Thursday, June 26, 2008

For Grammy

I was only 6 years old, but I remember visiting my grandmother in the hospital during her first stint with the deadly disease of breast cancer. I was too little to know anything other than my Grammy was sick. She was only 53 years old. After a double mastectomy and months of chemotherapy, things seemed to be looking up. The cancer went into remission and we believed that she had beaten the disease.

In 1999, our family was to receive another blow when we received word that my mother, then only 42, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. My brothers, sisters and I gathered around my parents and wept as my father shaved my mother’s head as she began dealing with the effects of the chemotherapy. She too underwent a double mastectomy and we began the healing process. Breast cancer awareness and prevention became forefront in our lives.

In 2001 my grandmother’s cancer returned my sister ran in the Komen Foundation Race for the Cure. This began an annual event for my family attending as she ran. Every year, I sat on the sidelines and watched with pride; however, I was always too overweight to participate. Grammy’s cancer has never gone fully into remission. Since then, she has battled the disease culminating with this year growths have spread to her spine and recurred again in the scar tissue from her mastectomy in this her 6th occurrence.

It was a sudden realization that fat FEEDS cancer and seeing my sister cross that finish line in the fall of 2006 that began my weight loss journey. And so, after losing the weight, last year, in honor of Grammy, for the first time, my brothers, sisters and I (with the exception of 1 brother who was out of state) and my wonderful mother, ran TOGETHER in the Race For The Cure.

My weight loss journey began with a desire to lose to help make my body healthier to attempt to stave off this dangerous disease. I am the oldest of 6 children. I have 2 sisters. Statistically speaking, research shows that one of us girls will contract this disease. The odds for women who have a maternal history of breast cancer in their families are 2:1, or one out of three. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to us to not only find a cure, but to do all we can to learn how to prevent cancer.

I have discovered through my research that even in my weight loss journey, I was not eating preventatively. Losing fat is not enough, and unfortunately, the malnutrition that I suffered utilizing the Kimkins program did not help either. A healthy cancer prevention diet is actually not surprisingly a fairly popular Low Carb/Low Glycemic Index diet. The Mediterranean Diet is one of the highest recommended diets for breast cancer prevention. This diet is very low carb friendly too, emphasizing healthy Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, fresh low GI antioxidant filled fruits and veggies, and healthy proteins.
Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting various healthy low carb aspects of this dietary approach as I learn about them and their benefit towards thwarting the deadly disease of breast cancer.

Grammy currently is not well. While it hurts me immensely to see her in such pain, it also gives me new resolve to do whatever is in my power to educate others in a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that will not only assist them in achieving their weight loss goals, but also provides the nutrients and health benefits that can help extend their lives in other areas as well.

Grammy… I love you.



Anonymous said...

what a great thing for you and your sibs to all be healthy enough to participate in the run ofr the cure in honor of your Grammy and Mother.

the mediteranian diet is a good onewith healthy fats and as you said lower glycemic veggies.
there are several newer studies that show that sugar feeds cancer so low carbing will help too.

ssnowden07 said...

This is a great way to support cancer awareness. Aside from participating in the race, people can also send a text message to help fight Breast Cancer. mGive (text) "KOMEN" to 90999 to donate $5 to Susan G. Komen For The Cure! Spread the word!