‘What you can do to prevent cancer’

It’s not a cheerful subject but cancer is something we hear about more and more. I don’t think we should shy away from it. Both my parents have had cancer. My Mum when she was 36, she is now 71, and my Dad a few years ago. Cancer has often been spoken of in our house. My parents survived, my Auntie Joan did not.

I was trawling through a local bookshop the other day, something I love to do, and I came across a book called ‘What you can do to prevent cancer’ by John McKenna he is ‘a scientist, a retired medical doctor who has been practising natural medicine for 25 years’.

Because of my parents experiences I thought I knew a good bit about what cancer is and how it ‘works’ well it turns out I need to correct some of the ideas I have and in doing so could help myself strengthen my own immune system to fight against it. It is no guarantee but now I am in my mid 40’s cancer is something I think about more regularly. I’d also like to try to help my husband stay cancer free too. So, I am reading this book and would like to pass on some things I have learned.

  • It’s a western disease – African and other non westernised countires have lower forms of cancer: cancers related to chronic infections eg hepatitus.
  • It used to be an illness of the young and elderly as their immune systems being underdeveloped or in decline.
  • We develop cancer cells everyday it is a normal process, dealt with by our immune system, it is when this system goes awry problems occur.
  • A great many cancers are ‘exogenous’ that is ‘external so can be prevented’
  • Cancer’s main source of energy is glucose so that’s refinded carbohydrates – rice, pasta, porridge, potatoes, bread and – of course – sugar.
  • ‘Genes are only a small part of the picture’lifestyle and enviroment are a bigger factor and it is the ‘interaction between our genes and enviroment that determines’ whether our genes will be triggered.
  • ‘Epigenomes are the receptors in DNA that are a major factor in determining whether cancer will develop’
  • ‘The single major enviromental influence on epigenome is diet’
  • During the 2nd world war food was scarce so agricultural chemicals were developed to boost crops, these nirtogen fertilisers weakened plants making them ‘susceptible to infection’ so pesticides were developed to ‘strenghten’ them. These chemical are still in our enviroment.
  • Agricultural chemicals have been around since 1949 younger farmers don’t necessarily know how to farm without them.
  • Antibiotics are oversubscribed which weakens the immune system.
  • We should not eat ANY processed foods.
  • We should not eat anything anything labled low fat as this = high sugar.
  • Perfumes and body products are still not properly regulated they, like plastic, contain hormones disruptors.

My husband and i live in the countryside and love where we live. We work hard for this to be our home. We are surrounded by fields and nature – agricultural fields. As we are far from the main road we have a well as our water source and the water runs off the hills surrounding us. Hills and fields that are sprayed at various times of the year. The first thing we are having done is have our water tested. I am not panicing but I would like to be better informed.

I will continue reading, learning and reporting.

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21 Must-Have Travel Experiences in the Outer Hebrides

There’s more to the Outer Hebrides than the guidebooks would have you believe – but don’t just take my word for it.  Visit these islands for yourself, and take this list of essential travel experiences with you! See the sunset (or the Northern Lights) at the Callanish Stones. The Callanish Stones are older than Stonehenge, and…

http://storiesmysuitcasecouldtell.com/2016/05/11/travel-experiences-in-the-outer-hebrides/

Cianalas

On Saturday leaving homeI travelled from Lewis back to Glasgow. I knew it was going to be hard leaving, as I had been sensing this on the island all week.

I was amongst friends in Ullapool the previous weekend at Feis Rois, friends I hadn’t seen for years and shared their music and songs and felt part of ‘it’, part of the ‘scene’. I felt again what I once used to feel in Scotland.

After Ullapool I traveled the ferry journey home to Lewis and hung out with my parents. Mum and I went to the opening of a new art exhibition at the new museum in Stornoway. The museum is now housed in a very tasteful contemporary extension of the Lewis Castle. The event was also the launch of a book of poetry – Maritime by Ian Stephen – so there was a reading with music too. The Castle has been returned to its former glory, it’s being put to good use, as it should be. It stands in the middle of the Castle grounds overlooking the town and harbour, visitors will see it first as they approach from the sea.

We went for lunch one day in Borve so I sat in the back of the car, as I used to as a child, and watched the moor roll by admiring its emptiness. I listened to my parents discuss local politics, the community wind farm and the St Kilda centre, which is only in its planning stages, and I felt their sense of connection to where they are from, that they love where they live and that they want to do what they can to make it as good a place to live as possible. They have always been involved and active within the community and it makes me so proud and full of love. They care not just for themselves but for the community as a whole. They are not alone. This is what I knew would be hard to leave. The land, the sea, the weather and the work that comes from these has such an immediate effect on the people – to this day – it is all still so closely entwined. Out of that comes the music, language, poetry, stories and songs. All this is what my heart ached for as we taxi’d along the runway and the tears rolled down my cheeks.

This is my life…


I’m sitting at yet another airport, it’s 4.30am and I’m trying to work out what to ingest to make sure I don’t get my system too excited bedfore I board my flight. You see I’d prefer to get some sleep, if I can, as today I really am going to be time travelling (first from Dublin forward an hour to Frankfurt then 6 hours back to Newark – which is all going to take me 14 hours !!?) and given I have a gig tomorrow afternoon I could do with catching as many ‘zzzzzzzzz’s as possible.

I have just left my husband asleep in a hotel bed (we live 90mins from the airport so for early flights it’s preferable to sleep nearerby the night before) and it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow. I can’t remember the last time we had the last Valetine’s Day together and I know for a fact that we’ve not spent my birthday together for the last 9 years. The not-so-much-fun side of the music industry.

…and why do I do it? For this..

 

 

To make music and, ultimately, hopefully, to connect.

 

 

Some days were running legs

Have always loved this poem. It sums up childhood memories of Lewis exactly.

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sun over valley

Some days were running legs

Some days were running legs and joy
and old men telling tomorrow would be
a fine day surely: for sky was red
at setting of sun between the hills.

Some nights were parting at the gates
with day’s companions: and dew falling
on heads clear of ambition except light
returning and throwing stones at sticks.

Some days were rain flooding forever the green
pasture: and horses turning to the wind
bare smooth backs. The toothed rocks rising
sharp and grey out of the ancient sea.

Some nights were shawling mirrors lest the lightning
strike with eel’s speed out of the storm.
Black the roman rooks came from the left squawking
and the evening flowed back around their wings.

Iain Crichton Smith from ‘The Long River’ 1955

A Scottish poem I used to teach, and had almost forgotten about, resurfaced yesterday, and here it is, in…

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