Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anti Cancer Lifestyle Choices: Part II

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Eating Healthy Must be Paired with a Positive Outlook:

Another Lifestyle Choice

While blogging about my lifestyle change, organic cooking adventures, and even my dogs, I have created a new therapy for myself--one that seems to be working. It's sort of a blogging hermitage--my time to think, create and send positive thoughts to myself and those of you who care to read. A former business partner, Kim, spoke often about the mental training she did to aid in her own efforts to heal her cancer. I've known since Day One that my mental state is second only to my physical hardiness to fight the fight.

That in mind, I try to find time each day to relish what is good about my life. My kids, my husband, my dogs, my active lifestyle, my parents and friends all give me joy in their own unique ways.

Reading, whether it be for pleasure or learning, is an activity that makes me feel alive with either the story or the new information. Both have their place, although these days I spend more time reading non-fiction of the sort that bloggers can learn from. When I began this blogging hermitage I knew only how to sign onto my email account and perform a Google search. I have come a long way. Did I say "Geek"? Nah! I haven't come that far.

So, why do I call it a hermitage? Perhaps it is obvious. Perhaps not. I spend more time alone these days, yet not at all lonely. Quite the opposite, in fact, as I am inspired by everything around me to share more of what I feel might be helpful to someone--whomever might read this and need what they find in these words--today. I have no delusions of becoming the next Steven Covey, yet my words may be comforting or helpful in some way to someone. Sharing my experiences helps me as much as those who may find it useful.

Why have I rambled on about my lack of notoriety and interest in becoming such a person? It's not about the destination; it truly is a JOURNEY. In some ways I feel that cancer infected my mind as well. Perhaps it is a process that all cancer patients go through. My mental healing has also been a process, one that is occurring day by day with the many things I do that affect my outlook on life:
  • Having goals
  • Loving someone
  • Nurturing something--a husband, a garden, a student, a blog, a dog
  • Eating well to improve my physical health
  • Exercise that is enjoyable
  • Creating something
  • Learning new things or just new ways of doing old things
  • Watching my children grow, each in their own way
  • Planning my future with my husband
Each of these and many more, I am sure, affect my mental well-being and in turn, affect my physical health. They are so interconnected that I now believe one cannot survive without the other. I believe this because I have seen what I can overcome. You see, for me, this is not Round 1. It is Round 2.

My first major visit to the doctors who hand out life sentences was 10 years ago. I had suffered for some 20 years with odd, quirky irritations that served only to assure my doctors that I was a hypochondriac--until a few of these irritations happened concurrently and in a much more significant manner. Long story short, I learned then that I had Multiple Sclerosis. I'll wrap this post up with a promise to finish up my Anti Cancer Lifestyle tips in Part III, coming up. Then I'll move on to the MS, as I'm sure I've now opened a can of worms, as well as another diet to talk about.

It's all good. I'm healthy, productive, active and ambulatory. I couldn't ask for more out of this multi-challenged body. Note to self: Organic fruit salad for lunch today.

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