About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Friday, June 24, 2011


The kids and I finished our first week of summer swimming lessons today.  I signed the two older kids up for the advanced class which gives them 30 minutes of lap swimming and help refining their strokes. Olivier is going to be doing the lifesaving merit badge at boy scout summer camp, so this will help him get familiar with swimming again.  I am doing a mommy and me class with Jean-Marc. He's technically old enough to do a preschooler class on his own, but this is his first time in a swimming class, so I'm doing it with him. I did it for the other two kids as well. We weren't able to do any lessons last summer...I was in the thick of cancer what-ifs, decision making, and surgery.   My mom referred to it as "the lost summer."  That is a good description of it. Life came to a screeching halt and nothing was normal.

So we are back to life after taking a summer off.  The novelty for me is donning a bathing suit with my foobies. I was told that I could wear them in the water, I just have to wash them off and let them air dry afterwards. It looks kind of bizarre to see these disembodied boobs drying on my bathroom counter, I must say.  I have 3 suits from Land's End. They make several of their suits with mastectomy pockets on the top. I actually had a bikini from last summer that, upon inspection, had the pockets. Nifty. I was able to buy a top to match a new suit that I bought last summer, and then I bought a whole new suit.

This week was my "test run" of the of the foobies-in-water.  So far, I've worn two of the three suits. I realized something today, though. Jean-Marc and I were in his class, and I'm leading him around doing our activities. I glanced down and noticed that the tops of my foobies were coming out of the dark navy blue suit top. Yikes!

Note to self, as well as bathing suit manufacturers:  Put the pockets on the side of the suit, not the top.  I think that navy suit will be relegated to sunbathing and not water activities. The rest of the class, I was self-conscious and kept having to tuck the foob back in the suit.

That's right. Foobies float.  And they will float right out of the top of my suit if I'm not careful!  If I thought they looked strange on my bathroom counter, imagine the shock of the teenage swimming teacher to see them floating in the pool!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Warrior dressing

As readers know, I've been doing a lot of reading and learning about cancer fighting ingredients over the past several months.

Most days, I have a big green salad with all sorts of veggies in it for lunch. It's high fiber, lots of great vitamins with phytochemicals in the veggies.  I try to "eat the rainbow" in these salads by putting in different color elements: red tomatoes, orange/yellow/red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, shredded squash, hearts of palm, and so on. Whatever I may have in the fridge is fair game. I've even put leftover quinoa in it!

I've come up with a salad dressing that I'm really excited about that I wanted to share. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like the taste, and the ingredients are all on the list of major cancer fighters.  I call it my "Pink & Plaid Warrior Dressing."  (I've actually entered into the food database on myfitnesspal.com.)

1/2 tablespoon flax oil
1 1/2 tablespoon Braggs organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Freshly ground pepper.

Just whisk it all together and pour it over your salad. There are about 64 calories in this, mostly coming from the flax oil. But these are NOT empty calories. Let me share what each of these ingredients brings to the party:

Flax oil: Flax seeds are perhaps the best source in nature for lignans, a phytoestrogen that may help women with estrogen-sensitive cancer (like me) by blocking estrogen receptor sites in the body. Kind of like nature's Tamoxifen! It is high in Omega 3 and 9 essential fatty acids. It has about 50% more omega 3's than fish oil. Omega 3's help lower inflammation in the body, which is something that contributes to the growth of cancer. To read more about the wonders of flax, check out this article.

Apple cider vinegar: I prefer the Bragg's brand. It is organic, unfiltered and has the sediment, "the mother," included in it. Since 400 BC, people have been using this ingredient as a health elixir and energizing tonic. It has been known to aid in weight loss, and boost the immune system. It also contributes to a good pH balance in the body.  It's important to go organic on this, as apples are #1 on the list of fruits that have the most pesticide residue on them, according to the Environmental Working Group.  Check out these benefits of this wonderful ingredient.  I drink 2 ounces of Bragg's each morning in about 8 ounces of water. It helps ward off infection and doesn't taste bad in my opinion. I know the taste is strong for some, and some add a little bit of honey to the mix to make it sweeter.

