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Endurance

I know it is hard to tell from this picture but this is a hill. A hill I tell you! My neighborhood is either all uphill or all downhill depending on which direction you choose to walk first. In this particular spot the sidewalks are all jacked up from tree roots and such. I always pretend that it is  a ‘Cross Fit’ training sidewalk. Gives my body different movements as I walk along it.

Yesterday I went for a morning walk. I have been struggling with my mojo. I did my Cancercize video and was feeling strong so out the door I went. It is so therapeutic, plus I had just received my new iPod touch and I wanted to use it.

I downloaded the Runkeeper app on it so I could have my music and a running commentary on how far that I was going. It was a great walk

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I was telling my husband what a victorious walk I had! I walked over 3 miles in 45 minutes!!! The Runkeeper app told me so as I was going. Then eventually reality settled in. There is no way that this is accurate. My FitBit said I went about 1 and 1/2 miles.  My Runkeeper app is obviously not working right. Also, isn’t it weird that the picture of calories burned has a picture of a burger in it?

Anyway, while I was walking up this hill I kept telling myself to keep moving. I can do this. Endurance is an act, a purposeful task. It doesn’t come from thinking about something it comes from doing something. I tackled that hill with many thoughts of endurance. I was going to go up further than I have since the surgery. I was going to push myself no matter what. Halfway up the hill I saw two pairs of running shoes sitting neatly on the sidewalk next to each other. I thought to myself: these people were determined to endure this hill too, no matter what!

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I may not have gone 3 miles but I did get up and go. It gave me enough energy and motivation to try driving too. It had been two weeks since I had driven. I worked out, I drove, I visited friends, I picked from a garden. It was a day of me proving that I have endurance.

At the end of the day according to FitBit I did get a total of 3.5 miles in. So I did walk 3 miles yesterday just not in a row.

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When you lose your mojo…..

Before I began chemotherapy I had to go through an education class. You are then overwhelmed with information. You learn about ports, names of medications and the side effects, oh the side effects. There were so many things discussed and presented in a slide show. At the end of it they send you home with a binder filled with everything you just heard.

One thing that was stated over and over again in the class by the NP and again reiterated by the Oncologist was how important exercise is. The best way to fight the fatigue is exercise. The best way to get the  chemo meds through your system to kill the cancer cells is exercise. The way to keep your oxygen levels up, yep you guessed it exercise.

As a group fitness instructor I already knew the health benefits of daily exercise. I taught classes three nights a week. Went on wog’s several times a week and was always on the move. Taking extra steps at work, dancing with friends, enjoying the ability to move daily in life.

Hearing that exercise is one of the best things to do during chemotherapy I had set my mind to it. I started the Cancercize program on YouTube and a Cancercize Facebook page. I promised the doctor, NP , my friends and myself that I would workout EVERY day through chemo. Yes everyday, even if it was nothing but a few stretches there would be a workout. I did not want to have the fatigue. I know how to exercise so I will give the theory my honest  test. I did. I worked out through the whole treatment and actually made 120 days straight of working out. I felt the effects of the chemo. More importantly I felt the effects of exercise. I honestly believe I would not have done so well if I had not worked out in some way everyday.

As the day of the oopherecotomy neared, I worked out longer and harder. Concentrating on my abs.  I knew they would be out of commison for some time after the surgery. I asked the surgeon what kind of exercise I could do after the surgery. She said very light weights and definately lots of walking. Great I can do that.

The trouble is I haven’t. I have tried to do a few Cancercize videos. I have three up since surgery. They are slow and easy but they are there. I have walked a few times too. The trouble is that is all I have done. I can’t seem to make it a consistent habit. I have lost my mojo. Conviction. Focus. Mindset. My enthusiasm.

I put my finger on it today. I have to get up and move! It is the only way to make me want to keep moving. It is time for me to get back on track. It is time for me to set my mind. I am the only one that can make me take care of me. That includes getting back up on the horse.

