Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MY DAUGHTERS...

Grace:
Do you know how to get kid boobs, Lily?:


1. Make some glue from flour and water
2. Stick some string on green coconuts with this glue
3. Tie coconuts on your chest
4. Paint boob colour
5. They will even have coconut blood in them!

Lily:
Do you know how to get real boobs Grace?:

1. I am going to go to the doctor
2. He will cut off my small kid boobs and give me big boobs with real blood!
3. Mine will get huger than yours!

Grace:
Mine will be infinity boobs. Those are the best!

My daughters, Grace and Lily, aged 4 1/2 & 2 1/2, having a breast discussion while all bathing together.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FOOD ALLERGY RESULTS

I have just received my results for food allergy blood tests done a week ago. I did these tests to see if I was allergic to any foods as a food allergy could weaken my immune system and play a part in a predisposition to the breast cancer returning, along with other illness.

Company I used:

PG Dip in Human Nutrition
Wellness Division
Molecular Diagnostic Services (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 31 267 7000
Fax: + 27 31 267 7005
www.mdsafrica.net
Contact person: Tammy Parsons
email: tamlyn@mdsafrica.net
R2000 for full food panel


My results show:

Most allergic to:
Almonds
Poppy seeds

Moderately allergic to:
Cashew nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Eggs from chicken

Mildly allergic to:
Pistachio nuts
Sunflower seeds

Nutritionist advise only tiny amounts of:
Yeast
Sugar
Honey
Cacao
Dairy
Peanut
Pork

Great, so now I know - no more of these nuts and seeds! I have not been enjoying nuts for some time now as they cause much wind and bloating so that's easy. Dr Gerson, from the famous natural cancer healing centre in USA, noted that people prone to cancer can't tolerate fat of any kind except flax seeds/oil - I am glad I can still have flax as it is very beneficial to keeping my estrogen levels low (I eat about 2 tablespoons of seeds per day).

When eating a largely raw vegan diet, it is very easy to eat too much fat (nuts, seeds, and their oils), even though the fats are all healthy. Fats should form about 10-20% of daily diet intake. This is not a lot - about 1/2 avocado per day. If I are going to eat other fat sources, it must come out of this portion!

I am also making an effort to increase my protein intake as my blood albumin levels are low - I am eating green leaves, green protein powders, and raw sprouted brown rice protein powder (www.absoluteorganix.co.za

The other result the test noted is the need for more food rotation. I will focus on this from now on. I can eat the same foods for 5 days and then I must eat different foods for the next 5 days and so on. Good advice for us all.

Time to focus on fresh veggies and edible leaves more!

Bottom line for everyone is: know the status of your body now. There are so many tests you can have done these days before you get sick - don't wait - prevention is still better than cure!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SEX THERAPIST VISIT

So I have been quite open on this blog about my history. Now that I have disclosed my history, I am only left with my way forward.

I have a list of things that I would still like to do as part of my way forward plan - consulting with a sex therapist was one. I wanted to go for myself, for my marriage and for anyone who consults with me once I open practice again in 2011.

In this blog, I am committed to showing what happens behind the scenes as I work myself towards healing. I want to show what is possible, what options we all have to heal with, and how I am doing it. I trust there is no judgement but rather an acceptance that we all are all the same, and that we will all have the potential to go through the same things in different ways in our lives.

I love Caroline Myss's 'Healing Wheel' idea:

I stand at the centre of all the options I have in this moment in history that can play a part in healing me.
All these options are equally weighted and I don't favour one over the other - I just listen to what I need at that time and respect it.
I can spin the wheel and choose what I need at what time (diet, surgery, chemo, questioning my beliefs work, etc).
I can also spin the wheel and imagine feeling the wind that is generated from all the options I have to heal me and that way feel more empowered.

Our sensual and sexual expression is a key component on all of our wheels but is so often over-looked.

