Monthly Archives: November 2015

Living With Disease

That is the new category I fall into now. During my first visit with my naturopath she said something to me that changed my whole perspective on my life moving forward. I was trying to hold it together while going over with her my history in the past year and a half. While my guard was down, through my tears I asked the question we are told to never ask, “How long do you think I have?” This was her answer:

“You are living with disease. A disease we call cancer. Unfortunately in our society the word “cancer” always has people instantly thinking of death. That does not have to be the case. There are many people out there who are also living with disease. People with alzheimers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis. You can live with your disease as long as you are getting the correct support in order to help you MANAGE that disease.”

YES. Just because I have stage 4 cancer should not mean my life is over. I just have to work harder than most people in order to sustain my life. But that does not mean there isn’t a strong possibility that my life can be sustained for years on end. I have built around me an amazing support team including family, friends and doctors – and my team is still being built. Adding the new addition of a naturopath is only going to make my team stronger. Positive energy and positive thinking can bring great things. 

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Labels

The past few weeks my eating habits have been consistantly healthy. Why? Well there are many reasons, but I think the main one is that I am not labelling myself. I do not consider myself a vegan, gluten-free, juicer,  anything. If I label, then I have an opportunity for failure. So I am taking failure out of the equation. Let me explain: my everyday eating habits are now mainly vegan and gluten free – however – there have been 1 or 2 meals that are not. For example: I was recently at an auction that went on much longer than I originally anticipated. I was not prepared and did not bring enough healthy snacks. It was lunch time and I was STARVING. The only relatively healthy option they had past the donuts, chips, chocolate and burgers were egg salad on brown bread. So that is what I had, and I did not feel bad about it. It is still a healthy choice. If I labelled myself I would have been a “cheater” which would make me feel horrible. The mind games would have started where I thought, “well if I cheated today, then tomorrow it’s ok if I eat a small turkey sub.” That is how sick my brain is when it comes to food. Without the label I allow myself to be flexible to a degree. Technically, I am a vegetarian. I will not eat meat no matter how hungry I am. I will also not drink a glass of milk or add cheese to my salad. Now I am not saying that I now add eggs to my salads, but I choose to eat over starving my body. With the amount of drugs pumping through my system the fatigue level for me is very high. I do not want my body to feel weak at any moment in the day. So I was desperate and ate the egg. 

I am now on day 16 of healthy eating. Although 16 days may not seem like a long time – it sure feels like it. I compare it to quitting smoking. To others, 16 days is nothing – but to the person who is quitting, 16 days feels like 16 months. I have tried eating healthy in the past and the pattern always turned out to be the same. I would be great the first few days, and then some one would have something that I shouldn’t eat – and I would just have a bite. No harm in a small bite of something bad right? Well then the next time I was out, a friend would say “Oh go on and get dessert – we’ll split it.” Well ok. Splitting a piece of cake is not that bad. I’m still eating healthy and ok. But then that split dessert would turn into my own next time, and that bag of chips at the grocery store is now ok because it’s Friday. Slowly but surely I am right back into my old eating habits. So I changed the way I look at things. Having that bite of chocolate is like an ex-smoker having a drag of a cigarette. Are they smoking again? Can they still count their quit date or do they have to start over? Works the same in my case now. If day 16 feels like it has taken forever to get to, I do not want to start back at day 1 because I said ok to cheesecake. 

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Fuel Your Body

Monday, November 2nd – I woke up with a purpose – To start giving my body clean and healthy fuel to help it heal itself on the inside. I watched a lot of videos and read numerous blogs in order to figure out what my new meal plan would look like. I decided to stop making excuses and being afraid to try new recipes. If I can sit in a hospital and allow poison to run through my veins for hours on end – then I can spare 15 minutes of my day to juice. What is crazy is how easy it turns out to be. I have not had a bump in the road yet – not to say that one may come – but right now it just feels SO good to eat so clean! Here is a breakdown of a typical day from beginning to end:

  • 1 teaspoon of greens+ powder mixed with a 500ml of water
  • Organic oats made with coconut milk – topped with berries, hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flax seed, and pumpkin seeds
  • Green juice (I juice every other day making enough for 2 glasses)
  • Spinach salad with cucumber, dried cranberries, green pepper, red onion and sprouts – dressed with olive oil mixed with balsamic dressing
  • Vitamin D and Turmeric supplements
  • 1 handful of sweet potato chips
  • A banana
  • Sweet potato vegetable stirfry made with quinoa
  • Handful of pumpkin seeds
  • A bowl of red grapes

Eating like this has already changed my body. I have had consistant and constant pain on my right side where my liver is for over a year – and for the past week it has diminished. Crazy right!? I’m not saying I am a vegan, vegetarian, or a gluten free fanatic – all I am doing is listening to my body – and right now it is telling me to stay on course.

