Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Breast Cancer Journey ~ Post Script II

It's been awhile since my last post. After completing four weeks of radiation in early December I decided to take the rest of the month off and just heal.

My oncologist was out of town most of January, but I had a chance to meet with him yesterday to further discuss my concerns about a 5 year course of the drug Anastrozole as a preventative measure. I am what is called estrogen positive and the drug is supposed to help reduce estrogen hormone levels (as if menopause wasn't enough). Conventional wisdom is that there is a 45% chance it may help reduce chances of re-occurrence but there is no definitive evidence to support it. The list of potential side effects is daunting and I already have a compromised liver and osteoporosis which this drug could further exacerbate.

He said "Look you are already under a microscope because of the breast cancer and we'll be watching tests and mammograms closely. I feel there is no need to take the Anastrozole if you don't want to." I cannot tell you what a weight off my shoulders that was.

Lightness Becomes You

So where from here? You Really Are What You Eat ~ I'm working with a nutritionist to make adjustments to my diet. I don't drink or smoke and rarely eat red meat so that's a plus for me. However there are changes afoot and this is now the "No Excuses Tour"

  • Drive by the Drive Thru
  • No more processed foods ~ We grow a lot of our own, but will shop at local stores and farmers markets for fresh, organic, locally grown produce.
  • Reduce fats
  • Eat whole grains
  • Embrace a plant based diet and seek out foods high in cancer fighting phytochemicals like kale, broccoli, tomatoes, onions and garlic. Check out: http://thechinastudy.com/
  • For me it has been suggested that I stay away from soy products (no problem as I'm not too fond of them in the first place)
  • For information and helpful tools check out: http://www.livestrong.com
More exercise ~ walking, weight bearing and/or resistance training. I visit my gym several times a week and take walkabouts in my neighborhood and local parks. I'm looking into Yoga classes and Zumba dance at my gym.

Education ~ Learn more about xenoestrogens, the estrogen mimickers that are rampant in our environment and everyday lives. Learn what to stay away from and make simple changes to avoid these bad boys. Start with this website: http://www.energeticnutrition.com/vitalzym/xeno_phyto_estrogens.html

The journey continues ~ It's up to me to further my education and make the right choices, to question authority and be my own advocate. It's a tough job but each of us has to take responsibility for our actions.

The Journey ~ Her Story

Artisan and Travellers ~ Thank you to the amazing Etsy artisans who have given me inspiration and helped me illustrate my blogs. To my fellow travellers ~ thank you for keeping me company on the journey. I will continue posts as I find new resources and inspiration.

The Whole Story: If you type "breast cancer" in the upper left hand search box all the blogs of the series will come up starting with August 23, 2011.