Our Daily Life

Someday I will change this to past-tense, but I can’t do it just yet…

EATING HEALTHY

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” —  François de la Rochefoucauld

Admittedly, this is harder than it sounds like it should be.  However, we just try to feed Jim a diet similar to the one I was eating while pregnant.  Lots of people seem to think that changing eating habits is a “quality of life issue.”  It really doesn’t have to be.  We were very willing to change, if it meant Jim might have a better chance at surviving.  It’s not that we think there’s a particular way to eat or drink that will get rid of the cancer, we are just trying to make Jim’s body as strong as possible to be able to handle his treatments.

Here’s what I learned:

  • First, find around 3 – 4 restaurants you really trust, for those days when it’s just too much to cook.
  • Drink Ensure.  (Jim drinks 4 – 5 Ensure Plus per day.  We are trying to keep him around 175 lbs.)
  • Begin to drop meat from your favorite recipes.
  • Start having Meatless Mondays.
  • Try one new recipe a week. 
  • Stop eating beef first, followed by pork, then chicken and fish.
  • Replace dairy products (mucus producers), with soy-based products. 
  • Remove the salt from the table, don’t cook with it, and buy low sodium foods.  (Salt is an inflammatory agent.)
  • Don’t eat any white starches or sugars.
  • Our starches are now brown rice and 100% stone-ground whole wheat breads & pastas.
  • Buy organic as much as possible.
  • Above all, buy and eat as much as possible from the produce section.

Note: Our first real trip to the grocery store took FOREVER because we had to read the labels very carefully.  The food companies are very tricky in how they name ingredients (What do you think “evaporated cane juice” is?  SUGAR)  and actual serving sizes can be ridiculous.  I left the grocery store feeling manipulated and feeling as if they were perfectly willing to kill us all with bad, empty food.  However, we are the ones creating the demand…

 Rest

Chemo fatigue often causes cancer patients to stop their treatment.  It is incredibly overwhelming and almost debilitating.  Jim is often frustrated when he wakes up in the morning and is still exhuasted.  The mornings seem to be harder than the afternoons.  Jim often goes back to bed after getting ready for the day.  He has a hard time giving himself permission to rest, but he’s getting better.

Sarah is also getting better at reading how her daddy is feeling.  She seems to know just how much she can ask of him.  Sometimes sitting in his lap is ok, and sometimes just leaning up against his knee is enough. 

 Exercise

This is very important.  It gives you a measure of control, and a sense of accomplishment, along with making your body healthier and stronger.  Jim was actually jogging, before the Xeloda made his feet hurt too much.  He takes walks on good days.  We also gave his bike a tune-up, so he rides that occasionally too.

More to come…

 

Relationships

FriendshipKeep strong, heathy relationships close right now, and just don’t worry about the rest.  They will either still be there when you get better, or they will have sorted themselves out while you were away, or they will be gone.  It is not easy to be friends with someone who has such a serious illness as stage 4 cancer.  We genuinely understand that sometimes people just can’t handle his diagnosis.  Either they have been there before and it is too painful to revisit, or they have no clue as to what is happening.  However, we have noticed some friends seem to suddenly stand out like bright stars. 

For us, it really doesn’t take much.  We are rather independent types.  However, an email, a call, a card, a recipe, a hug…  This is how we see friendship, through little examples of love and support.  Sometimes I feel like such a clod because I didn’t realize, until now, just how valuable and helpful a little showing of support could be.


More to come…

  1. Renny
    January 29, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I am so deeply sorry to learn about your husbands silent enemy. He is one heck of a brave man and you are his rock that he leans on and draws his strength from. I think you should write a book and contact the local television station concerning what your family has endured. The lives you will save will insurmountable!
    I have a friend in LA called Jessica Angel, she started her own company which actors and celebrities join in to host events and raise money for hospitals. She calls me GiGi, and we found each other when my 2 year old grandson William contracted MRSA, also a silent enemy. He had all of his 10 precious fingers amputated along with all of his right toes and his left foot. He was in an out hospitals for a year, had to go to UVA and learn how to eat and walk again. Now, he plays soccer,and outside of the looks and comments from Adults more than children, he’s well. You can reach her at reelangels.com in addition Doug Wienstien with ELF Productions can render advice and hopefully help you get in contact with the right people. If you email me I will give you my home number and perhaps we can work together. My prayers surround you and my heart gives all of you a hug and kiss. Keep up your good work dear, blessings are coming. Love, Renny

  2. Joni
    September 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    You really inspire and amaze me. I pray for you and think about you daily. The daily struggles of “healthy” no I should say “non ill” living take so much energy. Your courage and stick to it attitude truly bring focus to me for living. I am amazed at how you make time to read, study and take care of precious Sarah. She is a very blessed little girl to have you two for parents. I know that your strength comes from our Most High God and that He is directing your steps in this journey. He must really trust you to give you such a big assignment. Praise Him for His great plan. Know that you are very loved and lifted in prayer every day. May God meet your every need and bless you in ways you never imagined.

    • September 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      Joni,
      What is He thinking!!? 😉 I know I’ll figure out what the Plan is later, when I’m able to look back on all this. Right now I’m just trying not to struggle and fight the situation too much because it won’t do anyone any good. If I “go with the flow,” then I am able to read and study how to help Jim and raise a little girl.

      I do recognize that when situations rise that call for more strength than I know I have, Somebody is there helping me and I’m able to pass it along to Jim. Thank you for your love and prayers.

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