Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 773 - The Person I Used To Be

Several people have asked me if life returns to "normal" after breast cancer treatment. I wish I could say "yes" but I would be lying. When I was going through chemo, radiation and recovering from my surgeries, I used to get really down and exclaim: I JUST WANT MY LIFE BACK!

It's so hard to go from being an active, healthy person to someone with cancer. It sucks. Big time. Now that most of my treatment is over, I have gotten my life back but it's very different.

I remember telling a friend about my diagnosis and what lay ahead. She was very encouraging and upbeat. She did her best to bolster my spirits but I distinctly remember saying: "I sure hope I recognize myself by the time all these doctors get done with me."

Life before cancer - active, healthy, 130 lbs.
Fast forward two years later and I do not recognize myself. I went from being fit and active to being this big, lethargic blob. I went from being able to wear cute clothes to having to buy plus-size, elastic waist everything. I used to wear high heels. Now I can barely walk without tripping, teetering or stumbling. I used to work out, lift weights, climb mountains and run. Now it's all I can do to walk around the neighborhood once a day trying desperately to get in 10,000 steps (I'm not even close).

Don't get me wrong - I am grateful to be alive and done with treatment. But this journey has definitely taken its toll on me. Weight gain, lethargy, brain fog, instant menopause, irritability, neuropathy in my feet... All these things have turned me into someone I do not recognize. And I miss the person I used to be. I want my life back!

Post cancer - fat and unhappy
The first step toward getting my life back - or at least some part of it - is to lose this damn weight. I have never really been an overweight person so the 50 lbs. I have gained over the last two years has thrown me for a loop. I don't know how heavy people can be happy. My hat is off to them. I can't do it. I know that everyone says you have to be kind to yourself and accept yourself. I can't. I know what it's like to be thin and active. There is absolutely nothing acceptable about this fat life. Nothing at all.

I can't do much about cancer. It's either coming back or it's not. But I can do something about this weight. I know that if I can get control of my eating and drinking, if I can lose these 50 lbs. - I will have a BIG part of my life back.

And that would make me VERY happy.

So my blog is going to take a turn in a different direction. It's going to look more like a weight loss journal and less like a cancer survivor blog. I'll still talk about cancer survivorship and things that I'm experiencing. But starting this week - it's all about my weight loss and getting my life back.


  1. Hi Jennifer...Thank you for your H-O-N-E-S-T-Y! Sounds like you are taking your POWER back and not letting post-cancer run your life! As the saying goes, "get busy living or get busy dying (thin or fat)" I look forward to your blog on your weight loss. If Rosie can do it WE can too!! I highly suggest looking into the BELLY FAT CURE and giving it a round or two. I dropped nearly 25 pounds in about 45 days by following the 120carbs 15sugars a day! (I did not walk, jog or anything as I wasn't into exercising back then). Imagine if you added walking a few blocks and I am sure you will drop those 50 in a month or so! I know you have Rosi support and many more...I hope to see your daily blogs on your weight loss. (go tell cancer to take a back seat and mind it's business while you get real and do your thang!!) ;-)

  2. Thanks for your comment. I actually started BFC this week and follow Rosalie's blog. I am going to start posting about my ups and downs - anything to stay accountable. My goal is to lose 50 lbs. If it takes six months, I'm fine with that. The thought of starting the new year at my goal is very motivating. Thanks for the support!

    1. Good Wed morning Jen,
      Glad to hear you started the BFC (suggest to stick to the original style for now..as Jorge has many other good programs but the original BFC is how I and many others started and it's like our foundation).

      I look forward to your daily blogs (as you see I checked in this morning to see what/where you are..smile).

      One way to stay accountable is blogging every day what you are eating or have plan out to eat JUST FOR TODAY. I think it helps with keeping a positive attitude as we journey through the day.

      Approach each day as a NEW YEAR DAY.. (I stay out of the past / future) and live through the day and listen to the body mind and spirit. (that's just me though).

      I am having a piece to toast (alvarado flaxseed bread) with a spoonful of Almond butter and a tablespoon (a touch of sweet) of nature's hallow jam (blueberry) and a cup of coffee with 1/2 and 1/2. That is enough for me today.

      A few years ago when I started bfc, I had 2 slices of toast and added cream cheese in lieu of the almond butter (that breakfast is in the book).

      4 years later, It still one of my EASY favorite breakfast to create (smile).

      Have a blessed productive day!

  3. Thanks for stopping by. I have been eating Jimmy Dean DeLights Flatbread Breakfast sandwiches - the egg white, spinach and mozzarella - it's 160 calories with 3 grams of sugar and 22 grams of carbs. It's also pretty darn yummy if it's nuked long enough! I definitely need the accountability. I hesitate to "put it all out here" but I need to do something to make myself stick to a plan. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Good for you. I salute your for your decision. Research shows that women who exercise at least 4-5 hours a week have less probability of recurrence. So on with the exercises and you will win.

  5. You can do it!!! That was something I went through a year ago, and with focus I was able to get back to my goal weight. :) It is totally worth it!

  6. Hi Jennifer, I came across your helpful blog while looking for first hand accounts of Tamoxifen (I am on it). Have you read Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman? I call it the owner's manual to the human body. It's a wonderful book for weight lost and sustained wellness. Remember that loosing weight is all about providing your body with all of the wonderful nutrients it needs. I can't recommend Dr. Fuhrman's book highly enough. Good luck!

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