Thursday, December 9, 2010

This Teacher is Getting Homeschooled

This time last week I was pretty low.  Disappointed and disgruntled.  Disillusioned and disheartened.  Not to mention disgusted.

Enough dissing already.

The control freak in me has taken over.  I cannot sit around and wait for someone else to tell me what to do or how to win this battle, mainly because that's just not happening.  Thank God for Google...the control freak's best friend.  And the library...and Barnes and Noble.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not so stupidly arrogant to think I can do this alone or without the help of trained professionals and modern medicine.  But it has become apparent that the professionals don't know everything.  And modern medicine has it's drawbacks (and sometimes has nothing at all).

I have been reading.  Reading, reading, and more reading.  Not the stack of fiction I thought I'd be enjoying over these weeks at home.  I will get to those eventually...maybe.  But first things first.  I have been reading and educating myself, not only on my disease, but on how to beat it where it stands.  And that's just what I intend to do. 

This is what I now know about Triple Negative Breast Cancer:
  • The majority of women with TNBC are...
    • African-American or Hispanic (not me)
    • Young (I don't think they mean mentally, so again, not me)
    • Overweight (uh, nope)
    • Had children at a very young age (again, no)
    • Recently gave birth (n-o)
    • Did not breastfeed (spent almost 2 years at that, so def not)
    • Have high hip-to-waist ratio (I look like a very tall 12 year old boy, so no.)
    • Drink alcohol regularly (hmmm...sometimes)
    • Have BRCA1 gene mutation (this will be investigated)
    • Used oral contraceptives, esp long term (yes, dangit)
  • TNBC remained unnamed until 2006.
  • About 10-20% of breast cancers are triple negative.
  • Approx 50% of all breast cancer deaths are triple negative.
  • There are no medications to prevent TNBC's recurrence, as there are with hormone receptive breast cancers (Tamoxifen, Femara, etc).
  • Chances for recurrence with TNBC can be high.  Way too high.  I am not quoting any statistics here.  I don't even want to think about them.
  • This high probability for recurrence can be lowered by as much as 60% with a low fat diet and 4-5 hours of exercise a week.
If I could make that last line sparkle and flash red, I would. 

So guess who's changing her diet?  Yep, that would be me.  Guess who's been working up a good sweat 30-45 min a day?  Uh huh.  Me again.  (I've got a long way to go on that second one, but you've got to walk before you can run, right?)  Get in shape or die.  How's that for motivation?  A personal trainer's dream.

I've always been a fairly healthy eater, but I certainly have also done plenty of indulging.  The fact that I have a very high metabolism gave me a false sense of security, and I have never hesitated to eat sweets and high fat foods.  And lots of them.  Entire jars of Nutella in two days...things like that.  Hello, my name is Patti and I'm a sugaraholic.  On second thought, I take that back about me being a healthy eater.

So these things I CAN change.  I never thought I'd have to, but I can.  And I will.  You just watch me. 

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