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November 1st Ė 60 days left to 2010!

Monday, November 01, 2010

A new month the perfect opportunity to re-assert my commitment to better health (amended from my October 14 list). Iíll be reviewing/adjusting it monthly.

Iím looking forward to this new month, particularly as it is the beginning of my life after cancer treatments (the last one is November 3rd). Iím off work until January, recovering from this year-long adventure. Itís a great opportunity to really focus my efforts on improving my health. Forgive me if I repeat myself in my blogs... Iím still amazed that I have this opportunity to focus on regaining my health (which I didnít the first time I had cancer). Some things are still sinking in!

General Theme of Improvement
ē Meditate daily
ēComplete ď30 Days to a Simpler LifeĒ from the Clutter Free Living Team
ē Blog about my day, to keep me on track and accountable, and ask for help when needed!

ē Track food eaten every day
ē Eat between 1670 and 2020 calories per day
ē Keep sodium between 500 and 1500 mg daily
ē Eat at least 5 servings of fruit/veg per day
ē Drink 8 X 8 oz of water daily
ē Take Calcium/Vit D Supplement lunch & supper

Physical fitness:
ē Walk 5000 steps daily
ē Do BC exercises daily

Coming Soon (December/January)
ē Aquafit (December)
ē Practice piano daily (havenít played in 25+ years!) (December)
ē Finish the year under 220 lbs (December 31)
ē Complete the Better Sleep Challenge
ē Return to structured weight training and cardio
ē Return to work (January 4, 2011!)

Thatís it! My plan for November (and a bit beyond!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 11/1/2010 12:34PM

    Well done, I need to write out my plan too.....

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FLIGGACHICA 11/1/2010 12:22PM

    Happy Recovery to you!I'm going to check out the 30 days to a simpler life. Thanks! I enjoyed your blog!

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I'm Number One!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 61 days left to 2010!)

Iíve been having some deep thinky thoughts lately about my life. Letís just say that when it comes to having help and support, Iíve always been put and learned to put myself last on the list. My mother used to say that I was the one she never had to worry about, or pay attention to because I was so self-sufficient.

When I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in Dec 2009, the doctors were all over me. Unlike my first cancer (thyroid), IBC is a very aggressive form of cancer, and put me on everyoneís priority list. Tests that usually take 8-12 months to schedule took two days.

In a sense, I was one step removed from the control I usually had in my life. However, instead of fighting to regain control, I relaxed into this new sensation of being taken care of. Donít get me wrong. Chemo, surgery, dealing with four drains for a month, radiation, the fatigue, nausea... none of it was fun, by any definition of the word. But I had a job - to maximize my chances of living cancer free, and minimize any side effects. And an entire team of medical professionals was supporting me in doing that!

Iím only coming to realize what strength I garnered from that suppot. Yeah, it was good. This morning, I realized that when I turned to SparkPeople early in September, I was subconsciously seeking to re-create that support and shared strength. I couldnít have fallen onto a better crowd!

When I think of how this transfers into my new life, I see the following:

ē Walking or biking will not be used solely to get from point A to point B, to do errands, to get to work. I will also walk and bike because I love walking and biking, and I miss it.
ē I also used to skate from the Rideau Centre to Dowís Lake and back (so, about 15 km) every night the skateway was open. Iím going to take that up again.
ē My health and wellbeing are just as important as payments on the mortgage, my sonís soccer membership, my husbandís daily coffee run, or whatever. I will budget funds to pay for exercise courses (aquafitness, learning to swim, zumba, yoga, tai chi, etc.) to take care of ME!
ē I now accept that I sometimes need or want help, and I have to practice asking for it. I will delegate to others, and not hover to make sure things are done to my so-called Ďexacting standardsí, freeing up time to take care of ME!
ē Iím going to search out innovative ways to get a support system going in my real life (to complement my virtual SP one!). Itís going to be a ĎTeam Meí for everyone on it, and they will all benefit. If my family members want a spot on the team, theyíll have to earn it!
ē Rather than observing from the sidelines and helping everyone else achieve their goals, Iím going to go after my own too!

Even as I type this Iím hearing that internal monologue that says Iím being too selfish, or that Iíll be wasting money, or taking time away from the family. Enough, I say! The first half of my life was about everybody else; the second half will be about a better me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 11/4/2010 12:17AM

    Are you kidding! ? YOU are finally seeing the real value in life. Take it and run!

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KELPIE57 10/31/2010 12:11PM

    you are soooo worth it!

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JOCALAT 10/31/2010 11:59AM

    I couldn't have said it better myself!!

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One Step Back

Friday, October 29, 2010

(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 63 days left!)

Iíve been focussing on regaining my health since August 23, 2010, joined SparkPeople on September 9, 2010, and been undergoing radiation treatments (rads) for breast cancer in October (expect to finish around November 3). I have had the focus of a heat seeking missile, learning about nutrition and exercise, but am now unable to follow-up on the exercise because of reactions to the rads. Giving up? No way!

All this means is that Iíll take a step back and digest what these two months have brought me, let my lessons sink in, and be better prepared to continue once Iíve recovered. In the meantime, nutrition will continue, as will organizing my home. Movement will be incorporated insofar as possible, but Ďformalí exercise is on hiatus until Iíve recovered. Then Iíll reward myself with an aquafit class!

