2016 can bite my ass

2016 can bite my ass. This last month has been pretty shitty.
Christmas was nice - spent the day of with my family and the boxing day with J's family, although J is still distant and slightly broken.
Today was supposed to be a day of relaxing and reconnecting and it's all gone to hell. I am currently drinking Shiraz and eating dill chips and I have no idea what is to come because every time I open my mouth I put my foot in it. No matter what I say I am making things worse.


Time for more wine.

Better Living Through Chemistry

December 23, 2016

Day 1: Improved Cognition Study

Subject: 43 year old female with mental fog and attention issues. Patient complains of inattention and short term focus and cognition issues. Previous issues with anxiety and mild depression, possibly linked to chemically induced menopause. Patient is on tamoxifen estrogen suppression following successful breast cancer treatment and takes lowest dose available of coversyl for regulation of a bicuspid aortic heart-valve deformity. Previous attempts with diet and nutrition have not resolved these issues so medical intervention was requested by the patient after increased physical clumsiness resulted in minor physical injury due to poor attention (injury from falling down stairs).

Treatment: Patient has been prescribed a 27 mg daily dose of Concerta (slow release ritalin). Medication is to be taken with breakfast (no later than noon to prevent sleep interference).

Data collection/monitoring factors: Patient has been asked to keep a journal to note whether the medication appears to help with mood, attention span and general alertness. Patient has been advised to look for overly elevated heart rate and appetite suppression (common side effects), although since she has an unusually low blood pressure and strong appetite these issues would need to be significant to have a negative impact. Her partner has been asked to monitor her behavior and report to her if she is acting irrationally or overly-anxiously. Because the slow-release medication is non-addictive the patient may stop at any time, and missing a pill is not critical, but she should try to remain on for 1 month to get a good idea of whether the medication really works or not.

Project Length: Initial prescription is for 2 months. Patient will meet with her physician in 1 month's time to discuss if the treatment appears to be working.

Notes/Comments: Because this medication is not successful for treatment of this type of mental fog issues in all patients it will be important to monitor and adjust the treatment if necessary. Other options are available as far as dosage or other medications that will not conflict with her tamoxifen and cardiac medication (ie. adderall).

Patient will report back to this blog as to the success of this treatment. She is very hopeful and although she already feels more alert and mentally focused a few hours after taking her initial dose of medication, this could be a placebo effect. Time will tell.

For my next magical trick...

Ugh. Because I don't have enough to be annoyed about I fell down the stairs last night (again). I am not sure how, but I did...on a 4 step stairs...and I scraped the shit out of my arm too - like 4 inch long scrape off of skin with a bit of it actually peeled up on the end for good measure. I was stunned about the whole thing. It's not serious but it looks f*cking awful. And J is worried that next time it could be much worse and is getting frustrated with me that I keep doing clumsy things like this - HE is frustrated? Get in line love.
I've earned this...

I don't really know what it scraped my arm on even which is really wierd...but I would like for this to be done now please. I cleaned up the scrape and managed to one-handedly treat it and tape some gauze over it so it's clean and can heal. I am glad to tell you that having a well stocked first aid kit is a good thing. The thing is - this is the 4th time I've fallen on the stairs in about a month. It is wierding me out. I'm tired of it. I know I'm tired and stressed and it's showing.
So yeah -apparently I now need to pay attention on the stairs like an old person. I, sadly, totally get how old people just fall now. It's like my brain just misses a step...I step into nothing and then land with a splat. It's like I need to pay attention to ALL THE THINGS that I do ALL THE TIME and it's so f*cking frustrating. I have enough to deal with memory wise without my body conspiring against me too. I am booking an appointment with my family doc - maybe this will be the impetus to my family doc to help him realize just how bad the chemo induced mental  fog is sometimes. I could do with some mental enhancement meds about now. I want my brain back. The queen is not f*cking amused.
And she has a potty mouth.
Suffice it to say I skipped my workout this AM because...well...my arm f*cking hurts.

So yeah... my arm is sore...but at least today is a potluck at work so I'm looking forward to that. We have an international crew so the food should be spectacular. Then I have a supper meeting for the community radio association so it's gonna be a day to plump up and enjoy some pleasant people. Yaa take what you can get.

Later: I had the privilege of eating homemade curried potato perogies, samosas and pear brie torte. Oh. Yum. It's the little things. Burp.

Kitchen Science AKA 42% less humbugs than previous weekends

Well life is up and down, but mostly up. I'll take it for now. I'm feeling a bit less haggard - I was able to spend some time this weekend making Christmas stuff so I don't feel like as much of a humbug. I had all these Christmas schemes that weren't happening and it was adding to all the rest of the crap going on to make me feel pretty low. I love Christmas. I love making things for Christmas and I finally got to do some of that.

