My last meal…..

Do you know what your last meal would be?  I mean if you had knowledge that you were not going to be able to eat again, or the end of the world was coming what your last meal would be. I don’t know what mine would be either. Tonight it was macaroni and cheese…not because it was what I wanted but it is what hubby wanted.

I feel like it is my last meal because this is the week I am going to start eating mostly veggies. I am getting ready to do a 3 Day Reboot and it is a lot of veggies, A LOT and a few protein shakes along with my regular daily superfoods shake. I am going to do that on Wednesday, but Monday I am getting ready for the reboot by eating mostly salads and veggies. It is just easier on your belly that way.

So the mac and cheese tonight feels like my last meal.

This is how my day went. WARNING THIS IS BAD….

Coffee with almond milk, two cups of espresso with almond milk and half and half and a shot of salted caramel flavor.  Breakfast two, yes I said TWO donuts from our favorite local donut bakery.  Lunch: grilled cheese sandwich with a lot of butter on it.  Ice Cream sandwich. Humus and the last of the pita crackers too.

Dinner….mac and cheese with a huge dose of chula sauce.

I didn’t drink enough water either.

I will tell you the truth. I did not get the things done today that I wanted to get done. Why? Because I didn’t eat right and all the sugar and carbs makes me tired and lethargic. I am really looking forward to getting this fixed in my life.

I have a quote if you will that I am trying to practice in my life: “If you are too busy then it really isn’t important to you” Mel Robbins.. She wrote the 5 Second Rule. Has a IG page that I jump into once in awhile when I need to be reminded that I need to just get over it.

How are you doing?






Full disclosure!! ………

I totally forgot to tell you about the Almond Joy I and ice cream sandwich I ate yesterday while volunteering at the Living Water grand opening!!! Whew!  I feel better now.

I have absolutely nothing to write about today. I got up. We went to breakfast, then a drive. Came home, took a nap, hit the grocery store and that pretty much sums up my day.

I wanted to eat at Starbucks or Thomas Hammer of breakfast today. Mostly because I wanted the espresso.  We went up to the local mall where there is a Thomas Hammer inside. Store don’t open until 11 on Sundays but restaurants and such open earlier. We got there at 8:55 and Hammer wasn’t open yet. So I pretended to be a “mall walker” for ten minutes so I could get in to the coffee shop. When I came around the bend they still were not open but I could smell the coffee brewing.. Told Keith, never mind let’s go to Starbucks instead. It was after breakfast we went for a drive. It was such a lovely day out today I didn’t want to go home face dishes, and chores.

We drove around our old neighborhood checking out the new developments and looking at houses for sell. We stopped at one near cliff view on the south hill. Keith grabbed a flyer. He asked me how much I would guess the price was. I said 740,000 he’s said I was close, if I would double it!! CRAZY!!

Anyway here is my FULL list of foods I ate today:

Coffee with milk (2)

Breakfast at Starbucks: Venti caramel latte with blonde espresso, Chorizo egg bites and the smokey gouda bacon sandwich.

Lunch: leftover slice of sausage and black olive pizza from the other night and the rest of  greek salad with the balsamic dressing.

Snack: pita chips with spreadable gouda cheese

Dinner: vanilla superfoods shake with frozen blueberries and 1 cup of fresh spinach.

I am glad I had a lot of veggies today. Drank my allotted amount of water. Even got in a small yoga practice too!

I didn’t get everything on my list done today like yard work and filming some new workouts for my YouTube page or my Cancercize page….. but all in all a good Sunday.

How did you do?

Taco Wednesday…it’s a thing…

Let’s start backwards today. Mostly because my dinner was AMAZING tonight. I got home about 6:30 after work and talked the hubby into going to the local taco truck that now lives two very small blocks from our home. TWO BLOCKS!!! YIKES! Had the campencho taco special, at least I think that is how you spell it. It has meat, chorizo, onions, Serrano, jalapeño and cactus in it. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It was. I ate ALL three of them plus the re-fried beans and rice that came with the meal. NO regrets.

