When you leave the frozen gelato in the organic peanut butter aisle….

My son is coming over for breakfast tomorrow. I am planning on making a German pancake with bacon, apple sausage and cider Mimosas. I walked next door to the natural food market to get the bacon and sausage. The meat is organic and nitrate free and from local farms. I walked by the freezer and saw that they had the gelato my husband loves on sale, so I grabbed a pint. I also needed more raw almond butter for my protein shakes. I put every thing down so I can fill my cup up with the freshly ground almonds. Hop over to the register and head on home. A few hours later I am frantically looking for the gelato! I can’t remember if I put it in the fridge or the cabinet instead of the freezer. Turns out I left it on the shelf by the almond butter machine. Hope they found it before it melted all over the floor.

The hubby and I have decided that we need to get our eating back under control. I can’t lose weight, he wants to. So the plan is to eat cereal for dinner. Doing the dishes tonight I realized that we either have too many spoons and bowls or not enough.

Went to the gym twice this week! Got on the treadmill, or as Paula from Never A Dull Bling calls it the ‘dreadmill’ I actually enjoy the treadmill. I got on and started with a walking pace. Several times I bumped it up and jogged! That was huge for me. Tonight I went back to the gym with the same intention. Turned out much better than I thought. I actually ran for half the time on it. Feeling pretty good from that and since I was the ONLY one at the gym I also used the ‘machines’ for some arm and leg strength workout. I am sure I will be super sore on Monday but for a Saturday I am feeling pretty proud of myself.

My heart is hurting for some friends. My friend Paula lost her mother this week. My friend Janice is going to lose her mother shortly. I find that I struggle with dealing with other people’s struggles now. Not that I don’t care and worry and pray for them. I just find that I have a harder time remembering to. I don’t think that is quite right either. I have a hard time getting my brain to wake up and be a thoughtful person.

I messaged a fitness friend of mine that I met via Facebook. I guess friend is a strong word. I found her on YouTube doing Zumba dances that I would learn and use in my classes. then I started stalking her on Facebook, joined her workout group online. She always chats with me like she wants to be my friend. She is a Beach Body Coach so she is trying to get me to sell stuff for her but I think we have connected on a higher level than that. I messaged her about goal setting and new ideas and such. My message to her was just as convoluted as this paragraph trying to explain it.

My hair is another weird phase again. It is finally longer over my ears so I have less wing action going on but have more wild hairs. I am still unsure what I am going to do with it but I have heard that I have two more phases before it is really my hair. So I wait and close my eyes and wear hats often.

Home from my workout, dishes are done and now enjoying a classic movie ‘Woman  of the Year’ If only I could find that drive and passion with a little more compassion and sensitivity than Tess.

 

 

 

Confessions of an out of shape fitness instructor.

 

I have a belly. I have a big belly. I have large and in charge thighs too.Even when I was down to 128 pounds I still had thighs. The thighs rule my closet. The thighs determine what pants/skirt/dress I can wear. The belly determines what shirt/pants I wear.

Funny thing is I am a licensed fitness instructor. Does this mean I am fit? NO. Should it? Probably. Does this mean I have figured out how to eat right? NO. Does it mean I have the tools and knowledge to eat correctly? YES. Do the thighs and belly stop me from moving forward? NO. Does that mean when I get on the scale I don’t cry when I see the number? NO. Does it mean that I know better than to get on the scale? YES.

Tonight I did my Cancercize with Renee B video and wore a crop top. A CROP TOP!! What the hell am I thinking? My belly kept popping out all over the place. I referred to it as my Big Bertha Belly.

Truth is my belly was starting to conform, behave actually. All because I was watching what I eat. What?!?! a fitness instructor admitting that eating right works better and faster than exercise. Sigh, yes it is true BUT you have to keep moving so your body keeps up with the weight loss and you don’t look like a baggy sack of stretchy skin. Besides, working out and moving helps your energy levels and mental stability. Food can’t always do that for you. Bleh it is all about balance. But I digress, we are talking about the belly and thighs….

I often wonder if I am actually doing more harm than good when I do these online workouts with my body shape. My energy levels and strength are lower than I am willing to admit. It is harder to workout and my ten minute Cancercize videos are all I get in on most days. Do I have the right to call myself a fitness instructor with how I look today?

I do you know. I studied and passed the national exams. I went to the training classes and put my time in. I AM a fitness instructor. I AM not perfect. I AM not in the best of shape. I AM trying. I AM a work in progress. I AM what most people are. I do have the right to teach classes and be online and have a Work it Out fitness group. I am real. I am honest. I have bulges. I have low energy. I struggle with a hard workout. I modify all the time. I have food struggles and issues. I have thighs.

Anyway here are some old pictures of me. Hope my friends don’t mind that I shared these. But you can see my thighs and belly in all of them.

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Oh you know, when…….

your husband can’t sleep in the same room as you because you have to turn the loud fan on in the middle of the night.

you have to change your pjs because you sweat so hard they are now wet and cold

your oncologist office forgot about you altogether and when you call they realize it but then turn it into your fault so they are off the hook

you want to beat all your Fitbit friends and find you can barely hit your preset goals of 10,000 steps per day

work is such hostile environment it stresses you out and you have a dozen hot flashes every day there because of it

you can’t quit your job because you need the insurance because of stupid ass cancer and all it’s lovely and hidden side effects

you want to workout more and eat better so on your last day of debauchery you eat a double hamburger on a Krispy Kreme doughnut bun…and that is all you want to eat forever and ever.

you do really well at eating better. no added sugar no bread. then get so stressed out from work and hot flashes (I’ve mentioned them, right?) that you make yourself a personal chocolate cake in a coffee mug and enjoy every warm chocolate flour sugar filled bite

you are craving melted butter on a warm biscuit but have delusions you are still are making good choices (before the chocolate cake idea) so you bake a sweet potato just to have an excuse for eating melted butter

you plan a party then realize how messy and dirty your house really is

you want to stay up late Friday night so you can hang with your friends for bad movie night. Especially when you found out the bad movie is Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.

made plans in your head to hit the treadmill and it turned into watching Hercules on the new channel that just showed up on your t.v.

you really want revenge on your stupid cancer ruined body, yet you give in each time. It truly makes me mad. I am stronger than this. I can work harder than this. I can eat better than this. I can revenge my body and revenge my health!!!! Bleh!

 

 

 

 

Time for a reboot….

I just spent the last several days in paradise. Paradise Montana to be exact. The hubby and I took advantage of the long weekend and went to the hot springs. We have been there several times before. There is no cell service unless you are in the bar/casino. There is wifi in the rooms so you can access online things like social media. There are pay phones, yes honest to goodness pay phones if you must make a call. Other than that there is nothing going on. It is just eat, drink and soak in the hot rotten egg smelling water. It was the best!

I think at this point of time in my life it was better than any other time I have been there. I just came off two weeks at work without my boss. It was a very difficult two weeks for me. I used to be better at covering for her. Not so much anymore.

I haven’t had any real vacation time since the diagnosis. It has all been used for recovery from the surgeries. Not really a vacation.

I needed this. I really needed this. The stressful two weeks at work caused major hot flashes. Made me drink every night. I know, I know ‘made me’ is  a strong statement. But truth is it was hard to fall asleep without having a drink.

Coming home today I realized things have got to change. Time for a reboot.

Today is the day that I: eat better, move more, make purposeful decisions, find another source of income, win the lottery, rest more, drink less, and develop a sense of fashion.

I know, I know such an inspiring list. I just can’t live like this anymore. I feel I have a purpose and that mundane things are a waste of what precious time I have left on this earth with my family and friends. A purpose to live larger. A purpose to live more peacefully. A purpose to pursue.

Or, it could totally just be the sulfur infused water residing in my ears.

14141796_10208994198804166_5793634426242132236_nPay phones at the resort. Do you think anyone even knows how to use them anymore?

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Just some of the beautiful views of the area. So beautiful, so peaceful. A great place to let your mind go numb and just enjoy all that is around you that is right.

 

emotions…

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.

 

 

 

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.

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?

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. ❤

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.