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.

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.

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16 Years

Seems like a lifetime, and seems like yesterday all in the same breath.

16 years ago, I lost my big sister to Ovarian Cancer.

16 years ago, I spent this day, in a chair, in her bedroom, watching her sleep.  I woke up that day, knowing that it was the day.  I called out from work and told them I just knew.  And I did.  I drove down with my mother, and I sat with her all day.  She didn’t wake the entire day – just laid there.  It was probably the most restful day she’d had in over a week – her sleep was peaceful, breathing wasn’t labored.  She just was.  And I was just there.  I said little, just watching my big sister sleep.  Wishing a thousand wishes that this wasn’t going to be the end, that she wake, and smile at me, and the nightmare of the past six month would be over.

My sister knew I was there.  She held on all day.  She refused to let go while I was there.

Mom and I told my brother-in-law around 4:30 or 5 that we were going home to get dinner.  We stopped and got some chinese take-out on the way home, and just as we sat down to eat, the phone rang.

She had passed while we were driving home.

My sister was beautiful.  Simply beautiful.  She had a laugh that to this very day I remember – high-pitched and glorious – full of joy and merriment.  She was a brilliant woman, and a great mom.  She was that typical sister – you know, the perfect one.  Beautiful and smart, and couldn’t do wrong.  She had a temper that could sting, and a look that could wither, but to her friends, she was a saint.  To her children, she was their world.

To me, she was my Sissy.

We didn’t know about Lynch Syndrome then – although we should have.  My dad had passed from colon cancer.  My other sister had also had colon cancer a few years before.  And then, Betsy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  We never put two and two together.

Then, in 1998 when she got her diagnosis, it was a death sentence.  People now, who are diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer have a better shot at remission, but then, no.  Betsy got her diagnosis in November 1998.  She had stem cell replacement, and was in remission by December (treated in the same hospital where I received my treatment).  In February, the cancer was back – and moved swiftly.  By February 14th, a blood clot presented in her leg.  By the 19th, it moved to her brain and caused a stroke.  By the 20th, she begun hemorrhaging as the cancer ate through her colon.  And by the 23rd, she was gone.

My sister left a legacy.  Three beautiful children who are now adults.  She never saw them graduate from highschool or college.  She never saw the way they blossomed into adulthood.  She missed her girls’ weddings, and the birth of her grandchild (I won’t say she never met him – she knows Keegan, and I hope, through us, he will know her).

I miss my sister.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her in some small way.  She’s in my dreams.  She’s on the tip of my tongue, at the back of my brain.  She is in her kids, and her grandchild.  She’s in my heart.

16 years.

I miss you.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

So, the past couple of months, I have harped on my husband about his eating habits.  Now, let me preface this by saying my hubs is one of those infuriating men.  You know the ones.  One of the healthy “fat” people.  He is carrying extra weight – there is no doubt about that.  But every time he goes to the doctor, everything (aside from his weight) is perfect – perfect blood pressure, perfect blood sugars, perfect cholesterol…ugh.  But, I keep telling him, it may not always be perfect.

The husband does have a heart murmur, which tends to be more pronounced when he has caffeine.  He’s been drinking about 20 oz of decaf a day in the am – and I keep explaining to him that even decaf has caffeine in it.  When we first discovered the heart murmur (he thought he was having a heart attack after drinking a whole pot of decaf and having a whole tin of chocolate covered cherries for breakfast), I took him off the decaf coffee and switched him to herbal tea.  He likes to have something hot in the am.  I also told him he could have decaf tea, but the limit on that is 8oz – no more.  He likes Earl Grey – because that is what Captain Picard drinks.  Sigh.

#myhusbandisanerd

Sadly, he’s gotten back to drinking decaf since he went back to work last year, and the murmur is back.  So, he’s once again banned from coffee.

Now, I’m a coffee drinker.  Full on high-test-curl-your-toes-espresso-please-many-cups-a-day-coffee.  It doesn’t bother me in the least.  Prior to my thyroid diagnosis, I was drinking it with Splenda or Stevia and cream.  Now I drink it black, and have found that I prefer it that way, although once a week or so, I treat myself to a skinny latte at Starbucks.

