tears in my eyes..

I have always been a crier. A crier at movies, not real life.

My husband and son like to remind me that I am sappy crier. Their favorite memory that they love to remind me and laugh about is when I cried during an Ernest movie. You know the movies: ‘Ernest Goes to Camp’ ‘Ernest Scared Stupid’ ‘Ernest Goes to Jail’ I am admitting it I cried like a baby when Ernest sang a song to his pet turtle in ‘Ernest Goes to Camp’

I haven’t seen it for years but I remember a part of the song lyric going something like”I ‘m so glad it’s raining so no one can see my tears” I find that line touching, so touching it makes me bawl.

Over the weekend the husband and I did a staycation. We simply needed air conditioning for the weekend so we went downtown and lived like royalty with room service and a maid. We did manage to get out of the room go for a walk and catch a movie. We went and saw the new Meryl Streep movie “Florence Foster Jenkins”

It was enjoyable! I had seen an interview with Streep talking about it and I remember Googling it to read the story of the lady. Even being prepared (I actually forgot some of the story, imagine that) I still cried. I cried and sniffled and cried some more. I laughed at myself. I am still such a baby about movies.

I am not a pretty crier and honestly I don’t think any woman is EVER pretty when crying, but I noticed three things:

#1 my husband loves when I get caught up in a movie/character and I cry. He finds it to be an endearing quality about me.

#2 my eyes sparkle. They truly sparkle when I cry. May be why Keith doesn’t mind the crying?

#3 that I still have emotions and am not a stone cold hard-hearted witch after all. I feel that way most days. Knowing I have tears, even if for a movie means that I still have a sensitive heart in there somewhere.



Weird and Random Renee Thoughts…

I am absolutely in love with the word ‘foobys’ right now! Get it? Fake Boobs!! Ha isn’t it a wonderful ‘Renee’ word? I used to make words up all the time as a kid. This is right up my alley.

I am in a Facebook group for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 people. Many women on there had the pre-mastectomy/reconstruction done to help lower their risk of breast cancer. They post pictures and updates of recovery and other challenges. One lady posted a picture of her breast tattoos. Yes, tattoos that cover her brand new foobys! I have NEVER been a fan of getting a tattoo (terrified of needles) but hers looks so beautiful and it hides that she no longer has nipples (I only have one left) I showed the picture to my hubby. He always told me that if I ever got a tattoo he would leave me. I used to joke around that I have an out. He  liked the idea and was so impressed. Now it is something I may consider down the road.

I was at a BBQ last weekend  visiting with a friend in her swimsuit and all I could do was stare at her breasts. Not in a creepy way, but in a ‘man I wish I had gone bigger way’. I sometimes regret that I stayed the same size. My plan was to never tell anyone about the cancer and surgery so the more ‘normal’ I looked the better. Of course it is too hard to hide the effects of chemotherapy. So much for keeping it to myself.

I went to the gym a couple of times last week and it felt wonderful to be moving on the treadmill. I wrote about how emotional it was. I have not been back since. Funny how life gets in the way. The ironic thing is I need to workout so I can keep my life. It keeps me moving, keeps my mental state stable and brings the focus back to getting revenge.

Last week I ate vegetarian for every meal during the week. I had real food on the weekend. I didn’t mind it at all and it was pretty simple. I liked trying to find ways to incorporate plant-based proteins into my meals. This week I don’t seem to care so much. I don’t know if it is the heat, or that I am fighting off a cold, or the lack of a good nights rest. I just don’t care and have been eating everything! Revenge on my body is hard!

Just when I think I am in control, I am not. Just when I think I have things/life figured out I am reminded that I don’t. I just have to find my new normal and run with it. Learning to embrace the journey of finding the new normal…..hmm.




Today I went to the gym.

This is not a big thing to most. Today it was the biggest thing for me.

It wasn’t a PR.

It wasn’t heavier weights.

It wasn’t a run.

It was me, on the treadmill having a moment.

Let me back up a bit. I was at the same gym on Monday. Same treadmill. Same goal.

Tonight was different.

I started my treadmill. Set my pace (slow) turned on my tunes and tuned out.  I tuned out thoughts of fear, depression, worry. I tuned out the pain of my swollen arm. I tuned out the fact that I wear my survivor/fighter shirts to the gym so others won’t judge me for only being on the treadmill. I tuned out that this is my new ‘normal’. I just tuned out.

With all this tuning out the emotions began turning on.

Fighting back tears. Tears of frustration? Yes. More importantly tears of shear joy that I am capable of going to the gym, getting on a treadmill and mostly that I am  moving. Moving my feet in a perfectly timed cadence. Moving forward.Moving my thoughts to emotions of victory.  Moving, moving, moving.






“Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

Today I have decided this is going to be my new go to motto. I know, I know, I am not Sicilian, at least I don’t think I am. Yet, I still feel very drawn to this statement.

The statement in my mind has become: ‘Never go in against a cancer fighter when death is on the line!’

Just hearing the words ‘you have cancer’ almost instantaneously feels like a death sentence. No matter what type, what stage, it feels like death is on the line.

This is when you learn that you are Sicilian.

I started this blog several weeks ago and couldn’t get the words to come out right so I saved it for a little later.

Since then I have lost this enthusiasm and drive. I had a really hard week my first week back at work after the oophorectomy. It was so hot and my whole body ached. I mostly spent my days at work trying not to cry and to pretend that I knew what the hell I was doing.

I am not hurting anymore, at least not like that. Thank goodness! But I still haven’t found this inconceivable drive. I know it must still be in me. Somewhere.

There will always be fears, doubts and pains. I know this. I know I worry about recurrence. I worry that my foobs will always feel like defrosted ice packs. I wonder if I will ever have my energy return. I worry mostly that I will never be myself again.

Then I remind myself. I work, full-time. I go out and do things. I have great friends. I actually went to the gym and did the treadmill. I still do my daily Cancercize videos. I have plans like bike rides, anniversary celebrations, BBQ’s and dancing.

I am in a slump. An emotional slump that is manifesting itself physically. This too will one day be inconceivable! I know one day I will focus less and less on the cancer and the toll it has taken on my mind and body. I will be the Sicilian.

Until then body, as you wish.



The nuts are in the drawer….

I know I am losing my mind. You know how I know? I found a bag of nuts in the drawer this morning. Truthfully it was a bag of raw pumpkins seeds.

I do not know when I had them out last.

I do not remember putting them in the utensil drawer.

I do not know why I only just now found them.

I was warned about chemo brain. I was told that I would get very forgetful. I was NOT told that even nearly three months out I would still be a space cadet.

The plus side to being so forgetful:

Drama at work (isn’t there always) I can barely remember what it was by the time I drive home. There are conversations I have with the hubby that start off as ‘oh yeah I meant to tell you about this three weeks ago’ or ‘did I mention this?’

Very little bothers me anymore since I don’t even recall anything happening.

The negative side:

I haven’t had the energy to blog, write, be funny in person mostly because I just don’t remember too.

I have forgotten my mothers birthday.

I can’t remember why my friends husband had his finger amputated.

And I honestly have no idea how the nuts got in the drawer.




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


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!


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.


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……



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….