Balancing Expectations for Good Health

She is not Afraid of Snow for Her Household (2006) monotype & acrylic. Artist: JParadisi

     I have a special place in my heart for Dr. Susan Love. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost eleven years ago, her book, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book was my resource for navigating all the information and treatment options I was suddenly confronted with. As a pediatric intensive care nurse, I was almost as unfamiliar with my diagnosis as any non-medical woman might be. Dr. Love’s informative, and practical approach to breast cancer helped me gain a sense of control over what was happening to me. 

     Now Dr. Love is back, with a new book Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won’t Break Your Health (Crown). The book is reviewed by Tara Parker-Pope in a post New Health Rule: Quit Worrying About Your Health on the New York Times Well Blog. 

     While it’s not the purpose of this blog to offer medical advice, I will admit that one of the lessons I learned from my cancer experience is that perfect  health does not exist. I realized I did not fight so hard against cancer to spend the rest of my life following a strict life style and worrying about recurrence.  I was living a pretty healthy lifestyle prior to my cancer diagnosis. I continue to do so. I know that living with healthy habits , while helpful, does not offer any guarantees. With so much data about what to eat and drink to prevent cancer and heart disease (don’t drink wine, drink wine ), recommendations for scheduling enough sleep and exercise into a day, Dr. Love’s sensible approach is a welcome relief.