Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Amazon

It's legend that the amazons...the true amazon warriors...went through a ceremony when they became warriors. They lopped off one breast to become better archers and declare their dedication.
Lately it's all I can think about. I've adopted it as my mantra for my surgery and what I'm doing tomorrow. I've always joked about being an amazon...always loved Wonder Woman, and all strong women really.

Yup.
I am preparing for my amazon transformation tomorrow.
Should probably pick up archery again too :)

I had a wonderful weekend away with my friends, visiting my sis and wearing great costumes. I'll post pics later when I'm on bedrest and have time to kill. Today is a nice sunny day so I'm off for a walk with my luv.
Let's do this :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My GP rocks

I was in for my pre-surgery exam today and I am good to go. As a bonus, my GP has a good idea what is causing my water retention in my legs and my muscle cramps - according to my blood work I am low in albumin. This result of chemo recuperation can cause both of those things. That the inactivity resulting from it has me weighing more than I have in 5 years...Is it superficial of me to be so disappointed about that? (I can't help it. It happened so quickly...grr...going from size 6 to 10 is discouraging)

Thankfully there is a simplish solution: Eat more protein, low salt and remain as active as I can.
So...in the next month it means protein shakes and all my vitamins for me (including back on the fish oils, B complex and glucosamine). I will also try and eat more protein in my diet and eat as healthy as I can. I also have a script to get some good compression socks as well, so that once I lose some more water and I start being more active I can support my legs and start getting back to the old me...

In other news, I have a broken cat. Yes, Gavin does not like fish. He is the pickiest cat ever about food...and seriously? How can a cat not like fish? Poor old guy has been needing to hork up a hairball lately and needs help so I went to buy some fish flavoured hairball goo...it's paste you rub on their paw and they lick it right up. OK that's what OTHER cats do. My other cat Geek loves it- he's actually following Gavin around trying to lick his foot off and Gavin is just, after one tentative lick, ignoring it and napping and wondering why Geek wants to love his foot so much. I do believe I will have to add to his indignity and wash his paw off before he smears fish flavoured goo all over our house...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

black humour

I was joking with a friend last night on something that shouldn't be funny...but oh it was!
I had remembered back years ago when I weighed a lot and used to comment on my slow metabolism  and say the only way I could lose 10 pounds easily was to lop off a limb. Then we wondered - does a boob count as a limb?
Aaaaaaaand it spiralled from there...we got to wondering how much I will lose from my mastectomy...and convulsed with laughter at how this was such an overachiever way for me to to lose the 10 odd pounds I've put on during chemo.
I know. Shouldn't be funny...but I couldn't help it. And yes...It was. Is.
Yes, I still reel inwardly that soon I will have only one breast  ("just" losing the one...as my doc said...wtf?). Yet somehow this (and a few beer) let something loose that needed to be so I could vent it out through laughter last night.
I need to laugh at it all...because, really it's just so absurd.
And in the end, I'm still here...getting to get back to my amazing life once this is all done with...monoboob and all :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

The gift that keeps on giving

I have done some reading and discovered that post-taxotere aches, severe muscle fatigue and water retention is common, so at least I know I'm not a rare freak, but also know this could linger on for months. Oh be still my heart. The gift that keeps on giving. I admit it is disappointing- I was hoping I would bounce right back post chemo, but I have to cut my poisoned ass some slack I think. It's just gonna take time.
But!
Tonight I get to go out and dance with friends to a great DJ and I find myself all mopey when I should be cheerful. I am trying to casually dress up (ok, so just not sweats and a hoodie) and look casual still and most of my clothes fit strangely...and I have no hair and can't wear makeup since my eyes are still watering sometimes...and man, from all of it I feel like I need a drink. That or a good whack on the head with a frying pan. (I'm not picky). Truth be told, I will be happy if I can dance a while before my legs relegate me to toe tapping against the wall and I can enjoy a beer and the company of friends whom I haven't seen in eons since I can finally be out and about again.
It'll do pig. It'll do.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

chocolate egg day approacheth

Hello :)
I've had a nice week. Got a visit from my dad and spent a day with a friend making costumey things for comic con (which is next week! eee!). My cankles have mostly receded and I'm almost back to normal in that regard as well. Still have watery eyes, but they look almost normal so I'm starting to feel almost normal. Now I need to start moving around more and get more active so I'm less stiff and tired have more energy. With any luck it will stop snowing and let spring arrive (grrr) and I can get onto that.

