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Health Journey Life Update

Another Week Over

Another week of treatments is in the books! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my treatments – it’s just nice to be done.

It’s hard to believe that there have been nearly 38 weeks that have passed by since the diagnosis. That’s a lot of treatments! That’s a lot of sitting. That’s a lot of money!

But it sure has been worth it!

People ask me nearly everyday – how are you doing? My answer – today is a good day! Now obviously that’s not the case all the time, but for the most part – I would say I am doing very well. Each day I give thanks for the decision we made to head in this direction with my treatment protocol. I honestly feel like this nightmare has come to an end. Don’t ask me why – I just sense it. I am not saying I am healed (although it would be very nice to make that announcement) – I just feel like we have turned a corner the past three weeks.

Maybe it’s the way I have been feeling lately? Or maybe, just maybe – things are working? Whatever the reasons are – I will take it. Lately I haven’t been consumed with my thoughts. I have found myself thinking more about other things and people lately than myself and the situation we are faced with. To me – that’s progress.

It’s healing!

It’s a relief!

It’s a miracle!

To think more about living than dying is such a relief! I am not saying I won’t have any more bad days – I am just thankful for the past couple of months to be behind us now. As a family we were face with a lot the past couple of months – we bent, but we didn’t break! It is God’s grace carrying us through this valley of the shadow of death – oh yeah, and not to mention – all the amazing people who have leaned into our life at this time.

Thanks for loving us well!

Now get outside and enjoy! Have a great day!

Health Journey Update

Getting Over My Fear Of Food

There once was a time in my life (only 9 months ago) when I paid absolutely no attention to what foods I was eating. I grew up in a home that taught the importance of the four major food groups, but didn’t really follow the guide to nutrition. As all parents I am sure, mine did the best they could with what they knew. It’s the same for all of us.

We only know, what we only know.

I have been married to my wife for 11 years now. Even when we were dating, Jamie would talk about the importance of eating healthy, and paying attention to what we put in our bodies. I unfortunately never listened – until now. I am thankful for all the learning we have been doing. I was such a lazy person before. I didn’t care, or have a clue where my food came from. All that mattered to me was that it tasted good. When I look back on my life – food had become an addiction – it literally became a cancer.

Since the diagnosis, we have learned, and digested an incredible amount of information. My brain still hurts from all the reading, watching we do. It’s been good though. One area we have spent a lot of time learning about is nutrition. Not the nutrition classes we had when we were in grade school, but fascinating and complex truths about the importance of nutrition in our lives. Unfortunately, myself and countless others have ignored this aspect of truth for far too long, but thankfully it is never too late to start learning.

I immediately cut everything out of my life. No meat. No diary. No sugar. Everything I knew about food crumbled before my eyes. Life was about to take a drastic change. Drastic times call for drastic measures don’t they? So, basically I lived on juice for the first 4 months after the diagnosis. Secretly, I had become afraid of food. I thought that whatever I put in my mouth could have the potential of causing more cancer. The mind plays crazy tricks on you when you filled with poison from the chemo. I wanted nothing to do with food. It had become my enemy. It was responsible for my cancer. Now this was how I used to think (kind of). Let me explain…

Opinions are like belly buttons – everyone has one.

I have no concrete evidence on the cause of my cancer. Just an opinion.

I don’t think anyone is the absolute authority on how and why certain cancers form or when, where, and in whom they do. Cancer seems to be quite mysterious to some, and to others – the cause of cancer(s) is pretty obvious. I am more of the mind set that believes many of the leading causes of cancer are found in the foods we eat, beverages we drink, and numerous everyday chemical invested household items that are stored in our cabinets. This is just one part of the problem. There are other reasons why people develop cancer. Family genetics, our living conditions, the environment, did we or do we smoke, health, nutrition – the list goes on and on. All of these, and more, are factors which contribute to the possibility of one developing cancer. We obviously don’t have the time to unpack each one of these subjects.

