Nutrition & Training DO Matter for My Leukemia Journey

We ARE our worst critics, aren’t we.

There I was (still am), with more time on my hands. Yet, I lacked the discipline and drive to work on what it takes for better body composition (but I flippin’ do now!)  Some might joke that cancer should mean guaranteed weight loss but dude, that shit don’t last (neither is it healthy eh.)

Upon the diagnosis and first hospitalization in April, I DID lose weight.  Primarily because there was a week where I couldn’t eat anything and that on most days I could hardly get out of bed.  Hence, muscle atrophy.  With time I regained movement ability and appetite but boy did the body had a hell of a shock from this unconventional yo-yo diet. 

hair weight

 

I spent the month of May into June wrapped up in excuses, succumbed to the psychological toll from two hospitalizations at that point.  You’d think that being told you have cancer would boost that #kalelife attitude but frankly, I was giving myself permission to eat whatever tasted better than spinach and seeds.  Sure, I was exercising whenever I felt energetic to do so but compared to the number of activities that used to fill my day, the low-intensity exercises do little in managing 2018’s body composition expectations.  I also felt inadequately knowledgeable when it comes to how much exercise stress I could and should be enforced without affecting the body’s need to recover from Leukemia.  Like, seriously, what is considered “overdoing it” anymore?  The confidence I once had over understanding my body’s stress capacity had disintegrated.  And then, there are side effects from various drugs.  

So hello there, millions of new body fat.  Sayonara, ounces of self-esteem…

Self-Esteem-Meme-Funny-Image-Photo-Joke-04

 

…I coulda-woulda-shoulda be kinder to myself.

(Yes, I am getting better at that….I think)

One of the lessons I’ve learned with a possibly shorten life is Thou Shall Not Wait For What Can Be Done Now.

Admittedly I could use some help.

I reached out to Andrew at JOINT DYNAMICS.  Why Joint Dynamics?  Well, they have personal trainers in a clinical setting, chances are they would have someone with experience working with folks in my situation, plus the environment seem way more conducive for my state.  Why Andrew?  I trust his character and ability to tell you as it is, yet mindful with empathy.  Also, I trust he wouldn’t “sell” me shit. (It’s disgusting how there are also lots marketed at cancer patients out there monetizing hope).  Andrew recognized what I needed and gave me full support.  I couldn’t have felt luckier.

Geoff Bland was introduced, as he had experience working with clients in Chronic Disease Management.  I appreciate how he took the time to get to know my movement capacity and work threshold while keeping himself up to date with how my blood count is affected.  It’s especially enjoyable when he recognized my liking for movement and task-based exercises, which gave me ample variety alternating between high-intensity and medium-intensity. 

IMG_8118

 

Upon my second round back at JD after the last hospitalization, I noticed my blood count recovered at a quicker pace compared to the first round training.  It wasn’t until I marked up these tables below when I realised the comparison was better than I thought.

30 May (First day of CC1: consolidation chemo #1)

Platelets

Neutrophil

Remarks

Date

Day

154-371 (units x10^9/L)

2.01 – 7.42.  x10^9/L

(reference for normal range)

June 15

17

40

3.83

Day after G-CSF, discharge from hospital

June 20

22

46

1.62

June 26

28

Started 1st training day

June 29

31

42

0.85

July 5

37

63

0.58

July 9

41

85

4.16

Day after G-CSF

July 12

44

106

0.74

Training Note: 6 sessions (2x a week) before admission again on 23 July

Hospitalization Nutrition Note:  Hospital food, junk food from 7-11

————————————————————————————————————

24 July (First day of CC2: consolidation chemo #2)

Platelets

Neutrophil

Remarks

Date

Day

154-371 (units x10^9/L)

2.01 – 7.42.  x10^9/L

(reference for normal range)

Aug 2

10

10

0.14

Receive platelet transfusion, G-CSF

Aug 3

11

30

0.02

Day after platelet transfusion

Aug 9

17

65

1.26

Discharged from hospital

Aug 16

24

98

1.2

Aug 18

Started 1st training day

Aug 23

32

142

1.94

Sep 3

43

241

2.6

Sep 13

227

3.71

Blood sample post-workout, hospital admission day

Training Note:  9 sessions (2x a week) before admission again on 13 Sept

Hospitalization Nutrition Note: BIORNA QUANTICS prepped meals

———————

Now, these aren’t journal-standard where it’s exact on day xx compared to day xx, since my blood work appointments vary but I can handle days being off by a couple.  What I noted with excitement is comparing platelet and neutrophil count between CC1: day 31 to CC2: day 32 – note the difference!

That gave me a surge of confidence that I’m on the right track *smiley face* *ecstatic face* *booyeah face*

giphy

I’m currently back in the hospital for the 3rd round of consolidation chemo and back on Biorna Quantics meals (which, btw makes a HUGE difference during hospitalization!).

Until I get discharged, there are plenty I’ve learned from Geoff and Andrew that I’m doing in the hospital room.  Project REBUILD & RESTORE with Geoff – exactly what I was looking for as a cancer patient struggling with physical and emotional side effects.

IMG_8196

 

Most importantly, I’ve learned to accept that my current training goals are for good blood cell regeneration and “prepping” the body to withstand the next round of chemotherapy and/or transplant. 

 

important

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