Friday, July 20, 2007

incremental renewal

So the question I have been asking myself since my amazing CT report is "What now?" How is my life going to change? What does this mean for my future?

I'll no more (I hope) when I next see my medical oncologist on August 15th. I do know that I will be continuing chemo (I am hoping, although no one has promised me anything, for this reduced schedule to continue) and that we are still assuming I have cancer.

Everything has changed yet nothing has changed. I have found myself asking, once again, "Is that all there is?"

I need to feel like I am moving forward. And, so I decided to re-commit myself to becoming as fit, strong and healthy as I possibly can.

Many things have changed in recent months, in terms of how I take care of myself. And I have a naturopath, a physiotherapist and a massage therapist who all advise me on ways to feel stronger and healthier (and I really do think that they have helped me enormously).

It can be a little overwhelming. I take more supplements (at different times of day) than you can shake a stick at, and have a list of foods (both proscribed and prescribed) several pages long. I have stretches and strengthening exercises (for lymphedema, my frozen shoulder and to develop some strength in my core).

And there is not one day that I have managed to get it all done.

And when I decided to re-commit myself, my track record on these matters actually got worse.

Clearly, a new approach was needed. I decided to implement changes gradually, on a weekly basis.

This week, I decided to ban salt (bad for lymphedema) and sugar (it's pretty much poison) from my diet. This wasn't so hard to do, since I don't count dark chocolate and both sucanat and maple syrup are permitted in small quantities (although I don't think the container of organic maple yogurt I ate counts as a small quantity). I also remembered all of my supplements almost every day.

I also promised myself to do the stretching exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist. I was somewhat succesful, in that I did more stretching than I have been doing (which is none). I did not meet my goal of stretching every day.

Next week, I commit to continuing the above and to eat seven servings of vegetables every day (I have not been doing to badly at this, but I suspect that this will be much more of a challenge when I am away from home). I will also implement the new, Pilates based exercise programme my physio has put together (we are starting slowly but this will be a major accomplishment to achieve while travelling.

Why am I telling you this? Because, as with the yarn diet, I need you to keep me honest.

I'll let you know how I do.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot to change. I gave up artificial sweeteners on Friday the 13th, and that's my big accomplishment. By the way, I got some Stevia samples in the mail (mostly useless ones because I told the woman at the company that I wanted the Stevia flavors to replace my powdered drink singles...and she sent plain and chocolate) and I added the plain to a mango powdered mix that I had, and it's actually pretty good. It's weird and kind of gross straight, which makes sense, I suppose, but it really does work well as a sweetener.

I've been thinking about taking up yoga because my body could use some positions other than sitting at my desk, sitting on the couch, sitting on the kitchen table, and laying in bed. ;)

We have been eating more fruits & vegetables lately too. Luckily, in general, if given the choice, we love the stuff that's good for us. We'd be awesome eaters if we were millionaires with a chef. :)

Good luck with your keeping healthy plan, and I'm going to try to do as much as I can to keep up with you. Well, except for staying away from sugar. I've given up artificial sweeteners, but I'm not ready to give up the real thing.

laurie said...

ha! I need to renew the renewal once I get home!