Hear me out… I’m not a radical. All I am saying is that I think it is important that we should spend some time educating ourselves. Start somewhere. There is so much to learn, so don’t get overwhelmed. Find trusted resources to educate yourself with. Ask questions. For me, as I became more aware of what I ate – I slowly became less afraid of what I eat. I still have my days, but they are few and far between. I have developed a desire to become more informed of my food. Where it comes from. How it is processed…which we don’t really want to eat processed food, mind you, the conditions it is grown in. For far too long I have lived with my head in the sand. I am thankful I have finally taken it out.

I want ‘food to be my medicine’ (Hippocrates), not be the cause of my death.

Health Journey Life Update

More Tough Words & Some Statistics

It is amazing to read statistics about how many people are affected by cancer. The unfortunate reality is these numbers are not accurate. What do I mean? Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it affects everyone and everything connected to, and attached to that individual. Maybe you have read some of the previous posts where I share about some of the struggles we face with my diagnosis? If not, you can read them here and here.

The other day, I experienced another tough moment with Nola. Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of great things happening in our life – but this is a fresh memory I wanted to write about. Nola had soccer practice the other day, but she didn’t feel comfortable with me taking her. I was in the bathroom when I overheard her say – “Mommy, I just feel more comfortable with you.” “I don’t want dad taking me because I’m afraid he may pass out again.”

Those words cut like a knife.

She doesn’t know I heard her either. I just laid there on the bathroom floor – crushed!

I don’t blame her. She has every right to be scared after witnessing her father pass out in the middle of Castle Fun Park. It is just difficult as her dad to see her struggle like this. It just seems so unfair. It breaks my heart to know that she is scared to be alone with me. I know it won’t be like this forever, it’s just tough seeing you kids trying to make sense of everything. She is 9, and none of this makes sense to her or her brothers.

Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual – it reaches into, and affects everyone and everything that is attached to the individual.

Below is some information I found from the website.

Cancer Statistics At A Glance
Cancer statistics tell us how many people in Canada are diagnosed with and die from cancer each year. They show us the trends in new cases and cancer deaths. Cancer statistics also tell us the likelihood of surviving a cancer diagnosis and the number of people who are alive after a cancer diagnosis.

Canadian provinces and territories collect data on cancer cases and cancer deaths. These data are combined to provide a picture of the impact of cancer for all of Canada.

Incidence and mortality
Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer. To provide the most current cancer statistics, researchers use statistical methods to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.

An estimated 196,900 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada in 2015. (The number of estimated new cases does not include 78,300 new non-melanoma skin cancer cases.)

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30% of all deaths.

Note: The total of all deaths in 2011 in Canada was 242,074. Adapted from: Statistics Canada. Leading causes of deaths in Canada, 2011, CANSIM Table 102-0522

It is estimated that in 2015:
* 100,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer and 41,000 men will die from cancer.
* 96,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and 37,000 women will die from cancer.
* On average, 539 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day.
* On average, 214 Canadians will die from cancer every day.

Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Based on 2015 estimates:

* These cancers account for over half (51%) of all new cancer cases.
* Prostate cancer accounts for about one-quarter (24%) of all new cancer cases in men.
* Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all new cases of cancer.
* Breast cancer accounts for about one-quarter (26%) of all new cancer cases in women.
* Colorectal cancer accounts for 13% of all new cancer cases.

Trends in Cancer Rates
Cancer is a disease that mostly affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but it can occur at any age.

Across Canada, cancer incidence rates vary because of differences in the type of population, risk factors (including risk behaviours) and early detection practices. Similarly, rates of cancer death vary because of differences in incidence, but also potentially differences in access to and outcomes of cancer control activities (for example, screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up) across the country.

Chances (probability) of developing or dying from cancer
Based on 2010 estimates:
* 2 out of 5 Canadians (45% of men and 42% of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes.
* 1 out of 4 Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer.

Prevalence is the total number of people living with a diagnosis of cancer at a certain point in time. This statistic can be useful in planning healthcare services for people recently diagnosed with cancer and for cancer survivors.

In 2009, about 810,045 Canadians diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years were alive. This represents about 2.4% of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 41 Canadians.

