Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stanford Cancer Center

I spent some time today at the Cancer Center at Stanford Hospital. It certainly is a beautiful facility. I mean, it is several stories high, lots of windows and light, they even had a pianist in the lobby and valet parking.

Unfortunately, everyone there is there for one reason, either they, or a loved one has cancer.

My sister and I went with my father to meet with the surgeon who will perform his surgery. We had questions, and he had answers, not necessarily exactly what we wanted to hear each time, but still, answers.

We have gone through this before, with my mother.  There are things you feel proud to be an "expert" at, but cancer is not one of those things.

I looked around the waiting room, scanning the faces of the people. There were old people, middle aged people and some young ones. Cancer does not discriminate, it likes everyone, the rich, the poor, the fit, the not so fit.

No one has control over whether they may be a victim of cancer or not, but we all have control over how we can ensure that we are able to respond well if we do get it. We all have control over our general health, our lives are actually in our own hands.

I started thinking about my health, how I treat my body, how I have grown to value this amazing piece of machinery, that does whatever I ask of it, and hardly complains. What would happen if I no longer had this body? If I were to become ill?  I don't think we think of things like this until we are faced with the possibility. Sometimes it has to smack us right across the cheek before we listen.

Studies have proven that those who exercise regularly don't get sick as often as "regular" folk. I have been told that I have more NK (Natural Killer) cells than the average person, in part because of the amount of exercise I do, and have been doing for many, many years. Because I have more NK cells, I don't get sick, really, ask anyone who knows me.

We should all exercise every single day. We are living beings, not robots and are meant too move and expend energy. No one should ever come home from work and plop down on the sofa, unless of course they work performing physical labor or got a good hour of exercise in before work!

Besides regular, strenuous exercise what else should you do? Don't smoke, even 'just occasionally". I am blown away at how many young people smoke. Can the world be any more in your face about how stupid smoking is? No! Yet I see young people lighting up, they think they look cool? They not only look un-cool, but stupid.

Eat right. You all know what that means. You may not know how to eat to drop all your body fat, like I do for a competition, but that is a whole different world, and frankly, I don't even think it's that healthy!  It certainly isn't a diet you can live with.

You should eat a balanced diet. What the heck IS a balanced diet anyway? It means that you don't go off on some idiotic fad diet that cuts whole food groups out! Potato chips and beer are not food groups by the way...

Eat fruit, nuts, vegetables, grains, lean meats, lean poultry, fish, low fat dairy. The obvious things.

Don't poison your body with drugs and alcohol. I know, an occasional glass of wine is fine, but I am talking about "pickling" yourself. 

You body is amazing, it will serve you well if you treat it right. If you are one of those who should make some changes, do it now before it's too late.

Consider yourself just slapped, across that right cheek. It may sting, but you will remember it for a long time.

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