It’s been a while since I have had a break in which I don’t have an immediate doctor’s appointment coming up that requires a trip to Baltimore. I do have one, with my primary care, for a diabetes check on April 15th, but I’m considering pushing it out just because I have so much going on.
But health-wise, I’m not at this “now what?” juncture. So, where I do go from here? I don’t have anymore cancer treatments. I’ve been cleared to return to work on April 1st. I have no outstanding medical issues that I must take care of Right. This. Minute.
And so, I say, now what?
Well, it’s time to get back to my life. From a healthy body standpoint, I had a long talk with my oncologist’s office this past week on getting and STAYING healthy. What should I do? What should I eat? What shouldn’t I eat? Can I begin to safely lose weight again?
I want to get back on the road to my healthy weight-loss for so many reasons. First, they told me that by dropping weight, it will help with the hot flashes and night sweats. You see, I am still going through menopause, and honestly, the symptoms of the menopause are bad but were overshadowed by other things like cancer treatments. A lower body mass helps lessen the length and severity of hot flashes, and for that, well, I’m all in.
It’s also time for me to take off the 15 or so pounds I gained during chemo, and take OFF the last 25 pounds I wanted to lose before I found out I had cancer. I will feel better, look better, etc. Dr. Rao did offer to refer me to a plastic surgeon who could talk to me about removing all my extra skin. I have approximately 15 pounds of extra skin on my arms, panis, thighs, but and back that could go. But between you, me and the fence post, I don’t care how old and flappity-assed I get, unless I have another cancer or heart issue, no one is slicing into me again. I’ve had enough surgery to last me forever thankyouverymuch.
Additionally, because my cancer is an estrogen fed cancer, I wanted to know if there were any foods I should avoid. There is so much information out there – a lot of conflicting information, and I was confused. I mean, some places I read to stay away from soy based products and foods (soy is a natural form of estrogen), and some say it doesn’t matter. Some places say to avoid sugar, while some say stay away from artificial sweeteners. I have to limit my sugar intake anyway, but I don’t want to over do it one way or the other.
My doctor is fine with me losing weight. The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center subscribes to a healthy way of losing weight – high in proteins, fruits & veggies, limiting bad for you white carbs, and eating healthy portions of omega threes, oils and good fats. Watch portion sizes, keep a food diary, and I don’t necessarily have to avoid sugar or soy unless I want to. Which I kind of do. Except for edamame, which I love. But that will be a treat. And, exercise. Oh, and three cups of tea a day – any kind of tea I want except herbal. Which I thought was a bit odd, but it turns out that tea is a cancer-fighter. And I’m all up for that.
So, that’s what’s next. Getting healthy by taking off this weight. I’m also cleared to resume a healthy exercise routine. And I’m supposed to get a call soon to schedule a mammogram and a colonoscopy (I can wait until later this year) as they will now be an annual thing.
And, although we’ve chosen to move back to Delaware, I’ve chosen to maintain Dr. Rao as my gynecologist and have all my cancer screenings done in Baltimore. They saved my life, so why mess with a good thing?
And, in addition to the weightloss, there are other fun things in my future. In a couple of weeks, I am going to Ocean City, MD for the weekend with my sister, my niece and a friend of ours for a girls weekend. We’re going to walk the boardwalk, get manis and pedis, hit the indoor pool, and do a little bit of drinking.
Oh, and get this house ready for a move. Which is a very. big. thing. Very. Big.
So, I get the answer to “Now What?” is to get back to living. Funny how a cancer diagnosis can make you stop in your tracks. It’s time for a good push forward.