A Mother and her Two Daughters

17 April 2011

Cancer Repellent: Good Meds, Healthy Foods & Exercising with Friends

Some random thoughts on a beautiful Sunday afternoon . . .

My physical condition remains the same – feeling better each day with a slow but steady increase in energy.  I’m not where I used to be, and probably never will, especially due to the side effects of daily medications required for the next several years – specifically bone and joint pain, weakness and fatigue.  But I’m sold on Arimidex, (versus Tamoxifen) and here’s why: 

Studies show that 5 years of Arimidex is better than 5 years of tamoxifen for two main reasons:  (1) Arimidex increases the time before the cancer comes back for those who experience recurrence, and (2) Arimidex reduces the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body. 

For me, dealing with bone and joint pain is a far better alternative than dealing with cancer.  I think anybody would agree with that. 

This week I will complete my regime of 100,000 units of Vitamin D each week.  Hopefully I will soon begin Reclast, an infusion treatment for women like me who are experiencing thin, weak bones due to the absence of estrogen and chemo-induced osteoporosis.   Oncologists are finding great success with Reclast as cancer survivors on this treatment, for some unknown reason, are experiencing a reduced rate of recurrence.  Woohoo!  Another notch in my insurance belt – and I’ll take it!  And I’ll also participate in one of many cancer studies conducted at the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute. 


I’m looking forward to the leg pain hopefully going away soon as exercise has been somewhat tough for me.  Heck, just walking across the parking lot or down stairs can be a real stretch most days. 

Some very dear friends gave me a bike last week, a very good and cool bike, too.  These folks are huge bike enthusiasts, and I mean the serious kind, complete with bike racks, the proper clothes and hours long bike trips.  As my friend upgraded to a better bike, I got her leftover.  But let me put this in perspective.  It’s like if your friend bought a Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV and gave you her Lexus sedan.  It’s real nice!  I’ve ridden it a few times in the neighborhood and look forward to more bike excursions after my legs get stronger.  What great friends.  And speaking of good friends, I did enjoy a walk over the Big Dam Bridge this week with a new cancer survivor friend, a very special lady indeed.  We’re both young widowed breast cancer survivors – what a combination.  But we’re strong as steel survivors on both fronts. 


About food – I’ve gotten myself on a new food regime, and it seems to suit me well.  I’ve lot 8 pounds, very slowly, but it will take time to shed this unwanted weight from a year of steroids and a sedentary lifestyle.  No diets for me!  When you love to cook and eat, diets are like living in prison.  But I have made several switches to my food habits 

§  More of a plant-based diet, hoping to ultimately get to an 80-20 combination . . . . 80% plant-based food, 20% meat.  Some of the best anti-cancer vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale (try a little roasted kale in the oven – delicious!), peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red onions, squash, carrots, cauliflower and green beans. 
§  Less red meat, more seafood.  And I’m only buying certified humane meats, which has limited my meat suppliers but it’s worth the trip.  Healthier meat, better tasting and I know that these animals, from birth through slaughter, have been raised humanely. 
§  Lots more fruits.  I’m especially grown fond of having a sweet piece of fruit each night before bed. Some of the best anti-cancer fruits include blueberries, strawberries, oranges, peaches, apricots, grapes and tangerines. 
§  I’ve added a consistent increase of fiber to my diet with a helping of granola (stay away from the sweet kind) that tops a bowl of yogurt every morning.  Yogurt is a new power food added to my diet at least once each day.  It’s one of the very best sources of calcium, and has proven to slow tumor growth by 75% when tested with animals. 
§  Green tea has been added to my diet.  I have to say it’s still taking me some time to get used to the “green thing” – especially switching from the standard Chai Tea Lattes to Green Tea Chai Latte.  It’s very green!
§  In addition, I’ve added a daily intake of fish oil. Click here for an new development about fish oil possibly helping breast cancer survivors successfully battle the loss of muscle tissue.  As clinical trials will begin soon, I'm all about going ahead with a fish oil supplement as it's rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and can be attributed to aiding in the treatment of many diseases - heart disease, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, low immunity, arthritis, diabetes and more.  Here's a good web site for a high quality fish oil product that is without contaminants.  
§  I'm trying hard to add lots of 64 ounces water to my diet, but it's been a struggle.  I so enjoy coffee all morning, iced tea in the afternoon, lemonade and pomegranate juice in the evening and a hot chamomile tea before bed.  I'm a creature of habit and it's difficult to change.  But I'll keep trying.  

 Does all this healthy food living mean I can no longer be a gourmet food gal?  No way!  I’m simply learning to prepare foods differently, using alternative ingredients, to make the final dish a bit healthier. Though occasional, there will still be the traditional favorites still prepared for my family and friends.  No kitchen of mine will go without the lovely smell of braised short ribs on top of a dollop of rustic mashed potatoes, shrimp & cheese grits, and Spanish Paella.  But tonight we’ll be cooking braised chicken with creamy leeks. 

I’m almost certain I’ve never purchased magazines like Weight Watcher’s or Cooking Light.  For a cook and gourmand like me, the recipes just don’t cut it in the tasty category.  But I have found a new magazine that I’m quite fond of . . . Eating Well.  The subtitle says it all:  Where Good Taste Meets Good Health.  I highly recommend it for all you cooks who want great flavor along with good nutrition. 

We are enjoying beautiful days in Arkansas.  Friday at Oaklawn was a little piece of heaven – corned beef sandwiches and all.  And the Farmer’s markets will soon open over the next several weeks.  That means lots of opportunities for fresh produce and cooking on the grill.  I love spring with all the signs of new beginnings, and this one seems to be even more special.   Both of my girls will be home this weekend for Easter so I’m anxiously getting ready for their arrival, and anticipating some good “girl time” together. 

I hope the spring season is off to a good start for you, as well. 

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful!!!
    I love reading your blog, and have found today's perfectly helpful for where I am right now.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration.


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