“I felt like an animal caught in an unforeseen trap and hung up to await an uncertain fate.”
Street art by DOA in Berlin – photo by (c) howlzap Cologne

The first time my bladder cancer came back, it was more prevalent and multi-focal but still thankfully low grade. It was May 2016 and I was in the middle of a worsening nightmare. It shook me up badly, I felt like an animal caught in an unforeseen trap and hung up to await an uncertain fate. I wrote copiously in my notebook and examined everything I could think of about my life. What had I done wrong? Too much work and stress? Not enough exercise? Not enough self-care? What else could I do?

The upshot was I decided I’d been too passive in my healing.  I’d trusted all my eggs to the medical team basket so to speak, I needed to take more responsibility myself. I got busy researching what I could do.

The first cancer book I loaded onto my kindle in the hospital was – “Anticancer – a new way of life” by David Servan- Schreiber http://www.anticancerbook.com/.  I read it avidly and it blew my mind. I was particularly taken by one extract about vegetables and realized just how powerful my favourite carrots are:

“In nature, when confronted with aggression, vegetables can neither fight nor flee. To survive, they must be armed with powerful molecules capable of defending them against bacteria, insects and bad weather. These molecules are photochemical compounds with antimicrobial, antifungal and insecticidal properties…”

I’d thought I was pretty well informed about nutrition, but this was a whole new ball game. There was so much I could do that could make an absolute difference. Eating an awful lot more vegetables would be a good start my “veggies / fruit with every meal” mantra was born.

Harnessing all that veggie-power and using it to protect my healthy cells had to be a good idea. Eating more vegetables boosts the immune system and anyone who is sick needs a robust immune system.