Living Ketogenic

Cancer as a symptom of something else. Those were intriguing words to hear. Remember the Copacabana song? I try my best to keep fear at bay– and even away, honestly. Researching and learning help keep the fear away. When my oncologist said that I needed to get within the normal BMI range to reduce my chances of re-occurrence, I started researching diets and found those words.

I came across this book: https://www.bc.edu/sites/libraries/facpub/seyfried-cancer/book.pdf and this book: After Cancer Care by Gerald Lemole (Author), Pallav Mehta (Author), Dwight Mckee (Author), Mehmet Oz (Foreword) . There are so many articles, blogs, sites and videos out there, a lot of information to be had, and a lot of opinions, too. Weigh it all for yourself and find what speaks to you.

These spoke to me because in Dec 2014 I had a weird patch of skin on my back and went to my doctor. She said that it wasn’t anything I was exposed to externally, it was what I was putting into my body. I should stop eating sugar, yeast, processed foods and dairy, oh and stop drinking alcohol. I left wondering what the heck my doctor wanted me to eat! A week or so later my daughters presented with the same weird skin thing. I took them to the pediatrician who was going to tell me what was really up.

He said we needed to stop feeding them processed foods, sugar, yeast and dairy. I immediately heard that they can have alcohol? What crap is that! My husband heard it wasn’t the alcohol since they don’t drink, game on! Right there, that moment encapsulated why I love him with all my heart!

After following this diet, roughly Paleo, for about 6 weeks everyone’s skin cleared up, several pounds were lost and energy abounded. That was interesting, I thought making hamburger helper was a home cooked meal. I thought pasta with a jar of sauce was too! Everyone I talked with thought our meals would be boring and bland, they were not, we went with Moroccan and Middle Eastern food since we weren’t really familiar with it, we wouldn’t know if made it all wrong.

When people came over for dinner, they didn’t know that they were eating our special diet food. Truly. Now, if anyone said this was going to take longer to cook, I would agree with them. It seemed like we were spending the majority of the evenings in the kitchen.

During the early phase of knowing something was wrong but not yet a breast cancer diagnosis, my blood pressure went up. My plant nurse told me to start reading labels on the food we were buying for hidden salt content. I told her that we don’t typically buy things with labels, we eat mostly whole foods. She seemed confused. Me too truthfully. Time and the search for what was wrong went on.

Reading that cancer could be a symptom of an overall organism issue, such as a metabolic disorder was quite an interesting find. It makes sense to me, and it is something I can do, intentionally and deliberately for myself and perhaps to help my family as well.

DietDoctor.com made it EASY. There are videos, there are meal plans, with recipes and grocery lists. Upload the grocery list to a grocery delivery or pick up site and tell me you don’t feel like you just won grocery shopping! Since doing keto I have lost quite a bit of weight, and am the smallest dress size I have been since high school.

People worry, they worry this isn’t sustainable, giving up bread, rice, potatoes, processed food, foods with added sugar and so on. I joke that no one cared when I ate total crap for years. So far, seven months in, no cheating, no falling off the wagon, I am feeling great. I have donated so much clothing, 2 55 gallon contractor garbage bags full plus another smaller bag. I say that I have an unfair advantage in motivation, the memory of chemo is still fresh, chemo sucks, and if I can do this to prevent chemo treatments again, so be it! Even if I were to need chemo in the future, I will know that I did EVERYTHING I could to prevent it, no regrets. Easy peasy!

When I went in for surgery last week, one nurse has had me each time. She said something about the weight loss and that I was glowing. I hadn’t had any meds yet, so we can rule that out! I joked that I was pregnant, obviously not a concern, but my husband was not amused, I am smiling as I type this.

I want this for everyone, if you have a chance to live your life in a certain way to help prevent something terrible from happening to you, do it. I know its hard, I didn’t make any changes until something bad happened. It is much easier to live life a certain way to prevent something from happening again, but I don’t recommend that way at all. If your blood pressure is creeping up with no real changes in your life, try talking with your physician about keto and go to the dietdoctor.com website. The time and money you save on meds and grocery shopping will make you feel like you have won, the lost weight is just a bonus!

losing your stuffing

I just had surgery last Thursday. It was revision surgery, that was all I asked. Today I am all packed in the stuff they packed me in and some of the stuff is falling out. I have been joking with the girls that I am losing my stuffing a lot! I feel like the sleeping bag that was packed by the kid and their overworked counselor after a week at camp. But its all good, this was the healthiest I have ever gone into surgery, so this is the best I have felt four days out of any surgery.

