Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Counseling; Day One

So today is day 3 on an antidepressant and day 1 of counseling.

The antidepressant is going to take some getting used to and some time to build up in my body.  The first day I took it in the morning at the suggestion of the pharmacist.  It made me sleepy and it really made me nauseated for about 4 hours.  No good.  So I started taking it at night.  It's working better.  But last night I woke up in the middle of the night extremely thirsty.  I drank water but it made my stomach worse and I was awake for a bit.

All morning I kept telling myself I was dumb for scheduling counseling; I really didn't need counseling.  Then I wondered if the emotional crying and stuff was simply my normal menstrual cycle?  After all the signs that I used to have are gone/changed since surgery and I have a harder time knowing my body signals. 

Pete pointed out to me that I tend to want things to fit in categories, be specific.  Not everything can be categorized.  Maybe some of my anxiety and issues with this is that I can't categorize it all.  He's s smart man and I realized that maybe he's right.  I may not fit in a category, but it doesn't mean I'm not part of of the larger group.

Today's counseling session was spent learning my story, my family history and my life.  At the end she asked me to think of goals that I'd like to work towards so that I know when I'm making progress.  She also commented that I'm pretty hard on myself and I should think about interrupting the negative self talk and allowing myself grace.  When she said that I about fell to the floor.  It was like she knew that I was trying to live in grace for 2013.  It was some confirmation that maybe things do happen for a reason and choosing that word was no accident for 2013.

So I'm going to keep a note on my phone and start recording some of the goals I want to achieve and where I want to see myself.  Some of the things I'd like to learn and how I can be a better version of me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Husband Likes Soup

When I first met my husband I did a fine job of trying to impress him with my cooking.  I cooked homey hotdishes (casseroles for you non Midwesterners), fragrant soups and cheesy pasta dishes.

One day, about a year after we'd been married, my husband suddenly says, "You know, I don't like soup."  And I was shocked.  I mean, how can you not like soup?  He suddenly volunteered that sandwiches were for lunch, not a dinner item.  Cheese was gross.  As for hotdishes, they have all the food mixed up and not much flavor.

Then I realized that he was not the man I thought I knew.  Growing up German with a father from the Southeast, I thought for sure that he'd welcome the kind of food I cooked.  Potatoes layered with sauerkraut and sausages?  Nope.  Chicken noodle soup on a cold day? Nope.

So we moved on and I cooked other things. 

Then one day a month ago, I noticed that my cheese package was pretty small.  After thinking about it I asked Pete and he admitted that he was...STEALING MY CHEESE!  Here he'd been having toasted cheese sandwiches and even cheese slices cold from the fridge.  Who was this man and what had he done with my husband?

Last week we went to a local restaurant for restaurant week.  It's a fixed menu where you make a couple of choices and spend $30 on a meal that would be $75 or more.  For a starter, my husband chose curried butternut squash soup with apples.  WHERE IS MY HUSBAND AND WHO IS THIS MAN?

Later in the week, we visited another restaurant and one of the garnishes on the salad was a candied onion.  Oh how I was looking forward to the sweetness of the candying and the sharp onion on the inside.  But no.  MY HUSBAND ATE IT.  ALL.

So, last night for dinner, we are had Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apple, Smoked Chicken Sausages and crusty bread with Cheddar melted on it.  All things that my husband (or so he says he's my husband....) did not eat 30 days ago.

Does this seem weird to you too?

(this post is in good humor.  I really do not think aliens abducted my husband.)

Monday, October 28, 2013


“It is man's social nature which distinguishes him from the brute creation. If it is his privilege to be independent, it is equally his duty to be inter-dependent. Only an arrogant man will claim to be independent of everybody else and be self-contained.”   - Mahatma Ghandi

I believe that we are better for the connections we make in life.  Every connection, good or bad, tells us something and leaves a lasting impression upon our soul.

I've spoken previously about how even connections on the internet are important to me.  I have a great group of friends that I met online and am very close to.  Some of them I've never met in person, but could count on them doing anything for me.

Recently I joined Brew Mama's Fall Swap and was paired up with Getz Girl On Fire.

