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Oh Look! Thereís my Perspective!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I lost my perspective a little bit on Friday. Hearing that Thursdayís walk, which had felt so good and strong, had set back my healing by 3-4 days was disheartening. But I took a deep breath, then another, and found my perspective.

Really, I should have expected problems because the doctor had told me that I shouldnít do any walking. The action of pushing off the toe when you walk is the issue, and thereís no avoiding that when you walk. In the heat of the moment (sunshine, feeling great, fresh air), I forgot that little tiny limitation. Stupid chemo toenail.

But, besides learning that hard lesson Ė and it was very hard to swallow Ė I learned something else.

The biking Iíve been doing on the stationary bike is really, really helping. A lot. I had stamina, my legs didnít hurt during or after my walk, or the next day, despite the fact that I havenít been walking/hiking in literally a few years. Already, Iím so much stronger than I was and it was such a gradual improvement that I didnít even notice.

And that? That is so very encouraging! So Iíll be sitting on my stationary bike, cycling away with my I-Pod while everyone else is out there hiking, thank you very much. And in about a month, Iíll be out there with the rest of you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GENEVIEVE_KING 5/15/2011 9:01PM

    such a great, encouraging blog. you have bravery, and stamina, and i agree - the stationery bike definitely pays off, in a lot of ways... so if that works, go for it, girl!!

we are only limited by what comes out of our minds... or something like that... i'll have to look that quote up... i think it's buddha or gandhi.

emoticon, emoticon, and then emoticon some more for me!

yours, jen

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FITGRL124 5/15/2011 12:19PM

    This is emoticon (well not the overdoing it of course but the perspective)! emoticon

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    Looking forward to hopefully meeting in person and walking together one day!

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KRISTA64 5/15/2011 9:12AM

    You go girl!!!

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KAREN_NY 5/15/2011 8:46AM

    emoticon You can't keep a good woman down!! emoticon

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JULIEANNCAN 5/15/2011 1:14AM

    So glad to hear that biking is working for you! I, too, bike because my plantar fasciitis flares up too much when I walk too much. Wishing you all the best!

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SUNRISE14 5/14/2011 11:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GO-LOEW 5/14/2011 10:14PM

    It is wonderful to hear how you have improved. Maybe the toe problem was worth it because you got the confirmation how far you have come. Now you know that when you finally get to go hiking and walking that you will be strong from all your bike riding.

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SWEETNSKINNY 5/14/2011 9:46PM

    So wonderful you have a new positive perspective! You ENJOY that bike, I think its so great that you are noticing its benefits!!!

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PENELOPEHOPE 5/14/2011 9:41PM

    Whoop whoop! This cheer is sent to you for your really great attitude to having to wait to walk and not giving up. Great work. Cycle on!

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CARLYG8 5/14/2011 9:32PM

    oh...I am sorry that your walk set you back a couple of days! I know how hard it must be to feel better, and want to walk, and get out in the sunshine, but steps when it comes to healing. You can't rush it. Good news that you have the bike, and that you can tell that it is helping.

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Full stop.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Well, I had my check-up today to assess the healing of my toe surgery. She says I put myself back a few days by walking. Ugh. It felt so good to walk, like old times, but I knew when I changed my bandage there was trouble because it was full of fluid. This has just confirmed it.

Iíll be sticking to the stationary bike and core/upper strength training for the foreseeable future. Thatís all; I have no other words.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETNSKINNY 5/13/2011 5:39PM

    Aww I'm sorry to hear you have to temporarily stop your walking :( hopefully it wont be too long till you're out there again!

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JMCADE 5/13/2011 3:02PM

    So sorry that you can't get the walking in. But it is good to hear that you are still getting in some exercise.

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Adjusting my spoons!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

In commenting on my last blog, Jeckie referred me to the ďspoon theoryĒ. If you have a chronic health condition, are recovering from anything, or are supporting someone who is, itís worth going to check it out (
). It outlines in an easy-to-understand language what a balancing act it can be, something that Iíve been trying to explain to people nearly my entire life.

That being said, it also opened the doors of my mind to a new way of looking at my own situation, and I realize that I am, again, pushing my luck when it comes to recovery. To go with the analogy, Iím using too many of my spoons one day, and am depleted the next day. So Iíve had to reassess my commitments to see how I can ďdo it allĒ.

