Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category

My obsession with cancer started 17 years ago when my father was taken by the disease.  He had cancer of the liver and lived a little over a month after being diagnosed.  Feeling a little tired and not quite himself, he went in for an annual checkup at the end of January in1994, and died on February 27th that same year.  Here I am now, 17 years later, reliving his death.  This past week yet another loving son, brother, husband, father and dear friend to so many, who’s middle name is that of my father’s, passed away from the same disease as my father, striking the exact same organ, and giving his final breath on almost the exact day.

Seventeen years ago I was absolutely terrified of cancer.  I insisted any ache or pain anyone around me ever experienced be ‘checked out’  by their doctor just in case.  My mind lived in a constant state of fear that another loved one would be diagnosed with this horrid disease and lose the battle.  According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 males and 1 in 3 females will develop cancer during their lifetime.  That is HUGE.   Take a look around you.  That means it may be either you or your son, or perhaps you or one of your sisters.  Unfortunately it hits closer to home than we think.

So what are we going to do about this?

If, as you are reading this, you notice water dripping from your ceiling what will you do?  Will you simply grab a bucket, place it under the leak, and then go about your day?  Unless you actually determine what is causing that leak, the bucket alone will not fix the problem, and throughout the day you will have to continue to empty that bucket because the ceiling will continue to leak.  However, if you examine the ceiling, find a crack and determine what the root of the problem is, and then try to fix that problem, chances are you will be more successful at keeping your house dry long term.  Better yet, if you are proactive and make sure to always take good care of that ceiling, protecting it from all external harm, imagine how long it could last without any serious issues?

That is the problem we are facing.  We focus so much of our attention on curing cancer by placing that bucket under the ceiling.  However, eventually that ceiling will fall apart, and that bucket is going to fill causing problems beyond our ability to fix.  At times that bucket is needed to help, but the bucket alone is not sufficient if we choose to ignore the root of the problem.

What is causing the leak?  What is causing cancer?

That is my personal goal with Drug Free Pharmacist:  to do what it takes, to educate us all on what needs to be done to prevent disease.  Is it a mere coincidence that cancer rates and other widespread diseases have gone up in correlation with poor eating habits, sedimentary lifestyles, polluted air, and toxic chemicals regularly introduced into our bodies?

I’m not willing to take a chance to find out.

Let us work together in preventing disease by taking care of our bodies so we are strong enough to fight disease and so that our ceiling will last as long as it was built to last.

May those left behind after losing a loved one gain strength in getting through the difficult days ahead, and may we reach the point that we know enough to not lose anymore to such tragic diseases.

Hoda Elkassem, RPh, BSc Pharmacy, BSc Allied Health Sciences

If you like what you are reading help me spread the word by sharing my articles with your friends.  Follow me, Drug free pharmacist, on facebook

When I decided to start Drug Free Pharmacist last month, my goal was, and still is, to educate the public on how to stay healthy and drug free.  As most of you who are following my blog are aware, I believe the key is prevention.  Avoiding every day toxins, nourishing our body by eating healthy foods, and using natural remedies etc, with the long term goal being prevention of widespread diseases such as cancer.  The ultimate goal of preventing such disease is to do our best to prevent what most of us fear: death.  The reason I haven’t posted anything recently is because my mind has been a blur.  Every time I sit to write I am at a loss of words, and not because I don’t have plenty to talk about when it comes to bettering our health (because believe me I have plenty to share), but instead because last week a young friend was tragically killed in a car accident.  Although his passing really does not pertain to Drug Free Pharmacist, I felt it necessary to reflect on his sudden death and life in general.  We can all do our best to prolong our lives by trying to be as healthy as possible and taking care of our bodies, but the reality is, no matter how healthy we are, when it is our time to go there is not a thing we can do about it.  Some things are just not preventable, death, unfortunately, is one of them.  I still strongly believe in the need to take care of our bodies, however I also believe that we should live our lives knowing that anything can happen at any given time.

Live today as though tomorrow may never come.

Be kind to the world around you, give generously without telling anyone what you gave, be good to your parents, love your spouses, play with your children, give gifts with no strings attached, smile at your neighbor, don’t hold grudges, make excuses, say I love you, say it again, and be thankful for every single breathe you are able to take.  My goal is still to help us all make sure that each of those breathes are good and healthy ones, but in the meantime let us live today and each day that follows as though it were our last-because we truly never know when our last will be.

**Remember there is a cure for widespread diseases like cancer,  the best way to cure cancer is to  prevent cancer as best we can.   If you like what you are reading help me spread the word by sharing my articles with your friends.  Follow me, Drug free pharmacist, on facebook**

–Hoda Elkassem, RPh, BSc Pharmacy, BSc Allied Health Sciences