Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Full of Grace

  • The results of my uterine biopsy were all negative. I am probably still looking at a prophylactic hysterectomy in the future to reduce my cancer risks but it is not a decision I have to make immediately. I am much relieved.
  • Winning big at the Preakness.  And by big I mean Martha has to make me dinner for a week.
  • Beautiful weather has finally arrived and with it shorts and capris and going barefoot.
  • Taking long neighborhoods bike rides to take in the sweet smell of lilacs and barbecues.
  • Early planted lettuce is up and providing salads every night. Peas are almost ready and the beans are uncurling themselves through the soil.  I love this time of year!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Healthy Eating Challenge - Week 4

Week 3 I was back on track.  I kept up my ‘no sugar’ in the morning or evening, which has gotten easier, especially now that berries are in season. I ate a lot of raw carrots, spinach in smoothies, shredded beets in salads, and the greens in my garden are mature enough to snack on them every time I was out planting and weeding. Unfortunately, it all gave me a lot of gas so I had to cut back to maintain peace in my house : )  I also tried some new veggies like spaghetti squash (good) artichokes (yuck) and different varieties of mushrooms (yum).  So overall I think I substantially added to my healthy foods this week.

Week 4 I am going to be more conscious of my calcium intake since bone loss has become a big concern for me because of the cancer drugs. I am switching from cow’s milk to almond milk, opefully at every meal, and adding yogurt into smoothies and dips.  

How’s everyone else doing?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Full of Grace

  • The body of the deck is finished and usable, but we are still undecided about the skirting and final design of the kitchen area. And so I am getting a much needed break from construction while we shop for new deck furniture. (yet another thing we cannot agree on)

  • An anesthesiologist who really listened to my concerns and put me to sleep and woke me up with no issues.  

  • Watching Beaner receive her Masters in Social Work degree. And then listening to her talk about how she wants to help kids who have suffered from trauma find their voice.  So damned proud.

  • Very thankful for whoever made the cannolis at the restaurant we went to after graduation. Best cannolis ever.

  • Finally convincing Martha that the camp lawn mower (that was a used piece of crap when she bought it and felt responsible to always trying to revive it) had died its final death.  In deference to my tired, aching body I bought a self-propelled, push button start mower.  Now if it just came with a remote control . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Healthy Eating - Week 3

Week 2 was a tough week for me, emotionally and physically, and total failure for healthy eating. I’m not sure why I give myself an excuse to eat like crap when I am anxious.  Or sad. Or any other emotion that makes me feel entitled to treat myself.  

I had hoped to eat a raw veggie every day but instead my raw food diet looked like this.  Literally.

It’s something I should be able to conquer but frankly,  it feels like too much effort when I’m down. It is a downward spiral of course. I feel crappy. I eat poorly. Which makes me feel even crappier. And lower and lower I go. Not good.

For week 3 I am re-energized and again going to try to add more raw veggies. Tonight I went to Whole Foods and made a nice big salad filled with raw carrots and shredded beets and mushrooms.  Then I made another salad for tomorrow. It’s a start.

Had did everyone else do?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lesson Learned

Trigger warning: some minor references to rape

Back in November I had a gynecological ultrasound which showed that my uterine lining was thickening.  This put up medical red flags because of my history of cancer and my apparent propensity for cancer recurrence.  So I was told that I needed to have a uterine biopsy that could be done in the office. But the doctor couldn’t get my cervix to open, telling me that it was severely scarred.  This was something I remember learning years ago when I was going to try to get pregnant.  At that time the news had me a triggering PTSD mess but hearing it now just made me a strange combination of sad and angry.  I felt like I had made significant therapeutic progress.

I would now have to have the procedure done in the hospital, under anesthesia.  Obviously not pleasant but I am the poster child for early detection and I knew I had to plough through this.  Unfortunately I had to wait two months for the doctor to be available.  

