SEAWAVE's SparkPeople Blog SEAWAVE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Just back from hospital They removed a cyst in my lymph nodes yesterday. Back of the neck is very swollen, but the worst was the after effects of the surgery. Migraine, ridiculously high blood pressure, various meds they gave me weren't working for either. They kept a very close watch on me all night. <BR> <BR> At one point, they gave me something for the migraine, warning me that it would make me "feel like you're floating outside of your body for a few hours". It worked, when I went out the cleaning crew was arou... Tue, 5 May 2015 09:08:46 EST Not such a good idea So I thought looking back through my blogs would be a good way of finding my "lessons learned". Not a good idea at this point. What I found is that with the cancer treatments, I was on an up/down cycle, and there is really nothing I've been able to do consistently. <BR> <BR> So I'll take a different approach and start by looking forward. This week-end, I will take down everything from my vision board and start over (I haven't done that in a couple of years). I'll also re-organize our third b... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 08:13:26 EST Going back to the beginning... way, way back! I've been in this weird place these past few months, which I'm going to try to explain here. My apologies if it seems a bit "stream-of-consciousness" or unorganized, because I'm still trying to get my own head around it. <BR> <BR> “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle <BR> <BR> Sometimes it seems that the only habit I’ve developed is failing. People around me (at work, because I really don’t have a social life) are all impressed abo... Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:54:49 EST Off the rails, frustration... finding my way back. Ok, I've been way off the rails since November. It seems like the puzzle that is my life just shattered, and I haven't been able to find two pieces that go well together. <BR> <BR> Losing Dad December 1, I realized, was losing one of my touchstones. He had always said "children shouldn't die before their parents" and I realized that that was one of the things I was holding on to. As long as he was there, I had to be there. It took me a while to realize what I was reaching for, and what was m... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 09:54:38 EST One step forward So my oncologist and my family doctor don't agree. I either have degenerative arthritis in my lower spine, or just a sore back. <BR> <BR> Either way, I'm going to see a physiotherapist tonight, crossing fingers that he will be able to give me some exercises that I can maintain without either (a) increasing pain or (b) exhausting myself. <BR> <BR> I'm also crossing my fingers about upcoming tests to determine what's going on in my lymph nodes, which seem to be populated with cysts or nodule... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:35:54 EST Knitting myself back together Had a long chat with my boss this week, because I have finally given in and admitted that I can't do it all. I can't do what I could before cancer X 3. I can't be who I used to be. <BR> <BR> I've been shattered and over and over trying to knit pieces of my life back together. I finally realized this week that the pieces have changed. <BR> <BR> Now I have to take a long hard look at myself and see what those pieces of me are now, what I need to let go of, which pieces are still worth dedicat... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 12:12:46 EST Losing my Dad... slowly We've been by his bedside for the past week - he was "supposed" to not last until we made it here. He's tough, and hanging on to (we think) try to finish business that he can do nothing about. He's spoken to me about it before, and it's not on him it's on someone else, but he wants to fix it. It's so difficult to see him fading, with difficulty breathing and sometimes not lucid. Most times he's asleep because of all the morphine they have to give him, so we've been blessed that he has had luc... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 22:26:04 EST It's all good - again - for now... So I had my "final" biopsy, and results this week. The biopsy was behind the neck, and swelled quite a bit. What a nightmare! Wound up with a migraine, vomiting, emergency room, 2 bags of fluid iv because I was dehydrated plus gravol and something else, then dilaudid. Off work for five days. I've had a dozen biopsies, and this was the worst by far. <BR> <BR> The results were negative, but the oncologist is skeptical, so it starts all over again in January with another CT Scan. They want to ... