It has been drawn to my attention that my posts are really inspiring and 'fun' to read BUT they don't offer any practical advice. So, for this week's post I want to share with you some tricks of the trade to help you embrace this 'new normal' I spoke about. However, I need you guys to note that I am NOT a medical professional, any and all suggestions I post are based on my personal experience. While they may work for you I suggest you consult your doctor first.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, lets get to it!
Suggestion 1 - Do your own research.
For those of you who follow my blog, you would know my research was as much biblical as it was scientific. Therefore, I would like to encourage others to first; research the disease you are fighting (the battle never ends, even if you are 'cancer free'). You must first 'know your enemy' to develop a serious and effective battle plan. Haphazardly following the advice of others without a clear understanding of how or even why is NOT a good idea. Everyone has ideas and opinions but not every idea and opinion is a good one for you. However, I want you to be careful in your research as it can be a double edged sword. You get the good stats as well as the bad. You get the truth as well as some lies. Learn to take away what you need an leave the rest. Everything you read CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be applied to your life.
This is where my biblical research stepped in. Faith is just as important as chemo therapy. It really is!! Everyone will not believe in my God, I know this and accept it. However, if you have faith in nothing, you have hope in nothing. If you have no hope, you have no desire to live. Without a desire to live, this disease will consume and destroy you. There has to be something to live for, a belief in something greater than yourself. I believed the word of God and it comforted me, gave me something to hold on to, to push and fight with. I am not here to knock anyone's religion but if your beliefs do not equip and comfort you then you need to look deeper or maybe elsewhere. When you are fighting a physical and psychological battle for your life, the smiles and support of family and friends are nice and comforting FOR A TIME, they cannot take you through the long haul, only your faith can.
Suggestion 2 - No More Sugar (Consult your doctor)
Some researchers have linked the presence or growth of breast cancer to sugar. It is said to feed the cancer that is/may be present in your body. Therefore, after careful research I decided to remove refined sugar from my diet, if it is listed in the ingredients (not the nutritional facts) its not for me. This is one dietary adjustment I encourage all breast cancer survivors to embrace and more specifically young triple negative survivors. Unlike the other strains of breast cancer, triple negative breast cancer has no 'acknowledged' source or cause. It has some of the highest instances of recurrence and mortality. In other words, Triple Negative Breast Cancer "DON'T PLAY".
I am one of three young black women who was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Of these three I am the ONLY ONE who has not had a recurrence, six years after my diagnosis. One young lady has had 3 recurrences in I believe 2 years (could be 3 years). Another has had 1, and is currently fighting for her life. As I said, this thing DON'T PLAY. If there is the slightest chance, that this could reduce your risk of recurrence, why not? What would you loose, apart from a few pounds?
Change is not easy. As much as it is needed and as willing as you may be, change can be difficult. I suggest you take it slowly, start with your beverages. If you drink tea or coffee in the mornings use honey or nothing (no artificial sweeteners) to sweeten. No more sodas and only 100% natural juices (remember we need to read all labels, not only the big bold type at the front). It will take some getting used to but it is doable and the physical changes in your body are positively amazing. I want to note, that sugar is important for your body, especially if you have an active lifestyle. Therefore, you may need to increase your fruit intake, which is an excellent source of natural sugar, to make up for the loss of the refined sugar you were once consuming.
(Again I strongly suggest you speak with your doctor before embracing these changes. While I stand by my opinions I am well aware that some individuals have other conditions such as diabetes which may be negatively affected)
I believe our experiences, mistakes and lessons learned are not for us alone but for the benefit of others as well. With that belief, I will continue to tell my story as well as share any suggestions I may have to help you live long and fruitful lives. While I may not be a doctor, your doctor is most likely not a breast cancer survivor, he or she cannot tell you what it feels like to experience certain things. They will give informed directives based on science, I will give informed suggestions based on experience. Between the two of us, you will have all you need to LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW!