leading up to the diagnosis …
April 18, 2016
i’ve been thinking tonight about the months leading up to my diagnosis and the ways that my body was speaking to me; the different ways that i knew i wasn’t well and that something was amiss.
one piece that surfaced repeatedly was a queasy, sour stomach. i remember on my 40th birthday (june 12), the entire morning just not feeling super good, and not even wanting my coffee. i remember memorial day weekend when family was in town, and i was driving to meet them at a winery and was fighting overwhelming nausea. it didn’t make sense.
over those same months – spring and summer – i was gaining weight inexplicably. i was exercising as normal, and me and 2 other girlfriends were texting daily for exercise and eating accountability. yet my scale continued to move up. it didn’t make sense.
i tried a couple cleansing eating strategies that i’ve tried in the past – one in late february – and it budged the scale a bit but not significantly. i ordered books on juice cleansing and reached out to a local friend about it. i shared with my hubby that if i had a few extra hundred dollars, i’d buy a fancy cleansing kit.
i knew i needed to do something. i just didn’t know why.
i even went to the doctor in early july. ironically, it was the same doctor i saw a few months later who completely missed my breast cancer. in july and in response to my symptoms, she prescribed an antacid or antinausea of some kind.
((the picture of medical practice that i deplore: prescribe a medication based on a symptom and *totally ignore seeking to understand what is causing the symptom*)).
also, for quite some time i had what i thought were pains related to a hiatal hernia …always in my upper chest, usually after running.
what i know now is that these are pieces of a puzzle in which my body was speaking to me and i just didn’t hear what it was saying.
the role of insulin, and blood sugar, and elevated and frequently erratic blood sugar levels … those can be huge pieces of disease progression. my body was likely in a very inflamed state, and my pancreas was working very hard.
interestingly, when i saw diane taudvin last december, her diagnostic tools registered that the area of concern was my pancreas. it didn’t make sense at the time. but now, months in to the most intensive research of my life, i am seeing a connection … and seeing clearly the tools to implement as i heal.
my extraordinary integrated oncologist has maintained the deep importance of monitoring blood sugar, managing the insulin/glucose piece and notably, daily and regular fasting. she advises fasting daily for 13 hours: ie, stop eating at 7pm and do not eat again until 8am (she notes the correlation between this practice and breast cancer recurrence).
further, she advises weekly fasting called intermittent fasting. there is a wealth of resources available about this. upon completion of all my conventional treatment, i will fast weekly … after eating dinner, the following day i will skip breakfast and lunch.
for healing and health – totally doable. not a big deal.
i’m having a little flashback as i type this: in 2009, i went through a healing crisis that felt very dark. in my desperation to be well, i implemented radical changes in my lifestyle and notably in my eating. i did not care about losing weight, i wanted to be well. yet, the weight came off.
last spring, i told my closest girlfriends this: that when my goal is healing and not “weight loss”, my body loses weight.
it’s the byproduct of health and healing for me, not the goal.
and as i sit here now, i am struck: that’s my story again. the weight has been coming off in spades, yet my eyes are on the big picture. my priorities have shifted dramatically from last spring, when i wanted to cleanse or do something to stop the weight from climbing up yet not knowing the deeper underlying piece to guide my healing.
today, i choose to feed and fuel and supplement and equip my body to be the strongest, healthiest that it has ever been!