Zooming through traffic, listening to my favorite on repeat tunes that gear me up for any oncologist appointment, sunroof open, shades on for a glorious morning, jamming. I was pretty calm when I arrived in the parking garage. I repeated, “let’s do this” to myself a couple hundred times as I hauled myself into the building. I was PUMPED! There has to be a first for everything and today was the first time I was excited to be at the oncologist’s office!
The research nurse, Sue, called me to the back and we maneuvered our way to the education room. We got right down to it, signing all the docs for me to enter into the clinical study for the next two years. Initials on every page, signatures on several more, and then as I was about to sign the last one I took a deep breath. It was a moment of knowing I was doing this not just for myself for the next two years but for women after me. The University of Arizona was going to take MY data and be able to help other women and learn more about ovarian cancer. I proudly signed with the upmost of intent!
We then walked over to the hospital, up to the 6th floor, and into the infusion room. Best part about walking through those doors now is I am NOT there for chemo. I also have this bond with those ladies and enjoy seeing them! Plus, they gushed about how great I am looking and who wouldn’t love that! We chatted for a moment about how my lashes and eyebrows are growing out and laughed when I shared how painful it is to get them threaded. Sunday, late afternoon, I went to have the eyebrows shaped and when she told me to hold my eyelid I think she gave me half a second before she began. I didn’t know whether to punch her or continue to cry. I felt assaulted, eyebrow assaulted, like holy crap that hurt!!! What us women put ourselves through! After a good laugh, labs were drawn, port was flushed, and then we were on our way back to the office.
Sue pulls out these packets that looked like ISTEP exams for me to begin filling out. She gave me cute No. 2 pencils that I likely haven’t used since grade school to fill in the circles. The first question was, “how much did you weigh at the age of 18?” Umm, can I call a friend who might remember and that doesn’t have chemo brain?! Whoa. That was my indication that this wasn’t going to be a breeze. There were questions such as, if I ate eggs, the serving size, and how often all the way through meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, all the way down to the condiments. I mean c’mon who eats light mayo anyways, we all know the real stuff tastes better! Yes, I had to answer whether I ate the light version of things or the real stuff, you know, the GOOD stuff! I also realized how much stuff I don’t eat on a regular basis. Are there really people out there eating passion fruit, winter squash, pumpkins (I carve those, but don’t eat them), or pitayas on a regular basis? I am not one of those but it made me question almost everything I eat looking at some of the things listed.
There was even a questionnaire on how often I do particular household chores and which ones. I am sure someone somewhere at the University of Arizona is judging me right this second on the fact that I do not iron. There is a reason we have dry cleaning picked up at our house because this lady right here does not iron, that was a NEVER check mark! But they are probably fascinated by how much laundry I do, because that amazes me when I had to put a frequency to it on the form. It took me a little over two hours to complete the forms, two hours, let that sink in. That was a lot of questions!
I am totally convinced that they will look at my answers and say, “this woman needs our help!” I am serious. Like I totally walked away thinking I eat like crap and I have honestly cleaned up my act a bit since being diagnosed. Although, I totally realized today that I am not a cereal eater. It took me a minute to try and think of the last time I ate cereal and I honestly couldn’t come up with a time in the last 6 months. But eggs and bacon, umm sign me up for this morning, oops! Perhaps I should opt for the fiber, all bran, wheat cereal instead. That sounds gross just typing it out.
I will know in a couple of days which group I am in, the one with mild coaching or the one with complete intervention. I am really hoping for the latter. Although when I expressed that to Sue she told me that they had a patient take it so seriously that she turned orange from eating too many carrots. I didn’t know that was a thing. My mouth dropped open. I asked how orange she was and she said, like bad spray tan meets an orange bath, bad! So, now I know to not eat so many carrots that I turn orange. I likely should have run away at that point but didn’t and I am still stoked.
I am going to OWN this, doesn’t everyone say that at the beginning of healthy eating! My heart is definitely in this though. I am already getting eye rolls from the little ones and the husband with tonight’s dinner so I know I am on the right track!
Cheers to eating vegetables high in beta carotene and light mayo!