The Boob Report – The Sun Rises After Cancer Drugs

hSunrise over Breckenridge

Shy of three weeks into 2017, I thought I’d check in and let you know how The Year of the Big Chill is going. It’s all about working hard, but playing harder. Little did I know these lifestyle changes would affect me in a different way. It banished a horrible side effect of my anti-cancer drug.

Two simple changes have made a HUGE impact. So huge, I have to tell you about it.

I meditate for ten minutes a day.

After attending the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Whistler, I felt super chill and grounded for about a week. Then that fantastic feeling disappeared. I figured I had to go to another festival to regain it.

Meditation clears my mind for new ideas. Practicing ten minutes before I write unlocks my creative flow. It helps me focus. I’m less distracted by sparkly things. I love sparkly things.

I write for three hours (or more, depending on my groove) and then shut my laptop to go on an adventure. That may be anything from skiing to taking a hike to going to the grocery store. It doesn’t matter, as long as I get out of the house to do something.

The isolation of writing books and screenplays was a downer for me last year. I’m an adventure junkie. It’s my rocket fuel. Now I get out every day. Ideas pop into my tiny cranium out of nowhere.

The combination of both of these changes resulted in the coolest thing ever.

After my double boobectomities, my radiologist prescribed Tamoxifen. I felt a low grade sluggish, PMS, blues. It would clench my gut with anxiety upon waking and follow me like a shadow during the day. I attributed it to normal worry any cancer patient goes through. Nope. It’s a side-effect of anti-estrogen drugs. I had to keep taking it. My cancer ate estrogen like a starved pig at a Las Vegas buffet.

the-sun-rises-after-cancer-drugsWhen my doctor took me off Tamoxifen over a year ago, I went pill-free for two weeks. I was so excited!! I felt super charged upon waking!! My Susie Sunshine self was BACK!! Yes, this warrants lots of exclamation points. (My baseline normal is like other people’s most optimistic and best days.) But after two weeks on Anastrozole, that same guilty, worried, clench my gut feeling returned. GAH. 

By the way, my diet hasn’t changed, except for one thing. I stopped eating pizza. Once a month or so, I’d indulge in a pan style veggie lovers, then I would crash the next day. I mentioned it to my daughter, Courtney, who is a personal trainer. She said that pizza is the worst. With so much cheese and carbs, it becomes greasy glop in our stomachs and sends our bodies into detox overload.

I haven’t drank alcohol for two and a half years after finding out the correlation between it and seven different cancers. (Check out this post about that dirty little secret. Alcohol means any kind of alcohol, including wine.) It also causes osteoporosis. Bummer.

Here’s the good news:

After meditating and going outside every day for about ten days, I noticed that same grounded, peaceful feeling in my gut had reappeared. The anxiety from Anastrozole had VANISHED! Ten minutes to zen. How cool is that?

Okay, so the super-hopped up, excited me may have to wait another eighteen months when I’ll be off the drugs forever. But, that low grade, I must have done something wrong feeling, is history! Who knows? Maybe my over-endorphined self will return with a couple more weeks of this new lifestyle. People who know me will read this and say, “You will be even more manic?”

I wonder if Danny will hide my yoga mat?

This could help you too!

Ever feel a little down? I would think this combination of getting outside to do something away from the computer and ten minute meditation would work for others, especially mid-winter when lack of Vitamin D slows us down and causes the blues. You should try it. It truly works! If nothing else, life is a lot more fun.

What do you think? What lifestyle changes have you made over the years? How are the sunrises in your neighborhood?

96 thoughts on “The Boob Report – The Sun Rises After Cancer Drugs

  1. Meditation is something I have been meditating upon. I am unlucky enough to be stuck in greasy outside, so I cheer for you! May you be free of all things that bug, bog and bluff you.

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    • Thanks, Uma and you as well!
      That greasy outside can be sticky stuff. Meditating seems to be a brain cleanse. Now if I could figure out a way to cleanse my stomach so I can eat pizza, I’d be stoked. 🙂

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  2. I’m equally bummed about wine. I know it’s estrogenic, but didn’t know it could cause osteoporosis. I’ll work on meditation — it sounds like what I need to fight anxiety. I also should also avoid my non-stop watching of the news, which is probably the source of my anxiety.

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    • Meditation is such an ancient method to finding bliss that I took it for granted and never committed to it. Boy, did it make a difference!

      The news is the worst since we’re out of control of what’s happening in the world. The local report only focuses on the most horrible events in our area. I tune into the weather and that’s about it! I would turn it off and read blog posts instead! 🙂

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  3. I really enjoy your write ups. I don’t read all of them but when I do I always take something away with me that I then implement into my own life. Isn’t that what blogging is really all about…helping each other, motivating one another. I feel for every woman that struggles with cancer. I’ve had two girlfriends now with the same situation. Meditation. That keeps coming around. Getting out, yes, that makes me feel good. Thank you.

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  4. I attended my first meditation class last week. Class number two is tomorrow night. I am working on clearing my head, believing in the value of my own choices, and speaking up for myself. Keep on keeping on, Susie. You’re an inspiration!

