Join Date: Jan 2011
Survivor on a new mission here!
Hi, all! first of all, I am very happy to be here. Please excuse any strange looking words here, as I am using a new voice recognition software and headphones because I have a great deal of difficulty typing due to severe nerve damage in my hands from lots and lots of chemo.
Some time ago, I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. I had about a 20% chance of living for another two years. During my treatment, I was on lots of steroids and other medications that made me gain weight. It's interesting, but I've had people ask me how I could gain weight when I had cancer. They assumed that anyone with cancer is simply going to lose lots of weight and become thin and gaunt. Obviously, that's not the case. It depends on the type of cancer and the type of treatments.
Anyway, after going through a lot of hell, I am very happy to say that this month is the five year anniversary of my diagnosis. I made it! Along with all of the problems for medications, however, my doctors also induced menopause to reduce the level of estrogen in my body, because my cancer was 100% estrogen receptor positive. That was when I was 42. I am still on various estrogen reducing drugs and injections, and being an menopause has only made the weight problem worse.
It seems like every day for the past five years, I thought about whether I would live another year or even months or week. So many surgeries, so much chemo and radiation, and so many hospital stays and medical emergencies later, I finally feel like I can take a deep breath and get on with my life. My prognosis is, technically, much better now. So my oncologist says that there is a high probability that the cancer will return, my chances are better than 5050.
So now comes the task of trying to get my life back. When I was in treatment, I was a single mother of a young boy. I was basically all alone except for when my boyfriend would come to visit on weekends. We are now married, with a new house, and a nice little family.
Not only do I hate exercise, but it's very difficult right now. I have several broken bones from when I was in chemo, that didn't heal well. And I also now have severe arthritis in my hips, feet, hands, neck, and back. And my spinal column is degenerating and full of bone spurs. Basically, each day is a challenge full of pain, headaches, feverishness, insomnia, and having to be careful of every step I take lest I fall again and break more bones due to permanent numbness I now have in my feet.
I am thinking of perhaps joining the local 24-hour fitness club. I am wondering if I might be able to use the elliptical, something I've never used before. One of my doctors recommended walking, but even that becomes very painful after a time. What I need is definitely something low impact that doesn't make the joint pain any worse. Or give me any more opportunity to hurt myself!
I tried at Atkins years ago and it worked well for me. However, I tried again several months ago, and lost a total of 2 pounds after three months on phase 1 induction. that was extremely frustrating. And I wasn't cheating, either! It was sort of unbelievable to me.
So now, after going off Atkins, I have been gaining quite a bit of weight. The induction phase didn't work for some reason, perhaps because of all the changes in my body chemistry and metabolism, and even worse than that, I am now much worse off than I was before I started the diet.
I easily go into starvation mode if I cut my calories much below 1200 per day, so now I have started this week two Journal everything I eat and to eat healthy foods throughout the day, with a target caloric total of 1500 per day. I also plan to zigzag the calorie totals a bit to prevent serious plateaus and cessation of weight loss.
So, after having written what is almost a book, I'll just say that I'm very glad to be here, both on this forum and on this planet! I look forward to participating when I am able to, and am happy to report that I've already lost a couple of pounds of this post Atkins weight gain since Monday. I have nearly 70 pounds to lose and sometimes wonder if, given all that's happened and all the changes, I'll ever be able to look good again. I have aged quite a bit since all this started and it is now a long way from my college days when I used to model and fashion shows!
Thanks so much!