Today I walked, just a few blocks. I think it was enough to wake my head up again. When I got home I vaccumed, did a load of laundry, took out all the trash and recycables and dusted. DUSTED! I powered through the uncomfortablness. I moved slowly and used the handrails going up and down the stairs. The point is I moved. Intentionally with a purpose. To get better and heal.

I may have my mojo once again……

 

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My evil plans….(insert maniacal laugh here)

I have plans tonight with my family. It is Star Wars night at the ballpark. My husband is a season ticket holder for the local Class A Short Season Northwest League. He is a lover of the sport and actually enjoys watching farm teams more than most Major League teams.He gets so excited if I show any interest in going with him. It makes him so happy. I like to make him happy. So tonight I am going to the game, my son is joining us too.

Since I am still in recovery mode from my latest surgery my husband has given me very strict rules today: Take lots of naps today!! No walks. No exertion of any kind.

Today I am feeling somewhat better and my apartment is a mess, a mess I tell you. So messy that when my friend Scott came over after we had lunch to see where we live he gave a very disapproving look! He is a bachelor and a better housekeeper than me. It made me a bit ashamed. I just kept making excuses. The sad truth is I hate cleaning house. I have always been bad at it. It has never been a priority to me and even less now that I realize how short life really is. Oh, that disapproving look! It got to me.

So today my evil plan is to clean, clean, clean the house! Also a  possible walk around the park with my neighbor. I just have to wait for the husband to leave for work. Also for the ibuprofen to kick in. BUT I WILL GET REVENGE AGAINST THE DUST!!!! ah ah ah!!

How sad is it that my evil revenge plans are to clean my own home.

I will get rest today. I want to be able to stay awake for a very long game tonight. The Star Wars part won’t start until the game is over and it is dark enough out. Unfortunately living in the Inland Northwest this time of year it really isn’t dark until around 10.

What revenge plans do you have?

Moments of a mad woman…

I am freezing! Seriously goose bumps and shaking. I can’t get warm.

I put on my hat and socks. Cozy up under two blankets.

Trying to warm up.

Twenty minutes go by, finally warmth!

Ugh, my tummy feels funny.

It is warming up too much.

Suddenly like a flash my body is on fire from the inside.

Off come the hat and socks and blankets.

This damn laptop is making it worse!

Where is that towel I keep close by to dry me off?

Then all is balanced and I am perfectly comfortable and dry.

Sheesh my feet are freezing where are my socks….

Recovery

It has been an interesting few days.

Thursday was the oophorectomy. It was such a long day. Recovering from the anesthesia was not easy. I always struggle with it. Checked into the hospital at 11AM left about 6PM. That is a long time for surgeries that only took a total of an hour and half. I have not heard anything from anyone about the ovaries so I can only assume that they looked good and no more cancer. I accept that theory.

Friday was a day of rest and pacing up and down the hallway in the apartment. Watched movies with my son so the hubby could go to the ballgame.

Saturday. SATURDAY I got to met Paula from Never A Dull Bling and her hubby James from www.50in50marathonquest.com. This was the best day ever!  Okay so my belly is sore and swollen but I wasn’t going to let a chance to finally meet a fellow blogger/friend in person. We met up at a local Starbucks for a quick hug and some pictures. They were on their way to Missoula for another run. I was so thankful that Keith drove me down to meet them. Our next visit will have to be longer. I sure did enjoy it. 13639580_10208514853260827_1265141630_o13662621_10208514853980845_310345588_o

Paula is the one who sent me Bear. The softest, sweetest stuffed bear to accompany me to chemotherapy. She had never actually had a chance to meet Bear so it was fun for all of us. Our visit was brief but perfect. She is just as lovely in real life as she is in the cyber world. James too. What a great moment in my life.
The rest of Saturday I had to recuperate from the visit. It took a lot out of me. So I watched Star Wars in order. Almost made it through all of them in one day!
Sunday. This was another day of rest for me. I watched t.v. all day and slept off and on. Keith and I got out and walked around the block once. Walking feels good, much better than the standing up and sitting down.
Which brings me to Monday. Normally I would be up and going to work. Today I am sitting, writing and planning easy stuff to do. Like shower. I need to shower, and eat. I think Keith and I are going to go for two laps around the block tonight when he gets home from work. I don’t really know what to do with myself other than read, write, nap, watch t.v. Having limitations is hard. Knowing that they are just temporary helps.
So a recap: two more surgeries done, met a friend, went for a walk, watched Star Wars, napped. Yeah, recovery seems to be coming along just about right.
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Just a few scattered thoughts..

