I miss my cat.
It's been 3 weeks now since he passed and the house is still too quiet. My lap is chilly. My heart is sore...although not aching anymore.
Gavin has been very friendly and snuggly to me lately, which helps, but I miss my Geek. I had a lot of quality time with him while I was home sick. He was with me for half my life. Longer than my husband even. It's a strange adjustment.

Yesterday I decided that I am going to apply to the local Street Cat Rescue Program and start the process to adopt a new fur-friend. Then when we meet the right adult cat we'll take them home with us.

And so it begins

Yesterday I had my first training session where she assessed my range of motion and strength and put together a starter program for me. It was a good day. I am very proud to say that my diligence at doing my physio exercises paid off - I have full range of motion and while my right side is weaker than my left, it is not by much. More that my shoulder slips forward a bit. I also had an excellent surgeon - sometimes they have to sever a nerve under your shoulder when they remove your lymph nodes, but my nerve appears to be intact, which allows for me to have better control of my arm and back muscles. I have a starting point much further along than a lot of ladies who are rebuilding themselves. She said that my good health before surgery and my attempts to remain active likely played a huge role in my recovery.
The program I have now is to start to rebuild core strength in the areas I am weak, particularly to rehabilitate my shoulders and back from surgery. I am to walk or bike daily (at least 5d/wk) and do strength training every other day for the next two weeks. She watched me do the exercises and corrected my form. My strength training program is:
3X10 5Lb chest press with my shoulders/neck on the exercise ball and my body held flat
3X10 raised pull backs using my yellow bands
3X10 squats + one sided stand up leg raise
3X10 front shoulder raises against the wall with 5Lb weight
3X6 ball passes between my hands and toes (add 1 rep every 2 workouts, no touching the floor)

I feel comfortably stiff today. The ball passes were insanely hard. It's strange to see where my weaknesses are - now doing 6 ball passes is literally all I can do before a break. But I am rebuilding myself. I will be stronger again.

In other totally unrelated news, I am recertified to ship dangerous goods again. Want some brains or nasty chemicals? Hey, I can do that!

To my health

Yesterday I met with my soon to be personal trainer after work. I told her my health story and she told me her philosophy of health training. She's been doing this for over 20 years and specializes in working with people like me and has a nursing background along with numerous personal training and dietitian affiliations. We are going to meet a few times and set up a program for myself and then meet monthly after that (mostly cuz of $$, and my lack of funds to meet with her too often). It will be good to have someone with a medical background helping me get active again and keep an eye on my progress. She is determined that I not do too much and make myself sick or prone to illness by pushing myself to try and get back to my old normal too fast and I agree. Because she trains for functional strength (yay!) and can work with the equipment I have at home to build me a program to slowly rebuild my strength I know this will be a good fit for me. I don't have any trouble doing the workouts...it's knowing when to stop or how to move forward that's the problem. This is very exciting. I got a very good vibe off of her and I am looking forward to our first workout next week!

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. J and I are off to the lake to spend 4 days with my Dad. Once again he's invited everyone up there over so there should be about 20 people to cook for on sunday for dinner. It'll be so nice to visit with everyone and relax and eat pie.

This morning I did my arm physio, some crunches and then 2 sets of 10 of squats, forward lunges (each leg), side lunges (each leg), one legged toe touch/leg extensions, side leg raises and some kick backs. Then I hopped on my bike and I'm here ready to get to work. I will rebuild this me. Oh yes.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend :)

getting a bit old

There's a transit strike on in our city. (Well technically a lockout of the transit workers). It's been 2 and a half weeks now with no bus service and talks don't really seem to be going anywhere. Thankfully it hasn't snowed yet. I've been biking or walking to work, but it gets tricky for appointments around the city for me. All my doctors and dentists were chosen because they are on bus routes, and most appointments I've had in the last while I could thankfully bike to. Today however my sis-in-law is coming to drive me across town to an appointment so I don't have to attempt to bike all the way across the city.

I'm enjoying the morning bike or walk exercise but this is getting a bit old. I know of many students and people who are walking up to two hours each way to get around during all this, and bike racks around the city are crammed full, with a lot of people, like me, biking around because they have to.
I hope they reach an agreement soon...we have quite lame bus service to begin but I sure am starting to miss it! I can't bus in to workout in the early morning and I'd like to get back to that soon. Here's hoping they hammer something out soon...

It's for your own good you know

So if anyone feels like buying me a birthday gift (aw come on you know you want to) please consider this apron. I makes me larf like a little kid and I do need a new kitchen apron, so hey - everyone wins (Well except maybe you because you'd be spending $20...but come on - it's for me and you *love* me...don't you? *blink blink*).
Really - you'd make me smile. I'd even make you cookies of your chioce...and then mail them to you before I ate them all. Honest. *And* I'd think of you whenever I cooked with it. True, yes, I realize that making and mailing you baking is probably the same cost of me just buying the apron myself but I don't want to deprive you of the warm fuzzy feeling you'd get doing it (in addition to some damn tasty baked goods).
Everybody wins :)

Well how about that

This weekend was great. Heather, Jenn and I did the 5Km Run For the Cure sunday morning. It was a brisk chilly morning but it was so much fun. Since Heather is in the family way we briskly walked it, but it was a great walk for a great cause - the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. It was inspiring to meet other survivors and know we helped make a difference. It is probably the only time I will ever wear pink, and wear my pink survivor shirt proudly!
All in all, the run day total for my home town was almost 300,000, and pledges were still coming in that day! I personally was able to raise $1577. Yes, I made a it a weird number by taking in my recyclables...and yes - I am totally blown away by the generosity and kindness of the people in my life. It was far more than I had hoped to raise and...well...aw...shucks people. You're all wonderful! :)

Heather and I went to see Box Trolls after a nice lunch out with Jenn, which is a great little movie. All in all a great weekend. Hope you all had a great weekend.
Back to the lab my good peeps!
Later taters.

Your Man Reminder

This is hilarious. I'm not sure if it's actually real or not...but I support what it's trying to do:remember that breast cancer awareness starts with YOU. TLC: Touch, look and check.  Check your girls!