This weekend I was finally able to have somewhat of a normal weekend and since it was hoth cold  on saturday (we're talking -38C with the wind - it's been ridiculous this past few weeks) I spent the day with my own personal My Drunk Kitchen drinking crabapple wine and baking up some Christmas gifts. Some gluten free baking and other baking for family. Shortbread and peanut butter cookies for us regular folks and gluten free mint and peanut butter cookies for my sis-in-law and bro-in-law's new girlfriend. I tried Robin Hood gluten free flour and I must say I'm unimpressed - it's very gritty. I won't be getting it again....I still have some flour free sugar free cookies to make for my bro and his wife (I know - is that even a cookie anymore?) but I have no almond flour so I will be doing those some time this week along with some nuts and bolts and some homemade baileys when I get the ingredients...probably wednesday night.
On sunday the cold snap lifted so I could finally can things without the house windows freezing up entirely. So I canned some christmas gifts - nan-king cherry vanilla bean jelly (seriously delicious), cranberry apple butter and some roasted garlic balsamic jelly. The garlic jelly I have made before but this time it set super wierdly and might have a super hard granular texture to it. It said to use 2 X the pectin but it called for liquid pectin. I used powder this time since i didn't feel like driving jsut for pectin..maybe that was the problem? Ah well...it's not as pretty but still tastes OK. It was too elaborate to remake so I'll crack a jar to make sure it's not too granular and hopefully it's still giftworthy. I'm obsessive about texture so I hope it's still tasty.

I learned something about canning after years of canning and is likely why some of my jellies never set - you add the pectin first and boil hard a minute and THEN you add the sugar all at once and mix it super well and boil it again for a minute. Not the other way around or you can't guarantee the proper reaction. I used to add the sugar first and taste it and then thicken. The chemistry needs it this way to work best. Now I know...science!

I have a few gifts to buy for my nieces this week...it'll happen. I'm also gonna be the lame auntie and just send money to my niece and nephew and their families in Ontario. I may even be email transferring funds - how festive is that...? Kinda lame I know, but the last few weeks have really made my life difficult and I am so behind. Rather than not get them a gift on time I'd rather just do that and not waste money on postage when I'm not sure what they need anyways. It's not their fault my life is a drama-fest. I have something to sew for my new little nephew, but also have another gift for him so if I don't get it done it's not that big of a deal...

At any rate, I should get to it. It was nice enough that I could walk to work this morning (only -14 with the wind - positively tropical darling!). After a workout I feel decent. Ready for my day and for a nice lunch out with coworkers. Here's to a better week...

No sleep. No bed.

I am tired.

To stay alert through my computer training yesterday I took advantage of the free coffee provided...and then couldn't sleep until about 3 am. So yeah....no workout. Since I had gone to bed at about 9:45 you have no idea how frustrating it was.
My home life is stressful and frustrating and I am just so very tired.

I am not enjoying christmas this year. It's my favourite season...but right now it's just taunting me. I start to enjoy it and something shitty happens. It's the weekend so I have a whole weekend of this. I really hope it gets better.

At least I had eggnog on my oatmeal this morning.
You do what you can...

Got to admit its getting better...

Hi there.

Still hanging in there. things are better. As life does it's folding and mushing about to bring back the good things and we are slowly dealing with what is needed to be dealt with. I finally got a workout this morning and I'm glad for that. Better late than never.
 Just keep swimming...

Dad was here to visit. J got out with friends to a christmas party for the radio station he does a show at and I stayed home and played dominoes with Dad and it was nice. What we both needed I think. And Dad out of the blue sweetly offered to help me out -I've put off having fat grafting done on my reconstructed breast because of the cost. I can't justify ~$3000 for something I don't really need, primarily for my own vanity. Especially since it might take 2 grafting sessions to make it look better...and to do one and not be able to afford 2 would be worse than none at all for me so I've just left it. Last night Dad offered to pay for at least one of the sessions. I don't think he knows how much that means to me. I don't think I knew what it would mean to me until then either....I thanked him. Later I cried with happiness when I was by myself. It's gotta win the prize for the weirdest christmas gift ever huh? Suffice it to say that I am so grateful. SO grateful... :)

I have a second full day of computer training that I need to get off to so I should head out. I've been waiting on Sharepoint training for about 2 years now and I'm looking forward to it. It's dry as hell, but there's coffee and it gets me away from the lab for a day or so.