Its weird to type that because over the last year, maybe a little longer than that I haven’t felt like myself a lot, and I certainly haven’t felt like my healthiest. During that time my tribe has been amazing, a blessing, wonderful, supportive, and amazing some more.

Every now and then I would lose my stuffing, metaphorically speaking, of course. My tribe would step in and help.

One day I was just angry about having breast cancer, I mean ANGRY. I had nursed my three daughters for longer than the length of time for it to be ‘protective’ for everyone against breast cancer. Shouldn’t that count for something? I mean what the heck? I was angry, pacing, kind of shouting, not really making sense in any real sense at all, just spewing anger.

My husband was dealing with his own part of this issue and my neighbor just stepped in. Her husband took mine to do a handy man job at the middle school and we sat on her swing and I cried, she held my hand, rubbed my back when I folded over and just listened. Never once pointed out how lucky I was that this was early, that the doctors are ridiculously competent, that my age and health were on the optimum side of things. Never pointed out that my benefits at work were great both short term disability and health insurance. Never pointed out that my husband, daughters and family are just great and how lucky to be here, now, with all of this fortune in this difficult situation. She just listened, held my hand and rubbed my back when I folded over losing my stuffing all over her front porch.

That was the theme for the past year. Everyone in my tribe was there at some point when I lost my stuffing with what I needed, never making me feel judged or ungrateful, just were there with a hand to help put what was needed to be put back in, and throw the rest away as necessary. It is amazing how good and kind people are.

Now there were a few people that weren’t what I needed, but they are not a part of my tribe, they are just peripheral. They don’t help, they don’t even offer platitudes and sometimes they are the very cause of me losing my stuffing. And sometimes I can’t throw them away, I have to keep the dirty, ragged, worn out stuffing.

I started meditating. One of the mantras I like to use when the stuffing starts poking out around those people is: “They are people just like me, with hopes and dreams just like me” And I try not to judge them for not being what I need, want or like them to be. Because in the end, that is what is really causing the stuffing to come out, my judgement of them, my feeling they are coming up short in the humanity department, my lack of tolerance for their stuffing. And the judgement is really about me not being what they need, not holding their hand, listening or rubbing their back, just judging their stuffing and judging it pretty harshly.

I would like to be better than that. It is time to start cleaning off the dirty, ragged, worn out stuffing and helping others with theirs and stop losing my own stuffing.

Genetics-to know or not to know

Would you like to have a genetics test? Its a simple question, now that you know you have breast cancer, would you like a genetics test?

At first blush, yes, I would like a genetics test, I want something to blame. Something to point to and say HA! that’s what caused this, take that! How satisfying would it be to say that a gene caused this, it wasn’t a random roll of the dice of millions of lifestyle choices, it was a gene, a stupid gene.

My three daughters gave me pause for the flip side. What if it is a gene, and they have it, did I give them cancer? Will they get cancer? Do they have cancer? They need to know. If I have the gene, they can get tested and know if they have the gene. Knowledge is power, right?

I am running though all of the potential good testing will do and I am running through how scary many of the answers are: I don’t have the gene, and the girls are no closer to knowing what their risks are, I have the gene and we get the girls tested and either none, some or all of them have the gene. The permutations and combinations are making my head spin–all from a little question, would you like a genetics test.

The lady is very patient, I have no idea how much time has passed, but we are no closer to the answer to the question of whether or not I would like a genetics test.

I finally decide that knowing is better than wondering what might be and what may be coming our way.

I don’t have the gene, the particular genes they were looking for that we currently know about anyway. The girls are no closer to knowing what their hereditary risks are, because they received half of their genes from their father and I don’t have the one thing to pin this cancer diagnosis on.

Looking at the risk factors, I check quite a few of the boxes though.

I had my first child after 30, that is a risk factor. I have never been a slender adult, as a matter of fact just hit a ‘normal’ BMI for the first time about a month ago, that is a risk factor. Stress and anxiety are also a risk factor, try being alive without either of them. Drinking alcohol is also a risk factor, so much for dealing with stress and anxiety that way. Here is a link to all of the risk factors: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/risk/factors .

Life would be so much more satisfying if there was a gene to point to as the single point of cause in my case. Only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be caused by genetics, those that are tend to be more aggressive. Make sure you do self exams, get mammograms regularly and if given the option of having knowledge or remaining in the dark, choose knowledge, always choose knowledge.