Lunch: hamburger patty, a pickle stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon (a friend brought it for me) black beans and  cauliflower risotto.

Breakfast: cafe latte superfoods shake with spinach and blueberries. Two cups of coffee with almond milk…. on my way to work I stopped by and got the special at the coffee shop. It was called the Oh Henry. It was english toffee and chocolate, it was perfectly lovely too!!

I didn’t stick to my eating plan for sure but I do not regret anything I ate tonight, not one bit. I worked out this morning. Drank lots and lots of water.  So all in all a good day. At least that is how I feel now…..when I weigh in tomorrow morning, we will see.


how are you doing?

Half a sleeve, more like three quarters…..

I woke up right away!! Ha that is not true, still guilty of hitting snooze. Anyway I DID get up eventually and did a lot in a little amount of time (thank you weekly food prep)  Here is how my day played out food wise:

Breakfast: vanilla superfoods shake with the last of the frozen peaches and the last of the wilting arugula. Coffee with almond milk creamer and one espresso with chocolate milk foam.

Get to work:  coffee, coffee, coffee!!! and half and half.

Lunch: the rest of the kale, apple, beet and chicken salad. humus pita chips.

Snack time!! : raw almonds and sliced sweet peppers

SOUNDS LIKE I AM DOING SO WELL TODAY……… and prepare for the excuses……

Worked late (7PM) so this is where I just make horrible choices with my food. Tired and hungry, not a good combination. Even though I have a fridge full, FULL of prepared food I ate this instead: 1 can of Truly hard sparkling water 4 corn tortillas with melted cheese on them, half a can of generic Pringle’s and to be quite  honest it turned out to be three quarters of the sleeve…. bleh.

Plus side was my numbers on the scale HAD started going down again and I drank lots of water and have worked out four days in a row now. IN A ROW!!

How are you doing?



Just when I thought I was getting back…

Just when I thought I was getting back on track today I TOTALLY fell into that ‘it is a holiday weekend and I have company so it doesn’t really count what I eat’ mode… whew!! Remember to breathe after reading that!!

Anyway, I started the day off well. Had my chocolate superfoods shake with dark chocolate cherries, a spoonful of almond butter and TWO handfuls of arugula (I have to use it up before it gets slimy) Two cups of coffee with almond milk creamer and one cup of espresso with chocolate milk…. then I went to the grocery store and stocked up on ALL the good stuff. Today I was going to do my meal prep for the week. I turned Netflix on for mom to watch while I worked in the kitchen. She watched ‘Nailed It’ and loved it. She was laughing so hard. She doesn’t have cable or streaming tv, so it was fun for her to see.

Okay, so I am cooking chicken, slicing veggies, creating caulissoto (risotto with cauliflower instead of rice) and lots of other healthy things. I then pour myself a glass of cold brew mocha, if you are counting that makes coffee number four. Now it is time to eat some lunch so I split the remaining salad from yesterday with my mom and we each had a slice of pizza.. not to bad. Then I poured mom out the last of the wine while I opened a can of Truly sparkling hard water, which turned into two cans.. sheesh.

I did a yoga workout after that.

We had an early dinner. I grilled up hotdogs. I ate two WITH buns!! Eek. Hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard. Had macaroni salad, and coleslaw. Then had seconds of each.. PLUS the Orange Creme hard cider I shared with mom too.  Now I am so full and bloated and did I mention full?

So, what to do next? It was the last night of the ball game short season out here. BUT I am full so all I am going to do is drink water… Sounds good in theory but I was craving peanuts again so I bought a bag and ate them all THEN I got cold and ordered a caramel mocha decaf to warm up.    So much for starting on track again…Maybe I am actually in a rut not a track.. hmm..

Tomorrow is another day… and another blog. Let’s see how I do then.

