Wednesday, December 08, 2010
This has not been a good week. Iíve been trying to keep on top of things, and get going, but itís just been blah. It feels like Iím never going to get past these health problems, and Iím becoming paralized by this crap. I do not want to be a victim.
I wonít go through my whole history, but letís just say that Iíve had health issues since a very young age. I had to quit school at 16 because I was missing too much, and completed my high school by correspondence. Despite the sedentary lifestyle that this brought on for most of my life, I was still active in between health crises. But it seems that for the last 18 or so years, itís just been one thing after another with little or no time in between to get back on top of things. Every time I think thereís a respite ahead and I plan for improvements, something else comes along. Like months in bed during pregnancy. Or thyroid cancer. Or inflammatory breast cancer.
Now Iím at the end of treatments for breast cancer, and I discovered SparkPeople in September. All I had left was radiation treatments, and then I was going to be tackling this thing and regaining control on my nutrition and exercise. I was going to be more active, do things I love to do, be healthier... I was going to have a wonderful life.
Well, radiation led to radiation burns, which kind of took me by surprise because they didnít come out until a couple of weeks after treatments were over. Ugh. Then as those were healing, I was told to take Tamoxifen to prevent recurrence. It has lots of wonderful side effects. Iíve been on it for a week, and Iíve gained five pounds, my sleep is completely trashed (so Iíve not been sleeping at night, but falling asleep during the day). Iíve now changed the time I take it to the evening so it will hopefully make me sleep at night instead of during the day.
Every good intention I had to get moving and start up my exercise again have been stalled. Cooking has been stalled, and DH has been bringing pizza and butter chicken home for supper. I hoped to go back to work in January, but the oncologist says I should be thinking along the lines of 6-9 months (so May-August timeline). Iím basically a shut in: I donít drive, the bus makes me sick, and I canít put on socks (let alone shoes or boots) because my toenails are growing into my toes (a chemo side-effect). Podiatrist isnít until mid-January.
Donít get me wrong. Iím still trying to push through all this and get on top of things. I guess I just needed to vent, and call out to my fellow Sparkers and see if anyone has any practical advice on how to deal with all this. Send me nudges, reminders, kicks in the a$$. I donít know. I really donít mean to dwell in negativity; Iím very well aware that so many people have it even worse than I do.
Still smiling, but itís a little forced these days. I'm posting before I chicken out. These aren't things I usually say out loud...
Friday, December 03, 2010
(Countdown to New Year's: 28 Days Left!)
The third assignment in the ď2010 Winter 5% Challenge CommunityĒ is to list all the reasons I want to lose weight. That's a pretty tall order, and I'll confess right now that I won't meet it. To list ALL of the reasons could take me quite some time. But here goes. Not a definitive list, or in any particular order; itís more like a stream of consciousness thing, I guess.
I want to be a living example for my son
I want him to see that even if life tosses us a lemon now and then, we can overcome it. Most of his memory involves me battling cancer, first thyroid and then breast cancer. He doesnít remember me being active or physically strong. We havenít been biking together since he was about two. Weíve never skated the length of the canal together. I want him to see that side of me.
I want my friends and family to be confident in my strength and endurance
I want them to know they can rely on me, that they are not an encumbrance, that helping or supporting them for whatever they need is not Ďtoo muchí for me.
I want to be spontaneous again
There was a time that I didnít hesitate to take off alone to explore the biking paths around Ottawa, when going to Gatineau Park in the middle of the night with my husband was a usual occurrence, when volunteering to help others out was done without a second thought. Now, I worry about fatigue, a sore back, the next day I will lose to exhaustion... I want to be fearless and spontaneous again!
I want to improve my health
Regular pulse, blood pressure, cholesterol levels. Better complexion. No rash from rubbing thighs. Better digestion.
I want to fit comfortably
I donít want the first thought in my mind to be Ďwill I fit?Ē Airplane seats, restaurant booths, back seats of vehicles, amusement park rides, my husbandís lap. I want to just go ahead and sit, without worrying about whether I will fit!
There are many, many other reasons I couldnít hope to make a comprehensive list. I find a lot of encouragement and inspiration on SparkPeople, something Iíve never had before. I see myself so often when I read your blogs, and reading how so many of you have overcome difficulties far greater than mine is very inspirational. It convinces me that it can be done, and if it can be done than I can do it too!
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 30 days left to 2010!)
