A few weeks ago, my youngest sister came over upon my request to help me with my PC difficulties as she is the techie one. She observed that although we’re in the middle of summer, I do not drink cold water or any cold drinks, I drink only 1/3 mug of coffee upon the advice of my breast surgeon not to drink caffeine-laden drinks as they would stimulate the production of estrogen (My Oncologist, however, has no opinion about this, so I settled for a compromise – I drink coffee at a reduced amount), and that I scrape off the meat from my pizza (animal meats, especially processed ones were declared carcinogens by WHO).
“What good is there in living if we cannot even enjoy eating or drinking what we want?” my sister asked.
I reviewed my diet and lifestyle ever since I was through with chemotherapy and realized the strides I’ve made in achieving a healthy lifestyle:
-I hardly eat pork, chicken and beef and seafood except for the little shrimps I use to saute vegetables with;
-It is with much effort that I prepare vegetable dishes every day, even it is the reason why I need to go to market more often as to get them fresh;
-Even when I smell the aroma of baking bread as I pass by the bakery and imagine how good hot bread with butter would be with my coffee, more often than not I would rather buy root crops or fresh corn to be boiled instead of bread for my afternoon snacks;
-I have also reduced snacking on junk chips or fried peanuts and replaced it with boiled peanuts if I get the craving to do so while watching TV;
-It used to be that every time I go out, even for just a short time, I have to eat out at the popular fast food restos. Now, I always try to walk away and imagine the healthy food at home although the craving sometimes is too great and I don’t always succeed;
-I choose to drink water and real fruit juices instead of soft drinks or other sweetened beverages with my meal.
-I exercise (dance, actually) for at least 30 minutes 4x a week, try to get enough sleep, although I hardly make the required 8 hours, and avoid stress when I can. Well, praying often does keep me calm when there are stressful situations.
What am I living for if I cannot eat what I want? Although it’s a challenge to eat healthily when all your life you were doing the opposite, it gets to the point that you learn to like the healthy alternatives. And if eating right and having a healthy lifestyle are what I need to do so that I do not go back to that operating room again or suffer the hardship of chemotherapy or radiation again. Or even dialysis. Why not?