Sunday is a fun day in the park…

Pig out in the Park is this weekend. It happens every Labor day weekend. It is actually about six days now instead of just the original three days. There is music and booths that sell their wares and as suggested by the name food. Lots and lots of food booths. We decided to go walk through there today. I am proud to say I didn’t stop and buy anything.

With that said I still managed to pig out all on my own. Confession time:

Breakfast: two donuts, three cups of coffee with creamer.

Lunch: Three pork street tacos and a kale and brussel sprout salad, along with an apricot hard cider.

Off to the ball park. Had a whole bag of peanuts and an Angry Orchard.

Came home and ordered from Dinardi’s the new New York pizza joint near Gonazaga University.  Ordered greek salad with oil and vinegar dressing and a small sausage and black olive pizza form mom and I to share. I had one slice of pizza and half the salad along with a Truly sparkling wine.

and that is why I feel beyond full, can barely button my shorts and am worried I will not be able to sleep because I am so over the top full… blerg


On the plus side I did do my yoga workout today and drank lots and lots of water too.  How are you doing?

Nacho average taco Tuesday…

The point of tracking and writing down my food is that it is supposed to help me get this eating thing under control. The theory is that if you have to take a notebook out for every little thing you eat you will want to stop eating so much just so you don’t have to write it down. I decided that I would confess my food in my blog and that will some how deter me from making such bad choices… so far it hasn’t. Yet I am still tracking and sharing… so here we go:

Breakfast: chocolate superfoods shake with dark cherries and spinach. Coffee with almond milk. Then a cup of espresso with chocolate milk.

Work: coworker was running late. To make it up to me he bought me a froo froo coffee. Coconut was good. Coconut, praline and vanilla in it. So good. I am quit positive it has a lot of calories in it though.

Lunch: Coca-cola, salad with homemade dressing, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and goat cheese.

Snack: I tried the coconut chocolate almond yogurt mix-ins by was so good!! Also ate my raw almonds.

Then I drove home….and had tacos.. 2 old taco shells that I stuffed with shredded pork and cheese and a few black olives (sorry to those who don’t like them) and snap peas… I would have been alright if I would have just stopped there..but oh no! not me.. so I crumbled up the rest of the shells (five of them) and covered them with cheese and salsa and ate them like nachos. Then I decided I needed something sweet so I drank a glass of chocolate milk.

Maybe the trick is to log the food WHEN you eat it instead of at the end of the day. If I physically had to take a tracker book out each time I ate I wouldn’t have time to so I wouldn’t eat!?!

Have you tried tracking your food? Or any bad habit that you want to quit? Did it work for you?  I will keep on going.. something has got to change.. and it will be me and my appetite.

It’s my New Year’s Day…….

This is going to be a long one today….fair warning. But first I need another cup of coffee…

TODAY!! Happy New year to me today. I know it is January 15th. Let me explain….

Keep in mind today is my husband Keith’s birthday.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY:  At this time one year ago today I was checked into the hospital for  my double mastectomy/reconstruction surgery. They also had to pull out a cluster of my lymph nodes since the cancer had spread there too. Eight and half hours later I was in the recovery room. Completely oblivious to my surroundings and forever physically and mentally scarred.

November 3rd 2015. That is when I got the phone call at work. My primary care doctor calling to tell me about the biopsy results. It was defiantly cancer. At first it was a stage 0, pretty much around the nipple area, a lumpectomy would easily take care of it. Many tests later and an MRI revealed that it was actually stage 2B and that I had the BRCA2 gene. I have now upgraded to a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The surgeon that I wanted and I spoke to for my initial consultation was now sick and could no longer follow through on my care. I was switched to a new surgeon I have never met, during Christmas holiday. This was challenging and scary. When I met her she told me that I had to have a sentinel lymph node surgery done at least a week before the mastectomy. Basically I was in the hospital for this surgery by the end of the week!! Yikes!  Caught us completely off guard.

