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Busy day planned!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I have a busy day planned today, with chiro, check-up on my toenail operation, and follow-up to my root canal/getting crown done (I'm not even sure what that means at this point, as there's a filling that needs to be fixed before the crown goes in...). In between all of those are 2-3 errands to do (if the podiatrist says it's ok to walk around a bit).

My DH is home this week, and we've been doing a lot of talking about the direction we want our lives to go, and what kind of a lifestyle we want. I certainly want to return to an active lifestyle, spending lots of time outside and in nature - camping, canoeing, hiking, biking, photography, etc. I'm finding, though, that I'm not confident that I will ever get there. Sometimes this fatigue feels like a permanent thing, and I don't know how to fight it. Logically, I know I'm continuing to improve, and most days I remember that. I'm not very patient with recovery time, though.

We're also well aware that our son is growing older (as are we - I turn 50 this year). That brings discussions about the worth of investing in extensive renovations versus perhaps moving to a smaller place, closer to downtown when our son moves out in a few years. No decisions on that yet, as we do enjoy the space of a house and a yard, and we have great neighbours.

It's helping tremendously that spring has arrived - it's such a morale booster. The birds are singing as I type, we've had gloriously sunny, warm days and furious thunderstorms lately. I love both! I'm the person sitting on the porch watching the rain pouring down, watching the lightning flash across the sky. I hope everyone has the chance to get out in the nice weather and enjoy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIEANNCAN 4/13/2011 6:39PM

    What a busy day! I hope everything went well! You have a lot of decisions to make, but you have plenty of time. (By the way, I'm turning 30 soon and I don't think 50 sounds that old.) Best wishes to you and I hope you get more time on the porch too! :)

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JMCADE 4/13/2011 5:32PM

    It's good that you are enjoying the spring. Take your time with those big decisions about homes. We are at that age lso and don't know whether to downsize for us or keep it about the same in order to have room for grandkids!!! I'd love to have a place to sit and watch the storms. Have a great rest of the day.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/13/2011 1:22PM

    Hope the day is great! The birds in my neighborhood are singing in the middle of the night - not fun!! emoticon

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LISED58 4/13/2011 7:39AM

    Hi. May you have a super day.
My son is 15 and I often think about the future; do I go back to the country; do I downsize to a smaller apartment or do I start travelling again? I've never been one to root anywhere until I became a Mom and of course, by the time he's old enough to be on his own, 20 years will have gone by so maybe I'll have to consider trading in my large trailer for a travel van? Who knows, eh? Patience and enjoying each step of everyday will tell. Be good to you and keep up that fantabulous positive attitude.

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KELPIE57 4/13/2011 7:28AM

    It's good to see you enjoying life! Helps me to appreciate it too.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/13/2011 5:59AM

    Busy day for sure! It's amazing how we have to re-evaluate life at different stages. My kids are not near leaving home, but as they are more independent, there are additional things I can consider.

Your porch sounds lovely! Would love to sit and watch the rain from such a beautiful spot (sounds dreamy).

Wishing you a fabulous day!

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Who knew?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

I have this image in my mind, that Iím spiralling around the me I am becoming, getting closer and closer to that person. I can see her clearly in my mind. Sheís active and strong. She loves alternate modes of transportation Ė biking, canoeing, skating... Ė and uses them nearly every day. Her routines are so efficient that week-ends are dedicated to hiking and cross country skiing, biking and canoeing, meeting up with friends and extended family (chores were all done over the week). People constantly drop by to say hi, sit down and have a coffee, and sheís not worried about household clutter. She is debt-free, and is worry-free when she donates to just causes, travels abroad, or invests in equipment for hobbies. Sheís a dancer, and she and her husband love to salsa. Sheís learned to swim properly and enjoys the quiet solitude of doing laps in the pool. People point to her and her husband with secret smiles and whisper to each other that itíll never last. Of course, theyíve already been together for 23 years, and by the time the spiral has worn away from around this person, she and her husband will have been together for a quarter of a century.

Yep, itís a long and sometimes tortuous journey to get to that person. I have hurdles to overcome, but itís by getting through those hurdles that Iím learning about myself and growing stronger. I continue to run into roadblocks that stop me temporarily, or detour me from my ultimate goal. I return to my original path, or find an alternate one that is even more interesting.