I canít. At least not the way Iím trying to do it now. So Iím adjusting.

The Spring Bootcamp is a thing of the past for me. I am unable to commit that much energy to exercise every day; itís just not possible right now. So Iím letting it go. Iíll take another look at challenges once my toe heals.

On the other hand, this Ďfailí has helped clarify what I can do and need to do to get back on track. The recumbant bike and/or walking every other day is a must. I'm already seeing a difference in my stamina, if not my weight. The Tamoxifen pain in the joints is what's stopping me dead in my tracks sometimes the next day. I figure on alternate days, I'll have to return to a focus on core and upper arm. I will be using the Bootcamp videos for these exercises. The other thing I've realized is I'm using up too energy one day, so alternate days are off. I need to gain better balance in that respect.

The other place where I use up a lot of energy is menu planning, groceries, preparing food. Itís a difficult balancing act at this point with my dietary limitations and my sonís sports nutrition requirements. He had mono a couple of weeks ago and actually lost about 15 lbs. Why is it that when I get sick, I invariably gain??? So Iím going to really be pushing the planned leftovers, Once-A-Month-Cooking, and dump recipes.

On another front...

My DH and I went into the Gatineaus (the Wakefield area, for those who are around here) and had a lovely day yesterday.

My big news of the day, though, is that after I got out of the car to take a couple of pictures, I went further up the road to check out if there was anything else. And I walked, and walked, and ... it felt like the old days, when I could easily walk all day. I thought...hmm... I havenít heard the car or DH lately, and I was in a curve so I turned around to look back, downhill. DOWNHILL! I had been walking uphill for about 15 minutes and hadnít even noticed. My DH was out of sight, so probably hadnít moved from our original location, but I didnít want to go back and get in the car. So I continued around the curve to face... the continuing hill. I walked up to the top, a bit of a workout for me but nothing untoward. I guess the stat bike is really paying off in my stamina and leg strength (even though itís a cardio exercise, not a strength exercise, and Iím still only using the 1st level out of 10). Here's a pic of the country road I was walking...

Can I get a emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEIFERLY 5/13/2011 3:11PM

    Hi. I'm a fellow "spoon theory" follower, and I happened across your blog. I just wanted to say that it seems like your head and your heart are in the right place and you're on the right track to really go places!! Way to go for making it up that hill!! emoticon

I hope you continue to recover and get stronger and take strides toward your goals. emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/13/2011 2:19PM

    Way to go! You're a certified hill walker!!! emoticon

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RUBYTWOSDAY 5/13/2011 7:53AM

    I hear what your saying about trying to find balance. Everyone needs to find that balance somehow. I'm glad you enjoyed your day in the Gatineau's and I can appreciate how you must have felt when you looked down that hill.

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BLEIGH711 5/12/2011 10:56PM

    You have such a great attitude! Keep it up. One step at a time.
Great picture! Looks like a beautiful place.

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CASAM1985 5/12/2011 8:56PM

    I relate to needing balance, I have been really pushing myself this week and it is causing me to be exhausted at work. I need to find a better way to get exercise, work, and personal time in without staying up late or leaving something out.
Good luck finding the right balance!

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NANNER2121 5/12/2011 8:20PM

    I agree with JECKIE. Take it easy and take your time.

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JECKIE 5/12/2011 7:21PM


I'm glad you're making some plans to help even out your days. It's hard not to want it all to be fixed NOW - I know. You're worth taking the time to recover slowly, though, and do it right.

That picture is gorgeous! I love places like that... my heart always is in the country even though my home is in the city. Pictures like that make me long to go north. :)

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A day full of YES!!!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Today was so full of YES!!! that I can hardly contain myself. Great weather, good decisions, things falling into place, unexpected pleasures. I'm on an upswing here!

First, went to do some bloodwork for the genetic study I°¶m involved in. She found the vein with not too many problems (unlike last week's bloodwork, which left me with two huge bruises. I had a list of half a dozen errands to do while we were out. We did a couple, then stopped for lunch. Instead of eating the high calorie/high sodium "food" that was pictured in the menu, I had the salad bar and about 1/3 of my husband's chicken wrap. The salad bar at this place is pretty good, with plain veggies and a few salads not drowning in dressing. It also includes fresh fruit for dessert. Yum! I did not eat the cake that came with lunch. (ETA BONUS! The restaurant in question, Scores, has nutritional information for absolutely everything they serve, including the individual items at the salad bar. I have a lot of data to enter into SP tonight!!!)