Like I didn't want to leave any stone unturned last year when I did lots of self exploration (Am I a mother? Am I am a female? Do I want to live or die? If I want to live - how do I want to live?), it was now time to explore one more thing - my sexual expression.

I went to see Jonti Searle (jontisearll@mweb.co.za) who did a guest lecture at the ante-natal classes I attended when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Grace, just over 5 years ago.

Out of respect for my husband, Glenn, this post is only about me. Glenn and I have a rock solid marriage, he has been 150% supportive since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, and fully accepting of my lack of nipples and reconstructed breasts, but I wanted to see if I am truly ok with myself.

I was very nervous Jonti would head straight into a Cosmo/GQ style list of sexual positions on my first visit but instead he just talked about the differences between being sensual and sexual, awareness, and the importance of being fully present.

Jonti and I talked about where I was at, as well as my goals. It felt very odd discussing things that are so private with someone else. The only person I ever discussed such things with was my boyfriends and best friend - but then we both got married, and never talked about it again as our husbands became our new confidants.

While it felt slightly uncomfortable, I also had a sense of relief that I could now talk to someone where I my privacy was guaranteed and that I was not betraying my husband in any way.

Jonti believes in starting with our sensual sides, instead of sexual sides. Homework after my first session is a very simple technique of lightly touching my hands - touching each hand very slowly and lightly with the other hand. Then I need to do the same on my face. Simple! You can do this with your partner but the main focus is to start with yourself. I need to do this for 5 mins every day. Easy!

As I sat across the room from Jonti with my eyes closed doing the above exercise, I got a huge lump in my chest and throat. The thoughts that came to mind were: this is so simple...indulgent...so long since I have nurtured, given back to and been aware of myself in this way.

One of the documented mental symptoms of breast cancer is that these people cant say 'no' and tend to put everyone before them. I see this simple technique as one way I can start becoming aware of and nurturing myself again (along with meditation).

One of my mental symptoms just before I was diagnosed with early breast cancer was a feeling of 'helplessness' and of feeling 'trapped' - trapped on a wheel that I could not get off: When would I ever be able to leave the house and follow my passions again? When would our renovation end? When would all day and night mothering end? I felt hopeless and burnt out.

I felt a huge sense of relief as I sat there and took the first step forward. I felt like I was doing something for myself. I also felt like I was conquering something that made me feel uncomfortable but which is so vital to my being and that felt good.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

LIFESTYLE RELATED GENETIC RESULTS

I went finally went for genetic testing today - last year was just too filled with surgery, recovery, and house.

This is the company that did the test:

Gene Pro- WELLNESS DIVISION
Molecular Diagnostic Services (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 31 267 7000
Fax: + 27 31 267 7005
email: wellness@mdsafrica.net
www.mdsafrica.net
Contact genetist: Natalie
Cost of a panel of 16 mutations: R3950
Finer prick blood test
A detailed lifestyle report and recommendations is given with test results.

I did this test not to show whether or not I have the BRAC1 or 2 gene as I have no family history of breast cancer or even cancer, nor am I of Ashkenazi Jewish or Afrikaaner family lineage, but rather to show what potential certain of my genes have to 'activate/mutate' which could lead to disease if exposed to certain lifestyle and environmental factors.

I want to see what lifestyle and environmental factors to include and exclude to reduce my breast cancer risk.

The genetic test looks at a person's DNA (the information in our cells that makes us who we are) and a person's lifestyle (this one can change and is influenced by diet, stress etc) and helps to predict our risk for future chronic disease - 16 mutations in your DNA are analyzed. These mutations (or DNA changes) are associated with chronic disease, things like Alzheimer's, Type II diabetes, cardio vascular disease, obesity, cancer etc.

Everybody's DNA is different and the way each person's body responds to nutrients will also be different. This test allows us more insight into how to eat correctly and make correct lifestyle choices for us on a very personal and individual level. Some people are able to eat unhealthy foods and still have no weight problems, while some people just look at a cheese cake and put on weight - this is all down to mutations in our DNA that allow our bodies to respond differently. This test helps us to look at these mutations and gain answers to these questions.

