Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26th, 2011 - Somethings different

I'm not ready to fully commit to this and it is still far from proven, but I do feel as if something biologically has changed. Now, I know it's not my leukemia, but something is different. Jon Gabriel says that you will start to feel a change when your body feels mentally and physically ready to lose weight.

For the last couple of months I have focused on why I'm fat or more importantly, why I can be a successful dieter and an even more successful weight gain backer. I can't believe spell check didn't kill backer. I suppose the word could be used as "he had a backer." Okay, but what I meant was I gain all the dieted weight back plus a little more each yo of the yo yo. I have been working with the therapist and the recordings of the Gabriel Method to self evaluate what has made me and what continues to plague my permanent weight loss.

I've come a long way and most of it has been too personal for this blog. Maybe too personal for me even though it was me. I have identified dozens of potential weight management scars. Everything from wanting to be bigger for little league football to constant confidence breaking comments about my butt when I was skinny as a bed post to very personal coming of age mistakes.

It may sound strange, but I haven't worried or stressed out about my weight or dieting because I want to solve the root before I delve into another calorie campaign. And yet, I lost 3 inches on my waist in less than 30 days. I promised myself that I wouldn't step on the scale again until March. Instead I would measure my waist, so I don't know how much weight I have lost, but I can tell that my clothes fit a little better. Maybe, just maybe, my body is allowing me to lose weight without the heavy food withdrawals. Anyway, I hope that is what I feel different because cancer still scares me a bit.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday January 21, 2011 ~ Lab results

Well, yesterday's oncologist appointment went as well as it could. My platelet count is up to 90,000 units and my white blood cell count was just inside of normal. So, if I haven't developed cancer yet, why go to these constant appointments? Because my wife would kill me before the cancer if the cancer came on while I was on a doctor holiday. I guess the way CLL comes on, it would be the best and most treatable if found early. Sounds reasonable.

One other note: My oncologist is moving to Greeley Colorado which is way way too far to drive so it's time to find a new doctor. It would be great if I could find one within 10 miles of my house. I'll have to find one next week because I have to get B-12 shots in order to remain stable.

Sometimes people ask if there is a cure for CLL or if you can do something to elevate your platelet count. You can treat CLL with chemo and so forth and if I were to get pregnant, which sounds oddly unlikely, than your platelets may spike upwards. So the answer is no. No cure; no way to elevate platelets. Sure there are probably hillbilly cures, but I don't want to eat eye of newt. It's just a matter of going in to the oncologist every three months and have labs drawn each time with a minimum of one CT Scan per year.

I hope I never get cancer, but my odds are not really in my favor, but until I get cancer, I think I should still be able to eat fried Twinkies. I've never had them, but they sound like one of those "must try just once" types of foods. Of course, it may be like the commercial for meth. Just once and you'll turn into a thieving junkie and your teeth will fall out.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday January 20th, 2011 ~ Oncologist Appointment

This morning is my oncologist appointment. I was diagnosed with Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in July 2007 and have been under doctor supervision since. I have chronically low fluctuating platelets and an enlarged displaced spleen as well as the occasional white cell fluctuation. While I have been down as low as 35,000 per microlitre, I have had readings as high as 70,000. Over the last year the count has gone down about 1,000 per month. I can feel that something is not right, but I can't tell if it's my platelet count. Maybe I feel out of sorts because of my weight. Nonetheless, I get pretty nervous around my oncologist/hematologist appointments.  

A normal platelet count in a healthy individual is between 150,000 and 450,000 per μl (microlitre) of blood (150–450 x 109/L).[15]  Ninety-five percent of healthy people will have platelet counts in this range.  Some will have statistically abnormal platelet counts while having no demonstrable abnormality.  However, if it is either very low or very high, the likelihood of an abnormality being present is higher.
Both thrombocytopenia and thrombocytosis may present with coagulation problems.  In general, low platelet counts increase bleeding risks; however there are exceptions. For example, immune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombocytosis (high counts) may lead to thrombosis, although this is mainly when the elevated count is due to myeloproliferative disorder. Mine is, of course, extremely low, but I have been cancer free up to this point.
For some time I thought that God had made me fat so I could withstand the riggers of chemotherapy and a prolonged fight with cancer. Even though I have CLL, I still find such excuses to be without merit and downright silly.
No, in fact, I have the new psychological tools to fight obesity. Along with the therapy and hypno-therapy and the Gabriel Method my daily routine includes:
  • Daily prayer / spiritual meditation
  • Mental visualizations/affirmations 
  • Nutrition / health - Watching calories, but not really dieting. It's more about eating healthy things like fruits and vegetables and lean meats or fish.
  • Physical activity - Daily walks or shoveling snow for 20 mins or more. Plus working out at the gym for 45 minutes at least three times per week.
The beauty of this routine is that it is very good for my mental health as well. It is generally accepted that some sunshine and exercise is good for relieving mental stress and prayer and visualization is good for both weight and bipolar disorder.
If have not followed this routine everyday for I don't know what reason, but I need too. As of today, I will follow through with these activities. I do consider writing this blog to be part of my meditation / visualization.
Thus, writing blogs are indeed therapeutic. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday January 5th 2011 - Happy New Year!

Well, the holidays are finally over and now we begin a new year. Welcome 2011. The year in which my first book will be published and my hypnotherapy/Jon Gabriel Method will help me lose 100 pounds by the end of December 2011.

My holidays were very nice. A little hard on the budget, but I only used $400 credit and I will have that paid off before March. I think the hardest time to maintain a strict diet is through the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas accounted for four belly busting meals and I lost track of how many other over-eating opportunities happened as a result of the holidays. Add into that my gourmet cooking craze. After we had such fabulous food in NYC in early November, I felt inclined to cook better dinners for the family. Of course, my gourmet fad included butter and heavy cream in some instances, but I can't blame weight gain on contents nearly as much as I can blame quantity.

When I cook I use real "living" ingredients. By that I mean I don't use any processed ingredients. I think that freshly cut and/or minced onions, garlic, peppers, and other fresh vegetables make a dinner worth eating. I also don't like to use protein substitutes like vegetable oil margarine or fat free milk, however, I do like using soy milk in place of cow's milk and cream because it doesn't curdle with lemon juice.

Some of my favorite meals for my family include vegetables and pasta with a pesto cream sauce, shrimp fettuccine, roast chicken with lemon wedges stuffing, stuffed hamburgers with cream cheese and finely chopped vegetables, fresh tomato and fresh spiced Italian sausage spaghetti and garlic bread, and cream pesto salmon steaks, Sword fish with tomatillo and butter drizzle, roast duck with orange sauce, and lamb chops with a cranberry/orange marmalade. All dinners include fresh steamed vegetables and mixed salad. In most case, cut mixed fruit is offered as a desert, however, I am a very good baker.

Sure, all of these foods sound calorie deadly and they are, however, I believe that over-eating is the greatest culprit. Imagine a dinner with one cup of rich fettuccine, a medium to large serving of steamed asparagus with lemon pepper, a salad with oil and balsamic vinegar, and a glass of unsweetened fresh brewed ice tea. Keep the portions small and this is a healthy feast.

Tomorrow I go in for my first hypnotherapy session of the year. We are supposed to begin working on subliminal craving reduction. I'll let you know how that goes.