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)!