Saturday, January 14, 2012
Life seems to have calmed down again, the radiation treatments are finally over, for real, my health is good, my friends and family members seem to have stopped dying, and throughout it all, I haven't engaged in any destructive, or even counter-productive behaviors. I more than maintained my weight during a time of significant stress. In fact, I lost ten pounds that I didn't really have to try to lose. I attended to my emotional well-being, continued to work out every day that (a) I could, and (b) I knew I should. I have increased my calorie burn per week from 4000 to 5500-6000 calories. I do some type of cardio for at least 60 minutes and strength training of some form six days a week. I eat smart, making certain that I get the necessary balance of carbs, fat, and protein. I drink lots and lots of water. I stay away from processed foods. My total cholesterol has dropped to the 140s (!!), my triglycerides are phenomenal, my resting heart rate is 53 bpm, blood pressure is around 100/55. Obviously, I am doing all of the things that I "should" be doing. And, I think my results have been fantastic. No complaints.
Here's the thing: I am not allowing myself to lose any more weight because I eat just more than the top of my calorie range per day. Part of this is due, I think, to making certain that I have physical reserves should my health head south again. And, I feel so good and my physiological indicators are so amazing, that I don't know if I SHOULD lose any more weight. My BMI indicates that I am at the top of normal weight for my height; that suggests that I could benefit from losing more weight. However, I don't know what my body fat percentage is, except in a crude way (BMI calculation, my own private pinch testing). That suggests that I should keep working toward a goal weight of 135-140. My fear keeps me where I am. I'm afraid I will become physically weak should I have to resume radiation or should I require chemo and weigh less than I do today.
I could throw caution to the wind and forge ahead, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the risks I already have in my life. I resigned for my job (effective at the end of the academic year), and come May, I will have no job. I currently have no prospects for a future job. I am getting ready to move away from ND and I am not positive about where I am going because I haven't yet found said job. Caution, caution, caution! That's what my soul is telling me.
Why the caution... Well, I went from healthy one minute to not healthy in the next. That is how it seemed at the end of September. Lumps. Biopsies, Surgeries. MRIs. Radiation. EEGs. Ultrasounds. Blood work. Frequent medical appointments. Nearly every day in a hospital. That was my life for more than three months. I have only very recently been "released" from 5-day-a-week radiation treatments. I thought that was supposed to end by the end of December, but two extra weeks got tacked on. I wasn't mentally or emotionally prepared for that. So, all of that signified more risk, and more caution, and the need for more prudence on my part. Good that I didn't fall apart.
I sometimes feel as though my emotional state is so fragile that I can't take one more thing. I don't feel like I am in a good cognitive place right now. I feel like I just get by in that regard. I am working through my issues. My Motivation and Emotion class is helping with some of that. In doing the same assignments that I give students in the class, I am working through some of my road blocks. And, by writing this here, I am also working through this deal.
There are various forces in my favor. First, I am an optimist through and through (Thanks, Dad!). Second, I am in a good place from a fitness standpoint. I have stamina, a solid fitness plan and routine to which I am faithful. Third, I have the resilience trait (Thanks again, Dad!). Fourth, I have a lot of gratitude. Fifth and sixth, I have a supportive father, supportive daughters, and supportive friends (Thanks everyone!). Seventh (and beyond) I am assertive, forward thinking, open-minded, and tenacious. I know who I am, and I know what I want from life. I keep my expectations in check. In short, I have the characteristics that will help me to continue to succeed. So, my plan is to keep working through my issues. I think it will all work out eventually, even if it doesn't all get worked out today.