I've decided to add a new aspect to my blogging - book club time! I got the idea after reading Kairol Rosenthal's blog Everything Changes and deciding that I really, really wanted to read her book. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to run out and get it yet (I'll be heading out to Barnes & Noble in Kenwood tonight!) so I'm going to write about an interesting book my mom passed on to me. Now, for those of you who don't know, my mom has had cancer (more on that in another post...) so she's a fantastic resource for any advice or questions I might have.
As I've written about before, I've had a lot of issues with my diet since starting chemo. I've got tons of dietary restrictions, and those mixed with the nausea and mouth sores makes a skinny girl even skinnier! I know that might sound appealing, but trust me... skin and bones is NOT an attractive look. Anyway, the with all of the diet problems, my mom dug out this book for me: The Cancer Recovery Eating Plan, by Daniel Nixon, MD. Dr. Nixon is a Folk Professor of Experimental Oncology at the Medical University of South Carolina, as well as a consultant with the American Cancer Society.
Now, I was a little skeptical at first - the book looked pretty dry, and it's also fifteen years old (published in 1994). I was also extremely skeptical about the part about "Folk Professor of Experimental Oncology." Usually I shy away from anything that tells me to use alternative-type medicine to cure my cancer. But then again, that advice usually comes from aging hippies in vintage shops, not popular books written by accredited medical professionals.
As I started the book, my skepticism lessened - especially when I came across this one particular quote: "Your goal is to eat adequately without feeding the cancer." That really struck me. Dr. Nixon makes the very important point that so many cancer patients are so absorbed with just trying to keep on weight they don't stop to think about what they're actually putting in their bodies. This hit close to home for me, because I've been struggling with the same thing. Before I was diagnosed, I was used to eating mostly organic, local foods from farmer's markets. After my first chemo, I was so nauseous that the only thing I wanted to eat was Kraft Macaroni (SpongeBob or Pokemon shaped, please!), which, I'm sure only made me feel worse.
Dr. Nixon dedicates chapters to specific types of cancers (such as breast, colon, and others), with dietary suggestions for each type. Unfortunately, he also lists Hodgkin's (along with NHL and Leukemia) as non-diet related cancers, which kind of made the book moot for me, but oh, well - I still learned something! And at the back, he wonderfully puts recipes high in "good fats" but low in "bad fats" - perfect for someone like me, who is trying to put on healthy weight - not just any old kind of fat. In addition, there's a "Get Healthy" menu at the back - helpful for jump starting a new healthy eating lifestyle.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. It was a little dry - I don't always have a lot of patience for mainstream books with too much medical jargon, but this one wasn't as bad as it could have been. I learned a pretty decent amount about how cancer is effected by diet (even though MY cancer, apparently, doesn't have anything to do with diet) and that was good to learn for the future.
Let me know what you guys think! Also - Book Club. Good idea? Bad idea? I feel like I need a little something else to do to fill my time before I (hopefully!) start classes at the end of September.
Next, I'll definitely be reading Kairol's book Everything Changes - click on the link at the beginning if you want to grab a copy and read with me! I'd love to get some discussions going.
I'm also open to suggestions! I'm going to try to lean towards books for YAs with cancer, but I might throw something else in the mix every once in awhile, just for a little surprise :-)
Talk to you soon!
Lots of Love,