About three weeks ago I discovered this “lump” on my thigh. Concerned it was a blood clot my husband insisted I schedule an appointment with my doctor. This involved finding a new doctor due to my ridiculous insurance parting ways with my favorite medical group. Luckily, I was able to find an amazing doctor who I adore. She’s absolutely amazing…and she’s not afraid of finding out what’s wrong.
So, while I sat there on the examination table she noticed the spot. I’ve had this spot for three years. Despite two different remedies, it’s never quite gone away. I had resigned to live with it despite it being ugly and the occasional flare of itching.
I found her more concerned about this spot than I was about the lump. I really didn’t think it was THAT big of a deal. It was just you know, ugly. Before the appointment was over I had an ultrasound scheduled for the lump and a biopsy scheduled for the spot. The next day.
I was amazed. Surprised. Thrilled that I had a physician who seemed genuinely concerned about my health. Sure it could be just “nothing” but she wasn’t just guessing, she was going to find out WHAT it was. The Biopsy…um, they cut a piece out of my body…and it HURT…even with numbing medicine. No big deal. Right?
Life went by for a week. I thought nothing of it. Until last week. When I received the letter.
I’ve never received a letter. Usually I get a call from the nurse who says, “Everything is ok.” This was a letter written by my doctor AND it included the biopsy lab report. OK, this MAY have not been a good idea because my anxiety showed up. Full force. Racing heart and all..scared me REAL good!
It was diagnosed as Actinic Keratosis with a few other “-osis” things. Signs of squamous cells appeared. She emphasized it was NOT cancer, but that the cells were showing signs of “changing”. It was recommended that I schedule an appointment immediately to have cryotherapy completed.
Here’s the deal. The spot is NOT where the sun shines. I’m NOT immodest enough to let that area shine. Something in my body is reacting to something other than the sun. And it’s causing my body to grow weird things with “changing” cells. Now I have more appointments, more tests. A trip to the dermatologist has been made to examine a few marks on my body. Blood tests scheduled. More stress. Good times.
This weekend I finally came to the realization that my life as I know it cannot stay the same. I HAVE TO CHANGE. I can no longer think that my genetic risks of cancer are for someone else. I have to control the things I CAN control: my diet, my environment and my emotional being. I don’t have the luxury of just being ignorant about my health.
This isn’t about weight (although she said it wouldn’t hurt to lose a little bit). It isn’t about being radical, an agenda or my looks. It’s about saving my life. About restarting my body, giving it a break. It’s about realizing that I want to see my children grow up. I want my last breathe to be when I’m REALLY old…not when I’m young.
I don’t have answers. Only a body that is telling me that it can no longer filter the crap that I keep throwing at it.
So, I’m I’m putting myself on a 30-day challenge of clean eating. Or at least, MY version of that.
- None of my food allergy items: Bananas, Cranberries, Pineapple and Dairy (I’m weaning myself from this one. BABY steps. )
- No chocolate because even though it didn’t show up on the blood test…it’s making me ill.
- No processed foods. If it has ingredients that I don’t know…or cannot pronounce…I’m not eating it.
- Taking vitamins daily.
- Finding something to counteract the medication that I have to take everyday. I know that it’s a HUGE contribution to my body’s overwhelm, but honestly, my family cannot afford me to not manage my ADD and Depression at this point.
- Wear a mask when I clean the chicken coop, garage, garden, and dust. Dust and mold are my big environmental allergens. They are a “Level 3” allergen on my list. The problem is that the biggest on is mold. I live in Oregon. It rains. A Lot. I have chickens. They poop and it decays. That is making me sick. I supposed I *could* give up my chickens. The compromise we came up with is to wear a mask. I don’t have time for vanity anymore.
- Sunscreen. Daily. No exceptions.
- Be conscious about the origination of my food. I am going to slowly move to organics as much as I can.
- No more soda. No more buttery microwave popcorn. No more stops at 7-Eleven for a Banana Slurpee. No more chocolate. Did I mention that already? Ya. I’m really sad about no more chocolate.
- Detox. This is going to happen when I figure out which method I feel is going to work with all my weird issues. My mental health can go sideways fast…so I have to be careful with anything I do.
My goal is to get a healthy body that can deal with the things I cannot control. To not trigger those cells to change into a beast that can take my life. If I lose weight, it will be a bonus.
I started today. The jury is still out on whether I like hummus or not. But, I did learn that I can make a mayo using Greek yogurt…and I like it. One step at a time.