Hunger For Life

Ages ago my cousin Jamie told me I had to read the book The Hunger Games.  After hearing the premise of the story I thought, “Oh – how barbaric and depressing!  There’s no way I’m reading that.”  Flash-forward to a few weeks ago when my favorite neighbor and good friend Sam tossed the book my way and encouraged me to read it.  It sat on my shelf for a while.  But then I finally picked it up.  And let me tell ya, I could not put that book down.  While it was just as disturbing as I thought it would be, I still got hooked and devoured the whole thing in a few days.

Then I started thinking about the parallels between my life and the kids in the hunger games.  How I’ve been thrown into the arena with cancer and am now in a constant battle for my life.  I too must stay strong and healthy…  Mentally and spiritually fit…  Train hard to stay one step ahead…  Gather as much information as possible…  Develop strategies to outsmart my enemy.  Cancer is devious and cunning and stands poised to attack at any time.  I need to constantly be on alert.  Ready.  If I give cancer any opportunity to take over my body and my life it will.

One thing I know for sure, is that my strategy does not involve sitting back and waiting to see what the cancer will do.  When your life is on the line you must be proactive.  So I am doing everything I possibly can to beat this beast down and keep it down.  From going vegan, to cutting out sugar, to exercising every day, switching my under-wire bras to soft cup ones, taking vitamins & supplements, trying alternative treatments, ditching my antiperspirant…  I don’t care if it’s been proven or not – if there is a chance it can help me, I am willing to consider it.  Why the fuck not?

And what I don’t understand is why some folks with life threatening illnesses do not make these changes.  Why not do whatever it takes to keep living?  Why not question your doctors?  Why not research all possible solutions?  Why not get a second, third, and even fourth opinion?  Why not change your diet?  Why not consider doing things a little differently?

I want to live.  Oddly enough, I’ve noticed that I’m feeling happier than I have in years now despite having stage 4 cancer.

I have a new-found hunger for life.  And i am willing to do whatever it takes to stay in the game.

Peace.  – T

One of my core strategies is juicing. Miss M LOVES to help her mamma make juice (but she never wants to drink it!) :-)

Another key strategy… Spend lots of time with those you love and try to get out in nature as often as possible!

13 Responses

  1. Don’t forget, there are 2 more books in the trilogy. If you liked the first one, you MUST read the other two (in your copious free time.) Maybe you and Miss M can read together (I’ll bet she loves to “read.”


  2. Danger is no fun….but it certainly forces us to PAY ATTENTION, and suspend argument until the battle is over. That’s often a good thing.

    Oh, and Miss M loves to read: she reads me books on Skype if I ask. One of the earliest photos of her shows her reading a Rainbow Fish book, apparently with great enjoyment. Just like her mom and Nana and Grandpa–she’s a readin’ fool!

  3. Gorgeous pictures of a gorgeous family! With respect to Miss M and drinking juice — something that worked for me with a godson was to go on at some lengths about the transformative powers of juice. Then I drank a glass, and pretended it had turned me into a rabbit… a few hops about the room and a nose-wriggle or two and I had a CONVERT…

  4. You are such an inspiration. I had an echocardiogram last week, and the tech left the room after a 1/2 hour telling me “I have to tell the doctor that you don’t have a heart.” At first I was angry, and then I started laughing. Many people have told me that I am heartless in my life. But I find when I get angry or down on someone or, especially myself, I go back and re-read your blog. I have been dealing with chronic health issues from the minute I was born, been declared dead 4 times, and here I am still defying the odds. But the one thing I haven’t been able to control is my obesity. I haven’t had any luck finding a nutritionist in this area (SE Florida), especially one who is willing to take on my type of situation. My latest addition to the chronic list is arthritis in the feet & ankles…which would be relieved if I could “just” lose 150 lbs. You mentioned in one blog that you need a therapist., me, I’ve had 15 years of therapy…you don’t. You are stronger than you realize.

      • Actually I’m coming up on 57 years…I spent the 1st 3 years of my life in the hospital. They told my parents that I wasn’t going to live, so don’t bother getting close & love me. The hospital did agree they would pay for all expenses….Doctors & therapists…don’t know whether to love ’em or kick them. :)

  5. Thanks Lyn! You must be doing something right if you’ve managed to stay alive this long. Keep your head up & keep laughing.

    As far as losing weight goes, I’ve found that the age old advice about eating healthy and exercising has worked wonders for me (I’ve dropped 20 lbs since being diagnosed in November – even while doing chemo, steroids, and going through early menopause). Start slow (a little walk a few times a week… healthier breakfast) and then keep building on it. Slow and steady wins the race.

    Wishing you continued strength and healing. xoxo – T

  6. Terri, I’ve been fighting for my life for 22 years this October, and I can tell you are on the best possible path. Remember, you are your own best advocate, educating yourself in the very latest, in perpetuity. You will get very tired of it, at some points, but what else can we do? We fall down, complain, whine, spit fire awhile, then get back up – because there’s nowhere else to go. Sounds to me like you are better at it than me! And I thank you for that :-).

  7. Yet again, you are an inspiration to me! I love the picture of the outdoors-as you know, I love nature,can’t get enough of it. My garden is now attracting deer in the morning-they haven’t gotten inside yet, but hopefully Jimmy and Linus will continue to deter them. I also got a new horse, Luna, last week, and we are getting to know each other. Can’t wait to see all of you!

  8. Glad you read it, and psst, you are my favorite neighbor too :). I agree with you and don’t understand why people even without serious illnesses don’t try to improve their lives. Isn’t that the point of life? We are all at risk for cancer in the chemical-drenched world we live in, and it doesn’t hurt to hear reminders of how important it is to minimize our risk…so thank you. You are very good at reminding people to listen to their inner voices. Maybe because yours is so strong. ? We listen to the voices of others telling us we can’t, we are too old, too young, too uneducated, too sick…and forget that they are the voices of fear and fear really is the path to the dark side. Not a Star Wars fan, but it’s a true statement.

    Anyway, if you want to try some “all natural” deodorant, I use Alvera Aloe &Almonds (it has TEA in it but the ingredient list could even be used to make your own without I guess).

  9. Life is STILL the very best game in town.
    Stick with it. Even when it’s being a pain in the butt, it’s still so much better than the alternate.

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