I feel like I live in a perpetual state of confusion. I’m not sure when it started, but I know it was sometime in late 2012. Like my friend Aunty Acid here, I feel like I don’t always have time to duck before it all hits the fan.
I feel like my life goes from worrying to living to being on a perpetual hold. I worry before my labs which, if you’re wondering – and I know you are – were fine last month. Just a bit higher than March, but still normal. And yes, I realize that “Normal is just a setting on the dryer,” (thank you Erma Bombeck), but it’s still nice to be considered normal for something. So after labs, I slowly reemerge to enjoy life again, only to fall into a perpetual holding pattern when something pops the bubble wrap I’ve put around myself.
Food is “popping my bubbles” lately. I’m trying a diet that “confuses” my body. Let me say this about ovarian cancer (I can’t speak for the others – thank goodness). It is NOT conducive to dieting. First you get to eat whatever you want during chemo. You might think this is great and it is, provided you aren’t so stinking nauseated that even the imagined smell of food won’t send you running for your Zofran, or in my case Ativan, hoping that it will tamp down the ickiness. Once you feel like eating, hopefully you won’t have mouth sores or suffer from metal mouth. Metal mouth is what I call the metallic taste things tend to get when you undergo chemo. I had a mild case, but I’ve heard of women who have to eat off of plastic silverware since regular flatware just adds to the metallic taste. Basically I had about 3 days during every 21 day cycle when I ate whatever I wanted. The rest of the time I lived on 7-Up, saltines, instant mashed potatoes and plain pasta with butter (carbo loading in the truest sense of the word).
Once you’re done with chemo, you get to deal with what I like to call “Chemo body.” Aside from the run of the mill issues, like profuse hair loss, you have the chubby steroid face to contend with. Yes, chemo is full of steroids so you don’t react violently to the poison. Unfortunately, your face isn’t the only thing that gets chubby. While some people lose weight, most gain weight during chemo (another LOVELY side effect of ovarian cancer). I gained a good 25 pounds on my already overweight frame. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it loves me and refused to leave (oh to be so loved)! Dr. Downer (my beloved oncologist) told me not to worry and give myself some time for my body to readjust. Okay doc, it’s been almost 27 months; isn’t time for it to readjust?
I’ve done Weight Watchers, Spark People, low fat, low carb, exercise, PT, fasting, eat only when you’re hungry, shakes, and just about anything else you can think of that doesn’t involve standing on my head or getting stuck with needles (yes, I’m now needle phobic, but that’s for another blog). So, of course, when second mom Kelley suggested the Fast Metabolism Diet, I just jumped right on that bandwagon. I hadn’t tried it so of course it will work.
The basic premise is that if you confuse your metabolism that your thyroid will fire and burn fat. The science behind it is solid. Unfortunately so is my fat. The author, a registered nutritionist, states that people can expect to lose between a half and full pound each day totally a max of 20 pounds in 28 days. In the two weeks I’ve been on the diet, I’ve gained a half pound. I think I need to talk to my thyroid and fat.
While emotionally I’m ready to chuck it for a Culver’s concrete mixer (or even a piece of cheese since there’s no dairy on this diet), mentally I realize that my body was under siege and has been through a lot over the last 2 and a half years. Actually, it was messed up before hand so it’s been longer. Logically, I realize that I can’t undo that in 2 weeks, despite my desire for it to happen. I’ve even gotten myself down to a quarter of the amount of coffee I used to drink and am learning to drink it black (I REALLY miss cream. You have NO IDEA how much I miss cream). I drink voluminous amounts of water (the B-man recently said it was my “blankie” since I take it everywhere with me), which means I am on a first name basis with the Tidy Bowl Man and am ready to buy stock in Quilted Northern. All of this to calm my adrenals, build muscle and burn fat. I can hear Jim Morrison singing “Light My Fire,” but there’s no sign of a match anywhere.
So I’m confused. Well, right now I’m hungry. There are three phases each week and I’m on phase 2. This is the dreaded “all protein and green vegetables phase” that lasts for two days (Wednesday and Thursday). I HATE this phase. If negative emotion burned calories, I’d be on the fast track to losing 10 pounds this week. By tomorrow I’ll be saying “If I see one more piece of lettuce, I’ll scream.” Actually, I screamed this morning. Not out loud, lest I wake the Ultimate Bengal Fan, but definitely in the dark corners of my mind. My mouth waters just thinking about the bowl of oatmeal I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow with almond milk and fresh blueberries and a side of baby carrots (you need eat your veggies).
Unfortunately, my body isn’t at all confused about what’s going on especially the fat. It’s hanging on for dear life. Actually, I think it’s Gorilla Glued itself to my skin and muscle and it’s not going anywhere. My dear doctor explained that sometimes our bodies don’t want to give up fat since it’s saving up for the next trauma. Seriously, I’ve had enough trauma to last a lifetime. And losing 20 or 30 pounds will still leave enough of the squishy white, well actually yellow, stuff to handle whatever gets thrown at me.
As luck would have it, I just broke my toe – literally. As I tried to help my Bengal Fan with the ice maker, a roll of sausage fell and dropped on my toes (how appropriate). So now I have to try to contend with the necessary exercise while hobbling around on my foot. I’m sure this will confuse my body to the point that it will cling onto my stores for dear life, lest I not be able to get to the kitchen for my regularly scheduled feeding (trust me, this is never an issue).
Ovarian cancer, thank you for bringing me to the land of confusion. Now if you would be so kind as to let me call AAA. I think I need an alternate route.