A recipe for living with cancer.

Posts tagged ‘environment’

Not the Best Time to Watch Dr. Oz

Do you watch Dr. Oz?  I flip channels and if I happen on his show I will pause and watch.  How could I not watch as he or the promo entices:  “these three things are on your must eat list to lose weight naturally” or, “these things found in your refrigerator will make you look 10 years younger” or, “10 minutes of these exercises will shape your thighs and buns” or, “these simple ingredients will naturally lower your blood pressure.”  Yesterday I paused and saw Dr. Furhman and his eat for health plan, so I watched and became very upset.

I am all for natural and healthy diets, have been for years.  I buy organic to decrease our pesticide load and try to help the earth; we have always eaten a healthy diet with less and less meat as we’ve grown older, and heck I became a vegan 2 years ago to lower my ‘high’ normal cholesterol and lipid levels and it worked.  Since chemo is over I am back to vegetarian and will work my way back to vegan once the surgeries are over.

What I find overwhelming with Dr. Oz is the quantity of information constantly thrown at you when you watch.  Were we to implement every single suggestion popping up on his daily show can you imagine what we would be doing? Eating a panopoly of foods to– decrease stress, stop a headache, ease a cough, decrease blood pressure, prevent cancer, get better skin, sounder sleep, better mental acuity, live longer and more. Now was it the chickpeas for the cough or the headache or the sex drive??  Or popping supplements to increase energy, stop the aging, help your sex life, melt fat fast, fight fatigue and ease arthritis.  With all the exercise suggestions and demos we could probably do a different exercise routine every day for a month without repeating.

Dr. Oz is a great doctor and his show does a great service and after a while I have to say to myself…to much information.  We are all individuals and some of these things will work for us and some won’t, and some are extremely expensive.  My issue watching yesterday was when Dr. Furhman spoke about preventing breast cancer eating basically a vegan diet.  It made me very upset.

I sit watching this while battling breast cancer, and am a tad concerned when (I am sure due to the shortness of the piece) many other factors were completely left off the table.

The environment, toxic chemicals on food, genetics all play a role in breast cancer and I came away from the show feeling guilty.  Yes guilty — for not having followed a better diet all these years.  Maybe I could have prevented breast cancer.  I am sure this was not the message the show intended to portray having Dr. Furhman as a guest.  And I do believe and encourage others to eat a plant based diet, will return to being a full vegan once this is over, and also encourage folks to buy organic with all the faults and falicies surrounding it.

Guilt aside, I grew up close to a superfund clean up site in a city with breast cancer clusters.  One of our homes, which we lived in for 10 years, was built on land previously used for apple orchards (we never had a bug problem!) and there was a high tension wire in the front yard.  And I have been consuming food, water and air replete with pesticides, insecticides and all sorts of toxins for 60 years.  Four immediate family members have died of cancer, my Mom breast cancer.

I also did not notice any recommendation on the show for buying organic.  Buying conventionally grown vegetables expose you not only to GMOs, but harmful pesticides. This was probably not the best time to watch Dr. Oz~but hey, Furhman may get a book sale out of it so maybe their purpose was fulfilled…just kidding.


The Colorado River is Drying Up

I have breast cancer and the Colorado River is drying up. Two terrible things seemingly unrelated yet in the vast scheme of life totally related and possibly caused by similar issues, the abuse of nature.  Water usage in the West has increased over the century with farming of animals, plants, population increases and other stresses on the environment.  Today natural gas fracking takes clean potable fresh water, fouls it beyond use with a hundred toxic chemicals and returns this fetid mixture back into the earth, damaging whatever it touches. Millions of gallons of water wasted in an endeavor which will make some rich, others sick and a few able to continue on this path of use and abuse while the Colorado River is drying up.

Breast cancer is caused by some unknown environmental scourge and or genetic error that causes cells to wildly replicate and threaten the life of the individual.  Much the way the loss of the water in the Colorado River is a wake up call threatening the life of people, animals and the environment surrounding it cancer is the bell weather of the body saying it is broken and we need to fix it.  We can fix breast cancer through a toxic mix of chemicals, surgeries and long term drugs to kill the cancer cells and prevent their growth.  Fixing is relative in the process of fixing the cancer cells, we also kill good cells, make the body susceptible to infection, compromise the immune systems, reek havoc on the hair, the taste, the skin, and the psyche.  In the end the body heals itself and gets back to normal, although it really is not normal.  Much as the Colorado River is forever changed, so is the body with breast cancer.  A body surviving breast cancer no longer has its original parts, the breast are gone and changed, the original hair is gone and changed, for those on continued medication, the original make up of the body is gone and changed forever.  We can survive breast cancer but we are never the same.

Fixing the Colorado River is a more complex problem involving not just one body responding to a care plan but hundreds, thousands of bodies, all with different genetics, demands, desires, needs, and entitlements.  The Colorado River Basin will never be the same, the beauty and grandeur has changed, it’s majestic flow averted, the life giving waters drying up.

As I move through the process of killing cancer, chasing the thief robbing my body of its original footprint and legacy at least I know I will survive, as opposed to the Colorado River, which is drying up.

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