“I would give anything to be healthy for just one day…”

My blog is about real estate and building real estate sales businesses, but I’m veering off course with this post. However, I’m going to write about your health, which is more important than your business and way more important than money.

A week ago, I was with someone, who I love very much, at a chemotherapy treatment. These treatments usually last 3 to 5 hours. There was another patient receiving chemotherapy and we were all talking. This other patient had been receiving chemotherapy, on and off, for a year or two. He was struggling with some of the side effects of the treatment. One of the side effects is neurosis, which is numbness in your feet and hands. This complication tends to be permanent and is in addition to several other side effects from cancer treatments.

At one point in the conversation, he said the following:

“I would give anything to be healthy for just one day…”

Here I was worried about various problems with my investments and businesses and he was dealing with a multitude of physical problems. All of my so called problems were trivial when compared to what he was dealing with. It became very clear that our health is something we tend to take for granted. In fact, if you’re healthy right now, you don’t have any real problems.

Cancer has impacted everyone in one way or another. More than likely, you know someone who has cancer. You may even have someone in your family who has cancer. I do and almost everyone I know does, too.

The BIG problem with cancer is we haven’t had any major significant progress in reducing the loss of life. We’ve made a lot of progress on extending  life, but not very much progress on saving lives. This is very evident in the graph below:

(I found this chart in great presentation from TEDMED 2009.)

I realize this chart is hard to read. You can click on it to increase the size. It highlights death rates from heart disease, cardiovascular disease and pneumonia/influenza in 1951 compared to 2001. We have made major progress in every life threatening illness, except cancer. As you can see on the right side, we haven’t made any progress in reducing the death rate from cancer in 50 years. 

Not good considering the millions of dollars invested to cure this dreaded disease.

The best strategy seems to be prevention.

In a TED 2010 presentation by Dr. William Li, he detailed new strategies focused on preventing cancer. Unfortunately, this presentation isn’t available on Ted.com yet. However, at one point in the presentation he said, “What we eat is our chemotherapy.” He went on to provide a slide highlighting foods proven to help with cancer prevention. Here’s the slide he included in his presenation:

There is obviously a lot more to this slide and the reasoning behind it, as discussed during his presentation. However, the key point to consider is eating these foods 3 times a day may be similar to having chemotherapy 3 times a day as a cancer prevention strategy.

Shortly after watching this presentation, I read a little article in the Readers Digest titled “How to Save Your Own Life.” The article highlighted the results of a new study showing that people who:

  • avoid smoking
  • exercise three and a half hours a week
  • maintain a body mass index of less than 30 (the cutoff point for obesity)
  • and eat a diet favoring fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Reduce their risk of developing diabetes, heart attack, stroke, or cancer by a whopping 78%. The suggestions from this new study seem to coincide with Dr. Li’s recommended foods. Unfortunately only 9% of some 23,000 people studied achieve all four of these goals.

I started this article off sharing a story about a man who would give anything to be healthy for just one day. I’d bet if he could go back in time, he would follow these guidelines religiously. The only question remaining is what will you do with this information? Do you value your health or are you taking it for granted?

I’ve made many changes to my daily routine after learning this information because I’ve seen first hand the impact of cancer. I try to exercise for 45 minutes a day. I also try and eat one of the cancer fighting foods included in the chart above with every meal. I’m also drinking green tea every day and I’m not a tea kinda guy! Cancer is a horrible disease that impacts just about everything you do and everyone in your family. You may be able to prevent this from happening. I certainly hope so.

 

36 Comments

  • Rob,

    One remarkable fact published recently, in the midst of the controversy over health care reform, was that if all cancer was cured, it would extend the average American lifespan by a mere three years. What would really extend our lives by many years is making the four lifestyle changes you identified–none of them costing more than a few dollars, though they may require our focused attention–and none requiring much new research. Many of us could protect the health we are meant to enjoy. A side benefit would be saving hundreds of billions of dollars needlessly spent on health care, after the damage is done.

    Thank you for having the courage to take time out from real estate, and face the potential criticism of being off topic, to write and publish an excellent article on the fundamentals of health. (I too am a Realtor and have not yet had the courage to publish about health on my blog, http://www.MadisonHistoricHomes.com). In addition to my real estate work, I work on preparing grants, generally in the area of medicine, so I found your article especially interesting.