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    • Thanks Me!
      I’m so glad you found a class. The effects of meditation are mind-blowing. Making intentions and positive visualization really works. It’s almost too easy to believe. Enjoy your next class.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I am so excited for you!! Meditation is phenomenal, and getting outside on adventures is critical for well-being and happiness. I wish I could get my 14 yr old son to meditate. He needs it so badly. I’ll keep trying there. The more we’ve gotten outside this winter, the better both he and I have been feeling. But this damned WA dark and wet is back. And windy. When it’s windy out, being in our yard or walking our street isn’t safe because of branches falling. We get widow makers landing in the yard at least a few times a winter (branch about 4-6″ diameter that hits the ground end on, plunging up to a foot into the ground).

    As for other changes, after working with a naturopathic doctor who uses muscle testing, he detected some foods I’m allergic to, and because I didn’t have overt symptoms, I was oblivious. Now that I’m off of them, I’m feeling so much better. I have more energy, and don’t feel sluggish. My entire digestion is happier, too.

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  6. Awesome news, Susie! So happy for you! We just started a no sugar/no alcohol during the week days policy at my house. It’s amazing how delicious an apple is when the craving for ice cream subsides. Love the post and am glad you shared the secrets to a healthier, vibrant you!

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    • Thanks, Angela!
      That’s so great to hear. Sugar and salt are addictive. When I came back from a trip to Europe, I couldn’t eat chips or olives. They were too salty! Europeans don’t salt food like we do. Sugar is addictive too. I’m glad to hear the policy is working for your taste buds!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. I practice pilates once a day – mostly to stay limber. I agree – taking a break and walking outside always improves my mood. Take care, Jan

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    • Thanks, Jan! It’s been a low grade thing for a few years. I knew it was from the medication, so I’ve been counting the months. Now that it’s gone, I had to share!

      Pilates is fantastic and so is getting outdoors. Good for you! 🙂

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  8. I’ve gone through phases with meditation, doing it for a year or so, then not. I like getting outside every day, but the weather often has other ideas. One thing I’ve not tried, and I think I will, is to limit my computer/blogging/writing time each day. I could do with less virtual here and more actual there. Good idea, Susie.

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    • The combat between virtual vs. actual time can be HUGE!! I’ve cut back tons on my screwing around time. It’s easy to click away and accomplish nothing. Shutting my laptop has really helped my writing productivity and I’ve added a lot more fun to every day! Let me know how it goes for you, Ally!

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  9. Heck, you don’t even have to go outside sometimes, just get up and MOVE. So few people realize the importance of physical activity. I’m not talking exercise, I’m talking just walking a few extra steps, take the stairs, park a few spaces farther away from the entrance. Those extra steps work wonders. It’s something everyone can do.

    I’m glad you’ve found what works for you. That’s important. Every body is different so what works for one may not work for everyone, but listening to your body is crucial. Like eating pizza and noticing the after effects. That’s huge. For me it’s water. If I don’t drink enough water my body reacts. I know when I’m dehydrated. Pay attention people. Listen to your glorious body. (I’m climbing down off my soapbox now.)

    As always, a fun and informative post. Keep them coming throughout the year as reminders.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Patricia for standing up there!
      Did you read that everyone? Pay attention to your glorious body!

      Like you said, everyone is different. It wasn’t enough for me to workout indoors last year. In October and November, I went for days without stepping outside while trying to finish projects. No more of that. I’ve been more productive in the last few weeks by stepping away from my computer and taking long breaks. Then when I sit down to write, I’m ready to tap away!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Colonist! It’s summer where you are, right? The days are just starting to lengthen here and it’s been relatively warm for January. Lots of opportunity for outdoor adventures, so I can get back to work with fresh ideas.
      Great to “see” you!

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    • Yes! I use HeadSpace. It’s an app on my i-Phone. but there are lots of others, I’m sure. Find what works for you and try it! Ten minutes to zen. I just did it before checking out these comments!
      Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

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  10. Meditate. Got it. Love it. Totally agree. Get outside at least once a day… I hear you, and I can vaguely remember the reinvigorating effects that being active has on my psyche, and ability to focus. Restores love of life, nature and adventure.

    Your post is inspiring. You are inspiring.

    Getting outside is going on my to-do list. For real this time.

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    • Thanks so much! I’m so glad it helped.
      Getting outside is on my daily calendar (planner). I check it off my list like everything else. That and meditating 10 minutes with the HeadSpace app, has rocked my world. Let me know how it works for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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  12. That is wonderful! I don’t think I could have gotten through a lot in my life without meditating. And it is true even 10 minutes a day can change your life. It truly eases my anxiety. I’ve been practicing for over 25 years or so.

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  13. Yoga, meditation, and outdoors – got rid of my migraines. So simple, but worked. Luckily I can still manage pizza once in a while. Listening to our bodies and moderation works…like that is possible with chocolate HA HA.
    Yep – get out there. It fixes so much
    Cheers for you!