Deep down, Iím finding the journey to be an awe-inspiring thing. Who knew I was this strong?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAT3ONTHEBACK 4/11/2011 4:11PM

    Ooooooooo---love your blog! Like the others said--so clear to picture it. When I eat, it helps me to think of myself already there, eating what a person like my goal person would eat, not what my overweight self would eat. I love the visualizations!

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GO-LOEW 4/10/2011 7:45PM

    The person you are becoming sounds very exciting. I imagine the person you are is pretty good too, but the new one is destined to lead a very impressive life.

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JUSTYNA7 4/10/2011 11:23AM

    A very exciting blog... because we can SEE you so clearly. It's coming, it's coming! I'm so delighted it is spring and things are moving forward.

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JMCADE 4/9/2011 10:17PM

    We all know that you are that strong. Sometimes the ones we need to convince are ourselves and looks like you are there. That is so great for you. Keep moving forward.

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LISED58 4/9/2011 7:55PM

    That's living. :)

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KELPIE57 4/9/2011 3:40PM

    Wonderful!

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JULIEANNCAN 4/9/2011 2:23PM

    emoticon This is beautiful! Keep up the good work! :)

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/9/2011 7:19AM

    What an emoticon blog! You are STRONG and Beautiful inside and out!!

So happy to be on this journey with you!!

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Win-Win-Win!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Iíve experienced a shift in my goals and rewards this week. I had initially started weighing myself daily, averaging it over the week since my weight seems to swing by up to 5 pounds in a day. My reward for losing weight was to go out with my husband for a cappuccino on the week-end.

Somehow, that didnít seem to be very motivating. I realized it wasnít the reward that was lacking, itís the actual goal. Iím not really concerned about losing weight, and the simple number on the scale is so unreliable that it doesnít really mean anything to me anymore. So, with my husbandís collaboration, Iíve changed my goal.

My goal is now shared with him, and it is that we both exercise, together, at least six days per week. Itís a more active goal, itís got a built-in buddy, and it will allow us to spend more time together.

Win-Win-Win!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/9/2011 4:16AM

    Now there is an emoticon goal that will get you two for the price of ONE! Both you and your hubby will benefit by being more active! emoticon

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JULIEANNCAN 4/9/2011 3:37AM

    emoticon

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RUTHXG 4/9/2011 12:08AM

    A great shift in perspective, & a great plan! emoticon

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KATYBUG48 4/8/2011 11:40PM

  Win-Win-Win

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Just about ready to make it over that fence!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Iím being assailed with self-doubt this week, after once again having a good day on the week-end (doing errands) and needing two days to recover. Am I really doing the right thing going back to work in May?

Iím just not sure I can sit at home doing nothing for much longer, and on my good days I do feel strong and capable. I think chemo brain isnít even hitting me that hard anymore. So why does it still take so much out of me to just do an afternoon of errands? Iím getting really frustrated with this lack of energy, and this ongoing fatigue/falling asleep at the drop of a hat on what Iíve come to call my ďalternate daysĒ.

I have a lot to look forward to that will help in the longer run. The biggest thing, I think, is the toe operations this month. Once those are healed, Iím registering for aqua fitness at the new health club in town. It helped so very much to do it every day when we stayed at Justynaís B&B! The health club has a salt water pool, so no chlorine problems. I may actually learn to swim properly Ė finally (Iím not sure if they teach swimming, though... something to check out).

My arm and shoulder (on the side with the 22 lymph nodes removed) had been healing so very well and I basically had my full range of motion back. Now itís starting to stiffen up, the arm hurts like a bruise every time I touch it all the way down to the wrist. I think part of it is lack of exercise, as Iíve been on the stat bike but not doing arm exercises as much. Need to get those back in the cycle!

One thing Iíve decided to look into is to find someone to do the housework once per week. My energy levels are too limited to spend my time on housework. Itís something Iíve thought of on and off for quite a while, even before the cancer, but now it seems that the benefits would definitely outweigh the costs.

