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180 degrees to sad

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This is a picture of Eileen a couple of hours after surgery in May. We hit the 1000 level on Jumbline 2.

Never a dull moment in my life.

So ... we went to Vancouver for E's little surgery and E's Mom was here for a month and she left a couple of Fridays ago.

Now, after the pathology report and the doctors holidays, the non-cancerous tumor in E's leg... is now cancer, a rare low-grade soft tissue sarcoma, which is high up in one of three left adductor muscle, ( high up in the inner thigh). This is 180 degrees from where we thought we would be today. Treatment includes radiation of 50 gy at 2gy/day for the next 5-6 weeks, a 4-6 week rest period, and at the end of September another surgical procedure, far more complex than the surgery in May (for which E easily recovered in a few weeks). This next surgery, which will lay her up for months, and has a 30% chance of failure, is to be far "bigger". The plan is to save her leg and her life.

It has been only a few days since we learned all these details. Now we are in shock.

I want to cry all the time. But the logical me is gearing up for action, for the battle ahead. I am E's partner, advocate, helper, organizer, and I just love her so much. I've got file folders for print and electronic, calendars, lists of contacts, and a white board. We will get a plan, some contingencies plans too. I'm going to become a soup expert. E is finishing up school, writing reports for a week and then it's officially summer vacation. But this year our vacation will be going for radiation treatment here in Victoria and preparing for surgery... which will be in Vancouver, not in Victoria, and this complicates things even more, of course.

It could be worse. Although I have not practiced Zumba, or MJE, or Wii Walk It Out, or the stationary bike, or the bands and balls, regularly, in any way for almost 3 weeks, my calorie intake is staying under control and I'm not gaining. I'm weeding and fussing in the garden, not even walking that much and I'm still reaching almost 10,000 steps/dy. I know I have to find my way back to the physical me of last month, soon.

It could be worse. Summer vacation is almost here. E is strong and beautiful and a bit of a workaholic. Any other time of year she would worry about taking time away from her classrooms. As it is, she will have lots of time away from class after surgery in September.

It could be worse. If this thing has already metastasized, (the odds are low) then there will likely be chemo involved too. More diagnostic scans are planned for this and next week.

It could be worse. E doesn't feel sick. She has just turned 50, this is still young. If we had ignored getting healthy these past couple of years, mostly the last year ... maybe we would be less able to fight this fight.

It could be worse. We would have to travel to Vancouver for radiation but it's not required and we can stay in Victoria.

It could be worse. We could be alone and not have each other.

It could be worse.

We don't do the fate thing very well. We query "why" and come up with multiple solutions, including pesticides which are everywhere, and strange chemicals E worked with as a geologist, it could even be genetic or all of the above. We may never know and that's ok too.

I've heard that fighting cancer requires a certain state of mind. I can do strong and positive, at least on the outside, but, at the moment the inside is feeling bruised and I just want to cry.
It must be possible to be both positive and devastated at the same time. And this is where I am today.

Thanks for all your support. Let's rock this day.

hugs all round


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/15/2012 10:35PM

    Thinking of you both with intense well wishes. I don't know if the state of mind to fight cancer can be precisely defined and it certainly cannot be prescribed---but I think you have it with your clarity of vision and your ability to see that "It could be worse". emoticon

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CODYG123 6/14/2012 3:12PM

    Thank you for your well wishes and support. There is soooooooooooooo much to do, so many phone calls to make, so many thoughts to process, so many lists to complete and checkboxes to solve. I am hoping we can zen out within 10 days and get a groove on for the duration of her treatment. ie: less stress.
I am writing this from the Victory Room. ;) emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/14/2012 3:13:47 PM

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SNUZSUZ 6/14/2012 12:13PM

    My prayers are with you both also!

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GARBLEDEEGOOK 6/13/2012 9:26PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We're here when you need to vent.

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 6/13/2012 1:40PM

    Cody I will keep both you and Eileen in my prayers, you are very similar to me, I do not do the fate thing either, but query everything, and everything must have a reason, I feel however believe you can be strong and positive on the outside, but hurt and crying on the inside, I understand perfectly, take care of you both and lean on each other for strength and look to God he is there for both of you!!

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BLUE_KARMA 6/13/2012 1:28PM

    I'll keep you both in my prayers.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SABRINA1024 6/13/2012 12:08PM

    prayers are with you both. be strong....

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Catching Up - Almost May

Sunday, April 29, 2012

There is so much going on right now... full plate and it's not even calories.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.-- John Lennon

First, I'm still in the 130's, 132.6 this morning. I can't seem to get rid of these last 10 pounds, but I'm not quitting.

Second, E has to go to Vancouver for surgery to remove a tumor in her leg. It's not cancer, but it has a life of it's own and everyone wants it out. That happens on Friday, and with tests the day before we need to leave home on Thursday. So, E's Mom thought it would be a good time for a visit to the west coast and she arrived today, from Nova Scotia. She is staying for a month!

I burned a gazillion calories doing housework yesterday.

I have Zumba in my life now and it's all good. I'm using the Wii Zumba 2 game to burn calories and have fun. I even went to a couple of Zumba classes! The first one nearly killed me, even my fingernails felt like they had had a workout. The next time I went to the Zumba Gold class. Oh my supernovas it was great fun. If you haven't tried Zumba... go do it right now!

I'm keeping up with about 10,000 steps a day. March and a good part of April were not so good due to getting sick and then going on holidays, but I'm getting back in the swing and I'm determined. See my SP front page for more details on my virtual walk to Newfoundland.

I've still got this crazy painful frozen shoulder. I get another MRI guided cortisone shot in two weeks and another one a few weeks after that. I'm also getting some intense massage therapy. I think it's helping a little. I can hardly move the arm without a ton of pain but I'm trying not to think about it.

I wish I didn't use the word I so much.

I have a gorgeous new azalea and I'm wondering if I should plant it in a big pot or directly into the garden.

The garden... egads there is another story.

Well, Mom-in-law calls.

I hope you, my SP friends, are all well and know that I love to keep up with your happenings. Just don't forget about me because I haven't forgot about you. Hugs all round.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSIFISH 4/30/2012 8:38PM

    I've been loving the zumba for wii too, and I am stuck in the 130's and not moving a BIT either. Oh well, I'm keeping happy and busy, and it sounds like you are too!

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 4/29/2012 11:53PM

    wow too funny your mil visits for nova scotia for a month and we are leaving for nova scotia for a month lol!! I have been having problems with my shoulder also, so exercise has not been as good!!

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The sun is shining and I'm going for a walk.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

After the freezing came out of the mri guided cortisone to shoulder injection, I took a couple of days to feel myself again. Friday wasn't as bad a pain day as I feared, although it was bad I was prepared. I had planned to take it easy that day, but Saturday was non-stop activity. There was a dinner out at the pub, with 50 other geocachers, where the best shepherds pie on the planet was devoured, with loads of yummy wine. ;) Earlier that day, after getting downtown early to browse the stores and hit chinatown for lunch, we were at the theater watching the school production of Guys and Dolls. It was a whirlwind day in my new size 6 pants and new shoes. I had an active day on Sunday too, 15000+ steps mostly WIO.

Also on the weekend, I did up the button on my old skinny jeans. Sheesh, it's been a long haul to get here and I'm not there yet. Though the button is done up it will be a few pounds before enough circulation is allowed.

By Monday I felt well enough to really get some distance under my feet resulting in an all-time record day (since December when fitbit came into my life) of 21575 steps! This included an hour of WIO, a walk around the neighbourhood, and 66 minutes; a full-length class of Wii Zumba2. I also spent 30 minutes doing program #5 on the stationary bike, but that isn't counted as steps.

I kind of crashed on Tuesday and didn't have the energy to get past 9565 steps.

Today I'm going to hit the park before 9:30am for a 3km walk.

Also today, I got on the scale and ... ta da..... 135.6! I am so close to that last 10 pounds I can hardly believe it. However, I've learned to not allow myself emotional energy about a number. So, it just is what it is. ;) ;)

Here is my 30 day distance graph in kilometers:

Food wise, except for dinner out once in February and once in March, so far, I'm sticking pretty close to 1300 cals/day over 5 or 6 meals/snacks. I load up my morning and lunch with protein and by the time dinner is finished I'm done eating for the day which is a good thing because, like many others, I have a death wish to snack before bed.

So, that's what's news with me and I look forward to hearing all the news with you, my spark friends, without whom the skinny jeans would never have happened.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOSPELCLOWN 3/18/2012 11:18AM

    Good on you! Keep up the good and healthy work.

