Back after The Big C
Many of you may not know why I stopped blogging for about 9 months. Well, to be perfectly honest, it was because I was diagnosed with Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a rare form of Non-Hodgkins that usually affects men over 65 (huh?!). In case you missed this news, read the last several blog posts starting with this one. What I don’t talk too much about in those blog posts is the treatment. Since my most recent blog post, I’ve gone through 4 rounds of harsh chemo, and then a Stem Cell Transplant, losing my hair twice in the process and reducing me to slightly stronger than a puddle on the floor.
If you don’t know what a Stem Cell Transplant is (and I sure didn’t before all of this), the doctors basically wipe out your entire immune system with even harsher chemo than the earlier harsh chemo and then put your previously harvested stem cells back in, hoping they’ll start to regrow a brand new immune system. It was the worst and hardest time of my life. I am grateful to my mother for staying with me at the hospital, to my husband for doing everything else and still visiting me every day, to my kids for being great, and to my family and friends for their tremendous support through it all. I felt so much love coming my way and that made all the difference in the world.
So, fast forward to exactly a year later from when I first found that little bump on the side of my neck, today I’m feeling close to normal. And I am cancer free! It has been a long and slow recovery. I have learned a few things along the way about myself and about what is important in life. Nothing like a wallop upside the head by The Big C to put things in perspective.
1. To quote The Beatles, “Love is all there is”. It has become crystal clear to me that all the little daily annoyances don’t mean a thing and that returning to Love your friends and family and strangers on the street is where it’s at. Forgive, accept, and let go of all the negativity and live in Love.
2. Make time for your health. Before all this, I did make time for my health in the food realm. I ate high quality, health-providing food. I also made sure I exercised a few times a week. But that’s not enough. Yes, do those things because they are very important for your health, but also make time for your mental health. Spend time in quietude. Reflect on how you can be a better person. Be creative—as in create stuff—art, music, garden, model airplanes, whatever floats your boat.
3. Go for it! We live our lives like tomorrow is a given. Like next year is a given. I’m here to tell you that it’s not! Make the most of your precious time here on this beautiful Earth and go for your dreams. Think about how you can make a difference and then go do that! What are you passionate about? What are you waiting for?
What I’m Doing Now
I have decided to get back to my passion of being a Health Coach but I have made a slight adjustment in my business focus. I am now focusing on Corporate Wellness Presentations and I am having a lot of fun speaking about health and wellness doing “Lunch & Learns”. I enjoy that I can reach more people at once this way. Check out my many presentation topics on my website here. If you are looking to add health and nutrition talks at your corporation, feel free to email me.
I am still seeing a select few clients one-on-one who are the right fit. I offer a Holistic Lifestyle Overhaul that is an intensive 6 month program where you get a lot of my time and attention. We go through every area of your life (food, body, home, work, relationships, spirituality) and transform it to eliminate toxic and unhealthy practices leaving you with a healthy, happy life beyond what you thought possible. This program is rigorous but amazing—let me know if you’re up for the challenge.
I am also working one-on-one or in groups with people who have just been diagnosed with cancer to help them get their head and lifestyle on straight to best begin the cancer treatment journey. I share all that I have learned and support them in a way that only someone who has been through it can.
Products I Like and Use
I am a distributor of JuicePlus+ supplements. They are whole foods fruits and vegetables dehydrated and pulverized and put in a capsule or chew (popular with the kiddos!), providing much needed nutrients and anti-oxidants to the standard diet. If you know you’re not eating enough vegetables, you might consider these. JuicePlus+ also offers a great vegan non-GMO protein powder as well as new protein snack bars. Let me know if you’d like to try a sample.
Also check out my People, Places and Things I Like page on my website for an ever growing list of things I recommend.
Recipe of the Month
I love salads for lunch. Here is a delicious (detoxing and cancer fighting!) recipe, perfect as we head into the summer berry season.
Berry Gone Mad Salad
¼ red onion, thinly sliced and chopped
2 tablespoons Tahini Dressing
2 cups mixed greens or spinach, chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup mixed berries of your choice
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Combine the tomatoes, greens and onion in a large bowl. Top with berries, pumpkin seeds & Tahini Dressing. Add a protein (optional)
¾ cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons Wheat Free Tamari (optional)
juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup water
Whisk or blend all ingredients until creamy. Slowly add more water to obtain desired consistency. (This dip will thicken in the refrigerator and can be stored for up to 3 days)