Cancer and Chemotheraphy.

Some changes in our lifestyle can go a long way.

AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY AND ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY …

[Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins ]

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to STARVE the cancer cells by not feeding it with foods it needs to multiple.

What cancer cells feed on:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Note: Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells will starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes t o nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water–best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

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Lessons from 2010 ~ part 2.

Just a day before we had sam admitted for the operation. Twas Bilal's birthday.11 May 2010

Two days after Sam’s surgery, he was still in the ICU. I needed to stay close to him so I slept for a couple of hours in the common ladies waiting room in the night and kept waiting for the visiting hours the rest of the time. I had not visited the kids the first 5 days. There was a large, safe and clean cafeteria which was 24 hours so really almost all my immediate needs were taken care of.  Needlessto say, I hardly slept. I would be seen prowling constantly infront of the ICU, waiting for visiting hours to begin.

Most of the security guards and cleaners and nurses had come to know me very well by now. And one thing I was asked several times, is how I managed to keep so composed ! I remember, a distant friend of mine called once and tried to console me briefly; becoz she did not know all the details, she almost made me feel, “like its not the end of the world”.

It took a whole lot of patience and maturance to not snap back at her. Perhaps my state of mind and patience was already stretched beyond its capacity and here, I had someone telling me, that it could’nt be all the bad !! I must have been alittle sharp in my tone, although I said nothing offensive. This friend came all the way from Dubai to check up on Sam in the evening while I was in the cafeteria. By the time I returned, She had already seen  Sam.  She came over to me and just broke down in tears.   Human emotions are fragile. I learnt just how very fragile.  I found myself consoling her that evening !!

During those first 2 weeks, my telephone was flooded with calls. Calls from abroad, local calls, dozens of sms’s. At some stage, I almost felt like a telephone operator and at some other times, like telephone voice message. I nearly detested it having to answer the calls and repeat the same updates over and over !  Most of the calls that came from Sam’s friends had a similar feel to it.

It went something like this :

“How did this happen ?

” “Why did’nt he tell us ?”

 “I found out thru so and so ”

“How did you’ll diagnose it ?”

“Why dont you get it done in India?”

“Let me know if you need anything ”

Duh !!! As if !!!!!!! I realized that we should be careful in what we say to a person when he going thru an ordeal especially one which involves health. He sits there feeling “how would you know, you dont have this problem” while we ask all the silly questions and even offer our unwanted advice !!

Nobody really knows whats going thru the mind of a person sinking in his boat except he himself !! so why pretend to have answers. But I suppose its a polite etiquette or ritual to do so !!!

Trying so hard to ease his pain... young sawaab

In all of Sam’s friends, there was only one guy whom he has disclosed his condition to, and also explained in detail about the operation.  Instead of making the effort of being around with us, he calls two days later wanting to know how things were !!! His wife had the audacity to state that 8 months back, when she was in India where her mother was sick, We didnt call on her in India, we just visited her hubby here !!! Thats friendship for you.

I learnt that encouragement, support and compassion does not necessarily come from those whom we know for sure will show it. Many a times, there can be a big disappointment. And many a times, it can come from a totally unexpected corner !! Therefore, its best to pin hopes only from Allah swt. He is the creator, he will create a way. . .

The lesser your expectation, the better chance you’ve got a solid relationship !! In all honesty, I dont believe in what I just said.     How can one not have expectations from someone you speak to virtually everyday ??? Someone whom you share your domestic secrets and office hassels ???

I realized now, that someone going thru trauma, doesnt need our silly superficial talks, he just needs genuine concern and someone who can listen and perhaps understand. Not judge. Never Judge !

I’ve learnt that Health, Wealth and children are a man’s biggest assets and they are also his biggest weakness too. He is most vulnerable when there is a deficiency in either his health or his wealth and if his children are away or hurt.

On the left is samie's surgeon, Dr Ziani and on the right is Dr ousama at Sheikh Khailifa Medical city.

I also learnt that what ever our sickness is, the two extreme way approach is not really the best.

Either we focus on the sickness so much that all our positive energy is drained and we’re completly touchy and depressed all the time.

On the other hand, completly living in denial and trying to carry on with life as though nothing has happened is not going to take us anywhere too.

When a disease strikes, it is a way of the body responding and telling us that something wrong is happening. why ignore and live in denial that alls well. We have to make positive changes to cure our problem.

Earlier I never stopped sam from the quantity he ate, or the amount of his salt intake, or from munching those                in-between snacks or hogging on all those nihari’s and ghee smothered parathas !! How much could our body take ?? Naturally we made changes. How could we not ??

I’ve also learnt that staying in a hospital, no matter how plush and sophisticated it is, can be quiet a sad and lonely experience. There’s a reason why Muslims have a sunnah, which is to visit the sick and that too it states, how and for how long should the visit last and what should be spoken off when visiting.

While we were transfered to the private room from the ICU, a bunch of volunteers had organized an hour program for the long staying patients of the hospital. They got out their guitars and sang lovely songs, some played board games and some card games. It was so refreshing to see the smiles on the elderly patients, who had, by now, gotten so used to staying over long periods of isolation ! 

A visit to the hospital can really make a great difference in the life of the patient and it makes us realize how fortunate we are for being blessed with good health too. we may feel, what good would a single short visit from us do for a patient, what we probably dont realize is how he/she may not have had seen family, friends or relatives for so long and a short talk with them may make them feel “wanted” or “not forgotten”  Try it, you’ll know what I mean.

This post was not supposed to get long, but perhaps I “Have” learnt quite a bit. I really hope, what I have learnt from my experience helps you to make even one single change in your life.

Come back to read the 3rd Part of “lessons from 2010”

Letter to Mom about My Husband suffering from Cancer.

Being a mother means to forever let your heart live outside your body (within your child).

A child’s hurt is a mother’s trauma. She bears the pain even if it is not apparent on her face.  My mother too is feeling terribly hopeless and helpless with my recent predictament.  Cancer in the family cannot just be an ordeal but a test of faith.  Sam and I look at this phase in our lives as a test of our faith. We are blessed in every way with happiness, comfort and respect. What more can one ask for !

I have found myself consoling more people who react in a very restless way often searching for a reason to blame the matter on someone or something,  when they have been informed about my state ( Human Nature).  I wish there was something better I could tell them all. But I tell them to pray for my husband, his operation and his speedy recovery. 

My faith in Allah has been strong always but perhaps stronger now. I believe the cancer will spare us, it is a way for us to understand and make changes in our lifestyle. We needed a very hard jolt and nothing compares to the word “Cancer”

For the first time, today, Sam went for a walk in the morning after Fajr. If you know Sam, you know that “that” Was an impossible task in his agenda ! But he is making changes. I am making changes. For the last few months, I have switched to packing salads for him for lunch. He has lost weigth although not considerable amount but still, it is a begining.

Last night mom called up for the nth time this week and sounded very lost. Perhaps becoz I finally told her that Sam’s tumor is malignant.  She feels she is already loosing Sam … Indians are people full of opinions .. Some doctor who has not even seen sam’s CT report advised her that the cancer would spread all over so that I should get him over to India to have him operated immediately.

I wrote back to her in the night, explaining briefly how she should remain strong for us.  Without sounding rude, I somehow managed to bring some humor into my letter and let her understand how much I counted on Allah and her spiritual support.

This is my letter to Mom.   

*************************************************************************************************** 

Asak Mom,
 
Hope u read my sms last night and left all your worries in Allah swt’s lap.
 
Although I thought my operation would be like all the others before, I have realized one thing, that I tire easily. It takes alot of effort to get things done now. Even small things like washing dishes, cooking etc. Who knows, maybe it is the effect of the operation. Afterall I am not growing any younger either.
 
Leave all that, here is my latest neck picture. Dont worry about the scar, it is an asthetic glue stitich so that It will sit in line with the crease on my neck. It wont be apparent after some months. Right now I am enjoying pulling out the dead skin from my stitch area … yummy !!!
 
If you compare my before op pic to the one now, you’ll be surprised to notice that the neck area is more swollen now than before the operation. But i think its all only the swelling. It will subside eventually.
 
Mom, Worry is a negative feeling. We should not worry about tomorrow. We should only live happily and completly today. Today is what matters, tomorrow has already been decided by fate. So a well-lived today will make all the difference in Life.  
 

“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope” [al-Baqarah 2:286]

 
Allah swt does not give anyone of us, more weight than what we can carry. And He has chosen me to carry a slightly larger weight right now and what matters right now is what this quote says :
 

It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it. Lena Horne

 
I am grateful to Allah Swt for all the blessings he bestowed upon me for all these years. I have a wonderful husband, 3 fantastic boys, a good home and happiness and respect all around me. If the road ahead is going to be bumpy, I should not forget how smooth the road has been so far.  Remember FootPrints ?? I know if the road is going to be bumpy, Allah swt will carry me IN HIS ARMS Thru it. Thats my aqeedah. He is with me, Sam and our boys. Inshallah, everything will be alright. Its just a stepping stone not a boulder in the path.      
 
