I Rarely Get Ill... Strange for a Cancer Patient
I’ve been thinking about this recently as loads of people I know have had colds or the flu. One tried to take over, but I got rid of it by using my natural techniques. I usually get a cold once or maybe twice a year, they never last for very long, and they are never that bad either.
Since cancer, I'm the healthiest I've ever been
Since having cancer, other than the first year of heavy drinking, I’ve basically been the healthiest I’ve ever been. This is quite a strange place to be in. You would think that after taking an oral chemo daily for basically a third of my life that my immune system would be really weak. But, it isn’t. I know I am lucky. I know that a poor immune system is a real issue for lots of blood cancer patients because of the treatment they go through. Especially if they have a transplant. This heavily compromises the immune system and people are often knocked out with infections, coughs, colds, etc. So, I do agree that I am lucky that this isn’t the case for me.
Working hard to stay healthy
I do, however, work hard at being healthy and making the best choices for me if at all possible. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I took cold and flu drugs. I think it might be around 10 years ago. Genuinely. I definitely haven’t taken them since 2010 when I started my Naturopathy degree. I also haven’t really taken any pain killers either. I avoid them at all cost. I did have to take one or two when my legs were really painful a couple of years ago because of the drug I was on then. I can’t really remember when exactly that was.
I also don’t take any meds because of my meds etc. I know this is also quite usual for a cancer patient. It's something that I am also pleased about. Although to be completely honest, I don’t know if I would if I was prescribed them, depending on what they were. And this isn’t me giving medical advice by the way, or asking for comment on my choices. This is just me and what I do.
Quitting smoking and drinking
So, what do I do? Well I don’t drink or smoke. Both these decisions happened because of my diagnosis. I went off smoking in the lead up to my diagnosis. It made me feel physically sick, so I stopped. This 100% was a lucky thing to happen. Well, not my diagnosis, but feeling sick every time I smoked, so quitting was very easy and I have never looked back. I also stopped drinking around 18 months after my diagnosis and never started again. A 3-month break has turned into being t-total for life. The positive impact these two things have had on my health is no doubt huge.
A focus on my diet and exercise
I’m also very conscious of how and what I eat. Yes, I do binge occasionally on low-quality sugar and at the moment, slightly salted crisps are definitely my Achilles heel. But, other than that, I eat a very plant-based diet which is 90% organic. At home, I do my absolute best for everything to be organic. Even my tea and coffee! I do eat meat but not that regularly. Depending on what’s going on, maybe, maybe I eat meat once a week. Or I’ll have quite a lot in a week and then none for 2 or 3 weeks. And I eat fish more regularly. I also take good quality supplements and have to go to bed to sleep. When I don’t get enough sleep, I do notice that I am more susceptible to getting ill, or I feel symptoms of a cold. When this happens I blast it with lemon and garlic tea, loads of vitamin C, and essential oils. I also cut caffeine and sugar.
I also walk nearly every day for at least an hour and a half. Not normally in one hit, but over the day it clocks up.
Blood cancer led me to a healthy lifestyle
All of the above has also come about because of my diagnosis. I trained as a Naturopath, as I was miserable at work and wasn’t prepared to be unhappy at work. Naturopathy found me so I went back to Uni to train. The dog has also come about because of meeting his owner through someone I met because of cancer.
So it’s quite ironic that being healthy is because I have cancer. Even though you would think that having cancer would mean the opposite. Although thinking about it, it makes perfect sense that this doesn’t make sense... as I never do anything the normal way!
Editor's note: It is best to check with your healthcare team before starting any new supplements, diets, or exercise regimens.
How long did it take to be properly diagnosed?