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Do What You Love

Many years ago I was driving with Chris’s mom and she asked me this question, “If you could do one job where money didn’t matter – What would you do?” My answer – Buy and sell antiques. I love thrifting, and I used to buy a lot at the stores, but was always reluctant to purchase too much because I did not want to be a hoarder. Growing up my Dad gave me the bug of garage saling and taught me how to bargin with people – however I almost felt too shy to go out and do it alone. Also, when I was older I could never rationalize spending all my money on vintage and antique items – so I would only buy specific things I came across. It would put knots in my stomach at times having to leave really good pieces on the shelf in the store, and running away fast before I convinced myself why I needed it. 

Now fast forward to last year – I needed a hobby. My good days when I wasn’t sick from chemo were becoming very boring. I did not want to sit inside all day, but going out meant spending money I didn’t have. During a lovely lunch when Chris’s mom was back in town, I began talking about my bordem with her best friend. We were discussing our mutual love of thrifting when she told me she has an antique booth at a market. My ears lit up when she then said, “You are welcome to put some of your items in there.” Now my thrifting had a purpose! Not only was I now able to see if my eye for things was a good as I thought it was, but it gave me a reason to get up and out of the house. I would help clean and reorganize the booth as well – which I love doing. Visual merchandiser at its best!

Today, I am hitting up garage sales on Saturdays, going to auctions on Sundays, and thrifting whenever I get the chance. Am I making any money? Who really knows. I tried to keep track at first but I let that slide pretty fast. The truth is – I don’t care if I am. I just love the thrill of being able to buy amazing pieces and then see them sell. 

Now, could I have done this before I was sick? A few years ago I would have said “no way”, but now I say YES. Maybe I would not be able to spend as much time as I am doing it, but once a month I could have swung by an auction. The items I purchased I could have then thrown up on Kijiji. As long as I broke even then what would have been the harm? 

The point is – do not wait until something bad happens to start doing something that makes you glow inside. Figure out a way to just do it. I love seeing different little companies of my friends pop up on Facebook or Instagram. I am their constant cheerleader whether they know it or not. They are still working a full time job some of them, but now they also have these side projects that makes them feel good inside. Whether it is yoga, nutrition, fitness, baking, make-up, photography, or styling – they are making their shit happen. So stop reading this and go out and do the same. 

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Real Man

What is the definition? I think to each person it is different. Before I start I have to go back before I was diagnosed.

Like many relationships we had problems. Not large, but many small. At the time I was frustrated with the many small problems we had, so I left him. This was February 2014. He was devestated and promised things would get better. I wouldn’t budge. In many candid conversations with his sister I expressed if I saw noticable and consistant change, we would end up back together. We did not stop communicating and I kept him up to date when I started have multiple doctors appointments. After finding out my diagnosis, he again was devestated and begged to see me. I agreed and we began hanging out again – just as friends. He wanted to get back together but I told him no – especially now. I begged him to go on dates with others and meet new people. I would become a burden and I did not want him to experience that. He should have everything in life and not become a widow in his thirties. He didn’t budge. It was not soon after that our friendship turned back into love. A greater love than I have ever known. Now all of the small and pety things we used to argue about do not matter anymore. Our relationship is probably stronger than most would ever dream of. Along the way I have given him many “outs”. Even with my latest terrible news I said to him again that we should break up. I want what is best for him and this isn’t a life he should have. He proceeded to call me crazy and tell me to shut up. 

He is now my best friend, my chef, driveway shoveler, landscaper, litter box cleaner, maid, taxi driver, back rubber, vomit bucket holder – he is everything. I will not be able to give him children or grow old with him. Yet through it all – he loves me. Most days the tears I shed are not for me but for him. Everytime he catches me crying he calls me a baby in a playful way, and reminds me that there are no tears aloud. He is my definition of what every man should strive to be. We are not staying together because I am sick – we are staying together because we love each other. No marriage vows of “through sickness and in health” are needed. 

Saying that though he better propose soon lol. 

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