    The article referenced at the end of your article, “Why we are losing the war on cancer” is an excellent if lengthy read.

    Geoffrey Gyrisco

  • Velma

    Reply Reply April 2, 2010

    Thank you for this blog. It really put things back in the right perspective

  • Dick Falk

    Reply Reply April 2, 2010

    Rob,
    What a great article and point of view on “what’s really important”?
    Your health. And no one truely knows that, till they find out that their health is going to kill them.
    That came to my attention, 6 years ago, a day after I had my annual check up. I got a call from my doctor. Now you know your in trouble or something is wrong when your doctor makes the call. It appeared that my blood sugar was up-side-down, and he wanted to see me pronto.
    I can go on and on with what went thru my mind after that meeting with him, but I came to the conclusion, very quickly, that the only one that was going to save my life was myself. So, I found out everything there was to know about Type II Diabetes, and from every sourse available.
    6 years have gone by and my life has changed. All for the better. I’m in the best health and mind.
    Fortunately, I attacked the problem and took control of the results. I’m very fortunate and I have my HEALTH.
    Not everyone has this second chance.
    Dick Falk

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Dick,

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your experiences. I think you deserve a lot of credit for how you handled your situation. Your comment “I attached the problem and took control of the results” is a very important lesson and I hope others consider what you’ve shared.

      Rob

  • Pat

    Reply Reply April 2, 2010

    Cancer is terrible. Your attitude about it can make a difference.
    My dad battled assorted cancers over a 30 year period with his 7th marriage. He died from complications of a broken hip at 87.
    My 2nd husband was diagnosed with esophogeal cancer at 62 with extensive treatments leaving him cancer free for 7.5 years and died 4 years later with a deadly blood cancer but from complications of a fall and broken hip. Both were outdoorsmen with great soul and dispositions… and married to strong women who would fight with them to the end.

  • Peggy Roberts

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Thank you for writing this outstanding article — well done, Rob. I, too, have a beloved family member undergoing debilitating cancer treatment and couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote.

    Also — thanks for the really good news, too — dark chocolate and red wine made the “good for you” list: Woo hoo!!

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Peggy,

      Good luck with your family member. I have my fingers crossed for you. I agree on the dark chocolate! I have it every night (just a little bit!)

      Rob

  • John

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Your Blog was important-thank you. We have had cancer in our family as well. Sometimes you forget about getting it right and living right and slip into bad habits. Thanks.

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      John,

      Your welcome and I’m happy it had an impact for you! Keep fighting the good fight.

      Rob

  • Linda

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Good practices you’ve been implementing Rob! By the way, if you begin eating at least 90%-100% raw low-fat fruits and lettices (60%/40%) at each of your 4 daily eating times, you won’t need to exercise nearly as much 6 days per week (could cut it down to 10 minutes of very rapid exercise per day which is more dooable).

    If your readers are curious, the reason to eat raw low-fat fruits and vegetables is not because the food heals a body, but rather that because the ‘wattery’ 2 food groups I listed above are assimilated rapidly by your body which means it can focus on healing a dis-eased body rather than being distracted by digesting heavy foods (including grains) which can require days to digest entirely.

    Research shows that even very sick individuals don’t eat my above recommended. And they have a good reason. There are very few detox places in the world where an addicted person can check-into for 1-2 months for care during their intense 2 weeks cooked and processed food cravings (not hunger) withdrawls … and then receive guidance from low-fat raw foodists in order to incorporate eating these raw foods as their new eating lifestyle.

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Linda,

      Thanks for your comment and information! Believe it or not, I actually enjoy exercising. It’s a great way to relieve stress. I have two daughters and there’s a lot of drama in my world! I’d probably end up flying off the deep end, if I didn’t workout almost every day. I recently read the best way to select food to eat is to look for foods with only one or two ingredients. This forces you to select healthier, low-fat fruits and vegetables.

      Here’s to healthy eating!

      Rob

  • Steve Pawera

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the article. It certainly makes you stop and think about what we take for granted.

