Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Holding to Optimism

Posted by Maggie

In general, I've always been an optimistic person. I usually wake up with a sense of well-being, of direction, of knowing what I want to accomplish for the day and having some confidence I will do so. It doesn't always work out, of course, but I usually have positive expectations.

They've been a little tougher to maintain lately, but I'm doing it. What's helped now is that there's a plan —I know what day I start treatment and just what is going to be likely to happen.

And because I want to do everything I can to improve my odds I've added in going on a strict anti-cancer diet.  I've had time the last few days to do a lot of research, and there are amazing studies supporting it. The basic theory is that tumor cells are fed only by sugar and carbohydrates, so removing  those from the diet helps starve the tumor at the same time as it's being poisoned and radiated. Makes a lot of sense to me. It's not a huge change for me to make this switch, as I'd already been gluten and dairy free, so it's just the rest of the grains and all forms of sugar that go. It gives me a feeling that I'm contributing to the healing process myself in addition to trusting the doctors to do what they do.

I've sketched a little, nothing great, but good to put pencil to paper. It's still hard to hold a pen or pencil without shaking so I tried a loose watercolor where I just let shaking be part of the process. It was interesting.

One more huge positive came my way yesterday—I heard from my wonderful book publisher that an advance copy of my new book is on its way to me. It will be such a thrill to see it. The books will be available sometime in March, but can be pre-ordered any time here.

I am so glad it was completed and in production before I became ill. I have been very excited about the book and can't wait to see it in print!

Once again thanks to all of who have written, emailed, sent messages and your support and wishes. It means so much to me.


  1. You are such an inspiration, Maggie! You go girl!! Hugs, Paula

  2. Great choices Maggie, a great diet and optimism...nothing but energy to head toward victory. Sending you healing thoughts and prayers.

  3. We started an anti-cancer diet when my husband was diagnosed with a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma in 2010. His neuro-oncologist at Mass General has been doing a lot of research in nutrition and cancer, and he recommended Brett eat only whole grains and whole foods in general (fruits, veggies, etc). Absolutely no processed or pre-made/packaged foods whatsoever, and no white sugar or white flour. The additional benefit is that we both feel great--more energy, less weight, better moods. I don't know if you know of it already, but _Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life_ by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber is an incredibly helpful resource. The author had brain cancer, and as a doctor/leading researcher in functional MRI brain mapping, he began very focused research on how to fight cancer while getting treatment. It's a great book--well written, full of sound advice based on solid scholarly research and findings. In addition, we love the cookbook _The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen_. Every recipe we've tried has been absolutely delicious, and to know the food we're eating is helping to strengthen our immune systems and fight the cancer beast is an awesome benefit. Exercise is important, too. Brett's doctor (a top guy in the field) stresses all the time how important exercise--especially cardio--is in fighting cancer. Brett walks 2 miles a day. I know you're having a tough time with your leg, but I'll bet there are other things you can do--it really does help in a lot of ways. Best of everything to you, and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    1. I think about you everyday Maggie. I read what you have to say and feel and admire your strength! I am so glad to see a new blog from you. It takes a village and you have an abundance of support out here!

  4. Thank you for sharing your trials and brave optimism with us, Maggie! Knowing more about a diet that can prevent cancer or keep it from advancing is very helpful to everybody. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Keep the strength, dear friend!

  5. Maggie, I too am thrilled to see a new post. Even more exciting is your attitude. I love your sharing of the new ways you are adopting. That plan of eating would be a benefit to everyone.You will definitly succeed...maybe your loose watercolor method will be a new fad too.
    I am happy to have the pre-order opportunity. Your books are always wonderful.
    Prayers and good thoughts are flying to you. Keep up your spirits! Hugs, Sharyn Lightfoot

  6. You are an inspiration to all of us, Maggie! Praying for healing and speedy recovery. I think the diet is a great idea! I am sure it will be very helpful in aiding your treatment.
    Congratulations on the book! I can't wait to see it myself. I didn't find the link above to work. You might try posting another one.
    All my best,

  7. Hoping the diet goes hand in hand with your treatments - thinking healing thoughts for you in the days ahead...take care!

  8. Maggie congratulations on your new book. I am looking forward to getting it. Keep up the fight x

  9. Maggie, I did not know of your fight with cancer. I am sorry you are going through this but am delighted at your optimism. I am thrilled about your new book, too. You are such a great great teacher. I will be praying for you on a very regular basis: I pray for God's healing, that despite what you are going through you can still recognize your gifts through the trials, that you give to this world: we are grateful for you. I pray that you be given much strength, continued courage, and that your family be given the same as they fight this with you. Know that you are not alone, as evidenced by this blog, and the many people who love you. We all support you, even those of us who only know you "remotely." God bless you and keep you safe and secure.
    Faith aka Grasshopper (in WC)

  10. Dear Maggie, I was just told today of your illness. Please add my voice to the huge chorus of well wishes and waves of healing energy being sent your way.
    I took a 3 day workshop with you last fall in Roseburg, OR. It was by far the most useful and encouraging workshop I've ever taken. Just want to thank you so much for your generous teaching. Enjoyed yours and Bill's company at dinner, also.
    Having taken the cancer journey twice in five years with my life partner, I am well acquainted with that roller coaster ride. And, my heart goes out to both you and Bill.
    Keep the faith,
    Much love to you,
    Bernie Gardner

  11. Maggie: Your optimism is not unfounded. I am 11 years out from radical neck surgery and radiation and take each day as a gift. Bless you and your family. From a partner in painting [pastel included!] and sharing one's gifts. Kent