I've had such fun learning about her and her life.  It parallels mine to some degree - we both love our puppies and stalking Food Network Chefs.  We've been chatting back and forth and last week exchanged some fun things.  After all, who doesn't love getting packages in the mail!

Can you see how cool that wine glass is?  I can write my name on it so that everyone knows it's mine!  How cool!  I've already dug into the pumpkin coffee Sunday.  It's all about pumpkin in my house right now.  And I'm using one of the cool pens for work. 

So my challenge to you all is to stop and make a connection this week.  Whether it be online, or in person, connect with someone new and see what blossoms!

Sunday Mornings

As a kid, weekends were golden. No school, no rushing around and I could do what I want (for the most part).  Saturdays, my Mom deemed cleaning days. We turned up the stereo and everyone worked on a room. After that we were free to ourselves. I'd spent the afternoon and evening reading, watching TV or out with friends.

Sundays mornings were spent eating some form of brunch.  Pancakes, waffles, eggs, toast, bacon, sausages, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, coffee. I've memories of my Mom making perfect omelets even though she doesn't eat eggs.  She'd get out the shiny silver waffle maker and boil down water and maple flavoring for syrup. 

My Dad was less conventional about cooking. He grew up the son of a farmer who never had to think about cooking, because my Grandma did it all. He'd make freshly grated hash brown potatoes with large pieces of onion, scrambled eggs and diced hot dogs. Then we'd squirt copious amounts of ketchup all over it before eating. 

Food is connected to my childhood memories, whether I like it or not. And while my relationship with food is a bit broken, I still treasure those memories. They speak to a childlike innocence, lazy and relaxing days.  They are emotionally comforting in a time where I'm not quite sure where I fit in right now.

Yesterday was a Sunday golden day. A day I made sure to live presently in, all day. I feel as though the dog tried sleeping on my face all night, but let me sleep until 8 am. I woke up to pumpkin coffee with a dab of cream. I concocted a breakfast of potato hash with bacon, onion, jalapenos, cooking on the stove. Finished, I topped it with runny eggs and sharp salty cheddar for me, instant grits and runny eggs for Pete. We are in front of the TV, talking about the weekend. I am relaxed and present.

I read my new cookbook and crocheted a bit after breakfast. Relaxing with a warm sleepy puppy and a blanket my Grandma crocheted for my high school graduation. All the while watching reruns of Law and Order. The sun glowed through the blinds in the living room and made the cold outside seem much warmer. Golden. 

It's Sunday nights where I feel most like an adult. Sundays are when I bake bread and cakes. I roast whole chickens with root veggies. I slow cook turkey sausage chili with cornbread. The making of large meals again reminds me of my childhood. Of sitting round a table in the dark evening with tender roast, buttered carrots and soft potatoes. Of pieces of white bread with butter and the TV running the evening news or a football game.

This Sunday I made Turkey Wild Rice Hotdish with a crusty whole grain honey bread. Between dinner and breakfast, I made some new golden food memories. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

207; A List of Plans

Even water proof mascara isn't really water proof.  It's likely water resistant or something.  I always wonder what kind of make up reality stars have on that they never get red and raccoon looking when they cry.  Because me?  I do crying, ugly.  I'm red, blotchy, runny nose and tears flowing.  So my lesson to you all is not to wear mascara when going for help with depression.

I love my doctor.  Can I just say that?  She listens, really listens to me.  She helps me problem solve.  She also lets me lead in what my medical care should look like.  She lets me feel in control, even when I'm not.

When she entered the office I half heartedly smiled and she could tell that something was wrong.  She asked me to explain in my own words what was happening and it's then that I realized I should have written it down.  Not only do I ugly cry, but when something like this is bothering me, I cry when I try to speak.  And you can't ugly cry and verbalize at the same time.  At least I can't.  So she waited while I tried to gather myself up to talk.  Then she listened.

At the crux of this is that I feel very much alone.  I have the support of my Mom (breast cancer/mastectomy survivor).  I have the support of Pete, who does tons of things for me and listens to everything I can manage to tell him.  I have the support of friends online and in person.  But I feel so alone.  An island unto myself.

