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Physical effects

First-Radical Remissions……

Book-Radical Remission

While this may not be the first thing you would think about with physical effects of cancer and treatments, I wanted to share this gem of a book because of the research it is doing on those with cancer.   I read it while I was on vacation and it is a gem I wanted to share with all in our Parenting Community.  Did you know that there are a number of people who have had life threatening and advanced cancers who have been able to attain life long remissions?  I have seen this in my own career as an Oncology Nurse/ Nurse Practitioner.  However, I never realized how often this can happen and the unique ways that people have been able to heal!

While I am not saying that this is possible for everyone or for the vast majority of people with cancer, what Kelly Turner PhD is documenting is that it IS possible and that it is very important to capture these Radical Remissions to understand them better for the benefit of all.   She has done extensive interviews and fact finding with people with cancer all over the world as well as the healers who help these individuals achieve remission.  She outlines the 9 Key Factors which seem to be a common thread in all of these Radical Remissions!  What is even more exciting is that she also has created a website, for individuals to document their own Transformative and Healing Stories. Her website has two sides:

**Those with a particular cancer looking for strategies that have been found to be helpful in achieving remission AND

**A platform for those who have achieved remission to document their own story and what factors they felt helped in their survival!!

I highly recommend you read these amazing stories of courage, resilience, persistance and survival in achieving Radical Remissions!   Many had to make Radical Transformations in their diet and decide that they were going to take control of their own health in unique and beneficial ways!   A fascinating and hopeful read on the power of the body to heal itself when the right conditions were created! Check it out!

To your Good, Better and Best Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!  Have a Blessed Spring!

photo 7Do you know what Cancers that are being diagnosed in your town are above average with what would be expected?   These are the ones in my area….Check out the ones in your area:                                                                                     

Dover, MA: Thyroid, Melanoma, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma(NHL),Breast

Natick, MA: Brain, Bladder, Oral Cavity, Thyroid, Melanoma, Pancreas, Multiple Myeloma, Ovary, Larynx, Leukemia 

Needham, MA: Thyroid Cancer, Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Melanoma, Larynx, Brain/CNS, Breast

Newton, MA: Thyroid, Oral Cavity, Testis, Melanoma, Brain, Breast, Kidney, NHL, Ovary

Wellesley, MA: Testis, Melanoma, Thyroid, Pancreas, Multiple Myeloma, NHL, Stomach, Bladder, Oral Cavity, Leukemia

Weston, MA: Stomach, Oral Cavity, Bladder, Melanoma, Thyroid, NHL, Pancreas, Breast, Kidney

There appears to be a high number of above average thyroid and melanoma cancers in our geographical area!  Some of these cancers are preventable with knowledge and simple lifestyle changes!   Imagine a world where we first and foremost work to prevent cancers ….that is the world I work towards every day….what do you think?

For those that have already been diagnosed with Cancer , the Cancer and its Treatment can have many side effects.  One of the most common is Fatigue

Fatigue can have a variety of contributing factors.  Some of these can be the result of medical conditions such as the cancer itself or thyroid disorders, biochemical changes that can occur in the body during cancer treatment, stress, lack of sleep, anemia, pain, medications, dehydration, poor nutrition, depression/ anxiety or environmental factors such as allergens, noise or temperature.

There are several keys to dealing with this fatigue.  One of the first is good Nutrition and adequate hydration as these are some of the keys to feeling your best and giving your body the fuel that it needs to heal and get on the road to good health.

Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

One thing I have learned in my work every day working with people who have cancer is that nutrition is key!!  Our food has changed quite a bit in the last 40 years, there are many more chemicals sprayed onto the agricultural crops and these chemicals or pesticides are getting into our bodies and our kids bodies where they are creating a variety of disorders and or diseases.

