Sunday, July 06, 2014
I just realized this weekend that I passed my 8 year "Spark-versary" on the 3rd of this month. I guess I have been so focused on dealing with my health issues and keeping track of all my medical appointments that the day had just slipped by me unnoticed.
This isn't going to be a blog with "profound words of wisdom"'; I've already been there and done that on past Sparkversaries. I'm also not going to go into my story of why I am here; you can read that on my Spark page if you are interested.
But I would like to take a moment to thank all of my Spark friends and my team mates on the various Spark teams I am on for all your support and encouragement over the years. You've shared my joys with me, such as when I reached my goal weight, and you encourage me to keep on pushing when it comes to my fitness minutes. You're prayers and support have also carried me through some tough times too, especially when I found out my cancer returned and spread to my bones, and when I lost my dad 3 years ago.
Whether you are one of my newest friends, or one who has been there since the beginning of my journey, I'm thankful for you all, and you are why I am still here after 8 years!
Even though I have been maintaining my goal weight for a few years now, I'm still sticking with Spark. A healthy weight is just one component of being healthy; I look at my life as a "work in progress", and I still have a lot to work on. With your help, I can do it!
Thursday, July 03, 2014
I had to end a 20 days in a row exercise streak yesterday because I had a "sick day".
Yesterday morning, I woke up with migraine, and nausea. Shortly after taking my thyroid and stomach meds, I ended up throwing up my dinner from the night before. I had an appointment at the pain clinic scheduled for 2pm, but I knew the way I was feeling, I wasn't going to make it, so I called and cancelled it, and got it rescheduled for the 28th (the earliest opening they had,) Then I took my migraine and nausea meds, went back to bed a little before 9am, and didn't get up again til almost 4pm.
I don't think the nausea and vomiting had anything to do with my headache; I'm sure it was a flareup of my gastroparesis. It was just an unfortunate coincidence that they happened at the same time.I still felt pretty "blah" when I got up this morning, but by early afternoon I was feeling a lot better, more like myself. I even got my workout in this afternoon.
Which brings me to the point of this blog. I don't feel disappointed because I broke my streak. It's more like "I exercised for 20 days in a row, Go Me!" With all the health issues I have had to deal with, I think 20 days in a row is pretty darn good. I had one day when I could only manage 10 minutes, but the rest of those workouts were at least 24 minutes long, and I had 13 workouts that were at least 30 minutes long. That is an improvement for me.
I am aiming next for a 14 day streak; since I have an endoscopy scheduled for the 17th, I won't be able to workout that day, but after that, I can try for a longer streak again.
And by the way, this time, I wasn't going to be getting injections at the pain clinic; it was just a followup appointment to check on me since having had the rhizotomy procedure done last month, so having to wait another 3 weeks for that appointment will not be a hardship for me.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
With another holiday coming up, for many that means get- togethers with friends and family, which can present a challenge when it comes to healthy eating, especially to those who are just starting their weight loss journey. It's much easier, (for me it is anyway) to manage a healthy diet at home where we are in control of what food we bring into the house, and how it is prepared. Family gatherings and other parties are bit harder when we often don't know what we will be eating until we get there.
I thought I would share a few tips that have helped me over the years.
It seems like with a lot of gatherings, the focus is on the food. I try to remember to focus on the people instead, and making it an occasion to socialize, instead of what I can fill my plate with. I make it a point to focus on the fun and conversation rather than the food. I am always telling myself, "I'm here for the people, not the food!"
If it's a potluck type of gathering, take advantage of that and bring a healthy dish to share. This time of year, with natures bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, it's not that hard to put together a healthy dish; almost everyone loves a fruit salad, a bowl of melon chunks, or a tray of raw veggies. Even if it's not a potluck, you can always ask the host if they would like you to bring a dish to pass.
Don't starve yourself before going either; when you do that, it makes it that much harder to avoid the temptation of going back for seconds or thirds. I still eat the day I am going to a party or gathering, but I eat light; that way I can still enjoy eating at the gathering but without being so hungry that I am just scarfing food down. And when it is time to fill my plate, I fill it with the healthier options first; that way I am not tempted to fill half my plate with something yummy but high calorie like potato salad.
If you are lucky enough to be near a beach, the woods, or other place with scenery, why not suggest an after dinner walk with a few guest or family members? Or get out the badminton or croquet set; it doesn't matter if no one is good at it, the point is to get moving. If the host is providing music, you can even try to get people dancing.
And even if you do end up eating too much, don't beat yourself up, and don't give up! I've slipped more than a few times on my way to my goal weight, and I know I am not the only one. Just make sure you get back on track with healthy eating and exercise the next day.
Now, have fun! And don't forget the sunblock, gotta stay safe in the sun too!
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I had my long awaited appointment with the hematologist this afternoon. He was running late today, so it was about 45 minutes past my appointment time when he finally got to me, but when he did, he took his time with talking to me. I don't mind so much a longer wait for a doctor if it's because he's giving his full attention to his patients and not trying to rush through to get to the next patient. (And if you regularly read my blogs, you know I always have a book or my Kindle with me.)
Anyway, he does not believe that I have an iron overload. He did 3 other test for the iron along with the one for the ferratin, and only the ferratin was high; the other tests were in the normal range. There are other things that can cause an elevated ferratin level besides iron overload, one of those things being inflammation. Mine could be inflammation from the bone mets and arthritis, and possibly some inflammation in my liver. The Abraxane I was on last year, and the Afinitor I am on now, can both cause inflammation of the liver. And knowing now that I also have some ulcers, that's yet another source of inflammation.
He does not want to put me on medication to lower the ferritan level if I don't really need it, because he said it's expensive, and one of the side effects of it is diarrhea; something I definitely don't need, with my IBS, and what I went through with that this past spring. For now, he will have my oncologist keep an eye on the iron levels and my liver, and if it looks like I am developing an iron overload then, he'll have me come back and see him. (And now that I have seen him once, if I do need to see him again, hopefully it won't be such a long wait to get in next time.)
I was kind of disappointed not to have a "simple fix" to my problem, but it's a relief to know that it's not an iron overload, as that can have some very serious effects on the heart and other organs.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Yesterday I had my followup appointment with my gastroenterologist, regarding the results of the tests I've recently had.
The colonoscopy and small bowel x-rays were normal. It sounds like what was causing my intestinal problems was just a bad flare up of my IBS.
The endoscopy though showed several ulcers in my stomach; all very small ones, but he is concerned both because there are so many of them, and because they had been bleeding at one point. They were not actively bleeding at the time he did the scope, but he could see trickles of blood on the stomach wall which indicated past bleeding. He is going to do another endoscopy on July 17th, to check them again, and he's hoping they will be healed by then.
He does not believe that any of medications caused them, he thinks mine are from stress. I don't feel I've been under any more stress than is normal lately; I mean, there isn't really any one big thing stressing me out, but I suppose if a lot of little things are causing stress, it can add up. I know my IBS is definitely triggered by stress. I can't say that the cancer is causing me a lot of stress right now, because I've been living with it for so long, it's not like it's a new problem for me, but maybe because my immune system is compromised because of the cancer, maybe my body isn't handling stress as well as it use to. I have no idea when those ulcers may have started; I wish I had thought to ask my doctor that yesterday.
He hasn't put me on any medication for them, because I'm already on Protonix for my acid reflux, so I just have to continue on with that, and stay away from foods that aggravate my condition.
I really haven't noticed any symptoms with the ulcers, since a lot of the symptoms are things I experience from time to time since I have GERD and gastroparesis. The only symptom I've had which is out of the ordinary for me is having nausea more often.
I'm not really alarmed or anxious about the ulcers, but it's just one more thing on my plate that I didn't need right now.
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