I can’t say enough, friends, I am no Doctor, (as my bank account regularly reminds me). I am just a wife who happens to be a Chef, whose husband got very sick.
We weren’t given much hope, we weren’t given much time, so I did all that I could do (after I stopped reeling) with what was my speciality, to care & begin to fight this beast through the healing power of food.
When I say I’ve spent close to thousands of hours of research on cancer, nutrition, diets & therapies including the Gerson Therapy, Ketogenic, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free, Clean Eating & Superfood Diets, I’m not kidding.
Along with being a wife, Mother & Chef I also happen to be a chronic insomniac with a photographic memory who happens to be a mad researcher. Who would have ever thought that my insomnia would someday have the power to do good? Not me.
I have such compassion for what the patient will or is going through but also have such deep empathy for the caregivers & can relate in such a deep emotional way to those friends, family who are on this journey with them.
These selfless, caregivers need help to support their loved ones & win this battle with them.
I looked for ‘That Book’, you know the one that would tell me what to feed Peter but would also explain how to talk to my kids, how to manage my fear & grief, how to hold myself together, how to realize that things would never be the same but it was going to be ok. Somehow.
I went looking for ‘That Book’ book & couldn’t find it. So from my insomniac driven research, from what our family has been through in the past year, from the darkest places to the most beautiful outpouring of love & support I decided to write the book I went looking for a year ago.
As a fellow caregiver, at whatever stage you are in, digesting what is happening to your loved one, your family the fear, shock, grief – I understand & have been there. Believe me.
The Patient is about to or is going through so much. It’s a Marathon. But the Marathon extends to the caregiver, the family, the children (ours are 9, 14 & 16) & it can be just as emotionally harrowing.
Cancer hurts the whole family, it hurts marriages, it steals our dreams but it doesn’t have to define you. Your life is about to change, forever.
Cancer isn’t going to sneak away never to be seen again once it has walked into your life. Whether you hit a point of full remission, are in recovery, are going for scans every 3 or 6 or 12 months, cancer & the threat that it will come back will always be with you. It doesn’t have to be a scary petrified existence. It’s just that your life is now different.
My writing style, you’ll notice is very honest, it’s raw, it’s wrought with emotion. There will be very helpful information & recipes & tips in my book that will be written in a way that is easy to follow, easy to understand. I couldn’t write a clinical type book if I tried.
There may the occasional swear words (usually when I refer to the word cancer) because that’s me expressing my anger towards this disease. My writing style may not be for everyone, this type of book may not be for everyone, but one thing I will promise, it will always be from the heart, it will always be honest. I can guarantee you there will be parts of the book that you will read & say ‘Man, I can’t believe she shared that, & I’m so glad she did because I’m going through that too’.
Also about me, I’m a grammar nerd, so unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence you’ll notice I’ll never captialize the word cancer. It doesn’t deserve the any amount of respect, even something as basic as being capitalized by me. That’s all I have to say about that.
‘My cancer, is not Your cancer, is not Her cancer, is not His cancer’.
That is my motto.
Cancer is a disease with a spectrum of colours. Everyone is different; everyone reacts to treatments differently based on the type of cancer, the current state of overall health, hereditary issues/history, medical treatment options. Some have had radiation, surgery, been on steroids, battled weight loss, brain fog, muscle shredding…so many different results, reactions, both physical & emotional.
When you tell someone that you have, or your loved one has cancer, you will hear a thousand different reactions & advice (trust me). Your disease, your journey, what you & your caregivers decide in terms of care is unique to you. The disease that is cancer which is so prevalent in our world now, can’t be lumped into one large category just like you can’t.
For both the Patient & Caregiver – Do what’s best for YOU. Do your own research. Google things like crazy. Be your own Health Care Advocate, Demand a Second Opinion. Look at Alternative Therapies, ask questions, demand answers. Don’t accept no as an answer. Don’t succumb to the gloom & doom.
I don’t have all the answers. My journey caring for Peter is far from over.
I think the Google search engine on my laptop wants to send me a private message telling me to back off a little. But I won’t. Keep this outlook in mind.
There are going to be days when you say ‘I would do anything to have one day where I don’t have to think about cancer’. I had those a lot at the beginning. But I will promise you that those days will come. You’ll have cancer thought-free days soon, I promise.
Anything I can do to share my research, recipes & first hand experiences with as many people as I can, I will always do.
You aren’t alone. I promise you. We are right there with you.
Love, Tamara ❤👩🏻🍳🇨🇦🍷