Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My new, holistic, life

This afternoon I returned to UCLA, with my mom in tow (I love you, Mom!), to meet with Dr. Mary Hardy, of the Simms/Mann Center of Integrative Oncology. This meeting is designed to provide me with a customized plan for nutrition, supplements, and mind/body activity recommendations to round out my cancer ass-kicking approach. Dr. Hardy is an amazing woman and we really enjoyed meeting her. She gave me a ton of information and instructions on what I should be eating, what supplements I should be taking, what steps to take for certain common side effects once chemo starts. It was a lot of information to receive in 90 minutes...and the number of changes I'll be implementing in my daily life is a bit mind blowing. However, I left feeling like I can totally do this - like I had a bigger arsenal against this bastard. I just need to get organized quickly - and that's something I'm really good at. :) Tonight we cleaned out my pantry to get rid of things I no longer use/need and see how much room we could make for the new additions to my daily life. I hate to admit that I am a pack-rat and have a lot of clutter in cabinets, drawers, closets, etc. but it's true and I know I feel better when things are organized (a bit of OCD at work there but it doesn't always translate into my home being neat/organized) so I think each day I'll try to create more order - it gives me a sense of control which I feel I've lost with this diagnosis - and perhaps having a more organized home will help me achieve a calmer, focused and balanced feeling throughout this insanely anxiety-prone situation. Tomorrow, Mom and I will set out to create some charts for me to follow for meals and supplements (and eventually medications) because I'll be taking A LOT of stuff daily and I'll need to have a checklist to keep track and make sure I'm getting it all in (hello OCD, again LOL). There's a lot of foods I need to consume certain amounts of daily - for example, during chemo I need to consume 65-85 grams of protein daily!! Then there's certain required number of servings of fruits, veggies, certain TYPES of veggies, certain TYPES of protein, etc. We're going to need to prepare several meals in advance and stock my freezer so that I won't be overwhelmed with food preparation and all the complicated requirements, supplements and medicines. My dad loves to cook so when he's here this weekend we'll enlist his help for this process too. If we can find a way to work it into the charts, I also need to get my activities documented/planned: physical therapy for ongoing surgical healing, yoga and meditation classes for stress management, support group/therapy meetings for emotional well being, etc. I need to see it all laid out like a weekly calendar of events and to-do's. At some point when the charts are created and 'operational', I'll post them here so you can see what my daily regimen has become. I'm figuring out that fighting cancer is a full-time, 24/7 job. Hopefully, once these things are fully integrated into my lifestyle they will be second nature and won't require so much time/energy to plan and execute and then it won't seem like a full-time job at all. I will master it and it will protect me. Hey cancer - I'm armed and dangerous, so look out - your days are so numbered (but mine are not)!

8 comments:

  1. No doubt here that you will indeed master all of this! And, just think after your treatments are over and you continue to make such health benefitting choices for food and supplements, you are going to feel AWESOME and LOOK EVEN more AWESOME than you do now--perfect to go with those new perk boobs you'll have! I am SO not organized and wish that this were one of my strengths--or even a skill that would be on par with the "norm!" I always have the best of intentions, though that doesn't really help my house or classroom! LOL Have a top notch day, Julie! Love you and praying for you as always!
    Warmly,
    AB

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  2. Julie,

    I've just caught up on over a week's worth of your blog entries - what a warrior you are! I am going to have to check in more frequently, because not only are you a great and funny writer, but reading about your ass-kicking day in, day out invigorates me and makes me want to take action against all the (far less scary) crap that invades my day. You're my hero, lady. Keep on keepin' on,
    Anne xo

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  3. Order and attaining a feeling of control are very important. It's great that there are so many things you can actively do to fight this bitch and not just be a passive recipient of treatment. I picture you as a comic book hero zapping cancer in the ass!!!
    -Skye

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  4. Just figured out how to not be anonymous anymore :)

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  5. I totally envy how "OCD" you are. Obviously - as proven by my "fly by the seat of my pants" traveling you saw me doing... I am soooo NOT organized anywhere close to what I should be. Just a thought for you - Angie (from iV) had a worksheet she set up that she could put on her fridge in a sheet protector and write on... just a thought you might steal from her (have you seen her blog by the way? Its the creative mama link on mine). :) Love ya girlie...Oh yeah... We (Jr and I) have a couple tricks up our sleeves for you!!! :) But that's all I'm tell'n for now!!

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  6. Wow, that is amazing how much energy you have. I am so proud of you. Thank you for kicking cancer's ass, especially for me. I tried to do a pretty good job at kicking it ass for a good few years and continue to do so, so feel free to remind it I am still around and now behind you and Kathie 100%. Muhahahaha (an evil laugh to cancer!)

    xo from NYC

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  7. Wow. I've got a headache just reading it all! I love you Julie!

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  8. You are an amazing person! And your parents are amazing parents! Cooper is very lucky to have all of you as his family. You are a fine example of warrior woman to everyone who reads this blog. Love ya!

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