This Time of the Year

I’m coming up on my diagno-aversary.  Is there such a word?  If not, I’m claiming it.  A week from today will be 4 years since my office diagnosis.  And even though I have had appointments, blood work, and recent surgery which show me as NED (No Evidence of Disease), I still get the heebie jeebies.  I don’t think that will ever go away.  Ever.

On the hernia recovery front, each week has gotten a little bit easier.  My tummy and abs are still very tender.  The area where the mesh was put in will be sore for a while.  My surgeon is kind of awesome – he doesn’t sugar coat things.  I asked him how long that would hurt, and he basically told me, “Until it doesn’t hurt anymore.”  LOL

I’ve been back at work for a week now.  And, as usual, when I have had to file a claim for Short Term Disability with Metlife, I’ve been screwed out of a week’s pay.  My case manager is horrible and she doesn’t return calls or communicate at all.  She asked me to call her on the 1st (the day I saw my surgeon) and give her an update on my status.  I did, as well as faxing a copy of the letter I got stating I could return to work on 8/8.  I also had my surgeon’s office send over the office notes and other supporting information.  I confirmed all of this stuff had been received on 8/3.  This past Saturday, after I called and left several messages asking the status of my case, she FINALLY left me a message (with no call back number) telling me I had 1) not called her on the 1st (bull – I had the name of the person I spoke with because she was not answering her phone); 2) had not provided the requested information (again, had confirmation all faxes had been received on 8/3); and 3) hernia repair surgery only requires a 2 week recovery time.  Yeah – I guess if that is the only thing you are dealing with.  I sent her another SCATHING email this morning, with everything she requested.  I had my doctor’s office fax over the stuff again.  I also laid out for her each time I had called, who I spoke with, and what was faxed.  I also informed her that perhaps if HER paycheck had been $1,000 short, she’d think differently about her nasty voicemail.

Sigh – I guess I’ll continue to fight for what is mine.  Always.

In other news, I am feeling better.  Work is work, and life goes on.

 

Quick Anemia Update

I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but my Gastrointerological Oncologist is among those who believe that my anemia is related to my Gastric Bypass Surgery.  Because my surgery bypasses the part of the intestines where iron is absorbed, patients like me tend to be anemic.  Here’s an article that explains it:  http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2013/205467/.

As long as he isn’t concerned that there is a recurrence of cancer, I’m good with it.

His prescription:  take the iron supplements with vitamin C and eat LOTS of red meat.

Well, you don’t have to tell this carnivore to eat read meat more than once.

Done and done.

🙂

Lost in Thoughts

I’m coming to discover that this time of year gives me heavy anxiety.  I think it has to do with the fact that this was when I was going through chemo (three years ago – wow), learning to deal with the diagnosis, etc.  Something about the change in the air, the days getting shorter, the changing of the leaves…who knows?  I hope it isn’t this way forever.

I am scheduled to see my gynecological oncologist next week.  We were on vacation in Dallas last week (amazing time!!) and while I was there, I noticed a pain in my groin I want him to check out.  I didn’t bother calling since I know I have an appointment next week.  For some reason, I’m quite zen about it.

So, we were visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law while on vacation.  My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with Stage One Ovarian Cancer this year.  She’s still very angry about it.  She kept saying to me, “I am mad.  I don’t want a new normal, I want my old normal.”  Sigh.  It made me thing about the 5 stages, and if I went through them.  I don’t know that I ever did.  I think I went straight to acceptance.  Actually, thinking about it, it’s more I went in to, “Well, shit.  What do I need to do to not have this anymore?”  I have never been one to deal with the Why Me part of illness.  Takes too much of my energy worrying about why me.  I just hope my sister-in-law is able to find peace on her journey.  Do I think you can get back to your old “normal?”  Not after a cancer diagnosis.  It is always there.  It never goes away.  You can make your new normal better than your old one.

In a completely new note, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor.  I have arthritis in my ass.  LOL Technically, it is a frozen SI joint (where your tail bone and pelvis meet). Actually, I’ve had it for years.  I was seeing a Physical Therapist just prior to my cancer diagnosis (when we thought the SI joint was actually the cause of my hip pain) but quit when I got the cancer diagnosis.  It’s been really bothering me lately, so I decided to go see a chiropractor.  I’m definitely looser.  I am hoping it helps.

Exercise and diet going well.

Send some good vibes for the groin pain – hoping it’s just a small infection.

Still Clean Eating

I have been doing the 21 Day Fix since August 24th, with modifications from my doctor.  I am clean eating (no chemicals), low carb, high(er) fat, high protein.  In a month, I have taken off 14 of the 30 pounds I gained after my thyroid was radiated.  I exercise 6 days a week (three days of cardio, three days of strength training).  I have a protein shake a day (Shakeology for now, but I’m not fond of the taste, so I will probably switch back to the brand I do like), 3 meals, no snacks.

And hey, I think 14 pounds in a month is pretty darned good, don’t you?

I have been forced to look for recipes that I can modify.  Before when I did low carb, I could do pumpkin, or a small bit of sweet potato, and beans.  I mean, refried beans are a bariatric patient’s best friend after surgery.  My endocrinologist will not allow me to have any of those things.  I miss pumpkin – it was a good starch replacement.

And can I just say that I’m really sick of eggs for breakfast?

I mean, not to complain, my numbers are all excellent.  I’m down 14 pounds and 11 inches.  I’m getting in 10,000 steps per day.  I’m healthy and fit and happy.  I’m sore as all get out from working out, and not from being lethargic.

