Dear Pueblo de San Antonio:
I have profoundly enjoyed living and writing the role of poet laureate for this city infusing a middle school’s halls with poetry, speaking to young artists from Syria about the role of the arts in conflict resolution, collaborating with musicians to turn lines of poetry into great works by the San Antonio Composers’ Association.
But this letter is not about poetry. It’s about life, and what’s more poetic than life itself full of ironies, beauty and harsh surprises?
This letter is about a disease one bigger and harder to heal than a cold or a flu. This letter is about cancer a word I do not find devastating, but challenging.
I’ve never quite had the blanket-grief reaction to the word some do, because I grew up with this word. When I was 3 years old, my mother had cancer and was told she would not make it through the night. That was 58 years ago and today, she is 95, cancer-free and thriving. I know the limitations of medical knowledge. I know the power, too, of faith and healthy emotions.
But now, the battle is personal. In June I was diagnosed with a fast-growing, invasive breast cancer. The recommendation was six months of chemotherapy, followed by surgery, followed by more chemotherapy and radiation. I began poring through all the medical research I could access. I found a cancer researcher at M.D. Anderson whose work showed turmeric, a common spice, to be more effective than most chemo drugs. I also discovered the huge role that diet plays in creating cancer in the first place. Cancer cells are sugar junkies. Our modern diet is, basically, a cancer-producing diet.
So, I became a mas o menos vegan, relying on herbs and raw vegetables to empower the body’s own natural cancer defenses. I eliminated all sugars and chemicals, most starches and most animal products from my diet. I say mas o menos vegan because I did allow a tiny amount of organic fish and meat. I don’t want to imply that after cancer has gotten a stronghold, one can easily reverse it all through diet. I sought factors that oxygenated the cancer cells to kill them daily exercise, ozone therapy and the avoidance of carcinogens and hormone additives in meats and milk.
While this slowed the growth of the cancer, it didn’t stop it. Finally, I submitted to chemotherapy, and found it difficult, but doable. I’m now five weeks into a six-month chemotherapy treatment plan and, thanks to wonderful friends and health practitioners, I have found ways to work and write and even do performances around the chemo schedule, planning ahead for the weeks I know are at low resistance.
I still intend to keep all of my scheduled readings, but there will be weeks when my blood count is low that I will avoid receptions, crowds and hand-shaking. But I’ll keep on writing; for a poet, that’s like breathing or drinking water!
The chemo, as tough as it is on my immune system, has now shrunk the tumor to about 60 percent of its size.
But my goal is not just to eliminate this tumor. My goal is to keep from regrowing cancer, and for that, lifestyle changes are necessary.
There is one thing I can tell you, mi querido pueblo, and that is that cancer is easier to avoid than it is to heal. We each have a choice about what we feed our bodies. It’s not that hard to establish new food traditions, centering meals on fresh fruits and vegetables and focusing on raw, healthy snacks seeds, nuts, things not from a can or doused with sugar.
Let’s lead the healthy life Native San Antonians led here 10,000 years ago, built on exercise, sunshine, fresh air, natural foods and the good medicine of respeto and love for the universe around you. To a new year of good health for all of us!
Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 00:25:58 GMT Be Well On Your Way: Journey to a More Authentic You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: Customer tags: mind body spirit(90), self-help(90), empowerment(89), personal growth(88), healthy lifestyle(88), health(88), healthy living(85), healthy life(85), personal development(81), relationships(79), self esteem(35), self-improvement(35) http://www.amazon.com/Be-Well-Your-Way-Authentic/dp/1453614095/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback) tagged “healthy lifestyle” 88 times
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 03:27:19 GMT Life On Your Terms: 7 Steps To a More Empowered You (Paperback)By Maiysha T Clairborne MD Click for more info Customer Rating: Customer tags: self-help(91), empowerment(89), health(89), healthy living(88), healthy lifestyle(88), healthy life(87), personal development(86), mind body spirit(86), personal growth(84), relationships(81), self-improvement(41), self esteem(40) http://www.amazon.com/Life-On-Your-Terms-Empowered/dp/1453615040/ref=tag_rso_rs_edpp_url?ie=UTF8&creative=381421&tag=thedays-20
Will County Health Department Encourages Heart Healthy Lifestyle …
During February, which is heart health month, the Will County Health Department wants us all to reduce our heart disease risk. http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/will-county-health-department-encourages-heart-healthy-lifestyle
aspects of a healthy lifestyle Wellness Week
Last Wednesday I shared how I stay healthy under stress, some of which could really be applied to every day the simple steps toward a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of mine: Eat real food. as unprocessed as possible, http://spabettie.com/2013/02/08/aspects-of-a-healthy-lifestyle-wellness-week/