I have bad dreams pretty often. Most of them involve being chased, something gaining on me as I try to get away. While I’m not an official dream analyzer, but I’m pretty sure what’s chasing me in these nightmares is cancer.
Even during my waking hours, I feel it. I can sense it chasing me. Staring at me. Trying to get me in its sights. Breathing down my neck. I feel like I walk around with a bullseye on my shirt and I will spend the rest of my life trying to bob & weave.
I feel this way because my mom lost her battle to cancer at an early age. She was diagnosed at age 33 and died at age 36. Obviously, this has affected my life in a multitude of ways. Losing my mom when I wasn’t even a teenager yet was brutal then and frankly, it’s still brutal now. There’s all the bad emotional aspects of this kind of tragedy that I won’t bore you with. And then comes the science that says I’m likely the next target. How’s that for scary?
My mom died of colon cancer. This is a disease that mostly strikes people of retirement age, not folks in their early 30s. But in my mom’s case was an outlier. In instances when colon cancer strikes a parent, the child is significantly more likely to also get that disease. And in cases when it happened at an oddly early age… the chances for me go up in the form of a J-curve. Super scary.
So like I said, I spend a lot of time running (both literally and figuratively, I guess) from cancer. This fear is one of the main reasons I’m so focused on treating my body right and making sure my husband and kids are living as healthy of a life as possible. I try to be healthy because I’m scared to death not to be.
I do all the usual stuff that we are all supposed to be doing anyway: regular exercise and eating nutritious foods. Specifically though, my eating habits not only need to be healthy but they also need to be nutritionally focused on combatting colon cancer. Science tells us that a diet high in fiber and calcium is one of the best ways to fight this disease so I am cognizant of my calcium intake and eat more fiber than most people can imagine. I also have regular colonoscopies. I’ve had three so far. While the prep is unpleasant, the procedure itself is easy as pie. The best part for me is that so far I’ve had a glowing report of my insides. Everything looks 100% healthy so far. Yay! Having healthy intestines is the new cleavage… haven’t you heard?!?! 😉 It’s true. I heard it’s all the rage for 2012.
So this is WHY I am the way I am. This is the catalyst for my focus on health for my family. And this whole life experience is what’s behind Bring Mae Flowers and a lot of what I’ll share here. I hope if health is important to you, that you’ll keep reading along with my journey and that perhaps you’ll join me in making yourself a little healthier along the way.