Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Love my Neti Pot

This winter, I have been plagued by one cold after another. Chemo and radiation really wiped out my immune system to the point that I feel like the equivalent of a two-year-old in daycare for the first time! I'm catching everything!

All the antibiotics I had to take after my various surgeries didn't help either. We all know that overuse of antibiotics creates resistant strains, and guess what? I seem to have created an ideal environment for them to flourish and build up one heck of a lovely sinus infection. A visit to Minute Clinic got me a prescription for some scarily large pills of Ambutin which I hope will take effect soon, but in the meanwhile, I am managing to stay relatively comfortable thanks to this.

This goofy little teapot looking thing is a neti pot, and you use it clean out your nasal passages. I've known about neti pots for years and natural health practitioners frequently recommended them as a great way to keep colds and allergies under control. But I could never get over the "gross" factor. It just seemed way too nasty to attempt to shove salty water up my nose. But when my head started to feel like it was stuffed with cotton balls, and my ears and jaw started to ache from the pressure, the lady at my natural foods co-op talked me into it. I am so very extra glad that she did!

It is, dare I say it, quite nice. You clear out all the toxic junk, you breathe easier, and I'm told that regular use will help you keep from getting colds in the first place. I am sold. And you don't solely have to take my word for it. It seems that even Oprah recommends them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Stepping out of the Shadows

Welcome to my blog! I've been thinking about doing the blogging thing for a long time, but I never really had a focus for it. It seemed a bit narcissistic just to ramble on about my worldview, and I realized that if I didn't have a purpose for it, it would just become a boring diary. And who wants to read that? But I ran across the sunlight and shadow quote from Emerson the other day, and it immediately hit home for me. I figured I better save that blog name right away. (It is amazing how many good blog names are taken! If I hadn't acted fast, I probably would have had to settle for "Standing in the Non-Darkness" or something.) So, here I am, jumping right in.

Most anybody reading this probably already knows my recent story, but for those of you who don't, I am a breast cancer survivor (stage III cancer, diagnosed in June 2007.) I did the whole mastectomy, chemo and radiation thing, and I've got one real breast left, and one fairly reasonable facsimile. It wouldn't fool anybody on close inspection, but on a cloudy day from a distance, you'd probably never notice the difference. I learned a heck of a lot about myself, about health and nutrition, and about the mind-body connection during this journey. I learned that I couldn't control everything, but I could control what I put in my body, on my body, and my attitude. I learned to turn my face away from the shadow of cancer to the sunshine of life that was there all along.

My mother-in-law is now facing lung cancer, and I hope that I can help her step out of the shadows. I guess that's what this blog is going to be all about; the things I do that make me feel good. Maybe they'll make you feel good too.

For starters, I can't help but smile looking at the picture of these two little cousins, in their matching pjs, having way too much fun to sleep.