Today I have my first post chemo dose of herceptin. I still get it every 3 weeks for the next year. It's an antibody based treatments with minimal side effects and will help keep me clear of cancer. (Ok, so it actually could dsmage my heart and lungs but its rare so lets not talk about it, mmmmk?) I am looking forward to a quick trip in and out - just 30 minutes. It will be a nice change after the 3-4 hours I've spent in there in the past. Plus, after my tuesday meetings with my surgeon and oncologist and surgery nurses I feel like I have all the info I need to be ready for my surgery.  They'll send people to my house the first 5 days to look after me too which is nice. I even have good physio exercises to do to keep my range of motion up after surgery so I feel like I'm as prepared as I can be for this sort of thing. I'm that kinda person - if I know what I can do and have to do most of the time I can just take a deep breath and do it.

I also now have my prescription for tamoxifen which I get to take daily for the next 5 years (sigh). I start that after my surgery, so I have a brief few days of no hormone f*ckwittery which I plan on enjoying. I'm hoping I react minimally to it. All I know is I'm feeling better day by day and it is nice to know that instead of being punched down at the end of this week again by another dose of taxotere I can just stroll on through and continue to improve and enjoy my easter weekend. I somehow have managed to have no family commitments this weekend so J and I can relax and spend a nice weekend together. I'm looking forward to it. :)

The next while I plan on just doing my last preparations for comic con and visiting my sister. :) I have a few remaining things to costume up but it's coming together well. Due to chemo and my lovely water retention some of my costumes have had to be modified a bit due to...erm...expansion...but nothing overly extreme. Lets just say I'm not leggings material anymore >:). I'm hoping my leg swelling will be gone by then so I can wear my boots...but if not, I'll improvise it with something else. No biggie.
I'm sitting looking out at the blechy weather, but the sun is shining in nevertheless. While at my oncologist on tuesday I was given a bundle of daffodils...and this morning they are blooming on my coffee table. Beautiful. :) And, a parcel just came from the UK from my BF Grapecat, which I plan to open up and giggle at and thoroughly enjoy.
Yes, life is good!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

cankles

So I have cankles at the moment.
Yup. Since thursday I have been retaining so much water that my abdomen and whole legs are puffy and my calves are very swollen...and sort of just flow right into my little puffy sausage feet and toes. Feels very weird and is making it hard to walk/sit and the like without pain. I was waiting for my water retention to fade like it always has with some exercise but it's just gotten more puffy. It has never been this bad, so this AM after I dropped J off at work I popped into see my GP who thankfully didn't do the old "well that's chemo, what can ya do?" and actually agreed that I needed a little help. He gave me some water pills. Hallelfrickenluyah. Let the great flood begin. It will be nice to walk around without my legs aching from the swelling. Feeling like a marshmallow is just.....wrong.
On the plus side he also checked my eyes and reassured me that they should be OK which was nice to know. Just gotta keep up with the coconut oil and eye drops. They seem to be watering less. SO I tell myself...
I'm gonna be done these side effects soon.
No really. That's what they tell me :)

So, yeah... Today I have a slow day of resting up. My swollen legs aren't really conducive to walking around much and I have some sewing I can do on a costume for comicon so I'm just going to hang out inside away form the snow (sigh) and relax with some tea and pickles. My father-in-law was recently diagnosed as diabetic so my mom-in-law gave us kids most of her canned stuff with sugar in it. I am now rich in pickles, relish and jam. Even beet pickles. Mmmmm.

