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Thoughts, Updates & What you can do to help loved ones battling cancer

Thoughts, Updates & What you can do to help loved ones battling cancer

Today is CT day… The first since Alan has started his regime of chemo treatments. He’s pensive but I expect good news from this CT as all the tumours that we could feel have greatly diminished.

As we sit, somewhat patiently, waiting for Alan to be called, a young man with a head injury is wheeled by. He is obviously heavily sedated and it brings tears to my eyes as the memories of Shaydon’s injury flood back. This young man is a complete stranger to me but all I want to do is go hold his hand and to offer some comfort.

This makes me think of all the others with ailments and how this changes their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I hope you’re fortunate enough not to have experienced this but if you have, you’ll know there’s so much emotion and questions attached to any illness or injury.

I remember the questions flooding my mind when my late husband was diagnosed… How did it start? What created it? Lifestyle, poor food choice, poor immune system, radiation from his cell phone? The questions were endless but the most important ones were, How do we make him better? What was the plan going forward and what did we need to change in our lives to make him healthy and whole again?

A need for change always come to mind when someone is sick. Something has gone out of balance and the body is no longer coping. This is a time to clean up and reevaluate where you are in life and what you’ve allowed to creep in. When I think of illness and recovery, I look at what we have control over.

Nutrition & Hydration

What are we using to fuel our bodies and are the foods we’re choosing the best for us or have we become lax with our choices? Are we hydrating with clean, filtered water? Are we taking in enough? So many of us are dehydrated!

What happens to those toxins you’re meant to expel if you’re not providing enough fluids so they flush from your system? You get headaches, aches, pains, constipation, etc. You become a toxic mess.

Exercise

Some of these ailments can be helped with exercise; did you know you expel toxins when you sweat?

When you’re sick or recovering from an injury, your body may not be strong enough to exercise at first. Often walking up a flight of stairs or just getting cleaned up for the day will seem enough or too much in the beginning. You need to make sure that you’re getting enough rest as this is when our bodies are meant to recover. How do you deal with stress? Do you hold it in or do you have an outlet?

Cleaning and Personal Care Products

Did you know there are so many toxins hiding in these which are not helpful to anyone’s system? Did you know that your skin is your largest organ and anything you put on it is absorbed? Your organs need to process and detoxify whatever is absorbed through your skin. This includes shampoos, soaps, perfumes, cologne, makeup, shaving lotion and cleaning products. I just posted a blog on my favourite cleaning products and I hope this helps you.

As for the rest, health food stores can be helpful but not everything there is clean. You’ll need to do your research. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has lots of information on their site that can help guide you.

Biannual Detox

It’s always helpful to do a personalized spring and fall detox to clean up some of these toxins and prepare for the coming months. As we’re heading back into another school season, this is an important time to get our children, parents and teachers ready for the sharing of germs by boosting their immune systems and doing a little clean up.

Questions that have been on my mind…

With all of my knowledge on how to stay healthy, how did Alan become sick and where did his balance go so wrong? This is the big question I’ve been searching for the answer for. Of course, we have a similar diet and he would argue we eat the same foods, but it’s been in a very different balance. I love my vegetables and I use fruits as my sweets and I hydrate all day long. If you know Alan, you know he loves his chocolate and almost anything sugary sweet. He’s also struggled with his water. Yes, that’s past tense – he’s learning out of necessity! But these things are just a piece of the puzzle and not the whole picture.

Our food choices are very important to our health, but that’s just one important part of staying healthy.

There are so many causes of disease, all of which I will tackle in an upcoming blog. Right now my focus is on recovery, healing and happiness.

How can I help?

“How can I help?” A question I’ve been asked by so many.

We are surrounded with wonderful people, family, friends and neighbours, all wanting to do anything to help. I’ve always struggled with this as I’m rather independent. Finally, this time around I’m accepting help, at least during chemo days. These days are very taxing for my mind even if I take work to distract me.

There are usually so many appointments, consults, tests, hospital stays, etc. for someone who is sick. This is where help is huge! A second pair of ears and separate thoughts bring on questions so that nothing is missed. It can be such an overwhelming time for the whole family and most of us still need to find time to work. Being sick can be expensive and lonely. If you don’t know how to help, sometimes just being there is the best thing you can do. If you live away, then don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.

I remember when Shay was first injured and was heavily sedated or in an induced coma; we all gathered around and talked to him like he was awake. His buddies drove from Kelowna to Calgary to visit, knowing he wasn’t awake to talk to them but to wish him well all the same. We had 3 plus weeks of him in ICU and on constant medical and family watch.

I believe that we need to look out for our own. If you were in the hospital, who would be the first person you would want to see and be comforted by? And who knows you the best but your family.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have offered and helped during those trying times.

 

The update

Alan’s results are in! I’m so pleased to share our positive news that most of the tumours have shrunk considerably along with liver enzymes and tumour markers decreasing. With the good comes some bad; there’s a slight increase in his liver and lung tumours but we’re only looking at millimetres. Considering his first CT was 4 weeks before he started treatment, this is really positive news.  

All in all very positive news to share.

So the battle continues…