I was planning on Aquafit in January 2011, but my doctors say I can do it four weeks after I finish rads (assuming my skin heals properly). That brings me to end November/early December. I see no reason to delay it Ė itís four more weeks of exercise challenge! It will give me a good re-boot before I return to work in January.

Iím so looking forward to all of this. I am re-energized, and Iíve taken conscious, deliberate control of my life for the first time. Feels great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 10/30/2010 7:53PM

    I love that the countdown will get you beyond the treatments and into the next phase of your recovery/rejuvination. You are doing a great job of listening to your body and keeping positive. I love working out in the water. Right now I am trying to work on my singing at the same time and it sounds like an angel singing sometimes with me.

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MSPRIS3 10/29/2010 11:49AM

    Congrats on getting this far, and committing to continue when you are fully recovered.

Aquafit - this is on my to do as well!

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KELPIE57 10/29/2010 11:01AM

    Well done on your commitment, however do what your body says you can, not your mind! emoticon

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AMOHAME2 10/29/2010 9:24AM

    It's so great that you are almost done with your rad treatment!!! It's absolutely best to give your body the rest it needs to recover, and in the mean time if you continue eating right, you're going to do great...weightloss is about 80% nutrition related anyway. I can tell you are really excited about starting with Aquafit, which I think means you are going to really commit to it enjoy it! emoticon

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A Model Monday

Monday, October 25, 2010

(New Year's Countdown - Day 67)

Today was a model for the rest of my week, as I near completing my radiation treatments.

Fatigue is assailing me to a degree I never expected. I got up, ate, and fell asleep on the sofa this morning. I was so soundly asleep then when my ride arrived, and rang the doorbell three times, I didnít even wake up. Luckily he called, and the phone woke me. But that just means that I need the extra sleep, and Iím allowing myself to take it. Itís the only way Iíll heal properly.

Of course, that meant I had no lunch before going to the hospital. I had to eat in the infamously unhealthy cafeteria. After doing the cafeteria circuit twice, I noticed someone refilling the salad bar. So guess what I had for lunch!

After that, went to my doctorís appointment, then my rads, then a walking circuit of the hospital campus, just to get some steps in. I found a circuit is about 600 steps, and decided to do one before and one after my rads this week.

Now, because I slept all morning and was away all afternoon, I made no preparations for supper. Normally, that would lead to take out. But today, I managed to organize something from food we already had at home, so we had a nice healthy supper. After that, we did a couple of errands, and I finished sorting my closet at home (from which I removed most of my dressier clothing, which has all gotten too big!)

So this is the model I want to follow this week: rest as required, eat nutritiously, add walking wherever I can, and get stuff done at home. Things are still falling nicely into place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 10/27/2010 3:01AM

    Well done for not lettingthings overtake you, and above all, take care of yourself!

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JUSTYNA7 10/25/2010 11:41PM

    We have choices, always. I am very proud of yours today!

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BELLALUCIA 10/25/2010 11:32PM

    You're in my prayers dear!

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Forced to go hunting for treasure

Friday, October 22, 2010

(New Year's Countdown: Day 70)

I blogged a couple of days ago about the treasure trove I found in my basement - clothes that I had saved for when I'd lose weight, and now they fit. Mostly tops and winter coats. This week-end will definitely entail continued hunting for treasure, either in the basement or at the consignment store. I'll tell you why...

This week I attended a "Fitness After Cancer" workshop, which included some stretching and aerobics activity. Here I am in my nice matching jogging outfit, feeling good and not frumpy. It's the only nice outfit I have for exercise.

Then I start feeling a little uncomfortable. A feeling of pants sliding down.

Yep, the pants are too big and were sliding down over my hips. I had to do the movements while holding my pants up. These things don't happen when you're on a stationary bike!

This steady stream of too-big clothes this week is really such a revelation to me. I've been so focussed on my radiation treaments (18/25 done today!) and learning about nutrition and trying out exercises that will work for me. I hadn't really processed that it was all working, and that I'm firming up and losing weight.

Can I get a Woo Hoo? And a giggle too, cause c'mon - that was funny!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 10/25/2010 11:50AM

    emoticon They don't have a giggle icon but I'm giggling. See, even baby steps are good! Fabulous news!

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MSPRIS3 10/25/2010 9:15AM

    Woo Freakin' Hoo

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LAURITA. 10/24/2010 12:16AM

    I think you've really done very well. I couldn't find the energy to get much exercise when I was going through treatments. Radiation had me unable to get through the day without my afternoon nap.

Way to go!!!
Funny, visualizing you trying to exercise while holding up pants, hehehe

Who needs to go shopping, lol.....just go to the basement! emoticon

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JOCALAT 10/23/2010 11:39AM

    Yes it was funny and I had similar experience with my pj bottoms....glad to hear you are almost at the end of rads!!! emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon

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LOOSEINGIT 10/22/2010 8:19PM

A BIG WOOHOO for you.

I use to carry saftey pins with me just in case my workout pants decided to have a mind of there own.

Happy Hunting,

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DBAILEY0438 10/22/2010 7:20PM

    im glad that you find the strength to keep up with your workout cause i know how those treatment can tire you out keep up the good work

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