Thursday, January 14, 2010

True confessions of a shamelessly lazy bum

I have a health dilemma.  Or possibly my body is just confused.  Either way, I do not know what to eat.  It has now been over a year since I finished all chemos, but I am still having diet issues.  Not weight issues, but issues with what I can and should be eating and how those foods are affecting my body's precarious internal balance.  This past August, I began having some GI problems: cramping, gassy, mostly unpleasant and definitely not dinner-table-conversation symptoms.  I stopped eating meat pretty much altogether because I thought my symptoms might have something to do with eating meat.  I also mostly stopped eating dairy (although I have had a lot of trouble dropping cheese...).  Neither of those diet changes did much to help my colon conundrum.  

Around October, I tried to stop eating wheat/gluten based products, knowing that gluten allergies can affect the bowels.  There, however, I came across a huge challenge.  I was hungry all the damn time, and frankly, I just couldn't do it.  I could not drop three major food groups from my life.  Especially when one of my personal dietary staples was (is...) pizza.  So I have retained wheat in my life, although primarily the whole and unbleached variety.  Honestly, I don't think it was the wheat anyway. 

The other thing is that I have always had a dangerously soft spot for sugar and chocolate.  Even now, even this afternoon, I would just as soon have a cookie and a Starbucks sugar bombe drink than eat food with any nutritional value.  Well, maybe that isn't quite true.  If there had been tasty and satisfying food handy, I would have gladly eaten it.  As it stood, I was super hungry at work, and, well, I work at Starbucks.  Like I said, I am lazy; I also forgot I made some delicious pasta last night and it was just chilling, all alone, in my fridge.  It's funny though because I am not ignorant.  I know the amount of sugar I consume is Not Good for anyone, much less someone who has already had a slew of sugar-hungry cells take over her body for a little while.  In the most basic of layman's terms, from what I understand, sugar stimulates cancer-cell growth.  From there it gets a whole lot more technical for my liberal arts majoring self, but I get the gist of it: too much sugar = bad for cancer patients, especially those with tumors.  Too much sugar is not healthy, period, but how does it affect former cancer patients, those of us whose tumors have (hopefully) disappeared?

I am sure all of this is somehow connected: my stomach troubles; my low-energy levels throughout the day; my sugar affinity; my lack of motivation to go to the gym.  What I am not sure of, however, is how this all connects to my having had cancer.  Because, of course, this is all cancer's fault...  Haha.  I am also not sure where to go from here.  Meat?  No meat?  Wheat?  Or not?  I'm sure we all can agree that I should get rid of all the sugar...  But that is easily the hardest part.  Does it all come down to motivation?  And, if that is the case, any suggestions on how to stay motivated....?

In all seriousness, I would really like to hear what anyone else has experienced in a similar situation.  Did cancer (or illness) force you to change your diet for good?  How and to what end?  Perhaps the best thing for me to do would be to meet with a sports nutritionist.  Or a hypnotist...  Either way.  I'm sure one day all of these things will straighten themselves out.  Or you can help me straighten them out...?  Or I will straighten them out.  Or, something like that.

also:            HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Here's hoping 2010 brings only and many wonderful things to everyone.  :)  Peace.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Fridge:

Glad to see a post from you! I have missed your musings.

Hmmmm. This is tough. As I read I was thinking that a nutrionist would be a good idea. Did you have one you worked with in connection with your treatment? I did and she was a fantastic resource.

Also, have you talked to your onc or primary about your symptoms? If you haven't you might want to, just in the interst of being hypervigilant and ruling out anything ominous.

In the mean time, keep it up. You are rocking. You are. You are NOT a lazy bum!! You kick ass.

xo - Cheesesteak

Anonymous said...

I scanned thru your last comments.

My comments:

Chemo is hard
on the gut.

1 in 100 have
celiac disease.

Digestive supplements can be helpful for some.
For some it the betaine
HCL supplements with pepsin.
I am one of such persons.
For other it is the digestive enzyme

Think of the pizza crust as sugar. If you read the usenet diabetes forums, you'll hear that pizza can cause elevated blood glucose some hours down the road.

Dropping uncured meats is a mistake in my opinion.
Milk will/can also send your blood glucose levels up if your insulin output or sensitivity is somehow dysfunctional.

The print in this box is quite large!!!

Pamela Ressler said...

Hi Caroline: I found your blog while searching for blogs on health and illness. I am working on some research with a faculty member at Tufts University School of Medicine concerning individuals who blog about their health and life changing diagnosis. I was wondering if you would be willing to answer a few questions about your blog and perhaps say a bit about why you started it and why you have continued to blog? Thank you so much for your consideration…our hope is that we will get a better sense of how blogging may be beneficial for those living with life changing diagnoses.
Take care,
Pamela Ressler,RN,( student, Tufts University School of Medicine