Most people I speak with that have been diagnosed with a major illness, particularly cancer, share a very similar experience. There is an immediate moment of disbelief, followed by a series of emotional responses unique to each individual; and ultimately an overarching weight is left behind that can feel impossible to shake. After a diagnosis, there are tests, procedures, medications, bills, sacrifices, and hardships that are impossible to quantify. Many share a similar feeling of hopelessness in the beginning, but I am here to tell you; it gets better.
I can’t speak on the severity of each case, nor can I pretend to understand the emotional mountains being climbed every day by a senior that has been diagnosed with cancer. But I can share my experiences, and the experiences of my family members and close friends I have made over the years in the cancer community. There is hope out there, and there are ways to continue living life independently and on your own terms.
Join a Cancer Community
There is quantifiable scientific proof that a positive outlook and sense of belonging to a community have positive effects on recovery. It is important that an individual suffering from cancer knows that they aren’t alone. There are others sharing in their victories, and there is a significant sense of hope to be gained seeing someone with a similar prognosis thrive. While family members and friends may have the absolute best intentions in their hearts, it’s hard to compare to the bond formed between those with a shared experience.
The Cancer Support Community is an excellent resource when looking for a group to share in your journey with. They have a full A-Z list of every single cancer community in the United States; no one should ever feel like they have to face down cancer alone.
Focus on Dietary Health
Dietary health has long been the centerpiece of most natural cancer cures, and in recent years, it is gaining more and more traction in the traditional medical community. It is difficult to nail down exactly what foods contribute to which types of cancer; I encourage anyone I speak with on the subject to attempt to follow a completely clean diet and move forward from there. If they absolutely can’t live without certain aspects that may be risk-factors, that’s fine. Any amount of improvement in your diet can have incredible results on your overall health, and in this particular case, it can help you beat cancer. There are diets out there that outline exactly what foods to eat, and which foods to avoid with specific macronutrient counts down to the gram. For our purposes here, however, I will just share a general “Anti-Cancer Diet”.
- Cut out Sugars – Heavily refined sugars, flours, and dairy products can all strengthen and feed cancer cells. If you have a sweet tooth I would recommend sticking to naturally occurring sugars such a glucose from fruits; or natural cane sugar.
- Avoid Carcinogens – Carcinogens are foods, or substances, that have been found to actively contribute to the growth of cancer in the body. Trans fat is in nearly all processed foods, which includes a vast majority of the food you find at any fast or fast-casual restaurants, snacks, margarine, and French fries. Stick with real butter and cook your own food every chance you get.
- Chemical Heavy Diets – This point is more controversial than the others since research seems to change consistently as time goes on. But it is generally agreed upon that anyone should avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and any other “binge” chemicals.
The easiest way to understand how to best diet when facing down cancer is that raw food is generally better for you. Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible, not only are they generally excellent for your overall wellbeing, they actively contribute to your cancer health.
Pursue Your Bucket List
The term “Bucket List” is used loosely here because the goal of pursuing your life goals is actually to get better. Much like joining a supportive community, the massively positive effect that completing aspects of your bucket list brings can actively help you deal with cancer. Maintaining your mental health is paramount to maintaining your physical well-being. This has been proven by some of the most well respected medical journals on Earth including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and The Journal of Internal Medicine.
Beyond the measurable effects on the healing process, I have seen far too many individuals suffering from cancer focus so intently on treatments that they forget themselves. If you don’t dedicate yourself to mental health the compounding effect will eventually catch up to you. Reward yourself with some simple happiness every once and a while.
Utilize Cancer Resources
There are a number of incredible cancer resources for those seeking a range of different treatments. Whether you decide to pursue traditional cancer treatment or go the increasingly popular route of natural cancer treatment; you have options. There is a website and community for just about any type of cancer, along with hundreds of funding options, and countless different treatment methodologies. My personal recommendation is that you utilize trusted information sources that have done the vetting for you.
If you are pursuing traditional care, the National Cancer Institute is the gold standard. There are pages and informative posts on every type of cancer. A broad range of funding options; including charities, foundations, and more obscure options like life settlements, and reverse mortgages. Doctor resource centers to connect you with the best possible physician and active communities to help support you.
CancerTutor.com is a rapidly growing cancer website that is focused on natural care. There are hundreds of options to consider if you decide to pursue natural care, some of them considerably more reputable than others. Cancer Tutor vet’s clinics and methodologies within an entirely non-profit model. Allowing you to choose a doctor confidently. Cancer Tutor also has a range of community resources, diets, videos, and an incredible message of empowerment.
Never Stop Fighting
No matter what route you decide to take; whether it be natural or traditional. If you decide to join a cancer community or rely on the support of your friends and family exclusively. Whether you change your diet up or not. The most important thing to always keep in your mind is to never stop fighting. Every day, hundreds of Americans beat cancer, and I genuinely believe that you can too.