The exciting thing about these mutations is that they are lifestyle and environment driven meaning we can "switch off" the bad mutations just by doing simple things like taking an Omega 3 supplement or other suggested supplements, eating green leafy vegetables, increased levels of exercise etc. The test is therefore very beneficial and can be life changing to an individual provided the recommendations in the report are adhered to. It is a very empowering test and quite possibly where medicine will be in the future with regards personalized DNA diets.

I suggest that every person, including children, have this test done. We only need to do this test once in our lives as our genes stay the same throughout our lives. A child could therefore do the test at birth and have a far better chance of avoiding the avoidable factors in their lives.

(As more mutation tests become available over time, you might want to have these done but the above panel covers the main mutations).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

20 Things You Need to Know About Bisphenol-A

www.healthbooksummeries.com

After many years of insisting that Bisphenol-A (BPA) is safe, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shifted its stance on the endocrine-disrupting chemical, citing that BPA exposure is of “slight concern.” A growing body of scientific evidence, however, has shown that BPA is very dangerous to human health, making it hard for the governmental agency to ignore much longer. Despite this compelling evidence, the FDA “has missed three self-imposed deadlines to re-evaluate its approval of the chemical, after originally promising in June 2009 to deliver a finding in "weeks not months." Read on to learn more about this risky chemical, where it’s found, and what you can to do limit your exposure to it.

1. Bisphenol-A [is a] a chemical that mimics the female sex hormone estrogen and is used to make consumer products ranging from plastic baby bottles to the linings of tin cans.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

2. You should be drinking a lot of water, but please beware of plastic water bottles. Plastics made from polycarbonate resin can leach Bisphenol-A (BPA), a potent hormone disruptor. BPA may impair the reproductive organs and have adverse effects on tumors, breast tissue development, and prostate development by reducing sperm count. BPA can leach into water bottles through normal wear and tear and exposure to heat and cleaning agents.

- C. W. Randolph, M.D., From Belly Fat to Belly FLAT: How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life

3. Bisphenol-A is a toxin associated with birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems. BPA is commonplace — found in copious brands of fruit, vegetables, soda, and other frequently eaten canned goods. It migrates from the can or plastic into the contents, which are then ingested.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

4. Dental sealants can contain Bisphenol-A, a suspected endocrine disruptor, while traditional silver-colored fillings can contain as much as 50 percent mercury.

- Deirdre Imus, Growing Up Green: Baby and Child Care: Volume 2 in the Bestselling Green This! Series (Green This!)

5. There are two solvents commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products: phthalates, and Bisphenol-A. These ingredients are often hidden, remaining undisclosed on product labels.

- Samuel S. Epstein, Randall Fitzgerald, Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It

6. A 2007 review of 700 studies involving BPA, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, found that infants and fetuses were the most vulnerable to adverse effects from this toxic substance.

- Samuel S. Epstein, Randall Fitzgerald, Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It

7. Toxins are everywhere — from household cleaning products to plastics in our kitchen-ware, phthalates and Bisphenol-A in our plastic water bottles, and even in our tap water and air supply. We live in a sea of toxins, and a large body of growing evidence shows that these toxins are, in part, responsible for the epidemic of disease we see in the twenty-first century. Toxic exposures affect the health of all brains, young and old. We must also deal with all the by-products and toxic metabolic wastes created by our own bodies.

- Mark Hyman MD, The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First

8. BPA has been linked to the development of prostate and breast cancer in adults.

- Mark Schapiro, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power

9. Bisphenol-A was invented in the 1930s during the search for synthetic estrogens.

- KC Craichy, Super Health 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality

10. The compound BPA is one of the most-produced chemicals in the world, and almost everyone has traces of it — or more — in their bodies. The statement, published online by the journal Reproductive Toxicology, was accompanied by a new study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health finding uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA. The researchers indicated that such damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women, including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers.