And these two months have been unsettling.  I have been struggling with the thoughts of how like rape this procedure would be.  Me, incapacitated. Forced open. Pain. I have called upon every trick and strategy my therapist spent years drilling into me.  And for a while they worked. But as the surgery date got closer, it became a 24/7 effort. I could function okay. I could even sometimes forget. But most of the time I was a hot mess inside.  Not the fetal position rocking terrors that I used to go through.  But still, a feeling that my insides were on fire, shaky, weepy and not in control. I was scared. Not of the procedure itself, but of what was happening to my mental health.  Scared I was sliding back into that black hole.

I spent two months ricocheting around like that and then this week I had the procedure. Besides from the prep and paperwork, the whole thing took less time than ordering Chinese food.  I woke easily from anesthesia and besides from an uncomfortable day of cramps and bleeding, I breezed through it. I won’t know medical results until the pathology comes back but the doctor said everything looked good. It was a lot of mental agony for very little physical discomfort.

I am often amazed at how much my life has changed thanks to my miracle worker therapist. But the healing came so slowly and incrementally I still sometimes forget where I once was.  PTSD once consumed my life and now I will have to read back thru this blog to see when my last episode was. (I do try to document them for this very reason)  I suppose in many ways, experiences like this keep me humble. Just when I begin to think I have this beast conquered, something comes around to remind me that this will be a lifelong struggle.  Well, struggle may be too strong a word for what my life is like now. It is probably more accurate to say that this chapter has reminded me that I have to practice my anti-anxiety drills, to stay alert and focused on the present. Like physical exercise for my body, I can't get lazy. I will always need to exercise my therapy skills so that even when the shaky times come, I can manage (even though it is not pretty) to get to the other side.  

Lesson learned.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May Healthy Eating Challenge - Week 2

So, how did everyone do on week 1 of the May Healthy Eating Challenge?

I started out strong with no sugar at all but quickly fell into my original challenge of no sugar mornings or evenings. One stressful day I had some sugar free candy and couldn’t decide if that was cheating or not.  And then yesterday I found someone’s forgotten jelly beans from Easter.  Damn. But overall, I did well and as a bonus I lost a little over a pound.

Week 2 we are suppose to continue with our week 1 challenge and then add another healthy eating choice.  I am going to add an additional hour of no sugar and then I’m going to try to add a daily raw vegetable.  

How about you?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mothering the Motherless

The beginnings of Mother’s Day was originated by Julia Ward Howe, who was weary of the carnage of the Civil War and the toll it took on America’s sons. She made an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world.

Today the world is still a mess with war now taking our sons and our daughters and political madness creating motherless children by the hundreds of thousands.

I urge you to read this appeal at Momastery to take back Mother’s Day by helping to mother the motherless.

Please consider donating, if you are able.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Full of Grace

  • I just found a station on Pandora radio - summertime oldies. I am now reliving my misspent beach bum youth.
  • A couple of days of rain gave me a much needed break from the physical labor of deck building. Oh, do I ache!
  • But the semi-pergola is up and the railings almost done.  I’m in the home stretch.

  • My secretary of over 26 years retired.  I will miss her on a personal level but work-wise, it was time.
  • I survived my first day of the May healthier eating challenge.  Although I was only planning to avoid sugar in the morning and evening hours, I found if I didn’t start eating it, I didn’t crave it. I went a whole day without sweets and didn't die.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Healthier Eating Challenge - Week 1

View the challenge here (last post)

Hello, my name is 8thday and I am a sugarholic.

I am seriously addicted to sugar. I don’t want to eliminate all sugar in my diet because I really enjoy sweets.  But I eat way too much of it. Way too much.

When I quit smoking I started by reducing the times I allowed myself to smoke and slowly weaned myself off.  So for my first week of the Healthier Eating Challenge I am going to cut down on my sugar intake by not eating sweets before noon or after 8:00 pm.  This is hard because at work everyone has a candy dish on their desk and many people bring in baked goods. I usually begin grazing around 9:30 and  once I start, I don’t stop. Since I only work til noon, the challenge will mean no sugar at work. At all.

Please share what your personal challenge is this week in the comments. Good luck and we’ll all be cheering.