During one of my visits with the oncologists when I was going through chemotherapy, I remember thinking something was wrong with the scale. I was always weighed, I suppose so they could calculate how much poison to give me. I was shocked because it said I was 178 lbs. Even if I accounted for my shoes (which really did weigh 5lbs) and my jacket and jeans (maybe another 5 lbs), clearly cancer was making me eat more and exercise less.
So I did make a conscious decision to eat better. And once I was finished with work (yippee!), I pledged to make more meals from scratch to avoid all the chemicals involved with processing food and making it last for six months longer than it should.
Since April I’ve been cycling a lot, first to get in shape for New York City’s Five Boro Bike Tour and then for our cycling holiday in Germany. I was really pleased when my weight had gone to 155 in April during my annual checkup. Then around the time I got my spots I’d broken through the 150 mark. I’m now down at 145.
But here’s the weird thing. Because my mother-in-law has been sick, I haven’t been going for the long rides I took in July. So I wondered why I was still losing weight. That’s when that sneaky cancer crept back into my head: What if I’m losing weight so “effortlessly” because the cancer is back.
I’ve spent the past few days trying to be positive and just enjoy that I’m finally back to a normal BMI. An article I read back in April recounted the story of a woman in the UK, about the same age as I am, who got back into cycling after she’d finished treatments. She worked her way up to a 25-mile commute every work day and used her bike to run all her errands. Over that summer she lost 25 lbs. So I’ll keep telling myself that it’s all the exercise I’ve been doing (and maybe not eating potatoes for a few months?) until I go for my next check up.
Cancer … it can make positive progress seem like a recurrence… if you let it.