On August 21st, I celebrated my one year anniversary of taking the cancer-preventative drug, Tamoxifen. I’ll be honest, it has not been an easy year, and I’ll be more honest, I am not happy that I have four years left to take it. This drug, however, will help me not get breast cancer again, so I take it, grudgingly.
This far into the post-cancer journey, I am by no means back to normal or happy with where I am in the recovery/moving on process. I am, however, taking steps to ensure that I do move on, and I do more than recover.
Last month, I went to see my new allergist, Dr. D. Dr. D has really helped me so far, and while I am still allergic to most everything I tested for 7 years ago, I am happy to report I can eat chicken again! I have eaten so much chicken in the last three weeks, I may cluck with joy. I am so happy to have chicken as an option again.
Dr. D is going to start me on shots in a couple of weeks. I really like her. Unlike my last allergist, she listened to me, asked questions, and wants me to be a well-rounded person. Dr. D, coincidentally, studied Tamoxifen in college. I’ve been able to get a lot more information and support about this med than I have in a while.
So while I’m getting that part of my life under control, I now am onto the next phase of my new life. A year ago, when I started taking Tamoxifen (which makes your body think it’s pregnant and holds onto every pound), my oncologist said that since fat stores estrogen and my cancer was estrogen positive, I needed to be about 100 pounds less than I am now. I told her that was highly unlikely any time soon.
“Then we need to talk surgery,” she strongly suggested.
“Weight loss surgery. Bypass, I’m thinking.”
At that moment, I was not ready to hear that I needed surgery. I told her no way and she left it alone for the time being.
In April, at another checkup, my oncologist noted I’d only lost 7 pounds. I felt estatic over that number considering how tired I’d been. She was not amused. She mentioned surgery again. I was not amused.
I started doing research on bariatric surgery and what it would entail. I began to deal truthfully with myself as well. I’d been overweight since I was 8 years old and for various reasons, I had not been able to lose weight and keep it off, and in the last 5 years or so, losing was nearly impossible.
I talked with three friends who have had this surgery and the consensus seems to be this:
- Bariatric surgery is not the easy way out.
- It’s a long, very long journey.
- Bariatric surgery takes a complete life change to make it work. It’s only a tool. The rest is up to the person.
- SO VERY WORTH IT!
I have talked with a few more friends who have had either banding surgery or other forms of weight-loss surgery. All say it was difficult, but worth it.
After a lot of self examination, I decided that if I was going to get to this magical land on the other end of the scale, then I was going to need help. I rarely ask for help. In fact, having to admit I needed help with my weight was a big barrier. A friend told me that knowing I needed help was, “discernment.”
Last week I had another followup with my oncologist and I told her I was ready to have the surgery. She seemed surprised but glad I was taking this seriously, as I was back up 6 pounds and in one year had only lost a pound. I was just happy I hadn’t really gained weight beyond that.
She referred me to the Davis Clinic here in Houston (thedavisclinic.com). Dr. Garth Davis had a show on TLC a few years ago called, “Big Medicine.” He is the surgeon I am going to see on September 21. I am excited to have this moving forward and ready to get this part of my life under control. Not only will I get the surgery, I will be seeing a psychologist and a dietician.
My plan is to live a long life. Getting the weight off will help bring that to reality. I know that once I get the weight off, with God’s help and with support I can keep it off.
I have already gotten many comments and negative feedback. Mostly from skinny people or people who lose weight easily or people who can’t imagine themselves going without their favorite foods for a very, very long time.
I am drawing the boundary line right here and now. Keep your negative comments to yourself. I do not need to hear your negativity. It will not make me change my mind. I’m going forward with this. If you can support me that would be wonderful, if not, I can appreciate standing up for what you believe in, and I will miss you.
I will be updating quite a bit more now, as keeping a blog during this transition will be very helpful. I’m getting excited about the positive changes I’m making in my life and I’m ready to be the healthiest I’ve ever been!