Anyway, thatís my wandering brain for the past few days. Itís been encouraging, though, to read some blogs describing peopleís successes. I feel like I'm looking at you through a fence, and trying to get over it to get there. I see myself in your words, and know Iíll get there yet!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISED58 4/6/2011 11:55AM

    Hi there! I felt so lazy and guilty the first time I gave in to needing someone help me to keep my home clean and prepare my mneals. Every couple of months I still need the support and the woman who owns her business appreciates my support and my son likes the free apple pie from M&M. I can't keep up with my girl friends' level of cleaning perfectionism anymore. It took a while but that's how I welcomed M&Ms and Farm Boy's ready-made meals into my kitchen, too. Seawave, your achievements and accomplishments are great! :) x

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/6/2011 5:26AM

    You are doing amazing and I think it's a great idea to get someone in to help with housework.

Take good care of yourself and I know you'll be over this fence in no time. You have an amazing spirit!!

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KELPIE57 4/6/2011 1:51AM

    Great idea about the help in the house, spend what energy you have wisely. and give yourself the love and benefit of the doubt that you would give to anyone else! emoticon

If I remember correctly, you are going back to work very part time? Does that mean that you can take the days off between to recover?



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RUTHXG 4/5/2011 11:39PM

    I hope just allowing yourself to have "alternate days" as long as you need them, & getting through the toe surgeries, & getting back into arm exercises (with your doc's advice), & moving gradually into regular aqua fitness will keep you getting better, slowly but surely!

Oh yes, & hiring a housecleaner! I'm going to do that soon myself. There are a few women at my church who came to the US in recent years as refugees, & they are good cleaners & can always use more work. It will be good for them as well as for me!

Healing blessings to you.

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PAT3ONTHEBACK 4/5/2011 11:39PM

    Very strange arm pain. I hope you get it figured out and back in use before your toes get their surgery. I only worked part time before cancer, took off one semester and then worked part time after. Now it is less than 10 hours a week for one of my commitments and the other is sporadic. Not full-time by any means. Everybody's jobs are different and abilities and histories. It seems very individualized. Hopefully you will have some flexibility in your May return-to-work date.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULIEANNCAN 4/5/2011 8:41PM

    I can really relate to your fatigue and falling asleep. Any day that I do any sort of exercise or a lot of errands, I just fall asleep even if I don't want to. I know it's a side effect of Tamoxifen (fatigue that is), but it's hard to tell what's going on. I will also be working some this summer at an internship. Just take things one step at a time. I think we can do it!

I'm sorry to hear about your arm/shoulder. Have you talked to your doctor about it? It sounds like you might want to.

Just keep doing what you're doing and try to build up that energy! emoticon

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CARLYG8 4/5/2011 7:07PM

    I am so sorry about your shoulder pain and I wanted to mention something to you. My niece has stage 4 colon cancer, and she follows a blog that I read from time to time from a lady that has had breast cancer and a mastectomy. She started experiencing the same thing, pain and stiffness, and it kept getting worse. Her doctor kept dismissing it, but she found someone who told her about a condition that alot of breast/mastectomy patients seem to develop. It is called frozen shoulder syndrome, or something like that. Ask your doc about it. If you like, I can send you the blog that she has that tells about it, and you may be able to contact her through it. She has had some improvement with some different treatments. It may not be the same thing, but I thought of this when I read your blog. Good luck, and let me know if you want her blog address. I will keep you in my prayers

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Looking back at March, and forward to April

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is it... the countdown to my return to work after having been off for cancer treatments/recovery for 1.5 years. Itís a little intimidating, and Iím trying to not be overwhelmed by the ďmeĒ I wanted to be by now. I had such great hopes to get fully back in shape (strength, flexibility and endurance) as well as get tons of stuff done in the house while I was off work. Needless to say, Iím nowhere near having accomplished any of that.

On the other hand, in March I had a wonderfully cleansing bawl-my-eyes-out cry, I learned a few tricks and developed a few mantras that work for me. My reclining bike is set up in the living room (after having been relegated to the basement for Xmas), and spring weather is here so that means more time outside. In other words, Iím well on the road to getting back in shape.

I expect April to be a busy month as I prepare to return to work and deal with various other things.

