I had a follow-up appointment last Thursday at MD Anderson with Dr. Mansfield and the nutritionist. This was the second trip to Houston since returning home March 4, after surgery on February 21. I got another good report. There were a few minor issues/concerns:
- Even though I would like to continue the weight loss, Dr. Mansfield is slightly concerned and would like for it to stabilize or at least slow down. I lost 15 pounds the first 2 weeks, then have lost about 2 pounds a week since. As I went into this overweight, I am good with that and honestly, would like to lose another 30 pounds or so. He's OK with that, but just wants to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.
- My protein levels are a little low; not bad but a little less than what he would prefer. So I need to figure out how to increase my daily protein intake. I make sure I have protein with every meal and snack, but I'm not doing as good a job as I was in the beginning with having protein between food (such as a protein smoothie) and I often skip an evening snack. I need to get better about an afternoon and/or evening protein drink, as well as an evening snack. Sometimes we don't eat supper until 7:00 or so and then I don't want to eat again before going to bed. I need to get better about eating something.
- My hemoglobin count is at the low end of normal. The recommendation was to make sure that my gummie multivitamins contain iron. I'm going to have to get back with him on that one as I have looked at every bottle of gummie multivitamins in two stores and none of them contain iron. So I'll have to see if he has any other recommendations.
- It is time to start taking Vitamin B12. It can't be absorbed through the multivitamin or through normal pills, so I have two choices: a daily tablet dissolved under my tongue or a monthly injection. I chose to go with the daily tablet for now. I can always switch to the injections later if I decide I don't like the tablet.
- The surgeon really stressed I should do more walking so I don't get muscle atrophy and such. I was doing a good job of walking almost every evening before I went back to work. Since I've went back to work, I use up all of my energy during the day, so I don't feel like walking at night. He encouraged me to push myself a little and that the more I do, the more I will feel like doing. It will be hard, but I'm going to try to start walking again, especially evenings we don't have anything else going on. If we do have evening activities, I will still find it difficult to push myself that much, at least for now.
- The night before my appointment, I noticed some spots on my tongue, like the top coating was off. I thought there was a chance it was some sort of nutrient deficiency, so I asked about it. The doctor immediately identified it as thrush. He gave me 3 different prescriptions to aggressively treat it, so I guess I'm glad I noticed before my appointment.
I don't have to go back to Houston for 6 months. He wants to check on me by phone a 4-6 week intervals in between, but I'm glad we get a break from a return trip. And that will put it in winter in Kansas, so a trip to Houston then may be pretty appealing.