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Warning! Warning! Whine Ahead!

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...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LHLADY517 12/8/2010 5:26PM

    Vent anytime. Just keep moving a bit at a time.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 12/8/2010 2:22PM

    It's seems like you are having a rough time, so go ahead and vent, and get it out. It's much worse to bottle that stuff up.

I'm not sure how long a list it would be, but can you come up with a list of things you can do? Drink water, etc. Then we can celebrate the small victories, which will lead to larger victories as your health improves.

Hugs from a fellow emoticon

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LAURITA. 12/8/2010 2:17PM

    It is really difficult to go through all the things you are having to deal with. Most important is the need to be able to vent, so never hesitate here. This is one place where you can say the things you may be afraid to say to others.

Have you checked the boards on I was on there a lot when going thru my cancer treatments and frankly I couldn't have done it without the support of the gals I got to know there. There are lots of people there who discuss tamoxifen and dealing with its associated issues. Perhaps there might be something there that could help you? At the very least - you'd find others who are going through the exact same thing you are.

I hope you find some relief.
Big hugs to you.

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JMCADE 12/8/2010 1:58PM

    You know that venting is good for the soul. If you don't let thee feelings out you won't be able to move forward. I am hearing so much determination underneath all the 'whine'. You wouldn't be where you are if it wasn't there. Keep the goal on the horizon and time will work on your behalf. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTYNA7 12/8/2010 12:00PM

    This really sucks! emoticon You can't be positive all the time. It will pass. I do get that you're tired. Tired of it always being you and one thing after another. I felt like that for years. When did it stop? I don't know. It does help sometimes when I do a "if this hadn't happened then I never would have met... or found.... or tried..." Things happen for reasons. Sometimes we don't see the reasons until years later and sometimes I think "it was never about me". I did rather hope you had misspelled "wine" lol. Maybe it is time to brainstorm what you CAN do. Change your goals. LISTEN to the doctor about how long this is going to take and if you are ready earlier, bonus and if not then you are average. You have been working on decluttering. Can you declutter photos? Put CD's on the computer? One day you are going to wake up and feel better. You'll be able to put on socks. It is taking much longer than YOU planned but unfortunately these things happen at God's speed. That was always an expression I did not get, "God Speed" until I realized I have no control over the speed of recovery. I am moaning about my own hand and I know it is nothing compared to your recovery timeline. emoticon

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GATOR12 12/8/2010 12:00PM

    Sometimes spitting it all out. Getting it all out and having sympathy. You do have plenty on your plate and have had. I get it. You deserve this pity party and I know you are going to just let it out there and get right on with the program, doing whatever you can cause I hear you say, I am no QUITTER. That is evident in all your struggles so remind yourself all you have overcome and that you haven't quit yet!!! We do care about you. We want to validate that you do and have had it rough. So much rougher than most and of course not rougher than all but--tttt== you are a survivor and strong. And not a QUITTER!!!

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MSPRIS3 12/8/2010 8:51AM

    I'm sorry you are having a hard time right now, but it will get better! Slowly, but surely. Keep your head up and your spirits high, you've beat 2 bouts of cancer, you are a survivor, and you will survive this!

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KARENE10 12/8/2010 8:42AM

    I'm sorry to hear that things are so rough. Maybe you could walk around IN your house? Do yoga or pilates? Do you have a stationary bike(not sure what you would be allowed to do:( If it is pouring out or the snow is piled high I do laps in the house. I didn't read where you live but if it isn't too cold out maybe you could wear birkenstocks or those exercise sandals? Sending emoticon

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PAMINHALF 12/8/2010 8:09AM

  emoticon see if you can find one thing today that will make you smile a bit more. emoticon you've been dealt a tough hand but you'll make it through.

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5% Assignment Number 3

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!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 12/8/2010 11:05AM

    You have great reasons!

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JUSTYNA7 12/4/2010 11:51AM

    You are definitely on the road to recovery! To recovery and beyond! emoticon

I wanted a rocket ship but I suppose a race car will do! Woop!

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KARENE10 12/4/2010 9:12AM

    What a great list! emoticon

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MBOURKE8 12/4/2010 8:39AM

    An admirable list! With that motivation I know you will be successful !!

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JMCADE 12/3/2010 8:14PM

    Wow what a list. I hope that this challenge helps you to make a dent in some of these items.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/3/2010 5:58PM

    way to go emoticon! great reasons. and, yeah, i could probably never list ALL the reasons, because I feel like i find new reasons everyday.

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PSFITMOMMY413 12/3/2010 1:31PM

    All great reasons- you can do this!

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KELPIE57 12/3/2010 1:28PM

    You are an inspiration.....we should all make that list!

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MONAMOM 12/3/2010 1:26PM

    Great list!!

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MELTING2SVELTE 12/3/2010 1:17PM

    Great list!

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December Already!?!

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANLEEW 12/1/2010 9:48PM

    Remember to add small rewards! Keep moving, keep tracking!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/1/2010 6:59PM

    emoticonI'm a starfish too! We can do this!!

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JUSTYNA7 12/1/2010 11:34AM

    I love it! emoticon

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KELPIE57 12/1/2010 9:10AM

    I like your idea of simplifying goals.....I need to try that

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Things are Looking Up...

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!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 12/1/2010 11:37AM

    I hope to do some baking for my gluten free family members too! Right now I am still in a brace so avoiding much kitchen stuff unless I have to. The stitches come out in another week (I had thought this week so was disappointed this am) and I'll have time then. This week I have guests so the priority is cleaning!

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KELPIE57 11/28/2010 9:03AM

    Celebrate every moment!

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Still Hanging in There...

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 11/24/2010 11:31AM

    Move over, and let me sit down! The start is good, and the voyage sounds interesting. Let's share some decluttering along the way.

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