Turmeric: Turmeric has long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine.  It has an element called curcumin which inhibits the growth of tumors, as well as the tumor's ability to spread to other parts of the body.  That is a huge one for me. If my cancer comes back, it means that it has spread to another part of my body. Scary. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory.  I've read in some books (Anticancer by Dr. David Servan-Schrieber) that adding freshly ground black pepper enhances the medicinal benefits of turmeric. For more information, here are 20 reasons to incorporate turmeric into your diet.

Black Pepper: This spice is good for your digestion-it fights bacteria and lessens bloating and gas within your digestive tract. It also is full of anti-oxidants. Paired with turmeric, it is a cancer fighting machine!

I feel that when I have this dressing on a salad that is chock-full of a variety of vegetables, dark leafy greens, and maybe some beans or grains, that I am taking the fight to the enemy. And its delicious as well!  Give it a try. You may want to vary the proportions of the ingredients a bit. This is just what I've found works for my taste.  I also like to put a few squirts of Bragg's Liquid Amino's over the top just for good measure.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Running wild

I'm a nut. Seriously.

I should be walking and training for the 3-Day that is coming up in November. 60 miles in 3 days.

But I can't stop running!

A friend "challenged" me to a half marathon next January. It is the Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon in Anaheim. From the sound of it, you run all around the Disneyland area. It's for women only. I looked at the information online and they said you need to keep a 16 minute mile. Heck, I could walk that. By January, I will have done the 3 day, so even if I walk, I should be okay. I went ahead and registered. They have a kids 1 mile run the day before, and Isabelle agreed to go for it as well. Sounds like we have a fun girls weekend in store for us at the end of January '12.

But I would like to run most of it if I can.  So I signed up for a 10k on the 4th of July. The only other race I've ever done was the Carlsbad 5000 last April, a 5k. My time was good (for me).  I was hoping for finishing under 30 minutes, and I made it at 29:06. This time, I'm hoping to finish under 60 minutes.

I can't help but giggle at myself. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have always HATED running up until now.  Now I'm poring through the pages of Runners World magazine! Runner's World also has an app I downloaded called "Smart Coach."  You put in your basic information: recent race time; upcoming race; goal; how many miles you want to do in a week; etc.  The app then spits out a training program for you to follow.

I like it because I don't have a clue about how to train for a race. This app does it all for me.  For example, this is my upcoming week:
Monday: Easy 2 mile run at 11:56 pace. That is pretty slow-I'll probably not be able to keep it that slow. But I'll definitely do the miles.
Wednesday: Speedwork 5 miles. 3x800 in 4:37 with 400 jogs. I'll admit that I'm such a newbie that I'm not sure how to read that. But the app has a glossary that I should be able to figure it out before Wednesday!
Saturday: Long run-6 miles.
The days in between are for cross training or rest. I usually take Sundays off. I'll alternate circuit training and other cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

I even went out and got myself a Garmin Forerunner GPS watch. It has a heart rate monitor on it as well. I've been using a Polar F6 monitor for the past year when I exercise. I like to see exactly how many calories I'm burning. I didn't want to give that functionality up. This watch has the monitor, but also tracks my distance, time and I can upload it to the Garmin website. I think it also interacts with a website I use to track my mileage, LogYourRun.com.  (I got the grey one in the middle with the pink stripe.)  I haven't used the watch yet-I'll do that tomorrow on my easy run. I'm sure it does things that I don't even realize at this point!

Yesterday I did my "long" run. It ended up being 6.69 miles. I was really happy that I was able to run for an entire 6 miles.  The only time I stopped was waiting at red lights twice.  I even did a hill that I had to walk before. I was slow.....but I was running it!  I walked the beginning and end for about 1/4 mile and my time overall was 1 hour, 12 minutes. I figure that I easily did 6 miles in an hour, which bodes well for my 10k goal. Not only that, but where I live it is extremely hilly. I don't think the race course has many hills, if any. So that should help make me stronger as well.

So there it is. I confess. I'm turning into a running junkie.

But really. After the 10k on July 4th, I do plan to slow it down and start training for the 3-Day by jumping into the training program. It isn't going to be easy, even though it won't be as intense. It will be all about endurance. Hopefully between that and the 10k training I'll be in good shape to pick up with 1/2 marathon training in the fall!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a difference a year makes

My mom and I took the two older kids to the San Diego County Fair yesterday.