The plastic surgeon I met way back in November but at that time I was only going to get a lumpectomy so I really didn’t pay much attention to what she told me about reconstruction. Suddenly I am having surgeries one week apart. I am having a double mastectomy and reconstruction and I find out the day before that I have to take shots for a week in my belly! Nope. I did not sign up for that. Neither did my husband. He had to give them to me because there was no way I was going to do it for myself. NEEDLES…a big fat NOPE.

Those first couple of weeks were a drugged blur. I remember Keith sleeping on a cot at the end of our bed, listening to my every move, making sure that I would not be in any pain and ready to help me up if I had to go to the bathroom. I remember how proud of me he was when I got home from the hospital and walked up the stairs normally. One foot , one step at a time. I remember him changing out my whiteboard with the dates so that when I was awake I would know what day it was and how much time had passed. I remember him making my coffee for me and bringing me oatmeal. He hated stripping my drains almost as much if not more than giving me the shots. He drove me to every appointment and even to have my hair washed at the beauty school. I don’t know how he did it but he did everything, all the time, just for me.

Six weeks passed and I had been released to go back to work. At this time people thought I was out on vacation and sick leave. I had only shared with a few family and friends. My inner circle, my support team and of course this blog. My breasts by now were the same size as they were before the surgery so outside of being tired no one knew what I had been through.

Then I found out that I should do chemotherapy to kill what ever rogue cells that may have escaped. Also to lower my chances of recurrence. Now I had to go public because the side effects of chemotherapy are hard to hide and I planned on working as much as possible through all of it. Chemotherapy started on my son’s birthday in March. Ironic. Hmm.

Had a consultation with the genetic counselor suggesting I have my ovaries removed. Had those removed in July, the same day that Keith was to fly out to AZ for his class reunion. He changed his plans. I don’t think I could have managed without him.

My final surgery, the exchange surgery ended up being in October. I missed out on my friends Halloween party. First time in four years. Keith missed work for a week and they were busy. He had to play catch up all year because of me.

As things are getting ‘back to normal’ ha! as if it will ever be normal again….I have learned this:

  • My husband loves me more than I ever thought he did, or could.
  • I love him more now than I ever had
  • our relationship is better, even better than when we first started
  • I had no idea it could get better or stronger or healthier
  • I have amazing friends and family in my life
  • I had no idea menopause was so terrible
  • I am not the same person I was before and I never will be again
  • I need people. I need Keith. I need my son Richard. I need my family. I need to focus on the future, on strength, on kindness to others, on love.

Keith and I decided that we want to be healthier together. Eat out less, exercise more, make better food and beverage choices. You know..blah blah blah. We also decided that we would start on New Year’s Day. Not January 1st but OUR New Year’s day. January 15th. That is our new year. Yes his birthday, but our first new year.

Okay, the watching what we eat will actually commence tomorrow because today we celebrate with a party!! My friend is hosting a ‘Renee Kicked cancer’s ass and we are celebrating one year cancer free’ party!! I know a mouthful. Just take a deep breath before you say it… Then breathe in again afterwards.

I don’t think this blog post came out in any way shape or form as I intended. It is what it is. Long. Heartfelt. Truth. Snippets. Healing.

PS: I have signed up for two runs this year so far and I am totally back in revenge mode!! So keep checking in on me… Take that cancer!!





I don’t know who this is….

Something is off.

This week has been a tough week. No reason in particular. It just feels rough, out of sorts, extra long and just plain off.

I know it is me. I know that it is something in me that is off. I can’t place my finger on it. I am starting to believe that it is the medication I am taking to keep the cancer from growing back. At least that is what I am choosing to think.

I ache, all over. I can’t stop crying. My body is not recovering from exercising like it should. I am not even over doing the exercise, so that is not the excuse. I just feel off. I hurt enough to notice it but not enough to stop me from pressing forward. Going to work, working out, being ‘normal’ and to not call the doctor. Just off.

