MOM2ACAT's SparkPeople Blog MOM2ACAT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My 8 Year Spark-versary I just realized this weekend that I passed my 8 year "Spark-versary" on the 3rd of this month. I guess I have been so focused on dealing with my health issues and keeping track of all my medical appointments that the day had just slipped by me unnoticed. <BR> <BR> This isn't going to be a blog with "profound words of wisdom"'; I've already been there and done that on past Sparkversaries. I'm also not going to go into my story of why I am here; you can read that on my Spark page if you are in... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 11:23:37 EST 20 Day Exercise Streak I had to end a 20 days in a row exercise streak yesterday because I had a "sick day". <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning, I woke up with migraine, and nausea. Shortly after taking my thyroid and stomach meds, I ended up throwing up my dinner from the night before. I had an appointment at the pain clinic scheduled for 2pm, but I knew the way I was feeling, I wasn't going to make it, so I called and cancelled it, and got it rescheduled for the 28th (the earliest opening they had,) Then I took my migr... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 15:43:46 EST Eating healthy and summer gatherings With another holiday coming up, for many that means get- togethers with friends and family, which can present a challenge when it comes to healthy eating, especially to those who are just starting their weight loss journey. It's much easier, (for me it is anyway) to manage a healthy diet at home where we are in control of what food we bring into the house, and how it is prepared. Family gatherings and other parties are bit harder when we often don't know what we will be eating until we get th... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:39:22 EST First appointment with hematologist I had my long awaited appointment with the hematologist this afternoon. He was running late today, so it was about 45 minutes past my appointment time when he finally got to me, but when he did, he took his time with talking to me. I don't mind so much a longer wait for a doctor if it's because he's giving his full attention to his patients and not trying to rush through to get to the next patient. (And if you regularly read my blogs, you know I always have a book or my Kindle with me.) <BR> ... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:03:03 EST Dealing with stomach ulcers Yesterday I had my followup appointment with my gastroenterologist, regarding the results of the tests I've recently had. <BR> <BR> The colonoscopy and small bowel x-rays were normal. It sounds like what was causing my intestinal problems was just a bad flare up of my IBS. <BR> <BR> The endoscopy though showed several ulcers in my stomach; all very small ones, but he is concerned both because there are so many of them, and because they had been bleeding at one point. They were not actively ... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 16:37:38 EST Oncologist appointment today This morning I had my monthly appointment with my oncologist. Since I have been tolerating the Afinitor quite well since he put me back on it last month, just taking it every other day, he has decided now to have me take it 2 days in a row, then a day off. If I continue to tolerate it well, then in another 4 weeks, he will have me go back to taking it daily. <BR> <BR> My hemoglobin level has also improved since last month, going from 9.3 to 10.4. That's still below normal, but a good number ... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 16:00:25 EST Recipe: Greek Egg Lemon Soup This is a new recipe I tried over the weekend; it was very good! <BR> I found this recipe at <BR> <BR> GREEK EGG LEMON SOUP <BR> <BR> 6 cups low sodium chicken broth <BR> 3/4 cup uncooked white rice <BR> 1/2 tsp salt <BR> 1/4 tsp pepper <BR> 1 TBSP cornstarch <BR> 1/4 cup lemon juice <BR> 2 eggs- whisked in small bowl <BR> 8 oz. cooked chicken breast, shredded <BR> thinly sliced scallions (optional garnish) <BR> <BR> In large bowl, bring chicken broth to a boil. Add rice,... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:35:32 EST Finished a crochet project I finally finished a project last night, a crocheted lap throw that I had originally intended to give to a friend last Christmas. I started it very early in the year, giving myself more than enough to finish it, but with the extreme fatigue I was having from the chemo (I was on Abraxane at that time), I got out of the habit of working on my crafting while watching TV in the evening, and before I knew it, the year was almost over and I wasn't even close to being finished. <BR> <BR> A few week... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:21:00 EST Rhizotomy procedure I had a procedure done on Tuesday called a cervical rhizotomy; <BR> you can read it about it in detail here: <link><BR>n-management/facet-rhizotomy </link> , but I understand a lot of blog readers are busy, so the "condensed version" is that it is using radio frequency to deaden or burn the nerves that are causing pain. I had it done on 3-4 nerves. <BR> <BR> A little background first if you don't usually read my blogs; I have arthritis in some of the fa... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 10:42:28 EST I finally have my hematologist appointment! After waiting almost a month after my oncologist referred me, I finally have an appointment with the hematologist; I was called yesterday. I have my first appointment with him on June 25th; it seems like a long wait, but that is the earliest I could get in. I will be seeing him at the same place where I have had my radiation over the past few years. Instead of just doing radiation, the building has been added on to and remodeled, so they have all their cancer care services in one place now. T... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 12:02:19 EST A calender full of appointments this month This is going to be a busy month for me with medical appointments. Currently, I have 1-2 appointments scheduled per week through the 26th. And no, this is not typical for me, thank goodness! <BR> <BR> This Tuesday, I have my appointment at the pain clinic that I had to cancel last month, because I could not get transportation that day to get there. I will be getting an injection for my neck pain. Thankfully, the pain has not been too bad with having to wait so long this time in between injec... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 14:56:01 EST Made it through another test today Another test done and over with today. Today it was an x-ray series of the small bowel. I don't have any results yet, but the test itself went fine. <BR> <BR> I just thought I'd blog about it today if anyone was wondering how it's done and what it feels like. Just keep in mind that every doctor and hospital has their own way of doing things, so my experience might not be exactly the same if you ever have to go through this or already have had it done. <BR> <BR> There wasn't anything special... Wed, 28 May 2014 17:06:10 EST It's never to late to "bloom"! About 10 years ago, I bought a very small lilac bush. It was a little less than 2 feet tall when I planted it, and it hasn't grown much taller, in height or width, in all that time. It never had any flowers on it. Still, it was living, and it had green leaves on it every year. As long as it was trying, I never had the heart to uproot it, though a few people had said that I should "just get rid of it". It kind of reminded me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree in a way, LOL. <BR> <BR> It had a... Mon, 26 May 2014 14:03:39 EST Frustrating wait to see specialist Getting frustrated about the fact that it's been over 3 weeks now since my oncologist referred me to the hematologist, and I still don't have an appointment yet. <BR> <BR> I was referred to the hematologist because my ferritin level is too high, (ferritin has something to do with how the iron is stored in the blood, if the ferritin level is too high, it basically means there is too much iron in the blood.) Normal ferritin levels are between 13-254; my ferritin was at 1817 when it was checked... Fri, 23 May 2014 16:41:59 EST Back on the Afinitor, and got my hanging baskets today I saw my oncologist today, and he decided it was time to put me back on the Afinitor. He does not believe at this time that it was the cause of the problems I'm having, because if it was, the diarrhea should have stopped by now. We can't be totally sure though unless we try it, so he's going to have me take it just every other day to start with. I see him again in 4 weeks, and if the diarrhea is not any worse in that time, then he will have me go back to taking it daily. I also had my monthly... Tue, 20 May 2014 18:13:44 EST Endoscopy/Colonoscopy yesterday The prep I had to use Wednesday night for my colonoscopy yesterday wasn't as bad as the magnesium citrate stuff I had to use for my first one, but I still had a rough night with it. I had to start drinking the 64 ounces of the Gatorade and Miralax mixture at 5pm, and I was supposed to drink 8 ounces every 20 minutes. I did ok with the first few glasses, but since I have gastroparesis, it started making me feel bloated pretty fast. Each glass was harder and harder to chug down. I ended up not... Fri, 16 May 2014 17:05:37 EST Getting ready for colonoscopy Thursday is the day of my colonoscopy/endoscopy. I've been through both before; (a colonoscopy once, and the endoscopy several times.) Even thought I know what to expect, I'm starting to get a little anxious now. I'm most anxious about the prep for the colonoscopy; when I had my first one, it was rough on me, and that was about 14 years ago, when I was in pretty good health, long before I had cancer. This time, I am having to deal with feeling worn out before I even start it because of the an... Tue, 13 May 2014 17:03:33 EST Beautiful day, got a few things done outdoors The weather is beautiful here today, we are up to 75 right now. After the chilly, gloomy and rainy weather of the past 2 weeks or so, it feels like we went from fall right to summer. That's Michigan for you though! <BR> <BR> I had a period of time this morning where the fatigue and the pain weren't bothering me as much, so I got outside late this morning, while it was in the lower 60's, and I got my outdoor furniture out of the shed. <BR> <BR> My outdoor furniture consist of a small table w... Thu, 8 May 2014 15:33:47 EST Oncologist appointment today, and another specialist to see I saw my oncologist again today. My lab work shows that I am anemic, but also that my iron is too high. He is going to send me to a hematologist to get that treated. He said the high iron levels could also be what is causing the increase in my pain and fatigue. <BR> <BR> I told him that I have a colonoscopy scheduled for the 15th, and he wants to see me the Tuesday after that. He said he will probably put me back on the Afinitor then, but he'll have me take it just every other day to start w... Tue, 6 May 2014 15:26:10 EST Lunch Out Today Since today was the first Monday of the month, it was time once again for the monthly lunch out with some of my former co-workers. <BR> <BR> With the tummy troubles right now, there's not a lot I can eat, but since the cafe where we meet serves breakfast all day, I was able to get just some plain scrambled eggs and toast. But the food wasn't what was important today. <BR> <BR> We had a nice turnout today. There were 12 of us, including 2 who joined us for the first time today. This was the ... Mon, 5 May 2014 15:34:44 EST A Peaceful Sunday I'm still feeling pretty worn out from my current health issues, but knowing that I have the colonoscopy coming up on the 15th is helping me to not give in and feel discouraged. I know that sounds like a strange thing to look forward to, and I'm not really looking forward to the prep and the procedure, but to hopefully finally get some answers as to what is going on. If I can get a diagnosis, and get the problem treated, that means that I have some hopes of feeling better soon after it it is ... Sun, 4 May 2014 14:33:24 EST G.I. doctor appointment today I had my long awaited appointment with my gastroenterologist this afternoon. After discussing all the problems I've had in about the last 6 weeks, he decided that I will need a colonoscopy. While I am not thrilled about having to go through one, I feel it's necessary with all the symptoms I will be having, and it's time that we started getting some answers. <BR> <BR> I have been through one once before, years ago, and the prep for it the day before is the worst part. The procedure itself was... Thu, 1 May 2014 16:45:04 EST Cute top I bought today I did my usual weekly grocery shopping at Meijer this morning, my best friend Rhonda took me. <BR> <BR> I had a coupon expiring today for 40% off any apparel item, so I looked around in the clothing department before starting my grocery shopping. I found this top, originally $16, on sale for $14. It was the only one of that style and color, and fortunately, it was the right size. With my coupon, I paid $8.40 for it, not including the sales tax. <BR> <BR> It's much cuter than it looks in the... Wed, 30 Apr 2014 12:03:15 EST Recipe: Crock Pot Applesauce I found this recipe on a blog called Crockpot 365. I have made it a couple of times already, and I really like it; it's so much better than the store-bought applesauce! It has a sweet yet tart flavor. <BR> <BR> I don't usually have fresh lemons on hand, so I used 3 TBSP of lemon juice instead. <BR> <BR> The first time I made this, I used all Granny Smith apples. This time, I made it with half gala and half Granny Smith; use any kind of apples that sound good to you. <BR> <BR> CROCK POT APP... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 08:45:22 EST Update on the pain issues After I posted my blog yesterday, someone asked how I was doing with my pain. I guess I am so use to living with chronic pain, that it doesn't always occur to me to mention it. I also don't want to sound like I am complaining all of the time. <BR> <BR> Since all my problems started with the diarrhea, I've actually had an increase in my pain. The daily chronic pain in my left hip and leg is a little worse, and I've also been experiencing more all over joint pain lately. It seems to be worse v... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:02:44 EST Yesterday's Oncologist Appointment I had my monthly oncologist appointment yesterday. He thinks I will need a colonoscopy, but since I am seeing my G.I. doctor on May 1st, it will be up to him to order it. So it will be at least another week before I get any closer to finding out what is going on. <BR> <BR> I had my Xgeva injection yesterday also, along with blood drawn for lab work. I haven't received any calls yet about the lab work results, which doesn't mean that things are normal, it just means there is nothing that need... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:47:27 EST Easter Sunday I meant to post a blog yesterday, but I was just too tired. <BR> <BR> As you know if you regularly read my blogs, going to church on Easter Sunday was very important to me (and not just because of the new dress). Well, I wanted to let you know, that I made it! It was looking doubtful Saturday night; I had woken up in the middle of the night with a migraine and it took a long time to break the headache after taking my migraine meds, so I didn't get a lot of sleep. But somehow, I rallied in th... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:37:41 EST "How Do You Do It?" "How do you do it?"; that is question I have been asked a lot over the years of being treated (and I am still in treatment) for stage IV breast cancer. This month marks 7 years since my cancer returned, this time to my bones. Next month marks the 11 year anniversary of my original diagnosis, which was stage II breast cancer. (Now my cancer is stage IV, and incurable.) <BR> <BR> There is no simple answer to that question, "How do you do it?". I don't really know myself how, it's just somethin... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:06:05 EST More fluids and lab work today I thought I was seeing my oncologist today, but my appointment was just for lab work. Because I am still having the diarrhea, they decided to give me fluids again too. From what my nurse told me, it sounds like my oncologist's suspects it's inflammatory bowel disease also. He said all the chemo I have been on over the years may have caused it, if that is what I have. However, since we still don't know for sure if the Afinitor is causing the problems or not, I am still off of that drug for now... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:23:21 EST Very Scary Storm Last Night Last night we had our first real thunderstorms of the season here in my area. There were no watches or warnings issued, but things got scary when a brief, but powerful storm moved through around 9pm. Before that, we were having some big booms of thunder, and the wind picked up. During the worst part of the storm, the lights started to flicker, and it sounded like the rain was coming at the house sideways. I was checking both online and on different TV stations for any special weather statemen... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:22:54 EST Slowly trying to get back to normal It's discouraging to still not know for sure what is going on and what is causing intestinal bleeding and the diarrhea, and I am getting tired of (pardon the pun) feeling so crappy. I think that getting the IV fluids the other day helped me, and even though the potassium pills are contributing to the diarrhea, I am not feeling as light headed today, and my legs are feeling a little stronger when I am up standing and walking, so I think my potassium level is going back up. <BR> <BR> When I ha... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:12:01 EST Followup appointment with internist, no real answers yet Unfortunately, the diarrhea really has not gotten any better yet, even though I have been off the Afinitor for a week now. One of the side effects of the potassium pills is also diarrhea, so it may be that it's not getting better because of those. When I started out on them Tuesday evening, my oncology nurse told me to take 2 right away, and then 2 at bedtime, and to cut down to 1 pill 3 times per day the next day. She called me yesterday to see how I was doing, and she told me at that time, ... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:39:55 EST Lab tests today, and IV fluids When I saw my internist last Thursday, he wanted me to let him know on Monday how I was doing. I sent him a message Monday morning via the practice's website and let him know that things were not any better. Late in the day, someone from the office called me, and I had to go to the hospital lab to pick up kits to do two different kinds of stool sample tests. They wanted me to get them back to the hospital as soon as I could, so that my doctor would have the results for my appointment on Thur... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 17:17:37 EST Update on my illness I thought I was starting to get a little better, both Friday and Saturday I had to take a Lomotil early in the morning, but then I went almost 10 hours both days before the diarrhea started again. Still sticking to bland diet and soft foods. I was very tired yesterday, but I managed to get my laundry done. <BR> <BR> Around 1:30am though, I started having the painful diarrhea attacks again, and with blood again. I also threw up once. I took a Lomotil after the first attack but it was about an... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 10:26:14 EST Afinitor side effects getting worse, saw doctor today Warning; this blog may be a little TMI, but when it comes to what is going on with my cancer treatment, I want to be honest about it. <BR> <BR> I'm still having a tough time with the diarrhea from the Afinitor, and a few days ago, I started noticing blood in it. It wasn't a lot at first, and I admit I was just hoping it would go away, but this morning, there was quite a bit, and that gave me quite a scare. On top of that, it's been making me feel kind of weak and shaky. ( I know I am not eat... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 13:23:28 EST Recipe: Chicken Cooked in Foil CHICKEN COOKED IN FOIL <BR> <BR> This is an easy and flavorful way to bake chicken. It's also easy to cut the recipe down to make just one or two servings. If you leave the garlic out, (which I do because of my gastoparesis), it's a good recipe if you have a delicate stomach. I found this recipe on <BR> <BR> I also cooked my chicken a little longer, 60 minutes instead of 40. <BR> <BR> This is the original recipe: <BR> <BR> 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts <BR> 1/2 cup olive oi... Sun, 30 Mar 2014 09:28:45 EST Oncologist appointment and first Xgeva injection I had my monthly oncologist appointment on Tuesday. I told him about the diarrhea issues, and he agreed that it's most likely from the Afinitor. He gave me a prescription for Lomotil. I wasn't able to pick it up til yesterday, but I took it for the first time last night, and it works much better than the over the counter Imodium. It not only stopped the diarrhea for a few hours, but it helped a lot with the cramping too. It did start again this morning, but it's been mild compared to the past... Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:39:00 EST A bit of a setback last week Last week wasn't one of my best weeks, nothing major, just disappointing. <BR> <BR> Wednesday I woke up with a bad sinus headache, and had severe nausea. The nausea was to the point where I honestly thought I was going to start throwing up, so I had to take my Compezine. I really hate when I have to take it during the day, because it makes me very sleepy, but I was feeling so sick, I really didn't have a choice. I spent most of that day in my recliner, watching TV and napping, and ended up g... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 16:46:28 EST Another change in my cancer treatment I went to the clinic for my lab work today; it's nice just having to do it once per month now instead of 3 times per month like I was on the other chemo. <BR> <BR> I was told there will be another change to my treatment. I am still on the Affinitor and the Aromasin, but instead of the Zometa, I will be getting Xgeva instead. <BR> <BR> For some of those newer to reading my blogs, the Zometa is a drug that helps build up the bones. It's not considered chemo, even though it is given through an... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 19:19:36 EST Perseverance <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Despite dealing with sinus headaches, bone and joint pain, and fatigue, I did my workout every day last week, and ended up with a total of 222 fitness minutes for the week. I am off to a good start for this week with 40 minutes today. With today's workout, I am at 469 minutes for this month so far. <BR> <BR> The headaches have been triggered by the weather, it's been on a roller coaster here in ... Sun, 16 Mar 2014 11:07:36 EST Springing Forward <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I wish really, they would just leave the time as it is, instead of having to change it twice per year. Besides messing up my sleep schedule, so many things have clocks on them these days that have to be reset. Thankfully, my computer and cell phone do it automatically, but I still have my alarm clock, my thermostat, VCR, and clocks on the stove and microwave that have to be changed manually. <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 16:09:38 EST A Taste of Spring Today I checked the temp right before I went out for the mail about an hour ago, and it was 44 degrees; the sun is shining too. It's the first day in a very long time that it hasn't felt bitterly cold outside. After I got back with the mail, I decided to fill my bird feeders, which have been sadly neglected. <BR> <BR> I got all my of feeders filled, including the new feeder I bought back in January for the thistle seed, to replace the one that had fallen apart. I also put out fresh suet cakes and... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 16:25:33 EST Photo Blog: There is a yard under all that snow! I was just thinking about how tired I am of looking outside and seeing all the snow, so to cheer myself up and remind myself spring is coming, I have been looking back through some pictures I've taken over the years. I haven't been able to do any gardening the past few years because of my health issues, so some of these photos are a few years old. I still have a lot of perennials though that still come up each year. I thought I would post this blog today as a reminder that there is "life" und... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 14:39:13 EST My February, and a long winter <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This month started out kind of rough, a continuation of my pain and fatigue issues from January, but during the last week and a half, I have started feeling a little bit better each day. <BR> <BR> I've had a few ups and downs with my weight, but I ended the month within my goal weight range. <BR> I only missed 2 days of exercise, and ended up with a total of 738 fitness minutes this month. I think I am on track t... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:49:05 EST My "Two Appointment Tuesday" My first appointment of the day yesterday wasn't until 11:15am, so I had time to get my workout in before getting ready to go. And before I get started on more of my day, some good news; my neck and shoulder felt a lot better last week. I still had some pain, but it wasn't as unbearable as it had been. <BR> <BR> My first appointment was with my oncologist, since my neck and shoulder pain got better last week, he's not concerned that it is new bone mets at this time. I asked him about my fati... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:47:52 EST Snow Day; had to cancel oncologist appointment I had a "snow day" of sorts today. We had 8 inches of snow overnight, and my friend Von who was going to drive me to the clinic today for my oncologist appointment and Zometa infusion, wasn't able to get her car out of the driveway, so she wasn't able to pick me up this morning. There wasn't enough time to arrange for another ride, so I called and rescheduled my appointment for next week. <BR> <BR> Of course, this means living with the neck/shoulder pain another week before I can talk to my ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 18:01:02 EST My Furry Valentines <em>26</em> Happy Valentine's Day! <em>26</em> <BR> <BR> I'm not doing anything special tonight, but that is ok! I am very happy to spend this Valentine's evening cuddling up with my two furry Valentines, watching the Olympics and doing some reading. <BR> <BR> This is Kallie; <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And this is Timmy: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:19:46 EST Got my Spark wheel prize in the mail this week! A few weeks ago, I won a Spark workout DVD when I spun the Spark wheel. I had no idea of which workout it was until it came in the mail. <BR> <BR> Well, I received my prize in the mail a few days ago, and to my surprise, it was not just one DVD, but two! They are both Spark Coach workouts; Cardio Blast, and Fit, Firm & Fired Up. I was surprised that they came in envelopes and not plastic cases, but that is not a complaint, just an observation, and it doesn't matter to me as long as they were... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:31:08 EST Finally getting the Aromasin, and more on the pain issues I had to go to the clinic today to get blood drawn for lab work for my oncologist. While I was there, I told my chemo nurse that I had not yet received the Aromasin. She said that it had been ordered, but she would call them and find out what was going on. I wasn't back home even an hour yet and I got a call from the specialty pharmacy, (the same one I get the Afinitor from) and they will be sending it for overnight delivery, so I will have it tomorrow, the rep told me my nurse said she didn'... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:11:48 EST 7 Things to Remember When You Think You Aren't Good Enough I came across this article a few weeks ago. I think this fits right in with what Spark People is all about. You can read the full article HERE: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>mber-when-you-think-youre-not-good-eno<BR>ugh/ </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> One of the things in this article that I can apply to myself is remembering that "There is more right with you than wrong with you"; often, I am thinking so much of all of my flaws, that I don't always give myself credit ... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 14:57:43 EST