Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I can eat Grape Nuts Again

I love when food manufacturer's listen to consumer feedback. Post Grape Nuts eliminated soy protein isolate from their cereal. As I am living in a cereal world and I am just a cereal girl, I am happy to have this back in the weekend cereal rotation.





I was browsing the cereal isle (which I might spend more time in than any other isle) when they Soy Free sticker jumped out at me. Yay! I know that this isn't a big thing, but it made me happy.

I ate them hot with organic milk and fresh organic strawberries this morning. : )

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sunshine Vitamin

Last week at work Dr. Henry Lim, Dermatologist, of the Henry Ford Medical Center came and presented on vitamin D. And his findings were super interesting to this nutrition nerd.

Did you know that UVB rays are what your skin uses to make vitamin D? I didn't know either. This is another reason why tanning beds are terrible. Tanning bed only emit UVA rays. So all you are doing is damaging your DNA in a tanning bed. Your not even getting vitamin D. Also, Dr. Lim did a study to see if the UVB rays damaged your DNA (and can eventually lead your cells down the pathway to cancer) and his findings were, YES! This means that sunlight is not a good way to get your vitamin D needs. That photoprotection: sunscreen, hats, long sleeves, is more important than getting your vitamin D from the sun.

Dr. Lim fact checked many studies and mentioned at this time that there was not enough evidence to relate vitamin D intake to all cancers or even specific cancers. Here is where I find a large dichotomy between my professional self and my personal self. My professional self practices only evidence based recommendations to my patients. My personal self is willing to use correlations and single studies as recommendations for some of my actions (see organic milk, glass containers, etc). My professional self lives by the moto "a single study does not a recommendation make". My professional self is very Yoda like.

The end product of all of Dr. Lim's research is this: use sunscreen and take a vitamin D supplement with food to average 600 IUs of Vitamin D3 everyday. I have since changed my everyday moisturizer to one that has SPF 15 in it and then have SPF 70 that I can put on for stronger sun days. I take 1000 IUs Monday through Friday. I average 700 IUs a day. That will work for me. And maybe, sometime there will be enough scientific evidence so that professional me will tell patients that vitamin D will help keep cancer away. Until the next study comes along...


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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Team NED 2014



Today was the Lahey Health 5K Cancer Walk and Run. It was a great day full of sunshine, sweat, smiles and fundraising! Above are the Team NED runners. Left to Right in the photo: One of my fellow dietitians who is working her way back into running with a 6 month old. She raced last year pregnant. My current roommate and high school and currant track teammate. She is working her way back from an injury, but has still made it out the last two years. Two track club teammates decided to come on out and smoke the course. They ran really strong races. And both made sure they had pink tops to wear! #14 bib is me. Then my good friend from the 3rd grade and her sister. Both whom I've known for most of my life and have been amazingly supportive through everything. Very happy they were both there.

My parents, my aunt and my cousin's daughter all walked. My legs were a little to achy to walk after the run, but I was very grateful for their attendance.

Our team raised $2,392! Pretty great.  Almost half the money came from our killer bake sale at the hospital for which I learned how to make baked donuts. My colleagues are amazing bakers and homemade granola, congo bars, gluten free cookies, rice krispie treats, cake pops, you name it, they made it and we sold it.  The other half came from generous donations from family, friends, friends of friends and even a donation from our department.

At the walk they do an opening ceremonies after the run and before the walk. During it the Lahey Chief Medical Officer and Head of the Oncology department speak and talk about all the exciting things going on at Lahey Cancer Centers. They discussed the new lung cancer screening where they do low dose radiation CT scans for smokers and other high risk patients. They have caught 30 lung cancers at an early stage since starting it in 2012. That is pretty darn awesome. One of the lung cancer survivors, whose cancer was identified this way, spoke about his experience and how grateful he was to be cancer free. The second survivor that spoke was a 29 year old man who had stage IIIb colon cancer, but was back to run the race for his second consecutive year after running last year during treatment. His team name is team ; (semi colon). His team has raised $24,000 in the past two years. Yes, that comma is in the right place. Pretty great.

After running I put my survivor shirt on and as I was hunting for snacks and freebies I ran into the Chief Medical Officer's sister in law whom he had mentioned was being treated for breast cancer. I spoke with her to let her know that I was a survivor and that I was rooting for her. We spoke about being burned from radiation and how much we love Aquaphor. I told her that her hair looked amazing (she had full scalp coverage of silver peach fuzz). She told me she was so excited to not have to wear the wig anymore. We chatted about chemo and related about how much breast cancer survivorship really is a sisterhood. She said this is her second bought of breast cancer and they were 24 years apart. I wished her luck and told her not to put that wig back on, to own her peach fuzz.

I am pleased with my overall 5K today. I ran 20:54. Ten seconds slower than last year, but way faster than I thought I would be able to. I also didn't vomit. Another win. My legs started to tighten and ache 5 minutes in and when I got to half way I knew I had gone out way to hard. But, coming around the corner and heading for home with my oncology NP, parents, and fellow dietitians standing at the finish line and cheering their heads off made it hard not to smile when being done.  That and I got to put on my purple survivor t-shirt.And maybe a little laughing at myself because when they announced my name they mentioned I was the 2012 winner and I started "pageant" waving to the crowd. I'm such a nerd, but I'm a happy nerd.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

How many side effects are there?

The GoGo's were right. Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away. Vacation, where I talk about Tamoxifen side effects in laundry list form and am not even aware of it. Wait a minute....

Around Tuesday, while hiking Camelback Mountain, when I was "boot scootin'" {sliding down rocks on my bum on the decent} I was explaining to my brother that I preferred to go down in more of a crab walk version than facing the rocks because my feet cramp so often now I wanted a heal strike instead of pushing off on my toes. I explained that one of the side effects of tamoxifen . We had already started our ascent early in the morning because as well documented my internal thermastat is way broken. And when the week's weather was this:
And at 7 am it was already high 80's. And I was already purple and slathered in sunscreen. My brother looked at me because I had already explained my muscle tightness and joint soreness that has seriously hamstringed my outdoor track season and that made our climb not very pretty on account of the tamoxifen. My ridiculous internal temperature and inability to cool off he already knew was attributed to tamoxifen. And despite the fact that I exercise I still feel out of shape and run out of steam about 20 minutes into anything and have to take more breaks than I like. I attribute this to tamoxifen.  We turned these breaks into photo ops on the mountain. The decent I was able to do in one solid piece.

The last comment about my foot cramps, led my brother to ask me "How many side effects are there"
"Not many. I know it seems like I am blaming everything on tamoxifen. But, it's fine" Then I looked down out my fingernails, which I am now painting because the black spots have returned to my nails from the tamoxifen. Hmm...perhaps I am having a few more side effects than I usually own up to and perhaps I really do blame everything on tamoxifen.

I am happy to be home and back in 57 F, my system seems to enjoy that a little bit better. I am still thoroughly heat rashed. However, because my father also came down with a severe case of heat rash I am NOT going to blame that on tamoxifen. For now...