Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"..because i'm happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because i'm happy, clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth, because i'm happy, clap along if you know what happiness is to you, because i'm happy, clap along if you feel like that's what you want to do..." Happy, by pharrell williams

i have just read the most amazing book that i would like to share with everyone. it is " radical remission" by kelly a. turner. usually i give up on self help books part of the way through. they are usually dry and, well, boring. this book is well written and reads like a novel, but with thought provoking material.

there are nine chapters in the book- each chapter a " key" that radical remission patients( patients who have beat cancer despite all odds) have used. most patients have used all of these keys in dealing with the path back to good health. i really enjoyed reading the stories from radical remission patients. some of these patients have chosen a few paths that i might not have traveled myself, but all the stories are inspiring and interesting. the information that these patients share with us, along with the scientific information provided by ms. turner, would be beneficial to anyone who is dealing with cancer, or really any chronic health condition. after reading this book, i am going to make some changes myself.

when i began my cancer journey, it changed my life. well, you might say, that i changed my life. actually, i did some of the things mentioned in this book. i am not sure how a person who is given a cancer diagnosis can do anything other than change the way we are living and looking at our lives. i have tried to gleam positive life changes from my cancer, not to feel sorry for myself. i did not want to feel like a victim. i wanted to take control of my life from here on out, and be sure that i was in charge of my health care and well being.

some people say that they do not want cancer to define them. well, i have said that if you could look up the definition of my name in the dictionary, "cancer patient" would be part of the definition, but not the most important part for sure. i consider myself a mother, wife, friend, health care provider- pretty much in that order. i love my family, and most of the time i enjoy my work even though it is a stressful job. i enjoy helping people learn about health care, and what they need to do to take care of themselves. i would like to help people realize that they are in charge of their own good health, and they need to make decisions that are right for them. oh, i almost forgot- in my definition, there would also be zumba fanatic. haha.

one of the most interesting keys in the book, radical remission, is the "increasing positive emotions" or as it is also called, adding joy to your life. i am, by nature, a pretty optimistic and happy person. which is not to say that i do not  get depressed, angry, or sad sometimes. happiness is very, very important to healing and actually boosts our immune system. i am going to  try to incorporate at least 5 minutes of joy or happiness into my life  every day. and by that, i think it should be more than a little smile. it should be a good ole belly laugh, as the saying goes. one suggestion in the book is to " monitor your media". which is interesting because after i had my surgery, i did not want to watch the news or any sad, violent or otherwise disturbing tv programs. i instinctively knew that this was bad for me. i want to be well informed, of course, but watching the news is a real downer to happiness ,i think. i wish the news could somehow focus on the good news instead of how many people have been murdered or hurt in car wrecks.

so, i'm happy..... or at least trying my best to be. here's to our immune systems, and i hope that you will enjoy this book as much as i have.

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