No, sugar didn’t cause my cancer- my biggest pet peeve

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So, there has been some false information floating around the interwebs for quite some time. You all know I try hard to be chill about all this stuff, but this one drives me nuts.  Not just because the science is very clear.  But, also becauae I have literally had strangers demand if I got my cancer because I ate too much sugar and processed meats.  This has happened more than once.  And not a week can go by without this old saw coming up on facebook or other social media.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-causes/art-20044714?pg=2

I am not calling anyone out.  Really and truly I get it..  You want to help prevent illness and that is fabulous. The articles sound legit and are usually full of both good and bad info.  So, no I also don’t think you are being dumb or unkind.  But, I am taking a moment to set the record straight.

No.  NO!  I did not get cancer because of something I ate.  Nor did the millions of other cancer patients that are being victim blamed whenever  someone buys into this convenient, comforting and wrong assessment.  And yes, you Uber asshat, I am actually calling you out specifically even though I said I wouldn’t.  Your Brother died of cancer.  And usually that would cut you a LOT of slack from me.  But, You of all people should know way better than to trap someone in your cab and then harangue them about their disease.

So, some very quick and dirty but basically right biology.  All foods you eat are transformed into sugar for use, and/or fat for storage.  ALL of it.  That is the only way your body can use it.  As far as vitamins and fiber and all that are concerned, those are used in different ways but not to provide energy.  Any foods with calories are transformed into sugar.  Doesn’t matter if it is a sugar cube or sweet potatoes or a steak. If your body wants energy, it is transformed into sugar.

Ahhh but what about the fact that cancer cells eat more sugar than other cells?, you say.   Well, yes they do. But that is because they are greedy little awful turds.  They are fast growing cells and they pretty much just outright steal the food meant for all the cells around them.  It isn’t the sugar that triggers them.  They simply turn into the cookie monster whenever sugar is around…  Unfortunately, if you shut off their energy flow, you shut down the energy to the rest of the cells, too.  Much of the chemo approaches are about trying to regulate this balance.  Let your own important cells heal and grow, while shutting down the cancer cells to the best of our ability.  As you might imagine, this is an extremely difficult balance to hit.  And each thing you touch adds new complications.  This is why I am on upwards of 20 meds each day.   Do I love this or think it is the perfect therapy?  No.  In fact it makes me uncomfortable and skeptical at every turn.  But, my research so far makes me want to follow the course as long as it seems to be working, knock wood.

And, though I know none of you would be so unkind as to call out a stranger and blame them for their disease, if you feel comfortable sharing the info, when it comes up, it may save someone the pain I have gotten when this issue arrises.

New medical info

ok, well now that that is out of the way, here is what my most recent medical updates look like:

  • They have shiftd down my main chemo to try to let my body heal a bit more.  It is a minor change, but they will continue to assess. For now they feel they can do it safely.
  • They are weaning me down from 3 steroid pills a day to 1 every other  day.  The belief is that this will help with my eyesight and the weakness in my legs.
  • They are setting up PT to help with the weakness.  Right now I can’t take stairs or a bus without help.  So, sort of a big quality of life thing.  It should also, hopefully make my hands less shaky… Also big.
  • they added in a new med and a new cream to help my skin heal.  I am starting to get spontaneous cracks especially on my fingtips.  And the Palantar thing is beating up my feet….  There is much wearing of greasy cotton socks :). I got some gloves, but they are not comfortable.
  • They added immodium to monthly Stuff You May Need.  But other than the sort of violent reaction to the barium, I haven’t seemed to need it.  Knock wood.
  • imageOne of the odder things….  I have a Big Girl Potty now!  Hah. Mostly, it is just that my legs are so weak, they want me higher up,so,I can stand easier….  Does feel a bit less…. Homey in the bathroom, though…  Maybe I need to paint it or Something… Bavarian Flowers, Dad?   It really does sort of grate at me even if it is useful.
  • Monday I get a bone scan with a whole new kind of radiation!  They will give me an injection, wait for it to spread though my body for a couple hours, then come back for a 45 minute test….  I am oddly looking forward to it because I have been really curious where the cancer is actually in my bones….  Diagnostically, it will let them see if there are places they can use targeted radiation.

 

6 comments

  1. Also: I think the underlying reason for the blaming is fear. If cancer truly is random then anyone can get it, including us. Pinning it on something means we can avoid something and thus means that we are safe. People will go to amazing lengths to avoid dealing with the fear of death, and blaming complete strangers for their own illness is nothing.

    1. Absolutely.. That is totwllynmy wssessment,,as well… Usually I am able to keep things like that in perspective. But, honestly, some of this winds up feeling like an attack. And that is lame on any level.

  2. Wow….I’m so sorry you have to deal with that insanity. So not cool. Cancer is just effed up on so many levels. Your thoughtful, conscious approach to your care and healing awes me. Here’s to peace, ease, and compassion in your world! XOXO

    1. Thanks, Dona… Most of the day to day stuff is just as boring as I said… But there are always little…. Scary weirdnesses….m today I almost fell on the escalator…. We decided that elevators are better for me…… I am learning tomuse the Disabled Tools thwt are around… Toilets, elevators, ramps, etc….. Hopefully these will be temporary…. But even moreso, I hope more folks become compassionate and/or better educated…..

  3. Yes, compassion and understanding beat the heck out of blaming. You approach your situation with intelligence and wit that demonstrating your patience and grace. Love you
    Mom

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