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Saturday, November 24, 2007

OH! My story on the calendar

I forgot I said I would post the story that is on the calendar. Chemo brain!!!!

Jennifer Poole is a young mother of four who beat breast cancer. She is also a woman who struggled with weight gain, energy loss and depression from chemotherapy. Determined to get energy and strength back, Jennifer turned to Gold's Gym. Her workouts helped her focus on her main goal - to redefine herself not just as a cancer survivor, but as a woman ready to embrace life. She felt more fit and powerful every time she went to the gym. Defeating cancer may have been Jennifer's first victory, but becoming a strong, energetic woman again was her ultimate triumph.

Very nice write up!!!

December issue of Self and looking forward

On page 70 of Self's magazine's December issue you will find the pictures and story of the woman that won the Gold's Gym Challenge. She lost 5 pounds but also 9% body fat. So that means she must have lost about 15 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle. She looks very healthy. Megan was much more tone. I wasn't even near that tone but lost more weight and as much body fat. Jody and Patti didn't have as many votes but both either lost more weight or body fat and Jody was really tone!!! So who knows what they considered in their final decision.

My next goal is to show them that I deserve to win the next challenge and be in the calendar again next year. The local gym has a contest every January for 12 weeks and I plan on signing up so I can continue to reach my goal. I am not even half way to where I want to be!!!! I am planning my exchange surgery in January but it shouldn't throw me off for more than about 10 days and I can still work my legs etc.

I have decided to cancel my surgery in Seattle in February. It is much more invasive then just implants so I figure I will at least test drive the implants and see. If I later decide I don't like them or I have problems with them then I can look into Seattle again. There is also the money part of it. My insurance will pay for all of it since I have surpassed my annual out of pocket but it won't cover travel expenses. I will have to be there for 2 weeks and my mom or hubby would want to take turns being close by as well. That is a big expense for hotel, flight, rental car, food etc. The other is that I don't have much time left on the books at work. I have used as little as I could but the Seattle surgery would have me off work for at least 6 weeks and my disability doesn't kick in for at least 30 days after running out of sick leave. So not only would I have the added expenses of travel, but I would also be out at least one paycheck. Not an easy thing to do right after the holidays and with one child needing braces etc. I think part of it is that I just want get some closure. If I can get implants and lose the weight with the gym etc then I don't need the "tummy tissue" breast reconstruction. But that door will always be open a bit if I need to go through it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Calendar picture

Here it is... You can't really read the story at the bottom. I will have to type it in my next post. I would do it now but it is late and I spent too much time playing with possible Christmas pictures from our Disneyland trip.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fills, calendars and fears

I had my first fill this week. 100 ccs on each side. It wasn't too bad. Mainly just tender but not really painful. Hopefully it will continue that was for the next fills but I think it will get more painful as the skin and muscle are stretched more. Now that I am starting to feel normal again I have got a cold! If it isn't one thing it is another. sniff, sniff, sneeze, cough.

The Gold's Gym Calendar arrived this week. It is really nice but I am, of course, critical of myself. I have an intense look on my face so I think I look like a deer in the headlights. HA HA!!!! The write-up about me and getting back into shape after breast cancer was nicely done. I am March which thrills my daughter since that is her birth month, but I was hoping for October.

For a year now I have been posting and reading on the Young Survival Coalition message boards. Lately I have been focusing on reading about reconstruction and expander pain etc. Even with that focus it has been impossible to ignore the large number of women whose cancer has returned and/or spread. It is heartbreaking. I find myself torn - I want to be supportive of them and let them know I am thinking about them but part of me also wants to ignore it and stop going to the boards. One woman was on Tamoxifen like me and her cancer has returned to her liver, bones and possibly brain. Her doctor told her she probably shouldn't have been taking antidepressants at the same time as the Tamoxifen since recent studies have shown the antidepressants reduce the effectiveness of the Tamoxifen. What the heck??? More than half of us are on antidepressants just so we can cope with the treatment, losing our breasts and hair, and fighting for our lives. I will certainly be asking my oncologist about this at our appointment this week. I was already on the wrong meds for 5 months and now that I have the right ones they may not be working to their full potential.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Celebrating being a survivor

November 1st was one year since my surgery to remove the cancer from my body. So November 1st is considered my survivor date. My hubby sent me pink roses and Saturday night we went out to dinner. He is said it was more important to remember this date instead of the date of my diagnosis. He wants to remember when I became cancer free, not when I found out I had cancer. I can't argue with that logic!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I am still here - just moving slow

Surgery went well but it was a more difficult (painful) recovery than all my other surgeries. Partially because it was both sides at the same time and because they placed expanders between my chest muscles and filled them with 300 ccs each. OUCH!!!! I had to sleep in a recliner for the first 10 days and I still end up in there some nights because I can't get comfortable in my own bed.

Next week I will start fills. For those who don't know what all that entails, the expanders have a port in them and the doc will shoot in more saline. They can do anywhere from 50-100+ ccs at a time depending on how much pain the stretching creates. I just keep telling myself that this will be worth it and all over in a few months!

As for working out - none, nada!!! Now that I am two weeks out from surgery I can slowly starting walking the treadmill and bike a stationary bike. I can't do much else because I lack the energy and the doc says not to lift more than a jug of milk (no more than 10 pounds). Hopefully in a few weeks I will be able to do some basic weights even with the fills going on. Of course I won't be doing push-ups but I am not heartbroken over that!