Sunday, September 01, 2013

Cancer Status: August 31, 2013

 I had a brain scan two weeks ago and got the results this Friday. My anxiety grew as Friday approached.. I was sure my health was deteriorating and bad news was on the way. That just goes to show how out of touch I am with my body.

Things either haven't changed or they are better. My lab values are good; tumor markers continue to improve. Physical exam revealed that the tumors are shrinking. My ankle and shoulder have healed. Many days it's hard to believe I'm so fortunate when NPR radio is broadcasting the deaths or hundreds and sometimes thousands.

Ruth's new body image
The only area of concern is my weight. I've lost too much. For those of you who have known me for a long time, this may be hard for you to imagine and it is a mixed blessing for me. I've lost a lot - I've given away many of my clothes gathered from years spent combing thru Good Will and the Salvation Army. I couldn't keep my pants up any more.  My jacket shoulders droop to my elbows. My shirts are like tents and my arms are like sticks. There's no apparent reason for the loss. My appetite is good. I'm not depressed. All my markers are good.

The next step is to check my thyroid. I'll get the lab work done next week. Meanwhile, I've added additional carbs to my diet. That's tricky to do while avoiding sugar, but it sure is fun!

The MD also shared his pessimism about me ever driving again. He knows what a loss this is for me. I ask him about  it every time I see him. I'll probably keep asking him, too.

But I'm relieved and grateful to be doing so well. I hope you are doing well, too, and look forward to your news.

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Allene said...

Dear Ruth,

I am so glad that your news is good. It's hard not to think of the negative things, while waiting for teat results. Keep up the good work and positive attitude. We're all rooting for you.

Love & a hug.....Allene

Doris Kelly said...

I was so pleased to see your blog on facebook and am especially happy to hear of your positive test results. I've been meaning to get in touch, but as usual procrastinated until it seemed too late.

Reading your remembrances of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington took me there. I was unable to attend that march, but was at a march for integration in 1954 when I was eleven years old. My family traveled to Washington on a bus sponsored by a Black church.

I just found out a bus went from Poughkeepsie to attend the march which took place on Saturday. Since I wasn't able to find a local bus soon enough, I made arrangements to go to my brother's house in Brooklyn and we went down with the CUNY faculty under sponsorship of AFT. It seems amazing that fifty years later we're still fighting for many of the same rights.

The Women's Equality Rally is being held in New Paltz next Saturday, September 7. I hope to see more younger women there this year.

After reading about your concern about the need for weight gain, I googled and found the following:

"Eating small, frequent meals is a great strategy to increase the amount you eat over the day without feeling stuffed.

Below are some foods and strategies to maximize healthy weight gain.

Here are some healthy foods you can eat to increase calories and gain weight:

Incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet is a heart healthy way to increase calories and aim for weight gain. Try adding walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, etc. to baked goods, breads, cereal, pancakes, salads, and ice cream or yogurts. (1/4 cup serving = 170 calories)

Trail mix or granola bars, or dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins, are a calorie-dense option that can be eaten as a snack or added to cereals and yogurts. (1/4 cup serving/bar = 120 calories)

Eggs can make a simple meal. Add chopped hardboiled eggs to salads, dressings, and casseroles, or beat eggs into sauces, custards, and baked goods. (1 large egg = 90 calories)

Olive and canola oil can be mixed into sauces, used as salad dressing, and added to yogurt frappes or smoothies as a great calorie boost that contains essential fatty acids that your body needs. You can also use oil to cook when stir-frying vegetables. (1 tbsp = 120 calories)
Try adding beans to soups, salads, or entrees.

Spread peanut butter on whole grain bread or eat it with bananas or apples for a healthy snack. (2 tablespoons = 190 calories)

Add cheese, bean spreads or hummus to vegetables. (1 oz. or 1/8 cup cheese = 100 calories; 1/4 cup hummus/bean spread = 100 calories)
Add avocado to sandwiches, in dips or in smoothies.

Here are some strategies you can try for healthy weight gain:

Use small plates for meals, as opposed to full-size dinner plates.
Try not to snack too close to meal times to avoid feelings of fullness.

Try to eat your favorite foods more often.

Limit fluids to a minimum at meals but make sure to drink between meals.

Keep healthy high-calorie snacks on hand at your house and bring these snacks with you when on the go."

Wishing you the best and hoping to see you out and about soon. You are missed.

Christine Webb-Curtis said...

Ruth, I celebrate your feeling good. While it's essential that you keep asking, keep digging for answers, it's good to feel better as much as you can. Dimity and I include you in our conversations periodically. Just want you to know we're thinking of you.

Love, Chris