Still Clean Eating

I have been doing the 21 Day Fix since August 24th, with modifications from my doctor.  I am clean eating (no chemicals), low carb, high(er) fat, high protein.  In a month, I have taken off 14 of the 30 pounds I gained after my thyroid was radiated.  I exercise 6 days a week (three days of cardio, three days of strength training).  I have a protein shake a day (Shakeology for now, but I’m not fond of the taste, so I will probably switch back to the brand I do like), 3 meals, no snacks.

And hey, I think 14 pounds in a month is pretty darned good, don’t you?

I have been forced to look for recipes that I can modify.  Before when I did low carb, I could do pumpkin, or a small bit of sweet potato, and beans.  I mean, refried beans are a bariatric patient’s best friend after surgery.  My endocrinologist will not allow me to have any of those things.  I miss pumpkin – it was a good starch replacement.

And can I just say that I’m really sick of eggs for breakfast?

I mean, not to complain, my numbers are all excellent.  I’m down 14 pounds and 11 inches.  I’m getting in 10,000 steps per day.  I’m healthy and fit and happy.  I’m sore as all get out from working out, and not from being lethargic.

I did finally find a recipe that I could follow that was eggs for breakfast, but not actually like eating eggs.  I love French Toast.  Always have, always will.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for toastless french toast.

Soften 2oz of cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Add to a blender with 2 eggs, a splash of vanilla, cinnamon (it calls for pumpkin pie spice, but I hate nutmeg) and blend until smooth.  Then I take some frozen blueberries or strawberries (or whatever fruit I have) and put it in a microwavable bowl.  I add the egg mixture to the bowl and stir in one package of Stevia.  Then, you microwave it for 1.5 minutes.  Flip it over, and microwave it again for another 30 seconds.  The recipe says to use honey on it, but I just eat it like it is.  Yummy.  I usually have that with turkey bacon.

Also, veggies are getting boring.  I eat a ton of salads with salsa and smashed avocado.  Last week, I re-discovered sugar snap peas – they give me the crunch I’m looking for from chips, but without all the carbs and junk.

I’ve also had to increase my red meat consumption to up my iron.  I have adapted the 21 Day Fix Turkey Meatball recipe to use ground sirloin.  I omit the panko.  Really yummy.  I serve it to Mr. G with pasta sauce.  I just eat them like they are, or make it into a meatloaf.

So, all this seems to be paying off.  And optimal health will help keep that cancer in remission.  Sad that it took me 43 years to figure that out.

Gastro Update

I saw my gastrointerological oncologist today.  It was my annual appointment to review my file and determine whether or not I have to have a colonoscopy.

The appointment went well.  He is not concerned about the anemia in the least.  He said that people who have had RNY are more likely than not to be iron deficient anemic.  It is not indicative of a bleed, just indicative of people who have an inability to absorb all the nutrients from their food.  Oh hey yeah, that’s me.  He said I should take the iron supplement and take it with meat and vitamin C to help it absorb.

He does want me to have a colonoscopy, so it’s on the schedule for November.  Yay.  Except not.

In other news, Baltimore is still Baltimore.

Anemia Update

I went back to the endocrinologist yesterday for a follow-up and to get the results of the additional blood work.  My B12 levels are fine (hello, supplements) but I have an iron deficiency.  He again insisted I must be bleeding from somewhere, but I have no symptoms of an ulcer, no bleeding from anywhere that I can see, am a gastric bypass patient with malabsorbtion issues, and a cancer patient.  My level of worry about my iron deficiency is kind of low.  He put me on an iron supplement (oh yay, hello constipation) and told me to take it with MEAT.  I told him I don’t really eat much red meat and he told me to up my red meat intake as it is the only way my body will probably absorb that iron.

Okie dokie then.  We’re having red meat for dinner tonight.

He also gave me a script for the Iron pill.  It’s the same dosage you get from the OTC kind but at least with a script, I can use my healthcare account to purchase it.

I also promised I’d see my gastrointerological oncologist (I had my regular visit scheduled for Monday anyway).  I told him I’d take all the blood work with me.  I have already spoken to BOTH my oncologists on the phone, so they aren’t worried.  If they aren’t worried, I’m not.

Big thing about people who have had gastric bypass – um, we can be anemic.  We don’t absorb vitamins and minerals as easily as someone with normally constructed guts.  Our guts have been rearranged specifically to NOT absorb things.  So, yeah.  I told him that.  We’ll see what the iron supplement does.

