Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oncologist and chocolate


My mum saw her oncologist today and there was some good news. The breast tumour had visibly shrunk and some of the tumours in her skull as well. So she is responding very well to the various treatments. She'd been getting a swollen leg from a regular injection in her hip, but last time they did it in her arm which seems to have solved that problem. She still spends a lot of time resting. She's never going to be cured, but her current situation is a far cry from when I first heard that she had breast cancer than had spread to her bones - at that time I thought she probably only had months to live. Now it should be years, at least. And she is still fully able to care for herself in her own home. She's even finishing the last couple of units in her Masters Degree.

I've always said chocolate isn't a problem for me, I love it but can eat a square or two and that is enough. It is not a trigger food for me. So lately it has been the only treat I have in the house, I felt it was safe. But since it is the only treat available, I have been eating it whenever I get a craving for something else. I've gone from a couple of squares two or three times a week, to a larger quantity every day. I keep buying different flavours and now have quite a few blocks to choose from. It isn't what I want to eat - I want salty chips or cheesy corn chips - but in the absence of that I turn to chocolate instead to fill the void. Not ideal! I guess it isn't a "safe" food for me to have in the house any more.

I've only just become aware of this behaviour and analysed it, so my first strategy is just to stop eating it so frequently - now I know what I am doing. But if I can't just stop, I'll have to throw it all away, which is fine. But if it comes to that, I'm worried I'll then turn to something else. It's possible to overeat just about anything. With a family, I can't ban cereal or bread or cheese from the house. But I'm hoping just being aware of it is enough to stop the behaviour.

I definitely feel a bit of a hole in my life that was once filled with unhealthy food.  There are lots of other good things in my life, but it's not the same as being able to dive into a big bag of chips.


  1. You're in school, Natalie. The subject? YOU. And you're an excellent student!! This is what it's all about! Learning as we go, making adjustments--and moving forward toward a healthier existence. I totally get what you're expressing about getting one thing under control, only to deal with another. My good friend, Life Coach Gerri Helms speaks about "tucking the octopus into bed." You get all of the tentacles under the covers--then one slips out--so you get it back under the covers---and here comes another... You're finding your balance, Natalie. And you'll find fulfillment in taking extraordinary care of yourself-- as you go, the results will give you so much good, perhaps the natural feelings of loss will subside.

  2. Pardon me, Natalie-- Meant to say-- AWESOME NEWS about your mom! Realizing that you have longer with her than you originally expected, must be a wonderful thing.

  3. I love the octopus metaphor. I've always thought of it as that game wack-a-mole or whatever various versions are called - you hit one on the head and it drops down but then another pops up and you have to get them quick. But the octopus is a good one.