Monday, March 18, 2013

The C-Word: Help for Rosemary's Babies

7 am this morning, to the sounds of the drilling two inches outside my window, i was speaking to a friend whose beautiful two year-old daughter has acute lymphoblastic leukemia

and when i came home from dropping rara at school, i saw the ny times op-ed by michael mudd about the food industry. and it made me think about rosemary's baby, the idea of a man trading his unborn child for his career, for getting ahead in the world. 

isn't that where we are now? leukemia and other cancers skyrocket amongst children under 10 and corporations continue to make and sell products full of carcinogenic and harmful ingredients because "the consumer wants them."

    these are beautiful british twin girls, the one on the left has leukemia and her sister on the right does not. fortunately, they can help in understanding the DNA changes that might lead to leukemia.

we have sold our next generation to pesticide manufacturers, x-ray and microwave machine builders, pharmaceutical and junk food corporations, not to mention, the cosmetic industry.

in the meantime - if your child or any child you know - gets leukemia, here's some advice:

ONE i am sure you know - keep her as quiet and rested as possible. cancer patients needs tons of sleep. the more the better. just let her sleep and sleep and find a place where she can be quiet and undisturbed.

TWO cut out sugar from her diet.  for now, i would include fruit, or at least limit her fruit intake as much as you can, to just a little bit here and there. if she does want to have fruit, give her mangosteen, pineapple (very good for cleaning the blood, you just have to cut it carefully because it could burn her tongue if the chemo is affecting her mucus membranes), green apples, carrots. no sugar, no honey, no maple syrup and especially NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETNERS! there's been a link between aspartame (nutrasweet) and leukemia, better not to use it.

no white rice, no wheat. cut back on carbs as much as you can because they turn into sugar in the body and cancer cells feed on sugar.

THREE increase broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussell sprouts, kale - all cruciferous vegetables in her diet. 

if you can juice them, even better. if the juice feels too strong, you can add more cucumber and green apple. i make a juice every morning with three leaves of kale, two thick stalks of broccoli, one cucumber, three stalks of celery, a small bunch of coriander, half-a-lemon, and half-a green apple.

make sure the fruits and vegetables you juice are organic and washed clean. if you can get her to drink three or four big (16 oz) glasses of this a day, that's great. make it as fresh as you can and if she can't drink it all at one go, let her drink small amounts throughout the day. it means she will continue to get nutrients because sometimes the chemo can make it hard to eat and can give you sores in your mouth and throat. if she has too many sores in her mouth for the lemon, just leave it out and add more cucumber and/or aloe with is good for coating the mouth and stomach.

FOUR while she is having chemo, make sure she drinks a lot of water. i drank three liters a day but i am quite a lot bigger. the idea is to get all the noxious chemicals out of her body as fast as possible.

FIVE make her laugh. laughter strengthens your immune system. funny movies, jokes, toys. the more you can keep her laughing and cheerful (and i've heard she is a little sprite so she will be easy to entertain), the better.

SIX  zhikr - for both you and your baby. tasbih (or a rosary or mala, if one is christian, hindu or buddhist) is a magic charm and for calming and energy. just get a set and keep saying, "la illaha illala" on each bead. give a set to your baby to hold or wear around her neck - and tell her they will keep her safe and strong. when the stress is getting to you - or her - find a quiet place (even if it's just in your mind) to breathe slowly and deeply and keep doing the thusbee and concentrating on LOVE because that is what God is. all-embracing love, all-forgiving love, all-healing love.

breathing deeply for both you and her is very important because getting enough oxygen in your body can kill cancer cells - and for worried mamas, it can keep you from getting sick from the stress.

SEVEN gentle massage. chemo makes your body achy. loving massage can increase her blood circulation and energy. hold her, massage her. if she loses or doesn't have much hair, one's scalp is super-sensitive, it's nice to stroke and massage her head.

EIGHT i used to take a product called polymva. it's combination of b-vitamins and palladium. it is incredible at protecting your healthy cells from the chemo. i would giver 1 tbp in a glass of water four or five times a day. it looks horrid and it tastes like marmite with no salt, but one gets used it and it will give her energy to survive the chemo. unfortunately, it's quite expensive, but it is miraculous. i used to go through 5 bottles a month. 

NINE omega-3 fish oil is very important -especially for leukemia! make sure she is taking it. maybe very small capsules - sometimes they have it flavored for young kids.

make sure you get a reputable brand because fish oil goes rancid very easily. also, try to feed her fatty fishes, like salmon and mackerel.

i use blue pastures - apparently, fermented cod liver oil is even more effective than regular and this is better than nordic fish oils.

TEN if you don't live in a sunny place, make sure she is taking vitamin D. i take it in drops but it is nice as a cream which is how vitamin d enters your body in normal times. it's soothing and energizing.

ELEVEN of course, take turmeric and ginger. they help with inflammation, pain and nausea with no side effects.

LAST OF ALL - i recommend everything that you do for your baby, you do for yourself as well. please please look after yourself. it is emotionally draining to go through this. 

be gentle with yourself and  it will be easier to be gentle with your baby.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

guns and roses

one of the singing amazons is looking at colleges. (phew! that went fast!)

why is it when the kids are little, time seems to move so slowly? with newborns, time feels frozen almost. you are keeping track of days and then weeks of life. and then they are toddlers and you count time in months. "she's 16 months' old," you say, because you're keeping track of developmental milestones and nervously awaiting the terrible twos.

and then all of sudden, they are rambunctious kids and you're organizing playdates and lessons and figuring out schools and how to entertain them while you're making dinner. (i used to feed rara and then put her in the stroller and make sasha and zarina push her up and down the hallway while i was cooking). or you're trying to figure out whether your neighbor can watch one who needs to come home while you're stuck at work (and working on remembering to pick up the supplies for a school diorama project). you count the minutes before bedtime, the hours you can sleep before you get up and start the whole delicious and exhausting and messy process all over again.

but when they hit 11 or 12, everything starts moving faster and faster. only a year til middle school, and then tutors and SATs and performances and school dances and teams and heartbreak and the next thing you know they are halfway through high school and you haven't unpacked the summer clothes from two years' ago. next, you blink, and the college applications are all in and you're in limbo, waiting to see what happens next.

amongst her choices is USC which is a good school for acting and performance. so i was talking to a fellow mum about it and she said, "it's a great school and, even though it's in a terrible neighborhood, the crime rate is going down. there were only four shootings on campus last year - but no one was killed."

i said, "FOUR shootings?! (let me add that teachers (and others) are now allowed to carry concealed weapons at schools and churches in north dakota.) who is giving students guns?"

the mum, who happened to be british and danish, shook her head.

school children and college students and movie goers and shopping mall shoppers are getting shot in peacetime u.s.

calls for gun control and new gun policies are all over twitter and facebook and but no one seems to have a clear plan or any idea what the 2nd amendment really meant.

a friend of mine, pia sen, a brilliant professor in birmingham, alabama, who raises the most beautiful flowers, is trying to fund a crucial study on gun violence, access to guns and gun policy. we have less than a month to help her. (click here to read about it).

click here to donate funds

but please do it soon. blink again, and your kids will be adults. we hope and pray.