Monday, March 8, 2010

Health: Taking It for Granted

I've always taken my physical health for granted. Even though I've definitely gotten sick on more than one occasion, I've never struggled with any chronic health problems, and I don't even have food allergies (that i know of). Ditto my parents, for the most part. My dad has struggled with gout in the past, but they're both pretty health-conscious themselves so I've never had to worry. My Mom's parents both died from complications with diabetes, so I have to be careful there, but really, that's about it.

Part of the reason I decided to eat vegan was because of all of the incredible health benefits associated with it. Per recommendation by many veggie blogs around the net, I listened to The China Study on my drive to Dallas this past weekend and learned how animal protein increases the risks of heart disease and cancer (American's top 2 killers), and how eating a plant-based diet can actually reverse the effects of heart disease. All good information, but not really applicable to me. I've never had to deal with heart disease or cancer in my family. I've never even been to a funeral.

And then, late on Saturday night, my Mom received a call from her oldest sister, my Aunt Jennifer, who lives in Canada. My Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Mel are like second parents to me, and they spent about a month in Dallas with my family over the Holidays. The last time I went to Dallas, actually, was to see them before they returned to Canada. They are incredible, incredible people, and despite the distance between us, I know they are always thinking of me and loving me just as much as my parents do.

So when I learned that Saturday night that my Uncle had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had emergency surgery, I was beyond devastated. I'm still devastated. I don't know how to process or deal with this information. I don't know how to express the fear, I don't know how to talk about it, and I don't know how to be optimistic. I have to be strong for my Mom, so she can be strong for my Aunt, but I don't know how. For my Mom, this is an even more difficult time. She is SO close to my Uncle Mel, and this is her dearest sister we're talking about. And what about my Aunt? My heart breaks for my Aunt, and the pain she must be going through.

I know I've already asked, but please please continue to keep my Uncle Mel and my Aunt Jennifer in your prayers/thoughts. And thank you for your kind words and support. This is uncharted territory for me, and I am forever grateful for your generous love.

17 comments:

Analiese Marie said...

So sorry to hear about your uncle. My thoughts are with your family!

Lauren said...

I watched my grandmother struggle with cancer at only 54 years old. I think that the best thing you can do, for yourself and for your Uncle, is to be there. Really be present. Take it all in, be a shoulder to lean on, and soak up every minute you get to spend together with your family. That being said, I think it's also an important time to journal, talk about how you are feeling and continue to do the things that you love and that help you celebrate being alive. I'm here if you ever want to talk! Sending lots of good thoughts your way! *hugs*

Ellecubed said...

I am also sorry to hear about your uncle. Sending you and your family positive thoughts.

akarmaproject said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Uncle. Lots of positive thoughts and vibes going your way. xoxo.

Carolyn said...

Oh Sweety, I am sending all positive thoughts prayers and wishes to you and your family- especially your Uncle Mel.
I am a fantastic listener if you need one...sending much love. xoxo

Crystal said...

So sorry to hear about this, Carolyn. :( These things are always shocking, especially if you've never really experienced them before with someone you're close to. Be strong. Your family is in my thoughts. *hugs*

fresh365 said...

You are absolutely in my prayers. This is such a hard thing to go through- I hope you will find comfort soon.

Globetrotting Cacti said...

You and your family are in my thoughts. Just being there for your Mum and your Aunt and Uncle will be so gratefully received and appreciated but don't forget to be there for your-self too. You need some time for your-self, to work through your feelings. Always here for you... x

Megan said...

I am really sorry to hear this news. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Chelsa Bea said...

Sending loving and healing prayers and thoughts your way. If you need ANYTHING I am here. ♥ you.

Kayla said...

I am so sorry to hear about your uncle. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Rachel said...

So sorry to hear that! You and your family are in my thoughts.
xoxo

Pink Heels said...

Sending you lots of hugs. Hang in there and let me know if you need anything.

livin wide said...

so sorry to hear - a family member being sick sends ripples. i'll keep you all in my prayers and am sending you hugs.
my mom had her colon removed 10 years ago and if it will help to hear more about the experience, email me.

XO, S

Sallie Ann said...

So many good wishes and prayers coming your way.

Revanche said...

Belatedly sending you strong thoughts and hugs!

WendyB said...

So sorry. Wishing your family the best.