Monday, July 30, 2012

Do not let guilt get in the way of life

Image from Find Your Balance

It's hard enough to get time as a couple when you have a young child. Toss cancer into the mix and it's damn near impossible.

Of course, there are the appointments and medical tests to contend with. There are weeks that I feel it would be easier to pitch a tent outside the cancer agency, rather than bother with all this commuting business. Juggle that with work schedules, plus daycare pick-ups and drop-offs to negotiate, and sleep is the most attractive option when we have a moment to spare.

So when friends offer to take your kid to the beach an afternoon, the sane say, "Abso-freakin-lutely!"

After said friends, Cristian and Ximena (thanks, guys!) swung by to collect our boy, we were left to ponder what to do.

Now that my feet are pain-free after the weird callus issue cleared up (as predicted by my oncologist, this happened shortly after I started Taxol), a walk was in order. We wandered the seawall along Coal Harbour.

It didn't take long for us to figure out what we wanted to do. It was a sunny Sunday. We needed a patio, pronto.

Why guilt

Early in my diagnosis, this may have not been possible due to self-inflicted guilt. If you aren't a breast cancer survivor, you're probably wondering why on earth I would do such a thing.

Simply put, booze is not good for breast cancer. Or rather, it's not good for getting rid of or preventing breast cancer.

Says "Alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells.

Compared to women who don't drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day."

It's well-documented that being overweight is also a risk factor when it comes to breast cancer. So if you're like me and looking at food makes you gain weight, choosing food wisely is very important. Generally speaking, the experts recommend lots of veggies, a bit of fruit, and little to no animal fats. Many say raw vegan is ideal.

Guilt be gone

I've greatly improved my eating habits, and rarely indulge in an alcoholic beverage.

But I'm not a fan of cutting things out completely, other than tobacco (which happened several years ago). I don't operate well when denied something. Sure, I'll manage it for days, weeks, even months. But then I crack. And I find it difficult to stop after being denied for so long. And that, my friends, is a slippery slope to navigate when it comes to life and death.

So we found that patio (The Mill Bistro on Coal Harbour). We each had a beer, and shared a plate of nachos. And it was glorious.

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