I can't help but reflect on the differences between this year and last. Last year, I was newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was in that scary place of knowing I had a terrible disease, but not knowing exactly how bad it was. I knew I had major surgery and chemo in my near future, but didn't know when I would be able to actively start treatment.  This year, I am through the main part of my treatment. I am hoping we can have the fun summer that we had planned last year.  I want us to get outside, be active, and live life to its fullest.

My motto at the Fair last summer was carpe diem. Isabelle and I rode an elephant.  I bought Olivier a deep fried twinkie. Heck, I even took a bite of it! Anything we wanted to do, we did.  That attitude held this year as well. We ate (or attempted to eat) huge grilled turkey legs. I bought Olivier a new hat and a hair feather for Isabelle. We topped it off with a Weird Al Yankovic concert.  It was a lot of fun.  I did not miss that omnipresent cloud that was over my head last year one bit.

I want to live each day, each moment to its fullest. That is what a brush with death is supposed to do to you, right?

But I have a confession to make--I am finding it very difficult to do that. I have noticed that I have been having a hard time being "present" for any sustained period of time.  I often have other thoughts going on in my head, from scary to mundane.  For instance: what am I going to make for lunch or dinner; what are we doing next; where do I have to take the kids later; did I take my Tamoxifen today?; how am I doing nutritionally?; is the cancer going to come back?

If its not other thoughts distracting me, it is a feeling of being fuzzy headed. I don't know if it is an after-effect of chemotherapy. Sort of like being in a fog.

Maybe it has nothing to do with cancer. Maybe it is just a product of living in the society and age that we do.

I'm not sure how to overcome these obstacles to my stated goal of living life to its fullest. Its frustrating because I need to cherish each moment.  Not to be morbid, but you just don't know how many days you have. That goes for anyone, cancer or not.  It feels like a waste to be either mentally elsewhere or in a fog.

At least I am aware of it, right?

Living for the moment at the Fair!

Monday, June 13, 2011

De-toxifying where I can

Before my diagnosis. I read Jillian Michael's book, "Master Your Metabolism" where she talked about endocrine disrupting chemicals in our household cleaners, kitchen utensils, beauty products, etc. At that point, I started to change where I could. I would buy toilet paper and paper towels that were not bleached with chlorine, dish detergent without phosphates, lotion without parabens, and so on.  At that point, my main concern was how these chemicals may interfere with and slow down my metabolism. I had a weight loss goal, and these things could be getting in my way.

Now I realize the reasons are much bigger to avoid these nasty chemicals.  Cancer has made me hyper-aware of all of the toxins that surround us every day. There is no way to completely avoid them, but I am resolved to cut them out where I can.  I have a lot to learn, but thought I'd share some changes that I've made over the past few months that I feel pretty good about.  The skin is our largest organ. What we put on it gets into our bodies, so its important to know what is in your products.

There is an an organization called the "Environmental Working Group" and they have a skin deep cosmetics database. You can look up products and see if they have hazardous chemicals in them.  I highly recommend this organization and the tools on their website to screen products before you buy them. According to EWG, current public health laws allow almost any chemical as an ingredient in personal care products, misleading and incomplete labeling of ingredients, unsubstantiated claims about product benefits, and no required safety testing of products or ingredients.

Body moisturizer
I used to love going into stores like "Bath and Body Works."  All of the yummy fragrances and lotions were heavenly.  Unfortunately, most of them aren't good for us.
I've spent a lot of time on the cosmetics database trying to find a product that I could use after my showers that was readily available in stores locally and not outrageously expensive.  I'm sure there may be a product or two out there.  But I found something much simpler and very pure-  Coconut oil.  Reading the list of ingredients, there is only 1.  "Organic virgin coconut oil."  I could eat it if I wanted to!  A cancer survivor friend of mine says, "If I can't eat it, I don't put it on my body."  Even the most "organic" looking products at Sprouts have a long list of ingredients.  I love the simplicity of coconut oil! I must say that I am very pleased with the results. It is a solid at room temperature. I have a little craft stick that I use to scoop a little out and put on my skin. It starts to melt almost immediately. I just rub it in. The oily feel goes away after a couple  minutes, and I smell like a yummy tropical drink!  Even better, my skin is smooth all day. It really is amazing stuff. I don't think I'll ever buy another body lotion-coconut oil is the best I've ever tried, and its completely non-toxic.  The label says you can use it on your hair as well.  I haven't tried that yet, but I might. I bought a small pot like this at Sprouts for under $10.

