This is a very happy post!!
After spending the last few months being restricted to a liquid / mush diet due to not being able to eat food because it kept getting stuck in my throat I've been able to eat solid food again!
You have no idea what a blessing that is for my morale. For one reason because it's now a bit easier to keep my energy levels up by eating more calorie dense foods but it's also making a mental difference to me too, the tumour must be getting smaller if I can now swallow solids right?!
My chemo is doing it's amazing job and beating back the growth (at least) of the tumour and with my few and far between symptoms it seems my body is playing ball too by keeping as healthy as possible to allow me to have enough energy to fight this.
It's very strange having to change my mindset regarding calories and exercise having been on this weight loss journey for what seems like forever but with a little modification I have all the tools already that I need to deal with this.
I've been told that I'll probably lose weight whilst on chemo and I'll lose a lot of weight after my operation (In the region of three stone or 42 pounds apparently) so at the moment I need to consume as many calories as possible in order to maintain my weight before my operation.
I still want to eat healthily as I totally believe I need as many nutrients as possible at this moment in time but it has meant that I have made a few changes to my diet, mainly to full fat options ie milk, cheese, yogurt etc
I also plan (now I can eat solids again) to make homemade pasta sauces and serve that with wholemeal pasta for long lasting energy but it's also nice being able to eat chips (fries) whenever I feel like it!!
It's quite hard doing this after being on a 'diet' for so long but I need to think about the bigger picture here and the likelihood is I'll be classed as underweight after I've been through my operation and my energy levels and my body's ability to fight both the cancer and any other diseases / infections that may appear whilst my immune system is decimated when on chemo is the more important battle at the moment. I'm expecting to have the rest of my life (a long one) to deal with any weight issues I may or may not have.
The good thing about being on a diet for so long is that food accountability / calorie counting comes very easily to me. One thing I'm very good at is keeping track of what I'm eating and how much - I just need to turn this around and make sure I'm no longer creating a deficit.
I have sadly made the decision to cancel my gym membership for now.
I accept that in the next few months I probably won't have the energy to go to the gym and due to my low immune system I've been told that even swimming is off the cards due to the warm and wet environment poolside which also happens to be the ideal germ breeding ground.
The other thing that often occurs at the gym, especially during strength training which I was a big fan of, is micro trauma where you intentionally tear your muscles very slightly. This then encourages your muscle to rebuild and in doing so it rebuilds bigger / stronger to attempt to prevent the injury again.
Whilst on chemo the last thing I need to be doing is creating trauma in other parts of my body, I need my body's energy to be totally focussed on beating this tumour and recovering from my surgery.
So my plan is to try and get out and walk as much as possible - my main form of exercise is going to be this.
On days that I'm feeling a bit more energetic then I'll be continuing with my dance classes for both exercise and my state of mind - it's something I really enjoy doing and that will in itself make me feel better
I've also bought a ballet DVD so that if I'm house bound I could still get in a bit of gentle exercise and stretching.
Once again, I intend to have the rest of my life to get back into shape / keep fit but for now my goals are on hold.
I'm just very glad and grateful that I managed to bring fitness into my life and make it part of my routine before all of this happened because I know how much I enjoy it and I have no fear that I will get back to it in due course.
I weighed in yesterday and I have managed to maintain my weight from last week which is a good thing for me, which I probably owe in part to my bowls of porridge made with full fat milk, golden syrup and peanut butter, seriously guys it's like a big hug in a bowl!!
All in all I have no grumbles with life at the moment!!