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 00:19:16 EST It's all good! Just a quick note before I rush off to enjoy the glorious week-end. <BR> <BR> I saw the naturopath yesterday and received results from my blood work. Iron is up, cholesterol is cut by half. Yes HALF! and well in the healthy ranges. BP is in high-normal, and trending downwards. Sugar levels are stable and normal (instead of dropping all the time). I'm off both BP and cholesterol meds. <BR> <BR> I can't believe it, after so many years of diet and medication, and just shy of a month on the ... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 10:10:53 EST 99-Day Countdown So, it's 99 days until New Year's. Can you believe it?1? Time has been flying by. <BR> <BR> I feel the need to challenge myself, to give myself some sort of framework as I learn this new way of eating. I thought it would be much easier as I've done low-carb before, but this is so much lower carb, and also high fat, low protein (where i was used to low fat, high protein). It's very counter-intuitive, but if it's what i need to do to avoid feeding any lingering cancer cells, then it's what I'... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 23:14:47 EST Overwhelmed, but Moving Forward The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of medical tests and visits to the oncologist and doctors. Good news is that what was a strongly suspected bone cancer is actually (well, probably, but that’s another story!) osteo arthritis. My family doctor has decided I’m too young for that so she’s going to have a talk with the people at the hospital to see if during the CT Scans and MRIs, they checked for slipped discs and the lie. Whatever. She drives me crazy. Literally no longer than 12 ... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 23:27:47 EST Fingers crossed and optomistic So I had what I think is my last test - a full body MRI - yesterday, and will be getting results from the oncologist on Wednesday. It seems very likely that it is, cancer metasticized to the bones, but I am oddly optomistic. For one thing, it would be the answer for why I am in all this pain and points to treatment options. <BR> <BR> The other thing is I've begun to go to a naturopathic centre that specializes in cancer. They have a whole team - doctors, physio therapist, nutritionist, cou... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 19:14:38 EST In the "wait" period of "hurry up and wait" After the flurry of appointments - onco Wednesday afternoon, two CT scans Wednesday night, full body MRI Friday, now I wait. Probably about a week until my oncos get my results. <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, I'm hoping for the best - I don't even know what that would be at this point - and planning for the worst. If it is a mets, that usually would mean I get the same treatment as for the Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which was chemo within three weeks of diagnosis, then surgery (not applicable in bon... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 10:23:49 EST At least tests are happening quickly I got a call today to do the last full-body scan tomorrow! You can't get medical tests scheduled any quicker than that - I saw my onco only yesterday afternoon! <BR> <BR> So if it is a mets, at least it will be addressed quickly. I'm becoming more hopeful. I spoke to my manager, and she is fully supportive of whatever I have to do -- sick leave, medical retirement, sick leave and working from home a bit so I don't get too bored. Whatever. It's an enormous relief to have that kind of supp... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 22:54:42 EST Difficult Summer... going into Fall Well, the title says it all. It's been a very difficult summer with a lot of pain, very little ability to exercise. Just got results of a bone density test and it looks like I have 12% loss in the lower back, and build up in the pelvic area. Might be the IBC metasticizing to the bones - apparently that's a classic presentation. <BR> <BR> I'm doing a CT Scan of the head and neck because the ultrasound I did last week showed cysts in the lymph nodes behind my ear and along my neck. That test... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:47:04 EST Hitting my re-set button! I've been struggling with consistency because of health issues. I've found out this week that I have osteosporosis because of the meds I take to replace the thyroid and to avoid a cancer recurrence. So that explains the pain in my lower back. I've also found out I have cysts in my lymph nodes - a very unusual occurrence apparently, so we'll be checking out that that isn't metastatic as well. <BR> <BR> So group challenges don't work out too well for me - I'm still looking for that "perfect ... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 22:42:36 EST 5% Challenge - 12 Things I'm Reaching For... On January 2, I blogged about 12 things I'm reaching for. I was just out of surgery (again) and gearing up to go back to work, and things were looking up. Then I got a terrible cold, and things got put on the back burner. <BR> <BR> Basically, I want to be functional again. All of the things below are things I've done in the past, and I want to be able to do them again (well, maybe not run into a bear, but if I do I want the confidence to know I can walk away!) I call them my “comfort memor... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:25:00 EST It's prep time! Summer 5% Challenge A friend sent me a note that the 5% Challenge was starting and encouraged me to join -- thanks MEMARE! The challenge is to lose 5% of my weight over 8 weeks, starting on Saturday, June 21st. <BR> <BR> (1) Exercise Commitment <BR> <BR> First step to prepare for the challenge is to identify my exercise commitment. This one is easy, as I am just now getting back on my feet from a horrible early spring. Consistency will be the key for me, and my fitbit will tell me how many steps I'm doing. ... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:07:45 EST Oddly relieving to not sleep Since my sleep doctor told me Wednesday that it's like my normal to not sleep more than 4 hours per night, I feel oddly lighter and more relaxed. No more trying to stay quiet, destress, meditate, etc to try to get back to sleep. I stay wide awake anyway! So tonight, I've planned my day, which will be an errand day. <BR> <BR> * meet with my GP for the results of my annual physical bloodwork <BR> * meet with the thyroid oncologist <BR> * meet with the respiratory technologist and get my CPA... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 04:48:37 EST Met with my sleep doctor today ...that is, the doctor from the sleep clinic. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea last year and tried the CPAP machine. Nice thing is that they let you test it out for a month before you buy it, to make sure you get the right machine and mask. Bad thing was that I wasn't "compliant", that is sleeping with it for at least four hours straight, at least 21 nights per month. <BR> <BR> I tried to explain to them that I have never slept that much, but suffice it to say there was a mini-war ... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 16:40:46 EST Received my Fitbit Plus today! I registered for a health coach through a program at work, and as part of the program I received a Fitbit Plus. I've set it up to sync with SparkPeople -- hopefully that will work. <BR> <BR> I also get three hours of training with a health coach, as well as three with an exercise coach. Will likely also do a few hours with a nutritionist and possibly a naturopath. If the naturopath doesn't work there, I'll just go back to the one I was going to before. She's back from maternity leave now ... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 23:03:50 EST Finally back in the game! I had my annual check up yesterday, and the doc has (again) ok'd minimal exercise until we get some test results back. So I'm ok for the stationary bike for short (10 minutes) of time. I'll be trying out some of the Spark videos as well. I also had my first telephone consultation with a wellness coach (a new service provided through work) and will have a fitness coach at end of March. It's only for three sessions each, but it will get me on the right track. My aim is to be ready to go walk... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 20:14:41 EST Difficult return to work Well, although the welcome was wonderful when I returned to work after surgery -- I truly have the most supportive colleagues in the world! -- being back has been difficult. It has surprised me, because the other returns after cancer treatments seemed to go smoother for me. Perhaps it results from an accummulation from all the body trauma. <BR> <BR> In any event, I tire much more easily now, and am most often asleep in the car on the way home. Attention to food and exercise has gone by the ... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 06:12:23 EST Starting the week-end right! Yesterday was just so full of awesome, and a great way to start the week-end! <BR> <BR> I went to the surgeon's to get the results of the pathology report from my hysterectomy (which came because I was hemoraging and they found some pre-cancerous cells). Well, great news! The path report showed no cancer! Frankly, I expected bad news as I've had two primary cancers (thyroid and breast). I guess third time is the charm! <BR> <BR> Yesterday was also a day of running around for medical appoint... Sat, 11 Jan 2014 06:47:15 EST Declutering - house and body So this recovery from the hysterectomy is not at all what I expected! There is no pain, and I can move quite normally. However, I thought I would try a low-impact cardio – just 15 minutes – and that was a bad idea. I experienced pain in the abdomen, so I stopped after three minutes. So I’m guessing anything that has to do with using core muscles for the exercise is out for now. I’m still waiting for my follow-up appointment with the surgeon, but for now I will stick to the short Qi Gong ... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 11:48:59 EST What to do in 2014? A brand new year, and a (symbolically) new start. So I started working on a list of 100 reasons to get healthy, and it really wasn’t working for me. So I went through the idea of identifying 50 things I miss doing, or making annual resolutions, or… Let’s just say I went back and forth through a lot of options and approaches and leave it at that. <BR> <BR> I finally realized how unfocused I was, and sought to first identify what I’m reaching for. So my list is now a list of “12 Things I’m r... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 08:00:12 EST I'm getting it back in 2014! This is it. This is the year I my way of seeing myself, from someone who is chronically ill (and so unreliable and isolated) to someone who is adventurous, fun loving and confident. Oh, it won’t make the illness go away, but I need to explore the rest of myself and start living a wider range of experiences. I have therefore left the teams that were related to health issues (e.g. hysterectomy, cancer) and kept a very few teams I can relate to on another level. <BR> <BR> This is also the ye... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 01:18:11 EST Coffee with a friend, and indoor walking I met Justyna7 for coffee yesterday at the mall. I truly count her among my life's blessings, and am so pleased we were finally able to get together! We walked a bit around the mall, and she was supremely patient with me and my limitations! While the mall was crowded, relatively few people were carrying bags. I wonder how the stores did this Xmas and Boxing Day -- I have not been keeping up on the news. <BR> <BR> I did make a nice find, though. J and I stopped in a store and she made a pur... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 10:03:31 EST Blood pressure medication Just back from the doctor, who has put me on medication to control my blood pressure. It was through the roof at the hospital after my surgery, and I got lucky to get a cancellation wtih her today. I wondered if I should push -- I'm going for my annual on January 16th. I decided that this was just as important as all those other things that still need to be done before Christmas. <BR> <BR> I'm so happy I went. First, my BP was lower than it was post-surgery, which is very good. And I lo... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 15:24:12 EST Gifts just about all done! Despite starting the day with a migraine yesterday, I had a surprisingly productive day (thanks to my DH!). I did the planning, and he did the running around. Yep, we went the gift card way this year. Actually, movie passes for all the "kids" (they're all in their teens). We got a good deal, as $40 worth of passes gave a $40 gift package that includes upgrades to 3D, free popcorn, etc. They'll be happy with that, as movies are sooo expensive nowadays they don’t go as often as they would li... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 00:19:42 EST I've just discovered Qi Gong! As I've mentioned, I'm recovering from surgery right now. It means I can't lift any weight and have to be careful not to pull stitches. <BR> <BR> I have been searching through Spark and bookmarking exercises I want to try once the doctors say it's ok (appointment in early January) and I found the 15-minute Qi Gong video. I tried it. I can do it, no problem. <BR> <BR> And it felt wonderful! I think I'm a fan... will try to do this regularly. <BR> <BR> <em>135</em> <em>252</em> <e... Sun, 22 Dec 2013 15:31:59 EST What happened vs What's the best thing that happened I've been reading a book (Steal Like an Artist), where an approach to journalling is described. The author, Austin Klein, describes Nicholson Baker's approach to journalling. He says to not write about what's happened, which will usually put the focus on more negative stuff that you've had to deal with as that is where your time and energy went. Instead, he says to write about the best thing that's happened in your day. This puts to memory the positive that otherwise often are forgotten. <... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 09:47:44 EST Gonna try coconut oil pulling GiantPanda’s blogs have convinced me to try coconut oil pulling. It’s basically using about a tablespoon of coconut oil as a mouthwash, swishing it around your mouth for about 20 minutes, and spit into the toilet or garbage (can clog drains). Do not gargle, do not swallow. <BR> <BR> She’s reporting that after a week she has brighter teeth and her eczema is alleviated. Given my many health challenges, I have been doing some research on using coconut (oil, flour, etc.) but had never heard ... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 11:58:42 EST Ok, maybe not so much with the CPAP :-( Well, my goal of starting to use the CPAP this week-end really didn't work out well -- I didn't even make it up to the bedroom! I have been sleeping on the sofa since surgery as it hurt too much when DH moved around in the bed. I thought I would go up this week-end, but both nights I fell asleep on the sofa. <BR> <BR> I must admit that sleeping on the sofa has become a semi-habit for various reasons - easier after each of my surgeries, DH going to bed before me and not wanting to wake him... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:22:32 EST First Post-op Week-End Well, this is my first week-end post op (I really don't count last week-end, as I got home around 7:15 a.m. Saturday morning and was pretty out of it all week-end). <BR> <BR> My goal for this week-end is to get the Christmas tree up inside the house, and the decorations accessible so that I can finish putting them up next week, and buying some decorations for outside. We had to cut down a beloved Blue Spruce, and so our front yard has nothing decorative at this point for Christmas. <BR> <B... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 07:22:25 EST Great sister! My sister saved up some vaca time to use if I needed help after surgery. She came over today, kept me company and did some cooking (chicken, spag sauce, and soup broth). I'll be able to make soup tomorrow. <BR> <BR> I don't think we've laughed this much in a very long time - things have been trying health-wise for a few people in the family, so serious discussions are usually the norm. After my surgery, it was like a weight had been lifted. When I called my aunt to tell her the "no obvio... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 21:10:46 EST Life is back! So, what I had understood to be cancer was actually pre-cancerous cells - a big difference. Hysterectomy with removal of fallopians and ovaries Friday, and surgeon says "no obvious signs of cancer". While we still have to wait for the path report to be sure, I'm hanging my hopes on his post-op statement. <BR> <BR> It feels like I, again, have a huge mountain to climb. My thyroid medication for some reason stops working every once and a while, and the obvious symptom is weight gain - like ... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 14:48:34 EST The Bad, and the Good I'm having an odd week of great expectations and horrible news. I learned this week that I have cancer again, this time in the uterus. I'll be seeing the oncologist in early October, then hysterectomy, and we go from there (depending on what the path report says). <BR> <BR> But life goes on, and I refuse to let this get me down. I'm fulfilling one of my bucket list items over the next three weeks. DH and I are going to visit the Shenandoah Valley, National Park and all that entails, and th... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:02:55 EST My Affirmations Looking through old notes I found some affirmations I had written in 2008. I really do believe in the strength of affirmations, and am happy to say that these still resonate with me today. Putting them here so I can easily find them later on, if need be. But I will also be making a card for my wallet and for my office, as well as posting them on my vision board so I always have them handy! <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> My affirmations <BR> <BR> I am in control, and healthy in all aspects of my... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:27:36 EST Well, that didn't last long... I am now in the middle of a forced week of rest, following some physical symptoms that are leading to more tests and, yes, a suspicion that there may be cancer again. This is the fourth (4th!) cancer scare I've had since the new year, and I'm getting mighty tired of it. <BR> <BR> It comes back to a blog I wrote a while ago, where I realized that although I do know and rely upon the Serenity Prayer, I have yet to find the "wisdom to know the difference". I have no sense whatsover of when I s... Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:42:03 EST And a month in... Well, I've been living with those two things I discovered - an injury to my Achilles hell and having sleep apnea - for a month now. Great success on one front, not so much on the other. <BR> <BR> As per usual in my life, the one I thought would be more difficult - the heel injury - has proven to be the easiest to deal with. I've had simple silicone heel inserts in my shoes for the past month and it has done wonders in decreasing the pan, which I would rate at about a 2/10 (it was a 10/10 ... Sat, 29 Jun 2013 19:02:17 EST I’m starting to believe! I've been away for a long time. I'm back! <BR> <BR> I’ve been having a trying time, and trying to maintain some semblance of positive attitude. I’ve had heel pain that is so bad I nearly cry, I often can’t stand for more than 5-10 minutes. Yes, doctor, I know that at least some of this is a