Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally living the healthy life...and I love it!

I wanted to show a picture of my very first 'updo' hair style since cancer! I was very proud that it was finally long enough to use a curling iron AND bobby pins! Can't wait until the PONY TAIL!

Sorry about the delay in home computer was quite sick, but it's up and working now so here are some updates!
I was able to make it back down to see the neurologist in Columbus about my back and neck.  The good news is that there is no blockage in my veins or arteries!  The other good news is that besides the scoliosis and cysts in my back, there is nothing else that is causing the back tumors, no bulged discs...just sore/bruised muscles from the curve (and begging Andrew to dig his hand into my back to make it better -Note from the doctor...digging into the muscles until it's numb is not a good thing, even if it does feel good! :) The only thing he said (other than the things I already know that's wrong) is that I have degenerative disc disease and arthritis in my neck and he says that we won't know the day when it will start to effect me neurologically.  Until then, we wait :) And I am perfectly ok with that because I have no neurological symptoms yet, and I would know what they are because of my past with Chiari.  The reason why I was referred to this doctor was because of the pressure in my head I was feeling when I would get up from bending over...and he was able to tell me that it's probably because of my consistent low blood pressure.  Since cancer, I have had lower blood pressure than usual and he says that the blood just isn't working its way back up to my head fast enough.  It makes sense!  So to help my blood pressure (as well an anemia) I really need to up my iron intake.  Which leads me to my 40 day diet wrap up in just a minute...but at the end of the visit and after the doctor was very pleased with my new diet and the positive results I have been having from working out and eating healthier, I'll never forget the last thing he told us...he closed his folder, looked at Andrew and I, and said that at this point in time we should just be thankful for each day we have with each other after everything I've been through.  It's so easy to take Life for granted and it was humbling to hear that from his mouth.  He's right, after a major car accident, my health issues, Andrew's occupation, ect...we are blessed for each new day we have to be with each other.  If anything has come out of the past year with all these tests and doctors, to end it with this doctor telling us that, was completely worth every trip down.  Thanks Dr. T!

Well, my Maker's Diet is done and those 40 days certainly opened my eyes to new insights just like they had been when I had more cancer cells running through my veins than healthy cells.  Only this time around, I HAD CONTROL of my circumstances.  I had the choice to either make myself healthier or go back down the road I was on that could lead to more cancer.  In 40 days, not only did I discover how to keep my physical body strong, I learned how to keep all of me strong.  We all have the ability to make choices and those choices have consequences (both good or bad).  I chose to take 40 days to intentionally make myself healthier by eating foods that my body could easily process and to workout until I sweat (yes sissy... Hochstetler's CAN sweat :).

This diet showed me 3 things...
1) how to make my body happy - this body is crazy sensitive I have found out.  I took out all processed foods and foods that are hard for your body to digest...and trust me, I now know what makes my stomach hurt.  For some reason, potatoes are hard for my stomach to digest...I get a stomach ache afterwards and I always thought it was because I ate too much.  Actually, I found out that potatoes contain some kind of compound that naturally makes it harder for your body to digest.  There is such a science to food and it's amazing when you start listening to your body, what it can tell you about what you are eating.  I like knowing what I'm getting myself into now when I eat certain foods :) Here's the other way to keep your body happy and healthy, don't eat from your cupboard.  In 6 weeks, the only thing I ate from the cupboard was nuts and almond butter.  Everything else came from the refrigerator.  Eating this way can be expensive, because produce isn't exactly cheap, but I'd pay anything to feel this good again.  Also, we have saved money by not eating out...and now the times we do eat out, it is extra special!  But don't get me wrong, now that I am off of the cleansing diet, I still treat myself once in awhile.  I just know that I shouldn't expect my run to be easy when I eat a donut right before :)

2) how to trust in myself - I found that I have the ability to say no.  Many times I was tested to just take 1 M&M as I passed them out to the preschoolers...but I didn't.  Did I have 2 bites of cake at my parent's 40th anniversary party? Yes, because celebrating them was more important to me than a little extra sugar in my body.  I had to make choices...but it got easier everyday because as the weeks went on I was able to eat more and more foods (because the diet was about cleansing out your system, then rebuilding it back up with natural foods).  I grew more confidence while on this 40 day journey too.  I set goals, and I achieved them, and I was very proud of myself.  I knew I could do this, but to prove it to myself on the outside was a different story.  I also did a lot of workouts during this time as well as started running again.  And you know what...the more I run and recondition my bleomycin chemo'd lungs, the less I am needing my inhaler.  I have another 5K this next Saturday and my goal is to run it without an inhaler.  That would be SO amazing to me to beat those odds.  I'm up to 2.5 miles without taking a puff, and I trust that if I keep working hard I can go to 3.2!

3) and who I am living for - I have prayed for some things during this diet or fast if you will.  It is no mistake that I did this 40 day diet right before Easter.  Making sacrifices reminds us of the sacrife that God made when He put His son on the cross for us, for me.  God revealed Himself to me once again.  He helped me heal these last 40 days. This past Easter, I remembered why I am on earth.  It's not for me, but for Him. That through all of our circumstances, we should glorify Him and reveal to the world who He is and the healing only He may be able to bring.  I am reminded of a verse in 1 Thessalonians lately...simply put 'Be happy, pray often, and thank God for all circumstances because that was His will for you.'  I am learning so much through all of the situations that God is bringing me through.  Although I may not like them, or understand them right away, or be grumpy about them at first, I know that down the road God will reveal why He had me go through each trial.  So thank you God.  I pray that You will always be the Living God inside my heart that guides me in all my adventures that lead to new understandings and a Life I can be proud to tell to my children about someday.  But You by far have been my ultimate adventure!

P.S. Look what finally made it's way to my house :)