Tuesday, June 08, 2010
I've been letting stress and worry get to me too much again. I need to remember to take more moments just to breath and relax.
I had chemo last Tuesday, so I have been dealing with the side effects of that, some of which make my IBS flare up. Haven't felt very good since Sunday because of the IBS symptoms, feeling kind of crampy and bloated.
One thing that is stressing me out is insurance again. As those of you who regularly read my blogs know, my COBRA ran out in May and I got applied for, and got approved for, new health insurance from BCBS of Michigan. They have a 180 day waiting period for pre-existing conditions, (mine is stage IV breast cancer). But, if you can supply proof of previous continuous coverage, and fill out an application, you can get that waiting period waived.I filled out that paperwork and sent them my proof of coverage on May 10. Well, I was looking over my EOB statements online yesterday, and it was obvious no one has approved my application yet; when I saw the amounts I may be billed for the chemo, each treatment was between $3000-$4000; it literally made me sick to my stomach to see those amounts!
There is no reason why should deny waiving the waiting period for me; I sent them the paperwork 4 weeks ago, someone should have processed it by now! I immediately wrote them a letter about it, and made copies of all the paperwork I sent them the first time. My next step will be to contact the state insurance commissioner. It just makes me so angry; I pay my premiums on time, and I did everything else I was supposed to do; why can't they get the things they need to do on their end done in a timely manner?
I had a hard day and a rough night with my IBS symptoms; most of it is still from the chemo, but stress aggravates my condition also, and it certainly made it worse last night.
I had my Zometa today, and I talked to the nurse in the office; I feel better about things after talking to her. She told me not to worry, it will get straightened out, and they will do what they can on my end to help me. They have an office manager that really kicks butt when patients need help with insurance issues. I gave her a note to take back with her explaining my situation. (My oncologist's office isn't actually here in town, he comes to our hospital's specialty clinic on Tuesdays, so it's just him and his two oncology nurses that are here). She also told me that BCBS is very slow on taking care of a lot of things. I felt better after talking to her; I know things should work out, I just need to have faith and stop stressing about it. The stress isn't helping my health issues any.
So, I'm going to just try to relax and chill out today, and recover from the Zometa. I need to set the insurance worries aside for at least a few days, and just focus on making myself feel better.
I'm going to get some chicken out of the freezer to thaw for dinner tomorrow. Between being busy with the gardening in the last couple of weeks, and not feeling good from chemo, I've been relying too much on frozen entrees instead of cooking "real food"; I'm sure the sodium from those meals is not helping my bloating issues. I'm going to get back into doing some real cooking this week!
Last night, I didn't actually cook, but I did make myself a healthy chef salad for dinner. I also made a yummy dessert from one of my Hungry Girl cook books; it was also in a newsletter; I'll post the link at the end of my blog which has the complete recipe.
I made a Quickie Caramel Custard; used plain non-fat yogurt instead of the Greek yogurt called for in the recipe (I've tried the Greek yogurt and just don't like it), then all I did was add some Splenda, some cinnamon, and some fat free caramel syrup (didn't have the kind called for the recipe). It was very good! Low calorie but very decadent tasting.
Monday, June 07, 2010
I have been having a bad couple of days, and I was already to pour it out in my blog today; a lot of it just plain feeling sorry for myself.
But then I learned some very sad news; one of my Spark friends, and a member of the Surviving Cancer team I am on, has passed away. She died way too young from breast cancer.
Her name was Dawn, also known by her user name Damisa.
She was so brave and courageous! I admired her fighting spirit as I read her blogs. I really believed that she was going to beat this.
Learning that news today suddenly made all my problems I was going to complain about very small. Living with cancer, you never know when things will change, for better or worse. It's a reminder of how fragile life really is, whether you have cancer or not.
Damisa, I know you are up there in Heaven now, and no longer in pain. I will miss you so much, but when it's my turn to go, you are one of the first people I'm going to look for there.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
These recipes are from the Hungry Girl Newsletter; they are basically variations of scrambled eggs microwaved in a coffee mug. The link for the complete recipes is here: www.hungry-girl.com/week/weeklydetai
I have been trying the different recipes over the past 2-3 weeks. They are all made with egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, but instead, I used a whole egg plus 2 egg whites for each one. I also made mine in an oversized mug, one that I normally use for soup. I found it a lot easier for stirring that way and didn't have to worry about anything spilling over while cooking.
A couple of recipes also called for Dijonaisse, which isn't available in my area. It's basically a mix of mayo and Dijon mustard anyway, so I made my own using Miracle Whip Light and regular Dijon mustard.
All the recipes turned out well, and the eggs nice and fluffy. You spray the mugs with cooking spray before filling, and they take less than 2 minutes to cook.
EGG MUG CLASSIC
This is the basic recipe, just the eggs and a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese.
EGG MUG FLORENTINE
This has Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese, fresh spinach, Dijonaise, and a little yogurt in it. The sauce is mixed separately and added after the eggs are cooked; very good!
EGG MUG BURGER-RAMA
Laughing Cow Swiss cheese used in this one again, and also a slice of fat-free American cheese, plus one Boca Burger patty, and ketchup. I used the Boca crumbles instead of the patty, since the patty gets chopped up anyway. I never tried ketchup on eggs before, wasn't sure I'd like it, but it was very good.
Laughing Cow cheese again, with ham, cut up toast, and shredded fat free cheddar cheese. I made this one this morning. Didn't have any ham, so I used 2 tablespoons of pre-cooked real bacon crumbles. The flavor kind of made me think of BLT sandwich. I'm thinking some diced tomato would be good in this.
EGG MUG LORRAINE
Another good one; Laughing Cow Swiss cheese, crumbled bacon, onion and Dijionaise.
EGG MUG MEXICALI
This is my favorite of all the egg mug recipes I tried. Boca burger crumbles, shredded fat free cheddar cheese, and salsa. I think black beans would be good in this too.
All recipes make one serving.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
I was up early again this morning; not quite as early as yesterday though, but felt a lot more rested today.
I wanted to get to the greenhouse as soon as they opened up at 9am, to pick up my free flat of zinnias. (Our official city flower is the zinnia, something that was voted on way back in the 30's). Anyway, once a year the city hands out 200 coupons for a free flat of zinnias, to residents within the city limits. I got there shortly after 9am to pick mine up, there was a line of cars already but was moving quickly.
Had to make a quick trip to Walmart to get a bag of top soil and potting soil, of course, while I was in the garden center I couldn't resist looking at the plants! I bought a planter of hens and chicks which were on clearance, and a Gerbana daisy.
I planted some of the zinnias on the long side of my porch.
The leftover zinnias I planted in a planter. My dad stopped over, and he helped me get the bags of dirt out of my car trunk. He also helped me dig the holes for the lilies I bought yesterday in my perennial bed. I re-potted one of my coleous that I had in a pot with some other plants, it was wilting, not sure why, it wasn't from lack of water, but I thought maybe it would do better in a pot by itself and a location in the shade. I planted the scented geranium I bought at the farmer's market yesterday in it's place. I also planted my candy corn vine; in a location by my front steps; hoping to train the vine to grow around the railing there. I also re-potted my sweet potato vine to a larger pot.
My tomato plant is growing fast, and has several blossoms on it. Cucumber plant isn't doing too bad either.
Here's a pic of part of my perennial bed. Some of the plants there won't have flowers on them for a few more weeks yet.
You can probably tell from the dried grass in front we really need some rain!
One of the daisies I bought this year has a flower on it already.
The weather was perfect today, in the 70's and a light breeze. I worked in the shade though as much as I could, and as always, made sure I put my sunblock on.
I have two neighbors who also got the free zinnias; we all had a nice break from our work when we were talking and comparing notes as to where we were going to plant our flowers.
I'm tired now, but not exhausted. A little sore, really worked some of the stomach muscles today. Every year, I can't wait to start planting all the flowers and stuff, but it feels good when that part is done too, and all I have to worry about is the weeding and the watering. Looks like we may get some rain tonight and tomorrow, so I might not have to do that chore again til Monday.
Just relaxing right now, it's starting to get dark. Enjoying the view of the bright yellow finches at the feeders just outside my window, they are such beautiful birds. It's been a perfect June day!
Friday, June 04, 2010
Last night, I decided to go to bed early so I could get to the Friday farmer's market early, they open up at 8am on Friday's. Wanted to get there while the selection of plants was the best. I went to bed early last night, tried to anyway; ended up with a headache and had to take my migraine meds, and I also had to take one of my sleeping pills.
Our farmer's market is in the city hall parking lot two days per week, Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings. If I didn't go today, I wouldn't be able to go again til next Friday, since I have my Zometa treatment on Tuesday.
I had my alarm set for 6:30am, but didn't get up til after 7am. Part of it was feeling lazy, and still being tired, but I also had my cat Timmy curled up next to me, purring away. I just wanted to stay in bed and cuddle him, and not disturb him. But finally I did get up.It took me awhile to feel awake once I got up, but I left the house around 8:30am. Parked my car in the lot nearby the Farmer's Market and walked over to the bank to get some cash out of the ATM.
I bought a few lilies for my perennial bed, and also a scented geranium, and also a plant I had never seen before, called a candy corn vine. I won't be planting anything until Saturday or Sunday though; I'm still feeling muscle pain from my Neulasta shot, and tired from getting up so early. We have rain coming anyway; possibly some severe storms this afternoon. It will be nice if the front coming through cuts down the humidity. It was foggy when I left the house today; not hot out, only in the low 70's, but still feels sticky outside.
This is the candy corn vine.
I put the plants in the car, and walked to the Family Dollar store that was in the same parking area. I bought a couple more plant pots and a couple of tomato cages. Then, after another trip to deposit my purchases into the car, I walked over to a couple of nearby little gift stores, where I took my time looking around and bought some gifts for two friends who have birthdays this month.
I was tired after that trip into town, but happy with what I found today. Hoping to get to bed early again tonight so I can get my free flat of zinnias at 9am when the greenhouse opens (that was the coupon I picked up from city hall on Tuesday that I blogged about earlier in the week.) Hoping to get a start on getting those planted; since they will go into the ground instead of containers, I'm not going to try to get them all planted in one day, I'd be pretty sore. I also need to plant the the things I bought at the farmer's market.
I'd love to get out for a walk this afternoon if there is a break in the rain, but even if I can't, I did get some exercise with the walking around I did while shopping.
Just have to share one more picture; this is that cat that belongs to one of my neighbor's that was "helping" me plant some flowers the first part of the week; I caught her hiding in my hostas watching a squirrel in one of my trees last night.
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