The Dreaded “C” Word

Oh, the dreaded “C” word.

Despite increasing knowledge about the cause and prevention of cancer and advances in medical treatment, cancer still seems to be quite a taboo subject in society today.

From what I see, people don’t seem to want to discuss or even entertain the subject of cancer until unfortunately faced with it, whether that be through a loved one or a personal encounter with it. I don’t even see much interest in the subject of cancer prevention, which surprises me as preventing disease can be such a simple thing for us all.

And as we all know, prevention is always far better than cure.

I do understand not wanting to talk or think about cancer, or any other disease for that matter. Especially cancer because of such negative and fearful associations with it.

Look at the statistics; Cancer is in our face whether we like it or not and while I do believe conventional medicine has its place in some areas of our health, it doesn’t seem to be doing much for the rates of new cases of cancer or recurring incidences.

According to the Macmillan Statistics Fact Sheet from January 2015:

  • There are now an estimated 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK, rising to 4 million by 2030
  •  The number of people living with cancer in the UK in 2015 has increased by almost half a million people in the last five years

I wanted to share my own experiences of cancer as it is one, if not the main factors that has brought me here today; to study nutrition and it’s effect on our heath, to provide knowledge and guidance to people suffering with any health ailment, not just cancer.

But most importantly, to support those suffering and provide hope because there is so much hope for our health and so much power in our hands to be well and stay well. It has been beyond my comprehension until now but in the last few years, I’ve learned that due to our recent understanding of and continuous studies into Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics, we are discovering that certain foods and nutrients have a direct impact on our gene expression. Therefore what we ingest has the power to silence oncogenes (cancer-causing genes) and increase the expression of cancer-suppressor genes.

Only 5% of all diseases are actually genetic, the rest come as a result of how our epigenetic switches, or tags, (that instruct our cells what to do), respond to how we live. So we can positively affect our own DNA by living a clean and healthy life. 

Isn’t that exciting?!

I have not thankfully, suffered from cancer myself. But sadly I lost my Father to cancer 15 years ago when I was 19 and my Mother has also suffered with it, although she  won that fight and is now cancer free. My Mum now spends a lot of time reading about cancer-fighting foods and uses essential oils regularly. We really believe this plays a huge part in her recovery and subsequent health.

Losing a loved one is always difficult; life-changing, heart-wrenching, gut-aching. Grief can be the loneliest time as no one really knows exactly how you feel and if it’s someone you are particularly close to, the void that is left can feel like an actual whole in your very being. In my case I tried to harden myself to it, I couldn’t cry for a very long time as I was afraid of what might happen if I let go and allowed myself to really feel grief.

So I drowned myself in anything and everything that would temporarily distract from that reality and became very unhealthy in the process, not realising that the spiral would only ever face downwards. My health suffered and then so did my mentality and it wasn’t until I focused on both of these things that I realised how connected they are. When I healed my body with real food and provided my body with living nutrients rather than alcohol and dried flavoured noodles, it was much easier to focus on my emotional state.

I don’t think the sorrow ever goes away completely but in time, you learn to keep living and try to focus on happy memories instead of focusing on loss. I started doing yoga and eating well and two years later, I went to live in the States where I started running regularly. I believe running was another huge turning point in my health and my mental state; the solitude, time with God, freedom, movement, endorphins and the empowering feelings of achieving more with each run was an incredible healer for me.

Interestingly though, I think I’ve struggled more this past year with losing my Dad than any. And I think that is down to my recent learning of nutrition and its effect on our health, how we can heal from disease naturally and all the countless stories I’ve heard from people who have done exactly that…. it’s a bitter-sweet feeling and it stirs my soul. I feel angry and cheated that we didn’t have these options when my Dad was sick, we didn’t have the foresight to seek alternatives to what the doctors were telling my parents. My Dad’s chemotherapy and bag of medicines became bigger, the doses larger and more frequent. And he became sicker and sicker.

When I look back I realise now I watched chemotherapy destroy my Father, every day my sisters and I came home from school. And at that time there was nothing we could do.

There is something I can do now though and that passion is driving me to want to try to save others the same fate. By sharing what I know and what I learn and there is a chance I can spare someone else the sadness of loss as a result of this evil that likes to threaten our health.

Watching the docu-series The Truth About Cancer last year, I found myself sobbing over my computer in an overwhelming wave of frustration that we actually DO have so much power over cancer, and regret that I couldn’t then do anything for my Dad. But I also felt excitement, passion, determination and most importantly hope. We don’t have to suffer a hopeless diagnosis or be afraid of our future. We don’t have to be afraid of cancer and no doctor, oncologist or anyone else can tell us that we do.

There is so much to learn about cancer; what it actually is, how it develops, what it responds to and what it doesn’t. We know that chemotherapy and radiation can destroy cancer cells, but it doesn’t often hit the stem cells; the root of the cancer so we later see it rear its ugly head on people again. It’s what chemo and radiation do to surrounding healthy cells that concerns me.

Cancer is a not a stand-alone disease, it’s a sign and a manifestation that the whole body is sick and suffering. Finding the cause of that sickness and targeting it at its very core is the only true way to healing and lasting health.

I cannot recommend enough watching The Truth About Cancer. There is information contained in these powerful episodes that every family should know.

I also hope to provide information on this blog from my studies and learning which I will always do my absolute best to obtain from science and fact-based research.

Thank you for reading, I wish you the very best in health.

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