    While there will always be cases of disease striking someone who did everything right, generally, many people seem reluctant to take personal responsibility for the outcome of their lives, whether their health or their finances (just look back to the subprime mess). Cancers are certainly to a large degree preventable. I’ve even read one doctor who believes nutrition can overcome genetics.

    Nutrition has always been of interest to me. I saw first hand how as a child, my mother managed to make my asthma disappear through diet and homeopathy.

    While it may sound like a cliche:
    1) if diet and excercise came in a pill, it would be the most widely prescribed pill in the world.
    2) there will come a day when one’s health will be the single most important issue in their life.

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Steve,

      I love your two points and agree with you! This is BIG ——–> “There will come a day when one’s health will be the single most important issue in their life.” <——— I'm hoping that the day is today. The only suggestion I can offer someone to really truly grasp this is to go spend a day at a cancer center. Sit with the people having treatment and listen to what they have to say. It will change your life – quickly.

      Rob

  • SYLVIA

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Rob, As always you always amaze me in all of your articles. It is mind boggling that we as humans take for granted our body’s. It is not until we are in extreme pain or close to death do we pay attention to our body’s. Everyone is aware of what you eat and do effects your health and mental state, but we are all so busy in our everyday life that we forget to take a moment to breath. We live in a society that everything is fast paced not enough hours in the day to do it all. Always saying ill do it tomorrow. Except tomorrow has came and gone. If we start treating our body’s as we should by eating, exercising and taking time to see how beautiful life is. By doing it ourselves we would instill in others to do it as well and would be saving many life’s.

    My Best,
    Sylvia

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Sylvia,

      We always have a price to pay in life. We either pay the price now or we pay it later. It’s kind of like buying stuff with a credit card. You don’t pay now, which seems great on the surface. But at some point, reality sets in and we realize that we have to pay a lot more because of the interest. If we don’t pay the price for good health now by eating healthy, the price we will have to pay in the future will be far greater. We will suffer in many ways, all of which, dramatically reduce the quality of our lives.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Rob

  • David

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Thanks a TON Rob!!!

    This hit so close to home with me as I lost my father to cancer when I was 10 years old. I am VERY GRATEFUL that you took the time to share this e-mail with us and posting PROVEN FOODS to help prevent cancer. It’s off- topic subjects like this that make me look at you as a GREAT teacher when it comes to business. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Rob 🙂

    David

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      David,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m very glad it has had an impact with you. I’ve spent a lot of time researching cancer and have been thinking about writing this post. At first I wasn’t going to write the post, because it didn’t seem to fit with the theme of the blog. I finally decided to write the post hoping that it might help one person do something to prevent cancer. Sorry to hear you lost your father at such a young age.

      Rob

  • Matt Shreves

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Rob,

    Great post and timely for me. I hate to admit it but I have not been eating any where near as well as I should have for a long time. You know how it is as a Realtor. Always on the fly running from one thing to another; As a result often what dictates our choice to food is our proximity to the closest fast food stand.

    Last week I hit my wall on processed foods. I think I just got sick of eating the crap. I was in Florida over the weekend visiting my parents and one of their old friends was staying with them.

    He was eating a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables and making there power packed smoothies every day. I sampled a few and am now hooked.
    The first night I got back I went to the local market and loaded up on fresh fruit many of which are listed above.

    I have a couple a day now and it is amazing just how much of the good stuff one can consume when it is all blended up into a tasty drink!

    All week I have been feeling great even if it is only in my head. After all, isn’t that where is all starts… in our head?

    Thanks!

    Matt Shreves

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Matt,

      Great to hear from you! You’ve got to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I know you have young children and I think the show is very powerful. It drives home how important it is for us to teach our children how to eat properly. I can’t help thinking that I might be leading my kids down a path of long-term medical problems because I wasn’t a good role model. Seeing them struggle with a serious illness would be almost impossible to bear. We’ve got to get healthy eating into their heads, too.

      Gotta love the smoothies!

      Rob

  • Carlos Samaniego

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Thank for such a powerful article Rob. We talked personally, like I said it’s not fun with doctors say’s change or your guy to die, get this or that, almost guaranteed.