I feel almost as though I did all of this for no reason, this self mutilation of sorts, because there was no cancer.  Which leads me to wonder if I was so ready for this to happen in the first place?  Did I rush (is 3 months of waiting, rushing?) into this decision when I could have waited or should have waited?  I feel as though my 'choice' to do this is 'rewarded' by the complications and issues that I've had since the initial surgery. 

I've tried to seek out support form several places, but there is no one like me.  No one that is a Previvor, but not BRCA positive.  No one that has chosen to do this in a situation that mirrors mine.  No one that is in their 40's and has some of the same experiences I did/do.  No one who can tell me that yes, it will be ok.  Yes, this is how I got through it.  Yes, call/text/email me when you have issues and I will listen. 

Logically I know that what I write here is off and that I know better.  But I can't seem to connect the logicalness of it and my feelings about it.  They're off course and I need to get them back on track.

So we have a plan.  A good one.
1.  I called for physical therapy again and I'm scheduled to start on 11/6/13.  Exercising is a great mood booster and I can't wait to be able to learn how to exercise without hurting myself.
2.  I was prescribed a low dose antidepressant for 6 months.  Something to help me get over the hump and have enough energy to do what I need to do on a daily basis.
3.  Seek counseling.  If I can't find a support group, I need to find a counselor for a few sessions to figure out how to sort through the feelings I'm having.

I'm adding a few to the plan:
4.  I'm going to connect more with Pete about how I'm feeling on a daily basis.  Let him know my fears because he is strong enough to listen, even if he can't do anything about them.
5.  Keep blogging.  Keep getting it out of my head and onto the 'page'.
6.  Keep being creative on a daily basis.  Something that makes me happy - crochet, reading, photography, cooking...anything.
7.  Let go right now of my weight issues.  I'm not returning to the emotional/chocolate/soda/carb addict eating, but I'm going to say that it's ok if I'm not losing weight. 

So, that's my list.  I'm very much a list maker who has to have a plan.  And this, this is my plan.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

207; Admitting Defeat

If I'm nothing else here, I'm honest about what's going on in my life.  I want to know a year from now that I got through this and how I did it.  So I'm saring the darker side of me, recording it all here.  I'm hopeful that I can come back to this and see how far I've come.

My plastic surgeon thinks that my left nipple will heal ok.  He thinks that the healing that I see as problematic is normal and I just need to ride it out.  If something does happen, he can create a new one.  And with that I am at once relieved and angry.  I'm angry that I lost part of it and that it's just ok.  I'm relieved that I'm not losing more of it.  This is not how I imagined recovery.

He also shot up the scar on my chest with cortisone.  He says that he uses a tiny needle so it doesn't hurt.  But damn, did that little needle hurt and the solution hurt going in.  It feels like there is constant pressure on my sternum normally and with that it was very irritated. 

I still have to keep all my scars covered with tape, a silicone pad or this Scar Guard product that I brush on.  I make raised, red, unappealing scars.  Just another notch in the bedpost of things that didn't go as planned with surgery. 

Yesterday when I got home from the doctor's appointment I was mentally exhausted.  I had a headache, my chest hurt and all I wanted to do was sleep.  My insomnia has been rearing it's ugly head and I'm averaging about 3-4 hours a night.  Even though my "office" is in the bedroom across the hall from mine, it was to far away yesterday.  The thought of pushing the button to turn on the computer was more that I could physically do.  The idea that I'd have to use my brain for something other than sleep and taking migraine meds was impossible.  So I didn't.

When Pete got home, I had been laying in bed, sleeping off and on and taking migraine meds.  He asked me how I was doing and paused.  He finally asked if I thought that I was depressed.  He says that I'm holding back with him and not telling him what's going through my head.  It makes him feel like an outsider in my world.  This is not my intention and I got angry.  I believe that potentially, if I say all these things out loud they are true.  And having them be true is scary.  Very scary.

So I made an appointment with my doctor today about my insomnia, my migraines and to talk about the possibility that I am depressed.  I admit defeat in this emotional battle of being a Previvor and having surgery.  Defeat.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Like a good portion of bloggers, I'm actually writing this Monday night to auto-post on Tuesday.  I've a full plate of things on Tuesday and yet I feel like I need to get this out.  Excuse me, because this post is my free form ramble, not a planned and edited post.

