Punchy Mommy Believes in Life

How I evicted the worst uninvited overnight guest and took back my life

Tag: Healing

I went to bed with cancer and woke up a vegan

boy-sleeping-in-a-field-of-wheat

There were no bells and whistles. No light bulbs or ah-ha moments. It was simple, one day I ate meat, dairy and eggs and the next day I didn’t. I went cold tofu so to speak. It wasn’t a choice; it was a moment when I tuned into a small and gentle feeling from within.  A moment when I listened to what my body was telling me and a moment when allowed myself to really hear it. I didn’t know where I was going when I started, I just knew it felt right. My journey has been uncomplicated and here’s how I’ve arrived:

My chemotherapy cocktail was downright nasty. It looked like watered down cool-aid, hawaiian punch flavored. It’s crazy to think that it took almost five months of continuos chemicals to kill the tumor. God, I hope it worked. Every three weeks for 96 hours, chemicals were pumped into my body and they stayed there for the following two weeks only to be replenished by another round. Wondering what that feels like? Well, you know the feeling you have right before you get a shot? When time is suspended while you hold your breath, squeeze your eyes shut, and feel the pain of the needle prick even before it goes in. That’s what it felt like. But on the last day of chemo, I exhaled deeply. It was over. I soon felt an urge to fill this space, where there were chemicals and pain, with something clean, green, and anything that would help me recover. I became desperate to find a way to rid my body of the chemicals.

I knew the chemicals were still within me because my body ached of them for weeks after my last day and I was peeing pink for a long time. The chemo was the same color going in as it was going out. Revolting. With all the time I had laying around in bed I started to surf the net, read blogs, and articles about detoxing and recovering from chemo. I soon realized that all of my searches led me to the same place, a vegan diet. I knew nothing about being a vegan or how difficult it would be for me to follow so I developed a simple plan. I decided that I needed to drink a ton of water and eat a ton of plants. I began by setting a personal goal of drinking  64-96 ounces of water every day. Then I worked on eating more vegetables. I learned that plants can provide all the nutrients you need while detoxing your body at the same time so I started eating a huge salad at every meal. Some days I just couldn’t stomach raw greens so that led me to Juicing. Juicing was the easiest way to get a ton of greens and other raw vegetables and fruits into my diet. Juicing is what really made the difference because after guzzling a tall 32 ounce jar of cold green juice, the only thing I wanted to eat was plants. Before I knew it, I was eating all plants and no meat, dairy or eggs. Without even realizing it, I didn’t miss any of those things. My new diet satisfied all of my hunger pangs and indulged my cravings, but most of all it made me feel good.

Living this lifestyle feels peaceful. There’s a gentleness about consciously abstaining from violence against animals and the great harm to our environment while raising them. My body needs peace. I need whole, natural foods to scrub each one of cells clean of the chemo. Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a day in the past seven months that I have looked back and craved a food that I no longer eat. I still pee pink every now and then and that is my silent reminder of how I got to where I am today. I don’t know if being a vegan will prevent cancer and I don’t know if will bring me ultra-health. All I know, is that it tastes and feels gooooooooood.

Check out my vegan blog, The Curated Vegan.

So long, farewell!

sound-of-music-goodbye

We left the Bayou a mere two months ago. We were only here for one year for DH’s fellowship, which was always the plan. I had never been to the Bayou before we moved here and I was really surprised to find a such a colorful and vibrant life there. I quickly made friends and it seemed like there was an endless number of things to do with Little Man. We grew to love going to the zoo,  the children’s museum, the insectarium, story time at the library, and Daneel Park.  All of my friendships and fun withered just four months after our arrival when our world turned from fun and games to tests and hospitals. Although we didn’t have a chance to really partake in life there, it ironically turned out to be a nice place to be sick.

I liked the Bayou, but I hated being sick.  As we drove to the airport, our rental car packed to the gills with luggage, I started to feel a little verklempt. Are you sad were leaving? I asked DH. We were leaving a place that was never going to be a our permanent residence but it nevertheless felt like home. No, it’s time for us to move on and close this chapter, he said. DH was right, it was time for us to move on in good health. Not a day has gone by since diagnosis that I hadn’t wished away so that I could be closer to better health and further away from cancer. But, it all happened so quickly. Diagnosis and treatment have come and gone all so fast I have barely had a time to breathe, to download, and to digest all that has happened. I certainly don’t feel like I had the chance to partake in the colorful life that is happening in the Bayou.

Not many survivors have the chance to leave forever the place where they were diagnosed and treated. Few people in our new home know about what I went through this year and I get to choose whether to keep it that way.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye — Goodbye!
I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly
The sun has gone to bed and so must I

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

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