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Looking back - January 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This month has been very difficult for our family, with two deaths (one New Year's Eve and one this week) as well as a work colleague who passed away recently from the same cancer I had. My oncologist also for the first time gave me stats regarding survival with my type of cancer - I always knew the 50% with no additional treatment, but even with the additional hormonal treatment I still have a 20% chance of it coming back. My dad was also in the hospital with pneumonia, high fever, delirium. Very worrying as he's nearly 91 years old, and we are so far away. I hate being far away.

So what I'm keeping from all that is (a) loved ones are no longer suffering (b) my Dad is out of the hospital and (c) I have 80% odds that I beat this thing.

Yesterday, the same day I received the news of one death and my onco's percentages, I had a workout with my trainer. SO, SO happy I did not cancel (although I strongly felt like it). I actually was able to do more than I have in a long time, and it reinforced my determination to keep at it. The oncologist also said I'm doing everything right to fight the cancer, and that I can start cardio (10 minutes a day, which works out well because I recently joined the 5% challenge!)

I've also found a new-to-me book, "The Writing Diet" by Julia Cameron. She's the author of "The Artist's Way" that I was already familiar with through my DH, but this week was the first time I saw this book. Basically, Ms. Cameron noticed that as her students unblocked their creativity, they lost weight. So she's pondered it and written "The Writing Diet" for we writers out here. I am definitely a writer by nature, so this is right up my alley. I believe it will help me focus my energies in a way that logging food and counting exercise minutes doesn't; neither one of those things comes naturally to me.

So here's to a wonderful February 2013 for all of us! I'm already looking forward to my 25th wedding anniversary, and a week at fellow Sparker Justyna7's B&B with my DH!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/1/2013 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KELPIE57 2/1/2013 5:21AM

    Well done for dealing with all these challenges so positively!

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-AMANDA79- 1/31/2013 2:59PM

    Glad you came out of a rough month with such a great attitude.

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Thoughts of a sleepless night

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Well, here I am awake all night (again). My energy is so off, I sleep on the way to work and on the way home, fall asleep as soon as I sit down after supper, then I'm awake all night. I suspect my meds are off again/still - I should find out today.

All this awake time led me to shuffle and draw from my "Self-Care Cards". This is just the fourth time I use them, and two of the other three times I drew the "Dream" card. Well, tonight I drew the "Peace" card, which reads: "Embrace your confusion. Let there be peace in not knowing all the answers."

That brought me to think of the serenity prayer
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference."

Now, I'm usually pretty good at being able to know the difference; I've had a lot of guidance and a lot of experience. I've always been proud of that, and proud that I've been able to translate those difficult experiences into helping others.

I'm realizing that in this particular instance, though, I have not got a clear vision of what I can and can not change. I am six years after thyroid cancer, two years after breast cancer, and my energy and so the things I can do are just no where near where I want them to be. Last week, a friend who had the same type of breast cancer that I did passed away, the cancer having spread into her bones. It hit close to home, it's still a very real risk for me, as the type of cancer we had has only a 50% survival rate past five years.

So is are my lower energy levels and my inability to do much of anything on a consistent basis, are those things that I have to accept? Something I can improve? If I push myself too hard, am I opening myself up to further problems? I just don't know, and my oncologists are not very helpful on that front. I'll tackle it again with him today, as the one I'm seeing today is much more aware and conversant in these things.

So, this is me, embracing the confusion, and seeking peace in not knowing all the answers! Is it "peace" if I'm still asking questions???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/1/2013 10:35AM


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SPARKCHANTAL 1/30/2013 8:11AM

    we humans have always been striving for answers, it's our nature, no?

knock on wood, i've been spared your fate and enjoy good health. BUT i am feeling my age, and i feel it every time i try to forget it! so maybe there is a certain energy level each individual has, and it fluctuates throughout our lifetime. no use rocking the boat.

i try to tune into myself and give what i can, rest when i need to.

what's your team? i'm a emoticon meow!

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KELPIE57 1/30/2013 5:20AM

    Sleepless nights have a way of throwing up all sorts of questions, I suspect that only time will tell which of them will have an answer. Maybe the peace comes from accepting that, I don't know.

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Recharging to get back on track!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The holidays were a trying time. I worked between Xmas and New Year's, and there were two accidents at work that kept us busy. There was also a death in the family, and my dad has been in and out of the hospital. So I started January off course, working very full days including lunch, working late some nights, not eating well, not sleeping well.