Thursday I spent the afternoon inn the doctor's office.  I lay on the table while he took out the last stitches.  And he examined my left fake nipple, the one that wasn't healing well.  He snipped away with scissors, the same scissors that he used to cut out the stitches.  He snipped and snipped and  talked about the Ren Faire, the dissolvable stitches that were poking through, and about how the nipple would heal much better now. 

I remember thinking that it was all going to be ok.  He put the bandaid with Neosporin on it over the area and sat me up.  He told me I'd be happy with it and the profile would be a bit diminished, but it would be good.  He taped up my other scars and told me to keep taping them.  Then he took 3 month photos and talked about how he wanted to see me back in the office for the cortisone in the scars to help flatten them.

On his way out he handed me the business card for what he called "the hippie tattoo artist in Uptown" who they refer all patients to.  He told me that she would flip to see how my body scars, and that I needed to wait until my left fipple had healed completely.

And I left.  I was a bit sore on the left side.  Weirdly sore.  I can't feel the skin that he was working on, but it's almost as though my body sent signals to my brain that it should hurt, so it did.  Much like the phantom pain that I've read about with amputees.  So instead of going to a movie/presentation for work, I went home.  I relaxed in bed with my reality TV, my dinner and my dog.

Friday I got up and didn't change the bandaid or the tape over my scars, I just showered, dried them all well.  I got ready for work, worked all day and came home to relax with my hubby and my puppy.

Saturday I got up, was pretty lazy with my crocheting, my coffee and my pup.  Pete had a meeting for the motorcycle club and I had my nephew's birthday party.  I really didn't want to go, but I forced myself to get ready and I went.  Pete and I got home about the same time and cuddled with the TV until bed.

My point is that I I kind of went through the motions and just did what I needed to do to get by.  There are days and weeks in the last few months that have been much like this.  Days and weeks that I couldn't tell you what happened, unless I read blog posts or asked Pete about them.  Days and weeks where my mind was so occupied that the passing of time is a second.

But Sunday.  Sunday I worked around the house, doing 6 loads of laundry, baking a cake, reading some blogs and emails and crocheting.  I cleaned a couple of rooms and by 1pm I was tired.  I laid down to nap and actually fell asleep easily.  Pete and my alarm woke me up to shower for your dinner reservations.  I took the previous bandaid off and really looked at my left nipple.

Half of it was gone.  No wonder he told me the profile would be different.  No wonder he snipped so long.  It was cut in half from front to back.  I get it.  It's just a nipple.  But on the flip side.  It's my flipping fake nipple after a hard long summer of surgery and recovery.  It's days like that where I wonder why.  Why me?  Why did I do this?  Why did I chose now to have surgery? Why can't I heal right for once?  Why do I have to keep going through this?  Why?

In the scheme of things, it's a nipple.  But it's just that it symbolizes so much more for me.  I have breasts that are fake that I can't feel that have scars all over them.  I have a tummy that has a paunch right above it/above my belly button, but my tummy is flat as Minnesota.  I have hips that are bigger and my butt is still the same size as before.  I can't flex my abs without wincing and I can't do much with my chest muscles before they ache.  It still takes me about 15 minutes of sheer wincing and grimacing and sometimes crying in the morning to stop my muscles from spasmming after laying still all night.

Can't my nipples me the one thing that turned out great?  Can't they be the one thing that didn't cause me concern or worry or tears?  And then I watch TV and see how the people n the Boston Bombing talk about not letting the bombers make them victims.  They talk about persevering and even prospering.  And I feel weak and pitful.  For today I've let breast cancer and being a previvor be something that I'm not ok with, something that has turned me into a victim.  I feel weak and dumb and such a fool.  If they can do that in the wake of a horrible tragedy, why I can't I do this when I knew for years in the back of my head that it was coming?  Why?  Why can't I live above it, through it, each and every day?  Why do I cry in the shower and put on a happy face for everyone?

