Your Body is not the Enemy

7 06 2009

I’ve been reading a lot of cancer blogs this week and I find some disturbing trends:

  1. Doctors not encouraging cancer patients to live
  2. Cancer patients not being given good nutritional advice
  3. The tendency to ask people to “punch” or “blame” their cancer instead of sending loving, healing vibes.

If I had to condense all, and I mean everything I’ve read on cancer, there are two things cancer can’t tolerate: self-love and humor.

Self-Love: “All you need is LOVE, love, love is all you need.”

Self-love (not to be confused with ‘vanity’) is the most important emotion you’ll need to cultivate if you want to survive cancer.  Out of self-love flows everything, it effects everything: your mood, your work environment, your relationships, your home, and more.

Loise Hay, author of the book “You Can Heal Your Life“, discovered for herself the connection between a persons’ health and level of self-love.  Later in 1975, the science of psychoneurioimmunology (PNI) was coming to similar conclusions: the mind can affect the immune system.

If you’re not use to affirmations, start today and stick with it.  Here’s a very basic one to cultivate self-love:

I love and approve of myself

Louise Hay suggests standing in front of a mirror and repeating this 10 times.  However, I like to take a meditative walk and visualize what it means as I say it.  In my own experience, affirmations work.  I have about 10 of them and I mediate on them twice a day if possible.  (Read Affirmations to Heal Cancer for more info)

I found with my own cancer situation that I was harboring a deep resentment towards my past and my current living situation.  So I created a few affirmations that would counter act them, see if you can figure out what the original inner dialogue was:

I forgive and release my past, I live fully in the ‘here and now’.

I follow a path of success and optimism as I fulfill my purpose in life.

I love my life and live fulfilled beyond my wildest dreams.

My body is strong, healthy and whole.

To blame or shame your body for getting cancer is probably not the healthiest route to follow.  Loving your life and your body is better.  However like most cancer patients, myself included, there is a feeling that your body has betrayed you.  Listen to your body.  Write down your inner dialogue.  What are you telling yourself?  Are you feeding your body fresh, organic food or junk food?  Are you exercising?  Are you learning new skills?  If you are like most cancer patients, myself included, you’re more than likely living in fear and cancer thrives on fear.  To counteract fear use this affirmation:

All is well in my life. I am safe. I am free to be me.

Humor = Joy + Laughter

I experience all the joy and laughter life send me.

I just realized I don’t have an affirmation for more humor in my life, so there it is (above).  Whoever said “Laughter is the best medicine” was right after all.  Dr. Bernie Siegel has a great book on iTunes titled The Beginner’s Guide to Humor and Healing.  He discusses in his own practice how he’s seen the power of humor heal cancer.  It’s a great seminar and I’ll play it in my car from time to time when I need an uplifting laugh.

Cancer feeds off hopelessness and fear — humor is the perfect antidote!  Joy and laughter are all around, you just need to connect with it: funny TV shows, a movie, kids playing at the park, watching your grand kids, and so on.  The problem is that surgery, chemo, radiation force a lot of down time — don’t despair, be gentile with yourself and remember something that was funny or made you laugh in the past and relive it.

Putting it all together

Self-love and humor fight cancer on every level: mind, body and spirit.  So if your doctor gives up on you — and you can literally feel if a doctor has given up on you, like not wanting to get too attached ‘cuz he thinks you’re going to die anyway — fire your doctor and find someone else and a better alternative.  If your doctor tells you what you eat won’t make a difference, give your doctor the book “Anticancer: A New Way of Life”.  I love my doctors, but I also know they are just technicians of their specialty: surgery, radiation, and chemo. Most doctors only know their specialty, and not advances in nutrition, psychoneuroimmunology, Louise Hay, or Dr. Bernie Siegel — and that’s ok, they are just doctors.  Integrating self-love and humor into your healing is something only you can do, no one can do it for you, and you can start today, right now!

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Cancer Killing Salad?

4 06 2009

If you’re looking for a simple way to include cancer fighting foods, salads are a great way to start.  I recently noticed that I needed to eat more fresh leafy greens and vegetables, so I decided to engineer the most healthy salad I could.  Here’s what I’ve put together, keeping in mind every ingredient is fresh, raw, and organic for maximum phytonutrient combinations:

Salad dressing: 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 1/2 cup Balsamic vingear, 3 cloves of organic garlic minced, some* oregano minced, some* rosemary minced.  Saved in a bottle for future use.

Rosemary is the primary anti-cancer ingredient I was going for in this salad dressing since it contains carnosol.  The terpene carnosol is known to inhibit cancers ability to spread, and also makes breast cancer cells more sensitive to chemo.  Since I’m on chemo now for a brain tumor, I thought I’d give it a try.  Oregano is also part of the terpene family.  Both Oregano and  Garlic promote apoptosis (suicide) in cancer cells.

Salad: any type of green leafy salad plus, celery, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  I chop it all down so that I don’t have to chew forever.  (It’s very important that you chew as much as possible** to create the greatest surface area for your stomach and in turn the greatest bioavailability.)

The celery and parsley was what I was going for with these choices since I don’t really eat these very often.  Parsley and celery contain apigenine which inhibits cancer’s angiogenesis (ability to create new blood vessels).  Broccoli and cauliflower promote apoptosis (suicide) in cancer cells as well as inhibit angiogenesis.  Carrots will help my Natural Killer cells, the cells of your immune system specifically designed to remove cancer, to be more aggressive.

These combinations of ingredients not only fight cancer, but also make it very flavorful: a win-win combination.  How do you think I could improve on this cancer killing salad?

* I’m not the best cook (yet).  Experiment to your own personal taste.

** Just remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth, chew slow otherwise these will ferment in your intestine and give you gass.

Reference: All data on anti-cancer foods used in this salad come from “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

Update 2/11/10 – Since this is a very popular post, I wanted to add this update:  While a whole-food plant-centered 100% vegan diet reverses cancer, greens seem to be the key to this process.  So eat the colors of the rainbow in a salad each day and you’ll be sure to get your full spectrum of anti-cancer phytonutrients.  Also, please avoid including any nightshade vegetables in your diet and in this salad.  I’ve also replaced the 1 cup of EVOO with 1/4 cup of fresh Flax Seed Oil.