So I'm gearing up to get back on track in February.

I've joined the 10-minute challenge team, and will be joining the 5% Challenge team as soon as I can find the link LOL! But more importantly, I've got the experience behind me to know how much better I feel when I plan my food and when I exercise more regularly and that's what I'm aiming for. DH and I are going to stay at fellow Sparker Justyna's B&B for our wedding anniversary in mid-February, and I know that just being there is so supportive and a boost to spirit. I am sooo looking forward to it.

I've also started adapting some tools I've found around - a deskercise bingo game, a set of sock poi (because my arms are mush!), a ball at my desk at home, and a kneeling chair at work (the ball just won't fit in my teeny office area!). And the big wall calendar I bought myself to use at work? I'm keeping it for my wellness program!

I'm counting the days to Jan 30th; I expect my oncologist is going to green-light cardio now that we're sure it's the meds that were causing me ankle/hip/pelvic pain.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME2BLOOM4ME 1/28/2013 7:29AM


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KELPIE57 1/27/2013 10:47AM

    Sounds as if you are planning to win!

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WEARINGTHIN 1/27/2013 2:57AM

    Sounds like you've got your share of stress. Perhaps some pleasant music or movies you might like. I know it's extremely important to do well for yourself when others around you are stressed or not well. Wishing you peace, Glenn

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I am a planner

Sunday, January 20, 2013

It nearly feels like a confession, but I am coming to terms with negative aspects of this planning thing that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. My mind just naturally sees things in a linear fashion, I guess, breaks things down into steps and makes order of them to get to the other side.

Except for now. For the past few years. Since cancer (both cancers!)

There is so much I have to do, it seems that I go two steps forward, and one step (or more) back. I'm getting tired, and it's beginning to really have an affect on me. And I realized I just don't know the sequencing of everything I need to do. It's easy enough for me to accept "one step at a time" and "baby steps", but are they the right "one steps" or "baby steps". I'm in my head too much, thinking thinky thoughts, and not getting into the action. So I've found a couple of tools to get me out of my head, and back to action and focus.

As many of you out there know, there are many, many aspects to wellness in all aspects of life. As I was browsing a bookstore after supper the other night, just killing time until DH went to get the car, I found a set of cards that I think will work perfectly for me: Cheryl Richardson's "Self-Care Cards". There are 52 cards, I pick one per day (might go to one per week later) to help me focus consistently on at least one thing, for one day. That's it - no further than that; no planning ahead. And it gets me out of my head. For example, today's card is: "Boundaries" and the reverse says: "Set boundaries. Protect your precious time and energy."

The second thing that I think will help (haven't tried it yet) is an action bingo for at work. Set up like a bingo card (even a "free" square in the middle!), but with activity blocks all around it. The objective is to cross off all the blocks by the end of the week (or I suppose one could do one line per day). Found it
on a just-discovered blog that I think I will be visiting regulary :
kercise-bingo-free-printable/ She invites people to print and use her stuff.

So I'll combine these two tools with my weight training (which I am still striving to do at least three times a week - two times seems to be the most I can do so far). And coming to Spark more often, as you are all truly an inspiration to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKCHANTAL 1/20/2013 1:10PM

    hi seawave! nice you're back, missed you!
groan, planning takes up all my time, too! most of what i write are plans for the day or week, on scraps of paper, and they tend to clutter up the place.
so now i'm just going to plan the next project, one at a time. (what can i get done right now? then do it. then move on to the next one...) and... never forget to enjoy the moment! it will never return.

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Critical NSV!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I went to renew my prescription for my meds (replacement for thyroid that was removed, so will be on them forever), and the pharmacist asked to review my meds list with me as they're updating their systems. We obviously kept was the thyroid med, and I told her to remove one that I'm reacting to so have stopped - will be replaced with another as it's to prevent the cancer from coming back.

Out of a very long list of meds (various migraine meds, three different meds for blood pressure, etc), that was it. I've been off the other meds for months now.

Now, I have been working out with a trainer one or two times a week for the past year - still haven't been able to regularly do three times a week. I have not lost a substantial amount of weight, but I am able to do more and have more stamina. The medication situation is just another confirmation that I'm on the right track, and that NSV are the things to aim for, at least for me. The scale victories will come later.

Stepping it up in 2013!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEANGELLK 1/16/2013 7:57AM

    Great!!!Keep it Up!

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KELPIE57 1/16/2013 7:54AM

    NSV emoticon emoticon emoticon

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