Saturday, 28 March 2009

Eating and Loving Life

I am in danger of stressing myself over what I've stopped doing and eating. I've recently been eating things I shouldn't ( I had coleslaw and potato salad the other day, both made with mayonnaise ( FAT ! Processed ! ) And I've had a box ( 3 Bars ) of Green & Black's organic nut and seed cereal bars in a week ! I also had a little bottle of red wine at the weekend (OK , I confess, 1 and 1/2 in total- over 2 days. ) I know I eat better than a lot of people judging by what the supermarkets stock, but it doesn't stop me worrying. Most people don't have cancer living in their body. Perhaps I should alter that image. I'm hoping it's NOT LIVING, just taking up a little space, and perhaps dissolving away as we speak. But a lot of the things that I was doing to support my immune system and give me a feeling of fighting it with some tools have been lost over the last few months. They are my supports - things like taking supplements, juicing deep breathing, meditating, praying, etc. I think the anxiety just makes things worse. I've been seeing a counsellor at The Haven, and she's suggested that I need to be a good girl, and that it's possible that I'm doing all these things to be a good girl. Maybe there is an element of that, and I certainly don't feel I'm being adequately rewarded for that. (Total remission would be adequate reward .) But the real point of what I'm doing is to stay alive !!!! A lot of the health care professionals seem to miss this point. Are they uncomfortable with my twistings and pullings trying to get off the hook ? Anyway, I emailed Daria about not sweating what she eats and it struck me I should be talking to myself. So listen to yourself, Jill .

Do not beat yourself up over what you are or aren't doing at the moment. There's more going on in your body than you think. I have read 2 books that both suggest that the mind controls the body in ways that we don't yet understand and that the medical profession are slow to take on board. One was by Bernie Siegel. I can't just at this second remember if it was 'Peace Love and Healing ' or 'Love, Medicine and Miracles'.and the other was by Carl Simonton called 'Get Well Again'. Another I read just this summer was written by Bruce H. Lipton called 'The Biology of Belief''. These books all suggest that our brains can override whatever we put in our bodies. So you can eat a healthy diet, but if you are stressed and unhappy you won't necessarily get the benefit. And you can eat rubbish but if you're happy and relaxed the body will still be healthy. We have a place called The Haven Breast Cancer Centre nearby and one of the professionals there told us about a laboratory using rabbits. Some rabbits were noticed to be in better health than the others and investigations were made to see why this should be. All were given exactly the same living conditions. It turned out that the rabbits that were doing so well were cared for by one technician. When asked how she fed the rabbits she replied that she fed them the way everybody feeds rabbits. She picked them up, gave them a stroke and a cuddle, and then put them down and fed them. Needless to say the other technicians didn't realise this cuddling was part of the feeding process and simply put the food down for them. Clearly there was something in the handling of the rabbits and the care expressed that had a beneficial effect on the rabbits over and above just the nutrition contained in the food. My memory has lost some of the detail of this story, but I think you get the message. So what I'd say is don't get too hung up on what you can or can't eat, and should or shouldn't do. It's not the whole picture. These books and one called 'Molecules of Emotion' by Candice Pert (which I haven't myself read.) all suggest that our mental outlook also contributes greatly to our health. So if you're not eating the most healthful diet (because of chemo or any circumstance for that matter) concentrate on its positives - because it's convenient, or it's what you can get down, or you'd feel punished harshly if you didn't have it. We are all aiming to eat better, but I have on more than one occasion overwhelmed myself and slid back many steps only to have to pick myself up and start climbing again. It's much easier to take slow, small steps and not slide back again. I myself get quite down when I'm overwhelmed and know only too well what a dangerous place that can be. Depression is to be avoided and is a difficult place to climb out of.

Bernie Siegels books are very kind and uplifting and encouraging and his meditation Cd is very relaxing and soothing. I also have the books and Cd's from Carl Simonton who runs his own Simonton Centre. They are very encouraging and strongly suggest visualisations to kick your bodies immune system into gear. I have started listening to them again at night before I go to sleep.

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