The Phone Call That Changed My Life
Pretty much everyone on the planet is going to remember 2020 as the year Covid shut the world down. And I can see why. But that’s not why I remember it. At least it’s not the ‘big’ thing that happened to me that year. Nope. Three years ago today, I got the phone call – letting me know that I had skin cancer. (Technically, it’s a few minutes after midnight, so that anniversary was yesterday)
No big deal, unless ten days later you’re admitted to the hospital for severe abdominal pain – and four days after that, needing emergency surgery to save your life. Surgery that turned up a second kind of cancer. Both during the first two weeks of February that memorable year.
That’s also when I wound up with a temporary colostomy on one side of my stomach, and a surgical drain tube that somehow healed inside my colon on the other. Since I had both of them for a little over four months, it made clothing decisions interesting. Especially when I had to go out in public.
Three years later…
Things couldn’t have gone better for me following the first surgery, or the two that followed (one for the skin cancer, the other to reverse the colostomy and get rid of the drain tube). Even though the oncologist was 100% sure I’d need chemo, radiation, or both – I didn’t. I thank God for that, as well as my surgeon, of course.
As near as I can determine, there is a 90% five-year survival rate for people with the cancer I had. Those are pretty good odds, that’s for sure. But the closer I get to the five-year mark, the larger that 10% looms – and the more determined I am to make sure it never comes back.
Yes, I trust God – and pray daily for continued good health. But I also know I bear a responsibility to eat as well as I can. And from what I’ve read, I believe that low carb is the right choice for me. The Trim Healthy Mama plan, to be specific.
Because I don’t feel good when I eat too many carbs, healthy or otherwise. I feel like I’m starving all the time if I eat too many carbs too.
Then there’s the itsy bitsy little fact that sugar helps many cancers thrive.
Yeah, I know there are people on both sides of the will it/won’t it fence. I just happen to be on the side that believes it does. Not only does it make some cancers worse, sugar causes inflammation, which also contributes to cancer. And not just sugar either, but carbohydrates, which turn to glucose in your bloodstream.
Don’t believe me?
Just do a simple Google search on the diet you’re supposed to follow prior to a PET scan. Then do another search for why you’re given glucose prior to that PET scan. Whether they come right out and say it or not, it’s all so the cancer cells will suck up the glucose so they can find it in the scans.
Even knowing – and believing – that, it still took me two years to totally eliminate sugar and high glycemic carbs from my diet. It was a roller coaster of on again/off again, but I finally got serious on May 16, 2022 – when my doctor wanted me on medication for high cholesterol and triglycerides. I was also pre-diabetic.
All of those results were from a March blood test. At that point, not wanting that medication, I made a better effort – not totally successful, but better – to clean my diet. And when the follow up test in May showed all of my results in the normal range, I knew I wanted to keep them there.
I Almost Ate a Snicker’s Candy Bar Tonight
I came about this close >< to caving and having my first sugary candy bar in almost nine months. Seriously. That tiny space between the points of those two arrows? I came closer than that. Knowing what I know (and believe), sugary foods can still have an amazingly strong pull on me.
So far though, I’ve never given in. And I don’t intend to either. Ever. Because I’m going to continue trusting God to keep me healthy … and I’m going to appreciate it and take as good care of myself as I can.
I Could Have Died Three Years Ago
And I will never forget how it could have turned out. That’s why I’ll probably always have something to say about it on (or near) these three ‘anniversaries.’ Life is too short as it is. Take care of yourself. You’re worth it. And remember…
Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels!