Sunday, March 06, 2011
Big, BIG NEWS this week... I spent Wednesday at medical appointments. The doctors told me I can go back to work in May. I am soooo psyched!
Iíve been Sparking with the intention of an eventual return to work, and Iím constantly looking at things from the point of view how I will adapt what works now (when I have very little energy). I figure if I can do it with little energy, I can do it once Iím back at work. A few lessons learned so far:
ē This week we found organic milk in glass bottles at FarmBoy. Iíve started using one of those bottles for my water Ė one before lunch and one after, and Iím sure to get my 64 oz per day. So Iíll put a bottle in my Ďreturn to workí stash.
ē My Ďstealth exerciseí that I do every time I go to the washroom will, of course, continue when I go back to work. Iíll also be taking the stairs one flight up or down to go to the washroom, instead of going on my floor.
ē I also want to take the stairs to my 6th floor office, so Iíll have to start Ďdoing stairsí at home (we have a two story house, with a basement) to build up the stamina. Hey, cardio, there you are!
ē Much easier for me to cook large batches and eat the same things for lunches, than get creative and try to do something fresh for each meal. Plus, I find leftovers taste better the second time around anyway!
ē Iíll be relying on hearty soups for lunches in the winter/cold or rainy weather, and salads during hot weather. I am not a fan of sandwiches every day, although once per week is ok.
ē Iíll have to develop a strategy for when co-workers want to go out for lunch. Some places around my work are very ok, but most are Italian so lots of carbs, cheese and sodium! Yum for the tastebuds, but not for the rest of me!
Aside from that, the leftovers of the cancer treatments will finally be tied up by end of September; that is... Iím adjusting (finally!) to the Tamoxifen and my energy is coming back. The Ďdog earsí are being removed in August/September once the edema is gone, and my toenails are being dealt with in April/May with minor surgeries. I canít wait to be able to wear socks and shoes! (Itís the little things that give me joy LOL!)
On another front, my son is playing soccer again this year, but is on a different team. Now that he has friends with licenses and cars, we wonít have to traipse to all the practices like we used to (actually, DH used to as I didnít have the stamina). I want to be able to go to all the games this year (except for out-of-town tournaments), especially since itís likely his last year of playing.
So yeah, things are definitely looking up. And how was YOUR week???
Monday, February 28, 2011
My priority is still recovery after completing my cancer treatments in November 2010. My metabolism has definitely changed, and my previous cancer, age and new meds are compounding that, so I need to reacquaint myself with my body and how I react to things. My first two goals therefore target my physical health, i.e. nutrition and exercise.
Iíve been slacking off on tracking food in the past few months, so I want to track food every day in March. With the change in my metabolism, I donít want to take anything for granted. Everything old is new again!
Iím aiming for a high protein/low carb diet because thatís whatís worked for me in the past. Iíll adjust weekly as I see how I react to it now. Obviously, this also means being more precise in my meal planning. Calorie target is 1500 /day (range between 1290 and 1640 cal/day; my caloric distribution looks something like this:
Breakfast about 300 cals
Snack about 100 cals
Lunch about 300 cals
Snack 100 calories
Supper about 600 calories
Snack 100 calories (with meds, before bed)
Keep sodium under 1500 mg/day
And, you know, WATER, WATER, WATER
Iíll have one Ďfreeí day per week, where tracking wonít be expected but where Iíll still make every effort to make wise food choices.
Tracking food isnít going to mean much unless itís combined with increasing my activities. Unfortunately, Iím limited by the state of my toenails (chemo side effect). I have minor surgeries scheduled in April/May to address that, but in the meantime Iím also gearing up to return to work, hopefully in May, after having been away for 1.5 years.
I want to do some cardio every day (SP says I need to burn 274 calories per day to reach my goals). Iíve bought a Leslie Sansone walking DVD and dancing to help with that. Iíll also continue with weight training with free weights, my stealth exercise when I go to the washroom, and my DH and I are looking into taking some Tai Chi classes (if I can do them barefoot).
One of my return-to-work goals is to take the stairs to my 6th floor office instead of taking the elevator.
I know I wonít have as much time once I return to work, but while I do have this extra time I want to spend some of it reading and responding to blogs and to discussion threads. I know Iíve greatly benefited from othersí blogs and messages, and learned and been encouraged so much. I want to continue that circle of support.
My energy levels are starting (I hope!) to regularize, so I want to consistently do 15 minutes per day of Zone work. I also want to complete the following projects:
1st (partial) week of March: Organize recipes for better access Ė this will be ongoing over the month as I plan my menus, and is a huge step in simplifying meal preparation for us
2nd week: Sort through and toss old spices; organize and label spice jars
3rd week (March break!): Scan Everglades slides before they deteriorate, pick a few to print and frame
4th week: finish painting the Ĺ bath reno (which I didnít do in January, nor in February!).
5th (partial) week: Organize my desk
REDISCOVERING MY PASSIONS
Music has always been a love, and Iíll continue with my piano playing and singing (just for me, nothing public!) Ė I want to re-learn Henry Manciniís arrangement of Love Story this month (I used to play it 30 years ago!), as well as start up on some new pieces. I also want to get out and do some photography, and may join an internet group that provides feedback and tips.
In CONCLUSION, I have to say that it looks like a lot, but it also feels like I'm just touching the tip of the iceberg.There is so much LIFE out there, and I can't wait to get at it all!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I joined a new team this week - WeBlog - and the prompt today was "20 things that make me happy", to acknowledge the 20 members (so far)... what a great thing to think about! In no particular order (and certainly not comprehensive!)
1. My DH of 23 years... I am so blessed to have met him and to share my life with him
2. My DS of 17 years, who just yesterday deemed us to be "cool parents"
3. Dancing and singing along to music, volume turned up full blast - (My neighbors can hear and probably sing along, but that doesn't mean it's too loud, does it???)
4. Being near the ocean... there's an energy in the sea wind and the waves that you just don't get on a lake
5. Being in the forest... the cool air, the smells, the wind through the leaves...
6. Getting that great shot (photo)!
7. Rounding a corner on my bike or in the car, and seeing an unexpected vista
8. Being able to do something I thought I wasn't able to
9. My friends - old and new!
10. Finishing a really, really difficult puzzle (jigsaw, crossword, sudoku, kakuro, whatever!)
11. A really good cappucino
12. Making someone smile or laugh
13. Trusting my instincts, and being right
16. Being part of a really good team
17. Volunteering, doing something that others find helpful or useful
18. Reading and writing
19. Travel, exploring new places and cultures
20. Thinking about things that make me happy!
What makes YOU happy?
Thursday, February 24, 2011
As expected, I will be getting a root canal in April. Better than an extraction, I guess, but ouch! Also, my toenail issues will be settled in April/May with two minor surgeries. I wonít be properly back on my feet until mid-May! But it is good news, because the doc initially wanted to try to wait up to another year to see if the problems would straighten themselves out. So for now Iíll keep on wearing my clogs, stay inside when thereís snow, and generally focuss on free weights and learning to use the exercise ball and a few other accessories Iíve bought. Iím thinking of checking out tai chi Ė I donít think you have to wear shoes for that??? Does anyone out there know?
Not much else to write about today, as my day was taken up with medical appointments. Nice to get three done in a day, but exhausting...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Completed a six-week ďLiving Well Beyond CancerĒ workshop tonight. It was a great group of people, very open to sharing their experiences and thoughts for dealing with life in general. Iíve been off work for over a year, and it helped to have such a dynamic group of people to discuss things with. I so miss my teams at work!
Tomorrow I hope to get answers for two key things. The first thing is Iím going to find out if I can ramp up the exercise and safely take on aquafitness despite the chemo-related problems with my toenails. I havenít worn closed shoes for over a year, so no boots and stuck inside when itís snowing. But I fell in love with aquafitness last week, and I walked just a bit and wound up with both big toes infected. Ugh. I belatedly recalled that the doctor said something about not soaking the feet... There has to be something that can be done! The whiny brat in me does not want to have to wait a year to take up aquafitness, and is stamping her little feet in frustration!
The second thing is Iím going to a dental surgeon to determine if I need a root canal or a tooth extraction - it will be one or the other. A cavity that had a temporary filling grew under the gum line Ė a common thing, apparently, with radiation therapy Ė so that tooth is shot. My fingers will be crossed for good news on both fronts, although with regard to the tooth Iím not sure what constitutes good news LOL!
So things are moving along, and as much as I try to direct my energies, I am not as productive or forward moving as I would like. Slow and steady wins the race, I guess. I need to bury the sprinter in me and pull out the long distance runner!
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