One month ago in our Weight Loss Weigh in I talked about how much I love this time of year and all the exciting things I have to look forward to during this season. I also mentioned receiving some bad news just a day before the end of the month which partially derailed our best efforts to get back on track the last couple weeks of August, just before our monthly weigh in.
Well as life goes, a wrench has been thrown into those plans. “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).
Brittany shared with all of you that I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This has thrown us for a loop, it came out of nowhere. I went in on August 30th for a routine annual mammogram where they detected a mass and confirmed it by ultrasound. 7 days later a biopsy was performed and 8 days after that I received the results of confirmation. Invasive ductal carcinoma. (For those who may wonder it has not yet been staged). The next day is when Brittany opened her heart to you and shared the news, as she took a day to spend with her family and absorb the news and deal with her emotions.
Side note: To the ladies, please get your annual mammogram done. It is essential to earlier detection. I never felt a lump and my mammogram exactly one year earlier was clear with not even a suspicious area. I just turned 47 years old on Sept 25th. Breast cancer is not just an ailment of the elderly.
There is still much to discover about my surgical and treatment plan. I have an appointment with a surgical oncologist that specializes in breast cancer on October 3rd and expect I will be having surgery shortly thereafter. The extent of which I do not know at this time. I have since discovered that the tumor is HER2 positive which means it’s aggressive and has a higher risk of reoccurrence and metastasis. So I assume we will be tackling treatment aggressively. I appreciate all your prayers this month. By the time I update you again in November, I suspect I will be recovering from surgery.
How am I doing? My faith is in God, I trust my life in His capable hands and my hope is in the shelter of His arms. He has given me peace that exceeds understanding and a support system that is stronger and larger than I ever knew I had. I am in good spirits. I am positive in my attitude and thoughts and I am hopeful in my future and in the capable hands of the team of doctors at City of Hope, where I feel God has guided me.
Now back to our weight loss and nutritional journey, which is now intertwined with my health and healing goals. Due to the stress, frustration and emotions involved in the waiting process for insurance approvals and waiting on pathology results for answers, we gave into comfort eating and not really caring much about our food choices. I didn’t feel like cooking or shopping and so we ate pizza and take out sandwiches and even hamburgers and french fries. We just didn’t care. Although, my emotions created a suppressed appetite most days so my portions were usually small.
My husband has also struggled with emotions and desire to comfort eat without a suppressed appetite. It has been a rough time. After the results on Sept 14th, Brittany’s posting on Sept 15th and some suggested comments about nutrition, fasting and how it effects cancer, I decided to do my research into studies on fasting and cancer and nutrition and how it effects cancer.
I have experience with fasting for spiritual and health reasons. This was something I knew I could do and if it helps to stop growth of cancer cells it was a way to take some semblance of control back in a situation that was out of my control. Especially in the interim while I await appointment and surgery, it gave me a proactive solution to attempt.
I want to state right now that I do not recommend fasting unless you consult your doctor for your specific health situation (it is strongly contraindicated for certain conditions and situations), and thoroughly do your research and understand the how, when, and whys of fasting. Fasting can be effective for weight loss and health restoration. There are many myths and fallacies in regards to fasting which should be researched and understood. My motivation for fasting is strictly to stop the growth and multiplication of cancer cells within my body and prepare my body and immune system for what is to come.
So I embarked in a combination of extended fasting days with days between consisting of intermittent fasting and low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet of just eating real food! #jerf I have totally cut out sugar of all kinds for now including natural sweeteners like agave, honey etc. I have adhered to a very strict protocol including not indulging in any sweet treats for my birthday. (I will have more birthdays!) Dan took me out for a very healthy dinner date on my birthday and we had a wonderful evening.
This strict adherence to fasting and healthy eating has resulted in weight loss in the second half of the month as you will see in my weigh-in scale results.
I sincerely thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts, encouragement and prayers. Your support to my family is deeply appreciated. We will continue in our pursuit to better health, despite the mountain that has revealed itself on our road to victory but also because of that mountain! Our God is the mountain mover!
On a lighter note: we are overjoyed for the release of Brittany’s cookbook on October 2nd! An occasion we have been looking forward to since last December! We are so very proud of our daughter and all that she has accomplished, the people she has inspired and the lives she has blessed! Congratulations Brittany Williams and everyone in the Instant Loss community that has made this all possible!
We love you Brittany!
October 1st weigh-in results:
Dan: 259.7 +2.5 for September (-39.3 total)
Me: 192.6 -10.4 for September (-57.4 total)