Making lifestyle changes

I have to admit that I have been resistant to making changes to my lifestyle. I know full well that I am over weight, that I often make poor food choices, over eat and drink too much alcohol. But over the past few years I have been enjoying myself and it didn’t seem to be doing me any harm. My view has changed. While the things I put in my mouth and the fact I am over weight may not have caused my cancer they certainly haven’t prevented it.

Supplements

Soon after my surgery May More, who has a nutrition background suggested some supplements that might help with healing. I looked up the ones she suggested and have been taking two of them for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know if they are helping or not, but I am pretty sure they are doing no harm. So, I’ll continue for now. I may even add others in. 

Diet

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading a book called the Rainbow Diet. This was suggested by a good friend whose brother is also using it. Written by a biochemist whose daughter has recovered from brain cancer it makes interesting reading. It looks at the scientific evidence for how the food we eat and the way we cook it contributes to cancer development. It doesn’t advocate diet changes instead of traditional cancer treatments. But rather using them to support treatment, mitigate side effects and eventually to prevent recurrence. 

As a health professional myself, I have always been sceptical of the use of diet and supplements as a means of treating illness. Nor have I ever considered they may have preventative qualities. However, it is a fact that my cancer was oestrogen dependent and that there are some foods that support the production of that hormone. The book suggests that a diet high in fat, protein and carbohydrates encourages oestrogen production. It also says that if you are over weight then even more is produced. This seems a good place to start. So, I have begun to reduce my protein and calorie intake, and increase my fruit and vegetable consumption. We are also going to reduce our consumption of processed food (not that we are big consumers). And I am trying to cut out sugar and aspartame. 

The rainbow diet is about eating food of all colours and making as much of that food plant based as possible. Eating whole grains rather than processed and cutting down on animal fats. I am not planning to stop eating meat or bread or pasta. But I am going to be thinking much more about the quality of the food that is going in my mouth.

Exercise

I plan to increase the amount of exercise I take. But at the moment this will mainly be walking. Hopefully in the new year I can begin swimming. Maybe I might even do some other exercise, though I am not a lover of classes. 

The conventional treatments I will undergo in the coming months are vital to make sure I can remain clear of cancer. But I believe that I can help things along by making changes to my lifestyle.

A glimpse

A month after surgery and I feel ready to give the merest glimpse of my body. 

I was never symmetrical, indeed the right side was larger than the left. Now, though things are different. I am getting used to the look and feel of my new self and might even grow to like it a little. 

What I would like though is to slim down that area below my chest. Diet and fitness is my new focus. A blog post about this will follow. 

Sinful Sunday

Scents of life

The first time I think I was actually aware that people had perceptibly different smells was when I first visited the home of my future husband. I didn’t know he was that as I was 15 and he was my new boyfriend. I observed that their house smelt different from ours and realised that other peoples did too. It wasn’t that the people themselves smelt unpleasant, there was just a smell or scent that pervaded. I have visited many homes as a nurse, and some of them did smell unpleasant. Food smells, a lack of cleaning (body and environment) and wounds to name a few. My nose has always been a little sensitive to the scents and smells around me. 

The scent of my men

In the main I haven’t got close enough to many people to actually breathe in the aroma of them.  Because I have only had 3 lovers in my life, I haven’t had the pleasure, or displeasure. When I first met my husband, the family used imperial leather soap. I could smell him from a distance and no, that wasn’t the scent I detected in the house. Later some of his aftershave aroused me, just as well as he did a manual job and often smelt of grease before showering. 

S wasn’t into the use of cleaning products or aftershave. He blamed his eczema and used a simple soap to wash in the shower. Sad to say it often wasn’t enough. I am pretty sure his excuse doesn’t hold up as Master also has eczema and it doesn’t stop him smelling clean. I suspect S sweated more, was less thorough and used the wrong products. He was also a bit tight when it came to spending money. Plus his job was also a manual one. Having said all that, his natural scent could be alluring. So long as he has recently taken a shower. 

Master doesn’t have a strong smell. He washes with products that don’t contain perfume for the reasons described above and his aftershave – Chanel Pour Monsieur – is subtle. But when he holds me close and I breathe him in, he is unmistakably him. 

The scent of us

I sometimes worry that other people can sense my arousal through my scent. But suspect that often only I can smell it. I wrote in one of my smut marathon entries about that aroma of sweat on a summers day when it combines with the scent of arousal. The story was about sex toys, but if I had continued in that vein it might have been a better entry. Anyway I digress.