While we're eating, we're discussing our next errands and plan to go to Gatineau Park (which is about 30 minutes away). I realized that today is my "off" day (I've been cycling between two good days, one exhausted day, and one off day lately). If we did the errands, Gatineau was out. If we went for a walk in Gatineau, the errands were out. There was no way I would have the energy to do all of it. We compromised by doing two more key errands closer to home, going to a park closer to home, and being back in time to make supper (instead of ordering out). I love it when we take the time to talk things through and realize we can do so much more if we just plan it out.

One of our errands was to check one of the green spaces near home to see if they had any trail maps out. My DH stayed in the car while I walked down the path a little, lured by the sound of a bagpipe. Yep, out there at the top of the toboggan hill was a guy marching back and forth playing the bagpipe. I listened for a while as I paced up and down the slightly inclined path to get a bit of exercise, and thoroughly enjoyed the music.

The walk we took was not far from home. There was so much water, though, that we only got to walk for about an hour and a half, and then sat down along the river for another 15 minutes just chatting. My camera (which someone who shall remain nameless has been borrowing) ran out of juice just as I was going to take pictures of a beaver. I just got the one picture (see below). While I can't call this cardio walking because we were strolling and taking pictures, it did work my legs and stamina so I'm counting it as a slow walk. It was much longer than I expected to be able to do after such a long time, and... wait for it.... I wore socks and closed shoes for the first time since chemo last year (except for a brief period in February, after which my chemo toenails became infected). So that's another WIN for today!

Supper is some leftover rice, mixed veg and lobster. The last is a spoil from Mother's day. Yum!

First beaver sighting of the season...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHXG 5/12/2011 5:23PM

    Yes! Yes indeed!

I love all these stories from this magical day. I'm not sure whether the bagpipes or the beaver is more exciting--what unexpected loveliness! And it's FABULOUS that you could wear shoes & socks at last!


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LISED58 5/10/2011 5:32PM

    Way to go. It was a beautiful day indeed. I'm so happy to read the excitement in your blog. YEAH!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/10/2011 12:57PM

    emoticonLOL I'm not sure if this is actually a beaver but I've always wanted to use this emoticon!

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SEATTLESIMS 5/10/2011 12:40PM

    easing back in with a stroll is a great way to get back into it.. movement is movement! Hope you have another YES day!

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TALLGIRLX3 5/10/2011 10:37AM

    Great blog. I agree if we'd take a few minutes to plan we'd see how much we could really accomplish!

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JECKIE 5/10/2011 9:25AM

    Great day!

Your story about deciding where your energy was reminded me of the "spoons" story (if you haven't read it, Google "The Spoon Theory").

Have a great day today!


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AMYLONGHORN 5/10/2011 9:02AM

    Sounds like you had a GREAT day! I *love* that you are being so positive and had a day full of YES! That is AWESOME and keep it up!

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SUNRISE14 5/10/2011 8:23AM

    Making memories thats what life is about ! Glad you had a great day ! Keep up the good work ! emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 5/10/2011 5:36AM


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KASEYCOFF 5/10/2011 3:55AM

    One mid-October day several years ago we went to Gatineau Park. We intended to spend an hour or so and eat a small lunch we'd brought - we spent almost the whole afternoon and must've taken a couple hundred pictures (or more). I was born in maple-sugar country in upstate NY, and I thought I'd seen the pinnacle of autumn leaves - until I saw Gatineau. It remains the standard for all fall leaves I've seen since!

As to a day of 'Yes' - oh, what a wonderful perspective! That is just great, so inspiring--!

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KELPIE57 5/10/2011 2:12AM

    Super day, and as a Scot, whenever I hear the bagpipes, I am moved!

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JULIEANNCAN 5/10/2011 1:32AM

    What a nice day! I love the picture! :) Thanks for sharing it!

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GO-LOEW 5/9/2011 10:43PM

    Your days sounds wonderful and productive. I wonder what you are planning for tomorrow.