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RICOCHETBEAR 3/7/2012 2:02PM

    sounds like you are on fire and on track! good for you

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MISSIFISH 3/7/2012 1:41PM

    I'm giving an exam at the moment, and trying to be good and quiet. Then I read your blog, and hit the part about "circulation" with the button closed on your skinny jeans, and let out the most embarrassing squeak/laugh. I distracted my students. Bad Missifish! Bad Missifish!

Too funny. Thanks for the giggle. I know you'll be circulating with that button closed soon!

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 3/7/2012 1:38PM

    Way to go, that is so awesome, you are doing great work, nice to hear your shoulder is a little better!!
Take care

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Mar 1, 2012 Update

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The sun is shining and i'm going to relax today. Not sure how that is going to happen but I'm going to do my best.
I started the morning with a drive to the hospital for an appointment with a radiologist, an MRI, and a few cc of freezing and cortisone pumped into my left shoulder. This was the second go round, maybe it will work this time.

Back at home... It's a beautiful day here. Out my window the birds are chattering non-stop. And some crow wants to be the top talker. The crocuses, snowdrops, helleborus are in bloom everywhere. Indian plum is blooming too and and daffodils are popping. Vantreight Farm is looking for daff pickers. Tis the season to start the Victoria flower count.

But I have to take it easy today. No digging, no running, maybe some stationary bike if I put my arm in a sling. I need to relax. Maybe SP blogging will help that happen.

Progress... Today I'm at 137.2. The goal I set last fall for today was 135. Crap, I didn't make it.
Since our wonderful night out for dinner, on Feb14, I've been loosing and gaining the same 2 pounds over and over. And for the past three days it's been stuck.

Plateau causes:
Stress. Last week was a nightmare, with the strata work, the strata drama and the strata ick, I wanted to poke the guy in the eye and tell him to smell the s***! Now the agm preps for mar 27th. I'm secretary, I get to do tons of work. Stratas are a great idea, but sometimes it sucks.

Exercise. In the past two weeks I was pushing myself a little bit less. And in the last 4 days my total fitness minutes dropped dramatically.

Food. My office is in the same space as the kitchen and healthy snacks are right there. But too many healthy snacks is a problem.

Burn out. After seven months of working it I may want a holiday, but maybe that's not such a good idea.

So, I'm stuck here, high on all the cortisone pumped into my shoulder this morning and all I have to do for the next few hours is relax.

I don't think blog writing is particularly relaxing but let's just see where this takes me until lunchtime. If I'm blogging I'm not snacking.

Yea, this left arm is still problematic. I don't even have a good diagnosis except "lots of inflamation in the capsular area." I started a course of massage a couple of weeks ago. This is not your typical back rub. It's performed by a skilled practitioner who hopes to release tightness caused by the muscles trying to protect the damaged shoulder. She has magic hands and although my shoulder is still sore she has corrected the part in my neck which now allows me to turn my head and look over my shoulder! Yea!

I'm feeling pretty good right now. The shoulder is nicely frozen.;) I could go and dig up something, actually the way I feel right now is that I could just about do anything. But the shoulder is frozen and it's not a good idea to push myself beyond limits because when the freezing comes out... likely sometime tonight, then it hurts, alot, for three days. At least that's what happened last time, when after the injection I spent the afternoon christmas shopping because I could move my arm without the pain. But I paid for those carefree moments the next day. This time, I'm just going to relax today.

It was 150 cal snack time: I had two cracker jack rice cakes with a small smear of light peanut butter and our homemade strawberry freezer jam. yummy.

I wanted to note the fun I finished last week with the SparkPeople Wii Walk It Out Team. It was the Dude Ranch Challenge since Jan 1 clues and activities were a part of the game/challenge. I ended up in the Hikers team (very appropo) and met some lovely women who can rock that game! It was exciting for me because I only got the game in November and in the beginning I could only do 4,000 steps at a time. But I kept at it and now i can complete 10,000 to 12,000 steps at one time. That's progress!
So thanks to my Hiker Team mates for being there for the sore feet, the blisters and the tears. You rock. And by the way, we Hikers won a Silver Medal!

I think I need another long term plan. My six month plan from last summer worked pretty good, but planning is an ongoing activity and maybe there is a way I can shake things up to get myself motivated and moving for the next 6 months. I'm guessing the last ten pounds do not come off as easily as the first ten pounds. (sigh) E says that fat has been stuck longer.

