Confessions Of A Cancer Caregiver

#Thankful
It is the season of Thanksgiving. After many mountains and valleys in 2017, I can say I am most thankful for growth. Growth personally as my strength was stretch with the care of my mom who was diagnosed with cancer in January. Just hearing the words “You have cancer and it can be over the entire body” was devastating. Her healing journey catapulted a new fire that transferred over to my professional life. I found a strength that I did not know that I had.
She chose both a conventional and holistic approach to her care. She opted for chemotherapy but in exchange wanted that we managed the side effects and recovery holistically. I took on the role as not only her caregiver but her doctor as well. In my heart, I felt that we could have done everything holistically, however it was my job to honor her wishes and support her decision. I did just that.
I significantly changed her diet. No fried food, no sugar, no alcohol, no desserts, no fast food, no processed food, no drinks with added sugar, preservatives, flavors, sweetners etc. At first she hated it. I knew her healing and recovering was dependent on the nutrients that were in her body. Although I wanted her to go completely vegan, I did have to compromise as she was not willing to give up meat. Here are a few dietary changes that we made.

VEGETABLES:
• High intake of green leafy vegetables, cooked still crispy or juiced
• nutritious spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula salad, cauliflower, cabbage or Brussels sprouts, mushrooms
• onions, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, peppers, carrots and beets, green beans, spinach
• vitamin A found in many citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries, squashes

FRUITS
• Blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, goji berries, blackberries, apples, oranges, watermelon, lemon, lime, honey dew, cantaloupe,

HERBS/SEASONSINGS
• ginger, raw garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil and parsley, turmeric
• olive oil, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil (avoid canola and vegetable oils)

SNACKS
• 13 glasses of fresh, organic fruit juices on an hourly basis daily
• 3 vegetarian meals; salad, soup, and juice
• Fresh fruit and veggies for snacks throughout the day

MEATS
• Organic, hormone free, antibiotic free, free range chicken
• Wild caught Salmon
• No red meat or processed meat (weiners, lunch meat, sausage, bacon). The body’s ability to break down red meat decreases once it enters the digestive tract. I did compromise on turkey as long as it was organic.

NUTS
• Chia seeds, flax seeds, Hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

BEVERAGES
• Alkaline water (add fresh, organic fruit for taste), fresh fruit/vegetable juice from juicing; herbal teas, avoid luzianne and lipton; no dairy, soda, bottled juice or energy drinks; avoid coffee and hot chocolate
SWEETNERS
• Organic, raw honey; no sweet n low, white sugar, equal, crystal light or additional artificial sugars

WHOLE FOOD NUTRTION
I also mixed whole food nutritional supplements from Standard Process into her juice to support liver, thymus and spleen function. She also took a whole food nutrition multivitamin.

CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS
Because of the correlation of the nervous system to organ and body function, I adjusted my mom several times per day. Paying close attention to her cervicals and thoracic regions to improve immune support. When the body is in a state of sickness, the adjustments tend to not hold as well. The frequency of care increased significantly.

MENTALLY
It is very easy for someone who is battling an illness to feel sorry for themselves. My mom went through periods of frustration, anger and sadness. I let her have her moment for a day after each treatment. I refused to allow her to mentally go beyond that. I had to help her realize that cancer was not a death notice and that there was a bigger story she needed tell. There were people depending on her journey as a testament that they could make it as well. For me, my faith held me together and kept me focused on the greater good. Keeping the naysayers away was critical as well. If they were negative in anyway, I did not allow them to call or come over. Who needs negativity when their fighting cancer?

NEW BEGINING
Currently my mom is in remission. I continue to juice for her and follow the dietary protocol. She is able to do more for herself now. The side effects of the chemo and radiation have slightly altered her health. It will take up to a year for the chemicals to completely be released from her body. We will continue to rebuild her body for months to come. The amazing thing we are innately able to do is heal, the body just needs the right internal environment to do so.

CARING FOR OTHERS
If you are a care giver for a sick relative, take control of their health by adding foods rich in nutrients and whole food nutritional supplements. You will be surprised what can happen when the proper nutrients are given to the body.
*Be encouraged and gather a support system. People will ask if you need anything and your answer should be yes. You will need people to sit with them, bring groceries, gift cards, pray, pay for parking, clean and whatever else you need. Be open for help.
*Don’t feel guilty for taking time out for yourself. When company comes over, use that time to get a manicure, massage, workout, take a nap, grab lunch or coffee with a friend. That break is necessary for your mental and physical wellbeing. You will be a better care giver if you do so.

Interested in more info on this topic? Email me. I would love to hear from you.

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