We asked fearless cancer warrior Natalie Sun, the creator of Texting With Cancer to share her journey with us during October Breast Cancer
Awareness Prevention Month. Here’s first entry! Share your thoughts in comments.
When I was 25 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Well, I’m still 25. That was only two months ago. That being said, it feels like I’ve grown decades wiser since then, and I’ve learned that with bad news comes opportunities to learn and see the world a little differently.
One of the many important lessons?: You’re never ‘too young’ to have something happen to you. I might seem awfully young to have been diagnosed with breast cancer, but the ages of newly diagnosed cancer patients are getting younger.
FACT: Just because you don’t have any symptoms doesn’t mean you’re 100% healthy.
We often take our bodies for granted when it’s working properly. It wasn’t until I started chemo that I realized how much of a luxury it is for our bodies to be properly doing its job. (Simply being able to taste properly gave me a whole new appreciation for food. Who knew vegetables tasted SO GOOD!?)
The wild thing, though, is no one ever expected that I would be diagnosed with cancer. My parents are both doctors, so I was raised to keep tabs on my health. I’m careful with what I eat; I don’t eat fast food, I don’t drink anything but tea and water and I exercise regularly. I bike to and from work, and I don’t even own a microwave.
Thankfully, all of that didn’t go in vain. Because I was so healthy to begin with, my body is recovering from chemo much faster than most, and my side effects are bearable.
It did make me wonder, though: besides genetics, what could have triggered all of this?
I looked at my mom. My mom made a living being around sick people. She was extremely stressed juggling a family, a private practice and side investments. Yet she never got sick.
Then it started to make more sense.
She’s healthy. She eats organic, and washes her vegetables until they’re squeaky, squeaky clean (you’d be lucky if a restaurant does more than rinse). But she’s healthy down to the details. Her skin care regimen? Whenever we drank smoothies or ate fruit, the remaining skin or juice would be rubbed on her face (and she has skin like a BABY). She’s frugal, but is willing to spend a bit more on non-toxic makeup and household products. You won’t find a bottle of toxic cleaning products in our house anywhere.
The more research I did, the more I realized the effect environmental toxins and chemicals have on our health. Sure, I was eating healthy– but what about the shampoo I was using? The cleanser? The makeup remover? The eyeliner that I love and use everyday was doing harmful things to my body. Just because the effects weren’t immediate doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. Jessica Alba is finding success in The Honest Company, which was founded on the principle of creating safe, sustainable products. The team over at Thrive Market are sourcing healthy products from food to deodorant. More people are starting lines of pure, vegan makeup products and spreading the word about healthy living.
Although you’re never too young to have something happen, but it’s also never too early to prevent things from happening. Eat healthier. Cook at home. Buy organic. Research your household products. Replace your makeup. Your body will thank you.
Don’t take your health for granted, and thank your body every once in awhile for doing a good job.
This post is a guest blog post contributed by Natalie Sun, Texting from Cancer. Published with Permission.