My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

02 March 2013


I had to take my prenatal glucose tolerance test yesterday. It was actually a lovely hour spent alone. I got to sit in a quiet room in a reclining chair. I read my book for an hour. I'd take that test every week if they let me. Except, the phlebotomist made a bit of a mess. First, she couldn't find a vein. Then, when she finally did, she thought she was done after filling one vial. Then she read the order again, and realized she needed TWO vials. So, after I'd stood up and gotten ready to go, she had me sit back down, poked around in the other arm, filled her vial ... and later I realized she left a nice little bruise. Oh well ...

But that's not my point! For the 24 hours prior to the test, I was supposed to keep my sugar intake super low. Which got me thinking about sugar. Its all over the place now, how much sugar you should be eating daily, etc. etc. But I admit I didn't really know what the recommended daily amount actually is. So I decided to find out.

According to, the average woman shouldn't eat any more than 30 grams (6 Tbsp) of added sugar per day. For the average man, I believe its 40 grams. (Added sugar does NOT include the natural sugars found in fruits.) To put this in perspective, a regular 12-ounce can of Coca Cola has 39 grams of added sugar. Yikes! I'd have to eat nothing but broccoli for a day and a half to offset a single soda.

But there can be a lot of added sugar in all kinds of things, regardless of whether or not they are sweet. I ate a granola bar today that had 12 added grams of sugar. And then, surprisingly enough, my Trader Joe's peanut butter cups only have 6 grams each. Yes, they're small, but one is usually enough chocolate to get me through the afternoon. Fat free milk has 12 grams per cup! I usually only drink half a cup a day (in my morning smoothie), but before now I wouldn't even have thought to check milk's sugar content. Then there's the cream in my coffee, the yogurt in my smoothie, and my morning glass of cranberry juice. So much to find out. Needles to say, most days I probably reach that 30 gram mark by lunch. Not good, Heidi. Not good.

So, for a while, I'm going to start paying attention to my added sugar intake. I'm curious, in a normal day, how much I eat. And I'm curious if, with a few changes, I can consistently keep it within range. I'm sure its possible! I know I'll at least be thinking twice about that soda with lunch!

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