Happy sunday all!

Friday, April 11, 2014

mmm...cake

Ah. Today has been good. J was home today and we spent the day together.
Thanks to his loveliness I have sweet melon cakes and tea from the chinese bakery (...and I can taste them!!) Mmmmm. Ever had them? Yummy little things these "wife cakes". Haven't been able to find them in ages. Nom. :)
And it is a weekend coming up of relaxing and enjoying each other's company. FInally. I feel much less like a staring sloth and more like a... non-staring...um...rabbit? Yeah. Sure. That works....
 (Shhh...yes it does)

I've been able to keep up with the activity too the last few days despite the stiffness it brings and I think it's a good reason as to why I feel so groovy today. Still moving slowly (and yes the eyes...) but feel like me again. :) This morning I got in a nice 30 minute ride on Spanky the bike and yesterday I did 3 rounds through the following upper body stuff with a 5 Lb dumbell:
10 bicep curls
10 hammer curls
10 side T arm raises
10 bent rows
10 shoulder presses + pull together at the front with bent arms (I have no idea what to call it)
15 tricep extensions
10 kayak abs (that thing where you sit with your legs out and row back and forth across with a weight)

Oh. OH YEAH, and I randomly invented a seriously simple and delicious meal yesterday. Took a piece of nan bread and put 1/4 c of salsa on top of it. Then I spread on a sliced mushroom and a bit of chopped red pepper around the edge (to hold in the next ingredient). Then...(trust me) I cracked 2 eggs on it and sprinkled a T of grated cheese and some pepper on top and baked it for 15 minutes at 400 until the yolks were just barely soft.
SO. Good.
Maybe it's just because my taste buds are finally coming back but it was the best thing I've had in ages.

This weekend our good friends, who are a part of a band called the Young Benjamins, are playing this saturday with another great local band the Classy Chassys. I hope I feel up to getting out to see them. They really are very talented...have a listen. They have a really great sound.




Aaaaaaaand? OK... That's all I've got. I'm off to make some supper.
Have a nice weekend everyone :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

All hail the mighty nut

Yesterday, in a desperate attempt to not scratch my eyes out I slathered my sore, itchy, red, flakey-skinned orbs with coconut oil, took a benadryl and made a giant chicken ceasar salad for supper to distract myself. Much to J's amusement, the benadryl just conked me right out after supper and I ended up sleeping all evening and then just got up long enough to slather on more coconut and move to the bed from the couch. Then I slept all night...
So sadly the the benadryl didn't really help (well OK I was asleep so I can't really judge if it did or not, but I'm not sleeping away the next week).
The coconut oil?
Oh baby.
This morning my eyes feel soft and the skin around them is not red, burning itchy and scaly for the first time in days. My eyes don't hurt. Not at all. They still need some loving and healing since they're still a bit red and still running, but I am ecstatic about this discovery. I can deal with watery eyes alone if this helps moisturize my poor rubbed eyes and lets them recover.

Cononuts 1, Cancer 0.

Booyah.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

coconutty

Hello :)
How are you?
I'm doing much better. My eyes are still ridiculous, but the rest of me is feeling pretty good all things considered. I've recovered from my snack damage. I am moving into the water retention part of the program (sigh), but feel so much better despite the tight pants that I don't mind too much. My brain is coming back to me and I am less tired. It's been very nice out here the last few days so I have been able to get out for short walks in the sunshine and get my egghead some vitamin D. J and I got out to see Captain America on monday and for a nice walk last night. It's one of my favourite ways to spend the evening and it's nice to almost be back to the weather where we can do that. :)

As of this morning I am trying coconut oil around my eyes and see if it helps with the dry red flakey eyes...they water so much lately that they have gotten red around them and the dry peeling skin really hurts...like diaper rash (sort of?) for a lack of better way to describe it. I have my eye drops and I am just putting up with it for now and waiting for the watery eyes to recede - they are supposed to in a week or so. I talked to the pharmacist when I got eyedrops and she said to just wait it out. There's not a lot you can put around your eyes and the eye cream I have does not help - I figure coconut oil can't be a bad thing. It sure feels nice....so so far so good. Still looks horrid, but feels much better.

