How many of us cancer survivors have said, "If I knew then what I know now?" In fact, how many human beings have thought that over the course of their lives? It is natural to be a Monday morning quarterback. But I am not talking about what pass you would have had Mark Sanchez throw if you calling the plays. I am talking about your life.
We know that there are certain behaviors that can increase our risk of developing breast cancer. Those same risk factors increase substantially after we have been diagnosed and treated for the disease. The two biggies? Our weight and exercise routines and alcohol consumption. Study after study has shown that alcohol after breast cancer can increase your risk of recurrence by as much as 30%. If you lose weight and exercise, you can decrease your chance of recurrence by as much as 50%.
So what are we doing? I am not excluding myself here. I enjoy my gin with the enthusiasm of an Evelyn Waugh character. But I am making a resolution to limit my Juniper Berry juice to once or twice a month. I have had chemo- twice. I can have seltzer.
Because of recent surgeries, my exercise routine has taken a hit and over this holiday I became the Christmas Cookie's best friend. It all stops. I know how bad sugar is. I know I have to get back on track as soon as possible to fight my cancer from making a comeback.
While others make New Year's Resolutions to improve their lives or to fit into their skinny jeans, we have to make our resolutions to stay alive.
Join me, won't you? Let's lose the weight, work up a sweat and cut down or eliminate the libations. When you are tempted to cheat, remember what the Adriamycin looked like being injected into your IV. If that doesn't do it, then nothing will.