The Impact of Cancer: My Personal Journey and Commitment to Prevention

Frequently I see bumper stickers that say, “Cancer Sucks”. Something else I have heard is “Victim of Cancer”. Just today on the back window of a pickup truck I saw “F**K Cancer” written in bright bold letters.

I understand these feelings because I’ve had three family members die from cancer. My dad was taken at 69, my sister at 53 and mom at 84 years old. Yes, cancer sucks. It sucks the living daylights out of you. It sucks the energy from those who support you. Cancer is non-discriminatory. It takes the young, old, white, black, Latin, Hispanic, rich, poor, men, women, and children.

There are so many types of cancer that all of them can’t be named here. Over 200 different types have been identified. The most common are breast, lung (Mom and my sister), prostate, colon (Dad), and skin.

Dad was the first one to pass away. His colon cancer spread to his spine, and he suffered immensely. He left my siblings, my mom, and his grandchildren. My youngest daughter was only 2 years old, and she didn’t have the opportunity to know her grandpa. My other two kids barely remember him.

My sister went next. Her cancer was diagnosed after she found lung cancer that metastasized to her brain. In a matter of 8 months, she was gone. She left behind her daughter at only 35 years old and her best friend – me!

Mom had multiple comorbidities. Comorbidity means having more than one medical condition at the same time. She had so many that it was difficult to identify what she really died from. However, lung cancer was one of them and that is what is listed on her death certificate as the cause of death.

It strikes me to the deepest core of my existence that three of my family members died from cancer. This fact has caused me to stop and take a hard look at my life. I am bound and determined, God willing, not to go that way. I tell my kids I would rather be struck by lightning on a mountain top while hiking or hit by a bus riding my bike. I don’t want a long, painful, prolonged end-of-life season.

I ask myself what can I do to prevent cancer, and live longer and better?

According to Peter Attia, in his recent book, Outlive, The Science & Art of Longevity, the top four causes of death are heart attack, cancer, dementia, and diabetes. Imagine that. Cancer is in the top four. He focuses on innovative interventions for nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional and mental health.

It is good to have supporting evidence of my personal belief that there are four pillars to living a long, productive, joy filled life. These four pillars are physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

I have a confession to make. Over the past two years, I have let unhealthy habits slip into my life. My fetish for ice cream became a frequent occurrence, and on more than one occasion, it was dinner. I understand and fully know the consequences, but I did it anyway.

Something has stirred within me to make a change. It might be the new season in my life in buying a new home, having my daughter and her family living with me and meditating on how I want to live the next 20, possibly 30 years.

I decided to take my prevention to the next level. I am working with my holistic chiropractor on a few previously undetected health issues. Had I not sought medical care, these underlying issues could have been the starting point for the top four causes of death.

I have given up ice cream to achieve the level of health that is needed to live longer and better. There are other things that I have done including eliminating gluten, alcohol, fried foods, and carbonated drinks. I upped my exercise, water intake and added some additional supplements. Listening to healing frequencies is a new practice as well.

Moving into my new home has allowed me to practice grounding. Grounding is literally having my feet touch the ground. I wander in my yard, which has both mud and grass, with my shoes off. The mud squishes between my toes and I feel like a kid again!
I am only two weeks into a new lifestyle. I’ve not perfected my new habits and am hopeful that they will be in place in two more weeks. I admit there were a lot of changes at once. There is a purpose to making these modifications and it is well worth it.

I met a woman yesterday, who at 83, was still mowing her lawn, working part-time cleaning houses, driving, and fully functioning mentally. She is the epitome of how I want to be living – except for cleaning houses. You get the picture. She was vibrant, active, and loving life – not just living it.

For the remaining years I have left, I want to be like my new friend. I now feel that I am fully on that path.

How do you want to live the life you have left? Reach out to me if you have questions.

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