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Bad Things and Good People

I can remember going to church when I was little. We dressed up in cute outfits and piled into the car with my mom and dad. When my dad died when we were all so young — I was almost six, my sister was two-and-a-half, my brother was 15 — we stopped going to church. It was almost as if my mom couldn’t understand why something so terrible could happen to our family on God’s watch. I get the reasoning. So many terrible things happen all over the world. How can God stand by and do nothing?

Perfect example: This week my close friend, the one who holds the Seders every year, got some terrible news. Her mother has ovarian cancer. This terrible diagnosis comes on top of the already-heavy load she’s carried for the past five years. You see my friend’s husband has multiple myeloma, a serious blood cancer. He’s been in remission but his numbers are going up, which means the cancer might be coming back. Tomorrow she’ll spend the entire day at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her mom’s appointment — where she’ll find out a treatment path — is at 9:45. Her husband will get the results of his blood tests in the early afternoon. It sucks.

We spent an hour on the phone last night. I tried to keep her from going to the Bad Place. My friend has an amazing and enviable relationship with her mom. Her mom is her rock. When she is nervous about her husband she can always turn to her mom. Now both of her rocks are ill. How can she make it through with both of them sick, she wanted to know. I didn’t know what to say. It’s just not fair. (And it makes my husband’s intestinal issues seem like a splinter, right?)

During our chat I tried to tell her to remain calm. Not to think the worst. The reporter in me had to look up and report back on all the amazing trials that are going on for those suffering with multiple myeloma. (There are more than 180 in New York State; 61 of them are still actively recruiting.) Then I told her about some of the excellent work that’s being done for ovarian cancer. Intra-abdominal chemotherapy, where they bathe the stomach cavity with chemo while blasting more chemo into your blood stream is getting good results, for example. And the five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is no longer as dire as it once was. Almost half of the women diagnosed today will live for more than five years. And as a woman, you can do things to boost your own survival rate. A study that came out earlier this month links diet with long-term outcome. Women who ate well had a “survival advantage” over those who didn’t. My friend’s mom is a fighter. She’s going to do everything she can. She’s going to eat right. She’s going to have the best doctors. I don’t even have to think about which side of that 50 percent she’s going to fall into.

Anyway, as you go about your day today, please think good thoughts for my friend and her family. And while you’re at it, send a little love my husband’s way, too. He’s going for a test to see if he’s got long-term damage in his intestines as well as check to see if that fourth surgery he had in February actually worked. In fact, if you pray, say a prayer for everyone. I don’t think God has any pull when it comes to who gets sick or who gets better, but I do think that the power of our minds and our energies combine and can elicit change. Let’s make a little change for my friend’s mom Mrs. S., her husband Mr. B., and Mr. S, my hubby.

p.s. For the portion of my readers who are, at this minute, saying, ‘What the heck!?! This blog is supposed to be about food and health and chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. What’s with two blogs in a row related to religion?’ I say this: This blog is not turning into a religious blog. I promise. Again, I’m not even that religious. Religion and sex are the two things you’re not supposed to talk about and I keep doing both. Sorry, and tomorrow we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled complaints and gripes.

3 Responses to “Bad Things and Good People”

  1. Lori says:

    Karen,

    After reading your post I can’t help but share some information I have, that you can pass on if you like; I think when someone is sick, we need to share what we know and let the receiver decide what they want to do with the information.

    I will try to make this short: My MIL (from LI) had breast cancer back in 2001, she did chemo, radiation, and was “cured”. This past summer 2009 she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer with METS in her lower back bones, and several other places including her liver. As you can imagine the prognosis was not good.

    Coincidently, around the same time, my husband and I were learning a lot about how nutrition can play a huge part in healing the body. We learned about Gerson and various other things one can do to help themselves in tandem with traditional treatments. These things often help you rebound from the traditional treatments better; such as juicing and eating a raw diet.

    My MIL decided to see a Naturopathic doctor on LI, his name is Steve Nenniger. Dr. Steve: http://web.me.com/stevenenninger/SteveNenninger/Home.html
    He put my MIL on a gluten free, totally organic diet as well as asked her to follow the Blood Type Diet…(eating for your blood type) and she took his advice and is very strict with it. Making all her own meals and not cheating at all. She also is taking a low dosage of oral chemo.

    Month over month her tumor markers have gone down. Her PET scans show no additional growth in her tumors. Her oncologist suggest she keep doing exactly what she is doing. In the very beginning of her diagnosis before she had really rid her body of chemicals and before she was full swing into her new diet, she had lots of back pain and wasn’t very mobile, but after many months of her tumor markers going down and eating well consistently in conjunction with her medicine she out and about again and even dancing.

    I share this story because I am a firm believer in two things; one is that nutrition plays a much bigger part in our health than people realize. Just as certain foods can make us ill, the right foods can make us well.

    And the second thing is that we have more power over the outcome of our lives than we know or realize. Most people have a tendency to throw our hands up and give up…giving over all the responsibility for our health and the outcome of our lives to our doctors and even to our God. I believe that people have the power to change their lives by taking control of their lives, making the right choices, and tapping into the power of positive thinking. Everyone always says how the minute someone finds out they are sick, they seem to die rather quickly. Doesn’t anyone wonder what would have happened if that person never found out they were sick. Could we presume that once the mind gives up, the body follows. After all our mind is what controls us. Maybe if you don’t listen to the doctors diagnosis of 1 to 5 years and say to yourself. Nope, I am not going to let someone tell me when I am going to die. I decide when I die and then start doing things that help you fight all along being positive and knowing that you are in control of the situation. Once you let the doctors tell you that you don’t have a chance, you don’t.

    I hope sharing my MIL’s story and Dr. Steve’s information will be beneficial. I believe that our Western diet is the cause of all the cancers we see today. There is so much information accessible via the internet that can reinforce this thinking. Most of the cancers that are prevalent today are not hereditary. They are caused by either diet or environmental factors. So if diet can cause cancer, why couldn’t it reverse it.

    -Lori

    P.S. If you didn’t gather from the above. I don’t think God has pull over who gets sick, who doesn’t, and who will survive the ills of this modern world. I think that is entirely up to us.

  2. Lori says:

    Sorry I didn’t keep it short. And, I know you are stickler for grammar and proper usage and I am too (normally). There are areas that have the wrong tense associated with the content. :( Sorry…please overlook it…I was anxious to share and didn’t take the time to edit correctly. :)

  3. kb says:

    Thanks for taking the time and for the information. I’m going to pass it along. My friend is very open to alternative treatments. I am also a big believer in combining Eastern with Western medicine.

    –KB

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