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.

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Surfacing Cleanly

Between feeling like crap because of the bronchitis, and feeling even more crappy because of low thyroid, it is pretty obvious that lately, I have felt like crap.

I have started to surface over the past couple of days and am starting to feel better.  My endocrinologist upped my thyroid meds last week, so it may be they are starting to kick in, but the full effect of that won’t really be evident for another week or so.  I know the bronchitis is getting better.  I also know that cutting out all the crap in my food has helped.

Clean eating has been a good thing.  Getting rid of food that is full of chemicals and preservatives has been beneficial.  Cutting out bad carbs, most dairy (I still eat greek yogurt and cheese but no milk or cream), nitrates, preservatives, and general crap has just made me feel better.  My skin looks great, even more elastic.  Things that sagged before on my face don’t seem to sag as much.  Black circles under my eyes are starting to fade. 

I was skeptical at first, but this is working.

I have also given up all artificial sweeteners, including stevia, which still has to go through chemical processing.  I use honey to sweeten things, just a bit, and it has not had the same craving effects that artificial sweeteners have given me.  In fact, my cravings are not there because there is a clean eating alternative to it, that is natural, and good! 

I can see the visible results of clean eating, and feel the health benefit.

Nature…who knew? 

And, a quick recipe.

Last night, I made chicken for dinner.  I took boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and made horizontal slits through them.  In the slits, I put a little pepperjack and cream cheese.  I seasoned it with some garlic powder and herb de province, and covered the breats in sliced mushrooms.  Baked it at 375 for 35 minutes, and served it with steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  For dessert, I made a fresh fruit salad of an orange, a pink grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, a banana.  I dressed it with a dressing made of greek yogurt, honey, a little lemon juice, chopped mint, and chia seeds.

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Delicious!  Even the husband approved!

Swinging

I saw my endocrinologist on Monday.  Turns out the blood work I had done the week prior didn’t include my thyroid numbers, so I had to have MORE blood work at his office on Monday.

He did say that I was starting to exhibit signs of low thyroid – puffiness around my eyes, some fluid retention, my cholesterol numbers were up (but I didn’t think they were awful), and my blood pressure was coming down.  He said he could feel just a little bit of my thyroid left, and I hadn’t lost any weight at all since my last visit.  My vit D was really really low and as a result, I have rickets.  He said if the tests came back confirming the Hypothyroid, I was going on synthyroid.

Well, the results came in yesterday, and I am low.  So, I picked up the meds last night, and started them this morning.

Thyroid meds have a really specific plan of action to get them to work.

I have to take them when I get up for the day.  I can’t take them, and then go back to bed.  Up and moving, take my meds.

I can’t take them with the vitamins I am still on (D2 and B12).  I can’t eat anything for one hour after taking them.  I can’t have any juice or milk at all (I don’t partake in either since he told me that diabetics should never have either – not even ones who re in remission).  I can have black coffee, black tea or water in the hour between.  I have to take my other meds in the am with the synthyroid.  So, yeah.  Also, they stay in your system 8 days.  If I miss a dose in the am, I have to wait until the next day and then double my dose.  I confirmed that because of my plumbing, they would in fact, stay in my system, and they will.  So, good on that.  I have noticed today that the water retention is leaving my system – lots of running to the bathroom.

I need to remain on my very strict diet so I don’t put weight back on and I am allowed to work on losing the last 15 to 20 pounds.  Also, still no exercise because of the Vit D deficiency.

And, it will take about 12 months for the meds to adjust correctly.  I may also have to adjust my dosage throughout my lifetime.

This whole finding normal thing?  It’s taking way longer than I thought.  Guess I am a work in progress.  But that is not a bad thing…at least I seem to be progressing.  🙂

Holy Busy Batman!

Seriously, I need a weekend to not do ANYTHING at all. Sigh.

My niece finally came out of the preggo closet the week of the 11th. She’s 22 weeks. She sent me a picture of Peanut yesterday, waving at the ultrasound. All together now…AWWWW

I’m in love.

So, my sister and I are planning a shower for her. We were planning for November – before Sarah got too uncomfortable to enjoy herself, and before the weather hit the fan. We ended up deciding to have it an an Agricultural Museum in Dover, DE.  Their rates are cheapo, and it’s kind of cool there.  I called and asked about November.

Totally booked.

But they had an opening October 4th.  Holy Schmoly.  We’ll take it.  $100 for the room.  YAY  Except not yay, because now everything is in hyperdrive.  LOL

I ordered the invitations and was going to print them myself until my personal laptop (not my work one) crapped out this morning.  It is only a year old.  Sigh.  I will have to take them to Kinkos or the UPS store.  Sigh.  I’m trying to get the local bakery to call me back about a cake estimate but they won’t.  So I may have to go with the bakery who did call me with an estimate ($155!!!).  Annoyed.

And, I’m knitting gifts for the baby.  I have a pair of booties done.  I just finished a sweater last night.  I want to make a hat and booties to go with that.  Also, a baby blanket.  The blanket has priority of the booties and hat.  But I need to get to knitting on that blanket.  Yikes.

On top of that, we are going away this weekend for Labor Day as our last Beach Huzzah.  That craps out three days that I can just relax, because pool, parties, labor day brunch, and driving home.  Next week is a blur of work, next weekend I’m helping my bestie (and I am excited to see her), the weekend after that is shower planning…the weekend after that my birthday…and then we have to plan for our anniversary, and my husband’s birthday, and the shower in the middle of it all.

I need a nap just reading it all.

Plus, work is going to be hella busy the next couple of months.  Yay.

The month of September is full of doctor appointments.  September 8th, I have to go to Baltimore to see my gastrointerolocial oncologist (say that five times fast…it took me 10 minutes to spell it),  The 9th, I have to see the orthopaedist.  And get blood work.  The 11th, I see my primary care to talk about my thyroid and anemia.  The 21st, I see my regular oncologist.

Which reminds me, I really need to start using those damned dialators again.

So busy.

If you are in the good old US of A, please have a safe and happy Labor Day.

See you soon!

Sometimes It Makes My Heart Hurt

So, this past weekend was nice…we headed down to Chincoteague and enjoyed a few days in our favorite place. I spent Saturday with my hubby and it was just great.

Except…

We went crabbing on Saturday. It’s one of our favorite things to do…go down to the Crabbing Pier with a cooler of beer, a pack of chicken, and a few traps. Love it, and we have so much fun together. This past Saturday was no different. We had been there about half an hour when a young woman came along with her son. He was going into the fourth grade, and typical boy – but well-behaved and polite. Bob had gone back to the trailer to make another beer run (no, we aren’t lushes…I had only packed one for each of us), so I started chatting with this woman, and her son who was named Shane. My hubby came back and they moved to the end of the crabbing pier. It was their first time visiting our campground and they were kind of taking it all in.

As we crabbed, I notice Shane, watching every move we made. I leaned over to Bob and told him to take a couple of traps down, so Shane could pull them up. Shane was a little hesitant for about all of five minutes, until he landed his first, and then it was on….his mom kept trying to get him to go back to their campsite, but Shane was having too much fun (he caught a couple of keepers, by the way). His mom asked if he could stay with us while she ran back to her site to let them know where she was. She was gone nearly an hour, but he was a really good kid, and he was having such a good time.

When Shane’s mom did return (I didn’t catch her name), she came back with her girls – one 12 and one 15. They had been watching a movie and Mom told them they needed to get out and commune with nature. We gave the girls a couple of crab traps, and they got into a competition with Shane as to who would catch the keepers. The girls were ok with pulling up the traps, not so much with actually letting the crabs out of them, but it was a fun afternoon.

But my brain…well, it just wouldn’t be quiet. It kept whispering things to me like, “You could have been a mom like that…” or “wouldn’t it have been nice if we could have had a couple of kids?”

Ugh.

Sometimes I am caught in the middle…I don’t know what to call myself…am I childless? Am I technically infertile? I never considered myself infertile…I mean, my parts worked…but now, they are gone. So, am I infertile? Menopausal? I just don’t know.

Either way it hurts.

I’m Going to Finish This

Way back before I had my bariatric surgery in 2009, I enrolled at the University of Maryland to work on my Masters in Management. (Mind you, I already have an MBA). It’s taken me forever to work on this because in the meantime, I’ve had knee surgeries and cancer. I’m about 7 classes away from finishing but in order to qualify for my degree, I’d have to finish by next September. There is no way that I will be able to take 7 classes in 13 months – I wouldn’t be able to pay for them ($2000 a pop), but also, there is no way physically I can do it. NOPE.

Every since I changed jobs and moved up here to Delaware (to clarify – same company, new job), I have been bouncing around the idea of getting my PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification. University of MD has a Project Management Certification program – 7 classes – no time limit. When I finish that class, I will automatically qualify for the PMP exam (as opposed to waiting until I had five years Project Management experience).

Today, I called my advisor to find out what I would have to do to switch from the masters program to the certification program. Turns out, all it took was an email to my advisor. All switched. I enrolled for the first class this September (Summer session started last month). I paid for the class (well, I made the first of 7 payments). I purchased my books. I processed my tuition reimbursement application (I have to take the class before reimbursement, but that would be a nice little payment right around Christmas for my next class which would start in February). And if I hang in there, I’ll be done by the Summer of 2016 (with the exception of the exam, which I have to take on my own).

It’s time to finish this.