This is another minefield of chemicals. EWG hasan annual review of sunscreen products and even an app for the iphone so you can check products while you are at the store.  Using this app last year, I was able to find a sunscreen at Sprouts that is safer than anything I've used in the past. It's Badger, SPF 30, unscented. According to EWG, there are very few products that provide adequate sun protection without harmful ingredients. EWG's suggestions are to avoid:

  • Aerosol spray and powder sunscreen;

  • Oxybenzone;

  • Insect repellent.

  • On the proactive side, they suggest:
    • Hats and shade in mid-day sun;
    • Zinc or Titanium are the best active ingredients in sunscreens, otherwise Avobenzone at 3%;
    • SPF 30 for intense sun.
    You can get EWG's 2011 guide to sunscreens here.

    Like lotions and sunscreens, cosmetics have a lot of chemicals in them that get into our systems. I don't really wear makeup that much. But I do like to make an effort if I'm going to church or have some event to go to. I've found a brand that I like, Coastal Classic Creations. This company has signed the compact for safe cosmetics and rates a 0-2 on EWG's hazard score.  (EWG has 3 levels of scoring: Green if the product or company rates 0-2, yellow if between 3-6, and red if between 7-10. By point of comparison, Maybelline rates between 2-8 depending on the product, and some Loreal products rate the highest hazard score of 10.)

    According to the company's website, they are, "committed to the development of cosmetics and personal care products made without carcinogenic toxicants or any toxicants, which are known or which are suspected of causing harm to all forms of life."

    I've tried their powder foundation, blush, mascara and several colors of eye shadow/liner. It took some getting used to using the products because they are very powdery and it does not take much at all to use.

    It is hard throwing out all of my other makeup that I've accumulated over the years. I find it easier to do a little at a time. But I don't see myself using them anymore, knowing that there is a safer product out there. For me, it is all about decreasing my exposure to chemicals and toxins where I can.
    If you don't think it matters, check out this article, "Why This Matters-Cosmetics and Your Health." It explains it in much better detail about it than I could ever.

    I welcome everyone's comments on natural products that work for them!

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Notable day

    We learn really early on what dates are important to us. As kids, we live for that one special day that is "our" day...our birthday! Even Jean-Marc has been talking a lot lately in his cute little voice about "Joo-lye" and how he will be "free."  (Translation-he will be three in July).  It's cute.  As we get older, other dates become important to us: our wedding anniversary; children's birthdays; etc. 

    Today I observe a new notable date in my life.  It was one year ago today (June 11) that I was informed of my diagnosis with breast cancer. It's my "cancerversary."  This year, I don't feel like celebrating, although in a way I suppose I celebrate the fact that I am still around. I'm a survivor, right?  

    More than anything else, it has made me reflect on those early days.  I had my biopsy on a Monday morning and had to wait until Friday midday to get "the call."  I'm a telephone note taker. Having practiced family law for several years and getting calls from clients, I'm in the habit of taking notes while someone is talking to me on the phone. In practice, I would usually use those notes to draft declarations or other court documents. Last June 11th, as the Kaiser breast cancer nurse "Judy" told me the bad news, I just started writing down words I was hearing. It didn't all make sense, I could figure it out later. But I got the point. I had breast cancer, I would need surgery and chemo, I would lose my  hair. 

    I still remember what I was wearing that day. I hung up the phone and looked at Eric, who was in the room with me. "It's not good news," I told him. He let out a strange mix of a gasp, scream and cry and rushed over to give me a hug. I didn't cry, though.  I had gone into steely-eyed survival mode. I didn't even welcome the hug. In fact, I may have even pushed him away a little.  I tried calling my mom, but she wasn't home.  I went upstairs and did what I had planned to do all day--my Jillian Michael's level 3 circuit workout. If you've seen Jillian on "The Biggest Loser" you have seen her train contestants to a point of exhaustion to where they can break through emotionally and process stuff.  I kind of got to that point by the end and let myself cry as I was stretching out.  But that wasn't going to do me any good, so it didn't last long. 

