What is this thing called cancer? Only a word, but the emotions and feelings associated with it are immense: feelings of overwhelm, dread, anger, feelings that life is immediately altered and will end far sooner than planned, that what was planned now must change. The new normal includes massive changes in personal choices, in chemicals, finances, preparation. The impact is on the individual, spouse, children, parents, extended families, and friends.
Feelings of I’m going to fight this thing. We are going to fight this thing. No matter the cost. No matter what it takes.
And then what? We do research. We look for answers. The newest treatment. What works? What works? What has the FDA not approved that other countries have? What drug trials are going on? What about that organic thing? Can you really reverse the diagnosis with organic foods?
In that context, this past summer I had the opportunity to meet an amazing couple. She had been diagnosed with stage 3 and then stage 4 breast cancer. Her husband took on all these feelings, all the research, all the enrollment to have his wife address her cancer with a plant-based diet — but much more than that. He intended that she would not eat anything that was not shown to address cancer, and he developed recipes that used as many of these foods as possible while maintaining the taste of the dish. Wow. What commitment. What intentionality. The name of the book is A Recipe For Hope. Jeffery Weaver’s intention for keeping his wife alive and healthy creates the view that something can really be done past the chemical treatments that are so brutal. It means giving up my addictions. How addicted am I and how can I ask someone else to give up what I am not willing?
Jeffery’s wife Susan continued the chemical poisons that the doctors recommended, and used the newly developed diet to address her cancer. After several years, she is cancer free.
And what about me? I ask myself: “How committed am I? How committed am I to my own healthier body? How committed am I to support others who want to live healthier? How committed am I to support my daughter-in-law, even if she agreed to take this radical approach to her disease?” My justification can be that we live on different sides of the country.
Several years ago, I participated in a seminar that looked at commitment. What was I committed to? I am committed to what I have. I am committed to what I do. As far as diet goes, I am committed to sugar, alcohol, meats, vegetables, wheat, dairy, and prescription medications to address where I am off the norm. As told by the scale, I am also committed to eating more of all of this than is necessary for the sustainability of my body. I am committed to pool exercise several times a week. And I am committed that this is enough, and I will put up with the consequences of whatever these choices have gotten me. And that is the truth.