I hope you're all having a decent week. I'm starting to. Just keeping warm and trudging on.
Here's a picture of my cat that makes me smile. It's my desktop at the moment...
Widjette says happy holidays

Bah humbug

This week sucks. I'm still trying to deal with my friend's death and now my husband is having a real bad time with his depression right now and I have to say - stop the world I want to get off.
Watching someone you love fall apart to pieces is heartbreaking. He's agreed to try and get help finally which is good, but that has yet to happen and from what I can tell it's probably gonna be a sucky holiday season for me stuck with someone wallowing in depression. What he's dealing with is something I can do nothing about and can't help how other people act towards him to have caused this in the first place. He has lucid moments where I know he's OK sometimes and it's encouraging but it's gonna be a long month....
I came into work because I had 2 hugely important meetings and managed to do well...and when I'm here I can try and be normal and it's helping me stay sane...but eventually I have to go home to all that. I admit to losing my shit at some point as well out of sheer frustration this morning and I just don't want to deal with this right now.  Especially knowing this is all due to the coldheartedness of others that I thought were our friends. I can't talk to them about it out of respect for J's wishes.
 I was supposed to go over to my brother's and plan christmas after work and although I need to I don't feel like I should, but on the other hand I don't want to go home and listen this and have to jump into it all again. It's not something I can help with and I'm exhausted and angry and I just want to have a nice holiday season for once. I hate this. If you deal with depression you have my ultimate sympathies. Especially in the dark of winter. It's a horrible horrible thing and it sucks the joy from your life. Watching someone you love deal with it is awful.

I didn't workout today or yesterday because of dealing with all this and I got about 3 hours of sleep so who knows what will happen tonight. Tomorrow my Dad is coming to stay for a day and god knows what will happen then. I'm not even going to think about it. For now I just need to get through today.

WIsh me luck. I need it.

kick to the stomach

I'm seeing a holiday trend here. This weekend was busy busy fun fun and not workouts. I was gonna take just saturday off but sunday was a bust for me as well. Last night was go to bed early and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep because I had very little all weekend. 2 big shindigs with friends that went very very late. Lots of fun with friends but little sleep. I needed every minute last night o I will be working out when I get home because I just could not get out of bed at 530 this morning.

To be honest, I kinda over did it this weekend because friday afternoon I learned that a high school friend of mine who I literally just talked to on tuesday died very suddenly on wednesday. It's weird and bizarre and awful and I can't quite process it yet. Rachel was waiting for a kidney transplant but must have been sicker than she let on...but she didn't die from that - she died of a ruptured bowel...such a horrible thing. She was literally one of the kindest and sweetest people I've known - the kind of person who keeps others connected and it seems terribly unfair that after all her work to maintain and go through dialysis while waiting fro a kidney that something else totally random would do her in...and so suddenly. She didn't want a memorial, so those of us who want to remember her are going to gather for our own wake in a few weeks once the holidays are over to remember her. She always had a kind word for everyone and we'd nerd out at comic expo together and send each other goofy notes and messages all the time. The last note I have from her on tuesday (the day before...) was teasing me about eggnog gelato. She's holding it and taunting me with it....how can you be joking about gelato and be dead the next day? It's just....surreal. And sad. But... life goes on...somehow I am here and she isn't. How weird is that?
People - tell the people you love how you feel and NEVER take the chance that you may miss out on letting them know how much they mean to you. You really never know when this sort of thing might happen.

So...I'll try and be better and not bury my sadness in food or drink. I'm just gonna keep working out in the mornings and try and keep the food in check and roll on through the holidays. The trick is all the work lunch meetings I'm having at really nice places with amazing food. I have to really start not eating a lot because I'm sabotaging all my hard work. But I will keep at it.

Every day is a gift. :)

I've got leg muscles

My leg muscles feel neat...you know that feeling when you didn't really have muscles before but then you kinda do and then you can feel them when you walk and you're not just stiff you're able to feel them move around and you feel all strong and amazon and awesome? I'm starting to get that feeling. I still jiggle, but I'm defintiely getting stronger and with the Week 3 workout I'm feeling my butt and upper leg strength developing. It's cool. I missed it. I'm so proud of myself for getting back to things again.

Must dash - just wanted to log my workout. I did week 3 again this AM and had a yummy oatmeal with an egg and half a banana mixed in and now I'm off to science land. I have to calibrate a bunch of fiddley things so I should get to it. See ya later :)


Holy crapcans. Talk about a level up. This is definitely a tough one. Especially those switch lunges...I can't do even 1/4 of them yet and mostly just did moving lunges without the jumps instead...whew. My pushups are pretty much all on the knees too - but I'm doing it. All of it. Boom. Something new to do finally. This will carry me almost up to christmas. With all the festival meals and such I'm invited to over the next while I definitely need this :)

Last night I hung out and made a TONNE of chocolates with my friends.

just a few heheh
Nut ones. Mint ones. Skor bit ones. Belgian and regular chocolates. Nerd ones (Han Solo in carbonite, robots, stormtroopers along with santas, bows and trees). So - yeah. I have many now to give out to my staff and family (and myself ahem). It was a tonne of fun and great to catch up with my friends.
May I recommend the stormtrooper mint crunchies? :P

We're gonna make it an annual thing...more fun than gingerbread houses...and more edible. L's mom used to do it often so she has all her mom's molds and a wealth of knowledge about how to make them.  :)

Must dash - gotta go get some work done - busy day! I just wanted to log my workout.

Last one!

Last day of  workout 2 this morning! Yay! Still to damn cold to walk to work! Boo!
Ah well...such is winter. I will take the bus and deal with it...still no snow tho. It's weird.
I had some pizza for supper last night which wasn't the best, but it was grocery day and by the time we got all our food and put it all away I didn't feel like making anything so frozen pizza to the rescue. Butter chicken pizza....seriously good. I know I know I should try and eat better...

Today my old boss is taking me out for lunch with the old crew for christmas to the University Club - should be fancy shmancy. I even sorta dressed up a bit for it. Ooh lala! It's gonna be a good day. Tonight I'm getting together with my pals H and L to make some chocolates and watch christmas movies and visit. I have chocolate robot molds and L has stormtrooper and christmas ones. It's gonna be AWESOME. We don't get to see each other much so it's gonna be neat being able to hang out for a bit before holidays. I can give them the star wars themed soaps I found them for christmas gifts. :)

Also, on the local buy and sell facebook page I found a lady who is gonna sell me her basically new bright yellow winter jacket for $100. I'm super pumped about it...my current jacket is almost 5 years old and wearing through in spots - it's been washed so often that it's not very warm anymore. And bright yellow? Boom. I'm going to pick it up after work today - hopefully I don't get mugged or anything. I'm always suspicious meeting people for stuff online - but H will be with me so hopefully all will go well and I can get a decent coat for winter at a price I can afford. Crossing my fingers it fits. It's a ladies medium so I don't see why it wouldn't...

Anyways -I should go. We're moving and calibrating some lab equipment today and I should get to it. Have a great day everyone :) 

Tuesday Dec. 6

Yup - I was up this morning again and did the workout. I didn't sleep in even tho I wanted to so very much. Just once more day of #2 and I can  move on to #3. Hallefrickenluyah. Altho - I'm just getting to the point where I can do it all now with no rest...so I suppose that means it's time to move onto the next level. It was too cold this morning to walk to work (-30 with the windchill) and I missed my walk but that's just too damn cold to be out for 45 minutes...less wind and I might consider it maybe, but I have no desire to walk in 35 Kph winds. No thank you.

Last night I watched an old favorite movie - So I Married an Axe Murderer. Still makes me laugh...My J looked so much like Mike Myers in that movie when we met. Yep...adorable.

BUT -I must dash. Much to do. Tonight is grocery night so we'll be stocking up on healthy foods and baking materials. AND we're supposed to get snow today finally. It's been the brownest holiday month in decades this year...the cold came but without the snow it's just not right.

It's beginning to look a lot like christmas

Well this weekend I had a lot of fun with friends (and not much sleep!!) and still managed to get my Christmas tree up. I didn't work out on the weekend because I was so busy, but I had a good time. It was J's grandma's Christmas family lunch on sunday so I got my fix of cabbage rolls and other goodness, but it's back to healthy today again. I slept in this AM since I got so little sleep on saturday night and hope to workout tonight when I get home. I did walk in to work so I have some exercise going on...life so rarely offers me a bounty of fun with friends so I take it whenever it's offered. I'll be back to it all tomorrow morning again. Soo I can move on to workout #3...That'll be fun.

I am curious to see how the cats deal with the tree - last year we only put up a 2 foot tree and they didn't bug it too much. They were very uninterested compared to our old pair. So far they seem interested in sleeping on the cover I put at the base of the tree so I hope that's all they get up to. We bought a flickery white light to shine on the house and I have 3 penguin lights out by the front step taht I got last year so I'm pumped - I feel like Christmas is here finally. Sunday was a lazy day with an old friend popping by out of the blue on his way through so it was great to just hang out and have company while I christmasized the house. I just have the clock to decorate and I think I've got it covered. I even have lights at my desk at work and a little 1 foot tree up on my filing cabinet.

I love Christmas :)

sushi baby

I went out with friends after work for all you can eat sushi. Oh yes. It's a thing. A delicious thing. I didn't go mad, but I did absolutely eat a lot of sushi. I also had a beer, so that's definitely my cheat for the week. I love sushi and it was good to get out and laugh with friends. We went to a book opening after and then got home to tuck myself in for another day.

Did the workout 2 again this morning. I will keep at this - Operation Uberfrau :)