A native New Yorker, Shira Kallus Zwebner is a communications consultant and writer living with her husband and three children in Jerusalem, Israel. Diagnosed in 2017 with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, she's fighting her cancer battle and blogging about the journey at hipstermomblog.com
From sugar to stress, are there really any lifestyle changes that can truly keep cancer at bay?
Sugar was the first to go. Three days after I was diagnosed with cancer, but a month before we could pinpoint what type of cancer or a treatment plan, I sat on my bed with a fork and the leftovers of my Mom's birthday cake. Mindlessly, I started making my way through the chocolate cake, eating around the edges before attacking the middle.
I was having a cancer pity party for one as the fear of the unknown gnawed away inside of me. Midway through a forkful of mocha icing, I paused. Sugar, a friend had told me, was cancer's fuel and so the more I ate the more cancer cells were growing deep inside of me.
I put down my fork and wouldn't touch sugar until a moment of weakness mid-treatment months later.
Four months post-cancer treatment, where the days of weekly hospital visits and intensive chemo appointments seem like a bad dream that happened to someone else, I've gone from survival mode to prevention mode.
These days, the fear of cancer's return is first and foremost on my mind. Spend a few hours on Google and you'll get enough conflicting reports and information about cancer prevention to drive a sane person insane!
To sugar or not to sugar, that is the question!
Having a Mommy meltdown? Better go meditate since stress can cause cancer.
What about exercise? Are you getting enough? A sedentary lifestyle can cause cancer, so before you decide to cuddle up on the couch for a movie night with your family, make sure you run a few miles or do yoga.
Are you getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep can cause cancer, so you need a minimum of eight hours each night.
What you are eating is just as important as what you aren't eating, so make sure you are choose organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free, anti-oxidant rich foods made with selenium, calcium, vitamin D, probiotics and B12.
Buy hormone free milk but also avoid all dairy! Choose soy over cow's milk unless you don't want breast cancer, and then choose almond milk instead.
Be mindful of the toxic chemicals in your home, they cause cancer. Use eco-friendly, non-chemical-based cleaning supplies or make your own by combining water and baking soda. It's all natural!
Forget that apple; celery juice every day will keep cancer away.
Moderation, said a friend recently. Moderation is really the only way to live.
What it truly comes down to is that there is just no proven way to keep cancer from reoccurring. If we knew the secret to cancer prevention, millions of people would be saved. The best we can do is do our best, keep as much of a positive mindset as possible, and just live our best lives.