I find it troublesome when something is on the edge of your tongue yet still so elusive you can’t put your finger on it.

Last Christmas we celebrated somberly. I knew about the cancer and at the time I didn’t know what or when treatment was going to happen or by whom.

This year I celebrate Christmas somberly again. Thankful that I am in remission and that I am nearing my one year mark. Thankful that my family is closer and tighter than ever before. Grateful that I can close this chapter of my life.

At least that is the theory. The cold harsh reality is I am still fighting. Fighting to get sleep ( these 4:30 AM wake ups are rough) Fighting to get healthy (ugh, still fighting with the carbs) Fighting to move more (my motivation and endurance are still lacking) Fighting to find the good in every thing and everyone (it is there, I may not have it but I know others do) Fighting to find my new normal (blah I HATE that phrase) Fighting to not let the outside be reflective of my inside (I have changed, I try to hide that)

Things I have learned so far through all of this:

I have many friends. Some that I never knew I had. I also have less friends. One’s I never should have had.

I am way more into my appearance and hair than I ever thought I was. Who knew I had so much vanity? I honestly didn’t.

That no matter how determined and consistent I am, I still lose focus and energy and motivation to keep doing what is right.

That my job is just a job and it no longer brings me joy. I want more. I have also learned that over time doing the same mundane things you lose sight of the goal of wanting more and something different, something better. Changing and doing more was so intense I couldn’t breath or speak. That is gone. Worn away by the everyday. How did I let that happen?

I am different. My body is the biggest give away. My hair is obvious. My weight is even more obvious. All the scars and lack of nipple cements the difference. I am different on the inside too. Most days I am learning who I am now. Who I want to become. What I am made of.

I look at this picture I took yesterday in the bathroom at work. I took it because I was wearing a new lipstick that I bought from my friend and I wanted her to see what it looked like on me. I do not see Renee. I do not know who this person is. I don’t recognize her at all.

I do know that when I look at this picture I will not be her for long. I am going to fight whatever this ‘offness’ is. I am going to keep moving forward. I am going to wear a hat more often. I am going to believe that 2017 is the year of Renee. I am going to believe that there is only going forward, only becoming better, smarter, funnier, prettier and stronger.

I don’t know who this is. I do know that someday I will.




Last night I slept without a bra on….

I know this may not seem like much to you. In fact I would venture to guess the majority of people sleep without bras on. I used to be one of those people.

When I had the double mastectomy with reconstruction I came home from the hospital wearing a velcro wrap. It was tight and uncomfortable. It was necessary to wear to keep the swelling down and to make sure my new foobs stayed in place and would look symmetrical. Eventually I was allowed to exchange the wrap for a sports bra. I had to wear the sports bra all the time, including at night.

As time went on and the expanders were filled to the capacity I wanted, I was able to wear my ‘pretty bras’ again during the day. At night the expanders were so uncomfortable and unmovable that I would wear the sports bra or the surgery bra to bed to be a buffer. Laying on my side was tricky and the support of a bra helped.

Because of chemotherapy the exchange surgery had to be postponed for months. MONTHS! I had to wear the hard and awkward expanders for ten months. That meant continuing to sleep in a bra or some sort of supportive garment.

Last night I felt confident enough to sleep without a bra on. I slept on my side, on my back and on the other side. It felt wonderful and honestly I almost felt normal. NORMAL!?!?!?!?! Is that such a thing? I can’t even recall feeling normal, except for those rare occasional moments that last for just a minute or two.

I have a followup appointment this coming week with the plastic surgeon. I think everything looks great, as great as it is can get considering. I am looking forward to her telling me that. And that I will be able to jog again. And that I can wear my pretty bras that I just bought from an online company that specializes in bras for mastectomy and reconstruction patients. They are expensive but very pretty. I want to be as normal as possible, I think the new bras will help. So will the jogging. So will the ‘all is clear and good’ from the doctor.

No bra at night, pretty bras during the day. Who knows, next I might wear jeans again.