#lovemycoffee

I have been preaching to the husband for a few months about his weight.  “Um, hello, pot?  This is kettle.”  While I’m not obese anymore, I am overweight still, and the thyroid treatment has held up the weightloss.  But the hubs is 5’4″, and he is 230 pounds.  Not good.  He has a physical today – and I told him to have the doctor check his cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, his knee (which he hurt in November), his prostate (he has a family history of prostate cancer and I want them to do the blood test so we can compare it to the last one), and his thyroid.  I know the doctor will tell him to lose weight.  Because, yeah – even if his numbers come back fine, as a latino, he is more predisposed to diabetes and heart disease, and his biological father had both.

I have been trying to get him to eat like I do – although I’ve backslid on my clean eating in the past couple of weeks, and am working to get myself back on it.

So, this week, I’m being less bossy and more leading by example.  I’ve taken to all meal prep this week.  I’m packing his lunches (so I know what he’s getting).  More fruit, less granola bars (the ones he thinks are healthy because they have granola in them, but are also covered in chocolate and sugar).  Homemade clean eating soups and stews.  More protein, veggies, and good fats.  And no coffee for him.  And, to lead by example, I’ve cut myself back to one cup a day.  Black.  In the morning.  The rest of the day, I am drinking herbal tea, and tons of water.

I am having a hard time getting him to drink water.  I have to bribe him with Crystal Light – which is the devil.  Nothing but chemicals.  I don’t touch the stuff anymore.

But our bodies need water.  Real, honest to goodness water.

We are on day two of eating nothing but good for you stuff.  He had an egg this morning, with one small potato fried in coconut oil, and a slice of Canadian bacon (baby steps with him y’all).  His lunch is the same as mine – my clean eating veggie beef soup, an orange (I have a tangerine), some gluten-free multi-grain crackers (no crackers for me, I have plain greek yogurt instead), and a paleo brownie.  Dinner will be a pork chop, and some steamed veggies.

Wish me luck – this isn’t going to be an easy row to hoe.  But I know my hubs needs to lose weight.  If anything, he needs to lose weight so his mother doesn’t yell at me in May.  Because she always does.  Not to mention, I’d like to take off these last 30 freaking pounds.  Hello, thyroid meds?  I’m talking to you.

So, let me lead by example.

Full on clean eating.  For a long and healthy life with the man I love.

FYI, here is my breakfast today…double protein bread, natural peanut butter, sliced banana, drizzle of honey, chia seeds, and a side of melon.
image

The Search Continues

So, the Blizzard of 2015 was a Bust here in the Delaware/Philly area – we were expecting up to 12 inches of snow here, and got nothing.  Literally, nothing.  We had about a half an inch earlier in the day from a clipper system that went through, but Juno missed us completely.  I was prepared to reschedule our appointment to look at a house Tuesday night because of the storm (and work from home in my pjs) when I woke up Tuesday morning and we didn’t have so much as an ice crystal.  Not that I’m complaining – I’m not.  I hate snow.  HATE.

So, Tuesday night, we went over the only potential house we had on our list.  It was a 4 bedroom, bath and a half split level, in a nice neighborhood only 6 minutes away from my Mom’s.  It had a one car garage, nice backyard, and allowed pets.  These are the deal breakers on our list – it has to be in the area of our current commute, at least a one car garage with off-street parking, and I can’t do a ton of steps, so yeah.  Plus, rent was just under $1600 a month.  It’s a cute house – well landscaped, nice yard that isn’t too big.  The house was built in the early 60s.  We went in, and it was nicely kept – hardwood floors in th entry way, and then up the stairs to a great room (living room/dining room).  To the right of the entry way was a carpeted room I’m thinking they used as a large bedroom – with access to the garage, basement, and a very small bedroom.  Across from that was the powder room, and backdoor which led to the patio.  The carpets were new, and it was freshly painted.  There were 3 more bedrooms upstairs and a full bath.  The negatives were that they had painted two of the bedrooms in this rather dark blue color – combined with blue carpet, which made the master bedroom and small bedroom DARK.  And the closets were tiny.  I mean, I couldn’t have gotten a winter coat in them.  Or I could, but I couldn’t have gotten anything else in them.  And the bathroom, which had been redone, was still a 1962 bathroom – meaning you had to turn sideways to get between the sink and the shower, just to get to the toilet.  And the kitchen had not been updated ever.  Original cabinets, which I could deal with, but the oven was original to the house, and I couldn’t have cooked too much in it – it was so small I couldn’t have gotten a turkey or a ham in it.  The stove was also original to the house, and looked sketchy.  Dark green formica countertops.  And it was SMALL.  I lived for years in Maryland with a tiny galley kitchen.  No more.  Nope.