side effect of the drugs you have given me to decrease my chances of the cancer recurring. <BR> <BR> I’ve been so tired I’ve literally been falling asleep in the middle of conversations – with my manag... Sun, 26 May 2013 08:33:58 EST Hiking on hard-packed snow The end of last week was pretty much a fail in my blogging as well as my “sleep” project. My sleep for the past three or four days has been very irregular, and I finally slept this morning, from around 4:30 to 11:30. I finally started working four days a week, with this past Friday being my first official day off. Maybe that helped. It certainly helped in that I made a huge turkey/rice soup. I have eight jars in the fridge, which will serve for tonight’s supper as well as week-day/work-d... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 18:57:34 EST Spot check on status So, today is a day to do a spot check on how I’m doing on this week’s goals on the 5% Firecrackers Team. It’s been hit and miss, I’m afraid. Sleep is still an elusive goal, as is closing down electronics by 9:00. For example, it’s 9:24 pm right now, and I just got back from the gym at 9:15 and want to do my Sparking for the day. <BR> <BR> Aside from that, I’ve found that biking every morning is too much, so I’m alternating it with walking. That’s working out well, and the weather is coop... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 21:28:07 EST How to encourage myself and keep on track? 1) What new habit you wish to develop? (see March 2 blog) <em>48</em> <BR> 2) How will you do that? (March 3 blog) <em>48</em> <BR> 3) What are you doing to encourage yourself and keep on track? <BR> 4) How are you doing day by day? <BR> 5) What can you improve upon? <BR> 6) Do you need some motivation or advice? Ask for it! <BR> 7) Anything else you would like to share with your Team <BR> <BR> <em>38</em> 3) What are you doing to encourage yourself and keep on track? <BR>... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 21:39:22 EST How will I sleep? The 5% team’s challenge of the week is to develop a new habit, and blog about it on a daily basis. I’m up to the second question on the following list: <BR> <BR> 1) What new habit you wish to develop? (see March 2 blog) <em>48</em> <BR> 2) How will you do that? <BR> 3) What are you doing to encourage yourself and keep on track? <BR> 4) How are you doing day by day? <BR> 5) What can you improve upon? <BR> 6) Do you need some motivation or advice? Ask for it! <BR> 7) Anything else you... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 13:33:56 EST Springing into sleep! The 5% team’s challenge of the week is to develop a new habit, and blog about it on a daily basis. They ask the following questions: <BR> <BR> 1) What new habit you wish to develop? <BR> 2) How will you do that? <BR> 3) What are you doing to encourage yourself and keep on track? <BR> 4) How are you doing day by day? <BR> 5) What can you improve upon? <BR> 6) Do you need some motivation or advice? Ask for it! <BR> 7) Anything else you would like to share with your Team <BR> <BR> So, w... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 18:37:47 EST Squeaking into March Except for one glorious week celebrating our 25th anniversary, Jan and Feb were pretty much a write-off for me. Illness and deaths in family and friends, very little gym time, brouhaha at work, a migraine that lasted a week, and the possibility that I have yet another cancer. I’m quite anxious about that if I think about it at all, so I’m trying not to. I see the onco on March 12th, so not much I can do about it until then except keep working on getting stronger. <BR> <BR> Which brings me... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 02:44:11 EST Amazing? I'm thinking YES! So, my DH and I have been talking about what to do for holidays this year. We want something different, where we will be challenged physically, learn about an area and its people, and generally have fun. <BR> <BR> We seem to be settling on biking the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island. Easy enough (I think) for me to train this summer to do the trip in September. Now, just to make it more interesting, as I'm checking around for info, I discover that there are over 1600 geo cache ... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 05:20:43 EST Do something amazing Inspired by SHERYLDS blog today, entitled "Push Your Tush - Anything Can Happen" (which is full of wonderful inspirational quotes) <BR> <BR> I'm thinking of getting a tattoo that says "oui je peux" (yes I can, in French). I read it and I hear the voice of my now 19-year old son who would let nothing stop him hen he was a toddler (walking at 7 months, on a two-wheel bike by the time he was 2) from trying first, not just wanting to and letting people tell him he couldn't. Where does that att... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 08:15:54 EST