A few years back I wrote about New Year’s Resolutions, and how ineffective and ridiculous they tend to be. I just re-read that short post—Noisy, Fleeting Resolutions: Resolve to Evolve—and wouldn’t change a word today.
We’ve turned the calendar revealing a new year. And with that a renewed opportunity—if you are so inclined, motivated, and able—to improve your personal health: self-care and medical management, including lifestyle choices and staying on top of the scientific advancements specific to the malignant challenge you may be hosting.
Health Pivots, Not Resolutions
When I was diagnosed with incurable leukemia in 1991, I was motivated to learn and to act, but did not become a health creation machine overnight. It took years to get into the life flow I have now followed for decades—a flow that has not appreciably changed since my marrow was cleared of leukemia cells a decade ago.
My evolution came with pivots, slow and steady. First I learned all that I could about my diagnosis and prognosis from a seasoned community oncologist. Then I identified an expert academic oncologist and researcher, who lived, breathed, studied, and dreamed about the type of cancer I was hosting. Soon after, I began a decision-making process regarding treatment options.
It wasn’t until the more urgent aforementioned pieces were in place that I started researching in earnest—these were pre-Internet days—how I might impact the disease through diet and myriad behavioral and lifestyle activities.
I followed the science and literature—as it existed 30 years ago and through to this day. It was an evolution of change, of pivots. It took quite some time to arrive at what I feel is the ideal diet for me. My exercise routine also evolved based on the building exercise science for cancer, and the limitations of my body as I aged from my late 20s to my late 50s.
Achieving the proper balance of restorative sleep, stress reduction techniques, supplementation, water and tea intake, limiting toxic exposures—environmental, foods, products—while being practical and not over-the-top-whacko on all this, has taken time, a lot of time, and is ongoing.
Being proactive in the management of one’s own, unique cancer care has never been more important when it comes to not only ensuring the highest possible quality of life, but can greatly influence the core endpoints that also matter most: therapeutic response to conventional treatment, progression-free survival, and overall survival.
Proactive behavior by following the science, asking the right questions of your oncologist, and staying curious, can all combine for better outcomes … because smarter, informed patients get better care.
Nothing meaningful and sustainable is ever achieved overnight, especially based on a calendar flipping to a new year.
Success happens in small and incremental steps: consistent pivots and recalibration allows for improved behavior and approaches for truly informed and ‘engaged’ disease management—and creation of a health and resiliency regimen tailored specifically for YOU.
At the end of the day, or beginning of a new calendar year, resolve to pivot because that’s where the magic starts. Slow and steady wins the race to becoming a horrible host to cancer.
Happy New Year.
Photo credit: bigstockphoto.com/bm_photo