Diet for good health-MyPlate-5 major food groups

1/ 2 your plate should be full of colorful fruits and vegetables:

try to eat organic fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much as possible to avoid the chemicals that are sometimes added which can affect health of small bodies especially our kids bodies.

colorful veggies: broccoli, spinach, kale, brussel sprouts, zucchini, beets, butternut squash, carrots, yams, and cauliflower

colorful fruits:  blueberries, watermelon, kiwi, mango, papaya, oranges, grapefruit, avocado, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries,

1/ 4 whole grains:  oatmeal, brown rice, wheat, quinoa, barley, bulgar wheat rather than white flour

1/ 4 protein:  fish, eggs, lean meat, beans (black beans, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, lentils

nuts-walnuts, almonds, cashews,

seeds-flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

glass of low fat milk or cup of low fat yogurt

good oils- organic olive oil and organic canola oil


The second key to dealing with fatigue is to exercise-do something aerobic that pumps up your heart rate for 20-30 minutes 4-7 days/week.   This has been shown to not only boost your energy and modulate fatigue especially those going through chemotherapy or  radiation but also lessen nausea.  So the main message is:



Book of the month!  Kelly McGonigal PhD has collected research from around the world and the synthesis of this research is exciting!  Why would a book called “The Willpower Instinct” be included as the book of the month on exercise?  It turns out that when we exercise on a regular basis, we create positive changes in our brain and one of them is to improve our willpower to carry out more positive health changes in our life!!  So not only is exercise the key to losing weight when we want to trim down but it is also the key to developing greater willpower to bring more positive healthful changes to our life!!

Of course, with any exercise, it is so important to find what excites you, what gives you pleasure, where your passion lies so that you can enjoy the moment and also look forward to the next day or the next time!   It also helps to find a group of like-minded people who can support and encourage your efforts…so go out there and find something you enjoy and be patient…it takes at least 21 days to develop a habit so give yourself lots of positive self-talk along the way!!

IMG_2670Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 15.07.04IMG_3301

There are so many benefits to exercise!! -My daughter has been involved with Cross Country and some years Track and Field at her high school.  It is so beneficial for teens to exercise and the benefits can extend well into adulthood.

Of course, we like to have outdoor adventures as a family and she loves to bike so we had some bicycle vacations, one of which was at Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine!   You can see that there are tremendous views to see from the trails at the Park, voted one of the 10 Best National Parks in the Country, it is well worth the trip!!

Last year, at the age of 57, I decided to run my first marathon!  I was inspired by a patient of mine that encouraged me to run a marathon.  I had been running for over 20 years but had never considered it before.  With his encouragement and recommendation of trying the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC (mostly flat and the course goes by all the major historic monuments in DC…a real bonus!!) I decided to go for it!!!  Towards the end of my training I started to loose my energy.  I wasn’t sure I could actually do it.  One day I was talking to a dear college friend who I knew had run the Marathon before.  I wanted to get her advice and she had so many encouraging words.  One of the best pieces of encouragement was that she told me that, if it would help, she would run the last 6 miles with me.  OMG…I was totally surprised and knew at that moment that having that support would help me to finish.  Lynn met me at mile 20 and did run those last 6 miles with me.  I finished my marathon and felt that having the support and encouragement of a dear friend got me to the end!!!  It was an amazing experience to cross that finish line after 7 months of training.  I highly encourage having a support network of encouraging souls around you when you try something new, especially a new habit like exercise.  It can make all the difference!!!

Did you know that Regular aerobic exercise  helps with weight maintenance?  The biggest secret to losing weight is actually exercise!! Did you know that when you exercise, that your body has a better ability to burn fat for an hour or so after you stop exercising!!! Not only that, but when we keep our bodies at the right weight for our height we have a significant reduction in cancer risk. It is estimated that obesity and overweight contributes to about one-fifth of all cancer deaths in the US.  For Life Long Health, keep moving!!  You might be surprised how much fun you have doing it…I was pleasantly surprised that I actually ENJOYED my first marathon and hope to try more!!!

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