I want to scream and yell and punch cancer in the gut. I want to cry that it's not fair and give it to someone else.  I want to throw in the towel, admit defeat and stay in bed for weeks with the blinds down, my dog on ne side of me and Pete on the other.  I want to yell and scream and cry and pout and be mad.  I try to decide if what I'm going through is normal or I should be seeking meds to help me get through it.  I have insomnia issues starting back, just like I did before surgery.  My anxiety in public is telling me that everyone knows and they're staring.  I'm uncomfortable because I've gained weight and I can't fit in my clothes and I'm worried that I won't get back to where I was.  I eat Starburst candy corn like it's my only saving grace.

I'm a mess. This morning I called the doctor's office because with all this, what's left of my left nipple is starting to look like it did before he cut away the skin.  It's forming this thick white area between the edge of the skin and the open area.  I cried when I told the nurse that I was getting worried that I was going to lose the whole thing soon.  I don't want to lose it.  I want 2 nipples.  I want to look like a damn normal woman again.  That's all I want.  That's all.  Normal.  Equal.  Even. 

So when this posts, I should be back on that table again in that doctor's office.  Laying back and wondering what's going to happen.  Only this time I'm taking Pete.  I need the support and I realize that I don't have to do it all alone.  I don't have to suffer in silence.  Pete married me in good times and bad and he's really my biggest champion in all this and he wants to be with me.  And for that, I will never ever be able to tell him how much he means to me.

Monday, October 21, 2013

205.2; On Blogging

I realized not long ago that I've been blogging off and on for about 10 years.  Mostly I started for me, to record the things that were happening inn my life for myself.  It wasn't public and I was my only reader.  At some point I decided to take the plunge to make it public.  I remember thinking how scared I was to do that and open myself up to criticism.  At that point I was big into scrapbooking/paper crafting and I belonged (actually still belong) to a big name website.  Bloggers who opened up their blogs to the women on that site were ripped apart.  But I got over my fears and just did it.

My blog has been a record for everything from dating to meeting Pete to wedding planning, to family issues, to losing weight to my surgery.  It's a record of what I've gone through in the last 10 years and just as life changes, so does the focus of my blog.  I've designed it myself (I am a horrendous designer), I've used free templates and most recently I've used Hubby Jack.  He is a much better designer than I am, by far.  I'd totally recommend him if you're looking for some design. 

In the last couple of years I've thought more about how I could help people with my blog.  First with losing weight and having a gastric band and now with being a Previvor and my mastectomy.  I've also thought about how my connections with friends over the Internet are very important to me.  I've had great friends over the Internet for 7-8 years that have sustained me through hard times and rejoiced with me in good times.

So, with that, I joined a couple of swaps.  I love learning about how/why other people blog and learning more about blogging.  I joined Brew Mama's Fall Swap.  My partner is Getz Girl On Fire.  And holy buckets, her running photo is fierce!  She's obviously determined to re4ach her goals and that's very cool.  I'm finding out more about her and we have some pretty cool things in common:  she's crazy about her pups like I am with mine, she loves her Keruig like I love mine and we both like to cook and stalk Food Network Celebs!  I'm a bit jealous of her wonderful friends and their great trips.  Those friend connections are what makes life and making memories on those trips just solidifies the friendship even further.  So go check her blog out!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

206; Doctors Offices Are Weird

Did I ever tell you about the time I got locked in the bathroom?

It was about 2 weeks after surgey and Pete took me to an appointment at the professional building by the hospital.  On the way in I told him I had to use the bathroom. We stopped, he went in his and I pushed the door in for mine. When I was done I grabbed the handle to pull the door. Holy buckets it was heavy. I pulled and got it open about 1 inch before it closed. I sighed and pulled again. This time, 2 inches and closed. I looked for a handicapped door opener and found that I was in a bathroom without one. 


I got my cell phone out and sent Pete a message telling him I was stuck. Then I watched it error out because there was no service. I was stuck. I finally opened the door an inch and yelled for Pete. My knight in shining armor rescued me from the potty. How glamorous!  

It occurred to me today, as I was writing this in my head, that a whole bunch of strangers know a lot about my private bits. Probably almost as much as I've told my family (other than Pete).  It's weird and at the same time almost empowering to share. 

