Imagine for a moment a vacant city lot that’s seen better days. Once it sprouted tall, healthy grass and wildflowers; now it only sprouts weeds. Every so often the city blasts the lot with toxic weedkillers, but every time the weeds are back again within months. The lot is choked with trash and so unappealing that it lowers the property value of the buildings around it.
One day a woman of vision passes by. She sees how well-located the lot is, and how with care it could become the centerpiece of its neighborhood. She organizes a team, and together they clear away the weeds and trash. They design and build walking paths, and bring in compost to upgrade the soil for garden beds. They plant trees and put in a drip irrigation system. With continued love and attention, the lot becomes a welcoming park and productive community garden, increasing the health and appeal of the surrounding area.
Had the city garden team stopped after pulling weeds and removing trash, the lot would have appeared healthier for a short time. But without the soil enhancement, irrigation system and continued attention that transformed it into a park and garden, it would have become re-infested with weeds and continued to require toxic treatment.
The image of a desolate lot restored to vitality through attentive care and infrastructure improvement may help you think in a new way about healing from cancer.
The diagnosis of cancer is usually a sudden event, but tumor growth isn’t. By the time a tumor is detected, it’s been growing “under the radar” in conditions somehow hospitable to its growth for a long time, sometimes decades. Treatment by surgery, pharmaceutical therapy (including chemotherapy) or radiation may remove the bulk of the cancer that’s there at the time. But until the terrain that produced the cancer is modified, there’s nothing to stop cancer from growing again.
Here’s what I’d love you to know: it’s within your power to significantly reduce your chances of cancer recurrence or progression and achieve extraordinary wellness. Make your internal terrain a healthy place for cells to grow and function, healthy and resilient enough that cancer cells have little chance of gaining a foothold.
Great news: there are many things you can do to create terrain that generates and supports healthy cells rather than cancerous ones. In this 3-part series, I’ll lay out three powerful steps to creating extraordinary wellness after cancer. Engage deeply in each of these steps, and you’ll find yourself easing into a life of wellness, optimism and joy.
There’s one more thing we can learn from the community garden story: it takes a team. As you continue to part 2 and part 3 of this series and pinpoint where you’d like to heal further, surround yourself with friends and professionals who share your vision of wellness, support your self-care practices and provide the expert guidance you need to bring you swiftly and smoothly home to your radiantly healthy self.
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Wondering how you can become more cancer-resistant? Click here now to find out.
© 2014 Shani Fox, ND, LLC
Keywords: cancer survivor, survivorship care plan, cancer prevention, cancer recurrence prevention