So we passed on it.  I have gotten Mr. G to agree to looking at some apartments.  There are some luxury apartments in the area, where rent is $1200 per month – 3 bedroom, 2 full bath, with open pet policies.  Thankfully, Mia doesn’t fit into the breed restriction list.  I hate BSL – hate it.

So, we decided to wait a few more months – I’m going to use my bonus to pay off my credit card debt and fund our trip to Colorado later this year.  And in the meantime, without the debt, I can easily sock back $1000 or more a month until June or July to have money for furniture AND the deposits required to get into where ever we land.

In other news, I the thyroid is still making for rough sleep, and the bronchitis is still hanging in there with a horrible cough.  I fell off my clean eating wagon hard over the weekend, realized it was because of emotional issues, and gave myself a kick in the ass.  I have been good all week.  I tried a recipe I found on Pinterest for glutten-free peanut butter banana bread.  The recipe had been given rave reviews for having great texture and taste.  I made it, and it was, well, AWFUL.  The texture is just, well, no.  It’s made with coconut flour, bananas, all-natural peanut butter and applesauce.  I mean, it was bad.  B-A-D.  I won’t even post the recipe.  I’ve been choking it down (brought the last piece in my lunch today) because I hate to waste food, but yeah, this is going in the “never again” category.   Too bad – I love peanut butter and bananas.

Mostly this week we have been eating a pot of veggie beef soup I made over the weekend (Mr. G loves soup for his lunch and I was sick of him eating that canned crap), and I found some gluten-free meatballs at BJs that are terrific.  They are the Cook Perfect Italian Style Gluten Free Meatballs.  I threw them in the crock pot over the weekend with tomatoes, diced onions and celery, and some no-salt tomato sauce and let them go for about 4 hours on low.  I have been taking them for lunch (or we have been eating them for dinner) with some fresh mozzarella cheese, and it makes a great meal.  The hubster has his with a roll (I’m taking baby steps with him).  I must say, I feel so much better cutting out all the processed crap.  I’m eating tons of fresh fruit and veggies.  My energy is starting to come back, I’ve actually lost some of the thyroid weight I put back on, and I know my body is happier cutting out the bad fats, cow’s milk (except for cheese and greek yogurt), and sweeteners.  I do use a smidgen of honey for a sweetener – all natural, no processing like is found with the packaged sweeteners like Splenda, Nutra-Sweet, saccharine and even Stevia (yeah, it IS processed – unless you are squeezing your own stevia leaves).

Oh, and Miss Peanut is now one month old!  Holy Moly!  Where has this month gone?  She’s up to 8.6 pounds and has grown an inch and a half from her birth.  She’s long and lean and gorgeous!

Peanut

Peanut is here.  But we are going to call her Sophie.

🙂

Sophie

Michael Sophia made her entrance at 10pm on 12/24/14.  7lbs, 1oz, 20.75″ long.  She was just two hours short of sharing her birthday with her great – grandmother (my mother).  And stunningly beautiful!  She and my niece are both healthy and happy, and I am over the moon with having a little girl!  Don’t get me wrong, a boy would have been nice too, but we have one of those already, and I wanted to shop for something PINK!

We spent Christmas Eve with my other niece and her little boy, who is 4 and knows exactly what Santa is all about.  I finally had to call the Norad Hotline to speak to an Elf (thank you Julie, who ever you are!!) at 8:30 to calm him down and convince him to go home and get in his jammies and ready for bed.  His eyes were huge while we were on the phone with them, and she told Keegan that Santa would be arriving in the area in half an hour, so he better be in bed!  He was so cute.  “Santa” made a stop at our house over the weekend to drop off a load of gifts and Keegan opened them with gusto.  Santa also brought a copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” which we read together before he left.

I now have a healthy happy grand-niece and grand-nephew here in DE (and scads of them in Colorado!).  What a great holiday!