On Saturdaymorning we are going downtown to look for a new jacket and maybe some shoes and a trip through the bookstore. We are going out to lunch in chinatown. Then we are going to the school play "Guys and Dolls" a matinee at a large theater in town. It's always great! In the evening we head out to Six Mile Pub for a geocaching event wrap up. The event was all February and on Saturday prizes and winners will find each other.

So, it's busy, busy, busy and I'm finding on excuses for not staying on track. And the track is looking a little rusty. But I don't want to grow daisies and get stuck here.

I think I need a nap more than a blog, be back later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSIFISH 3/2/2012 7:23AM

    Oh, I hope the cortisone helps! Pain sucks. There, I said it.

The wii stepping thing sounds cool. Congrats on the silver!

By the way, being that close to a goal is not a fail. You'll get there!

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  Lucky dog; flowers already sprouting!? Nice. I'm looking at a pretty dreary backyard right now. LoL Enjoy the view for me :)

Take it easy on that shoulder; when I got my injection I was told to stay put for 2-3 days and then PT to rehab bc injections in themselves don't fix the problem, they just help with symptoms.

Missing your goal by two pounds hardly calls for the failure label; you are on the downward path and you'll figure out how to get back down it. I am reassessing my plan because now it's no longer the diet-like stage, but a lifestyle commitment.

emoticon emoticon

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 3/1/2012 4:07PM

    I can relate to shoulder problems sorry to hear you are in so much pain, I am not sure if you believe in natural supplements, but my doctor put me on a natural supplement called inflanox, for inflammation, I take 2 capsules a day and it is helping with my inflammation, just a thought, it was great fun walking it out with you and a silver medal was great, hope we can do it again soon

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RICOCHETBEAR 3/1/2012 3:17PM

    Sorry to hear about shoulder problems, they can last a long time so I hope for your sake it is not for very long.

I noticed you said that you said you are finding excuses for not stayong on track. That is when you need to seriously rethink what you are doing. It is either boring yourself with its repetitious nature in diet and exercise or you have forgoten why you wanted to get to the goal you are aiming for yourself.

See if there is a way you can shake-up and liven up your food choices, pep up the exercise with something new for your routines and revisit your original goals, revise them if you need to.

I understand the shoulder might be the cause of some of this, and that will be over soon and you will be fit again.
Boredom can still come into our lives even if we are "busy, busy, busy" as you stated, but it is up to us to spot that and change it up.

Good luck!

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Smoothies - The Not Chocolate Chocolate Shake

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The SparkPeople Cookbook is a big book with a wealth of information and inspiring stories. We jumped right in to the recipes and hope to blog about our experiences.

This week we are talking about Smoothies.

We learned SparkGuy likes a veggie smoothie and Coach Nicole likes to keep it simply fruity. Smoothies are fine as a snack and as a meal replacement, but count the calories going into it. One can quickly add unwanted and unnecessary calories using the wrong kind of juice and fruit.

We are very busy people and sometimes we just don't have the time for a sit down meal, so our "Not Chocolate Chocolate Shake" is our all time favorite go-to meal replacement smoothie. This smoothie looks and tastes like chocolate and there is no chocolate in it.

Here is the recipe:

"Eileen's Not Chocolate Chocolate Shake"
Serves 2, each serving is 14 oz. Calories = 216 per serving.

In a blender combine:

1 c. unsweetened apple juice
1 c. unsweetened almond milk
4 tbsp Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro-70 Powder
1 frozen, or not, sm/med banana (110g)
1 1/2 c. European Best Frozen Strawberries

Blend on high for 1 minute.

Pour into two tall glasses and enjoy. Yummy.

Today I finished my smoothie before Eileen finished hers. That was a first. I find brain-freeze to be very annoying and tend to let the smoothie mellow. However, today I was seriously hungry and the smoothie tasted seriously fabulous.

Find it and Rate it in SparkRecipes here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GARBLEDEEGOOK 2/11/2012 11:15PM

  nom nom nom :) I'll be investigating this :) Thx

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ACIMPEGGY 1/29/2012 2:57PM

    I'll need to google the location and definition of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro-70 Powder, but I will do it.

Remember carob powder? That was supposed to taste like chocolate, too. To me it was like chickory is supposed to be a replacement for coffee...

I haven't bought the cookbook cuz I feel the recipes and stories are here on the site. Of course, the benefit would be you don't have to search if you have the book...they're all right there!


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MISSIFISH 1/15/2012 4:17PM

    How does that taste like chocolate??? I'm dying to understand the food chemistry at work here.

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DEBBIER9 1/15/2012 4:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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