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Back in the Saddle!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have been feeling like I was on the cusp of big changes, and I was right! DH and I are reaching the end of a week at Justyna7ís B&B, where weíve been focussing on us, on aquafitness and on nutritional goodness all week. Itís just what I need to kick-start my energy and get back on a positive swing.

I absolutely love being in the water, and aquafitness is just the ticket for getting me active without stressing my joints or my back. Once my muscles are stronger, Iíll be adding a lot more Ďlandí exercises, but this is just the ticket for now! Itís the springboard to get me using those bike trails this spring, hiking in our wonderful parks, canoeing in our innumerable waterways, taking advantage of our yard to grow some wonderful vegs.

Iím also feeling much more positive about my energy levels and that I will be able to return to work soon-ish (hopefully in May). Itís been a long haul and quite isolating, but my co-workers are a wonderfully fun loving and supportive bunch of people, and I miss that daily interaction with them!

Aaannnd... if Iím not mistaken, itís day 68 of the 100-Day Countdown.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENATOR9 2/18/2011 5:10AM

    The water will do wonder for you great workout things are looking up emoticon emoticon

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RUTHXG 2/17/2011 10:49PM

    I just read a couple of your earlier blog posts, & you have been through a LOT! So glad you could have this wonderful week of resting & playing in the water & being with your husband. Here's wishing you many wonderful soul-restoring hours outdoors this spring, summer & fall. So many beautiful days are ahead!

emoticon emoticon

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JMCADE 2/17/2011 10:16PM

    I'm glad the aquafitness is going so well for you. Keep it up.
Use those minutes for the Starfish team. Looking forward to the next 8 weeks. Sounds like you are ready too.

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QUOOTIE 2/17/2011 2:01PM

    You rock

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LISED58 2/17/2011 8:49AM

    You sound just wonderful. Fabulous.

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KELPIE57 2/17/2011 8:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOCALAT 2/17/2011 7:14AM

    sounds like a nice get-a-way!!

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Just plain burned out, tired of fighting

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Iíve been doing a lot of contemplation lately, and realized that yes, I am just tired of fighting. I think I need to acknowledge it somewhere, and I hope youíll allow me to do it here...

Iíll put it in the context of:
ē Illness during my teenage years that doctors didnít know what to do with, or how to diagnose. Had to quit school at 16 (finished HS by correspondence), and was told I would never be able to hold down a job. Forget about university. Finally got to uni when I was 24.
ē Issues during pregnancy put me in bed for 3 months, then no exercise for quite a while
ē Health issues and 3.5 years of arguing with doctors finally led to thyroid removal and diagnosis of thyroid cancer, and subsequent treatments.
ē Then breast swelling, orange peel skin, etc. led to diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer and all the nightmare stories that entails regarding survivorship (or lack thereof), chemo, bilateral mastectomy, radiation therapy. Luckily, although 22 lymph nodes removed, no mets. Iím still off work, though, started Tamoxifen. I gained nearly 10 lbs the first week I started it, but am in a holding pattern now. Chemo screwed with my toenails, and I havenít worn closed shoes in a year (difficult when thereís snow, but Iíve been wearing clogs). Energy is gone.

All this to say, Iím tired of fighting. Iím tired of the uphill battle, of Ďimpressingí everyone with how strong I am, blah, blah, blah. I want to go snowshoeing, bike all the wonderful paths in Ottawa, go canoe-camping, skate the canal, so many other things. Sometimes I just want to scream, but I know it will just affect those around me really badly and will hurt more than help in the long run.

Not giving up the battle Ė not by a long shot! So many things are going well for me, my son has just been accepted in the program he wanted at College, my husband is a blessing that words cannot begin to describe, I actually have a job I enjoy to go back to and a lot of moral support there.

I just had to say it somewhere Ė Iím tired of fighting. I'll be back to my usual self tomorrow. Today, I'm wallowing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 2/7/2011 11:50AM

    I hear you. Being postive not just for yourself but for everyone is sometimes just too much. We all get to that place where we want someone to take care of US for a change. For life not to be work. For every moment NOT to have meaning. I keep getting these forwards right now about not wasting a precious minute, about being and doing more more more. Trauma is about denial, anger, grief and mourning. What we WANT to do is skip all that and jump to the good stuff. And then plans just go awry, life happens. I wish I knew why or how to get through this. You just do. Sometimes you just have to immerse yourself in a book. Do too mnay crosswrds. Sleep longer. Cry in the shower. Eat chocolate. Say no to invitations. Say no to responsibilities. The rebirth will happen. It will come back. The walks, the moments of silence, the joy in what is on the plate and against the skin. The appreciation and the positive. But you know what, I think it all changes us. We are no longer naive. We need to reconsider what life is all about. It really is a time of interspection. A time of selfishness. A time when we give ourselves permission NOT to be productive or meaningful. Like a pheonix reborn. The rest will come.

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GWENAEL 2/6/2011 10:54PM

  Venting is the best exercise for the soul! I'm there whenever you need me! Thanks again for your support today!

