Getting Healthy – Week 2

Gah! I totally sucked at being healthy last week. I started out strong – I even went for a jog on Thursday- but then I got off track over the weekend and never could find my mojo again. Everything conspired against me. I was using a different water bottle and I don’t like it as much, so I didn’t get my water in. It’s Nurse’s Appreciation Week (go me!) and we had Gigi’s cupcakes and other miscellaneous junk food brought in, so I had to eat some. All of the food we ate was super salty, so I’m retaining water like the Hoover Dam over here.

So it was not a very exciting day to get on the scale. (Back up to 167 again… 😦 ) And I didn’t feel good about myself. At all. Not just because of the number but just in general.

And knowing I had to get on my soapbox and shout it out that I was a sad sack last week didn’t help either.

But that’s why I’m doing it this way. So that I have to be accountable to someone, because it is so easy for me to lie to myself. So that I will get back on track after just one crappy week (or even just a crappy day) rather than throwing the towel in forever.

I lot of my patients get all up in knots about their tumor markers. For those of you who don’t know, tumor markers are substances that are produced by cancer or by other cells of the body in response to cancer or certain benign (noncancerous) conditions. Most tumor markers are made by normal cells as well as by cancer cells; however, they are produced at much higher levels in cancerous conditions. Tumor markers are usually measured before treatment and then periodically during therapy.  A decrease in the level of a tumor marker can indicate that the cancer is responding to treatment, whereas no change or an increase can tell us that the cancer is not responding. Tumor markers may also be measured after treatment has ended to check for recurrence. (Information from the National Cancer Institute because they put it much more succinctly than I could.) My patients get so focused on the number that they can’t see the bigger picture. Like any lab value, there are fluctuations and while the number may be 10 one week, it could be 11.5 the next, and then 9.8 the following week. I frequently tell my patients – don’t get thrown for a loop by just one value. What matters most is the overall trend and how you’re feeling.

And that’s what I need to tell myself. I had a little setback. The number went up this week.

It’s just one value.

So back to health. Back to mindful eating. And back to nourishing myself and waking up feeling happy instead of guilty and excited for the day rather than anxious.

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