Today marks the 6-week anniversary since my thyroid cancer surgery. I am so much happier this morning than I was on the big day, that’s for sure! In some ways, it feels like it was just yesterday and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. I e-mailed my endocrinologist early last week to find out how long it takes for the natural thyroid stored in my system to be used up because I wanted to know at what point am I functioning just on the replacement medication and he said six weeks.
It might be my imagination, but today was the first day that I woke up a little less energetic than I have been. I only have two more weeks before I’m doing my first full blood work panel and seeing my doctor, though, so I am just going to see how I feel between now and then. My tiredness this morning could also been from having a busy weekend and feeling the effects from that.
Yesterday, I went out to eat with some friends and then to a local holiday show that ended up being a lot of fun:
Before the show, we went to a restaurant where I thought there wouldn’t be any healthy, vegan options so I did something I have never done before: I brought my own food into a restaurant! I would have never, ever done this in the past, but I was familiar with the layout of the restaurant and knew that if we were seated in a booth, I would be tucked into a corner and nobody would probably even notice. Fortunately, my friends are quirky enough that they didn’t bat an eye at my quirkiness and, as expected, none of the servers or patrons at the restaurant even noticed when I busted out my portable glass dishes from my cloth tote bag. It was great! (Sorry, no photos, but I was trying to be so discrete).
My new attitude about being more confident in my food choices got me thinking to what other dietary and attitude changes I’ve made since finding out I had cancer. I want to share them with you because I think they are helpful. I wrote another short list of lessons in this post, but here are a few more:
1. It’s my body and my health and nobody but me is responsible for it. It was such a strange experience to be diagnosed with cancer and feel that, despite tons of support from friends and family, it was going to be my own obstacle to face. I had never felt that level of responsibility to my own health and it made me more confident in my choices to take care of it. That feeling of being in charge of my health has stayed with me.
2. It is my choice to decide what and how much I eat. Do you ever feel self-conscious about what other people think about your diet? As someone who chooses to eat not only a vegan diet, but one that is primarily whole foods made with no oils, salt or added sugars, I am definitely in the minority and have felt awkward about my choices in the past. Again, having cancer just wiped out any self-consciousness about what other people think about what and how much I eat.
3. I’m a health advocate and I enjoy talking about the benefits of a vegan diet. Now that I’ve gone through this health crisis and am a full-fledged cancer survivor, I am finding it a lot easier to talk to people about how my diet impacted my journey. I had the opportunity to write a lot more about my burgeoning advocacy that is going to be published soon on another site; I will be sure to share that link with you when it is available. But, ultimately, what I’ve found is that having this story to share with people on my blog and in person has made it much easier for me to talk about my veganism and the health and ethical implications of this way of living.
I’m sure I’ll continue to learn from my experience and I thank you for letting me share it with you.
The big adventure that I’m going on later this week is that I’m attending Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Immersion in San Francisco! I’m so, so excited to have the opportunity to meet more “Fuhrmanites,” let alone hear more great lectures from the man himself:
I think the Getaway I attended in August was the highlight of this year so far and I honestly can’t wait for this coming weekend for more fun and learning. I’ll also be volunteering with Dr. Fuhrman’s non-profit foundation, the Nutritional Research Foundation and helping to raise money for an upcoming breast cancer prevention study that is going to be so cool and ground-breaking.
This week is going to be busy as I continue to work on wrapping up this semester and getting ready for hit the road to SF. Have a great Monday and I’ll be back here on Wednesday with more food photos!