Once again, it’s been three months since I have written. Maybe I should just decide this is a quarterly blog so I don’t feel disappointed in myself that I don’t write more often. For me, cancer is not an emergency and there isn’t a lot happening. That is good news. My cancer marker (CA 27.29) continues to go down very gradually.
Since I last wrote 3 months ago, it has gone down 3 points, from 112.9 to 109.9 (normal is 38). It is slow progress, but it’s in the right direction. Mine was last normal in September of 2014.
I want to give you some examples of things I am doing that may be helping to keep my cancer in check. I’m not necessarily recommending that you do any of these things. I just want to give you some examples that may stimulate you to think of things you can do for yourself if you have cancer.
I’m continuing to take Femara. I think the fatigue I sometimes feel is a side effect of that medication. I know another side effect can be a weakening of the bones; I am doing two things to mitigate that side effect. I drink a cup of bone broth daily. I used to go through the tedious effort of making it, but have found a place in Sacramento to purchase it (V. Miller Meats). I alternate between broth made from grass-fed beef bones or free-range bird bones. I also take Osteo-K-Minis Bone Support, at the suggestion of my Naturopathic Oncologist.
I try to practice the three V’s in some form daily. Verbalize, Visualize, and Vitalize (I previously wrote about the 3 V’s here). In our Joy in Our Hearts: Unlocking the Heart of Healing retreat in November, with Karen Drucker and Bridget Hughes, Karen had us write our own chants that stimulated positive emotions. Mine is to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and the words are:
I am a happy girl
Accepting every part
Everything I want to be
Is living in my heart.
I feel good when I sing that. It’s usually a car or shower activity. Or just in my head in the grocery store line. There is enough research out there to convince me that feeling compassion and hopefulness and gratitude stimulates the immune system, so anything that increases those feelings is part of my treatment.
I currently listen to a guided meditation by Belleruth Naparstek called “A Guided Meditation to Support a Healthy Immune System.” The CD includes both the guided imagery and 15 minutes of affirmations, all of which I believe strengthens my immune system. Great way to start and/or end the day.
Of course nutrition is, and always has been, a big part of my treatment. I have found a way that makes it easy for me to have healthy meals with less thought, planning time, or preparation time. I get a weekly box from a company called Green Chef that includes all the pre-prepared ingredients for 6 healthy meals. They are all organic; I get the Paleo option (no grains), and they include abundant vegetables and spices. They are also delicious. There are other companies who do this but most are not organic. If you want to try it, let me know. If I send them your email address, you can get a week free — 3 meals for 2 people. (Disclosure — if I recommend you and you sign up, I will get a $25 discount from Green Chef.) I’m not promoting – just offering.
Researchers at University of Toronto discovered years ago that the more involved a person is in their own treatment, the more successful it is. It didn’t matter what the treatment was as much as how engaged the person was. In May it will be 28 years that I’ve been engaged on this healing journey.