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    • I was just thinking about you!
      That’s great to hear that it works for migraines too! It’s amazing how much good it does for our bodies and minds. I caught a chest cold which has kept me indoors the last two days. How ironic is that? I’m keeping up with the meditation and am willing this beast of a bug to leave my body alone!
      Have a great weekend, Phil!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This is why I love coming on to read peoples blogs, after being stressed for exams and busy with work, nothing compares to what you must have, or going through and I loved reading this!! 🙂 I love going outside and will do more of it after reading this 🙂 I will look forward to reading more of your writing 🙂

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    • Thanks so much!
      I’ve been sick the last three days and haven’t been outside, but the meditation is still kicking anxiety’s butt! I’m willing myself to feel better by tomorrow, so I can slack line… Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’d love to give up alcohol. I usually take a break at the beginning of each year for a month or two. Last year I made it to six months. Also, at the beginning of each year I try and set goals for meditation but I’ve never found anything that’s stuck.

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    • Try the HeadSpace app. I downloaded it on my phone. It only takes 10 minutes and you can meditate while sitting in your chair. It’s super easy!

      Good for you making it to six months! I couldn’t believe the peer pressure when I gave up alcohol. It’s such a societal thing to drink here in the States. “Aren’t you having a glass of wine?” When I tell them, they can’t believe wine is included in the link to cancer. Alcohol is alcohol. I had been worried sick about cancer recurrence, but this lifestyle change gave me confidence in my health. I’ve never looked back!

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    • Thanks so much, Ann! I thought I’d be stuck with that low-level anxiety for another 18 months. Whew!

      Most of us jumped on the alcohol, anti-oxidant band wagon. The truth is finally coming out. I read about the link in my newspaper recently, but it’s been on Cancer.org for a while now. If I’d known about the correlation, I’m sure I would have quit a long time ago, since I’m such a health nut!!! My cancer was probably caused by a perfect storm of factors. I’ll never know.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. getting outdoors and being active always has a positive impact on my productivity.. but sometimes I don’t follow through. I re-joined a fitness club in October having quit four years before because my monthly membership fee was more a donation. I can definitely feel a difference between then and now. I am going to have to sneak out and get a work out in today. I need it, I can feel the need to get up and move. It makes a huge difference and I always feel better mentally and physically. Have a wonderful week. Peace.

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    • I don’t think I could ever completely go vegetarian even though I don’t eat as much meat as I used to. I love the yoga+meditation combo and plan to keep it as an essential part of my daily routine.
      Thanks so much for swinging by to read, Gulliver!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post, Susie! I’m so happy for you that you found a “way back” to your previous joy!

    I’ve also found I have to get “out and about” and I do meditate, have gotten back into it nearly daily. and, yes, all these things DO help! I’d also gotten back into amateur photography and am finding it fun to PLAY again! Something I totally do for fun that I don’t have to fret about having to document and write things off! But it gets hard trying to do this stuff every day, for many reasons that we all have, but I try my best to keep up with them and find them greatly enjoyable! And I’ve come up with several new short stories this year! I haven’t written so many new short stories in YEARS!

    So, congratulations, and I wish you continued success with your new “protocol”! I now understand your “warp speed,” and you have my permission to “gear up” (not that you need it ;-] )!

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    • Thanks Frank!
      I’ve fought off the flu this last week and am starting to feel human again, so striving for warp speed may have to wait a few days.
      I’m stunned at the benefits of meditation. I wonder what else I could be doing to unlock my brain.

      I’m glad to hear you’re back to playing. The photo you took of that cougar is amazing. Even more amazing was it wasn’t taken in a bar in downtown Colorado Springs. Sorry, I have to make up for a week of clogged brain syndrome. 🙂 And so many exclamation points tell me how happy you are, Frank! It’s all good and the effort is well worth it.
      Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, sorry to hear about your illness, but you must have needed the downtime, Susie!

        Capturing those images was SO incredible and wonderful! I was smiling and chuckling to myself that I had this beautiful cat all to myself! It was stunning! Thank YOU, and thank you for reading and commenting! Take the needed rest and regroup!

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  18. I’m so sorry you have to take these drugs that make you feel so awful. Your lifestyle changes are making a wonderful difference for you. My plan this year is to become completely vegan. I’ve been vegetarian for about 3 years now. Want to go all the way. I already feel better. Need to get out more, I don’t have that need that you feel but I know it’s good for me, so I am determined. Alcohol, now I’ve never heard that it is cancer causing, but I don’t doubt it. None for two months, so I’m trying that too. I wish you well.

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    • Thanks so much, Barbara!
      You are the bomb of wellness! The Alcohol correlation has been a dirty little secret for years. Check out the link “the dirty little secret” above. It will take you to Cancer.org. The word is just coming out. It was in Women’s World magazine recently and a big article hit our local newspaper a month ago. It raises estrogen levels and does a caustic number on throats and other organs. The interesting thing is it doesn’t always take much. We’re all different and some bodies can totally handle it.

      You should live to be 100!

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  19. Thank you for this wonderful post. Thanks for the information about Anastrozole, which my oncologist put me on, I thought I was still dealing with depression and anxiety from the diagnosis. Bummer about the wine, I guess I’ll have to wean myself off of that pleasure too. I gave up Yoga after my surgery but it looks like it might perk me up. Great post and take care.

    Like

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