Tuesday, August 10, 2010

fake it til you make it

Insomnia is a cruel, cruel lady. I imagine it as a lady because I feel like a "lady" can be peachy-keen to your face, then stab you in the back when you turn to leave.

I am visiting Okanogan and staying at my moms for a few days. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make the trip because I haven't had a free weekday in the last two months, but we were able to work it out. It has been great to see family and just relax on the couch and watch the river...and let's be honest, some TV.

I slept the entire ride over on Sunday, except to wake up to eat a cheeseburger and fries, then back to dreamland while my mom safely maneuvered crazy Sunday summer traffic. The sleep helped me recuperate quite nicely from my "chemo sucks" party the night before. Surprisingly I didn't get sloppy drunk (not that it's a habit, but I am highly emotional and hadn't had a jello shot in many years) and was able to take in all the positive energy of those around me. It was such a great patchwork of people from all areas of my life, present and past. To those of you who were able to make it, and on such short notice--thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't think there are words to describe being able to be surrounded by love and even though it was a party because I was starting chemo, at the time I forgot I had cancer. I was so in the moment talking to everyone that I forgot to worry. I was able to be present, in the moment, and laugh and hug--and I only cried once, and it was for a damn good reason (thanks Jennifer!). I know that the party put me in a better place to begin chemo and reminded me that I am not going through this alone.......

I meet with a physical therapist and nutritionist on Wednesday. I find it humorous that I meet with a nutritionist when there is a high likelihood that I won't be able to monitor most of what I eat, and it will be small amounts of saltines and Ensure that sustains me. Also it makes me sad, because this was supposed to be the summer I took care of myself. Since I met Scott I have probably put on a good 35 pounds--and yes I know he is a keeper for many reasons, but #1 he met me when I was "skinny" and married me when I was my heaviest and #2 he is pretty much all the best emotions and caring instinct a person can have rolled into one person. And he has never mentioned the 35lbs.....and we all know he noticed. So I was going to work out, eat better and not worry so much about the scale, but just feel better about myself. I told people about it, so once you tell people it's like a verbal contract, now it is an obligation.

People gain weight for various reasons, mine probably had something to do with the french fries and mayo I ate in college coming back to haunt me in adulthood. I lost my dad which was the hardest thing I have ever went through and embraced stress eating for the first time--and copious amounts of beer (welcome 7-10 pounds), I went to graduate school (hello more weight), and through out the process of working, getting certifications, and stress eating--well here I am. And instead of working out and getting "fit" this summer--I got cancer. Life's a tricky bitch.

Now I am forced to take care of myself in a completely different way than I had planned. And I think I have probably gained 10 more pounds due to stress eating and retaining water in the last 2 months alone. Goodbye self-esteem, hello pity party. I am a stress eater, and I have found that it is hard for people to tell someone with cancer "no", so I have been eating pretty shitty the past few months. Exactly the opposite of what I want to do, I should be working on getting myself in the best health possible before chemo......... Too late now, so I am just going to roll with it (chubby pun intended).

Scott recently said to me "I wish you were healthy" (not referring to cancer) but referring to the fact that he wished my stress eating was a spinach salad, not a meatball sub. I was upset for awhile, my self-esteem being in the negative and mulled it over for a few days. Then I realized he was right--I wished I was healthy too....I wished that I had the dedication that I put into my professional life into myself. That I had acted on the intentions sooner--but once you hit a wall, it's really hard to get over it.

Being chubby will give me a reserve for when I start chemo, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is an increased chance that I will maintain a "healthy" weight which helps keep my body in check when my immune system is non-existent. Cancer has forced me to take many, many hard looks at myself in the mirror mentally and physically and overall I like what I am seeing. My motivation has veered slightly, but has remained pointed in the direction of self-care.

It is frustrating and exhausting to worry about what will happen in the next 6 months. To lay in bed wide awake running scenarios through your head, worrying about others worrying about you, and any tiny detail that I can ruminate on for a few hours is taking precedent over sleep. So I get out of bed, and blog a bit, hoping that releasing some emotion will be like warm milk.........cheers.


  1. <3 Glad to hear your ride over was full of slumber, hung over road trips can be full of Ugh.

    Insomnia IS a BITCH. If only there were off buttons in human brains. I know I could use that and a built in alarm with no snooze button. haha

    Love you tons, you and your mom have a safe return trip Wednesday!

  2. Ok, hi Dori, this is Beth. My husband is Ted Reinbold... he has been so concerned for you since the news of your breast cancer. I think because you are young, and you share a passion for mamas and babies as I do, it has made cancer so much more real in our lives, hearts and minds.

    I wanted to respond to your self-esteem, stress-eating and weight gain comments. Maybe it's annoying to have someone you don't even know try to say "look on the bright side," but your extra weight will protect you in the months to come. When saltines and ensure are all you can get down, your body will still have her reserves, and you will be better off than if you started our at "ideal weight" or below. This is something I learned in A&P and nursing school. So yes, of course nutritious eating is always best, but don't worry about the weight, it's your ally right now!

    Hope & Love,