Another busy week in the house of melanoma momma-ing, wow I am glad I'm getting some energy back as these days make me wonder how we survived the last year and a half while I was napping!? I still celebrate the small accomplishments but I really love it when they add up to more than the "new-normal" standard I set for myself.
Couple of random updates from here:
I have lost eight pounds! Yahoo, I have been paying very close attention to my nutritional habits for the last few weeks, and I am inspired by my body's quick response to the less meat, less alcohol, no wheat, dairy, or sugar regime that I have dug out of my back pocket from years ago.
I am not new to weight-gain weight-loss due to life or health circumstances -having twins pretty much surrenders ones body to an involuntary increase in fluffiness that takes hard work to remove - and this post-cancer-treatment weight gain is no different in my mind. I am determined to feel better, get my strength back, resume my graceful-swan mountain-goat-like athletic ambition into hiking and biking... okay, I may be exaggerating a bit there HA! Anyone who knows me knows that I am the clumsiest duckling out there. I try though, I do try. LOL
This week I visited my family doctor for a mid-point check-up, I don't go back to Sunnybrook until March so I wanted to have a local run of bloodwork to see how I am doing this far after treatment. With all of this vitamin-taking and liver resting I wanted to see if my bloodwork reflects the benefits I think I am feeling. I needed to check in on my vitamin D and calcium levels (I am terrible at taking those hateful supplements) and B12 (wanted to see if the tablet chewing was really working) and thyroid hormone/supplement levels.
We checked everything top to bottom and great news, everything is perfect!! Motivation to take that darn calcium! The only thing a bit low is my Iron...again. I struggled with that years ago, now time to boost it again I guess. That's fair, I found an iron supplement I actually tolerate well:
So that's good news, I am detox-ing and de-puffing, which is helping me with the de-stressing. Vitamins supporting the body systems that have been out of whack for so long, herbal teas to reduce fluid retention and cleanse the liver, and apple cider vinegar to do everything it seems to do, all topped off with essential oils for pain-relief instead of analgesics, I am a happy camper. There is hope anyway.
One snag is the tummy trouble. My medical oncologist (The Boss) is concerned with the prolonged bout of Imodium-need I am having let's just say, and she is urging me to consume a course of Prednisone to try to stop it. I am desperately against adding a new medication to my regimen now that I am working so hard to clean up post-treatment, especially a medication as harsh as that one.
Prednisone is a cortico-steroid that can reduce inflammation in the bowels and stop or reduce the damage that has been done by the pacmen, but the side-effects of it include weight gain, mood swings, and a host of other scary things I am trying to leave behind.
I am putting her off for now as I feel we are still too close to my last treatment to get a good indication of whether or not this side-effect will clear up on its own. I want to wait, I am willing to see if it stops by itself. My bloodwork shows I am doing okay, and I am feeling quite a bit better, so the bathroom trips seem not to be affecting my general health.
I knew colitis was a risk of the ipilimumab treatment, but I am not going to call it just yet. I am quite aware that it can take months, years to recover from the crap I went through. Pun intended. Family Doc and I will confer with The Boss if it comes to that point, and in the meantime I am going to get a third opinion from a Naturopath in Collingwood that my CCAC Nurse recommended for colitis-symptoms specifically.
Dietary-wise, I have been cooking a lot. Funny for a person working on weight loss, but indeed, I have been cooking and trying new recipes, especially for soups. With trying to eliminate foods that may aggravate or trigger my tummy trouble, I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with new recipes again. I used to do this a lot, and it's nice to be back.
It is such a phenomenal pleasure to cook in my new kitchen, everything is so easy to use, keep organized, and to clean WHOA! Dishwasher is a whole new world. I have satisfied my cravings for veggies with spicy soups such as this Coconut Curry Sweet Potato soup ....extra yummy with pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds as a garnish. I am going to blast that cancer with beta-carotene, omegas, and alkalinity!
Okay... so body details done, I have lots to report on the mental/emotional side of things too. I was a bit cranky this week but (maybe that was full moon related?) overall have been feeling pretty productive. The kids seem to have been extra busy/needy and I think I handled it all right, plus I have been thinking a tonne about my book and the research I have been doing for it. The preparation for writing is just as important as the writing itself, and I have found a couple of new avenues for inspiration. Instagram for example, has been a new pet addiction for me this week. There are SO many creative people in this world, and I am having fun connecting with them!
I have also been thinking of blog updates as that all goes hand in hand, in my experience. My book relates to my blog but they will be two separate entities so I am carefully planning how I will mesh the two, or how I will write publicly in the meantime. I have been reminiscing quite a bit, about my Italy trip and photos, and my old blog which displayed much of my perspective on environmental issues, family environment but also Earth environment. I was rooting around in my old laptop files and even managed to find a screenshot of my old blog. Weird! I had been trying to remember what it looked like and voila! One snow day last week I found this:
I found my old blog post about making sushi as well, I may have to dig it out and re-post. The girls have been bugging me since the kitchen reno was done to have a sushi party for their friends. I fear I am rusty at rolling but I guess I won't know until I just jump back in? I'll keep you posted. haha
Well, my simmering Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken soup is calling my name, so I need to go for lunch. Then a walk with Reese, and for supper I am thinking of trying out a Jamie Oliver recipe for a dish with the fresh fennel I bought last night. I am quite content to have my vegetarian recipes back out, feels good.
(Thanks to my cousin for the photo, via Instagram xoxo)