I had my follow up with my plastic surgeon about my fipples. I didn't sleep well last night and by the time of the afternoon appointment I had a killer headache. I realized I had been gritting my teeth and locking my jaw. The stress has been hard on my TMJ. As I waited to be called back, I couldn't help but wonder how they fix a fipple?  Or can they?  Is it just a lost cause?  Would he fix it in the office?  Should I have brought Pete?  I think waiting is the hardest part, my mind wanders and generally not to good things. 

Eventually I was seen. He cut away the (gross alert) dead skin and scabs. Yuk. He said I'm just a poor healer who makes thick scars. Great, another think to add to my list of physical issues. The nipple will have to heal in its own. So band aids with ointment for the next month. 

As for the thick scars?  I go back in 2 weeks for cortisone shots in them to hopefully flatten them out. I also have to wear tape or silicone scar pads on all my scars for the next 30 or do days. 24 hours a day. All.  The. Time. Apparently even the tape helps flatten the scar because of the pressure. Fun. Silicone sheets are $15-$30 a box and my body requires the whole box (told you I was cut hip to hip). The sheets should last a week and tape needs to be reapplied every day. And let's hope that I don't develop more blisters from the adhesive on the pads or the tape. Fun. 

The poor healing, thick scarring woman

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

207; I Just Want To Be Done

I had a dream the other night. Everyone had to get annual check ups at a check in service. I was in a long line by myself for my check up. No one would listen to me about my mastectomy and they wanted a mammogram. It scared me and I felt I didn't need it, but staff insisted. I woke up crying and breathing hard. 

I'm 3+ weeks out from my revision and fipple surgery. I go on Thursday to get all the stitches out and have him check everything. 

My left one isn't healing well. It's got the same characteristics that my felt foob had. My foob had a spot underneath that wouldn't heal right. When he did my fipples, he cut the edges of skin out  to create new skin to new skin. I'm sure there's some way to do the same thing with this. I'm sure there's a way to fix it and make it work. 

But honestly?  I'm frustrated. I feel like I need an all clear from the doctors to move on with my life, return to me. Only something keeps dragging on and out and keeping me in this mode of recovery vs living. Mentally I need this clearance. I just want this all to be done. 

206.2; Life Goes On

Monday sucked. No other way to say it. 

Pete no sooner got to work than he was laid off. Every time it happens, it takes a little chunk of his confidence, a part of his soul. He'll get unemployment, but it's a hard struggle for another job. 

After dinner Pete was talking to a friend of ours. She sounded strange and eventually an ambulance was called. Today she is paralyzed on her left side from a stroke. She's had untreated high blood pressure and untreated diabetes. Her life has changed dramatically and she had a long road ahead of her. 

Sometime life dumps on you. But life goes on. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

204.6; Friday Fives

1. Oktoberfest, the redo, this weekend. I'm sticking up on chocolate, licorice and other bad for me foods. 

2.  I have to go by skylarks or sky people for my nephew's birthday. Anyone know what he means?  Certainly not a car or a human right?  It's some Wii game. 

3.  I'm fitting into my 14 work pants again, but they're snug. I had my band filled some more and I have a date with the gym this weekend. 

4. I'm saying prayers for some ladies who need them. 

5.  I'm trying to find someone to take our photo for Christmas cards I'll buy but never fully send out. Am I the only one who does this???

204.0; 90 Days

90 days.  3 months.

It’s been 90 days since my surgery.  When I think about it, it feels so long ago, as though it was years since surgery.  I’ve gone through recovery, follow up appointments, nights in the electric recliner, days at home by myself, returning to work.  All of it seems to equal a length of time that really isn’t there.  Maybe adding up the little things and all those lonely days at home recovery make a pile of days that seemed to extend well past 24 hours.

And yet, it’s only been 90 days.  That’s it.

Today I am better.  I’m healing physically.  The scars are getting less red and puffy.  The numbness seems to be subsiding form certain areas.  I have fake boobs and fake nipples and I look like me.  I can’t sit up without my abs really working hard and feeling like I’ve done 100 sit ups.  I still have some residual pain from the lump above my left foob.  And I have about 10 pounds to lose to be back at my pre-surgery weight.