Would you rather

Have you ever played the game would you rather? It is usually a party game with two choices given by the player whose turn it is. For example, would you rather be kissed by Bradley Cooper or Brad Garret. That isn’t so rough is it? Either one would be fun in very different ways.

Getting on the right path to cancer treatment for you is like the worlds worst game of would you rather. Would you rather get treatment or die? Would you rather have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy? Would you rather have a single mastectomy or a double mastectomy? Would you rather have reconstruction or no reconstruction? Would you rather have chemotherapy that may damage your heart or one that will damage your heart?

One of the would you rather questions that I could do something about was would I rather get dehydrated and possibly suffer some terrible consequences or stay hydrated. Well, let me think! I chose to stay hydrated.

A friend who is a runner gave me a Gymboss timer years ago when I was trying to become a runner. Basically each time it rings you do the opposite of what you are currently doing, if you are walking start running, if you are running start walking. It was a great tool for building endurance and overall fitness. I turned it into a timer for sipping water. Each time it went off, every 20 minutes, I would drink a couple of swallows of water.

It worked very well. I didn’t get dehydrated at all. It was very Pavlovian, to the point where I would not really need the timer to go off, I would know to sip water. The reverse was also true, whenever I hear the timer go off now, I look for water to sip.

There can be something very comforting in routine, in knowing exactly what to do in a specific situation.

We are trying to put together a sherpa kit for women going through treatment and Gymboss ( https://www.gymboss.com/ ) generously donated timers. I didn’t have to pose a would you rather question to them for their generosity!

If you would like to help people who are in a game of would you rather for their lives, please take a minute to donate to Survivor Sherpa at supportful, https://www.supportful.com/survivorsherpa . We would like to help as many people as possible wouldn’t you rather too?

Waking up with a song

My whole life I have woken up with a song running though my head every morning. There is no rhyme or reason or explanation for the particular song that day, but it is my thing. The only time in my life I didn’t wake up with a song was when I was recovering from a miscarriage, I didn’t have a song for about a month.

When I first found the crescent divot on my breast and felt a lump during a self exam I had ‘Copacabana’ running through my head. And every day thereafter until surgery.

It was weird, I know all the words and none of them seemed to fit the experience. I checked the alarm music on my phone to see if there was similar phrasing, asked my husband if he was humming it in the morning. I played it for him and the answer was a resounding no.

I knew what the divot meant, but I told myself it was a crease from wearing underwires. When we went on vacation, I made a vacation resolution to go without wearing underwires the entire time. I didn’t check but each time I got the urge to check, I started singing copa cabana without realizing it. The divot didn’t go away even though I went without underwires for 10 days.

I asked my husband if he could see it, maybe it was nothing anyone else could see. He saw it. We talked about what it likely meant. He, of course, told me not to borrow trouble, go to the doctor and get it checked out so I would stop worrying and stop humming copa cabana.

I checked in with a close friend at work, no, I didn’t have her look, I just told her about it. She got up from her desk, shut the door, locked it, stood in front of it and told me that no one was leaving her office until I made and appointment. I scheduled an appointment on the MyChart app for an hour and 15 minutes later.

When I went to my PCP, I was humming it. She both saw the divot and felt the lump and sent me down to the imaging center for a mammogram, where they were waiting for me holding the door, and calling my name. I was humming it when I realized I skipped to the front of the line. We chit chatted about the song all through the process. Even when she came back and said I needed more images. I kind of hummed it during the ultrasound process. It was REALLY loud in my head when the radiologist came in to get his own images. It stopped when he started talking biopsy and odds and early detection and intervention and small but noticeable. Small but noticeable and worrisome. Barry, Lola and Tony left my head for about 10 minutes.

When we were driving home the song was there, loud and clear and then the phone rang with my PCP telling me I had an appointment first thing Tuesday morning for a biopsy. The song was a little quieter, but still there.

This song really hung on until September 26th, the day of the mastectomy. Then it was gone, replaced with another song for the day, I don’t remember what it was, just that it wasn’t copa cabana. Barry, Lola and Tony haven’t made a repeat appearance in my head since then, only when I consciously make the choice to sing it or ask Google to play it.