A new month brings an opportunity for a fresh start, and a renewal of commitment to better health. My December is looking like this:
ē At least 10 minutes of exercise every day in December:
My vision board is a magnetic whiteboard. My own challenge is to do at least 10 minutes of exercise every day in December, and reward myself with a set of magnetic poetry for my vision board. Synchronicity: the Frugalists and Simple Living Teamís ďDecember's JUST MOVE IT ChallengeĒ
ē Have music in every day!
I love music, it really gets me energized, and I donít know why I havenít taken more advantage of that.
ē Review today/Plan tomorrow
Each and every day. I already have my reward Ė I bought a Moleskine agenda for 2011 on sale!
ē Starfish 2010 Winter 5% Challenge
This is the first team challenge Iíve signed up for since finishing treatments. Iím committing to 10 minutes of exercise and checking in with my team daily, and following the SP dietary guidelines. Iím also tracking everything in a HealthMinder journal, so I can discuss with my doctor at the end of the month (my annual physical).
Thatís it. Thatís all.
I usually have a list as long as my arm. Then Iím distracted by prioritizing, feel stress and pressure to do it all, and disappointed in myself when I donít get absolutely everything done. Iím taking a different approach this month. My one healthy thing is exercise. My one fun thing is music. My one thing to improve life for the family is the planning. And my one Ďteam sportí is the winter challenge. My daily planning will certainly include a list of things to get done, but it will be more like a running list. Iíll identify five non-negotiables for the day, and anything extra I get done will be icing on the cake! Iím keeping it simple and attainable, so that I start this cancer-free lifestyle on the right foot.
Happy December everyone!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė 34 days left!)
Well, the radiation burns are finally healing, and I can move around more comfortably. Of course, that means Iím getting right back on that exercise horse to get back into shape!
I tend to be a collector, and many of the SP concepts seem to be geared to me (or maybe thatís just how Iím reading it LOL!). With the Spark Streaks concept, Iíll goad myself into doing things on a daily basis, trying to increase the length of my streaks. I also think the minute-tracking for the exercise will help me, as I challenge myself to do more minutes per day/week/month. Iíve joined the ď2010 Winter 5% ChallengeĒ, an 8-week challenge to lose 5% of my body weight. It begins in mid-December, just in time to bring me through the Holidays.
Speaking of the Holidays, my finger nails are nearly back to normal, so I can start practicing Christmas songs on the piano. I havenít played in 25 years, but I have time on my hands so why not? Iíve also begun to plan my Christmas baking. My SIL canít eat gluten, and I seem to be the only one who understands what that means baking-wise, so Iím doing a couple of special things for her in addition to stuff for everyone else! Itís a bit of an odd feeling as last year there wasnít much being done Ė I had been having problems since mid-August, and the breast cancer was diagnosed December 16th. It seems like itís been a long time since weíve really celebrated the Holidays, and this year is going to be quite a party. Suffice it to say itís in town, but weíre bringing sleeping bags!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
(Countdown to New Yearís Ė only 37 days left!)
Radiation burns are starting to heal, new skin is starting to come through Ė finally! Itís still difficult to move much because of the friction, but Iím looking forward to getting back on the exercise track. Things are so slow right now, though. Iím appreciating the extra time that I to meditate and really explore the Ďnew meí.
If anything, having breast cancer hasnít illuminated anything in particular, but it has served to confirm some of my core values and life decisions.
First and foremost, when DH and I married 22 years ago, after having gotten engaged two weeks after we started going out together... yeah, that was the right decision. I donít have the words to express how much I love and appreciate him Ė wonít even try, because it wouldnít do him justice.
One thing that I have always held to be true is that every person is a treasure because of what they are inside. That wonderful husband that I mentioned above, he has confirmed that he agrees with me. I will never wear the standard female body ever again. I will not be doing reconstruction and donít care to wear foobies. When I told my husband of my decision, he said whatís important is whatís inside, and the look in my eyes when I look at him. I cannot express how reassuring that is, after the assault of media images that try to convince me that thin and curvy is where itís at. No, where itís at is right here where I am, with him.
Further, things are not as important as people. I learned this lesson in my mid-teens, after having lost dozens of people to illness and accidents. It was odd to realize that I had somewhat lost that focus and begun accumulating things. Ugh. Now Iím decluttering, and donating a lot of things to people who are in more need of them. Iím rediscovering my minimalist core, and it feels very liberating.
Iím about half way through my life (Iíll be 50 next year), but Iím still Ďunder developmentí. Iíll try to keep blogging, and would be happy if you joined me for the ride!
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