In the spring of 2003, I was diagnosed with a condition called Dermatomyositis. I was an "odd" case (although, the condition itself is quite rare and they don't have many cases to pull from) and my treatment was extreme from the moment of diagnosis. I was treated with intense rounds of steroids and pill form chemo (check out that warning! scary stuff). The condition in each patient is unique, but one thing all documented cases had in common was cancer. Each patient either had intestinal, breast, or ovarian cancer. I had to visit quite a few specialists for routine screenings, and during a colonoscopy they found cancerous polyps in my intestines. Since I was already taking Methotrexate (chemo), they just upped my dosage to combat the cancer polyps (all 10 polyps were removed, but they wanted to make sure they wouldn't return).
In February 2007 I was deemed "in remission." YAY!
All that said, I have never quite felt the same since "getting sick." Before I was diagnosed I was quite the athlete. I played all kinds of sports, and lived on a farm so there was plenty of activity to keep me busy. Once my muscles started to weaken (the progressed state of my condition is a severe decrease in muscle strength due to cancerous-like marbling in the muscles) it was actually painful to do prolonged activity. I don't want to bore you with the details, but my life changed dramatically, and has never quite been the same.
If you are interested in any "light" reading and wonder what prolonged use of medicinal steroids due to the body and psyche, just google Prednisone side effects. NOT pretty stuff.
I've always felt like there was something off about my body. I gained over 65lbs while on the steroids, and haven't been able to lose more than 15 of it. Before getting sick I was bigger girl, but I always had an hourglass figure. I never had to deal with having a belly before, but that's where I gained the most weight. (the Prednisone causes what's referred to as "truncal gain") Exercise (in the form of running like a hamster in a wheel) and diet (as suggested by several friends and blogs that I follow) has not been working like I'd hoped.
BUT, hope is on the horizon again! I met with Hilary Horton Brown (Boise State University athletics dept nutritionist and personal trainer) about my needs. She is a cancer survivor herself (YAY!!!!) and totally understands the side effects my body has experienced. She is intrigued by my medical history and is making it her personal goal to get me back to a healthy state while righting the wrongs that are prevalent in my current body. Woo hoo!
I am so excited/relieved to have help! I have been floating along for 4 years trying to figure out a system that works, and obviously haven't been successful. I look forward to updating this blog/journal with positive changes in both my body and psyche soon!