I write this from the hospital while waiting to get my six-month CT scan done to see if my cancer has returned. Needless to say, these scans always put me on edge.
For those of you who don’t know, I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer in 2016. It has been an arduous journey, to say the least, and that is what brings me to this email.
I am passionate about teaching my patients and students about kidney stone prevention because I know what it means to be ill. To be scared and anxious, waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” And I don’t want that for any of you. Besides being a tool for stone prevention, the Kidney Stone Diet is simply a healthy diet no matter what health issues you are dealing with. And this is why I can be just as passionate about talking about it today as I was that first day 21 years ago.
I eat and exercise and take care of my mental health on a daily basis. I know I’m doing everything in my power to take control of this disease and stay in remission. Can things go bad despite our best efforts? For sure. But knowing you’re doing everything you can for your and your family’s health is worth every sacrifice.
Look at your life. Are you doing what you can do to stay in control, to the best of your ability, to keep disease stable or possibly at bay? What can you do to add to your health? Is it getting more sleep? Minimizing daily stress? Incorporating the portion, not perfection mantra you hear me screaming about every day? Is it fluids you need to increase? Getting enough calcium?
Whatever IT is, work on it each day. You don’t have to get an A+ each day, but I want you to be in the game. Your health is the single most important thing you can work on. Without it, nothing else matters. But you know this already, don’t you?
Eating healthier and moving more is a lifestyle that you practice each day. You will never be perfect at it. And frankly, being perfect is super boring. We all need fun treats here and there. None of you got a stone from one unhealthy meal choice or diabetes from one Snicker’s bar. It is what we do over time that matters.
Nobody roots for you more than me. Now get to work, people!
Your friend and advocate,