The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, but survival rates are also increasing. These improved survival rates account for the growing number of Canadian cancer survivors.

Survival is the percentage of people who are alive at some point in time after their cancer diagnosis. There are many different ways of measuring and reporting cancer survival statistics. Most survival statistics are reported for a specific time period, namely 5 years.

* Based on 2006–2008 estimates, 63% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer are expected to survive for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis:
* Survival rates vary from low to high depending on the type of cancer. For example, based on 2006–2008 estimates:
* The 5-year relative survival rate for lung cancer is low (17%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer is average (64%).
* The 5-year relative survival rate is high for prostate cancer (96%) and breast cancer (88%).
* Between 1992–1994 and 2006–2008, survival rates increased from 56% to 63% for all cancers combined.

For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.

Read more:

Family Health Journey Life Story Update

Some Words Are Hard To Shake

  • It’s not everyday you are told you will only have 6 months to live if you stop taking chemo.

    That’s what my oncologist told my wife and I nearly 6 months ago.

    His words still echo in my ears.

    Those words hit me like a freight train. My knees buckled. What are you suppose to do with news like that?

    I remember leaving his office in a fog. I was confused. What just happened? What did he just say?

    Jamie and I left the cancer clinic that day in utter shock! We knew what we were doing was (and is) the right decision. We had a hard time wrapping our minds around the theory of chemo. It didn’t (and doesn’t) make sense to us. I am not here telling anyone what they should do when it comes to your how you should treat your cancer. After a lot of research, some personal experience, and wise counsel, I knew stopping chemo was best course of action for me to take.

    Cancer is a personal choice nowadays.

    It wasn’t always like that. Just a few years ago there were only 3 viable options to treat cancer: chemo, radiation, or surgery.

    Today, there are other options. Clinics and ND’s all over the world are doing great things working with people who are diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, these ‘alternative methods’ and others are not given the recognition they deserve. There are some amazing success stories out there if people who have been healed because they took control of their lives.

    People are realizing that cancer isn’t a death sentence – in many cases – it is a wake up call!

    I am thankful for the path we have chosen to walk at this time in our lives. We really do feel the Lord’s leading in our lives. It sure has been ride though. We don’t know what each day holds, but who does?

    It’s coming up on 6 months since that doctor spoke those words. Although I can still hear them at times ringing in my ears – I refuse to let them define me.

    All I know is I am very thankful for each day I have and I want to enjoy those close to me and encourage as many as I can along the way.

    We only have today – make the most of it!

  • Family Health Update

    Health Update

    It has been a little while since I have given an update with my health, so I thought I would share what’s been happening. Besides the battles in my mind, I have felt overall pretty good. It is still hard to believe that it has been nearly 9 months since the diagnosis. I am still doing my Lymphatic & Vitamin C IV therapy treatments on a weekly basis. We continue to juice and eat as much plant based foods as possible. I have 5 different supplements I take to help my liver 3 times a day, and to top it all off – I do 10 enemas a day. It may seem like a lot, because it is. Getting healthy has been a full time job!

    The plan is to have some blood work done in July, and a possible MRI. I meet with my doctor on a weekly basis for testing and all seems to be doing well. My liver has been under some pressure lately, but this week it seems to be doing a lot better. It is the result of moving so many toxins out of my body. One of the things my doctor asked me last week is if I ever feel any pain? I guess when you have tumours growing inside of you they begin to cause pain. I have not had any issues with pain from any if the supposed tumours. I continue to walk on a daily basis, and remain as active as possible.

    This process was never going to be a 100 meter dash – we knew that coming in. It’s been quite the race so far, but it isn’t over yet – but it won’t be long.

    So that’s it. That is pretty much what is happening with me regarding my health.

    Thanks for all your continued love and support during this time.

    On a side note…

    Jamie and I are celebrating our 11th Anniversary next week. I am so excited to celebrate that day with Jamie! It is crazy to think we have been married for 11 years. I am very thankful for the first 11 years, and I am going to keep fighting for the next 50 + years.