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02 November 2010


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Dear Boots

Superb post. I love the way you combine the witty, the wry, the angry, the stoic in one paragraph.

The description of friends and loved ones - including the four-legged ones - shows you living in a network of affection. very Karmic.

We do need people like you to challenge and question the authoity of those who should be more tentative. Our lives are in their hands. And ours.

Pleased your are recovering from the raging infection.


Eating healthy may or may not speed your recovery, but in my experience I feel better when I eat well (as in healthy). Then again, a little treat now and then doesn't hurt does it? So sorry to hear about your infection and also about the unresponsive doctors. No doubt they either feel rushed for time or they're scared you'll ask a question to which they don't really know the answer... Hope to hear you're well again soon!

Have you read 'The China Study' by Professor Colin Campbell? I think there is evidence out there that diet has an effect on cancer and health generally. It's a shame doctors don't spend more time studying nutrition during their training in my view.

Surely if your body is not wasting precious time and resources dealing with food that is difficult to process and digest it can spend more time and resources healing itself. We all know some foods are harder for our bodies to digest than others. If for no other reason than that surely diet should be an issue when you have health issues.

I wish you a speedy recovery and am truly glad for your sake that you are aware and asking questions. After all, a doctor may know more about the illness but you know more about your body.

Take care.

Get well soon, dear D.
My oncologist was the weak link in the chain of otherwise superb care that I received. Perhaps they have to be detached and clinical in order to cope with the difficult cases they must see daily. Thank goodness you have such a wonderful Breast Care team.

Oh...I have been that 'awkward patient who asks too many questions' and have also had a doctor fire me--thank goodness as I found a much better physician to do my ovariohyster...

May you get past this hurdle and hurtle on to good health again!

Wendy - thanks for your encouraging comments. I always feel that you are cheering me on!

Shelley: I'm all for treats; in, fact a friend called round today with two boxes of treats, which were most welcome! But I'm going to say a little more about healthy eating in another post.

Carol: yes, I'm familiar with The China Study; thank you for mentioning it. Its findings very much reflect the programme that I'm following, devised by Professor Jane Plant (ie no dairy etc).

M: I think we're hardwired to expect high standards from our doctors and other medical professionals. But they're human beings too - and fallible. And, as in life generally, some are natural born communicators; others less so. The Dear Daughter suggested that this is very much the hard science wing of cancer treatment and those working in it are, inevitably, totally focused on 'outcomes', where quantity of life outweighs quality of life. You and I and many other readers are, I would imagine, firmly in the quality camp.

Teri: here's to tough questions!

excellent bit of writing, on such a rotten bit of luck. Hoping all gets cleared up quickly and no hospital stay is necessary!

Yes, keep asking questions!
There's less evidence than one would think about diet/breast cancer, though eating healthy usually feels better anyway. But don't shy away from dessert!
Get well soon.

Carry on asking awkward questions - the more questions get asked, the better (hopefully) the patient care will be. At the moment the health service deems us all to be idiots and assumes (maybe even hopes?) that we don't know much. My daughter's baby almost died due to medical negligence - if I and one of her friends hadn't made absolute nuisances of ourselves it probably would.
I'm horrified by the wrong advice, but not surprised at all.
Drain and drip - Pyjamas?

with all good wishes and sending positive thoughts!

For another take on the China Study, see http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cancer/the-china-study-vs-the-china-study/

Thanks Niki - doing my best although it seems the infection may have been misdiagnosed . . .

Libby: I think that any number of factors are at play in breast cancer (particularly oestrogen-receptor breast cancer) of which diet is just one but it seems sensible to eat a healthy, balanced diet in order to maintain a strong immune system, which aids recovery generally. But hairshirt, no; we have to have room for treats!

Rita: Thanks for the link. However, I'd prefer not to get involved too much here in the pros and cons of different diets or whether or not the China Study is right, as many of the online breast cancer forums offer the opportunity to do this. Everyone who is diagnosed with breast or other cancer makes their own personal decision as to how they will work towards recovery, based on a variety of factors, and it's important to respect that choice. The url you mention is, in fact, a link to an American site that heavily promotes the author's own books and, as one commenter puts it, includes all the usual mudslinging that diet physicians seem to indulge in. Plus the usual plethora of ranting comments. We have UK websites like that too, of course; they tend to be operated by men stuck with a particular mindset, with most of the comments coming from other men who agree with them! (Many apologies to the many enlightened chaps who read this blog and would never dream of behaving in this way online. )

Kathleen: I remember reading your post about the baby's arrival, with my heart in my mouth. I do hope that the baby and your daughter are doing well. And, yes, I plumped for pyjamas in the end! The bag is packed but it's looking as if it may not be needed. Watch this space.

How frustrating that you noticed it early on and yet nothing was done. Still, I suppose it doesn't help to feel frustrated. I do hope that you are starting to feel better - it really was the last thing you needed. The discussion of treats and hospital wear makes me think, how about treating yourself to a really splendid (and dairy-free) pair of jim-jams? Toast do delicious ones, for example, which I'm sure would help your recovery...

Dancing Beastie: Oh, Toast jim-jams. What an excellent idea.

Hope the antibiotics have done their job, D, and that a stay in hospital is averted. Treat yourself to some fab pj's anyway.

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