Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

so the good news is….

January 14, 2010

I’m almost embarrassed to tell you just how happy I am over a phone call with a NP from U of M  yesterday.  We talked for a while about blood tests and the near future (still on a two-week blood test schedule for as far as the eye can see).  When we finished that discussion, she asked, “well, is there anything else I can help you with?”

I replied, “well, yea, actually there is…” and proceeded to explain my frustration with the latest recommendations for alcohol (none.  no alcohol.  don’t drink any.) from a local oncology nutritionist.  She quickly replied, “Oh, no!  We recommend no more than 5 to 7 alcoholic beverages per week for our breast cancer patients…” and went on to explain that she discusses this everyday with patients, is familiar with recent studies, and this is current recommendation at U of M.  I can hardly even tell you how happy that news made me!!  And yes, I did check..you can save up your wines, and skip a few days so you can have two or three on a weekend night.  Just no more than 5 to 7 per week. 

I can do that.  Not my favorite lifestyle change that has come out of all of this, but I can definitely do 5 to 7.

Of course I realize this is searching for the truth you want to believe.  I sure hope it is the truth.

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A New Year

January 3, 2010

So this has been on my mind since Christmas.  What does this new year mean to me?  What are my dreams for 2010?  To be certain, I don’t have any fantasies of forgetting about cancer, or being cancer free.  That will never happen.  I understand that now.  “Remission” is a concept….and one I’ll not treat my brain to until I stop refilling the Arimidex ‘script (around November 2014, if all goes well in the next five years.)   And for the idea of being “cancer-free”?  Not possible, I don’t think.  It’s kind of like being a mom.  Once you have a baby, that child is always a part of you, even when they grow up and move away.  Which, by the way,  is my plan for cancer.  When I grow up, it’s gonna move away.  Still in my mind though.

I could say that I’ve turned over a new leaf and I’m going to start living healthier, except…I already was.  I already was living a healthy life (stated with undertones of sarcasm) with lots of pysical and mental activity, eating right, was fairly well informed and doing good things for my community.  So I pledge to be healthier.  I am examining every bite I eat, adding the minutes of real exercise and reducing alcohol intake to a minimal amount, consumed only if seated at a meal.  I am meditating every day, examining my motives, and trading stress for zen, well, at least I’m working on that last part.  Even though I think I’m doing well when I step on the scales, I’ll be losing more weight. 

So this is what I want for the New Year.  Well, to be honest, I want a lot of things, but mostly what I want is to feel like I have made a difference.  I hope that I have influenced someone to take their health care seriously.  Not just in the real gritty mean streets of cancer land, but in all health matters….listen to your body.  (I do kind of feel like a hypocrite with that last thought, because I was the queen of denial last Spring.) 

I am still dedicated to the idea of using this stupid cancer as a teachable experience.  I don’t know exactly how to best do that, but I am trying.  I’d love it if my story became the impetus for someone nagging their mother, their sister, their friend, themselves to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a mammogram.  I hope that women, once in their Doctor’s office, or with a Nurse Practitioner, demand to be shown how to do a good and effective Breast Self Exam for themselves, and not feel uncomfortable about itGod knows if groups like the U.S. Preventive Task Force (see my post from November 19th) have their way, you’ll really be on your own with detecting breast cancer. 

So in the end, I refuse to say that 2009 has been a bad year.  It has been a hell of a year, but it could have been worse.  I could have had a Doctor who didn’t notice the lump…the same lump I didn’t feel.  I’m grateful for Cindy Parke (Certified Nurse Midwife extraordinaire) beyond words.  Without her experienced touch, I don’t even want to think about where I might be today.

good news – bad news

December 30, 2009

Well, the good news is that I finally received test results back from my estradial blood test nearly two weeks ago.  Estrogen level was LOW, which, for the maintenance drug to work effectively, is GOOD.  whew……  That was how I started my day, with very very good news.

I also had an appointment with a Promedica nutritionist…..it was good to discover that I am right on track with my assumptions of what I should be doing nutritionally. Lose a few pounds.  Exercise more.  More fruits and vegetables at every single meal. Meat as a condiment, not the main part of the meal.  Eat a more balanced lunch every single day. Conservative multiple vitamins and fish oil are OK.  However, the shocker was the admonition, “no alcohol”.  I thought the new rule for me was “MODERATE consumption” meaning only 1 glass of wine per day.  Even that is a change from my BBC life (BBC=Before Breast Cancer), and one I can make, but NO alcohol?  I think her exact words were something like: “consuming alcohol is like adding fuel to the fire for a Breast Cancer patient.”  

I can’t even tell you how disappointing that is.  One of my greatest joys in life is to consume a great meal with my husband and friends complimented by a great bottle of wine.  So no wine?  Not even a glass with dinner?  I just don’t know.  I don’t know if I can follow that advice.

Actually, I asked Dr. Rubin this exact question a month ago, and he thought my past moderate alcohol consumption couldn’t have possibly been enough to have caused cancer…….and his recommendation was 1 glass of alcohol per day is acceptable.

But, ya know, once you have been through what I’ve been through this year, you’ll do just about anything to NOT get cancer again.  This suggestion has presented me with a major cognitive dilemma, and one that is not going down easily.

This is now the top question I have for every doc I see as well as all my BC friends. 

more later, I’m falling asleep again at the laptop……….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz