Outside the Santa Monica Scan Center the world seemed normal. It was 3pm and a typical November day in LA’s west side.
Bad traffic. Unbearable heat. Brian and I chatting about work.
He wanted me to keep my meeting scheduled that evening. I wanted to cancel.
“I am really excited for you… you need to start doing your own stuff. This is your chance to get what you deserve from them,” he said.
The harder I tried to listen to him the more I felt like Charlie Brown. I couldn’t make out a word he was saying.
My eyes wandered…
How come I never noticed before his upper lip twitched when he got excited?…
Maybe after 10 years of being together I had just forgotten
I forced myself to look him in the eye. I wanted to give him validation I was listening…but I wasn’t. I actually had several full- blown conversations going on with myself as I stared at him…
–“I need to get a second and third opinion”
–“Who do I know who has had stage 3 Cancer in their 30’s?”
–“Do any of my friends have relatives who are oncologists? Someone I know has to work for Dr. OZ or Dr. Phil or something!”
–“I am sure that bar crawl in Iowa City didn’t help. Why did I let him eat that burrito and cheese fries? Come to think of it why did I eat that burrito?”
–“Wait – we are supposed to try and have a baby this year. What if now…??”
–“FUCK! Why I am I so focused on my career?”
–“Speaking of jobs..I really don’t like my job. He is right. Why aren’t I working for myself?”
–“Wait! He loves his job finally…Oh no! What about HIS new job?”
–“Will he lose his hair? I love his hair.”
–“Maybe I can find a healer or a shaman who can save his hair? Kara, that is obnoxious.”
–“Wait what about John of God! We saw him on Dateline! He cures people.”
–“We love watching Dateline on Friday nights…What will our Friday nights be like now???…”
–“Does Amazon sell books on kicking cancer’s ass?”
–“Crap! Why didn’t I get my damn crack-berry fixed….I NEED TO SEARCH THE INTERNET!!!”
Finally, we were home. I burst through our front door, hopped on the internet and joined every colon cancer blog I could find. The subject of every post was “HELP US!!!!!”
An hour into googling my brains out Brian said, “Love you, don’t be late for your meeting.” He was walking out the front door.
“Wait what are you doing???” I protested, “You have cancer!”
He looked at me and said, “Nothing has changed since yesterday except the fact we KNOW I have cancer. You need to go to that meeting now more than ever. I need to go to work and keep busy as long as I can.”
I forced a smile and said, “Ok you’re right, love you.”
The door shut. Georgia, our puppy, watched Brian pull out of the driveway. His car cleared the block, I sobbed and compulsively hit refresh on my screen. Would anyone write me back????
I received 10 responses in the first 2 hours. Women whose husbands had colon cancer. Children who had lost their mothers to colon cancer. Men emailing me what to except the next few weeks for Brian. The stories were harrowing and horrifying all at the same time.
I sobbed some more and thought there has to be another way.
Finally I posted, “Has anyone tried to heal or improve their cancer through diet?”
Immediately I received emails about a low-residue diet. The Diet basically consists of white rice, white bread, potato, ect…
The theory is these foods will pass through the digestive track easier helping the colon to heal after surgery.
As I read I thought, “I am no dietician but white bread blows me up bigger than a buluga whale float in the Rose Bowl Parade…this diet is anyone’s worst nightmare, let alone a cancer patient!”
I scrolled down…most patients commented on how after surgery they did not have regular bowel movements for weeks. They were constipated and in pain. “This can’t be right?” I thought.
I slammed my computer shut and screamed! “What the hell am I supposed to do???”
As I slowly made my way to the shower my eyes caught a glimpse of my dusty bookshelf.
In my 20’s I had many lives and my book shelf was a reflection. The first shelf was cluttered with self help books like ‘Exorcising your Ex.’ The second was books like ‘Shamanism for Dummies’. The third ‘Learn French Easy.’ But the 4th turned out to be the best life I ever lived. My Raw-Vegan food phase.
I furiously flipped through the pages scanning for anything that said cancer. And there it was, a dear old friend I had completely forgotten. Wheat Grass! The super of super foods.
In my early 20’s to nurse a hangover I would drag my girlfriend Carolyn to the juicing bar and we would gag down shots of wheat grass. I vividly remember the gagging but I had completely forgotten how it miraculously cured our hangovers.
I thought, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” We’ll look hot?
So I knew where to start. But where to go… I had no idea. So I showered, changed and did my best to look presentable for my “big pitch.”
As I headed to my meeting I got an email my bosses needed to move our meeting to our company wrap party because their schedule ran late.
Blood shot eyes and I am headed to a bar? Brilliant.
My work colleagues at the bar assumed I had been “pre-partying”.
“Act normal”, I told myself “Or drunk. Drunk could work… you’re at a bar.”
My stomach twisted and turned. But I smiled, nodded and clinked cheers.
Then, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Everyone seemed normal. They were talking about their babies and their lives and their plans. I ran outside for fresh air.
Hearing about my friends “normal” lives forced me to face the fact Brian and I were about to experience “a new normal.” Why can’t we just be normal?
Just when I was about to give up and drown myself in a tequila shot…my blackberry buzzed.
The email said, “Please check out www.chrisbeatcancer.com. My cancer is too far-gone I think but I have a feeling your husband has a similar story to this guy. May God Bless You.” The message came from one of the blogs I had posted on.
This was the first encounter of many my husband and I would have with angels…
Chris of “Chris Beat Cancer” was about to become one of our biggest champions. In fact, God was about to connect and reconnect us with some of the most amazing people in the world. He was about to disconnect us with some people as well…
I knew our lives had been changed forever, but I had no idea Cancer was about to be the best thing that ever happened to Brian and I in 2010.
Brian and I hope that all of your struggles in 2010 turn into blessings in 2011. Just this Christmas Brian was finally allowed to eat something sweet. (I will explain why in future blogs). Here is one of Brian’s favorite recipes that curbed his sugar appetite but was healthy! He would like me to share it with you for comfort food during football this weekend! And be sure to check back next week to see our EXTREME KITCHEN MAKE OVER!
SASSY SWEET POTATOES
4 Organic Yams
Raw Agave Nectar 3/4 – a cup (depending on how sweet you like it)
Organic Pecans or Almonds Soaked (1/2 cup)
Organic Cinnamon (1 tbl spoon)
Shaved Raw Ginger Root (Shave off 4 peels and dice)
Organic Nutmeg (I tsp)
Organic Raw Honey (preferably from a local Bee Farmer)
Bake the Yams in the oven at 375 for one hour. Mash the Yams and add agave, cinnamon, ginger root and nutmeg. Once the batch is fluffy, slowly stir the pecans into the mix. When dishing out, drizzle a teaspoon of organic raw honey on top of each serving.
*Lifein2lemonade is edited by Ryan Howard