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KAREN_NY 5/9/2011 9:21PM

    YES!! It's so great when we can feel good about our game changers - like changing the errands plan to do what sounded fun. :)

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JENBELLE 5/9/2011 8:52PM

    Fabulous day! Your blogs are so uplifting! emoticon

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LINDEE6 5/9/2011 8:49PM

    What a great day!
Thank you for the much needed reminder that we win when we focus on the positives!

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Positive Triggers

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Things really feel like theyíre coming together, like pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Yesterday, I blogged about trigger foods and trigger situations, and itís something I had a hard time to nail down. I realized while I was biking today that one of the reasons is because thatís not my usual frame of mind. Iím usually a positive person, and I think was in denial about things that brought me to a negative place.

Therefore, without further ado, I bring you my positive triggers, defined as those triggers that get me in a good mood, feeling strong and healthy.

The first one I blogged about a while back (Nov 13, 2010), following a concept that Justyna7 had brought up: thinking about warm fuzzy thoughts instead of warm comfort foods. I wonít bother repeating my warm fuzzy thoughts here; suffice it to say that this concept really resonated with me at the time, yet I somehow forgot about it. Time to bring it back to the forefront!

My mantras (blogged March 19, 2011) continue to support me on my journey, and I really should rely on them more than I do.

Iíve learned something new about myself. Although some people use television, reading or other things to distract them during exercise, that doesnít work for me. Iím finding with the stationary bike that I prefer to just close my eyes, listen to my music, and focus on my movement. It brings me back to a powerful place when I use to bike/skate/walk everywhere I went, miles and miles each day. So when I get on that stationary bike with my I-Pod, Iím immediately brought back to that aura of strength and health. Wonderful. I guess itís a type of indoctrination / ingraining / patterning. Iím sure thereís some term for it.

Music in general gets me in a good mood whenever I hear it. Some songs in particular will bring back memories of painting parties, walking, dancing and other things that instantly make me smile.

(As an aside, in the things that make me go ????? Iíve just noticed thereís a ďRotisserie ChannelĒ on our cable line-up. Itís just six chickens spinning on a rotisserie. Thatís all. ????)

Yesterdayís Plan: I did 35 minutes of biking, logged my food (a bit over in calories, but in range for protein, carbs, sodium and fiber). Did not do a bootcamp video since I noticed it's a cardio, and the biking covered that.

Todayís Plan: Biking again, at least 30 minutes. Go to Gatineau Park and walk one of the easy trails (flat, 1 mile). Make good food choices (going out for breakfast), and log food insofar as possible. Do groceries, but plan the menu around whatís already in the freezer. Need to make space in anticipation of local markets being open and fresh food being plentiful. I'm not sure how much I'll be home, but I will make an effort to do the bootcamp video sometime this evening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GATOR12 5/8/2011 9:28PM


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GRYPHON55 5/8/2011 8:43PM

    I never thought about positive triggers, but I like it! I am already thinking about mine and how I could use them to counteract the negative triggers. Thanks for a really interesting blog post!

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JENBELLE 5/8/2011 6:17PM

    I LOVE your list of positive triggers! How inspiring!

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BEATLETOT 5/8/2011 5:14PM

    I have to say that I find the Rotisserie Channel very intriguing...kinda like the Yule log, I guess.

I like the idea of the warm, fuzzy thoughts in place of comfort food. I'll have to come up with some to conjure up when I want macaroni and cheese on a cheeseburger with bacon and Cheetos, with double French fries, of course! emoticon

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LISED58 5/8/2011 4:55PM

    That's super! Sounds like you're having a great upbeat day! :) Way to go!

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JULIEANNCAN 5/8/2011 3:50PM

    emoticon If I'm at the gym and biking, I don't like to watch t.v. either. I don't mind watching it at home. I'm glad you've found something that works for you. Keep up the great work! :)

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JECKIE 5/8/2011 8:58AM


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    Music does wonders for my soul too .. and special songs bring back such great memories/moments. Cheers to your great day ahead!

And Happy Mother's Day!!

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MICAROO 5/8/2011 7:29AM


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KELPIE57 5/8/2011 5:55AM

    Well done, you are really doing well!

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SUNRISE14 5/8/2011 5:29AM


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