BASILIC's SparkPeople Blog BASILIC's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Still healing I completed my bilateral DIEP/SIEA breast reconstruction on May 13. I'm healing very well except for a small spot on my abdomen which I have to pack twice a day. Until it's closed, I'm restricted from doing more than walking for exercise. I managed to gain some weight following my surgery. My mom was there to take care of me for the first 6 weeks and between her cooking and my current sedentary lifestyle, it's no surprise. <BR> <BR> I still have another procedure to get through before I am... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:19:29 EST Toning is working I have not lost any weight since I started monitoring again in January. But, I have been exercising regularly and for the past month have been working harder on strengthening my core, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery which takes place on May 13. I'll be curious to see what my measurements will be when all is healed. I'm excited and scared at the same time. Thu, 3 Apr 2014 17:33:40 EST Toning vs scale I consulted with the reconstruction surgeon in November. I asked her how much weight I should lose and still have have enough tissue for the DIEP procedure. She told me not to focus on the scale but rather work on getting toned. She went on to explain that the patients who are toned, have an easier time with recovery. Somehow this seems less daunting than focusing on scale numbers, and also encourages me to move more. Wed, 1 Jan 2014 13:36:33 EST Finished all treatments I'm finally done with all of my treatments. I had my last chemo on January 10, radiation done on March 13, last Herceptin on April 25, and port removed on May 17. My hair has grown back enough that I can forgo a wig or even a hat. <BR> <BR> I am trying to motivate myself to get back on track with my nutrition and exercise. It's a lot harder this time around. Though treatment is over, my mind and body is still trying to recover from it all. I have a hard time keeping my eye on the ball. Mon, 8 Jul 2013 14:32:37 EST Finding normal again I finished my radiation on March 13. I had it twice a day for a month and the fatigue is supposed to start to lift now. I have one more Herceptin infusion on April 25th and then I'll be done with treatments. It will be nice to not have to think about my next treatment. Fri, 12 Apr 2013 23:45:43 EST Radiation I will be starting radiation in about two weeks. I will be receiving treatment twice a day, 5 days/wk, 4 1/2 weeks. Sat, 2 Feb 2013 00:41:11 EST Moving on I completed my last real chemo infusion this past Thursday. I still have to endure the side effects from it for another week, but at least I know that when I start feeling better this time, it wont be just in time to start a new cycle. My oncologist said that I could pick up my activity level soon. I have been very inactive in the past few months. My dog is also out of shape. Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:13:30 EST New chemo I started the second phase of my chemo treatment (Taxotere/Herceptin). I am tolerating this one much better than the red devil. I have to take cortisone for three days so having trouble falling asleep but minor issue compared to the yuck feeling I had for days following with the red devil. Sat, 10 Nov 2012 18:20:20 EST losing weight in spite of onc's prediction I got on the scale yesterday and found that I had broke under 170. I was just a little over 180 when I started my chemo. This is not a drastic weight loss, as I've been on this chemo since mid-August so I'm only averaging 1 lb per week. <BR> <BR> When I first learned that I would undergo chemo, my initial reaction was "oh Good! I'll get to lose some weight" but then my oncologist informed me that most BC patients undergoing this type of chemo tend to gain weight (probably due to the cort... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:08:04 EST Goodbye red devil I had the last of my Adriamycin/Cytoxen (AC) infusions this past Thursday. Next is Taxotere and Herceptin. I already had 8 infusions of Herceptin with Tykerb prior to my surgery and tolerated it well. My oncologist said that the Taxotere should not be so hard on my stomach like the AC but that I can expect more fatigue. Sat, 20 Oct 2012 13:24:36 EST Update I'm down 3 infusions and have one more to go of the adriamycin/cytoxen then will be switching over to Taxotere and Herceptin. I hope those two will be less harsh. My mom will be coming to stay with me in mid November through the first week of January so it will be nice having her with me during the holidays. <BR> <BR> I gained a little weight after my surgery but managed to lose some of it over the past two months of chemo. Luckily I have not gained weight, as my doctor told me to anticipat... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 00:39:57 EST 1st chemo I had my first round of chemo this past Thursday, Agust 16. The day of the chemo was nothing. I even went shopping at Costco after the infusion. It wasn't until later in the evening, when I developed a headache some indigestion. Both stayed with me on/off for over 4 days but I didn't have any nausea. The drugs they gave me for it worked well. It's now day 6 and I still have the indigestion but the headaches seem to have abated. I started taking Pepcid AC for the indigestion and Motrin for ... Wed, 22 Aug 2012 12:41:23 EST update - August 13, 2012 It's been over a month since my mastectomy and so far I have healed well without any complications. I had initially lost 3.75 following the surgery (that's how much the removed breast tissue weighed), but I somehow managed to gain it back and spread it to other areas of my body. :-( <BR> <BR> I haven't pushed myself very much with exercise because I was still healing from surgery, but a couple of days ago, I walked my dog to the park and back (1 mile) and discovered he is also out of shape.... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 10:30:59 EST Post-surgery I had my surgery on July 3rd. All went well. I had clear margins and only 4 of 27 lymph nodes were cancerous. I see the oncologist next week to discuss when I start chemo. Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:51:28 EST Ticking clock I'm counting down the days for surgery now. I can't believe I started her2 targeted treatment almost 6 months ago. It doesn't seem like that much time has passed. I wonder if I'll feel the same when I look back on the hard chemo months. <BR> <BR> At least my weight has stabilized now. I expect I'll lose some weight with the surgery and maybe with the chemo as well (depending on whether they give me prednisone or not), but I found a new reason not to be motivated to lose too much weight. Afte... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:02:07 EST checking in I'm nearly complete with my targeted therapy and am scheduled for my modified radical mastectomy for July 3rd. I'll be in recovery mode after my surgery for 5 weeks and then will begin chemo. <BR> <BR> I haven't been very active with SP. I'm too preoccupied with the impending surgery and chemo. I hope it doesn't change me too much afterwards. I hear about so many people who have lasting side effects long after their treatment is over and that worries me a little when I let myself think abo... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 01:06:19 EST Continued progress, though not in weight loss I have already completed 16 weeks of targeted treatment and have only 8 more to go before surgery. My response to the treatment has so far been phenomenal. My oncologist is ecstatic with the results, as am I. <BR> <BR> I had hoped to, if not lose, then at least not gain any more weight before my surgery in July but so far that hasn't been happening. I find it difficult to sit down and plan on record my food and though I've tried to keep active, it has not been enough to stabilize my weight. ... Tue, 8 May 2012 17:44:26 EST Progress I have great news to share! On January 3rd, I had a breast tumor that was 9 x 2.8 x 3.8 cm. As of yesterday, that same tumor has shrunk down to .8 x .8 x .6. I still have 12 more weeks of treatment and then will have surgery, chemo and radiation, and hopefully this current therapy I'm on will prevent reoccurence somewhere else as inflammatory breast cancer is prone to do. <BR> <BR> Also after just two weeks of increasing my thyroid meds, my my liver enzymes were back to normal and I am down... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 23:52:27 EST Hit the Reset button I decided to hit the reset button on SP today. It was my first time doing so since starting in 2010. I realized that my goals weren't the same anymore and I needed to feel like I was moving forward instead of falling back. I also changed my goal to "not trying to lose weight" so that I can go back to just focusing on my health. When I first joined SP, I did so just so that I could track my nutrition and not focus so much on the scale numbers. Somehow along the way, I lost sight of that goal. ... Thu, 8 Mar 2012 11:51:11 EST Great news! I saw the oncologist yesterday and after only 6 weeks of treatment, my tumor - which was over 7 cm pre-treatment, has virtually disappeared. <BR> <BR> I also bought myself a recumbent excercise bike so that I can exercise at home easier. I have not felt up to going to the gym lately, and was just pouring money down the drain these past 2 months. Fri, 2 Mar 2012 22:56:33 EST weight gain I have gained about 10 lbs. since learning of my diagnosis. Part of it is due to stress eating and the fact that I slacked off of my exercise. I got in more walking this week, but have been over-consuming on the calorie end. I'm frustrated with myself. I know I can't exactly start dieting at this point, but I still need to reign in some control or before I know it, I'll have added on another 10 and have to go clothes shopping. Also, it won't be helpful if I end up with diabetes. Sat, 25 Feb 2012 17:44:15 EST Getting back on track With my recent diagnosis, I have slacked off of exercise and giving myself permission to not worry about losing weight. However in the process, I've already gained several pounds so I need to nip that in the bud. I'm not going to restrict my calories radically, but rather just start logging in my nutrition again. It will have the two-fold benefit of making sure that I'm eating balanced. <BR> <BR> I'm also going to step up my exercise (this past week, I managed to go for one long walk, and th... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 10:12:45 EST Making progress with targeted treatment Great news! The doctor saw me before my infusion on Thursday and he was excited to see that the tumor had shrunk considerably. It's less than half the size of where it was three weeks ago. Sat, 11 Feb 2012 11:57:22 EST Treatment working The doctor has already noticed notable changes in my tumor only a week into treatment. Tue, 31 Jan 2012 07:43:49 EST Treatment update I was selected to do the 24 week trial rather than the 12 week. I'm happy with the selection. The publications on this drug combo I'm on (Tykerb/Herception), has been very positive. I realize how lucky I am to have this cancer now, rather than before this treatment was availalbe because otherwise my prognosis would have been poor. <BR> <BR> I started my first treatment yesterday. I tolerated the infusion very well (no allergic reaction during the drip), but afterwards I felt sick like a do... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 08:12:45 EST Suspense ended, good news My her2 marker came back positive. I meet with the oncologist tomorrow about my course of treatment. I be starting on the drug combo first, then surgery followed by chemo and capping off with radiation. <BR> <BR> Caroline <BR> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:54:29 EST Suspense extended to the weekend I saw the oncologist yesterday. He was able to give me information about my course of treatment if the her2 marker comes back positive. But we can't move on until we know for sure. If it's positive, I'll start treatment with Herceptin and another drug, then in a couple of months I'll have surgery, followed by several months of chemo, and finishing with radiation. Wow! What a year 2012 is turning out to be. Fri, 6 Jan 2012 08:56:24 EST Still more suspense I received the results on my hormone markers and the news isn't good. have negative hormone which has a poorer prognoses then both or either estrogen or progesterone being positive. I'm still waiting on the her2, as the initial results on that one have it neutral. It's being run through a more sensitive (FISH) test but the results won't be in by the time I see my Onco tomorrow. Wed, 4 Jan 2012 15:13:15 EST Relief Good news! The CT scans for bones, lungs and stomach were clear. The MRI showed some activity on the left breast but that was expected. The mammogram on the other breast was normal. I'm still waiting for the results of the ER/PR markers as well as her2, but at least I'm less worried of having Stage 4 now <BR> Tue, 3 Jan 2012 17:56:59 EST Ad-Sense So, after posting a blog about breast cancer, I noticed the following advertisement had popped up on my blog page. At this point, I don't know if I'm late stage or not, either way it seemed extremely tacky that this ad would pop up. I didn't even Google for "late stage breast cancer". Does anyone else think that this is disturbingly unethical and tasteless, or am I being too sensitive? <BR> <BR> Here's the text from the advertisement: <BR> <BR> <BR> Late Stage Breast Cancer? <BR> Chat Pr... Sun, 1 Jan 2012 19:38:38 EST Support I'm overwhelmed