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my story

Thursday, April 09, 2015

My story. What has made me what I am now. A long story but I have been asked how I have lost my weight so far, so I have decided to put it in a blog.

I will briefly say that nearly 31 years ago I was diagnosed with kidney disease when I was pregnant with my second son. Tried to look after myself but without the knowledge I have now.

about 2000 or 15 years ago I had endometrial cancer and had total hysterectomy.

Fast forward to 7 years ago to early 2008

My life changed forever. I got sick but they took about 15 months to find out what was the problem. I had Arnold Chiari Malformation. If you look this up it you usually die with this. I had a craniotomy in Nov 2009. This episode took a total of 18 months. In hospital for a few weeks then went to Rehab for 6 weeks. I had to learn to walk, talk, drink and eat again. I started off on a frame, progress to a 2 walking sticks, came out of Rehab on one stick but when I got home I refused to use this at home and only used it when I went out for balance. The Neurologist I saw told me after that he played God for me and took the risk as they rarely perform the operation because you usually die on the operation table.

This has left me with permanent damage to my vocal chords where one is damaged and one is paralysed. Balance is not as good as it was. Sometimes still have trouble swallowing.

But I am alive.

When I was in Rehab they found out I had kidney cancer. So in April 2010 I had my first partial nephrectomy. Again tried to look after me but without the knowledge.
It was about this time I got a referral to a gastric bypass surgeon. This takes a lot of time.

Joined Sparkpeople in September 2009.

In 2011 and 2012 a couple of little minor surgeries in creating a fistula and the year after raising this up to get ready for dialysis. Still not on dialysis and continue this fight.

In this time I was seeing the gastric bypass surgeon, the exercise physio and dietician.
In 2013 I had kidney cancer again in the opposite kidney and was operated on in Nov 2013 with another partial nephrectomy. So now I have ¾ of a kidney on the right side and a ½ on the left side. Of course with every operation I have had my kidney function has decreased and now I am in end stage renal disease. I have been there in Stage five for the last few years.

Since 2009 I have been trying to lose weight and managed to lose about 27 kgs.

Still seeing the gastric bypass surgery and this has taken a lot longer because of all the other operations, however I had this operation on the 5th November 2014. With the gastric bypass surgery I have lost a further 22.5kgs. Total loss so far is 49.5kgs. Don’t seem to want to get to the 50 kgs. This operation has made it easier but it is still hard work. You still have to exercise and watch what you eat. I do not regret having this operation, in fact it is the best decision I have ever made.

They did find out that I had high parathyroid function back in 2008, however it took until March 2015 to have this operation where they took 3 ½ parathyroid glands and ½ thyroid gland. When I went down to get the results I was told the news that I have 2 spots of cancer on the ½ the thyroid they removed. They told me it was totally unexpected. Not sure what they are going to do about the other side, if anything. I will find out on the 14th April. This is the 4th lot of cancer I have had. Thankfully at this stage I have had those bits removed and no further treatment.

From a fortnight before this operation till 3 weeks after I had put on 2.5 kgs due to not exercising, before was just too tired and after the op I was not allowed to exercise. In just over 2 weeks I have lost this weight.

From just after my operation I had starting changing my diet to try to go as chemically free as I can but since the diagnoses I have changed forever, no more trying, I need to do this. No more processed foods, gone off milk, grains, bread, white potatoes. I am trying to eat organic foods or home grown foods, has to be better than buying from commercially grown fruit and vegetables. I am very conscious of what I am putting in my mouth by eating whole foods. I have cut down my red meat intake because I have trouble eating this since gastric bypass op. Eat more chicken and fish. There will be more changes to come.

It was about 5 years ago that I made a conscious decision to buy Australia foods, not from Asia, and yes, I still make mistakes.

Before this last operation I had bought all natural personal products. I have now got rid of all household chemicals.

Now to where I am today, I feel great, less bloated, have energy to burn, for the first time in years I am now planning on what I am doing for today and also on future days. This has not happened for so many years that I forget when this happened before. I am cooking and making food and cleaning up after myself, again I can’t remember when I did this before. Doing so much more than I have for years, now I am thinking what I will be doing in years down the track, not wondering when I am going to die.

I am not the same person as when I started all this, I have grown a stronger and a more independent woman.

I am willing to try everything I can to try to change my outcome, if possible.

I am not going to let cancer rule my life.

Still battling the kidney disease but every day I fight is one more day to my life.

I am enjoying the time I am spending with my grandchildren and this is going to get better and better.

I could comfortably say that I feel better than I have for about 20 years.

Before I started this journey even the simple things were hard as I used to be tired from the moment I get out of bed until I went to bed but then I couldn’t sleep.

I find that I m moving faster than I was before.

I am keeping my housework up to scratch

I actually now like liking at myself and surprise myself how much smaller I am.

Sorry there is no magic formula to my losing weight and I have a long way to go but it is my journey to make and one I am willing to make. The end weight total I have made at this stage is so much closer but this journey I will be on for the rest of my life.

This is from a person who never thought I would see 50 and I am well beyond that and looking forward to 60 and beyond.

I still weigh my food and track when I can. I have now increased my exercising to more than I have for quite a few months.

