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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Chief and my 2012 self: words of explanation

I was inspired by all of the recent blogging challenge posts or perhaps, posts of solidarity, especially from Renn at The Big C and Me, she had a great request. So I thought I would try my hand at this form of inspiration. You onboard?

Here is one for my lovely readers (the few that are out there;) post a photo or self portrait or other form of visual art (if you are not comfortable sharing your visage with us) of yourself that describes who you have been within the last six months.

It was Carol’s self portrait post that prompted me to add a recent photo of myself taken by my girlfriend Cheri Pearl. It isn’t a self portrait though maybe a bit of a collaboration. Cheri has helped me document some of this bullshit cancer process, and I am drawn to the idea of the back of my head as a reflection of who I have been during the past six months of my cancer process. I had been distant, pain filled (I think you can see how my neck is a bit wonky), sorrowful, and not wanting to face life as head on as I would have normally. Yet I look towards Chief (our bison skull) with hope and faith that there is someone keeping watch over me, us. I’ve sprung back to life within the last month or so, maybe I’ll have to add another photo soon of this forward movement stage.