This morning I felt up to getting back to my exercise thing that I've tried to do when I can:
10 squats
10 front lunge + back lunge + squat (each leg)
15 pushups (from my knees)
20 bicycle crunches
10 side lunges (each leg)
15 pushups (from my knees)
20 v-crunches
30 second superman

MIght not seem like much but right now...it's tough. It was very hard to get through and took some time, but I managed to do them all. I also plan on a walk or some bike time today too along with some serious stretching that seems to hep work out my sore stiff legs. Tomorrow I will do some arms stuff. It's a bit disconcerting when I get out and cannot walk far so I want to make sure that now that I feel a bit better I'm as active as I can be to help maintain and build back some strength and flush this water out of my system. I want to try and be as active as I can before surgery since I know i'll be out of commission for a week or two.
And...Gotta be ready for comicon. :)
I just learned Matt Smith will be there.
Joy
:)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stupid is as stupid does

Last night in my attempt to be "normal" I did a dumb little thing. Nothing major but I will pay the price for a few days. J was out visiting an old friend in town for the weekend so I had myself a movie night...complete with snacks. I decided on ketchup mini rice cakes. One of my favourites.
Real. 
Dumb. 
Why? Well, I know better. In days 5-10 after taxotere my body is at it's worst and very sensitive...any artificial flavours give me INSANE heartburn and with the neuropathy/chemo damage to my mouth and throat I was able to scratch and cut up the inside of my mouth and throat without realising it until the damage was already done. Add in the itchy, sore, watery eyes and body aches and I was a big old ball of suckiness by the end of the night.
Poor J got home to a very sad panda. Yup. I gave in and lost my sh*t a little bit. Thankfully after some proper sulking and a night's sleep the heartburn is gone. Unfortunately I must report this morning that my mouth and throat is still pretty sore, so it's gonna be smoothies and pancakes and other soft foods for a few days until it's recovered. Sigh. 
And I just have to ride out the eyes. They are annoying, but they too will pass.
Yes. It will pass. Last time round, so keep going. That's what I keep reminding myself. By next weekend things should be almost back to whatever the new normal is.
Here's to next weekend
:)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Slow day

Last month I indulged in super posh flufftastic bogg roll. This month I went back to my regular enviroconscious TP.  Our bums are sad :)
Hee hee.
Slow day here. Can you tell?
Climbing back out of the achey twingy side effects and settling into the itchy watery eye portion of the program. This too shall pass. Feeling more human day by day.

My Dad was here for a day on his way back home from Arizona and it was so nice to see him. He is on his way home now. I felt up to visiting and going with him yesterday for his hearing test and then on a Costco run so he could order a set of hearing aids. He has needed to do this for years! Working in a shop with poor hearing protection for years has done a number on his hearing. I had a great day just visiting with him and wandered Costco and picked up a few easy to cook meals for after surgery and some protein powder for recovery meals too. He left me with 4 litres of mexican vanilla ("is that enough?" !!!) so I have vanilla to play with for a good long while. Yum. There will be much baking to come. If any of you want some good vanilla I can hook you up. Can you overdose on vanilla? I hope not. I love the stuff...
I picked up some Wild Roots Coast Berry Blend trail mix....I am already addicted. All my favourite things in a mix with no preservatives. Just plain healthy goodness. Mmmmm.
For breakfast? A vanilla protein shake with fresh strawberries and wheat germ thrown in. So far so good.
Time for some pants I think :)