Monday, June 10, 2013

Food vs Cancer

Part two in a series for June entitled FOOD
from my blog group Homesteaders and Homeschoolers.

We don't eat bad at our home.
We don't always eat great, though.
There are times when I don't have any fruit for the kids and I start to get mom-guilt over it.
When I was pregnant with Zoe I knew I had to eliminate some things and add some foods to my diet to make sure the baby came out healthy.
No caffeine.
Lots of water.
More fruits and vegetables.
She came out full term and perfect at 7 pounds, 14 ounces.
I tried breastfeeding her, but it didn't work out.
I was stressed by it.
She was stressed by it.
We went to formula.
And boy, there's a lot of stress about failing at that!
But, our pediatrician assured me that I was not a bad mother and Zoe did thrive on formula.
She was a very chubby baby.
And she was never sick.

When she started to eat foods, I either made her food (I was the puree queen for a while at home) or bought organic canned baby foods.
Chad and I had decided that our daughter would be fed foods that didn't have pesticides or hormones in them.
Organic costs more, but she was worth it.
Nothing but organic milk went into her.
Organic cookies and crackers.
She drank organic grape and orange juice.
I didn't give her apple juice because my friend Kelly had had trouble with her son when he drank apple juice.
I remember her telling me that his behavior changed when he had the apple juice.
That's all I needed to apple juice.

Through her toddler years, she was never sick.
She would get the regular cold.
But no ear infections.
No strange rashes or bacterial infections.
Nothing at all.
When she started going to preschool, we kept up the organic foods, but also let in mainstream things.
She would go to McDonalds and get a Happy Meal.
But, she never drank soda.
And she never went for those super sugary drinks that some moms brought into school for preschool birthdays.
She asked for water.
Water has always been her favorite beverage.
We thought we had done everything right.
Everything right in terms of nutrition and good health for our first born daughter.

When she did start to get sick, when she started to feel lethargic and get headaches, we were shocked.
It was so unlike her to be ill.
Then we saw the bruises.
I made an appointment quickly with the pediatrician.
I made an appointment quickly because she had never been sick like this before.
She had always been super healthy.
The biggest problem she had had up to that point was a broken toe that summer.
Was the broken toe a pre-cursor to what was to be?
Was her body failing already and we just didn't realize it?
But no matter what we had done for her in the past, it was no match for cancer.
The organic foods we had stuffed into her body.
The pesticide-free fruits and veggies didn't matter.
Cancer was going to change our lives and our daughter and it didn't matter what we HAD done.
All that mattered now was what we WOULD do.

We kept up the healthy foods.
She still hates sugary drinks and soda.
When the steroids took over her body at the beginning of treatment and she would wake us up in the middle of the night because she was so, so, so hungry we did give in.
But not too much.
We would force her to go back to bed sometimes.
She would fight us, cry and tell us she was starving.
But we told her she wasn't, it was the medicine taking over her body.
That we wouldn't let her starve.
Food became not something that she enjoyed, but rather something that overtook everything else.
She would rather eat than color or play.
And it was salty foods that she craved.
It was a tough thing to watch.
I'm glad that it's over and that she's back to her old self again.
She still likes salty treats, but in moderation.
And her love of water has never wavered.

I remember when she was first diagnosed and how furious I was that this had happened to her because we had done everything right in terms of her nutrition.
A friend said to me "but the food choices you have been giving her will hopefully help her recover quicker. they will help her heal."
I think that she was right.
Maybe we couldn't fight against the inevitable.
She was probably bound to get cancer no matter what we had done in the past becuase that's just how her body was wired.
I call it "the kink in her DNA".
But we could continue with the healthy eating habits and try our hardest to counteract against the effects of the drugs.
Has it helped?
I think so.
But, I'm not a doctor or scientist.
I'm just a mom.
With a daughter with cancer.
But a daughter who is thriving today and who is a survivor.
A survivor who loves garbanzo beans and Dairy Queen.

1 comment:

  1. I love what that friend of yours said about the good foods helping her recover quicker and heal. What a great point!
    I was just reading an article about how milk consumption at childhood is showing in studies to now be benefiting them when elderly.
    Store up the good stuff! :-)