Friday, August 26, 2011


The other day, on my Facebook profile I posted that I wanted to eat potato chips and that wasn't good.  A friend of mine, who is also a breast cancer survivor took me to task saying after all I had been through I should eat the potato chips.  Not.

It's really easy to fall into a self-indulgent stance where we cave to our slightest whims.  I would like to propose that when we are able, that is to say not in chemotherapy because quite frankly when you're getting chemo that's just about all you can handle, we should be self-indulgent in another way.  I believe that we need to do all we can to be the healthiest we can.  It isn't easy.  I know that.  However, I do think we should think about what we are putting in our bodies and how we are treating ourselves.  What goes in our mouths should be as healthy for us as possible and everything needs to be done in moderation.

In addition, we need to make sure that we get enough sleep and enough exercise to keep our wonderful machinery running as smoothly as possible.  The human body is an amazing thing with incredible ability to recover.  However, we need to give ourselves the best possible chance.  I think that a large part of Lance Armstrong's ability to recover from what seemed to be insurmountable odds was the fact that he was very healthy and had a body which was in pretty much prime condition.  I also think that if I had been in better physical shape, that is if I had been getting the activity that I had been prior to 2009, I would have been in a lot better shape as I went through chemotherapy.  I recognize that age probably didn't do me any favors (I mean after all, doing chemo at age 50 is a lot different than going through it at age 38).

I have read lots of studies which indicate that exercising and keeping one at or slightly below the recommended weight for your height helps in keeping cancer away.  Even if it is not the silver bullet, I can guarantee that your general feeling of well-being would be much better on a day to day basis.

I know...I can hear your groans all the way here.  I am not saying it is going to be easy and remember, I am undertaking this regime as well.  I would encourage you to try to change one element and when you conquer that one, then take on something else.  It may be as simple as going to bed a little earlier so you get a full 8 to 9 hours sleep or it may be giving up that teaspoon of sugar in your favorite hot beverage.  Every little bit is a step in the right direction.

If you feel overwhelmed, then cut it down into something which you can do.  And, if you're in the middle of chemo then don't really try unless it is doing something which will help taking a nap or going to bed earlier.  We need to take care of ourselves and be self-indulgent in a positive way...and do it bit by bit.  Remember, just like this stone, you CAN do this.  After all....CAN is carved in stone. :)  So indulge yourself in a positive way...whether it is taking  a 5 minute walk, reading a book for 20 minutes, or just sitting and breathing without thinking of anything. 

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