I think that it was a defense mechanism, one to drown out the voices in my head that were filled with worry, doubt and worst case scenarios. Each time I would start to head down the dark path of negative thoughts, I would end up humming copa cabana. I am a firm believer in the power of positivity, truly, it has gotten me through a lot. While copa cabana isn’t exactly a positive song, it did keep the dark thoughts away. Find your song, or let your song find you and don’t try to fight it, its keeping something dark away–let it.

Wonder Woman and me

I love Gal Gadot. I love Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. In my heart Gal Gadot and I are great friends even though we have never met.

There is a scene in the movie where Wonder Woman is taking on tremendous fire from enemy forces. While she is dodging bullets and advancing toward the bad guys, the other heroes are sneaking around the side and start picking off the bad guys as they focus on shooting at Wonder Woman.

Isn’t that a great metaphor? The Wonder Woman takes all the fire as the other people don’t take a bullet and take out the bad guys not under any threat at all?

My breast surgeon is a little wisp of a thing, maybe 80 pounds soaking wet after a big meal. When she handed me the binder, the breast cancer information and resources binder, while delivering the diagnosis she looked at my six foot two well fed husband with a cuddly belly and said “Don’t worry, we’ve got this.” I held my binder, walked out to the waiting room and saw other women with binders and walked to the car. In the car I was numb, in shock, in a Dali type surreal place. John looked at me and said with 100% certainty, not a doubt in his face or voice: “Don’t worry, we’ve got this”.

Dumbfounded, I looked at him and posed the question of how could he be so sure? He simply responded that if someone that small could be that confident, she must know what she is talking about and she says we’ve got this, so we do.

Thankfully they were right. Three surgeries, about to have a fourth, later, I am cancer free and probably the healthiest I have been in my adult life.

We recently watched Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot, again and that scene, the one I called a metaphor earlier, where she takes all the bullets while the other heroes sneak around. I saw it so much differently this time. The Wonder Woman was taking all of the fire while the heroes go to the other side a kill each person that is shooting at her with great efficiency and suddenly she isn’t taking fire any more.

Isn’t that a great metaphor? Doesn’t that just represent in a wonderfully DC way the fight with cancer? The patient takes all the fire while other heroes do their jobs to heal her? I wear all of my breast cancer/wonder woman tee shirts with pride keeping the new interpretation of that scene close to my heart and what it now means in my life. I still think that Gal Gadot and I are great friends despite having never met, she would probably wear a tee shirt like that too!

Being strong all wrong

When I feel the need to be strong for someone else, anyone else, that need can be overwhelming, and block out all reason. As a parent I often feel the need to be strong in difficult situations for my daughters, to set a good example for how to be an adult. I wonder fairly often when the situation is over if that was the right example to set.

My husband and I decided to wait to tell our three daughters about the cancer diagnosis for a few days, to give them a long weekend to process it, ask questions and feel loved and comforted during that time. We both thought we were doing the right thing, we pulled ourselves together and found some acceptance with the situation. We figured it would be better to tell them the facts calmly. We did just that.

Surgery came and went. It resulted in the need for chemotherapy. We talked with the girls about what the next steps were factually and calmly.

After the first round of chemo, there were a few bad days, the girls were in school for the worst of it and I could pull myself together, mostly, in the evenings so they wouldn’t be worried.

The next round was right before Thanksgiving break. There were more bad days this time, and the girls were home to see it, right in their faces. I was weak, in pain and nauseous with mouth sores and no appetite or sense of humor, chemo sucks. Mostly though, I didn’t have the time they were in school to pull it all together to be pretty ok in the evenings. They saw that, all of that.

Before the next treatment I got a call from the case worker at work to let me know she was taking care of a problem with the insurance company approving my next procedure, she was working with the doctor, hospital and insurance company to make sure it happened this calendar year—at that precise moment our middle daughter decided to tell us she felt we were lying to her, that I was really going to die and why wouldn’t we just tell the truth.

We were shocked she felt that way. We tried to assure her and reassure her that we were telling the truth about my prognosis and that if anything were to change we would face it as a family. She was convinced we were lying.

The oncologist agreed to let us bring her to the next visit. She explained everything. She was absolutely patient, kind and understanding and answered all of the questions posed by our frightened twelve year old. At one point she felt the doctor was lying to us, the doctor then explained the oath and the law to her.

Over the course of a few conversations, we realized that every time we took time to pull ourselves together we were not presenting our authentic selves. We were ‘being strong’ for the girls in a way that made them feel like we were hiding something. We were– our fears, concerns and general lack of knowledge about what was going to happen. They interpreted it as dishonesty, and I guess I would have too in their place.

