A Daughter’s Love, A New Hair Style and St. Innocent Of Alaska

28 11 2007

Jim’s work schedule requires him to work 12 hour days now.  He likes to have time with the Lord ,so he gets up at 2:30 a.m.  He leaves for work an hour later.  Usually, he is in bed by 7:00 p.m. I like to stay up until 9:00 p.m. So last night, after I finished all of my chores–I checked all my blogs, which now includes  the blog my daughter Sandy just started. 

I was so touched to read these words: “My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last Tuesday.  I have been in my own litle world since then.  I am hoping that it was caught in the early stages.  She will not know for a few weeks.  She had an appointment with her doctor today and she learned alot about diet, and how it relates to cancer.  My new motivation is my mom.  Every mile I run is for her.  I hope to find a breast cancer marathon to run for her.”

I was so deeply touched by her sharing this on her blog.  Her blog is hard to leave a message on, so I called her up and thanked her.  She is training for a marathon in April, so that will be quite a challenge on top of being a CPA and the mother of two small boys.

I love the way Sandy wears her hair, so I decided to have my hair cut off and styled like hers.  She wears that sort of v shape look that is page boy in the front and tapered off in the back.  This was a very popular hairstyle when I was in highschool and is now popular again.  For the most part, I’ve always worn my hair at least shoulder length. My hair was three inches past my shoulder.  I cut it about three inches on Monday and today I had Sandy’s hairdresser style my hair with the v cut.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to deal with long , thick hair after my surgery.  This way I can just blow it dry.  I’m hoping I won’t have to have chemotherapy and that I can keep my hair.  I will just have to take it one day at a time.  I feel very liberated with this shorter style.  It was getting to be burdensome always having to plan to curl my hair after it dried.  At 55, I just can’t do it anymore–sick or well.

I’ve written before how many of the saints loved and cared for animals.  I want to introduce my non Orthodox friends to St. Innocent Of Alaska.  I have a little story about him that I will summarize.  He went on a kayak trip to take a brief rest from his duties as a bishop.  Along the way, he stopped for a break. He heard some sounds in a bush and discovered an eagle with a bloody, wounded wing.  St. Innocent took the eagle home with him and nursed it back to health.  Upon taking the bird up a mountain to let it loose– the bird didn’t want to go.  The eagle lived with St. Innocent a few months more.  Finally, the bird was ready to live again on it’s own.  Many months later, this eagle returned and bowed down to St Innocent’s feet three times.  Then the eagle flew away.  I really liked this little story and hope each of you who reads it– will too.

Oh, P.S.– I fixed a broccoli casserole tonight with onions, mushroom soup and brown rice.  The rice and the broccoli were organic.  Slowly, but surely I’m moving towards more organic food.  It was great!

God bless each of you!


Organic foods, Breast Cancer and A Visit To The MaxWell Clinic

27 11 2007

I met with Dr. Patricia Mitchum, from the MaxWell Clinic today about my pathology report.  The MaxWell Clinic has a website with wonderful information for anyone to read.  Here is the address: www.MaxWellClinic.com.  Anyway, Dr. Mitchum spent a whole hour with me discussing healthy living and what my options are.  My growth is very small- about a half of a centimeter.  This is extremely good news. The radiologist who performed the biopsy took seven little pieces out of the growth and five of them showed cancer. 

I’m a third generation breast cancer patient.  My grandmother had one her breasts removed by just a regular doctor just on the suspicion.  If she were alive today, she would be 115 years old.  So things were done very primitively.  My mother, however, who had struggled with parkinson’s disease–slipped through the cracks.  Her breast cancer was not found until her entire body was infiltrated with it.  Her sister also has a breast removed and survived twenty more years.  She died of heart problems.  All this to say that a little growth has  a much larger meaning to me.

We talked about having my whole right side removed as a very important thing.  Then I asked about having both of my breasts removed–given my family history.  She would never have brought that up but agreed with me wholeheartly.  It really all depends on what my insurance will pay for.  I have three grown daughters.  As of this day, they need to make a commitment to healthy eating, self examination and getting mammograms.  Maria did have a mammogram a couple of weeks ago and it was defined as a class 3.  She does not have health insurance, so we are going to have to help her find some free services. 

This is leads me to organic foods.  I have developed a strong interest in natural healing and eating healthier this past year.  I have not committed to a 100 percent organic diet but I’m leaning in that direction.  I have realized, even before I found out that I have cancer–that I need to stay away the foods with growth hormones in them.  The cost is great to go completely organic.  Yet, the cost of illness is great also.  I think we all waste money here and there that could be better put to use with healthy eating.  I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about using olive oil and staying away from hydrogenated oils.  That is something–I’ve been fairly consistent with for many months now. 

We also talked about supplements.  The MaxWell Clinic is a big believer is taking vitamins and herbs.  I’m already on about a half of dozen antioxidents.  Dr. Mitchum increased my “Broccoli” pill to 4 a day.  I took myself off of caffeine a couple of months ago and I drink alot of decaf green tea. 

I also found out I have osteoporosis in my lower back and in my hips.  I had a bone density test done at Vanderbilt when I went for my initial mammogram.  For that ,she is starting me on Fosamax.  This clinic tries it’s best to work with prevention programs but when the damage is already done–the doctors due prescribe regular treatments along with wellness treatments. 

Each time I visit this clinic , I have to fill out a questionaire about things that I do to help myself.  Things like spending quality time with my family, getting plenty of sunshine, drinking enough water and practicing thankfulness.  I put either an A, B,C,D, besides each of these questions–A, being the higest score.  I’m very thankful that I found this clinic in late August of this year.  I’m conviced my life will be save by their insistence on my getting a digital mammogram.

Dr. Mitchum ran off a 49 page article for me about breast health.  This is the web address if you have an interest: http://www.lef.org/LEFCMS/aspx/PrintVersionMagic.aspx?CmsID=39662 Another site that is helpful is www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool  I hope these sites will be helpful.

Finally, we all have to keep our hearts soft and clean towards the Lord.  I’ve stated before that we are whole people.  God expects us take care of our bodies, souls and minds.  I’m learning to not be so dismayed by petty things.  Those are little spiritual cancer cells that grow into resentments, bitterness and dispair.  I’m also learning that I can’t change people.  Believe me, that is one of my worse faulths through the years.  I have to let people make their own choices.  I have to understand and be at peace that my loved ones may not appreciate all that I say.  I’m working hard at these goals–and often I slip backward.  Now, it is more important than ever to mind my own business about people’s choices. 

I’ll close with a quote from St. Basil that I received from a friend yesterday:  “Trials are of two kinds. Either affliction will test our souls as gold is tried in a furnance, and make trial of us through patience, or the very prosperity of our lives will oftentimes, for many, be itself an occasion of trial and temptation.  For it is equally difficult to keep the soul upright and undefeated in the midst of afflictions, as to keep oneself from insolence and pride in prosperity.

Here is another quote: “Life is full of things that test you, and make you strong. Look at the trees. The more they are shaken by the wind the more tough and unyielding they become. And we also, if we are patient, we also shall become strong.” -St. John Chrysostom

God Bless Each of You!