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All I think about is CANCER…part 1 of 7

This past week I’ve been so busy, I barely had time to blog…I mean, breathe!

My friend Jennie and I won a tennis doubles tournament. With friends, I camped in Big Cottonwood Canyon one night, hiked to Stewart Falls another night. Then my team went to Districts and we had matches three days in a row. Two of my kids had birthdays, and my oldest son turned 18. (How can I be the mother of an adult?!) Cade’s friends and I pulled off a really fun surprise party for him at the Grand America in Salt Lake.

I won my first tennis match at districts and ended up talking with my opponent, Anne, for an hour afterwards. She is my age, a mom of 3 daughters, and has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is scheduled for a mastectomy next week. She is terrified.

She knew absolutely nothing about natural treatments, which is true of most newly diagnosed cancer patients, who are like deer in headlights. It might take me the rest of my life, but I hope to turn that around: I want everyone to have access to solid information about alternatives.

At districts, I saw another of my opponents, Kristy, a mom of 4, my age, diagnosed 2 years ago with a brain tumor. A friend sent her to and bought her one of my books. Kristy drinks Hot Pink every morning and a green smoothie every afternoon.

I ran into my friend Camie not long ago, when I was getting my bike out of my car to do my 20-mile ride up to South Fork. I was hoping she was there, like everyone else at the mouth of the canyon, to run, cycle, or board up the canyon. That would mean she was feeling better. But she was at the Park-n-Ride in her car dropping popsicles off to her running team.

Camie is only mid-30′s with three young kids. She’s undergoing her last five chemo treatments for colon cancer–discovered in a routine colonoscopy, done because she has a genetic predisposition. She’s a longtime marathon runner and athlete and says she hasn’t left the house in a long time, can’t walk a city block, she is so ill from chemotherapy. She said she tried to eat an orange the other day and it tasted like metal.

A guy in my neighborhood, my age, looks healthy, just had his colon removed and is now sporting a colostomy!

Two people on my block of 11 homes have just been diagnosed with cancer, I found out Sunday. I took a green smoothie over to both of them yesterday with some other healthy stuff. One was talking mastectomy and radiation, and I didn’t say a word about how I feel about the “cure” she was talking about.

The medical profession claims a higher success rate for breast cancer than it did 50 years ago. But with routine mammograms, they just diagnose at a massively higher rate tiny tumors that might sit dormant for many years without growing. Then women are immediately disfigured upon diagnosis and their “cure” is included in statistics.

My tennis opponent who is having her breast removed? It’s a Stage ZERO cancer.

And the Pink Ribbon campaign. You’d have to eat 3 cartons of pink-ribbon-branded yogurt daily for 4 months for the donating brand to give $36, according to author Samantha King, who exposes Pink Ribbon politics.

Consumers gobble up anything sporting that symbol, even though the money lines the pockets of wealthy drug companies—the second-highest-grossing industry in America, right after the FOOD industry. I can find better ways to spend my philanthropy dollars than companies that, when banned by the U.S. FDA because a drug kills people or makes them sick or doesn’t work, go to third-world countries and market the exact same drug.

Would you donate your money to pesticide companies to research a way to grow crops without chemicals? That would make just as much sense. A pesticide manufacturer has no motivation to find a way to put himself out of business. Big Pharma has no wish to eliminate its profit source.

One definition of insanity is doing more of what isn’t working to solve a problem. Do you believe that another drug is going to win the war we’ve been losing against breast cancer?

I’ve had a long convo with my cousin recently about cancer–the politics, the personal ramifications, the history in our family and varying positions, pro-medical and anti-medical. My grandmother’s journal. My cousin told me there’s so much cancer on her block (half a dozen cases) she’s actually considering moving.

Cancer has been on my mind a lot lately. The more I study, the more the disease seems both ubiquitous–as well as unnecessary and avoidable!

Tomorrow I’ll announce my big new project.

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