Cancer log 9: The…

Cancer log 9:

The first time I got together with a friend after the diagnosis, she said I could eat whatever I wanted now. Cancer was a free pass! Chocolate, ice cream, whatever. I demurred -- we were about to go on a long walk together, for exercise, and after a month's concerted effort to eat healthily and lose a few pounds, I wasn't ready to just throw all that effort away. Besides, it would be better if I were in stronger physical shape to fight this thing, right? When I exercise regularly and eat a lot of protein and very little in the way of pure sweets, my body feels so much better. So no over-indulging; let's just stay on track.

Which worked fine for the first week, but then there was a lush Valentine's dinner and then there was going out of town for my sister's baby shower, and the shower weekend was great, but mostly we sat around the house with family for three days and talked and did jigsaw puzzles and ate and ate (it was way too cold to go for long walks), and the whole healthy eating plan totally broke down for a few days.

There's certainly a temptation to let it go all to hell. I have cancer -- I can eat whatever I want! As much as I want! But the truth is, my initial impulse was right; the healthier my body is, the better. I may not try to lose weight in the next months of treatment; I'm not sure that'll be the right place to put my energies. But eating sensibly, yes. Maintaining fitness.

And y'know, even before the diagnosis, I actually was eating anything I wanted -- just being careful about how *much* of it I ate. I see plenty of curry and chocolate in my future, and even some ice cream. Along with lots and lots of long walks.

Odds are, this is a one-year thing, and I'll be living in this body for decades after. I think it's important to think about short-term desires versus long-term health.

It feels like when I was pregnant -- there was a temptation to lie around and eat bon bons all the time, but it became clear that I would actually feel much better and get through the pregnancy more easily (and the post-pregnancy period) if I stayed as healthy as possible. Physical activity was important, even when I was somewhat tired -- in retrospect, I wished I'd done more maternal yoga, for example. There were days when the fatigue slammed me and I just conked out, and that's fine, but the other days, pushing a little would've been a good thing, I'm pretty sure.

If I had a terminal diagnosis, rather than a 95+% cure diagnosis, my calculations would be entirely different.

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