I lost my mom to cancer 10 years ago. She had been diagnosed at stage 4, colon cancer. My family and I had already changed our lifestyles before the diagnosis, but it wasn’t enough to turn around something that probably had been growing for many years. During her treatment, we threw ourselves into research. Our lifestyles continued to change and we learned a great deal about cancers and how they start and grow. What supports their growth and what helps defeat them.
My mom lived a couple years after diagnosis. We continued to learn after we lost her. My father had talked to many doctors. We had read many books. When the internet was a common household entity, we spent a great deal of time researching what we could.
You might wonder why our curiosity would continue after our loss. I think perhaps it was because we recognized something during the process. We recognized that these things don’t happen out of the blue. There are many clues and warnings that lead up to a diagnosis of anything.
My mom did not just feel a bit ill and go to the doctor and get diagnosed. Her symptoms dragged on for quite some time and she endured many tests before she was finally tested for cancer. It was months before they had an answer. An answer that on retrospect should have been obvious much earlier, given her symptoms and age.
During that initial process, we had tons of questions. We asked doctors and nurses and hospital liaisons and we rarely got an answer that didn’t contradict another one.
It was through this period that I first began to think that perhaps I could share what I was learning and had learned, with other recently diagnosed and their families. I remember quite well the immediate shock and fear of the diagnosis. I remember also the lack of accessible information. I remember reading research study abstracts and full cases several times in order to understand what it proved or disproved or just how our understanding had changed.
There is a great deal of anxiety bundled with a diagnosis of cancer or any other illness that is long-term or life threatening. I know that very well. I am currently reliving some of it as another close family member dives into the battle.
On New Years day, at about 4:00 am, after several days of my attempting to determine what it was that the universe was providing me with and what I should be doing with it, I awoke with the answer. There is very good information out there concerning health and wellness and diet and nutrition and lifestyles. There is also a lot of useless, if not actually dangerous, misinformation out there leading people to believe that bacon is a health food, the sun is unhealthy, or that everything in moderation is good way to live.
Even rat poison in moderation will kill you.
It was 4:00 am when the answer came to me. There are many people who have been recently diagnosed, are filled with questions, and are feeling a great deal of hopelessness. They and their close family and friends are in need of some basic understanding and guidance. They need a Cancer Coach.
So, I am stepping up to the plate and offering that as part of my speaking, writing and storytelling services. This is a fledgling endeavor. I started a Facebook page, added a page to my website, and have started a podcast that will air in a month, after I have a handful of episodes to publish.
That podcast will include interviews with oncologists, researchers, authors, current patients, survivors, and people who really understand the effects that diet plays in our health, be they certified dietitians or regular joes who did their own research and learned as they went.
I’ll also include recipes that help prevent the development of cancer, but also recipes and food options that appeal to the diagnosed, because I can tell you they don’t have a lot of energy to prepare food nor do they often have an ability to stomach something they really should be consuming.
We will be discussing every aspect of cancer: from how to prevent it to what to expect during treatment. What sort of treatments are there? What has changed? What do we know? What do we not know? And what are we going to try because it might work even though we don’t have years of testing to support it?
I hope that you will support this project by liking the Facebook page, following on Twitter, and watching for further articles, blogposts, videos and podcasts and sharing them. We all know somebody who is battling cancer. We all know somebody who is about to be diagnosed. The better their information is, the better they can make decisions and take an active role in their treatment.
I am a humorous and inspirational speaker and writer, but Storytelling is my love. I am an open-networker and invite you to connect. Please feel free to join the conversation on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Dachia or @AltCancerCoach.