Here’s To The Power Of Broccoli And Other Interesting Stories

3 01 2008

We had just finished our supper this evening–which included steamed broccoli, when the phone rang.  My surgeon’s nurse called to tell me that the final pathology report came in.  I’m cancer free in my lymph nodes and there seems to be no report that my cancer was estrogen or progesterine fed.  Jim, Vera and I were elated!  I still will have to  see my cancer doctor .  However, perhaps now I won’t have to have any chemotherapy.  I do know I will have to be seeing a cancer doctor for at least five years.  I feel a freedom now to persue cancer prevention.  Good nutrition, exercise,  no smoking and drinking in moderation are good steps of prevention.

I know that for the first 17 years of our marriage, we were what people called–“the working poor.”We simply didn’t have the income to eat a wide variety of foods.  Later, Jim got a better job.  I was able to start a career in substitute teaching.  Yet, our appetites turned more to eating a great deal of good tasting unhealthly food.  I went from being a little wisp of a thing to quite a hefty woman.  Later, I took off the weight.  However, a year of intense musical training at Austin Peay State University and being worried about Vera’a bad marriage–set me on the road to comfort eating again.  So I gained most of my weight back.

It’s only been these past two years with learning how to help Jim with his heart problems that I’ve become more adept in preparing nutritious meals.  Plus, being  an Orthodox  Christian kind of pushes one to learn about nutrition.  We have fasting days on Wednesdays and Fridays.  By fasting , I mean we give up dairy and meat – we certainly don’t quit eating. We have a major fast during the Nativity season.  Also, we have a very long fast during the Lenten season.  There are several other times of the church year that we have fasts that last several weeks at a time.  I’ve had to learn to eat better just to comply with my church.  It has been a blessing. I have learned to appreciate these fasts.

At any rate–the largest majority of my life has been either not having the money for a good variety of food  or feasting on the wrong foods.  In early June, I sought out a chiropractor for muscular pains.  He ended up talking to me about good nutrition and taking supplements.  He went on and on about the miracle of broccoli. His  family eats steamed broccoli every day.  Jim and I began supplementing our diet with good vitamins and minerals. Likewise,  Vera was receiving treatment and education from this doctor. Later in the summer, I decided to investigate a clinic I had heard about– that has a strong disease prevention mission.  I began going to the MaxWell Clinic in Clarksville, Tn.  I was put on even more antioxidants–one of which is curcummin.  Today I take 2000 mg. of curcummin a day to prevent further cancer in my body.  That is where I was pushed (really against my will) to get a mammogram at the Vanderbilt Breast Center.  No, they had no power to make me go to Vanderbilt.  Yet, deep inside I didn’t want to bother with a digital mammogram.  It was a real struggle of my will  to obey my doctor.  I’m convinced my cancer was caught early and that my life was saved because of the MaxWell Clinic. 

I have a desire to help people.  Maria, my daughter, who lives in a rural area full of Old Order Mennonites–called to tell me an interesting story tonight.  She went to buy some eggs from one of the families.  The Mother of the family was curious as to how I came to know I had cancer.  She asked Maria:”Did your mother feel bad?” Maria told her  that I didn’t feel bad .  Furthermore, I looked very healthy.  Maria explained that a mammogram had revealed my tumor.  This lady had never heard of a mammogram.  Maria explained what a mammogram was.  This dear lady was dismayed.  I have a very good repoire with this community because of Maria.  Maria is the one they always call upon if they need help.  They ride their horses and buggies to her house to use her phone for emergencies.   They ask Maria for rides in cases of extreme emergencies.  I told Maria this evening– that we have to educate these women. 

I know I had a similar experience when I went to a Mennonite store the last of November in another community.  They know me well –and welcome me to their very unadvertised store.  The elder lady who was waiting on me told me that her 50 year old son had prostate cancer.  Yet, he read that  drinking water that is ph balanced will cure cancer.  This man has no intentions of having surgery.  I was grieved for this family.  There is still a vast amount of ignorance in our country today about cancer prevention and treatment. 

Walk with me on my journey to reduce fat in my diet, exercise more and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. I mean– that I want each of you to pledge to do the same healthy things that I’m doing.  Forego a movie or a meal out once in awhile , in order to have the money to have good food and good supplements.  I have a powerful quote from  the book: Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch, CNC: Phytochemicals seem to fight cancer by blocking one or more of the steps that lead to cancer.  For instance, cancer can begin when a carcinogenic molecule–from the food you eat or the air you breathe–invades a cell.  But if sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in broccoli, also reaches the cell, it activates a group of enzymes that whisk the carcinogen out of the cell before it can cause any harm.”  I find that information to be amazing and wonderful.

I want to clarify that there are many different kinds of Mennonites.  Many are quite modern.  So I’m not saying that ignorance prevales in all Mennonites.  However, this group that Maria works with is very old order.  I would never purposely try to single out a group of people to make fun of them.  I’m concerned for them.  I’m concerned for great masses of modern people , too. 

So here’s to the power of broccoli .  Let’s start our new year right.  Happy eating!

God bless each of you!

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