I did finally find a recipe that I could follow that was eggs for breakfast, but not actually like eating eggs.  I love French Toast.  Always have, always will.  I found a recipe on Pinterest for toastless french toast.

Soften 2oz of cream cheese in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Add to a blender with 2 eggs, a splash of vanilla, cinnamon (it calls for pumpkin pie spice, but I hate nutmeg) and blend until smooth.  Then I take some frozen blueberries or strawberries (or whatever fruit I have) and put it in a microwavable bowl.  I add the egg mixture to the bowl and stir in one package of Stevia.  Then, you microwave it for 1.5 minutes.  Flip it over, and microwave it again for another 30 seconds.  The recipe says to use honey on it, but I just eat it like it is.  Yummy.  I usually have that with turkey bacon.

Also, veggies are getting boring.  I eat a ton of salads with salsa and smashed avocado.  Last week, I re-discovered sugar snap peas – they give me the crunch I’m looking for from chips, but without all the carbs and junk.

I’ve also had to increase my red meat consumption to up my iron.  I have adapted the 21 Day Fix Turkey Meatball recipe to use ground sirloin.  I omit the panko.  Really yummy.  I serve it to Mr. G with pasta sauce.  I just eat them like they are, or make it into a meatloaf.

So, all this seems to be paying off.  And optimal health will help keep that cancer in remission.  Sad that it took me 43 years to figure that out.

Pity Party, Table For One Please

I generally try not to get down on myself.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and do unto others.  I try to support people I love – family and friends, even those I’ve never met in person but only know on the Interwebz.  I don’t ask or expect much in return – a thank you, a smile, and then when I need it, a little returned support.

I have noticed anymore that people are just downright rude.  No one says “Thank You” anymore – I mean, I know people probably don’t write “Thank You Notes” anymore (I always do), but at least acknowledge people’s efforts.  I have also noticed that people think it is ok to say, “No offense” before any statement and it won’t hurt the other person’s feelings.

What’s worse, when I need support, no one is there for me.

Usually, I’m pretty stoic about stuff like that.

But I am feeling a little needy here lately – huge amounts of stress with work, a new business, and school starting in about a month – well, my nerves are a bit frayed, and I need someone to just tell me things will be ok.  Stroke my hair and tell me I’m pretty.  Give me a piece of chocolate.  A glass of wine.  A “Hey, you look cute.”  Anything.

I have my launch party scheduled for next month.  I sent invitations to that launch party a month in advance.  My sister can’t come – she has to work, and that gives her a pass.  My bestie more than likely has to work that day too – but booked a party for herself.  My nieces can’t come – they have other parties/etc.  Another “friend” told me today if I were selling Pampered Chef she’d come because she likes that stuff.

Seriously – you can’t just come and give me some support?  Have a glass of wine?  Pretend to be excited for me?

I would do it for them.

I realize direct sales stuff isn’t for everyone.  I’m ok with that.  I can’t tell you how many parties I’ve gone to, how many things I’ve ordered that I didn’t need, all because a friend was doing it and I wanted to show them I was supporting them.

It makes me sad.

It also makes me want to reconsider what I do for other people.

I guess I expect too much out of humanity.

Bah.  Bugger.  Whatever.

I’ll remember this next time.  It doesn’t mean I won’t do what I normally do, but I will remember where to go when I do need someone to help me out.

Oh Hai

I’m here – not much to write about, and busy with work, and stir-effing-crazy from being stuck in the house so much.

We had an ice storm Sunday night into Monday morning, so I worked from home yesterday.  This afternoon, we are expecting another ice storm.  EFF ME.  I’m working from home again today because it is supposed to start about 2pm or so.  I didn’t want to get stuck downtown.  Tomorrow is supposed to rain all day.  Thursday we are expecting the biggest snow of the season.  Six to nine inches.  I had a follow-up appointment this week with my endocrinologist regarding my thyroid.  It was originally scheduled on Monday, but because of the ice storm got moved to Thursday.  Now it has been moved from Thursday to next Tuesday.  If it snows next Monday, I may scream.

Eating as been going well.  I know my thyroid is still out of whack because my weight is going nowhere.  If it were ok, I’d be losing weight just based on what I’m eating.  Yesterday I could have kicked myself.  I got up, took my thyroid meds, and went downstairs to pack my husband’s lunch and fix myself some coffee.  Now, when you take synthroid, you can’t have any food for one hour after taking the pill, or it won’t adhere in your system.  Well, not thinking, I popped a strawberry in my mouth while packing my husband’s lunch.

Dangit.

So, today i had to double up on the synthroid.  I really could have kicked myself because I really am super careful about that kind of thing.  My brain yesterday was just on auto pilot.  Sigh.

Continue reading

Swamp Gas

So, until my husband met me, he didn’t think women actually farted.  Don’t ask me how he got to be in his 40s without hearing a chick fart, but he did.

And, if there are dudes out there who still don’t think women get gas, I am sorry to ruin your ideal image.

I can crack them with the best of them.

And, now that I have had both gastric bypass but also radiation on my guts, well, they are rancid.

Swamp gas rancid.

Gag enducing.

The past couple of days, my stomach has acted up.  Probably from the carbs I ate.  I made bread this weekend and had ONE PIECE.  Just one.  One thin lively piece of yeasty goodness.

And now I remember why that was a bad idea.

For two days, my insides have been paying me back with a room clearing attack of gas that could be mistaken for biological warfare.

I even broke out the GASEX tonight.  And peppermint tea.

Pray for my husband tonight.

I may blow him across the street accidentally.

*bbbbbrrrrrrtttttttt*

Sorry.