Today I woke up with chaffing on my inner thighs! How can I get chaffing in my sleep?!?! All I can figure is the night sweats are so bad that the inner thighs are sticking together with all the slimy sweat that they are feeling chaffed but are really just chapped. Chapped thighs, from sweat, in my sleep. Can it get any sexier than that?

I know that this next surgery is going to directly affect my abs so in my Cancercize with Renee B videos I have been hitting them “hard”. I use that term loosely because I am still not at full workout capacity. It must be working because my abs are SORE!!! So sore that now I worry that I over did it and will make recovery very challenging.

Also, speaking of  Cancercize with Renee B on YouTube : https://youtu.be/3t8Agt5Cn0s As of today I will have worked out 120 days in a row!! IN A ROW!! This is huge in my eyes. Especially when you consider that I started after my double amputation and while going through chemotherapy. I know the workouts are not super intense and sometimes not very long. It doesn’t matter. I moved, on purpose, 120 days in a row. It is documented on YouTube. This makes me happy. No it is not why my thighs feel chaffed.

Surgery is tomorrow. I am not allowed to eat or drink after midnight tonight. That means no coffee in the morning. I get caffeine headaches if I don’t have a cup in the morning (not addicted) do you think if I drink coffee all day today it will hold me over? That is what I do with the water. I must have water first thing in the morning too or I feel lousy all day.

I find it odd that the hospital hasn’t called yet to do the pre check in. It is a different hospital this time but they are all part of the same network so maybe they just assume I read my letter from a few weeks ago and I just remember to not eat or drink. To not take ibuprofen one week before (I kind of forgot but I think it was a week ago I took it) To not shave the surgery area. I have no idea what I am to wear after the surgery since my stomach will have holes and be bloated. I do not have prescriptions yet for pain or infection. It is a bit unsettling. Maybe they will call today.

I think there is a possibility I do have chaffing after all. I tried to put jeans on the other day for work since it has ‘cooled’ off a bit over here. As soon as I put them on my body went into heat stroke mode….so put on the dress. That means thigh on thigh action when I walk at work. I need to find my Glide and apply it today.

I have decided. I am drinking ALL the coffee and all the water today. I am going to do a squat workout and later tonight some distressing stretching to calm my nerves. The chaffing will disappear since I will be not moving so much in the next few days. I am still going to see Paula. Chapped thighs and bloated gut and all.

Warned you, scattered thoughts. Thanks for hanging in and finishing this rambling with me. Have a great day!! I am all hopped up on coffee and nerves so you know mine will be entertaining to others at least. (:

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Joy is not circumstantial…

About a month ago the Reddaway truck driver that used to have our route was covering for the new driver. He knew that I had been fighting cancer but hasn’t seen me since the surgery and public announcement. He simply said  ‘your smile is still here’ All I could think was ‘of course, joy is not circumstantial’

There is a difference between joy and happy. Happy is a temporary emotion generally driven by our circumstances and current surroundings. Joy, joy on the other hand is deeper than that. It is sincere, planted deep within and doesn’t fade. Joy is not about our circumstances it is about our choice to find and keep it, to nurture it, to not allow it to starve and disappear.

There are many things that make me happy that also feed my joy.

Working out with heavier weights. Having my cousin Craig do the dishes better than anyone, ever. Picking cherries with the littles. Texting friends first thing in the morning to start the day off right. Mysterious reprieve from the night sweats. Half a pound less on the scale. Hair growing back even if it is all gray. Hugs. Going all week without a head covering. Planning for the future. Hitting my Fitbit goals. Creating new memories. Easily forgetting the drama and stress at work. Discovering my own inner strength. My own inner love. My own inner peace. My own inner drive.