    I came back down and called my mom.  This time, she answered. I don't remember much about that call, except that I really fought the tears then. I could only imagine how difficult it would be to hear that your child was facing something like cancer. I felt guilty to be bringing on such bad news to the family. Hearing the effect it had on her through her voice was really hard. We were in for some challenges, for sure. 

    The day went on as usual, except that I now felt alien. I went to pick up the kids from school. The parents  were all there, as usual, making small talk and chit chat. I usually enjoy these moments of interaction with others. One friend had gotten a really short haircut that day and there was a lot of comment on that. I just stood there, smiling on the outside, but inside my head screaming......"I've got cancer! Nothing is going to be the same again!"  It isn't the kind of information bomb you drop with just a few minutes to explain, so I just kept it to myself. I was glad when the bell rang and the kids came out and I could get out of there. 

    That night, I made a recipe from my Jillian Michael's cookbook. It was a meatless dish, so I was prepared for a little bit of complaint from the kids. Especially since I used whole wheat pasta rather than white. I ticked down the list of health benefits of the dish that were listed in the recipe. One of them was "anti-cancer." After I said that, Olivier objected, "No one here has cancer!"  Eric and I just looked at each other.  At some point very soon, we were going to have to tell them. We ended up doing that the next day.  

    So much has happened since June 11th last year.  The agonizing wait for surgery. The surgery itself. Those awful drains oozing fluid that we had to measure and dump. Having to sleep on my back for months with multiple pillows propping me up. Painkillers and the constipation they caused. Oh my. That was one of the worst mornings of my life! I learned a big lesson--just take the colace!  I thought a high fiber diet was enough, but it wasn't. Then came chemo and the hair loss. The worst part of chemo for me was what it did to me mentally. I just wasn't myself. It really played with my hormones and moods. It played with it so much that I haven't had a menstrual cycle since September. I probably won't have one again. 

    sporting my bandaging
    In between chemo and radiation, my lymphedema flared up. In a way, the timing was perfect.  Getting it under control meant multiple visits to the physical therapist each week. Luckily, it was December, and I had more than paid my large deductible for the year. I also was able to learn the bandaging and perfect the massage before radiation would start.  Another notable date for me is December 3rd, which was my last chemo infusion. 

    After chemo, radiation was pretty easy up until the last 10 days or so. Just going over to Escondido every day was a hassle. But the treatment itself was fast. It's funny to look at my chest now-that radiated side has a strange tan patch that the other side does not.  Fortunately, my lymphedema stayed under control during the radiation treatments. 

    I'm lucky to have a breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive. That means I can treat it with Tamoxifen. The drug basically binds to the estrogen receptors on the cells to prevent cancer from growing. I don't like being on medication for a long period of time, but am glad to be able to take something that has shown to prevent the chances of recurrence.  

    As my recent posts have shown, I'm also considering my diet and exercise as a type of continuing treatment. Working out is no longer an option for me. Exercise has shown to reduce cancer in many ways, in addition to the other benefits of being in shape. 

    It has been a long year in many ways. But when I tick down the list of everything I've gone through, I'm amazed that I was able to get it all done in less than a year. What a year. I re-read this post and in many ways am still in shock that I am talking about ME, and not someone else. 

    I'm not sure how I feel today. I'm thankful to have made it through this far. I give God all the glory for that. He has sustained me, strengthened me, and kept me going each day. He has given me wings like eagles to be able to exercise throughout my treatment.  He has made me feel strong, even when I was in the dark days of chemo-induced psychosis. He has surrounded me with an amazing church family who have prayed for me daily. I've been supported by wonderful friends who brought meals over the summer, and sent many wonderful cards of sympathy and support. I've kept every single one. 

    As I go forward, I continue my battle. I struggle with fear of recurrence.  The disease may come back, I know. Having cancer in 5 of 15 lymph nodes is not a good thing. But I can't dwell on that. All I can do is live life every day, making good choices about what I put into my body and what I do with it. I want to praise God from the rooftops and help educate others on how to avoid cancer in the first place.  I know that things really aren't under our control--it all is under God's sovereign hand. He is on the throne, I am not. He allowed me to become part of this "club" of breast cancer warrior-survivors. I pray that I am able to use it for His glory. It may be in His plan that the cancer come back. But I know that He has only the best in mind for me, and even if it kills me, I will ultimately be with Him in heaven for eternity. This life, this body, is just a vapor.  But I would like for it to be as long as possible. 

