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Moving at a different speed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Completed a six-week ďLiving Well Beyond CancerĒ workshop tonight. It was a great group of people, very open to sharing their experiences and thoughts for dealing with life in general. Iíve been off work for over a year, and it helped to have such a dynamic group of people to discuss things with. I so miss my teams at work!

Tomorrow I hope to get answers for two key things. The first thing is Iím going to find out if I can ramp up the exercise and safely take on aquafitness despite the chemo-related problems with my toenails. I havenít worn closed shoes for over a year, so no boots and stuck inside when itís snowing. But I fell in love with aquafitness last week, and I walked just a bit and wound up with both big toes infected. Ugh. I belatedly recalled that the doctor said something about not soaking the feet... There has to be something that can be done! The whiny brat in me does not want to have to wait a year to take up aquafitness, and is stamping her little feet in frustration!

The second thing is Iím going to a dental surgeon to determine if I need a root canal or a tooth extraction - it will be one or the other. A cavity that had a temporary filling grew under the gum line Ė a common thing, apparently, with radiation therapy Ė so that tooth is shot. My fingers will be crossed for good news on both fronts, although with regard to the tooth Iím not sure what constitutes good news LOL!

So things are moving along, and as much as I try to direct my energies, I am not as productive or forward moving as I would like. Slow and steady wins the race, I guess. I need to bury the sprinter in me and pull out the long distance runner!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSACAIA 2/24/2011 11:39AM

    I hope you are able to do the aquafitness as well. I love any kind of water exercise.

And yes - slow and steady DOES win the race! Keep at it!!

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CO-CREATOR 2/24/2011 8:08AM

    I hope you are able to do the aquafitness. Its so important to find an exercise we enjoy. I admire your strength, and hope you receive positive news.

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 2/24/2011 7:52AM

    Wow, hang in there. You are a survivor, Hon! You are strong, resourceful, and, above all, determined and STUBBORN! You go, girl! I have also had two root canals and a tooth extraction. Not so bad. Only thing is that, with the extraction, then you have to have the money for an implant. I have learned to live without the tooth, for now (luckily it is a back one so not noticeable.) Glad you had such a great experience at your meeting. My thoughts are with you! emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 2/24/2011 6:38AM

    Many years of wellness are wished upon you!

Good luck at the dentist.. never a fun place to go!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 2/24/2011 1:13AM

    Ouch! Good luck at the dentist!

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KELPIE57 2/24/2011 1:06AM

    My brat is with your brat....... She wants in now too! I am having to leaern that I don't always understand the lesson..........................yet
! emoticon emoticon

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GO-LOEW 2/24/2011 12:09AM

    I hope that your news is good tomorrow, although like you said, how do you know good news when one possibility is a root canal and the other is a tooth extraction. Actually, I have had both (without the added issues of chemo) and they were both okay experiences. I didn't get to finish my movie at the root canal and am still wondering how it ended.

You definitely need the long-distance runner on your weight loss healthy lifestyle journey. You can do it, one way or the other.

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LISED58 2/24/2011 12:06AM

    I support you 100% . "Slow and steady wins the race."

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5% Catch Up!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Was of on vacation, and am now catching up with the StarFish Pre-Season Assignments that I didnít do last week!

emoticon Assignment #1 Ė Challenge Commitment

Prep equipment: Everything is ready, except I want to buy a resistance cord for some exercises my DH and I want to do together. If we get medical approval, weíll be registering for aquafit later this Friday (see the podiatrist Thursday).

Nutrition: No particular 'diet' to follow; I'll plan ahead and eat healthy foods, cut out empty calories and reduce portions.

Exercise: I will be identifying a stretching (yoga/tai chi) routine that works for me; daily weight training (alternating muscle groups) and daily cardio (via walking/Leslie Sansone DVD, aquafit and/or dance).

Community: Iíll be logging in to SP every day, and checking out my team mates blogs.

emoticonAssignment #2
Update SparkPage Ė Done Feb 17th emoticon

emoticonAssignment #3 Ė Reasons to lose weight
Too many to list them *all*!!! Increased stamina, flexibility, and strength. I miss being active, skating the canal, hiking in Gatineau Park, biking Ottawaís trails, canoeing in our many waterways... the list goes on and on. Iím tired of sitting on the sidelines.

emoticonAssignment #4 Ė Maintaining Community Ties

emoticonAssignment #5 - Trigger Foods and Situations

Iím not sure Iíve identified triggers yet, although I have some clues. Anything not measured that is eaten out of hand (e.g. nuts, trail mix) becomes mindless eating, so I need to measure! I thought the usual sugar or chips... sometimes t hey'll be screaming at me from the kitchen, other times they can sit there for weeks. Just not sure... I think I tend to eat when Iím bored, so during at least the early part of this challenge, Iíll be making an extra effort to be aware of this, try to see the patterns, and blog as I learn things. Iím also going back to logging in Spark Nutrition (I had stopped for a while), preferably before I eat!

emoticonAssignment #6 - Know your numbers.
Eat between 1290 and 1640 calories per day (as per SparkPeople)
Calories Burned: 1920 calories per week (as per SparkPeople)
Mini-Goal: Hit 180 lbs for my 50th birthday (Sept 24); Overall goal from 247 to 120 by July 07, 2012
My 5% goal is to reach 234.85 lbs, which would be a 12.36-lbs loss, in 8 weeks.

Three more assignments to do, then it's on to the challenge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 2/23/2011 6:44AM

    I am sure that vacation was well needed!!

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KAREN_NY 2/22/2011 7:51PM

    Love this! I am with you on missing some of the active outdoor goodness of life. I need to put "travel to Ottawa" on my list of reasons to feel fit & fantastic too, because those things sound FUN! :) This summer you'll be rockin' them ALL!

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CO-CREATOR 2/22/2011 10:38AM

    Great goals. I need to work on my assignments, I was a little late joining the challenge.

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BEATLETOT 2/21/2011 7:11PM

    Good job on all the assignments! Looking forward to doing this
Challenge with you!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 2/21/2011 5:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

You can do it!

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KELPIE57 2/21/2011 1:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LISED58 2/21/2011 1:08PM

    Hello Seawave. You've got great assignments and goals! It's fun that you and your DH will be enjoying some together! Fantastic.
emoticon emoticon

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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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