Beating our parents...Not beating as in pummeling, but passing our parent's time lines in the race of life. That's what I want to talk about.
We all wonder about when our number will be called. If we manage to avoid being road kill or involved in other untimely accidents that take our life, then how do we gauge how long we might expect to live?
By looking at our family history. The "crystal ball of probability" I call it. Unfortunately for me, my paternal grandparents were road kill in their early 50's, my maternal grandfather was shot in the war at a very young age and my maternal grandmother smoked her way to lung cancer.
When Dad turned 60-ish, things began to happen with himself and his six siblings. Heart valve issues from plaque, high lipid concerns, almost everyone had to have a bypass or two. Then in his seventies, his sister died of bowel cancer.
After Mom died from pancreatic cancer, I wondered about my having told my physician that no, cancer did not run in my family. It wasn't hereditary. But as I've learned, wait long enough and almost everyone will better their chance at getting their cancer lottery ticket called.
For me, this means that the system of comparing our life length with that of our parents is no longer a safe gauge.
Fifty percent of the people getting cancers today could not have prevented them, meaning a good portion are hereditary. Some families have long lineages of heart disease or cancer and so early detection and proper preventative measures should be taken without question.
But the other 50% need to understand that getting cancer is now more about lifestyle and what goes on and in your body. Don't think because cancer does not run in your family that you will avoid it. The toxins we apply between beauty products, cleaning products and sun tan booths, the air pollutants, the cigarette smoke. Additives in packaged foods mixed with high acidic red meat, sodas, too much alcohol, not enough good clean water: all these things accumulate your cancer lottery tickets until one day you discover the reason you have been so abysmally tired is due to a cancer growing inside of you.
I don't want that to happen to me again. After understanding that my breast cancer was highly avoidable had I drank more water and less wine, eaten more fish and chicken instead of red meat, taken up yoga for my stress, eaten more natural sweeteners than refined sugars, then I could have given my body a better fighting chance to battle the cancer when it started to take off with my life.
Thankfully, donations towards cancer research enabled the medical profession to discover the micro metastasis already detached from my breast tumor, heading off to infiltrate more of me. That had not been possible as early as one year prior to that find. So count me doubly fortunate.
But will YOU be so fortunate? Why take chances in a lottery that is guaranteed to reduce your length of stay on the top side of the grass?
Because Mom died of pancreatic cancer, something I still do not consider "herditary" in our family but a by-product of the canned soup, packaged sauce and meal era, I am trying hard to buy better all-natural products, drink no more than a couple of alcoholic drinks a MONTH, cut out the crap as much as possible (and still enjoy my life!), exercise more, use my aromatherapy stress-buster, eat more kale and drink more water, just so that I can still BEAT her 73 years.
My goal is 75. That might seem young, but given my toxic overload through CT Scans, chemotherapy and a penchant for cigarettes and 20-30 drinks a week for years, I figure that's a high bench mark.
Who do you want to beat and what are you doing to make that happen?
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
BETTER CHOICES REDUCE RISK OF CANCER
“It’s a cancer lottery,” says DebiLyn Smith, author of Running From Cancer: a tilted memoir. “The more bad choices you make the more tickets you give yourself. The more tickets, the greater the possibility cancer will tap you on the shoulder and say ‘next’.”
A Northern BC breast cancer survivor for four years now, Smith wrote about her experience as a “ chocolate gorging, wine swilling, exercise wanker” that lost half a breast before experiencing baldness in the “chemo fast-lane”and sticking her tongue out at the large rotating radiating laser head as it passed across her flesh. “I took one for the team so that you don’t have to,” she says. I wrote this book to hit you over the head, with humour and inspiration, but to show you why you want to do EVERYTHING you can to avoid going down this road. Having cancer will change your life. If you are supplying your body with the ammunition it needs to fight back when a cancer cell sparks up, then you have a greater chance of never having to sit across from your doctor and hear those life-changing words, 'you have cancer'.”
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, almost 50 % of cancers can be prevented. (http://www.cancer.ca/en/about-us/for-media/media-releases/national/2014/world-cancer-day-2014/?region=bc) Smith says, “If you are supplying your body with the ammunition it needs to fight back when a cancer cell turns rogue, then you have a greater chance of never having to sit across from your doctor and hear those life-changing words, ‘you have cancer.’”
“I’m one of the people that closed my eyes and hoped to outrun cancer but cancer ran right over me and flattened me like road kill. I got mad that I went through the ordeal and now want to help others avoid that same fate. It’s time to wake up out there.”
Smith’s book includes tips, recipes and a love story. Her website at www.debilynsmith.com offers more information on cancer prevention and healthy recipes.
Smith will be in Prince George at Ave Maria on 20th Ave this Friday from 11-5, at Coles Book Store Pine Center Mall from 11-4:30 on Saturday and at the CIBC Run For the Cure on stage at 10 on Sunday. Proceeds from DebiLyn’s book sales are shared with her BV Health Care and Hospital Foundation and the many cancer fundraisers that she attends.
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