The Importance of Nutrition in Our Health Journey
I thought I ate fairly well because I didn’t eat a lot of meat and my cholesterol levels were low. I was overweight but active, getting my 10,000 steps a day before my diagnosis. When I got pancreatic cancer, I learned that what we eat is so important.
I have a long way to go in my health journey with nutrition but daily I am making better choices and aim to get as much color on my plate as possible. “Eat the Rainbow” is a goal for me. We now eat mostly organic meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Life Expectancy Calculator
This was an interesting online calculator of life expectancy based on several factors. From the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Uncloak and Dagger
Each of us has a unique experience with pancreatic cancer, no two journeys are alike. I am sharing my truth, experiences, and outcomes so that they may benefit others, hence: uncloak and dagger. Again, I am not a doctor nor am I dispensing medical advice. I am sharing what I did to make the journey easier for me and my family.
One of the key factors in my healing journey is that I thought and said that I received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer instead of saying I have pancreatic cancer. It is a subtle difference yet feels so much more like my truth. I believe I have learned so much during this journey with pancreatic cancer.
Here Are 5 Ways to Thrive During Pancreatic Cancer
Select a Focus Word
Each year, I choose a focus word for the year. For 2019 it was Flourish. While I was journeying with pancreatic cancer, I would ask myself many times a day what I needed to flourish. Your inner healer knows the way. Sometimes rest is the answer, reaching out to a beloved, cuddling with a pet, sitting outside, or savoring a cup of tea. Listen to your inner wise one. Let your focus word guide you in your choices and thoughts throughout the day.
Rest and Meditate
Rest was vital in my healing journey. I would take at least one nap a day, sometimes more. I listened to my body and tuned in to what she needed. I am blessed that I was able to sleep well at night and usually got 10 hours of sleep during those days. What a gift. Your body repairs itself during periods of rest. Meditation is an opportunity to still your mind and body. It is a way to slow down and focus on the important. I focused on flourishing and healing.
Find Beauty and Indulge in Exquisite Self-Care
I keep a journal and write about the beauty I see or experience. You can also take photos on your phone of things you find beautiful or look at photos or images of things that bless your heart when you are unable to get out in nature.
Another daily practice is my Epsom Salt bath, often combined with essential oils to help in my healing journey. Epsom salt helps rid your body of toxins. I love to use lavender essential oil as it is a wonderful sleep aid. I think of my bath as soothing, healing waters.
Such a nice visual and a wonderful feeling to soak in the bath before bedtime. I think that is one of the reasons I sleep so well. Self-Care also includes proper hydration, nutrition, and the media content you absorb. Treat yourself exquisitely.
Focus on the Positive
What is going right? Celebrate the tiniest of victories or achievements. Envision yourself in the future. What are you going to eat when your appetite returns? What are you going to do when you feel well enough? Who will you spend time with and where? Conjure up these visions vividly and in great detail to help sustain you during the dark and icky times.
This journey with cancer is an opportunity to experience immense gratitude. I appreciated the gift of the day (even when I was not feeling well) and trusted that better days were ahead. So many people were and still are sending love and light and prayers, as well as physically doing things for me. I received cards regularly which boosted my spirits. People sent the gift of food or gift cards, which made things easier for my husband and me. I am humbled by such generosity and ever so grateful.
At the publication of this series in July 2020, I am 13 months post-surgery. My most recent report shows “no evidence of disease” and my CA 19-9 cancer marker has been in the teens where 35 or below is normal. I feel fantastic. My appetite and energy level are great. I can do whatever I choose and enjoy daily walks with my dog 5 or more times a week.
I know that I am healed. I am whole and complete. I feel the energy of healing pulsing through me, and I delight in knowing that the future is bright. I am grateful for the love and light being sent my way. What an honor and humbling experience. I am so appreciative.
Please note that each person’s journey is unique, and what I’ve experienced may not occur for the next person. We are all individuals.
I wrote a series of 6 blogs about my journey with pancreatic cancer and you can find them on my website. They include ways to flourish, how to help yourself and others, cultivate hope, dreams, desires, and more. My intention is that this blog and the others I’ve written about my journey will bless others and give them some hope, comfort, and boost their spirits.
Thank you for following this very important series.
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