Keep your spirit strong, it hurts to hear you cry on the phone and it does break me down too. So keep your spirit high. I know its difficult for you coz you are my mother and I know, everyday, I thank Allah swt that this is all happening to us and not to anyone of my boys, becoz then I would NEVER be able to tolerate it.
So it must be hard on you too. But Prayers are the best healers. A mothers’ prayer is a powerful tool. Use it wisely for Sam.
 
Thanks for reading my mail.
 
Love 

sam with our boys just before I was getting discharged from American Hospital after my surgery for Tumor. The boys decided they wanted to enjoy the feel of an automatic bed while watching TV.

Naush 

Surviving Cancer.

Last November, we visited India to attend my nephew’s marriage. After my marriage ie 12 years, We were going to see “ALL”  my relatives.  In between all the fun and frolic, I could sense how fortunate we were to be so happily in love.  Sam and I were the talk of town. Plump and made for each other !!

Came back and posted some of the marriage pics in FB where a huge number of my friends, family and relatives hang out. Perhaps it was a mistake that I posted that pic but I know now that If it was a mistake, It is one, I have to live with for the rest of my life.

Sam has had high blood pressure for the last 7 months. He has been taking medication to keep it on an average scale. On one visit to American Hospital Dubai early February for a repeat medication,  the doctor suggested an MRI of the renal artery. If you know sam,  you know that sam, immediately decides that doctors love to mint money with a huge bunch of tests .. so inspite of all his whinning. He had the MRI done. What followed was to change our lives forever.

The renal artery seemed fine but his right kidney has a tumor about 10 cm large !! After several sonographies, xrays, and CT scan’s the doctors explained how serious his state is but ( hate that word *BUT*) The only solution to the tumor is removal of the entire kidney.  This is a very critical operation with a very high risk rate, therefore American Hospital Dubai has refused this operation. However they have advised that we take Sam’s case to any Kidney specialist Center where there would be a team of doctors to carry out the operation. Sam has never been operated upon. Naturally he is curious and anxious. His left kidney has a mild stenoces.  Although the cancer has not spread out of the kidney, they can see some signs of it in his lungs !!

Ofcourse our initial reaction was that of disbelief. He is healthy, if anything, overweight. Never complains about sickness.  It took sometime for this harsh reality to seep in. For the first week or so, I kept hoping that there was an error in the report or then just kept searching for the silver lining.  Sam has been spending alot of time with the boys. It is difficult to think of my world without Sam. He is that orbit around which I revolve. He is one of the nicest people I know of.  I am so dependent on him. One of the first thoughts that ran thru my mind was ” what will happen to me ?” Silly why I lost hope so early in our battle. … then gradually I composed myself. I am a hardcore optimist, so it dawns late but it does dawn for sure. There is always a silver lining. Our love story is not going to end here. We have to have many more years of bliss and joys. We are going to grow old together. We will see our sons getting married. I will sit and watch all the videos and photos that we have shot of the boys’ childhood in our retirement with Sam and we will have a blast recalling all the incidences. Sam is not going to leave me and I am not going to let Sam leave me. Not now, Not like this.  I will fight for him. I will keep fighting for him. I will beg Allah swt for my samie. I will beg him to spare his life.

In the heart of the matter we all know, that we are visitors in this world and have a larger home to return to in the here after and no matter how much we feel we are preparing for it, we are really not at all prepared.

It seems difficult to be practical at such times, but its like we shift the gears of our motors to act accordingly. 

We have been struggling with decisions …. if we should have this operation done here in Dubai or should we take him to India  … ( just as everybody has been advising us ) how would the logistics of all this work ???  We Indians are very emotional and get into “Panic” mode very easily. Although we managed to keep it in wraps for a month … when we did disclose it to our near and dear family members, all hell broke looose.  Too many opinions, too many judgements, too much chaos,  just too much panic to handle.

Sam has been one of the best gifts Allah swt has blessed me with.  The mere thought of loosing him makes me feel week in the knees. He is too precious, too nice,  too dear,  too loving,  ……..  too mine. I would do anything to keep him alive.

And yet I find myself at Allah’s mercy, begging him for help as I would for any ailment for my family. The Almighty has been so generous to us … so forgiving and so merciful, I have complete faith that a solution will follow.

One line I have always believed for as long as I can remember is : ”  If Allah can get you to it, He can get you through it.”

For all those of you reading this, please pray for my samie.  He is truly a special individual. There is no one who passes by him that is not touched by his compassion and generosity.  Please keep my samie in your prayers.