Monday, October 24, 2011

Confession #24 - Not looking for the fountain of youth

 My grandmother has cancer.  Doctors gave her a life expectancy of 6 months to live.  That was getting close to two years ago.  Hospice was brought in for over a year, but has now stepped out. Because she has Alzheimer's, the docs cannot do a followup scan (couldn't get her to understand that she would need to be still) and we certainly do not want to put her under (what little function she has could be lost).

So this unknown cancer, two bouts with breast cancer (result: double mastectomy) and this is my grandmother.  Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other ills run through my family in addition to cancer.

The more I read and research, the more convinced I am that our eating, our environment, our use of chemical drugs are a big part of our illnesses.  There are many days I would just rather take Motrin for my headache.  But the causes are probably poor diet, dehydration, exhaustion and hormones.  I can "fix" a lot of that but there is the 15 minute "fix" that is so tempting.

So why do I pursue this natural stuff?
I don't want to live forever.  I look forward to the day of my Savior's return.  I am grateful that Christ has rescued me from all my failures and being with Him is the prize now and at the end of my life.

But what am I here for?  I want to have the energy and strength to do all the things He has called me to.  I want to be strong and feel well.  I want to have energy for my kiddos.  I want to give my children a good health basis for life.  I want to grow old.  I want to grow old with strength and clarity.

I think medical research has given us a wonderful array of options.  But don't discount the wonderful array of options offered by natural medicine.  Prevention, not cure is the best approach.  There is a lot out there that's way off and weird and sells you products instead of educating you about issues.  But there's really good information out there too.

Two places I'll recommend:
1. Dr. Mercola.  He does sell products on his site (and we have bought a couple of them) but he does an excellent job of responding to current studies and brings well documented research to bear.  He has a free newsletter that I receive couple of times a week.  I don't always read them (don't have the time).  But when I see a topic that interests me, I go ahead and check into it.

2. Grassroots Health.  Here's an excerpt about prevention of breast cancer (you can imagine why this one caught my eye):

Breast Cancer Prevention Month Initiated by GrassrootsHealth

GrassrootsHealth is changing the current Breast Cancer Awareness Month to Breast Cancer Prevention Month with a focus on taking action to prevent breast cancer with vitamin D testing and education.
"It's time to take action, women are already fully aware of breast cancer and its consequences," says Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth. "When you can project that fully 75 percent of breast cancer could be prevented with higher vitamin D serum levels, there is no justification for waiting to take preventive measures such as getting one's vitamin D level up to the recommended range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L)."
According to Dr. Cedric F. Garland of the Moores Cancer Center and the UCSD School of Medicine:
"This will potentially be the most important action ever conducted toward prevention of breast cancer. The more women who participate in this study, the greater the chance that we will defeat breast cancer within our lifetimes."
Women across the world are invited to enroll in a 5-year Breast Cancer Prevention Study initiated by GrassrootsHealth. To be eligible to enroll, you must be at least 60 years of age and have no current cancer. A free vitamin D home test kit will be provided for the first 1,000 women to enroll. The study aims to fully demonstrate health outcomes of vitamin D serum levels in the range of 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L) and will examine the occurrence of breast cancer among a population of women 60 and over who achieve and maintain a targeted vitamin D serum level in the bloodstream. In addition to breast cancer prevention, short-term effects of vitamin D such as hypertension, falls, colds and flu will also be tracked. More information can be found at

I take vitamin D regularly. It helps with kicking colds now, hopefully cancer later.
Love, Carra

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