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GRAMMYSKIDS58 2/6/2011 9:45PM

    You deserve to vent after all you have been through and I am glad you felt you were safe to do it here. A lot of us understand what you are going through and have felt the same way. It is hard to keep fighting over and over again. We are here for you when you need to vent and to help root you on... I was so glad to read you last words that you weren't giving up..... stay strong and fight hard!!!'
HUGS, Kathy

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LISED58 2/6/2011 9:34PM

    This is your safe space to express your pains and your gains.
You won't find judgement here. Only support ...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEATHER809 2/6/2011 7:44PM

  I fully understand what you are saying. Sometimes everything I have gone through (chemo, surgeries, lack of energy, side effects) all catch up to me and it is just overwhelming. We just need to let it out sometimes to others that understand. We are all here for you.


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QUOOTIE 2/6/2011 5:43PM

    My dear girl, of course you are tired of fighting! My heart goes out to you! ! Please do keep fighting if you can, today, maybe even tomorrow, just rest

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ATMANI 2/6/2011 2:03PM

    It is okay to vent. Hang in there. emoticon

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KELPIE57 2/6/2011 1:59PM

    Give yourself permission not to be superwoman.....all the time! You are allowed to feel that it isn't fair, cos it isn't. However, you are so right to concentrate on the good. Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way. emoticon emoticon

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    Thanks for sharing Seawave ... and I hear you.
Vent vent vent.. I just did! (Thanks for commenting on my post) ~ I know what you mean about being strong... sometimes you just dont' want to be so strong! It is exhausting.

I'm glad to hear you say you are not giving up by a long shot -- if you had said that I would have gently suggested that you see if you could find a good therapist ~ to help with depression or just with all the feelings. Of course, I should be doing the same thing - but I just don't have time!! LOL!! :0)

Anyway - we are both lucky that we have such wonderful husbands and so many blessings in our lives. I should be focusing more on that -- but today I just had to have that morning pity party for myself! You too -- and that is okay because we are HUMAN.

I have to recommend the book I have (The Pink Ribbon Diet by Mary Flynn). It does work but just really slowly. It is supposed to help improve your biomarkers for preventing breast cancer. Though, is is a lot of work in terms of planning, shopping and cooking!

Keep on keeping on and stop when you need to stop ~ it's okay.

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Can someone please teach my husband moderation?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Iím going to have a tough finish to my week. I asked my DH to pick up a desert yesterday as he was stopping by the groceries to pick up some veg and we had someone over. ďA desertĒ I said. He came back with cookies, a chocolate coffee cake, and a carrot cake/loaf. Four cookies and one slice of cake are gone. The rest is sitting there, calling to me while Iím home all day and he and our DS are both gone.

I have to figure out some strategy to stay away from these goodies when they come in the house. Neither my DH nor my DS eat a lot of desert, but when they do go for something they always bring back 2-3 things. DS (and his friends) especially burns the calories like crazy playing soccer, running, etc. but DH and I can afford those empty calories a lot less. I know next time Iíll be a lot more specific and say ďpick up a fruit saladĒ rather than ďa desertĒ. Although he never brings back 2-3 fruit salads when I say that LOL!

Any suggestions to build up my resistance to such insidious interlopers in my kitchen will be much appreciated. In the meantime, Iím taping a fat picture to each container!

EDITED to say, no I'll tape a picture of an active healthy person to the containers - much more positive!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZID 2/4/2011 9:22AM

    Oh boy, that is tough... I can't bring those things in the house because I would be a goner and so would the dessert! One strategy I use that seems to work is, although my son has Type I diabetes, he is 20 years old and counts carbs, so he can eat what he wants, so if I buy him a package of cookies, I give them to him and tell him to hide them. It has worked because as long as they are not in "my face" so to speak, they are "out of sight, out of mind"... Maybe you could ask hubby to hide the goodies and don't eat them in front of you. In the future if he buys some treats, ask him not to let you know about them and just put them in his hiding place.

Good luck and please keep us posted. emoticon

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LISED58 2/3/2011 11:58PM

    Oh dear, I empathise, sympathise and all that stuff... how about
Go out for a tiny, tiny treat instead of asking for the big treats to be brought home?
Share it with friends? (Pop over for a short visit bringing treats for coffee or tea)
Send to DH's work?
Put them far back in the freezer where you forget about them?
Ask your D's to hide the stuff somewhere in the house? (My son is a good hider. Argh!!)
I'm with Feisty1949 - I've trashed food before, telling myself I am not a trashcan.

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MSPRIS3 2/3/2011 4:55PM

    HA HA love the edit!

My hubby's the same, that's why I do the groceries

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FEISTY1949 2/3/2011 7:53AM

    It sounds as though you don't usually have desserts in the house because you made a special request to your husband to buy them for your guest. If it were me, I'd toss everything out!! Sound drastic? I've done it. Better in the garbage than on my waist. I don't even think of it as a waste of money. The money's gone and eating won't bring it back.

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KELPIE57 2/3/2011 7:34AM

    I love the edit!

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Goodbye Jan, Hello Feb!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lessons Learned in January

ē I CAN do at least 10 minutes of exercise every day. I completed the 10-Minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge!

ē I thought I would use the slow cooker or rice cooker at least once per day, but Iíve found that (1) we often have leftovers, so we use those instead of cooking again and (2) weíre not big dessert eaters, so the desserts I was thinking of making arenít being made. Hmmm... weíre eating healthier than I thought!

ē I started playing the piano a bit after 25 years away. Muscle memory is a wonderous thing!

February 2011 goals

ē In addition to continuing the 100-Day Countdown with our little mini-team...

ē Now that Iím exercising, I want to really pay attention and determine what time of day works best for me. Although Iím not a morning person, exercising in the early morning has some appeal to me so Iím going to try that.

ē Weíre staying at Justyna's B&B for a week, to celebrate our wedding anniversary. After spending more than a year dealing with the breast cancer, this is a week that is long overdue for DH and I, and we are looking forward to it very much! AND she's got that wonderful pool for aquafitness!

ē Iíll be completing the Living Well Beyond Cancer course Iíve been taking with the Cancer Society.

100-Day Countdown (Day 84)

1. Drink 8X8 oz water/day Ė Iím good here
2. Exercise 10 min/day Ė Iím good here
3. Eat within my recommended calorie range Ė Iím good here
4. Eat within my recommended low sodium range -- Iím good here
5. Use my slow cooker or rice cooker at least once per day. Ė
6. 15-min Zone work per day (inspired by Ė
7. My average weight will decrease weekly -- lost .6 lbs (every little bit helps!)
8. Daily reports to the mini-team! Ė I admit it, Iíve been a slacker! Iíll try to do better!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSPRIS3 2/2/2011 12:21PM

    Awesome outlook! Have a great Aniversary vacation!!

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KELPIE57 2/2/2011 1:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LISED58 2/1/2011 7:23PM

    You're an inspiration, Seawave.

Your break at Justyna's sounds fantastic - you guys sure do deserve that wonderful week.


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Dance, and the Zen of Weight Training

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well, Iíve learned something today, or come to a conclusion of sorts. While I thought dance/exercise DVDs would be ideal for me Ė I love music and dancing of all kinds Ė the set routines are probably one of the worst things for me at this point. Hmmm. The thing thatís happening is I try to do their routine, but can do so much less than I would normally just dancing around on my own. My biggest problem is that the early routine focuses on leg work, and my knees give out on me.

If Iím dancing around on my own, I just wave my arms around at that point and step it out, but if Iím trying to follow a routine... I just canít. Itís so much more enjoyable, more freeing to do it my way! How did I ever forget this? So itís away with the DVDs and on with my own music for the next while when it comes to cardio!

The other discovery is a kind of zen of weight training. I really enjoy the focus on form, the repetition of movement that weight training gives me.

So my Ďreportí for yesterday and today (days 93 to 92)

1. Drink 8X8 oz water/day Ė Iím good here

2. Exercise 10 min/day Ė ok here, although I think I might have to change up and do more ST before tackling cardio; my muscles just donít have the stamina!

3. Eat within my recommended calorie range Ė ok
4. Eat within my recommended low sodium range -- ok

5. Use my slow cooker or rice cooker at least once per day. Ė none Sunday or today; will be putting something in it tonight, though.

6. 15-min Zone work per day (inspired by Ė ok, in the bedrooms this week

7. My average weight will decrease weekly -- started week at avg 246.5 lbs. Also, DH has agreed that if my average weight does go down, we'll go out together for a cappucino. It's a real treat for me, and without sugar, etc. in it it's not all that unhealthy.

8. Daily reports to the mini-team!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTYNA7 1/28/2011 11:54AM

    I remember when I first tried yoga after my knee surgery. I cannot do the child's pose or anything like it. I found the instructor rather useless at helping to problem solve. I decided I could not do yoga. Then a spark guest was here who insisted we do yoga in the evenings. I grumbled that I would watch. But I found myself participating in bits. Then my kids got into the yoga tapes. I decided that I would spend some time instead of sitting there feeling sorry for myself during those poses figuring out what muscles they were trying to stretch. Then I got my exercise ball and whatever equipment was around and experimented until I could feel a stretch. I discovered I can do those poses standing up and leaning over the ball or my lifecycle. Hmmm. We are not limited by our disabilities. We are only limited by our perceptions of our disabilities. So don't give up on the dance routines if you love the idea of them... sit and watch them and decide what you CAN do for similar results. I have a video of "burlesquersize" OMG I cannot do the moves in front of the TV.... but I can do them in the pool! Keep that in mind when you are here and maybe we can try them together!!

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LISED58 1/24/2011 8:38PM

    It's great cardio. I have 2 Richard Simmons VHSs that are fun to move to. Keep swinging your arms and have fun! ChaChaCha!

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