ē I get a root canal on April 6th, followed by a crown
ē My toenail problems will be addressed. (You may recall that the toenail problems are side-effects of last yearís chemo.) Once the toes are healed, I will finally feel like Iím Ďoverí the cancer treatments. Weíre doing the two feet on separate days, April 11th and on April 27th.
ē In between that, weíre going to celebrate my father-in-lawís 80th birthday Easter week-end.
ē Iím participating in a gene study re: cancer; my first interview is in early April, but Iím unsure what (if anything) else will be involved.
ē My DH is taking a week off (because heís running around with me to so many appointments anyway LOL!). Weíre hoping to get a few things done around the house while heís here.
ē Iíll probably go to a hair stylist to get some advice on what to do with this weird re-growth is curly in some areas, not in others, and still short all over. I think Iíll feel better returning to work knowing Iím at least trying to look good LOL!
ē Return to work will be Tuesdays and Fridays, starting May 3rd., working up to going full time. I may be walking a bit funny until my toes heal, but Iíll be there!

I also need to remember to use my one-day-per-page agenda to list my priorities and goals for the day and be more realistic with those! As Iíve mentioned, planning is invaluable to me. But I also want to re-acquaint myself with the habit of using an agenda before I return to work because I know the adjustment will be overwhelming at first.

Daily goals include for April:
Reclining bike every day
8 glasses of water every day
Eat about 1500 calories per day
Go for a walk with DH every evening after supper
Doing one thing that advances my return to work (checking clothes, snack ideas, etc.)

ETA I've just joined the "Official Healthy Cooking Challenge", which will support me in improving my routines regarding food preparation and eating in general. WooHoo!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 4/4/2011 10:12AM

    Good move to put the reclining bike back where you will use it. When I am making a major change to my routine I put just 3 things on my to do list. I wish you all the best!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/3/2011 10:13AM

    You are a true inspiration! Your courage and determination shines in this blog! You have so much to be proud of and I feel so very fortunate to have you as a SP Friend!

May April be the beginning of your new beginnings! You are BLOOMING in every way!!

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COMPUCATHY 4/3/2011 9:32AM

    Congratulations! Don't let the list of things not accomplished be your focus and bring you down. Just keep focusing on what you CAN do...and be happy with what you accomplish. It's a much brighter path to follow. Hope you have a great Sunday and a great week! Spark on! emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 4/1/2011 6:49PM

    Does sound like you will be extremely busy in April but in most ways a "good way". March sounded like it was a good month for you as well Glad you will be getting back to work soon During this crazy busy month take time for YOU!

Linda

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/1/2011 1:52PM

    Busy month... hope you can find some time to relax before going back to work. And good luck with the dentist AND your toes :)

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PAT3ONTHEBACK 4/1/2011 9:19AM

    When my hair was re-growing, I went to a stylist to make sure my hair was still too short to "do anything" with! I was sooo impatient to get my hair back. She pretended to trim it here and there and made me feel better. It was worth it just to hear someone say something was going right!

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JULIEANNCAN 4/1/2011 7:02AM

    It sounds like you're doing emoticon and have lots of plans!!! I hear you about the hair. Mine is wavy in places it never was before and why is the back growing faster than the front? Ugh. I am hoping to get a haircut soon too! You have some great goals! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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KELPIE57 4/1/2011 4:02AM

    OK, for what it's worth, as well as the haircut, which is a MUST, why don't you have a makeover, change makeup etc, and then you are showing yourself how much you love you every morning.. cos it's to make you feel better!

As for the rest, you rock, and inspire! emoticon emoticon emoticon

And take it at the speed that your body, not your mind/ego want to go at!

And me too, my goal for April is to use my diary properly to plan! Thanks for putting it in front of me.

Comment edited on: 4/1/2011 4:03:15 AM

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KASEYCOFF 4/1/2011 3:57AM

    Great outline - you've really done some thinking on this! And you're right about cultivating the habit for things like your agenda calendar. (Note to self: take a page from Seawave's book--!)
emoticon

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ACROSONIC 3/31/2011 10:04PM

    Sounds like you have great plans for April. emoticon

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LISED58 3/31/2011 8:33PM

    I'm so happy for you that you're going back to work. It'll be great to be back with your colleagues I bet. Keep up your spirit1!!. :)

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