Sunday, 28 August 2011


I just realised that it has been a couple of days since my eyes were watering. It's safe now, I'm sure, to say that the drip has definitely been switched off. And then, just when I thought there wasn't going to be any more new side effects, along came this strange one.

If I had experienced this before, I know that I wouldn't blame it on chemo. Especially, when it's just so...weird. Could chemo do this? There are no photos for this one because it involves feet. Who wants to see a picture of someone's foot? Ok, please don't answer that. I was removing nail polish when the scale of destruction was revealed. Actually, I had noticed that my feet, in particular, the skin on my toes was peeling away. But, it's way more than it should. I seem to be shedding the skin from my toes. The process is well and truly on the way. Enough on feet. Speaking about strange though...

I thought it might be worth sharing how our family came to adopt such a restricted diet - paleo. Months on, we are now finding this new way of approaching food is actually developing creativity. And, it doesn't seem so restrictive anymore.

There are actually a number of factors that led to this dramatic change in diet. Child number two, according to our plans, was the last one. So, I always had in my mind that I would really focus on getting fit and losing some kilos after the birth (mums, you can relate to the enormity of that task). Then, to our horror child number two was diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis (a blockage in the pulmonary valve). It was a very scary time for us; we had to decide whether we would go ahead with open-heart surgery or cardiac catheterisation. We decided on the latter option and within weeks our two-month old was home and recovering well. But, what concerned us was the fact child number two would need antibiotics if they ever required dental work. Can you believe that something as simple as dental work could actually give a "cardiac-kid" heart disease? This made us so conscious of giving out sugary treats; which were pretty common in our diet. How do you tell a child that they can't have sugar? Is it possible? We started eating a few vegetarian meals a week, did some exercise and cut down on the "bad" foods. We weren't satisfied with our progress. It was then that we came across this particular diet. We did enough research to arrive at the decision that this was for us. The bonus was, of course, that this way of eating has been linked to preventing cancer.

I got on the bandwagon too late it seemed. The doctor told me that my cancer would have been growing from August 2010. By the time I got the diagnosis though, our family was fit and healthy. We had coupled the paleo diet with exercise and were so surprised at how good we felt. There's a lot of cooking now but, it makes sense to cut out all of the stuff in food that actually isn't food. I am totally motivated too though, because I want my body to be able to fight off any abnormal cells next time they start multiplying.

Whole30, Day 7:

Breakfast: Hot Nutty Cereal

Snack: Nuts

Lunch: Chilli and garlic prawns on spinach leaves

Dinner: Beef chilli on lettuce with guacamole

Snack: Pancakes with berries

I have allowed the doctors to treat me with their medicines. In fact, after radiation I will begin a five year hormone treatment. Watching what I eat and electing to cut down on the use of chemicals, where possible, is how I wish to continue the fight. Before my diagnosis, it had always bugged me that so many people were getting cancer. Could it be what we eat? Could it be the chemicals? I have no idea. But, I'm enjoying my food journey and I'm finding it interesting to discover how many people are opting for the organic/natural/chemical free way of life.

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