SEAGLASS1215's SparkPeople Blog SEAGLASS1215's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Dr. Visit / Weekend Plan I saw my doctor yesterday - my white blood count was so low he advised having me hang out and get pumped up with some fluids to increase my energy a bit. We reviewed all my other side effects and symptoms and he advised I stay on full time Leave of Absence at this time rather than return to work part time (I'm good with that!). He also had me call the counseling center to set up an appointment and advised I contact the YMCA about their "Livestrong" program for people with cancer. I think in h... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 05:58:39 EST Vent / Dr. Appt Yesterday was not a good day...Whenever DD is not happy with herself, she seems to pick arguments with me. My focus and concentration are a bit off (thank you, chemo) as well as I have not been feeling 100% well physically but somehow, this is "my fault" and I am not taking care of myself well enough in her eyes...and why don't I ask her to help me do things (like I can ask her to do anything when she stays in bed til noon with her Lyme disease pains)...I get so tired listening to everything... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 05:59:00 EST Ice Cream Follow-Up / Quilt Gift / Swelling To follow up on the ice cream binge DD and I had eaten half the ice cream in the carton Monday night. When I went to the freezer yesterday, the carton was GONE. She had finished off the rest all by herself. Part of me was upset (yes, I wanted more) and part of me was glad (can't eat it if it's not there) and part of me was shocked (this is the child who lectures me about eating a bagel or rants about the carbs found in a potato!) Id din't confront her or anything, I'm sure she is ... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:02:57 EST Fingernails / Ice Cream Confession Not complaining, just making an fingernails hurt! Supposedly a possible side effect of chemo can be losing finger and toe nails - sigh, that's just what I need, no hair AND no nails! Halloween comes early, no mask required....Well it hasn't happened (yet) and I'm hoping it doesn't - I've been taking prenatal vitamins at the suggestion of my surgeon and also taking biotin which is supposed to be good for hair and nails, maybe these will help. <BR> <BR> So of course, to make ... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:30:10 EST Work / Depression? And so my full time leave of absence is winding down...this week is when my blood counts are low and infection risk is high; next week, as I start to improve overall, I have several appointments and the week after that my plan is to return to work on a part time basis, maybe 4-5 hours per day. In all this time my boss has not reached out once to ask me how I am feeling. My supposed work "friends" have swindled to one person who checks in regularly and I'm starting to have some anxiety about r... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:38:31 EST Birds / Potential Cooking Plan / FB Update I am watching the birds at the bird feeder this morning - so many different ones: two woodpeckers (one of them with a red head), chickadees, purple finches, cardinals, juncos, mourning doves, nuthatches, a blue jay...usually when they eat like this, it means more snow is coming. Please say this isn't true, we got about 18" the other day, I am really ready for spring! <BR> <BR> <em>585</em> <em>586</em> <em>587</em> <em>588</em> <BR> <BR> My DD and I came up with somewhat of an ... Thu, 16 Mar 2017 07:35:37 EST FB Comments + Self Esteem Issues = Binge Avoided! Honestly, complete strangers can really ruin a person's day and while I know that I should be able to brush their comments off as rude or insignificant in my life, I am not used to handling such negativity and perhaps this is an eye-opener for me. Here is what happened: there was a cartoon on FB which I found disturbing rather than funny (the words were funny but the image was not). This was posted on some random site that somehow I apparently "liked" but don't recall clicking that -- anyway... Wed, 15 Mar 2017 08:03:11 EST Thanks Everyone - Feeling Better Thank you to my Spark Friends for letting me vent yesterday and your kind words of support, they truly mean so much! I woke up feeling a bit better today so hopefully I can be a bit more active and not such a couch potato! <BR> <BR> The blizzard is here - "Stella" is the name of the storm and we are expecting about 2 feet of snow by tomorrow. Possible power outages but we have the generator ready. I'll be cooking some more things this morning in case we have to heat up meals in the microwa... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:56:01 EST Pain Complaints...sorry Lots of pain this time - most likely a cumulative effect of having had four cycles of feels like someone is pressing a drill into my joints, one at a time...then it turns to a dull ache, then disappears and reappears in another area. Heels, ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, fingers, hips...then there is the heaviness in my chest, breathing is labored with any small effort...trying not to say too much to the family as there is nothing they can do but it does feel better to complain ... Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:11:41 EST Now that Chemo is DONE.... Chemo is DONE...the nurses made a small fuss, wearing party hats and clapping while the IV was being removed. I wore a pink cowgirl hat studded with rhinestones and had my picture taken -- and oh my, was that an eye-opener! Photos don't lie - and even if the camera does pack on a few pounds, this was AWFUL -- absolutely the worst reality slap-in-the-face of how morbidly obese I have become. I cropped the picture down to show only my face and that of the nurse but you can tell by my puffy ch... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 07:19:03 EST Final Day of Chemo / Work Coach / Dad Last chemo treatment is today...I will sort of miss it, the nurses were all so super nice and you really feel rather pampered while they are infusing you with poison - very strange, if you think about it. I assume they will want me back for more blood work and then it will be on to radiation at another facility - that will be 5 times per week for 4 -6 weeks so I will probably get to know those nurses even better! <BR> <BR> My employer has contracted with a coaching company so that people fa... Thu, 9 Mar 2017 05:36:18 EST Painting...and A Plan <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My cousin's husband took a photo on a windy day that inspired me to try and capture it in a painting...I have not picked up a brush in a very long time and while I see many areas in need of improvement, I'm satisfied with the end result -- any more 'correcting' would just take the fun out of the whole process! I might try and do a pictorial quilt of this same image, I love the original photo... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 05:48:02 EST Vent, Pity Party, Not a Happy Blog I look in the mirror and see an obese version of myself - used to be I could avoid looking at my reflection from the neck down but now, with a scarf or turban on my head, it's like seeing a pumpkin perched on y shoulders - a pale, round object with puffy cheeks...I struggle with flexibility in that I can barely find a position where I can put on my socks and breathe at the same time; getting into and out of the car is about as graceful as a hippo running through quicksand...I then get disgust... Tue, 7 Mar 2017 05:51:57 EST Energy Level / Choking Incident My energy is coming back somewhat, as long as I don't push too hard. Thanks to Carl (the squirrel) we ended up repainting the basement/laundry area rather than just cleaning up the mess he made (breaking a 5 lb bag of flour which coated my pantry shelves in white!). DH did the painting (floor and walls) but I helped him move things out of the way, now I am putting them back and reorganizing a bit. This involves a lot of walking back and forth, from one side of the basement to the other, which... Mon, 6 Mar 2017 06:35:22 EST Squirrel, Bloodwork, Binge Confession My DD named the squirrel we found in the basement Carl...he was there for 3 days, despite us leaving the door open so he could get back outside. Why leave, when the pantry shelves were filled with goodies to break into like rice crackers, a bag of flour, chia seeds. He threw boxes off the shelves and made a bit of a mess. Do you think having 7 cats in this house would have scared him? No! Do you think even one of those cats even sensed he was down there? Doubtful...I happened to be sitting ... Fri, 3 Mar 2017 07:18:41 EST Work - Advice Needed - please!! I got a package yesterday from work - they are offering a voluntary buyout option for workers over 55 years old who have been with the company for over 10 years. I would get 6 months of pay, a bonus equal to 12 weeks of pay, any unused paid time off would be paid and also a profit share for 2017. I would also be able to continue our medical coverage for 18 months at the same rate as if I was an active employee. The rates would then go up, but not as high as COBRA, until I reach Medicare age. ... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 07:07:38 EST A bit more on SIL, BFF / Picture of Kitties My sister in law and my friend have always been naturally skinny, but to me they seem too thin - no meat on their bones. My SIL did order a burger and fries (we got there too late for breakfast) and ate almost all of it - I did the same, the burgers were very small and on toast, didn't finish my was interesting that neither one made comments aloud about their food choices as in "Oh, this burger is naughty, I shouldn't eat it" or "I'm having salad because I don't dare eat anything ... Wed, 1 Mar 2017 06:35:04 EST Eating Observation I met my girl friend for lunch yesterday...I ordered fried clam strips with fries and a small ice cream sundae for dessert and devoured most of it, except for some straggling fries. She ordered a salad with chicken on top, ate half and boxed the leftovers up for lunch the next day. I made the comment that she is like a twig and I am the tree trunk -- she is probably as heavy as one of my thighs, super thin - almost looks ill she is so skinny! Whereas I, on the other hand, ate unhealthy fried ... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:36:17 EST Short Note about Yesterday I didn't exactly "walk" yesterday but I did get a good "work out" between the grocery store up & down the aisles, hauling heavy stuff) and house hunting for my son and his GF which involved lots of up and down stairs, trudging around outside was chilly out and I was exhausted by the time we were home so no walk for me! But it's okay, I still didn't sit around all day so that was a good thing. <BR> <BR> One of our cats is missing since yesterday, hoping she shows up this mornin... Mon, 27 Feb 2017 05:29:44 EST Walking Streak, Week Ahead I have taken a walk each day for seven days...I am amazed that I did this consistently. Physically it has been challenging, I am fairly winded by the time I return home and my hips are sore but I think about that TV show, "My 600 lb Life" and watch as they struggle to even get out of bed and that helps me push on. The weather certainly cooperated and now it's getting cooler again but I don't want to use that as an excuse. Even if I have to shorten the distance, I want to continue this streak ... Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:07:48 EST Wig - What was I thinking?? I finally put on the wig I bought and oh God, it looks like a wig!! It does not look natural at all, at least not to me...I mean, yes, I suppose to someone who never met me it is just fine but it feels too full and perfectly styled (my hair was never so 'nice' looking) - it's not stiff or fake, it's just not me and I am crushed because I thought it might make me look better but the truth is, it looks like I have a wig on...thank goodness the insurance paid the majority of the cost as it is no... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 07:57:17 EST Clarification & Plans for the Day Just to clarify on my previous blog - the home I visited was not extravagant in the sense that it was all on one level, only four rooms plus the sunroom...some houses around here have multiple levels with 4+ bedrooms, bathrooms for each, restaurant size kitchens, fancy gadgets, electronics, etc. Yes, the six car garage was over the top, but according to the owner, when they built the house the husband said the wife could do whatever she liked with the house, inside and out, but the garage was... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:11:11 EST Time to Spring Clean? Walked around the block yesterday (the smaller one, my neighborhood is kind of shaped like a figure 8) with my son and both dogs - it was very warm, I was a bit over dressed, and the dogs wanted to move fast so I worked up a bit of a sweat and was huffing and puffing by the time we got home. The smaller block is just under a mile, the larger one is just over a mile and today is supposed to be 10 degrees warmer! I am definitely having a mini streak here of walking every day and have every inte... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:00:24 EST Childhood - Some Reconcilliation Got home from doing several errands (which involved walking through stores) and saw my son walking both dogs so I parked the car and joined him - we went to the end of the street and back so I got my exercise walk in plus the errands yesterday. Got a bit achy by nighttime again but it was more of a normal, getting old, joints are sore type of pain rather than chemo zapping me or whatever it does. <BR> <BR> Have some chores to get done this morning, planning an afternoon walk, then going out ... Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:50:38 EST Walked Again! Farther this time... Did the length of my street and back again yesterday and then pushed myself a bit further. I could feel it in my hips especially, but my breathing was better and knees were not screaming so I was able to increase my distance by a small amount which made me happy. By nighttime I was sore again in all my joints - so sore that I have not been able to pick up a needle to do any cross stitch or quilting! Fingers, wrists, shoulders -- everything hurts, two Aleeve did not even touch it. The plan fo... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:23:46 EST I Walked Anyway Really appreciate the words of support and encouragement on my last blog, thank you everyone! Woke up feeling a bit more normal, hoping to make today better all around. <BR> <BR> ********* <BR> <BR> Walked yesterday to the end of our street and back which is a little under a full mile back and forth. The sun was out, the air was warm with a touch of cool breeze, and I felt AWFUL -- everything hurt, it was hard to breathe, I didn't appreciate my surroundings as much as I normally would...I w... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:14:20 EST No Offense, Spark Friends, but... ...Chemo is leaving me feeling like $#*&^ this time around, more so than usual...exhausted, food tastes like metal, brain fog, irritable, body aches....if I have commented on your recent blogs or posts, I apologize if anything I said has been out of line. I am not myself, I feel like I want to punch a wall to get me out of this brain fog/funk I've been in. No desire to do anything other than sleep and stare blankly at the TV wondering what is wrong with me (I know what is wrong, but I'm too ... Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:49:40 EST Lack of Sleep, Chemo Brain Rough night trying to sleep - woke up at midnight with my brain racing about money issues, going back to work, my daughter's lack of progress in terms of feeling better and getting a job and moving on with her life, my son's medical bills that insurance didn't pay, my husband not getting a pay check in almost 2 months, taxes need to be sent in to the accountant so my (hopeful) refund can pay our home and car insurance...So I was up from midnight until about 3:00 AM, took two melatonin, up at ... Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:51:04 EST Chemo Today - Tweaking Meds, Fell (ouch!), Tracked Food! Third chemo is today and we decided to cut back on the steroid meds I take for nausea. I have not had a problem with nausea at all so far and the steroids cause me to be very, VERY hungry so we decided to cut back on those a bit and see how I do this round. I have meds to take if I do in fact feel like vomiting, but I have not needed those yet. <BR> <BR> Hesitated to mention this but two nights ago I woke about 2 AM with an extremely full bladder. I was trying to hold it in (sense of urgency... Thu, 16 Feb 2017 06:01:19 EST Part 2 - Parents, Accountability, Forgiveness Yesterday I wrote: " eating / dieting patterns -- I can plan the best strategy using all the right tools, recipes, etc but as soon as I do one thing "wrong" I quit before I fail completely and blame the plan for being faulty rather than my own lack of commitment (this allows me to remain 'perfect' and not accept responsibility for failure)." <BR> <BR> I felt the need to explore this further because it got me thinking about my own sense of responsibility when it comes to this weight loss... Wed, 15 Feb 2017 08:43:41 EST Reflection on Parents Did my parents fail me? Or did I hope for / expect / need something they just simply could not give and were not aware that I needed? <BR> <BR> The idea to explore this subject came from one of my Spark Friends. I think it has some bearing on my eating behavior which I link to my addictive personality (I was formerly hooked on smoking and was warned at an early age to avoid alcohol as I had tendencies that I could abuse it). <BR> <BR> My parents were unable to have children and after 14 y... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 07:45:49 EST Feb 13 - Fluffy Stuff: Snow & Cream Filling SNOW: We got about another foot of snow yesterday, not as bad as we anticipated -- it is again the light, fluffy kind so I was able to shovel a bit. Running out of room to put it though! I did not push myself hard, I took it slow, and honestly it feels good to be out there, in the fresh air, getting a bit of exercise. The reason I feel such a need to help is that my daughter, with her Lyme disease, has physical pain that sometimes prevents her from walking, let alone helping with something li... Mon, 13 Feb 2017 07:35:44 EST Feb 12 - Snow, Pastry, and Depression Okay, odd title for a blog, but it helps me remember what these are about as I sometimes want to go back and re-read what I wrote... <BR> <BR> We got more snow yesterday - about 3" - and we have another blizzard on the way with up to 24" possible. I am getting a little concerned about shoveling it, even though it has been light and fluffy - the port that is implanted in my chest wall could possibly be damaged if I over do it in terms of lifting and the nurses said I should not shovel, but I... Sun, 12 Feb 2017 06:32:29 EST Cross Stitch Photo - Finally Done! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Finished size is about 7" x 14" <BR> <BR> Not sure if all the small details show up in the picture here, but you can see it better in my photo gallery. It definitely took a lot of time to complete this. Now I need to get a frame that will do it justice! Thu, 9 Feb 2017 09:59:32 EST Feb 9 - Weight Gain, Steroids, Fatigue I saw the nurse practitioner yesterday and discussed my weight gain (5 lbs since starting chemo!) and we decided to cut back on the anti-nausea meds which have steroids in them. Not eliminating them completely as I really do not relish the idea of throwing up and there are only two more cycles to go, but less steroids will mean less increased appetite. Another problem is lack of activity - it is hard to be active when the body is fighting fatigue - not tired like when I want to nap, but feeli... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 07:29:09 EST Feb 8 - Tidbits / Updates Crazy New England weather -- snow/ice yesterday, going up to 50 degrees today, followed by 8 - 12 inches of snow predicted for tomorrow...I need to try and reschedule my blood work appointment, I don't think I should drive in a storm if I don't really have to. <BR> <BR> Cross stitch project is almost done! I just have to finish the verse part and then I'll take a picture to share with everyone - this was very labor intensive and would have taken much longer had I not bee home from work! <BR>... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 07:34:48 EST Patriots Inspiration - Never Give Up, We Can Do It The Superbowl was all but over for the Patriots and they made an amazing comeback! I almost turned the game off, I thought there was no way they could win it...but then, play by play they did turn things around...and that got me thinking... <BR> <BR> The Patriots were behind by so many points with not much time left...but they persisted, they did not give up, they tried even harder. They focused on what needed to be done and got it done. <BR> <BR> We can do the same thing! No, we are not ... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 07:44:00 EST Feb 5 - Taking Charge Okay, I finally, Finally, FINALLY reached the conclusion (with the help of a dear SparkFriend, thanks Christina!) that I need to take control of my habits and while doing that, I may just figure out the "why" of those habits. But there is no real benefit to determining the "why" first while continuing to binge - who knows how long it might take to figure it out? I may even need the help of a professional therapist at some point. I did come up with a few thoughts having to do with perfectionis... Sun, 5 Feb 2017 07:10:24 EST February 4 **Progress on Goals** <BR> <BR> 1. Exercise <BR> 2. New Food/Recipe <BR> 3. Water <BR> <BR> 1. Too cold outside and felt tired but I tried to go up and down the stairs several times purely for exercise throughout the day <BR> <BR> 2. Made a shopping list so I can try a few recipes <BR> <BR> 3. No - not enough <BR> <BR> Not much to write about today, have a great weekend everyone! Sat, 4 Feb 2017 07:51:45 EST Feb 3 - Binge Confession / Maybe Beck? **Progress on Goals** <BR> <BR> 1. Exercise <BR> 2. New Food/Recipe <BR> 3. Water <BR> <BR> 1. Walked one dog around the block <BR> 2. New pork chop recipe but had heartburn so didn't eat it - DH said it was great <BR> 3. Had tea, water, not as much as I should have though <BR> <BR> I am really excited that I made it around the block with the smaller dog yesterday. My son said the other dog cried the entire time. There is no way I could have managed both, we encountered a neighbor with... Fri, 3 Feb 2017 06:54:56 EST February 2 - Groundhog Day **Progress on Goals** <BR> <BR> 1. Exercise <BR> 2. New Food/Recipe <BR> 3. Water <BR> <BR> 1. shoveled deck and walkways <BR> 2. did not eat anything new but cleaned pantry so I know the ingredients I have on hand <BR> 3. 6 glasses water, only 1 cup of coffee <BR> <BR> Reporting daily on my progress with goals seems to keep me more accountable, I've done it this way in the past. My daughter was not feeling well so we didn't walk the dogs but I plan to do this today, regardless of how s... Thu, 2 Feb 2017 07:16:35 EST February 1 - New Month, New Goals Feeling better today and since it is the start of a new month, I thought I might revisit some goals I've made in the past and try to commit to at least a few. I know the docs don't want me to try and lose weight while on chemo but there is no need for me to be stuffing my face with junk and gaining any weight - except that food tastes funny so finding something palatable is a challenge. However, this does not mean I need to scarf down Klondike bars as if they were the last food on earth (yes,... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 07:39:35 EST January 31 - Religious Rant - No Offense to Anyone Intended My SIL wants me to go to a healing mass on Thursday. While I appreciate her concern and offer, I don't have the kind of faith she has in organized religious practices and so I told her I have been very tired and should not subject myself to all the germs (this is not a lie, it's very true). She understood but then says "God will heal me" as if he will keep the cold/flu germs from getting on me in the church...sorry, I don't think so. And I am not questioning her faith or doubting her beliefs... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 07:37:33 EST January 30 - I am a Slug Wow, this second chemo treatment has left me weak and lethargic, awful metal taste in my mouth, falling asleep as soon as I sit on the couch....yesterday I was able to do some cross stitch and reading, that was about it. I even slept in until 8 AM this morning, I think I am refreshed but not sure yet. At least my coffee tastes a little better today. Maybe I will be able to do a short walk later - the sun is out, wind is not bad, even if it's just a short walk it's fresh air and better than n... Mon, 30 Jan 2017 08:37:03 EST January 29 - Sleep...sleep...zzzz Library book sale and grocery store wore me out, spent the day in and and out of naps after that, did not make dinner. Still a bit woozy this morning, coffee tastes plans other than a shower and hopefully making dinner tonight. Cannot even focus enough to do cross stitch or quilting - good thing I like to read. Sun, 29 Jan 2017 07:07:02 EST January 28 - Very tired this time Put in a rather full day yesterday - my daughter had appointment with her naturopath for her Lyme disease, then we went to the food store, came home to clean the guinea pig cage, make cookies, do a small bit of laundry and other light chores -- all of this was rather exhausting, the chemo knocked me a bit harder I think or else I simply did not take the time to rest. Got a good night's sleep even after taking a late day mini-nap but still feel off, drained but not sleepy. My blood work did ... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 05:51:34 EST January 27 - Chemo #2 Done / Met with Dietician / Reiki The dietician who works with the cancer center met with me yesterday during my infusions and went over a few things, most of which I already know (but don't regularly practice). Some of her suggestions: <BR> <BR> - Plan meals for dinner in advance for the week to include a protein, starch, and veggies -- she advised to treat peas and corn as a starch <BR> <BR> - Move fruits to snack times & eat with small bit of protein <BR> <BR> - Since oatmeal does not fill me up, she suggested adding G... Fri, 27 Jan 2017 07:18:38 EST January 26 - Chemo Today Looking forward to my second of four chemo treatments, I hope it goes as well as last time. I've got a book to read, a journal to make a few food & exercise plans/decisions, and a quilting project to pass the time but also hope to get a nap in as I only slept for 4 hours last night! This may be TMI but I am coughing due to post nasal drip and because I am keeping myself so hydrated, my bladder is more full than not, even when "empty" so the cough is sending me to the bathroom constantly. It's... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 06:21:21 EST January 25 - 37 Years ago today.... DH and I had our first date! Seems like only yesterday.... <BR> <BR> I think my cough is getting better, I hope so, tomorrow is my second chemo treatment and I don't want them to delay it. <BR> <BR> Did some snow shoveling yesterday, felt good to be moving/exercising but I'm a bit sore today, it was the heavy wet kind of snow. Today looks like like the sun is coming out, no wind...maybe I can take a walk later on. Might go to the grocery store too, I've been pretty much home-bound f... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 08:04:48 EST January 24 - Meds, Hair, & Quilting I started taking that antibiotic that I hesitated to use, as I really am having some issues shaking this cough/cold and I don't want it to turn into something worse since my blood counts are low putting me at increased risk for another infection. The side effects are minimal but one I noticed is lack of appetite and I'll gladly keep that one, thank you very much! <BR> <BR> The peach fuzz on my head is shedding, not down to bare (bald) skin yet but I'm getting more comfortable with it happe... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:30:30 EST