    Here is to many more June 11ths. 

    I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and prayers over the last year. 

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Nature's medicine

    "Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine."

    I don't want my cancer to come back. It is a common fear among those of us who have dealt with the big "C."  After nearly a year of doctors appointments, lab appointments, surgeries, chemotherapy sessions, radiation sessions I was told that I was done.  I'm taking Tamoxifen for at least 2 years, but I can't help but fell like there is a shoe waiting to drop on my head. Yeah, Dr. P said I was considered "in remission."  But with a stage 3 cancer, I have more chances of it coming back than people with less advanced disease.  I'm slowly starting to think of myself as someone who has "had" cancer, rather than "has."  But still.....

    Throughout my treatment, I've been learning about the effect of various foods on cancer. I read "The Cancer Fighting Kitchen" by Rebecca Katz and make recipes from it often.  I also read most of a book called "The China Study," by Dr. T. Colin Campbell which advocates a vegan diet to treat and avoid cancer.  It goes into some fascinating epidemiological studies on the connection between diet and disease and is worth the read. I got lost a bit towards the latter half when he goes into a lot of detail about how the scientific community and the government went to great lengths to suppress the results of a mountain of research in favor of the financial big pockets of big pharma and the food industry. I don't dispute it, but it got a little tedious. There just isn't money to be made by telling people to eat vegetables, no prescriptions to fill, and it threatens well entrenched interests that contribute to politicians in power. 

    Now I'm reading a book now that is pulling it all together. I highly recommend this book for everyone, whether they have had cancer or not.  The information inside this book can help prevent cancer from taking over one's body.  It is called "Anticancer: A New Way of Life" by Dr. David Servan-Schrieber, MD, PhD.   I haven't finished the book yet, but am so excited that I can't help but blog about it. The only downside is that I have to put my Kindle down in order to write this post!

    Dr. Servan-Schrieber was a scientist and doctor who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 30. His own experience and desire of trying to find out what else he could do, in addition to the typical treatments of surgery and chemotherapy, to help prevent his cancer from coming back a third time. His oncologist and colleagues basically told him his diet didn't matter, but Dr. S-S intuitively knew better. He goes through his own experience with disease and diet, as well as the basic biology of cancer. By the way, I hate the word "diet." It has a connotation of being something temporary, whereas like the subtitle of the book rightly points out it should be a "new way of living."  That applies to weight loss and maintenance too.  There are no magic bullets, pills or potions. But I digress...

    Many of the "anticancer" foods I already use: green tea; cruciferous vegetables; berries; olive oil; eating less meat and when I do, make it organic; etc. This book explains the science behind why these things (among others) are good in cancer prevention. It is thrilling, actually, to read about how compounds in foods and spices can actually cut off the blood vessels that feed tumors, or even make cancer cells commit "suicide."  I want to shout it from the rooftops!  What we put into our bodies each day can either help us or hurt us. 

    One thing I really like about this book is that the lifestyle suggestions are intended to compliment traditional treatment. Other things I have read both in book and online have made me feel bad, even guilty, for having subjected my body to surgery, chemotherapy poison, and harmful radiation. Not so with this book. In fact, he points out how some foods can actually assist with the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation. I also like the fact that he does not categorically rule out meat. Its just that if you do eat meat, its better to eat less and make it organic. Why?  Cows fed the conventional feed of corn/soy rather than grass (as nature intended) have a higher proportion of omega 6 fatty acids. When we eat that meat, we in turn ingest the high proportion of omega 6's. Our bodies need a little bit, but not in the massive amounts in conventional meat and eggs. Too much omega 6 can encourage inflammation in the body, which fuels cancer.  There are better sources of protein that have a better ratio of omega 6 to omega 3.  It's all really fascinating, and its not an all or nothing approach. This is just one example of how it has helped me understand the why behind the what. 

    Don't let the title turn you off. This is a very important book for everyone who eats. You don't have to be a health nut or a cancer patient. In the end, you may be able to eat refined grains, sugar and meat with every meal and not be diagnosed with cancer. But I've found that changing my approach to food, to think of it as medicine, has not only made me feel better physically, but has also given me more confidence that I am doing everything I can do to prevent that cancer from coming back. Using what God gave us in its most natural form is the best thing for us.