My Response to The “After” Myth by Can Anybody Hear Me?

Phenomenal blog post about accepting yourself where you are and learning to take things one day at a time.

Before I was diagnosed with colon cancer, I had a very different relationship with my body. It’s best illustrated by how I felt when I lost 18 pounds due to my chemotherapy. I was elated. I felt so good about myself, because I was thinner, starving and sick, but still thinner.

I remember thinking that I could use this time to lose weight, as I had a very difficult time eating anything. The logic of this indicates that I preferred to be nauseated and unwell. Was losing weight preferable to fighting my cancer? For a week or two, it was. Yes, you read this correctly–being thinner was just as or more important than fighting my cancer. That was difficult to write. It’s hard to accept that something as superficial as a number on a scale was just as important as surviving cancer.

On the day when I was my thinnest (and the sickest), I received 5 letters and packages from other MRKHers. Your love helped me realize that the most important thing was that I survived this. It brings tears to my eyes right now. You all truly saved my life.

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Your letters spurred me to make an appointment with a nutritionist who specializes in cancer cases. She helped me see that it was important for me to stabilize my weight, to eat what I could and to modify my diet during treatment. For the first time in my life, a nutritionist told me not to lose weight; she gave me permission to eat the foods I needed to get through treatment. Following her advice, I quickly put on the the 18 pounds I lost.

When the weight came on so quickly, I knew that I had been starving myself due to my inability to eat. That led me to acknowledge that starvation was NOT a good way to fight cancer. I needed as much strength as possible to get through this.

The physical changes that occur when you no longer have a colon are real. Now that I’m done with my chemo, I need to see the nutritionist again to get advice on how to eat with this new body, this new body that I am thankful for every day. I am thankful to be here. I am thankful for every scar, every imperfection. I also realize there is no after. There is just accepting where you are, and taking one step forward.

Thank you to everyone who helped me through this journey. I would not have made it without you.

Can Anybody Hear Me?

DURING

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to…

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2 responses to “My Response to The “After” Myth by Can Anybody Hear Me?

  1. Oh Amy, this made my tears flow..I had no idea you felt that way about your body. I always say that beauty comes from within, and that is what makes a person beautiful. My boyfriend was 308 pounds when we started dating, I did not care because he is amazing no matter what size he is 🙂 And you my dear sister is beautiful insiden and out !!! Im glad you feel better with yourself, and so so happy you survived cancer . Sending you a sisterhug ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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