In other news, thanks to my daily exercise plan, and eating right, I had lost five pounds from last week to this week.  And also, my glucose readings were spot on.  I’m pushing protein, veggies, good oils and fruits and eliminating all types of sugar (any fruit juices even squeezes of lemon/lime, all artificial sweeteners because Stevia is just fructose, etc).  I feel much better doing my clean eating (well, the muscles are all up in arms about working out), but I feel amazing.

So, we’ll see what the oncologist says next week.

In other news, tomorrow is my birthday.  Yay!  I’m working all day, and probably late at that.  Boo!

Three Words That Strike Terror Into a Cancer Patient

You are anemic.

I went to the endocrinologist yesterday for my checkup on my thyroid.  I had all my blood work done last week.  They took about 5 vials, so I knew he was doing a full workup.  When I saw him yesterday, the first thing he did was bitch because my glucose numbers were higher than what he wanted (mine are usually around 110 to 115 – excellent for someone who used to be in the 300s daily) but he wants them between 70 and 99.  For me, that’s too low – I get dizzy and hypo.  I told him that, but yeah.  So, now I have to prick my finger 4 times a day and write down everything I put in my mouth.  Now, I’ve been following the 21-day Fix eating plan for the past two weeks.  It’s really low carb, clean eating.  Nothing processed.  I do a daily protein shake because I’ve stepped up my work outs.  The protein shake is very low in sugars (less than 6g) – Shakeology.  I stick to low glycemic fruits.  No bread, rice, potatos, grains, etc.  I do, occasionally, have to eat some steel cut oats to get things moving once in a while, but that’s it.  Oh, and I do eat quinoa.  No nuts or nut butters because they interfere with my thyroid meds.  So, overall, eating incredibly healthy.  But he has told me absolutely no starches, nothing to drink but water or black coffee (not an issue – I do this already).  No dairy.  Three meals a day, no snacks (I was doing 6 small because I felt better, but ok – I can do anything for 7 days) and go back and see him in a week to see if it makes a difference.  We’ll see.

Then he was looking at my other numbers.  Vit D is good.  LDL is 136.  HDL is 72. Tryglicerides are in the 50s.    Thyroid numbers indicate my meds are a bit high, so he cut that back.  But…

He looks at me and says, “You’re anemic.”

Yes, I knew it because I’ve felt a bit tired and was craving raw rice.  I do that when I’m anemic.

“Well, you are bleeding from somewhere – must be your periods.”

Nope, haven’t had one of those in 3 years.

“Then you must have a polyp in your colon.”

WHAT?

How do you even tell someone that when they are a cancer patient with a Lynch Syndrome diagnosis??

I told him I see my gastrointrological oncologist on the 21st, but my scan last year came back clean.  I’ve had no symptoms.  Exactly how anemic am I?  Could it be my B12?  My iron?  (A bariatric patient knows to ask these things – she was calm and level headed in my brain.  The cancer patient was freaking the eff out.)

So he drew more blood to test for my B12 levels (um, you didn’t do that in the 5 other vials you took last week??).  I go back in a week.  I was, of course, freaked out.

So I got in the car and called my oncologist.  Of course, he wasn’t available (I mean, he is a surgeon) so I left a message.

Dr. Rao called back last night around 6 and talked me off a wall.  He said that nearly everyone who undergoes what my body has gone through will experience some level of anemia.  It’s directly correlated to the chemo and the massive amounts of radiation I have gone through.  He asked me, “How anemic are you?”  I told him the doctor said only slightly.  Dr. Rao said, “Meh – I’m not worried about it.  You aren’t bleeding from anything.  Call me if your numbers come back showing severe anemia and we’ll talk, but otherwise, you are fine.  Enjoy your remission and I”ll see you next month.”

Big. Huge. Sigh. Of. Relief.

I do see my gastro oncologist on the 21st.  Am hoping this year for no colonoscopy – kind of over medical procedures.

Realized today that I started chemo 3 years ago on the 10th.  Time flies, and stands still all at the same time.

Oh, and September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness month.  Just a reminder to make sure you get your pap smears and GYN visits.  Annually. No excuses.  Fight for it.  And wear your peach and teal to honor the fighters.  We may not all be survivors, but we are ALL fighters.

I continue to Fight Like a Girl.