by the support I've been receiving from my fellow Sparkers. Somehow I couldn't bring myself to post my status on Facebook to my 200 some friends, but felt more comfortable doing so here. I guess after laying my soul bare about my weight issue, I feel more comfortable sharing this bad news as well. Thank you to all who have offered me support. <BR> <BR> I don't know what the following week has in store for me, but I'm ready to deal with whatever it is. <BR> <BR> Sat, 31 Dec 2011 17:10:47 EST breast cancer again I just learned that I have breast cancer again, only more serious this time around. I received a partial report from the biopsy, so at this point I know the mass is malignant and the sentinel lymph node has cancer cells as well. I don't know the staging yet, but I have multiple scans on Tuesday and will see an oncologist this Thursday so should have a better idea of my prognosis by then. <BR> <BR> It had only been 9 months since my last mammogram, so whatever it is I have is very aggressive... Fri, 30 Dec 2011 10:21:23 EST Holiday debt I've been visiting with my mom for the past 10 days, and though I didn't put myself in financial debt, I definately packed on some extra pounds. But I'm back now, and the tempatations should abate with the coming of the new year. <BR> It's time to re-evaluate my goals and get back on track. Tue, 27 Dec 2011 08:03:23 EST One day at a time I made it to the gym yesterday for the first time in 2 weeks. I've been walking several times a week but obviously not enough to keep even with my calorie intake. I couldn't make in time for the spin class so I went swimming for about 40 minutes. I wore my fins and web-gloves and got a full body workout. <BR> <BR> I don't know why I resist going to the gym to work out when I feel so good afterwards. Maybe I was a bear in another life and I'm cycling into hibernation. Of course that wouldn... Wed, 30 Nov 2011 09:32:48 EST Tripping myself I know a lot about how to lose weight, but deep-down I seem to have a subconscious desire not follow through. I need to get down to the root of the matter, whether it's a fear of failure, or perhaps of success and the unknown ramifications that this may bring. Perhaps if I discover "why", then I'll be able to push on through. Tue, 29 Nov 2011 10:43:44 EST Rut climbing #2 I looking back on my week, I had more good days then bad, nutrition wise, and I increased my activity substantially from the week before. So though I was up a lb from the week before, I still feel pretty good about the week all and all. <BR> Sun, 20 Nov 2011 13:44:46 EST Rut climbing While trying to climb out of my rut, I ran into some large obstacles. Though they slowed me down a bit, I haven't stopped trying to climb out. <BR> Sun, 13 Nov 2011 12:41:10 EST Rut Tomorrow I break out of the rut I've been digging for myself. Tue, 8 Nov 2011 23:10:59 EST Why? I keep asking myself why do I sabotage myself so often. I'm sure there's an answer there, but it's buried so deep that I may never discover the answer. <BR> <BR> I guess the questions I should be asking myself are: <BR> <BR> Why do I want to continue to eat healthy foods and keep active? Answer: My mind and body respond better. <BR> <BR> Why do I want reach my goal of reaching a healthy BMI level? Well aside from not having the doctor write "overweight" or "obese" in my chart, I want ... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 12:11:31 EST Bumpy road I had a bit of a setback this weekend. I not only fell of the healthy-living wagon, but then the bad lifestyle wagon rolled over me dragged a for a couple miles. Luckily, I managed to disintangle myself, and have climbed back on the healthy-living wagon. Now if I could just find that darned seatbelt. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and the road is full of bumps and potholes. Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:25:56 EST skipped my ride I planned to ride with the cycling group at 7:30 this morning but I woke up to 48 degree weather and dropping and chickened out. I don't have cold weather gear, and the light cycling jacket I had wouldn't have been enough. I was hoping I could ease into cold weather riding, like going from 70 degree to 60 or even the mid-50s, but I wasn't ready for a difference of 25 degrees. <BR> <BR> I know I probably made the right choice, but I can't help but feel like I copped out. On the other hand, ha... Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:03:07 EST My bicycling progress - Almost feel ready to join the big kids Almost 3 years ago I decided that I would take up bicycling again and bought myself a used road bike. For the first six months I was content to ride by myself on the hike and bike trail, but I knew eventually I would have to join a bike club if I intended to get in some serious miles. I don't feel safe riding on deserted country roads by myself, and the hike and bike trails limit my building up any speed as I try to maneuver around pedestrians. <BR> <BR> I've been kind of chicken about thi... Sat, 22 Oct 2011 14:07:41 EST pistachios in the shell I love pistachios, and though I can handle having a bag of unsalted pistachio meat, I find I can't handle myself as well with the salted ones. I usually don't buy them because most of the time I find them in 1-2lb bags and don't want to have that much temptation around. Still, it had been a while since I had bought some and found a smaller 8 oz bag last night. I figured if things did get out of control, then 8 oz was better than 1 lbs. <BR> <BR> As I found myself shelling and eating, I k... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 09:57:02 EST pulling myself out of my blah It's the end of my first week back with SP and I am up more than 2 pounds from last week's weight in. I dined out twice in one day yesterday. I rarely buy my lunch at work, much less buy take-out pizza, but did order a feta and spinach pizza so it wasn't as unhealthy as it could have been, but the sodium level was rather high for both meals, so hopefully that's why I weighed in so much heavier this morning. Anyway, that's the mental justification I'm giving myself. <BR> <BR> Along with my... Sat, 8 Oct 2011 13:16:32 EST Same, yet not the same I measured myself this morning and recorded the outcome on the SP tracker. I was amazed and dissapointed to see that although I my weight hadn't changed all that much in one year, my measurements told a very different story. I increased by 1 to 2 inches in all the wrong places. In other words, my neck, thighs and calves remained the same, but the hips, waist and bust went up. Mon, 3 Oct 2011 10:30:03 EST saboteur I realized long ago that a big part of my weight issue is in my head. I can find plenty of excuses, but in the end I am my own worst saboteur and I need to get to the root of why that is. Sun, 2 Oct 2011 11:53:07 EST My dog made me do it So as I mentioned in my previous blog, I've been participating in the WW at work program since January. It was a sweet deal through my work (50% off), but still not free. I reached the 2nd end of a 16 week session and had less than 5 lbs loss in 32 weeks. I don't blame the program. Others in the group were doing very well with it. I, under other hand, had trouble staying on track. I was using e-tools and tried to join some of the communities, but never felt connected like I did with the SP c... Sat, 1 Oct 2011 15:24:51 EST I'm back I left Sparkpeople a while back because joined WW at-work program, hoping it would re-energize my motivation in getting to a healthy weight. I had gone into a bit of a slump. Anyway, I couldn't keep up with two different sites and since I was paying for WW, I reluctantly stopped visiting SP. <BR> <BR> I have been doing the WW at work program since January, and unfortunately did not make much progress with my weight. I can't blame it on the program, rather I found myself not getting with t... Sat, 1 Oct 2011 11:31:25 EST Diet programs for dogs! Really? I just saw a commercial for Science Diet Weight Loss System for dogs. Comes with 66 food packets and 60 biscuit packets. <BR> <BR> I'm assuming there will be an added cost for the the convenience of portioned out packaging, and I'm sure people will be buying the product because they have an overweight dog. But wouldn't it just be easier to cut back on the amount of food and increase the exercise? Unlike children, who may get access to vending machines or switching lunches at school, ou... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 17:47:26 EST Moving from 2010 to 2011 Overall 2010 was not a bad year. I have a lot of things going on in my life to be grateful for. The things I want in 2011 are the same as what I wanted in 2010. I will continue to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle by focusing on the continued development of good habits rather than over-focusing on the numbers of the scale. <BR> <BR> Last February I joined Sparkpeople with the intention of using the nutrition and fitness logs as tools while I balanced eating healthy eating and exerc... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 15:46:05 EST