But the inside?  That’s a mess.  There are days where the comprehension of what I’ve gone through crashes down like a truck and I cry.  There are days where I try to do something that was so easy to do pre-surgery and I fail.  There are days where I can’t seem to stop thinking about this choice that I made and I’m so emotional that my face is red all day.  I’m coming to realize that I don’t think I’ll ever be the me that was before surgery.  And that is so difficult to accept.  I’m hopeful that I can find something close to the me that was there.  Hope.

Daily it seems that I am bombarded with Pink-Tober for Breast Cancer Awareness.  I’m both drawn to read and look at everything I see.  Find out who is sponsoring it, who is selling it and who is donating.  And yet, every article or ad that I read seems to be like a stab to my inner soul; a pulling off of the scab that isn’t quite healed there.  I’ve read blog upon blog aboutPrevivors, breast cancer survivors and advocates for both.  I’ve read website upon website for raising money for cancer.  But what I’ve come to realize, is that very few are focused on the prevention of breast cancer.  Very few are focused on what exactly causes it; hereditary or environment.  Few seem to care about this and would rather focus on curing it.  

If you take anything away from my post today, it’s that I would rather have a prevention than a reaction.  After all, I prevented cancer with my choice, rather than react to it if/when I was diagnosed.  So when you see all the pink slashed across the TV, internet and stores, think about what you’re buying and WHY.  Understand if you’re giving $5 or 5 cents by buying it.  Find out who exactly it goes to, and what that organization does with the money.  I’m not saying that we should stop supporting those who are diagnosed or test positive for BRCA.  But I am saying that if you’re giving, make sure you know where your money is going.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

204.8; Random Facts

1.  Because of my surgery, I have numbness in my chest. I once (okay maybe three times to different audiences) pulled a Tera Reid. I've learned that those smocked tops/dresses without straps are NO good to me or others. 

2.  Because of surgery my abdomen is numb. If it wasn't for my booty, I'd have no idea if I was wearing panties. 

3.  Just once, I'd love to have a day in the office that doesn't include this:  "please fill out the form and have a seat as the sign directs you to."  For the love of baby fishes, please fill out the freaking form!!

4.  I have a dog walker. I feel so big city but I live in the outer 'burbs. 

5.  Oktoberfest #2 scheduled for the weekend!  Love me some German chocolate and licorice. 

6.  I sleep with more stuffed animals now than when I was a baby or a teen. They're all my dogs toys. 

7.  Pete has a new suit to use for warmth when he rides the motorcycle. You know those wind suits that ski hill jumpers use?  Think that on a Harley. Seriously. 

8.  If it's apple or pumpkin, I crave it currently. 

9.  I'm running out of randoms. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

204.4; Turning The Corner

I almost hate to say this, but I think that I've turned the corner back into weight loss and healthy living.  I got really lost all spring and summer.  So lost, at times I didn't know how to get back.  You know what got me back?  Not fitting into my work clothes.  *sigh*  But I'm back, to stay.

I'm re-energized by eating healthy, losing some weight and just feeling better about myself.  The weight loss from just stopping the crappy crappy food really jump started my loss and my better attitude.  I tried on a dress today that I bought 2 weeks ago.  I ordered the size I always order from this company and when I tried it on, it wasn't a-line, it was booty hugging.  I tried it on today and it fits much better, enough so that I'm considering wearing it soon.

I'm into all things pumpkin lately, because of the cooler weather.  I've cooked down lots of tiny pumpkins and pureed them for use later.  Only they never seem to make it to the freezer, they make it in things that I'm baking and cooking.

This is my favorite afternoon snack:

Pumpkin Chia Pudding
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon chia seed
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash vanilla

Wisk everything together until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 
The chia seeds will puff up and create a thick pudding that's really pretty good for you.  150 calories.

Monday, October 07, 2013

204.0!!!!!; Eating Better

According to my tracking, I've lost about 10 pounds in a week.