I know those are all circumstantial. Yet they are making a lasting deep impression and adding to my joy. I have always been a firm believer that love is a decision. I have argued this point often. Feelings fade. Decisions should last. I honestly believe that joy is also a decision. You make the choice to be joyful. You can’t hope that others make you happy. They won’t. Maybe for a short time but people never stay the same and can never be the source of joy or love.

I am preparing for more surgery soon. I am preparing to see Paula from @neveradullbling. I am preparing to pursue my joy. I am preparing to grow as a human with a bigger heart, more compassion, overflowing joy and kindness. It is work but it is worthy work.

What will you do to fill/fuel your joy? Run? Write?Volunteer? Give? Share?

Have a joyful day my friends.❤

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Prophylactic laparoscopic bilateral salpingoophorectomy

Yeah, salpingoophorectotmy. It’s a word in the medical realm. Translation: the removal of both ovaries via laparoscopic surgery.  Here are my random wild thoughts going through my mind these last few days:

The surgeon looks Like Taylor Swift and younger than my 27 year old son. I am sure she is in her thirties though. I didn’t ask how many of these she has done. I felt it would be rude.

Had a dream and all I can remember was me asking the hospital staff to not tell my husband that I cried.

I need to get my cousins address’ so I can mail them the genetic address for my mutated gene so they can make the choice if they want to get tested or not.

Surgery is scheduled the day my husband flies out for his 30th reunion in AZ. I am confident I will be fine with my son and friends checking on me. I am worried that I will not be.

I plan on keeping my upbeat positive attitude and some type of Cancercize video going, being back at work in two weeks…but the worry is there. What if this time this ‘simple’ surgery does me in? What if I am nauseated the whole recovery process? How hard is it going to be to sit up then down then stand? I know I will have to walk to prevent blood clots, will I be able to?

Can I do this without the hubby around? He has been my rock through so much of this.

Insurance deductible starts over July 1st, so guess who will have to start all over with the bills? Yep, that is me.

The next day Paula from Never A Dull Bling will be in town and I wanted to hug her and get a picture of her and I with Bear. Will I be able too? Maybe if my son drives me downtown to the hotel for a quick meet and greet. Or maybe she can come up the hill to me?

I am thankful that coffee is not on my ‘do not eat or drink this anymore’ list. I find that I really want a glass of wine these last few days.

And while I am rambling lets add:

Why when I do a live feed on Facebook the video sound is off? How does one go about creating a webpage? How do I use the other video program on my Apple? How can I load and copy pictures to my blog? I wanted a picture of Taylor Swift with her hair the way the doctor wore hers, couldn’t get it to ‘copy and paste’ or download or any of that. Why does technology intimidate me so? Can I get a massage without having to lie down on my belly? Why do I feel so lazy when I don’t get a walk/wog in more than once a week? Isn’t it strange that the hair on the side of my head is growing back faster than the top and back? And on that note, why is the armpit hair growing back faster? How many cups of coffee are too many? Wait, don’t answer that last one.

So many things to think/worry about. I am like the dog in the pic. I could totally take those kittens if I wanted to even though they are a bit intimidating.

 

Dear Barb,

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Dear Barb,

Remember that time that I laughed at you because you kept changing chairs looking for the air conditioner? You said you needed the coolest spot in the building because of your hot flashes.

I laughed.

I am now officially apologizing via social media aka blogosphere.

I am sincerely, honestly, ashamed that I laughed at you. I had no idea how miserable it truly is.

Please forgive me.

Renee

Yep, true story. I had no idea, NO IDEA how awful these flashes and night sweats could be. I bought another fan for the bedroom. Yes, ANOTHER. I have the ceiling fan on all the time but it wasn’t enough so now I have a tall fan blowing directly on my face only about two feet away. It doesn’t really keep me cool, but it does help dry me off when I have the night sweats.

So between the night sweats, the hot flashes, the sweaty clothes and armpits, the extreme heat (for our region) and lack of air conditioning in the apartment, I am truly a hot mess.

Just one more fan should do it.