The third round of chemo I didn’t try to hide anything, each treatment seemed to be a little longer and a little worse than the previous one. It was Christmas break and I let the girls see everything and do what they needed to and take care of me, sit with me, pick out my hat for the day, hold hands while watching ” Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ” and a bunch of other shows on Netflix, anything they needed to see or do during the dog days of chemo. They were fine, it was tough to go through, but they experienced as much as they needed to and were better for it.

What we learned was that it was more important for them to see us fall apart and to see us feel and for them to be a part of it and help put things back together. We learned that when we were ‘strong’, we were making things worse. They are loving, empathetic young ladies who are very much a part of this family, they make us a family. They felt the same love that we felt for them while trying to be strong but in a much more meaningful way when we were honestly feeling our feelings.

The next time you feel the need to be strong for someone I suggest you take a moment to ask if that is what they need, or do they need to see the authentic you and take care of you for a little while. You might just be surprised that they weren’t fooled the last time you tried to be strong and they were left wondering why you tried to hide it! Let people in when you fall apart, they will help you rebuild, that is what love is.

Fearless..Hairless..Whatever

I went to high school in the mid eighties.  In the mid-west.  We did hair BIG.  By big I mean we used Aquanet by the case full to make and keep our hair BIG.  There were times water would bead off my big hair.  My bangs added like 4 inches to my overall height.

I went to college and graduate school where hair was much less of a thing.  Parenting took its toll on my hair as well, a ponytail was my main go-to look outside of work and date night.  Hair wasn’t really a big part of my life, I kind of saw it as a nuisance really.

Cancer and chemotherapy has a way of forcing you to re-evaluate, to re-prioritize, to see things from a wildly different perspective, you know, like hair.

After my second chemo infusion, my hair stated falling out.  Not thinning, falling out.  You can try to prevent this with a cold cap, but I didn’t since hair wasn’t really a thing for me.  I would wake up in the morning to what seemed like a full head of hair on my pillow, it was alarming.  This was about the time I stopped really looking in the mirror.  Friends and family sent chemo caps and hats.  I wore them knowing people loved me, like a head hug! 

The day came where it was silly to keep any of the hair I had left.  It was time for the clippers.  My husband, wonderfully thoughtful, placed a chair in front of the TV, put a towel around my shoulders and clipped what was left away.  I cried.  I cried much harder than I thought and the experience was much harder than I thought.  He put a hat on my head and held me for a long time.  When I pulled myself together, we got a few more hats from Amazon.  I started my ‘look’. 

I don’t think I looked in the mirror for much more than a glance for the next 4 months.  So much was changing, and different it was overwhelming.  And people kept telling me how fearless I was, how brave.  I thanked them and wondered what they would think if they knew how much I missed my often neglected, Goody tied back hair.  How I am grateful for all of the doctors skills, the early diagnosis, the treatment to bring me back to healthy, but I miss my hair.  So silly I know, even though I really liked the majority of my hats—I stole the line from Patrick Swayze’s character in “To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Love Julie Newmar” today is a say something hat day.

One day I noticed that my hair was starting to grow back.  White.  And gray.  There are curls in the back, my hair had previously been somewhere between ‘body’ and ‘wavy’ and a mousy brown–except for a few perms and dye jobs in the eighties and nineties!

The time came to give up the hats and go with my new look.  I was hoping for an Annie Lennox type look, I think I managed a little old lady look.  It was hard to leave the house for church without a hat.  I put one in my purse, you know, in case I got cold in the AC.  When I left the house the next day my husband walked me to the car and kissed me goodbye.  As I was pulling off the driveway I noticed that he took the hat I stowed in my computer bag, again for AC reasons.  He took my safety net. He was helping me deal with my fears and insecurities like he always does. 

A Penny for your thoughts

There are days when I miss my mom more than I really think I can bear.  Those are the days I look for her in everything.  And find her everywhere.

One day when my oldest daughter was very young right after my mom had died she found a penny on a sidewalk.  Without even thinking about it I told her that was Grandma Joyce telling her she loved her from heaven.  We all smiled and she held onto that penny for dear life.  Its been 13 years and still seems like a raw wound.

When I was in the unsure days prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer, but after the diagnostic mammogram and ultra sound my husband and I cleaned out the bonus room, you know, to keep us busy, close and get some order somewhere in our lives, we knew what was coming.  I didn’t want to but did so anyway and in the last box to unpack and order were about 50 pennies.  I smiled and figured it was my mom sending a lot of love my way and reminding me I am not alone, she is with me.  I didn’t hold on to the pennies but I started a stack, a reminder stack.

