One mom’s extreme search for healthy living

In health on March 16, 2011 by quriasw Tagged: ,

One of the most profound  byproducts of a serious health challenge can be a patient’s need to seize control over some aspects of his or her life, hoping those changes may affect the outcome of illness. Today, in the first of three parts, writer, cancer survivor and mother of two young children,  Amanda Enayati reflects on her newfound vigilance – some might say obsession – with achieving a healthier lifestyle for herself and her family.


“Why did I get cancer?”

I think in the first years after diagnosis, I asked anyone and everyone who crossed my path: doctors, surgeons, oncologists, specialists, nurses, orderlies and receptionists. All I ever heard was: “We just don’t know.”

I tried to make a case for myself, as if somehow that would undo that which was already done: But I am young. I have no family history. I have no genetic predisposition. Zero high-risk lifestyle habits. Nothing! The disease just showed up one day like a nightmare houseguest no one was expecting or was happy to see.

“So why did I get cancer?”

Eventually, when they were all good and tired of me, I was greeted with blank smiles and an imaginary chorus of crickets chirping.

But an unanswered question of that magnitude does not just go away. It replays in your mind over and over again. It makes you suspect things that appeared innocent just a few short months ago. It makes you, well, paranoid.

I began researching like my life depended upon it. (And perhaps it did and does.) One day I came upon a simple sentence: About 40 percent of cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Its source: the World Health Organization.

I figured there was so much I could not control in recovering from cancer. But I could control “lifestyle changes.”



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