words. xo, j

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