So, yesterday, I had an appointment with the Gynae team at Stepping Hill, to talk about possibilities of an oophorectomy (ovary removal). I’d been told by the appointment booker that I was first on the list, and should be done by 2pm (I had meetings booked at work), so…
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… obviously I went in about 2pm. The letter from my oncologist was on the screen (I was supposed to getting all letters by default, but have slightly given up on the effort), basically saying that I have Stage IV cancer, and am on zoladex/exemastane to control hormones (as my cancer is 8/8 fueled by oestrogen), and wants to do a preventative oophorectomy (I keep calling it an oomphorectory and people keep asking me why I want to lose my oomph!) – reduces oestrogen flow, ensures I remain permanently in menopause, and means won’t need the massive zoladex injections every 28 days (hurrah, one less hospital appointment, as I’ll be in every 3 weeks for IV, every 3-6 months for scans, plus other consult chats, etc.)…
I was asked various questions about cancer, gynae history, etc by the Dr, one of the consultants, and he then went off to check with the lead surgeon (after he’d checked my BMI, sigh). The surgeon then came in and said that robotic surgery was safer option for women who are overweight, and given this leaflet to read:
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I was slightly thrown by him then saying ‘just don’t eat carbs for a couple of months’ and we’ll see you in September to arrange surgery for October/November, and talk to the anesthetist. We did manage to establish that the surgery is still doable, but he’s keen for me to lose 9 points on the BMI scale. As I may have mentioned before, I have disordered eating, and have worked hard to get my mental health more balanced around food, and now eat food I enjoy, has good nutritional value, and when I’m not in chemo, am very active and fit … so quite frustrated. Because clearly, we have been surrounded by ‘the diet industry’ for 50+ years now, and all that seems to have happened is we then have an ‘obesity epidemic’ (contested term) … and a lot of bad things of being overweight – some research is demonstrating that this is down to diet-cycling (losing-gaining-losing-gaining, etc.). Not my specialist research area but ….
However, been talking to my Beyond Chocolate buddies, and can experiment with some new meals, including more protein and even more veg (already trying to eat the rainbow to give self vitamins, etc.) and ‘be curious’ without going on some crazy diet (last experience of Slimming World – lost about 3.5 stone, was already gaining back whilst going, and probably regained about 7) … don’t want to undo the good work already have, nor do I want gall stones from swift unhealthy weight loss, etc.. Starting to feel like a gym class may be possible tomorrow … long way from the total blackness of last week.
Anyway, I then went into town, had my PDR (all good), and onto a meal with teammates (SO nice after spending so much time at home):
Anyway, today I need to get on with some writing, so need to go quiet now, right!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.