I had blood tests today so it will interesting to see how I am doing then with all the decisions I have made since my last blood tests.

I must say that in writing this has been very therapeutic for me in seeing how far I have came and am now accepting what has happened. I know I am a better and much stronger person for all of this.

I am looking forward to the next chapter on my life.

I have already done some exercising and had a busy morning. Six months ago I would have still been thinking what if anything I was going to do for the day. Now I just do it.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Every day you wake up is a GOOD day!

    Some days bring those challenges we all endure, and some days are pure joy.

    I've only had the one bout of cancer, and it was plenty, thank you! emoticon

    I KNOW you have changed in the last few years, and loved seeing it. I feel very privileged to have had a small part in your success and to have witnessed the miracle that is my friend Wendy. That's the best gift of all...

    I love you...
    Kathy emoticon emoticon
    2109 days ago
    emoticon I am glad you shared this...your really amazing...... emoticon
    2187 days ago
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    2240 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13203638
    Wow Wow Wow Wow Wendy, You go girl! emoticon Thank you for telling us your story. You really have inspired me beyond belief. You are one remarkable Lady. Give yourself a pat on the back as you really deserve it! If you can do it with all your issues I certainly can do it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2240 days ago
    Wow, you certainly are a fighter, and a very positive, determined one at that! Thank you so much for sharing your story with your fellow Sparkers, because it is proof that nothing is impossible if we are determined to work towards achieving it, rather than just hoping to do so by taking the easy route to the same goal.

    The point that has really hit home in all of this for me, is the fact that loving yourself has given you the determination and willpower to succeed. This is something I've struggled with most of my life - loving myself - and your words meant a rushed trip to the tissue box to wipe away the tears. Those tears were actually HAPPY tears, and for that I thank you so much, my wonderfully inspirational friend.

    From now on, after reading this blog, I'm declaring war on my self-loathing, and on being hypercritical of myself all the time. From now on, I am going to take each setback as a lesson learned, and turn that setback, whatever it may be, to a positive! No more giving up, no more taking the easy way out, because it's got me nowhere at all. I am going to follow your example, and take a stance against the things I don't agree with. I am going to focus on buying locally, and searching out organically produced fruits and vegetables, and avoid all artificial ingredients and mysteriously numbered coded ingredients wherever possible.

    If you've inspired me, I'm sure you will have inspired everyone else who has read this blog, and little by little, those ripples will spread, as do the ripples when even a tiny pebble is dropped into a pond.

    You have changed so many lives by sharing your story so honestly and openly in this blog. To say thank you doesn't seem enough.

    Wishing you many, many more years filled with happiness, good health, love and laughter.
    2278 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3566824
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    You are an awesome inspiration to all!
    Keep up the good fight Wendy and continue to look forward to your future.
    God bless you!
    2296 days ago
    Your progress is just awesome, Wendy. You are such a fighter and keep on inspiring people with your story. So glad we met and have the opportunity to keep getting to know each other.

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    2298 days ago
    An amazing story, Wendy. Glad you posted it. Congratulations on your determination and hard work!
    2298 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11639954
    Wendy what a long road you've traveled so glad your thinking of ALL your years to come. Thanks for sharing your journey and the renewed hope and joy for you and your family.

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    2300 days ago
    Dear, dear Wendy! What an absolute inspiration you are!

    emoticon For writing all of that! You are a trus survivor and I am so happy for you!

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    2300 days ago
    Wow what a magnificent fighting spirit you have. Go Wendy. My inspiration.
    2300 days ago
    thank you, it is lovely to read your kind words. After writing this I feel like I have let go. Yes, it happened to me but I AM STILL STANDING
    2300 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are such an inspiration - you just keep coming back swinging harder - way to go!
    2300 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14903239
    So glad you did this blog! You are such a strong, courageous woman!! I am sorry you have went through so much and I sure hope that all the cancer is gone. But, with your positive attitude, I am sure whatever comes next you are going to face it like a trojan! So proud of you for all the changes you are making and for sticking with it and with SP through it all. So glad to have met you and glad we are here to support each other through it all-good and bad. I have faith all is going to work out for you! Like you said take each day at a time and enjoy it to the fullest!! Whatever works to lose the weight and get healthier is fine in my book!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2301 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/10/2015 12:48:19 AM
    emoticon WENDY emoticon
    2301 days ago
    thank you Nola.
    2301 days ago
  • RDEE22
    Thanks Wendy. emoticon story. What an inspiration emoticon
    2301 days ago
    so right Barb, I do love me more each and every day. It is a pleasure getting out fo bed to see waht the day is going to bring.

    As you know (we been friends for msot of this journey) it hasn't always been easy but I am still here and still trying.

    I have always said this is not just about the weight loss it is everything else. I know I am now a beautiful woman (where it counts) inside and out.

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    2301 days ago
    My dear Wendy, I am sooooooo very glad that you have shared your story. The major take always from this are:

    love yourself enough to DO it -- do what it takes to be healthy! even when it's not easy!

    change is NOT easy, but the rewards are so great! they are life-changing. they won't happen overnight, but they HAPPEN!

    we don't just change physically, there's emotional and spiritual changes as well.

    You have NO idea how many people you have inspired by telling your story.

    Thank you!

    2301 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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