Only we all know that it's not a loss of 10 pounds of fat.  (I wish!)  I think it's interesting to see what happens when you make a commitment to eating clean(er) and your body.  I've never ever had this happen before so seeing it first hand is pretty cool.

I've been reading some body building and weight loss sights about the initial rapid weight loss.  From what I've read, it's about 2/3 water and 1/3 weight that I've lost.  6 pounds of water weight in a week.  Man, just how much salt and crap what I really eating? 

I'm having an easier time tracking my food now with My Fitness Pal.  They have a bar code scanner that makes it almost impossible to track.  And I'm surprised by what my week ended up being:

1.  I am almost always under by goal of 1500 calories when I add in 30 minutes of walking. 
2.  I eat a bit more cholesterol than was planned.
3.  I am under my sodium allowance for the week, but sometimes go over in a day's time.
4.  I am eating twice the amount of sugars than planned.
5.  I am getting almost 2 times the amount of vitamin A than planned, but only 1/3 of the potassium needed.

I need to figure out ways to resolve some of those for a better diet.  Another thing that I like about MFP is this:

This chart is going to be helpful for a new way of eating that I'm going to try to work in as best as I can.  Eating by macros.  I've been reading more about this too and can't wait to see if I can help achieve goals by doing this.

Do any of you eat by macros?

Friday, October 04, 2013

205.4; Friday Fives

1.  Yes, I'm still alive. I'm stuck in the office for a few weeks and can't blog on that computer. (Boo)

2.  I've lost 10 pounds since Saturday. Actually I think it's my body's dump of crap from it's stores and a couple of actual pounds. 

3.  I like My Fitness Pal. But I have no MFP friends. (Sad face)

4.  Pete and I are going to Oktoberfest tomorrow and I'm more excited for German chocolate than the beer. 

5. This week is National Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Awareness Week. If you don't know your family history, FIND OUT!  That's an order. 

PS. This post was made from my teeny tiny iPhone. Not responsible for misspelled words or nonsensical autocorrects. 

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

208.6; Moving In the Right Direction?

The number is back.  That number before all of my blog entries.  Maybe part of my issue is that I put weight on without really noticing.  You see, I couldn't wear anything other than stretchy pants after surgery because of surgical scars, so no jeans or khaki pants.  And I stopped weighing myself with any frequency.  Initially it was depressing because I was so swollen from surgery so I stopped.  But I never picked it up again.  Thus the big crying fit when nothing I wear to work fits.

Weighing myself every day is a key to relearning my body - when it goes up and down and why.  I don't want to be trapped by the scale; live and die by the scale.  That said, I think it a a tool that I need right now to head back in the right direction.

So do I really think that I lost 5 pounds since Saturday?  Maybe.  I was drinking lots of carbonated soda, eating lots of sugar and not drinking as much water as I should.  I was also not moving a whole lot.  So the real answer is maybe. The thing is, I forgot how motivating even a little bit of loss is.  Even the 2 pounds over night to Sunday left me feeling motivated to keep going.  The continual losing is continual motivation.  And seeing that I can stay around 1500 calories and feel satisfied is also motivating. 

I'm in a job rotation where I need to be in the office all day, most days, for 3 weeks.  I'm using it as a jump start.  I move lots more when I'm doing that part of the job - up and down from my desk all day, talking, and walking through the building.  I drink lots of water at work (like 75 ounces a day) because it's dry both summer and winter.  And because I'm so busy there is no random snacking, continual snacking or anything like it.  This 3 weeks should jump start any eating right and water goals that I have.

As for exercise.  Well, Pete and I walked the Mall of America for a couple of hours on Sunday and then walked Ikea for an hour.  By the car ride home I was falling asleep.  My stamina to just do daily life is greatly diminished.  I'm really trying to build that up so that I can get up before work and walk at the gym and get back to Body Pump and running.  This 3 weeks will force me to just get up every day and do daily life.  I think I need that to get over this hump of inability to just do life and get back to where I'm working out daily again.

Do I feel better than Saturday night?  Absolutely.  Do my work pants fit me with the loss.  Nope.  Do I still hate the crap out of my "new" work pants?  YES.  But I'm going in the right direction.