BEST_LIFE_NOW's SparkPeople Blog BEST_LIFE_NOW's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community What's with all the private teams and private pages lately? I guess I've been away too long. This isn't the same Spark. <BR> <BR> So sad.... Sun, 2 Feb 2014 13:07:52 EST Turning hubby into an addict ... One drink at a time My husband has always been a eat and drink anything you want kind of guy. <BR> <BR> Never had a weight problem. Never had a health issue. <BR> <BR> A few years ago his doctor put him on Lipitor - not because his cholesterol was high, or even borderline, but just because he believed all men by husband's age should be on it. <BR> <BR> So for the last few years, when Charlie has wanted to eat total crap, he'll say it's a two Lipitor kind of day <em>234</em> <BR> <BR> Sometimes I wond... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 10:12:25 EST To do list ... To do: <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Count blessings <BR> <BR> Life is good! <em>213</em> Sat, 3 Nov 2012 22:12:46 EST Somewhere in here there is a lesson to be learned ... I remember the first time I visited my oncologist ... Dr Baby Blue Eyes ... <BR> <BR> When the appointment was made, I didn't know what an oncologist was.  I knew something was seriously wrong.  The ER doctor wouldn't tell us anything, but that's another story.   <BR> <BR> No one in my family had ever had cancer so the thought never occurred to me.  I was 48 ...  <BR> <BR> Dr Baby Blue Eyes told me on my first visit that he suspected cancer.    It took another month ... a long, painful mon... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:11:58 EST Hopped on the scale and said so what ... I'm still annoyed with my behavior over the last few months. <BR> <BR> Most people I'm around don't have a clue anything is wrong. I am sort of a master of deception ... Which is not necessarily a good thing. <BR> <BR> Even I didn't realize how angry I am - until I started to write it down. <BR> <BR> And a pattern emerges, when I get angry enough, or overwhelmed enough, or just too plain tired, I slip into my old ways ... Junk food, lack of sleep, negative attitude. <BR> <BR> I don... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 08:50:15 EST Hello .... It's been so long since I've logged on to my Spark account.  The truth is, I forgot my password a long time ago and never got around to resetting it. <BR> <BR> A quick recap of the last, I don't know, year maybe ... <BR> <BR> I have cancer ... It could be worse :) <BR> <BR>  I'm very well, except for the above. <BR> <BR> My thyroid has disowned me.  <BR> <BR> I have a very good job. <BR> <BR> I hate my job. <BR> <BR> I have a bad attitude. <BR> <BR> I'm bitter.  <BR> <BR> Nothing wil... Sun, 28 Oct 2012 16:48:49 EST Missing in action I've been missing in action. It's kind of complicated. <BR> <BR> I had another biopsy, this time they surgically removed a lymph node. It all ended well. Nothing really changed and it just proved what they thought all along ... I have cancer ... Again. The last biopsy helped them sub-type it. I'm ok with the diagnosis now. My life is good. With this type of cancer I have options. Somehow I feel more in control and I feel like God really has my back ... So to speak! <BR> <BR> I s... Thu, 8 Mar 2012 20:39:49 EST Grace? I've been away the last few weeks because I needed to get some things done. <BR> <BR> I spent time reflecting and contemplating. <BR> <BR> Made a list of what I needed to do. <BR> <BR> Usually, I stopped there and piddled around. Getting some things done and ignoring others completely. In other words, procrastinating. <BR> <BR> Not this time! <BR> <BR> Sometimes everything comes together ... Grace? <BR> <BR> I decided it was time to go back to work. Finally! <BR> <BR> On Sunday,... Thu, 2 Feb 2012 09:13:31 EST My love affair with the green monster Something happened to me when I started my wheatgrass and green juice experiment. <BR> <BR> My experiment was twofold; the first was simply to drink wheatgrass for one week straight and see what, if anything happened. <BR> <BR> The second was to buy a juicer and ACTUALLY use it ... At least for one month. I juice mainly what they call green juice - LOTS of green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, lettuces), along with cucumbers, celery, broccoli stems, green apple or pear, and ginger. <BR>... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 19:10:23 EST It's a new year ... shaking my booty and soul searching It's a new year ... and I'm still here! <BR> <BR> It doesn't get much better than that! Thank you God! <BR> <BR> I guess that means that there is more to be done. And have I got a list of things I want to do. The bucket list runneth over! <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> The list of things that I want to do is secondary to what I want to become. <BR> <BR> Health and fitness are there, for sure, but I'm fully aware that their role is a supporting role. Their job is simply to keep the God p... Sun, 1 Jan 2012 11:34:25 EST Rx for cancer ... Laughter! Cancer is not as serious as you might think. At least not most of the time. <BR> <BR> It's not all doom and gloom. I laugh a lot. <BR> <BR> The things that people do ... and say. <BR> <BR> Here's some examples. <BR> <BR> We joined a health club after I finished chemo. <BR> <BR> The good part ... I was so tiny. To go back to that time! But I digress. I was also almost the walking dead, so tired. I was as bald as can be. For some reason, being bald never bothered me. It's not... Fri, 30 Dec 2011 14:44:20 EST A little update ... It's been awhile since I've blogged. <BR> <BR> We did spend the Thanksgiving holiday in London. While I'm happy that we went, and I did have some fun, the trip wasn't all that great. <BR> <BR> First, I left all the planning to DH because he wanted to make the plans. While is is competent at what he does for a living, he is not a good planner. He didn't look at the days tours were given. He assumed that all tours were for all days. He won't be allowed to make plans in the future. <e... Wed, 28 Dec 2011 19:14:08 EST I guess I am the face of cancer ... I'm also the face of a survivor :) Everyone is surprised when they are told they have cancer. <BR> <BR> I think most first responses, at least internally, is why .... Why me? <BR> <BR> And then somewhere along the line, maybe months later we say "why not me". <BR> <BR> Cancer is everywhere. <BR> <BR> Found out after a series of tests that I do, in fact, have another form of lymphoma. <BR> <BR> This one is called Follicular Non Hodgson's Lymphoma. It's low grade, meaning slow growing. It's treatable, but not curab... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:08:43 EST Dear Spark friends .... thanks! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been gone awhile getting biopsies and thinking ... and thinking some more. <BR> <BR> It's always something. Life changes in an instant. <BR> <BR> First off, my news is not terrible .... perhaps not what I would have wished for, but I really believe that God has a reason for all of what is happening. <BR> <BR> After everything was said and done it came down to this .... I MIGHT have cancer. <BR> <BR... Thu, 20 Oct 2011 16:54:04 EST One cancer down, one to go ... Just call me teflon! On Monday I had to go see a specialist to look at my thyroid and some suspicious lymph nodes that they found while doing an ultra-sound. <BR> <BR> First thing, the doc feels around and finds the lump on my thyroid. He pokes around some, looks at the report and says not to worry ... yet. The nodule is small, he doesn't think it warrants a biopsy. He said to get another ultra-sound in 6 months and see if its grown. <BR> <BR> Then he checks out the lymph nodes in question. He's conc... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 19:54:01 EST More thoughts on the garden .... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I love althea's (or Rose of Sharon). When I lived in Texas, we had a few of the tree versions that had big, double blooms that lasted all summer. And all summer is a very long time in Texas! They were simply stunning. <BR> <BR> When we moved to Chicago, I didn't plant any Rose of Sharon's. I thought the bloom time just wasn't long enough. <BR> <BR> Foolish girl! <BR> <BR> I missed the beauty. The char... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:17:29 EST You know that you are living a good life when ... You know that you are living a good life when you realize that you don't wish you were someone else. <BR> <BR> First off, thanks so much for the support. I cherish you guys! <em>247</em> <BR> <BR> Other than my DH and all of you peeps on Spark,no one knows. I don't want to worry my family. I also don't want to answer their questions. I don't want to play the victim, the woman of courage, the ... you name it ... If no one knows, I can just be me. <BR> <BR> <BR> It was kind of... Fri, 16 Sep 2011 17:22:41 EST What if's ... My oncologist said my TSH is way too high, my internist felt a lump (or nodule ?) on my thyroid .... so off I went to get an ultrasound. <BR> <BR> The technician could not find the lump. Neither could I. They played around with the ultrasound for a 1/2 hour and did the best that they could. She did say I had a few lymph nodes that were larger than normal on one side and perhaps that is what the doctor felt. <BR> <BR> My internist called me this morning. He sounded concerned. I hate... Thu, 15 Sep 2011 16:38:45 EST An orderly free bird??? Remember Lynyrd Skynyrd? Remember Free Bird? <BR> <BR> I don't know the words to the song and I suspect I never did. But I LOVED the song. I have always thought of myself as a free bird. <BR> <BR> I finished high school at 15. <BR> <BR> Fell in love with travel as a kid and just KNEW that I had to see it all. Used books as my escape to other places until I could do the real thing. Today, I would spend my last dime on seeing something or some place new. I love the unexpected. <BR... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 21:10:02 EST I'm feeling a bit like Ginger Rogers .... I'm always doing things the hard way .... <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago I see Dr Baby Blue Eyes for my 6 month check. <BR> <BR> I'm a little nervous because I'm so tired lately. I'm hoping my lymphoma hasn't come back. <BR> <BR> I tell the doc about how I'm walking about an hour a day, most days. I'm riding my bike with DH on the weekends for 2 to 4 hours stretches. And I'm ALWAYS wanting a nap or taking one. <BR> <BR> I wanna know if the chemo fatigue is EVER going to go away. Or w... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 13:25:08 EST Tests, Dr Baby Blue Eyes, and Naps <em>248</em> The test is done! <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Thanks for everyone's support! <BR> <BR> This was the second (and the hardest) of three certifications that I'm working on. The final one is called Six Sigma Green Belt ... it should be relatively easy ... I hope! <BR> <BR> What had me concerned was this ... I have what you call chemo brain. I used to have an (almost) photographic memory ... which made studying non-existent. So, I never really learned HOW to study. Now, I not ... Tue, 30 Aug 2011 12:19:39 EST 8 more days ... and a question I'm so busy, so tired. It feels so good ... <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> I never knew studying could wear me out so much. <BR> <BR> And I'm really kind of pleased with myself. I'm following through. <BR> <BR> I knew this month would be hard and I decided to PRACTICE some of my so-called beliefs. Usually, when stressed, all my good intentions go out the window. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I've studied at least 8 hours each day. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I've exercised a minimum of 60 m... Fri, 19 Aug 2011 10:26:59 EST Swamped ... please bear with me! It may look like I wasn't on Spark last week, but I was ... albeit in very short increments. <BR> <BR> I'm getting ready to go back to work and thought (at the very last minute of course) That I would get 3 certifications under my belt. It makes sense to do it before I go back to work because 2 out of 3 of them are very time consuming. <BR> <BR> The first, a technical one, I completed about 2 months ago. The second,a management one is what I'm working on now. The test will be at the ... Sun, 14 Aug 2011 19:09:19 EST Help ... they are after me! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For some reason, these suckers are in abundance this year. We have had a huge problem with them this year, way more than usual. <BR> <BR> My morning walks aren't too bad ... I usually come home with one or two new bites. Of course, given that I walk for an hour or more everyday, those bites add up! <BR> <BR> But when we take the dogs out for their evening walk ... I'm dinner to these little beasts. <BR> <... Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:50:20 EST A short blog .... <em>248</em> I slept 8 hours. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I exercised for 90 minutes. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I studied for 5.5 hours. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I are a balanced diet. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I drank 10 glasses of water. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I stretched every hour. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I studied some more. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I made a great dinner. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I walked the dogs. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I got ready for bed. <BR> <BR... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 21:25:19 EST Clean? Whole? Nutritious? It was certainly a whole lot easier to drop a few pounds in days gone by. <BR> <BR> I'd simply eat 1000-1200 calories a day ... didn't matter where those calories came from. <BR> <BR> I might exercise, if I felt like it. I might not. <BR> <BR> And the pounds came off and stayed off. <BR> <BR> Oh ... and I drank coffee and smoked cigarettes continuously. It kept me awake. <BR> <BR> I was the perfect type A personality. <BR> <BR> I guess I come from good stock because I was able t... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 22:19:44 EST One thing leads to another .... About yesterday's blog ... <BR> <BR> I do think that it's normal to compare yourself to others. It's how we are programmed ... BUT <BR> <BR> I had a brief moment in time when I in chemo where I didn't do that. I was enough just as I was. You were enough just as you were. And that knowledge led to a state of bliss. I want it back! So I'm constantly correcting myself when I find myself making judgements that really are none of my business ... and really, most of my judgements fall int... Thu, 4 Aug 2011 14:59:12 EST When will I stop comparing myself to others? It's one thing to compare cost and quality in regards to a THING, and another thing altogether to compare PEOPLE. <BR> <BR> And yet, that is how I spend my life. <BR> <BR> Always comparing and contrasting. <BR> <BR> Is she better looking? <BR> <BR> Thinner? <BR> <BR> Smarter? <BR> <BR> Fitter? <BR> <BR> Richer? <BR> <BR> Happier? <BR> <BR> Balanced? <BR> <BR> The list goes on ... and on ... and on ... <BR> <BR> This is my great character flaw. I know that society pushes... Wed, 3 Aug 2011 14:10:02 EST I'm taking a bow to my past ... All that I am comes from all that has been. <BR> <BR> I just got back from my walk. Even in the early morning it was sweltering. I'm so glad I did it though because if I had put it off I probably would have come up with an excuse not to. <BR> <BR> I listened to some lessons on my ipod too ... so I 'studied' for about half the walk. I need time to think and reflect too ... that's why I love walking! <BR> <BR> I thought a lot today ... ok, maybe my brain just melted, but ... <BR> ... Tue, 2 Aug 2011 10:45:37 EST Getting my ducks in a row ... I have an extremely busy month ahead of me. I have a certification exam than I am not prepared for scheduled for 8/29. To get myself ready, I'm scheduling myself 6 hours of study time a day. I can do this! <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> When I get busy and/or stressed, my good habits have a tendency to take the back burner. I was thinking ... this is EXACTLY when I need all the good habits up front and center! So ... this month I VOW to: <BR> <BR> <em>160</em> Pay attention to eating he... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 09:23:47 EST If this pooch doesn't make you smile .... This is kind of a re-run ... I just love this little pooch! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This tiny puppy may have been born without front legs but there's no way that is holding her back. <BR> <BR> Hope ... yeah, that's her name ... was born with only two legs and has small wriggling nubs where her front legs should be. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At first Hope moved around by... Thu, 28 Jul 2011 15:13:52 EST Weeding Getting on track .... <BR> <BR> I've been thinking about that a whole lot over the last week or two. <BR> <BR> I've become more active on the site. Yeah! <BR> <BR> I'm still a bit overwhelmed with some stuff that I have going on in my life. Some of my procrastination is catching up with me. <BR> <BR> Back to getting on track ... what does that mean to me? <BR> <BR> It's more than just eating right and getting exercise in. <BR> <BR> It's a balance. <BR> <BR> I have the ... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:25:32 EST I'm not the most dedicated Sparker but .... I originally came to Spark to change my lifestyle after finishing chemo. <BR> <BR> I had learned a lot about cancer (and heart disease and diabetes also) and I wanted to make sure I implemented some of what I had learned so that I could hopefully prevent a re-occurrence or cancer and avoid the other two. <BR> <BR> Sometimes I feel as though I just keep making the same mistakes over and over. And I do .... <em>246</em> ... just less often! <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was thinking ... Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:53:04 EST Time to pause and reflect I spend so much time 'working on myself'. <BR> <BR> I'm an expert on my faults. The real ones, not the imagined. <BR> <BR> Sometimes it can get tiring to just focus on the flaws. <BR> <BR> I'm in a more playful mood today ... <BR> <BR> I thought that today, I would focus on my strengths. What I'm getting good at, what I'm good at, what I'm darn good at, and what I'm fantastic at. <BR> <BR> I'll contemplate my gifts. You know, those things which I did absolutely nothing to ... Wed, 20 Jul 2011 15:09:55 EST There's blessings even in the storm ... Last week we had a storm come through that brought much of our area to it's knees. Winds were clocked at 90 mph. Trees ... huge, old trees, were down everywhere. <BR> <BR> My neighborhood took a lot ... whatever hit us, came through my neighborhood. Trees were twisted and distorted. <BR> <BR> I was in awe. It was devastation but ... no one was hurt. In fact, we lost about 50 huge trees in my small neighborhood alone, and not one fell on a house. How lucky is that? <BR> <BR> H... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 11:21:38 EST I became an optimist again ... yeah!!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> All I did was add my story to my page and add some pictures. Reflections on life and meaning and gratitude sure do make a difference! I think it's time for me to pull out that daily gratitude journal! <BR> <BR> We all have come so far. We all have so much to share. We are all great novels. Maybe it's time we tell our stories. Fri, 15 Jul 2011 11:29:04 EST So much for riding like the wind .... DH and I love cycling ... or should I say mountain biking. Summer here in northern Illinois are made for it. We have a great trail that comes up to our house, so we don't have to worry about traffic from cars. <BR> <BR> After walking, I think cycling is what got me in shape after my cancer treatment. I found that I really love it ... it's not a chore or an 'I have to do this' thing. I sincerely love it! I do it for the pure pleasure of the ride. <BR> <BR> I got a new bike about 2 we... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 14:21:34 EST So much potential ... so much fear <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been at a crossroads for about 6 months, trying to figure out my next step. Or I thought. The truth is I have been frozen with fear. <BR> <BR> Afraid to fail. <BR> <BR> Afraid to succeed. <BR> <BR> So I stand here, doing nothing. Procrastinating. <BR> <BR> Not comfortable with the status quo. Something's gotta give. <BR> <BR> I know the path that I must take. It's extremely hard. Am I up to it... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:59:58 EST Finding my way back I've been gone too long. <BR> <BR> I had other priorities. Just writing that sounds kind of dumb ... know what I mean? What could be more important than taking care of my health? <BR> <BR> It's not as if there was a crisis going on. Sure, some matters needed my attention but it never should have been this OR that ... I could have made time for both ... but I didn't. <BR> <BR> I guess it's another lesson learned. I need to look at ways to incorporate other things in ADDITION... Wed, 6 Jul 2011 10:01:17 EST Life is for living ... just checking in <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's been awhile since I've checked in. Life is good! <BR> <BR> I've been really busy. I took a technical class 3 weeks ago and then spent a week cramming for the certification exam. I passed. Whew! <BR> <BR> Then last week I had a another week long, bootcamp type, technical class in downtown Chicago. It was hectic. I haven't commuted downtown in such a long time. The days were looong! But it's done an... Sat, 21 May 2011 22:23:48 EST Quietly finding my way ... <img src=""> <BR> My biggest struggle post cancer has been this ... what do I want to do with the remainder of my life? <BR> <BR> Time is passing by. For once, I'm fully conscience and aware. I want to make the most of it. <BR> <BR> It's a struggle. An internal war. I've spent the better part of 2 years getting to know myself better. It's always easier to go back to the status quo, or the known. <BR> <BR> Me ... who I really a... Sun, 17 Apr 2011 14:18:16 EST Giving a speech tonight I need to give a short speech tonight, 10 - 20 minutes to a large group of women. I haven't written it yet so I guess for the next few hours I'll reflect and then ask Holy Spirit for guidance. <BR> <BR> No, it's not about food ... or exercise! <BR> <BR> It's going to be about me and the gifts of my experience with cancer, how cancer really can change a life for the better ... how coming close to death gave me new purpose and meaning. Before cancer I was goal and success driven. ... Tue, 5 Apr 2011 11:11:38 EST It's time to take on some new challenges! I think I've graduated. <BR> <BR> Over the last 6 months or so I have had a very hard time logging into Spark. <BR> <BR> I changed my eating habits, got back into daily exercise (mostly walking and cycling with a little ST and yoga thrown in). When I see me slipping into my old ways ... and I do ... I track and or set up a streak. I plan to keep this up as needed. <BR> <BR> My garden is looking good. My house is organized, painted, etc. <BR> <BR> Even the paperwork is sorted! ... Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:09:33 EST