    It wasn’t fun, when I went on recent camping trip and watch my 13 old son, 55+ year old , smoke me on a hiking trip and I was breathing like I smoke a pack day!

    We all need to make a change when we do have our health so we can have our health for years to come!

    Your friend,
    Carlos

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Carlos,

      A few years ago, I had to have a physical for a new life insurance policy. It was a routine physical and nothing to be worried about – until the insurance company declined my insurance application. This has an immediate impact because you automatically assume you have a serious problem. I went in to my regular doctor for a full physical and thankfully nothing was wrong. This was a little wake-up call for me. I started exercising regularly and haven’t’ stopped since. I still struggle with the food side of the equation. I now believe eating properly is more important than exercise. I can workout for 2 hours a day and still be unhealthy – if I don’t eat properly. Keep doing P90X and you’ll blow the doors off of your son!

      Keep up the good fight!

      Rob

  • Doug White

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Thank you for posting this timely reminder. You might be surprised the impact this will have on those that read the article. Again, thanks!

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Doug,

      Your welcome!

      Rob

  • Ernest O'Dell

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Rob,

    Thanks for this article. My dad passed away about 3 years ago due to the effects of lung cancer. Once they found the tumors, they took them out and he lived another 30 plus years, but the toll it took on his health in the last three years of his life were hard.

    I have been active in the American Cancer Society and the ACS Relay For Life and have received commendations from Texas Governor Rick Perry for some of the work I’ve done in the organization. I would highly recommend anyone having a problem with cancer to get in touch with the ACS. They have a lot of resources and can provide a lot of help for cancer victims.

    Again, thank for the wonderful diversion from your usual subject matter.

    Regards,
    Ernest O’Dell

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Ernest,

      Sorry to hear about your Dad. He’s lucky that the tumors were operable. This doesn’t seem to be the case for many lung cancer patients. If someone is reading this and is still smoking, you really need to stop. It increases your chance of lung cancer by 80% and as Ernest has indicated it takes a BIG toll on your life. Go spend a day at a cancer center and talk to some lung cancer patients for a few hours. This is a snapshot of what your life will look like in the future.

      Rob

  • Kathleen Ward

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Thanks Rob
    Very Good article….especially the postitive of what you/we can do…we all know it, we just have to adjust our time, to consider ourselves important ….as important as that next call
    Keep up the excellent work, sincerely Kate

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Kate,

      Your health is way more important than a sale!!!

      Rob

  • Eric Thomas

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Rob, Thanks for this post. I haven’t been doing what I need to be healthy. It is nice to see a post about life stuff. I lost my mother to cancer many years ago. I told my self then to do the right thing but time goes by and we take up bad habits again.. Well it April 1st and this article is no joke

    Thanks
    Eric

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Eric,

      Sorry to hear about your mother. I’d bet your mother would want you to learn from what she went through. I’d bet your mother would want you to do everything you could to prevent cancer. I’m glad my article has had an impact and I really hope you kick it up a notch. If not for you, for her. I’ll be right there with you.

      Rob

  • SANDOR OCHOA

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Dear Rob,
    thank you for providing this very important and critical information.
    You are sending a wake-up call to people like me that don’t exercise as often or as much as we should and don’t watch what we eat.
    God Bless You!
    Happy Easter!!

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Sandor,

      Happy Easter to you too! Cancer is a horrible illness and it should be a wake up call for all of us. We have to make our health a priority because nobody else will.

      Rob

  • Jason Perry

    Reply Reply April 1, 2010

    Hey Rob — I lost my mother a year ago to cancer — it sucks. Here is a great book that has tons of testimonials of cancer survivors, etc.. Talks about green drinks.. alkalizing, etc.. ‘Ph Miracle’ by Robert Young. The biggest thing is to keep their ATTITUDE and POSITIVE expectations.. Once thats gone — its all downhill (ain’t that true for everything?)
    Have a great day.
    Jason

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 2, 2010

      Jason,

      Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll pick it up the next time I’m at the book store. I agree 100% that attitude is the most important aspect in fighting cancer or anything else in life.

      Have a great weekend!

      Rob

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field