- Andreas Moritz, Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation: Unleash The Natural Healing Power That Lies Dormant Within You

11. An estrogen-mimicking chemical, Bisphenol-A, causes early puberty in female rats and reduces fertility in rats. In males it appears to cause enlargement in the male rat prostate glands. We do not know if this chemical might be related to prostate cancer in humans.

- Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call

12. An expert panel found credible evidence that Bisphenol-A and the insecticide methoxyclor can cause reproductive damage at very low levels of exposure that are well below the so called "no effect" levels. In one report infertility had risen from 0.5 percent to 25 percent in one cross-section study of college males. In another report in April 2001, the infertility rate in Chinese university students was reported to be as high as 85 percent. Infertility, sexual dysfunction and impotence was stated to affect 20 to 30 percent of Chinese males in one study.

- Doris J. Rapp, M.D., Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call

13. At 20 ng/g dose of Bisphenol-A, the daily sperm production went down 20 percent. This work needs to be reproduced, but unless refuted it adds fuel to the need for precautionary measures. Try not to get any fillings, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. Regular fillings contain mercury (a known hormone disruptor) and composite fillings contain Bisphenol-A (another hormone disruptor). If you have to have a filling, ask for a temporary made out of other materials.

- D. Lindsey Berkson, Hormone Deception

14. Over the past two decades, BPA has meanwhile become an integral chemical in the packaging of millions of food products and other plastic goods; more than six billion pounds of BPA are used each year in resins lining metal cans, food packaging, hot beverage cups, and in blends with other types of plastic products. Lab research shows that the bond that secures BPA molecules to food and beverage packages changes over time, resulting in the release of free BPA into the food we eat and the beverages we consume, as well as into the environment.

- Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic

15. PCBs, like plastic additives such as Bisphenol-A and common pesticides, are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that have been shown in numerous lab studies to stimulate increased production of autoantibodies — antibodies against self — which are the hallmark of autoimmunity in action. Indeed, as we have seen in the previous chapter, the science demonstrating the way in which estrogen disruptors such as PCBs promote autoimmune disease is emerging with profoundly disturbing conclusions.

- Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Autoimmune Epidemic

16. The plastic industry will tell you that small amounts of BPA are nothing to worry about. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, however, suggests that when mice are exposed to low levels of BPA for several days, they develop insulin resistance. What is so alarming about this discovery is that the levels of BPA used in the experiment would be considered safe for humans by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

- Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy

17. Don't microwave your food or drinks in plastic containers; avoid using plastic wrap to cover food in the microwave.

- C. W. Randolph, M.D., From Belly Fat to Belly FLAT: How Your Hormones Are Adding Inches to Your Waistline and Subtracting Years from Your Life

18. The estrogenic properties of Bisphenol-A (BPA) was known as early as 1936, yet children now have their teeth coated with plastic containing BPA. The ADA denies any problem and goes on coating teeth. Food and drink cans are lined with it. Some plastic baby bottles contain it and other plasticizers.

- Michael Friedman, ND, Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology

19. In addition to testing positive for high levels of Bisphenol-A, a chemical that mimics the female sex hormone estrogen and is used to make consumer products ranging from plastic baby bottles to the linings of tin cans, the politicians were also tested for polychlorinated biphenyls, chemicals 185 used in electrical transformers that were banned decades ago. Despite no longer being in use, PCBs are so persistent that all the politicians tested positive for them.

- Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

20. Polycarbonate can release its primary building block, Bisphenol-A, another suspected hormone disruptor, into liquids and foods. In 1998, the Japanese government ordered manufacturers there to recall and destroy polycarbonate tableware meant for use by children because it contained excessive amounts of Bisphenol-A."

- KC Craichy, Super Health 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality

LiveHeidi

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