Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Last One!

Tomorrow is my last chemo. I hope.

I obviously can't speak for what the future holds. I hope and pray I never, ever have to do chemo again.

The last 18 weeks have really gone pretty fast. The last 6 months have really gone fast. You know when you're anxious for something to happen and it seems like forever before it does. I was anxious for this day to come and it didn't drag on, it's here.

I'll admit, I'm scared as hell. Chemo has been like a little safety net. I can tell myself that I'm okay because I'm having chemo so it's killing any cancer that might have been left. But now chemo is over so what happens now.

Well, for starters, I need to change my diet. Completely. And it's going to be hard. I've been so good about not googling but I'm trying to find information on eating to prevent a recurrence, particularly breast cancer. I saw a book at Chapters specifically for that but it's not being released until July.
So when I google I get a lot of conflicting information. Some say coffee is good, some say it's bad. Some say some red meat is okay, others say not at all. Some say one alcoholic drink a day is okay, others say no. The only thing they all agree on is that artificial sweeteners are not okay. So that will be the first to go for me.

Of course, this means s a few important changes in my diet. The biggest one being my double double will be a 2 milk, no sugar. I think my only saving grace on this is that my taste buds have been shot and for the most part I can't really taste sugar (or salt or garlic)   I'm going to start reading labels and avoiding anything with 'ose' in it. Fructose, glucose, know...the dreaded 'oses'.  I suspect there will be a lot of things I won't be eating anymore.

I'm also going manage my portions better. I bought myself two smaller plate so that when I'm dishing out my dinner I'm forced by the size of my plate to take smaller portions and I'm going to stick to the rule - 1/4 of the plate is protein, 1/4 of the plate is carb and 1/2 the plate is vegetables or fruit.
I did great at dinner, I had two small chicken drumsticks (no skin) a small serving of brown rice and a large salad (with green leaf lettuce - I prefer the darker leaves like romaine over iceberg lettuce but the romaine was no good so I got the leaf lettuce instead. I also put in celery, peppers, clementines, grapes, mango and strawberry and then put about 1tbsp of raspberry vinaigrette dressing on it)

The problem is that I took my steroids before dinner and within an hour I noticed the appetite kicking in and craved something sweet. So I had a piece of chocolate caramel cheese cake. BAD BAD BAD. I felt guilty as soon as I ate it but I guess I'm calling it my one last hurrah. I'm not going to deny myself of little treats entirely but I have to really, really, really put my mind to this. Because this is not something I can fail at. I truly, honestly believe my cancer is largely due to lifestyle and I have to do everything I can to prevent it from happening again.

I also need to exercise and loose some all of this extra weight.  I have to be careful with exercise, partly because of the effects of the chemo on my heart and lungs but also because trauma to my arm could case lymphadema and I already have it slightly. I don't want to aggravate it or make it worse.

I'm going to make an appointment with my oncologist to discuss my exercise, nutrition and a back to work plan.

I guess I'll know more tomorrow about what is going to happen next but for now I'm looking forward to my new Step One

I did another craft a la things I found on Pinterest. I love these and have lots and lots of ideas...which is great because I have 5 boxes of these tiles that are not being used.

They are coasters made from ceramic tiles. I've used modge podge (from here on out I'll be calling it podgy because that's what we've always called it and modge podge sounds stupid...even though that's what it's actually called.) I've podgied some scrapbook papers that were cut just slightly smaller than the tiles, onto the tiles. When that dried I covered them with another layer of podgy. When that dried I sprayed them with two coats of acrylic spray but be warned, this stuff has to be done in a well ventilated area and takes a long time to dry (though I suppose it didn't help that I did them on the porch and it was -5 C outside. The one with the words on it - that is velum that was part of a scrapbooking kit I had.   I put foam pads on the bottom of the tiles to prevent scratching the table. What's the point of putting your drink on a coaster to protect the table if the coaster itself is going to scratch the shit out of your table, right?

Anyhow, here's a look-see at what I made.

I think they're pretty darn nice, don't you?


  1. Hi Jean, So I absolutely LOVE the coasters - what a great idea! One of my coworkers had a small business on Esty a few years ago - she did the same sort of thing to scrabble tiles and made cute necklaces out of them :)
    There's a book I read a few years ago - it's called "Balance ... nature's way to heal your body" by Susan Manion MacDonald.
    Check it out if you want to - she didn't have breast cancer though - rather 4th stage lymphatic cancer. If we lived closer, I'd loan my copy to you. It might be a bit too heavy on the scientific information and I admit, it is very extreme. When I read it, I took a couple pieces of her advice and use them now in my own life - but I certainly didn't treat the book as a "bible" if you know what I mean. There is going to be so much confliciting information out there that it can drive a person insane! For what it's worth, I think you've got to do what feels right for you :) and your family :) I'm sorry - I could talk forever on the topic of "natural foods vs processed foods" ...LOL
    Hope your last treatment goes extremely well Jean!!
    Love, Rachel McAdam

  2. Love the coaster's!!

    I have a couple of thoughts on diet-meaning food intake nothing more, we should chat sometime. I know how scary it can be but I shoot for 80% of my diet being the highest quality food, 10 % in the middle and 10% other stuff-in my case "other stuff" is wine, vodka, kraft dinner and is so important but so is living :) So glad the chemo's done and it's on to other things. I can't tell you how much I admire you and Sean...It's funny how we alwyas seem to have a huge impact on others when our lives are at their shittest. <3<3<3

  3. Scrabble tile pendants on next on my list, just need the $$$ to go to Michael's (oh, how I love Michael's!)

    I think you're right about doing what feels right. I think just eating smart, cutting out processed foods as much as possible and really limiting things like refined sugars.