He is definitely attracted to the scent of my sexual juices as well as the taste. He doesn’t smell much until he is very aroused, but tastes pretty good. But when our fluids have mixed together and are oozing out of me I can smell that. I love to lie there, nose under the covers and breath us in. That is a special smell that I had never really noticed before and is one to treasure. Sex and love, dominance and submission rolled together. I love it. 

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Getting the balance right

This third week since surgery, has been about getting back to normality and reality. But also about getting the balance right. I have been overwhelmed by everyone’s responses to these posts. They are essentially for me, a way of recording this journey. But as many people have pointed out, they will (hopefully) be useful to others in the future. 

Wound healing

Once the wound drain had been removed and I had got the all clear from the doctor, we returned to our Airbnb in Oxford. The two-week festival of song (Lieder) was still going on and we finally immersed ourselves in it. Finally free of the plastic tubing sticking into my side, on the bra line, along with the vacuumed bottle in a handbag, I could again wear dresses and longer tops. At last it was possible to lie comfortably on my side and even turn briefly onto my right side for the first time. We returned home on Sunday and later, took a relaxing jacuzzi bath together. Sipping Prosecco, and allowing the water to lap around my skin was heaven. After the bath I left all the dressings off as everything appeared to be healed.

Over the course of the week, the area around the wound seemed to be swelling up. A cushion was building under my arm once again. I wasn’t immediately worried about all of this, and anyway wasn’t really sure how it should all look and feel. The worst part was that my new pretty pink bra was too tight. Had I bought the wrong size, or perhaps put on weight. On Wednesday night I discovered that a small area of the suture line was oozing serous fluid. I put a dressing over it and went to bed. Luckily I had a hospital appointment the following day.

The doctor drained about 100mls of altered blood from inside the wound area. Luckily I didn’t feel a thing (a mixture of using the stitch line plus the residual numbness). I was pretty surprised, not to mention irritated that the small bump on my chest had gone. I wasn’t meant to have a baby breast, it should have been flat. He told me that it was likely I would need the area aspirating again. I will, because the area has swollen again. Luckily though it hasn’t spread under my arm. It’s pretty obvious the physical healing process is taking longer than expected. Not surprisingly this is getting me down a little.

Sex, drugs and rock and roll

Since the operation, I have been anxious that G would no longer find me attractive. To begin with he was nervous of the wound and dressings and also of hurting me. He was clear though, that he still found me attractive. During the course of this week we have resumed our sex life and thankfully that has meant many orgasms for me. I am reluctant to get on top yet because my wound area is a bit sore. The gravity pull when leaning forward is quite painful. It is weird that I have had more pain this week than after the operation. I have even resorted to taking a few pain killers (that is the limit of my drug use). 

There is no doubt I feel more positive about my body and his reaction to it. He has begun to touch and stroke my right side and that means a lot to me. I don’t necessarily like what I see when I look in the mirror, but I am getting used to it.

Our lifestyle right now isn’t exactly Rock and roll. But we have been able to return to socialising. On Wednesday we attended our local Munch and I caught up with Molly, Sub Bee and others. Thursday my brother visited and we had dinner out. Then on Friday I returned to my slimming group, had lunch with a friend and in the evening G and I went out to a concert. A busy few days indeed. 

Rest

Until the middle of this week, I was pacing myself well. I have been sleeping well at night and resting between activity. Even while in Oxford I didn’t feel especially tired. 

But yesterday I woke feeling exhausted. The emotional energy required to tell people about the event of the past few week is enormous. Doing so much on Friday was in hindsight a mistake and I see that I need to make sure I balance rest and activity. 

Feeling tired and emotionally drained made my mood low. I could easily have gone back to bed before lunch. Instead we walked into town and did a little shopping and then had lunch. Afterwards I took a nap and woke feeling much better. 

This coming week, I am going to try to work on the balance between rest, exercise and other activity. I have taken on a small piece of work that involves interviewing people by phone, collecting and reading some data and writing a report. It isn’t onerous but it is something else to juggle. There are also hospital visits once again. 

Over all, as I reach the end of week 3 I feel well. But recognise that as I increase activities I must take care not to over do things. Or to be too eager to get completely back to ‘normal’ life. 

Ice Princess

The image above taken in the garden of my house before the move in July has been transformed through Prisma.

Master named it Ice Princess. It signifies the change from summer to winter. Since it was taken, my body has also transformed some what. I am not quite ready to show those changes, but happy to celebrate my body as it is here.

Sinful Sunday