We needed order that day because I had gone in for a diagnostic mammogram, that resulted in a ‘few more pictures’.  And an ultrasound where the radiologist came in at the end to ‘get his own views’ and the technician held my hand while he did so.  That was frightening, I knew there was a radiologist, but never met one before just got the interpretation.  This was the Friday afternoon before labor day.  He explained to me that I will need to get a biopsy, sooner rather than later, early diagnosis is the key and he would make some calls.

I got to my call and called my primary care provider, thankfully she is wonderful and talked me back into a normal human voice instead of the frightened dolphin voice I had started the call with.  She said she would make some calls.

As I arrived on my driveway, my PCP called to say I had an appointment for a biopsy on Tuesday morning.  I was scared, who makes calls on a holiday Friday afternoon, who answers them and schedules things for first thing Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend?  I was scared. 

We cleaned, we found pennies and we knew we were not alone.

That Tuesday we met the breast surgeon, she did a biopsy, you will need to have my husband recount that experience, I went to my ‘not here’ place and held onto a penny for dear life.  For a long time after that I found a penny on the ground everywhere went. I put them all in the stacks.  A lot has happened between then and now.  My hair grew back in white/gray curls, I figure my mom sent them since I keep stacking the pennies, this way I have a reminder she is with me that I cannot put down.

Target: BMI 24.9

Treatment was over. All pain had ended. Blood work was heading back to normal human status. My oncologist felt this was the time to let me know what I could do to help prevent cancer from returning—get my BMI into the ‘normal’ range and get my waist circumference to fewer than half the inches of my height and exercise regularly. You know, as soon as possible, ok?

If you are like me, you bloated and put on weight during chemo, partly from the chemotherapy itself, partly from the comfort food diet, partly from not exercising with pre-cancer intensity if at all. I did start the whole thing plus sized. Great. How to lose all of that to get to the golden BMI of less than 25.

I did some research on effective long term weight loss and keeping it off. My husband did so as well. We both ended up finding about the ketogenic diet at about the same time and we knew two people who were starting this lifestyle: my next door neighbor (female) and a neighbor across the way (male). They said that they were losing weight and that they were feeling great in the process and NEVER hungry. They could have been on a TV commercial! Since both genders were represented, we really didn’t have any excuse not to try.

We figured that there is safety in numbers. I started doing even more research to make sure that this wasn’t going to kick start more cancer, in fact, a significant amount of research both in and outside the country suggests that cancer could have metabolic origins and is a symptom of the metabolic disorder and that ketosis could help set the metabolism right, thus reducing the possibility of cancer coming back. Potentially two benefits for the price of one.

I found a great website dietdoctor.com that talked me through the basics, there is a facebook group too. Both have been invaluable in the journey.

We started losing weight. I reached my first goal to the target BMI within a month. My next stretch goal was to be at the target BMI by my next oncology visit, this was possible, truly!

I had been on blood pressure medicine, Hydrochlorothiazide, my diastolic pressure was in the mid 90’s routinely. I went to a cardiologist prior to BC diagnosis because something wasn’t right (which turned out to be quite useful as a baseline). I returned to see if chemotherapy had damaged my heart, no damage, woohoo! My follow up cardiology visit resulted in coming off blood pressure medicine! Way to go keto!

I didn’t make the stretch goal, but I made such good progress that my blood work was returning to normal quickly and she was pleased with my progress! Way to go keto!

On October 11, 2019 I reached 24.9 staying faithful to strict keto for 6 months. In addition to weight loss, my energy has come back nicely. My chemo symptoms, word loss, memory issues, fatigue, to name a few, have gotten better and my hair is coming back thick and curly, white/gray, but thick and curly! Way to go keto!

I am still living a keto lifestyle and people ask all the time how I have been losing weight, I send them to dietdoctor.com and let them know that I have an unfair advantage—chemo is still fresh in my mind and there isn’t a cheat in the world that is worth stalling or halting my progress toward a normal BMI.

If you have been told to lose weight or if you want to mitigate the symptoms of chemo or get over the side effects of chemo, find what works for you, keto worked and continues to work for me. I am never going back, I like the way I feel too much! Just make sure that you are doing what you need to do faithfully and remember that you deserve to live your best life, that is really what you are doing this for!