Marika Hamilton

Who’s in charge of my body, if I’m not?

It is your body, do you know what is going on inside it?  If you don’t, who does?

It’s a strange concept, and one we often don’t think about or take too seriously.  We know when we are tired or don’t feel good, we know when we are stressed out or have a headache.  These are messages from our body that for the most part we’ve been trained to ignore.

Instead of slowing down, instead of taking a nap or paying attention to our body’s nutritional needs, we self medicate in the form of caffeine, alcohol, advil… or worse!

It’s with great compassion now that I recognize how negligent I’ve been in regards to caring for and loving my body.  Oh how many advil I’ve taken…. got a headache… advil, feel tired and achey…. advil, need to unwind at the end of the day, have a glass of wine, etc, etc, etc….

The feeling of malaise just became the norm for me and I ended up not even recognizing that I really didn’t feel that great.  I just came to accept it, it never occurred to me that I could or should do something different.

My body, although it was begging for my love and attention, did the best it could to keep up with the demands and stresses I placed on it.  I, placed on it, the emphasis on the I.  I chose to live my life making most other things a priority except me.

There’s a strange alienation that occurs when you find out you have cancer.  There is something going on inside your body – you have no idea what exactly – except what the doctors tell you.  How hopeless it feels that you don’t even know what is going on inside your own body…

Even today, the thought crosses my mind that although I believe myself to be healthy… I still don’t know what goes on behind closed doors.  All I can do is try to love and care for my body – it sounds so simple – yet took the first 40 years of my life to connect the dots… my body is the only vehicle in which I have to move about this planet and spend time with the people that I love and whom love me.  What could take higher precedence than that?

I have the honor of residing inside my body.  If that privilege is revoked…. guess what… I got to find some place else to go.

I get that now, but boy was I a slow learner.  Looking back now I would not have made the changes I made without cancer forcing my hand.  That’s a little painful to say, but it’s true.  It took cancer to reset my priorities, it took cancer for me to slow down and honor and respect my body and the gift of my life.

Cancer was something that happened to other people, and all of a sudden I was one of those other people.  Holy shit, how did that happen?  It was such a shock not just to me, but to other people as well.  I looked so healthy, I didn’t have any risk factors and if I could have cancer…. couldn’t anyone?  I was told that I probably had cancer for 6-8 years before I was diagnosed.  How many other people are walking around thinking that cancer just happens to others…. like I was?  It’s not necessarily if you have cancer or not, the question becomes have you been diagnosed.

I don’t say that to scare you.  It’s just that everyone has the potential to have cancer take hold and maybe it is as simple as folks making small shifts to avert a cancer crisis.

Each of us have our own journey and I have learned that people have to come to their own conclusions and more importantly their own personal choice to take action or not.  You can’t make someone diet, exercise, heck I can’t even persuade my 18 year old that she needs to slow down and rest and honor her body –  even though she has had to deal with potentially losing her mom to cancer.  It doesn’t hit much closer to home than that, but still she must live her own journey, make her own decisions and learn from her own life lessons and I must respect that.

The same goes to the treatment choice that each person makes.  What is right for me, may not be right for someone else.  Who am I to say that they are going about it wrong?  No one has a crystal ball and there are no guarantees.  It may be regardless which road you travel cancer will win in the end, or it may be that either road could lead you back to health – no one knows – and if someone tells you otherwise … well… they are full of it.

Whether you are trying to navigate back to health, or maybe you are interested in some slight course adjustments that give you a better chance of avoiding cancer, here’s some tips you may find useful below:

1:  Tired and achy – take a nap, duh!

2:  Limit processed foods as much as possible

3:  Limit consumption of animal products

4:  Limit alcohol and coffee and SUGAR!

5:  Fresh pressed JUICE!  This is concentrated nutrition that requires the least amount of the body’s resources to process and digest

6:  Move your body around – walk at a minimum – your lymph system needs it

7:  Drink plenty of filtered water

8:  Avoid chlorine (water), fluoride (toothpaste) and aluminum (deodorant)

9:  Take a probiotic everyday

10:  Stop popping the OTC pills and let your body do what it needs to do to – instead rest and support your body by providing quality nutrition

I’ve got more but 10 seems a natural place to end a list….

Here’s to our health!