Wednesday, December 31, 2014


We are fast approaching the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.  This year, I keep thinking over and over, "thank goodness we managed to make it through the year."

Even though we have had a lot of blessings over the past year, it has been a tumultuous one, capped off by yet another surgery for me two weeks ago (albeit one that was done in a timely, thorough way that has resulted in a good pathology report -- woo hoo!).

Every year, as the change of date approaches, it is as though the tug of the new year and the lessons of the old year crash into each other in a cacophony until the lessons learned begin to clarify themselves somehow as time sands off the rougher edges.  This year, there are a lot of rough edges in need of contemplation and sanding, not the least of which is how we get healthier going forward and how to manage the day to day stresses that this sort of constant health monitoring layers on to the rest of life.

That is a tough pill to have to swallow at the ripe old age of 46.

I quite simply refuse to allow cancer to dictate the terms of my day to day life.  That is unacceptable, let alone exhausting for family and friends, because who wants to live each day waiting for another shoe to drop or for some bad diagnosis to jump out yet again?  Not me, that's for sure.

But to minimize risks and, thus, expand my health and well-being going forward, some thought has to be put into what I ought to be doing better and what choices I ought to be making to get there.

Lately, I've been reading a book entitled Anticancer: A New Way of Life, written by a doctor who has also survived a lengthy battle with a very aggressive form of cancer for a number of years.  One of the things he talks about in the book is changing the "terroir" -- French for surrounding terrain or environment -- so that your entire system is less hospitable to what cancer cells need to grow and thrive.

Call me crazy, but that sounds like a great idea.  Sign me up!

What this will mean is something I'm still trying to suss out, but it will include things that I already know I ought to be doing daily:  regular exercise, more fruits and veggies, lots of fiber, leafy greens, beans, organic meats, less environmental toxins, more tea, especially green tea...we all know the drill, right?

But doing all of this -- every single day -- will be key for me down the road.

Something else he says is key?  Stress reduction through things like meditation and yoga, two thing I love but rarely make time for any more.  That is going to have to change for the better, that's for sure.

So, what will I be doing this last day of 2014?  Some menu planning, to include a lot more veggies and fruits in our day to day eating plan.  That is something I can at least do right now.

Exercise in any substantial way will have to wait a few more weeks while my internal stitches continue to heal, but eating well is something we can do right now.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2015 for all of us!  What are your plans for 2015?

(Photo by Bill Smith of me and The Peanut on top of a giant gypsum dune in White Sands National Monument, along our giant driving vacation of joy from this past summer.  We had such a wonderful time, and this photo just makes me smile every single time I see it.)

No comments: