SBECKER526's SparkPeople Blog SBECKER526's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community More Mindful in Many Ways I am more mindful of my eating habits and food shopping. I have about 300 recipes that I really like. All ingredients are now in Sparkpeople as a recipe and/or as a group. I make about 94% of the meals at home. I attend one luncheon or meal out per week as a social item with friends. I check sugar, sodium, and more with each label. <BR> <BR> I am more mindful of breathing and exercising with the practice of yoga. I need to relax with my restorative yoga. I am returning to exercising... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 19:48:25 EST Good News I had good news that my radiation went smoothly. I will have a checkup in 6 months. I may experience changes in my breast over the next 6 months. I may consider a tuck on the other breast or a balancer if I mind the changes. Nice to know options! I hope my vanity is not great. <BR> <BR> My husband seems to be returning to a new normal. He is undergoing changes with his dialysis. He must now use 3 bags at night. We needed to make space for 55 boxes instead of 42. I had my former stud... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:47:40 EST Getting things done - finally I have a file of things to be done ASAP. All the health processes and tests put this file on hold. I am opening the file to finish more letters, getting copies of power of attorney (s0) to our long term care facility and more. <BR> <BR> I have another file for new members. I have input from the leadership to start the process. I have other projects in varied stages. It feels great to get things moving. <BR> <BR> I may be getting my life back! Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:52:02 EST Anastrozole and Me I took my first dose today. I was fine for 90 minutes. Then the nausea hit. I had to rest for 30 minutes. I did eat properly today and exercised. Guess I am fortunate. We'll see how this goes. <BR> <BR> Bob has less pain. He did not have enough dialysis. We will work on unraveling what happened to him. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:12:01 EST Making an Effort! I'm making an effort to be positive and to take time for prayer and meditation. <BR> <BR> Hence I was able to pass good feelings onto Bob. I made some of his favorite foods and gave him extra time to eat. I added an extra meal as a snack. He actually ate the foods and commented that the roasted turkey sandwich was great. I decided to appeal to simple meals. <BR> <BR> He reports less pain in general. That is so good after the intense kidney stone pain. I hope he continues to improv... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 23:27:34 EST Brighter Day The weather was overcast, but I felt the warmth of healing for my husband. He has kidney stones and more calcification. His kidneys are smaller as well. He was able to eat some comfort foods today. I am grateful. <BR> <BR> I met with my medical oncologist. He is a fine doctor. He likes to share a hug at the end of the appointment. He is a quality person. My recovery from surgery is super. My suntanned breast will become lighter in time. I start anastrozole next week. <BR> <BR> I'm... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:47:00 EST Turn Things Over to God I accept what is going on in my life and with my husband's health. I may not understand why, but I can deal with the challenges. I have a strong faith. I also know my life changed for the better each time I had deep challenges. <BR> <BR> With my cancer, I now realize that I must exercise, watch my food, and stay active. I will work diligently on that. <BR> <BR> I am making my husband's favorite foods and spending time with him. I go with him to all appointments and try to be helpful an... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 08:42:22 EST Gratitude My heart is so filled with gratitude for all the people who listened and supported me over the last 5 months. Each of you touched my heart and offered caring. Thank you. <BR> <BR> My life now has yoga, golf, breast cancer support group, good friends, and so much. <BR> My husband has challenges, but he was a big support in my cancer treatment. <BR> My cat was the nightly playmate who jumped after his feather toy, chased my ankles, and purrrr-ed. <BR> <BR> I was grateful for pastors, ... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 20:56:07 EST Medical Oncologist on Thursday I will be meeting with my medical oncologist, Dr. Nick Leasure, on Thursday. I was asked to do some research on anastrozole. Since my cancer is estrogen + and progesterone+, I need to take anti estrogen meds for about 5 years. I'm also reading about diet and cancer. I purchased Ori Hofmekler's book, The Anit-Estrogenic Diet. I now know how I can protect myself from estrogenic substances in the environment, prodcuts, water and food. I also found how certain foods and herbs are better for... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 17:34:36 EST Snaggles in his tunnel <img src=""> <BR> My black cat, Snaggles, got a tunnel with "peepholes." We spend much time playing. The tunnel allows him to hide away and sleep when there is too much sunshine. He is a joy to help me in dark times. <BR> <BR> He is properly spoiled and is the only cat. Fri, 4 Apr 2014 22:07:36 EST Doing my best I am not a nurse, yet I am in control of many of my husbands procedures. I am praying each day for guidance. I got his dialysis started. I had the lowest blood sugar of the last month. I gave him a dose of insulin and a snack. He will be on dialysis for 8.5 hours. <BR> <BR> He is having difficulty emptying his stomach. He reports that he is full after a few bites of food. I am making the meals after I refer to websites and recipes. I am tracking carbs and such. He is taking all me... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 23:58:55 EST Restorative Yoga I now have a 60 minute restorative yoga plan. I know I will feel more rested and good with poses, breathing and props. It helped today as we finalized what I will be doing. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:46:39 EST Quiet time Bob is sleeping and feeling slightly better. I am trying to catch up on paperwork. <BR> I want to do some yoga also. I feel grateful that so many people reached out and offered support. Sun, 30 Mar 2014 23:34:38 EST Caregiving while recovering - part 2 My husband was so weak and scared. He lost 7 pounds this week and felt constant nausea. We went to the dialysis center to check his perionteal fluids. They were fine. We returned home to get some rest. I immediately switched from 3 meals and 2 snacks to 6 small meals. He still gets 1500 calories per day. <BR> <BR> When that did not work, he needed to get an xray and start seeking help. We went to the hospital on a Saturday morning. He got pills for nausea. He also passed a kidney st... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 21:17:48 EST Volunteering at the Food Bank I felt great as 27 Berks County Association of School Retirees joined teachers and students from the Wilson School District to prepare totes and grates for 1329 senior citizens. Elizabeth Schmoyer organized the retiree part of the day. Our team had great fun and helped others. <BR> <BR> We had packers who added one item each to the tote (crate). We had box condensers. We had case feeders to place cases in range of the packer. A total of 45 volunteers helped get these items packed. <BR... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:20:51 EST One day at a time I am taking things in the present. Bob is having difficulty eating. I am making simple meals that appeal to him. I am working on my yoga and my training. I must take it easier, but still enjoy life. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 23:05:30 EST Changes are helping! I am setting up boundaries so that I do not overdo and cause stress to mount. Today I had a one-to-one yoga session. I volunteered at the Breast Cancer Survivor Support Group. I then trained for one hour. <BR> <BR> I feel good and happy to do what I did. Yoga will help me relax. <BR> <BR> I setup March 25th for a day of pampering. I have a manicure, pedicure, and massage scheduled to celebrate the end of radiation. I am feel good. <BR> <BR> My husband is having health issues. I ma... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 23:24:18 EST Rest and meditation I have a new goal of doing less and incorporating rest into my day. I learned how much stress can cause health problems. I want to be cancer free if possible. So I am sincerely downsizing my activities. I am going to a yoga retreat the third Sunday of every month. I am seeking one to one instruction is gentle yoga so I can restore my health and be relaxed. <BR> <BR> I plan to have my yoga each day with meditation. <BR> <BR> I stay up later to work on my husband's dialysis. So I pl... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 21:51:03 EST Adjusting and Resting I did not go to the hospital today. Wow! No radiation...Hurrah. I resumed my role as president of the Berks County ASR. Led a business meeting. Went home tired. So I chose to relax, take a nap and then cook dinner. More exercise will happen tonight. <BR> <BR> I am concerned about World Events. I watch the details on CNN concerning both the missing aircraft and the Crimea. I am saying many prayers. <BR> <BR> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:18:03 EST Rang the Bell After my treatments and chatting with my support team, I got to ring the bell to signify the end of my radiation therapies. I was so fortunate to get breat cancer now over many years ago. The research and clincial trials give so much help. I was also impressed with all of the technology in the operating room, in biopsies, and especially in the radiation oncology department. <BR> <BR> With all that technology what remains vital to me is the focus that people mattered most. My technician... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 21:19:07 EST One more treatment to go I had the very best team to help me through my radiation treatments. My radiation oncologist gave me the option of the Canadian Research Model of 16 radiation treatments at double strength. I was eating a sensible diet already and exercised 6 days a week prior to having cancer procedures. I liked the option of 16 treatments over 33 treatments. <BR> <BR> I had very few side effects. I had one day that had a very "red" breast. In fact my husband teased me that he saw his first Robin. I a... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:58:07 EST Snaggles - My support cat Snaggles is our rescue cat that we got on August 13, 2013. He is a great joy to me. Throughout my bout with cancer he is constantly by me or keeping his eye on me. He likes to play, but stops suddenly when he recognizes I am tired. He now has a tunnel with two peep holes. He sleeps in there during the daytime, but faces me so he has a glimpse of my movements. When I return from treatments he snuggles with me and rubs my face. <BR> <BR> He is a great support cat. Sun, 16 Mar 2014 11:49:07 EST Tired and side effects Today was my first day of real symptoms with side effects. My skin was red. After recommendations of skin cream and such I downgraded to shrimp pink. By evening I had tender skin. I also had fatigue. <BR> <BR> I still have 3 more therapies to go. I want to take it easier and heal for Monday. Time for bed! Sat, 15 Mar 2014 22:56:14 EST Planning ahead I spoke with my technicians today. I will have symptoms from radiation continue up to 2 weeks after my last therapy. That is okay with me. I'm glad to get information ahead of time so I can prepare. <BR> <BR> I am working on my diet changes. I am no longer having Soy products. With my decision to begin anastrozole treatment, I want the meds to bind to any estrogen in my body. I do not want the weaker soy estrogens to interfere. I am having an apple per day, some carrots, plenty of veg... Thu, 13 Mar 2014 22:07:38 EST I can do it! I have 10 of my 16 double strength radiation treatments completed. I have 3 this week and 3 next week. I had small evidence of side effects until today. I came home from my treatment and slept for 3 hours. Perhaps it was my training prior to the treatment. <BR> <BR> I can do these treatments. I am also trying to keep a somewhat normal life. I use the word somewhat as I am limiting how much I take on per day. <BR> <BR> I am also taking stock of what is really important to me. I hope t... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:17:25 EST Good Day - Moving in Correct Direction My meeting with the dietitian gave me new insights. I will follow through with her suggestions. <BR> <BR> I also decided on Freedom Blue for my medicare part C through the PSERS Health Option Benefits. I got my Medicare Card today. WooHoo! Feeling 65 - Heck no... <BR> <BR> I am looking forward to Silver Sneakers as I will save $69 plus $3 processing fee on my gym membership monthly cost come July 1st. <BR> <BR> I saw some friends and look forward to more social times. Gosh, my radia... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 22:32:13 EST Goals Under Construction I am moving into a new phase of my life. I have 1.5 weeks to my radiation treatments end. Then I move into the taking of anastrozole for 5 years. I also begin a major commitment to diet and exercises for me. <BR> <BR> I will meet with my dietitian on Monday to tweak the current diet and to see what I need to do with respect to soy and other items. I will gradually return to exercise when I can. <BR> I'm very hopeful and committed. Sat, 8 Mar 2014 08:33:38 EST Thankful Today I feel very thankful. I am really at peace. My treatments are moving along. The technicians and others are so helpful. I have great friends - Sparkpeople, locally, and in my organizations. I have a warm home with a super husband and awesome Snaggles, the cat. <BR> <BR> I have a church with great people. I am feeling very good. Fri, 7 Mar 2014 08:19:31 EST Organics, chemicals, diet, and fatigue I will have my 8th of 16 treatments tomorrow. I got my questions about nutrition answered today by a oncology dietitian. I will no longer buy soy products. I will eat antioxidants that are foods - all kinds. I will not take any supplements containing high levels of antioxidants. <BR> <BR> I still have hopes of learning how to take off weight and keep my cancer from returning. Just in case I fail to get that connection I went on Amazon and found some books. <BR> <BR> I trained yesterd... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 21:30:12 EST Being Free of Superwoman The biggest blessing of my cancer experience is the realization that there are no rewards in trying to be superwoman who can do everythings and take care of everyone. I am more of a realist now. <BR> <BR> It is such a relief to allow myself time to take a needed nap. I have friends who reach out and help. I have a former student who took care of my property in all the snowstorms. I have cut some appointments and responded with no as an answer when asked to do something I'd rather not d... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 22:48:39 EST Support Groups and More I attended a support group meeting that was informational. We talked about FEAR of Recurrance. One member suggested FEAR was False Evidence Accepted as Real. We read something in the newspaper. We believe it will happen to us. The talk and participation was helpful. I heard others echo what I was feeling. I'm exercising, eating properly, tending to me, YET I got cancer. <BR> <BR> The triple negative people were more inclined to show emotion. For some reason, I am not worrying as mu... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 23:23:29 EST First Meeting of Breast Cancer Survivor Support Group I was delighted to attend my first support group meeting at the BCSSG office in West Reading. I met 23 other women who were survivors with cancer. The women chatted so nicely. The presented talked about Fear of Recurrence. FEAR equals False Evidence Accepting Reality. <BR> <BR> I will go back to other meetings. We have some social events planned as well. I will need to schedule. I am very busy, <BR> <BR> I am happy. <BR> Mon, 3 Mar 2014 23:53:03 EST Moving Forward I cancelled my mailing group meeting on Monday. I did not want my retirees to venture out in bad weather. I am concerned about them. So my husband and I were prepared to work on the bulk mailing of 1300 newsletters. One person came to my home to get 2 boxes of newsletters to take home to work on. He will get them back to me. I am grateful that he and his wife will work on them. <BR> <BR> I am concerned about those who are ill, sensitive to the cold, and especially all those folks who a... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 23:23:39 EST Storm Titan Storm Titan is to hit our area Sunday - Monday. Our community has a 60% chance of getting 6 to 12 inches of snow/ice or 25% chance of more than 12 inches. Many events and meetings are already cancelled or postponed. <BR> <BR> I was worried about 2 things: <BR> 1. Getting to my radiation therapy appointment on Monday <em>390</em> <BR> 2. Delivery of my husband's dialysis supplies <em>444</em> <BR> <BR> I am so relieved. The radiation oncology department plans to work on Sunday morni... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:12:38 EST Doing Well Day three of treatment occurs today. Doing well. I noticed that I drank more water than normal yesterday. I have a slight sunburn from the radiation. That occurred early with respect to my vitiligo, RA and Psoratic arthritis. My skin is so sensitive. <BR> <BR> I no longer crave sweet things. Salty seems better. I slept more yesterday. I have some errands to run. I plan to train today. I am looking forward to resting this weekend. <BR> <BR> Thanks for all those comments on earlier ... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:56:07 EST Serving Others While Healing My life experiences are guiding me in my service to God through my church. I am a parish visitor, an Eucharistic Minister, and a church chaplain (hospital's name for church visitor). I was fortunate to be trained by Diakon Ministries, church seminars, and hospital trainings for church chaplains. <BR> <BR> I had both parents in a nursing home (1 for 7 years and 1 for 6 months). My Dad was paralyzed on one side for almost 30 years. I had a serious fall with a 3 yr recuperation. I have RA ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:07:32 EST Simulation to Radiation I was nervous about the simulation. I remembered going into the same room when my mother was a cancer patient in 2005. The staff was so kind. I felt at home. They were the experts and got everything done properly and quickly. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I begin radiation. I am glad to be this far. I have my calendar on the refrigerator. I was curious about the services of the Image Center in the Cancer Center. I scheduled a therapeutic facial for 3/4 and a massage (oncology) for 3/12. I re... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:30:31 EST Simulation tomorrow Well, I am almost ready for radiation therapy. Tomorrow I get the final markings and get xrays. I then get a simulation of a treatment to see how well the computer model did. I am excited and nervous at the same time. <BR> <BR> I felt tired today, but good. I'm hoping to get rest. I have a therapeutic massage at 9 am and the simulation at 1:45 pm. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:29:57 EST Sunday Retreat and Other Preparations I am looking forward to a Sunday Retreat at the yoga studio. The instructor, Bonnie, hosts the retreat the last Sunday of each month. I hope to take some yoga instruction from her when I finish radiation treatments. I spoke with her today. She will be conducting restorative yoga during the retreat. It seems perfect for me to do prior to radiation. <em>135</em> <BR> <BR> I got a camisole geared for women who are having radiation treatments. I bought some plain soft cotton knit unde... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 12:03:15 EST New Day and Changes I enjoyed the golf social so much. With all the snow, medical appointments, surgery, and recovery I had extreme cabin fever. It was great to see some people. The food was tasty. Much fun... <BR> <BR> I had my measurements and CAT scan on Wednesday concerning my radiation therapy treatment. I was to have 33 treatments. Upon study, the doctor ordered the higher dose of radiation for 16 sessions. I am so happy. I will begin with a simulation and some more activities on Tuesday. Then I ... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:03:00 EST Going out to a golf league social I started golfing about 4 years ago. I now play in two leagues. I enjoy both groups of women. The Chapel Hill Golf Course league will have its social tonight at 6:30 pm. We will chat and have dinner together. My Willow Hollow league will have breakfast at a Restaurant in April (1st Wed or Thurs). <BR> <BR> It is neat to see everyone. I'm looking forward to Spring <em>126</em> to golf <em>278</em> and to friends <em>220</em> . Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:09:49 EST Moving on to radiation therapy I'm really ready to move onward to my treatments. I met with my doctor on Monday and did the setup today. The mold for my arms is made. The CAT scan is done. The physicist and doctor will determine the best radiation equipment to use. The mechanics will be conveyed to me soon. Until then I get a breather. <BR> <BR> I will use my breather to do my home communions. I have one on Tuesday in a personal care unit. I will visit a family on Friday at home. Next week I will visit a new pers... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:40:11 EST Being mindful I am trying to be mindful in my exercising and eating. I am watching form in exercise. I am eating meals slowly and savoring the taste <BR> <BR> I am trying to be mindful in my dealing with others. I pause before I respond. I set time to really listen. <BR> <BR> I am going out to do 3 home communions. I may stop at a flower shop and buy a flower for each person. I have some bud vases that I am not using. <BR> <BR> I am mindful of my health. I reread my information on my health pro... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 22:13:55 EST Plan Worked The newsletter is done. A friend is proofing it for me. I did exercise periodically. My RA did not flare. <BR> <BR> I got added rest. I still have a headache. Husband had health issues during the night so my sleep was broken. I'm not complaining. I am grateful that my friend shoveled the walk and did so much for us. <BR> <BR> I'm somewhat nervous about beginning the re-eval and preparation for radiation. It is so new to me. I'm certain my doctors and staff will help me. I need t... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:49:07 EST Working and Exercising I am working on the newsletter and also plan exercise breaks. My home "gym" is located in the same room as my office computer. I plan to work for one hour, then do kettlebells for 20 minutes. I plan to work for 1.5 hours and then do 60 minutes of spin to a DVD. I plan to cook a simple dinner. I then plan to watch Psych and Justified on Demand for fun. I will return to finish editing the newsletter tonight and proof it tomorrow morning. I made soup ahead of time for lunc... Sat, 15 Feb 2014 11:42:16 EST Homebound until afternoon Okay, enough snow. Did the polar bears board a plane for Pennsylvania as yet? If I get out, driving is risky at driveways. The snow is piled higher than the roof of my car. <BR> <BR> I will get to the newsletter. I am not at my best with my illnesses. This is a labor to do today. I will do some yoga to get in a better place. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:52:14 EST Snow Day at Home A Snow Day was always special to me. As a student I got to sleep late, do what I wanted, and even play in the snow. As a teacher I enjoyed a day where I could catch up on some rest, read the newspaper over a second cup of coffee, and finish grading papers. As an administrator I got to sleep late, read the newspaper, and work on reports and plans. <BR> Now as a retiree, most days I can sleep late, do what I want, read the newspaper, and do what I want to do. Yet, the snow day is special be... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 12:41:08 EST New Challenges as a Caregiver My husband has a colonescopy scheduled for 8 am on Wednesday. I normally do his dialysis every evening and then his insulin. I met with several of Bob's doctors. We all agree on the following: <BR> <BR> I will conclude normal dialysis on Tuesday morning. He will be on a liquid diet and take his prep meds from 2 to 4 pm and then from 6 to 8 pm. <BR> <BR> I will move to manual peritonteal dialysis using our lightest sugar solution bags at 7:30 pm. He will get another manual cycle at 11... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:29:03 EST Creative designing I have my doctorate in educational technology. I love working with web programs and designing items. Today I finally felt good enough to design a newsletter-flyer for one of my groups. <BR> <BR> I also edit the newsletter for my Berks County Association of School Retirees. I turn out a 12 page newsletter for members. I will begin the March issue this week. I have great writers from our executive board. <BR> <BR> I have several other projects to do. I want to get as much done prior... Sun, 9 Feb 2014 21:39:06 EST I did it! I made it through 40 minutes of the Les Mils' Body Combat class. Whew! I had no problems. I probably could have finished, but did not want to tire out my right arm. I had great fun seeing my buddies as well. I want to do some yoga moves today as well. <BR> <BR> I had some goals to achieve before radiation therapy occurs. I feel great! Sat, 8 Feb 2014 11:53:35 EST