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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Water Park Workout

As mentioned in the previous post, we spent our day at the water park. I kept telling myself that I need to workout tonight but after the workout there I am not so sure. I estimate I climb about 20 flights of stairs and some of the time carrying an intertube. I walked and swam more than a mile in the endless river and fought the waves in the wave pool for 30 minutes. I never relaxed in an intertube in the river or the wave pool so it was constant muscle work - me against the water or chasing down my daughter. No wonder I feel so tired. Since it didn't feel like a workout I still plan to run and lift some weights in a bit - if I can find the energy.

Swimming suits - Blech!

Today the family went to the local area water park. We had a great time and are exhausted after 5 hours in the water and sun. I did struggle a bit though. This is the first time I have been out in public in a swimsuit since my diagnosis. I have been to my cousin's pool and swam laps at the gym but not out in the public eye. I tried on all 4 swimsuits I had and none felt comfortable. My mastectomy swimsuit is now too big and it comes up to my neck anyway so I feel like a grandma. My "slimming" suit is from before cancer and about 25 pounds ago so I couldn't even get it on. I recently bought a bikini thinking with my new "girls" and slimmed down stomach I might be able to pull it off. Maybe with friends and family but I was too self aware in it to wear it around several 100 people. So I settled on my precancer tankini. It fit pretty good until we started going on slides. One side kept slipping because I don't fill it out the way I used to. I can't feel when it slides so I had to wear a t-shirt the whole time. I just kept thinking of Tara Reid and when her breast was revealed on the red carpet but she couldn't feel it because surgical scars etc. from her breast enhancement. That would have been me if I didn't have a the t-shirt. EEK!!!

I also noticed that in my age group most of the men have "beer bellies" and most of the women are pretty slender and wearing bikinis. So not fair. There were also ladies in bikinis who shouldn't have been . I thought if they could wear them then I should feel secure to wear one too. (When I lose another 10-30 pounds!!!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Its not my time

I love this song by 3 Doors Down
It is a great theme song for showing cancer that it won't win!!!

Looking back at the beginning of this
And how life was
Just you and me and love and all of our friends
Living life like an ocean
Now the current's slowly pulling me down
It's getting harder to breathe
It won't be too long and I'll be going under
Can you save me from this

'Cause it's not my time,I'm not going
There's a fear in me
It's not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Oh, I won't go

I look ahead to all the plans that we made
And the dreams that we had
I'm in a world that tries to take 'em away
Oh, but I'm taking them back
'Cause all this time I've just been to blind to understand
What matter to me
My friend, this life we live
Is not what we have, it's what we believe

And it's not my time
I'm not going
There's a fear in me
It's not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Oh, It's not my time
I'm not going
There's a fear in me
And now I know that
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Oh, but I won't go
I won't go

There might be more than you believe
(There might be more than you believe)
There might be more than you can see

But it's not my time
I'm not going
There's a fear in me
It's not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
But it's not my time
I'm not going
There's a will in me
Now it's gonna show
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

There might be more than you believe
(There might be more than you believe)
There might be more than you can see
I won't go
I know I won't go down
Yeah, yeah

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not another one...

We have lost another wonderful lady on our Young Survivor Coalition boards. That makes 5 in the last several months. Two of them in just the last two weeks. All of these women have left behind husbands and children under the age of six. They were all so filled with life and never afraid to express their thoughts, including their fears. This is so unfair!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Winding down panels

I am done reviewing grant proposals for breast cancer research. The first day really wiped me out but today was much better. I feel like I have figure out how the process works and now I am geared up for more. Hopefully I will be invited back again next year.

Everyone keep buying the breast cancer stamps at the post office as that money is some of the funding that is award through this process.

20 years versus 2 years

So I have been in touch with a few old friends from high school. Most of this has been through email and Facebook although there are talks of lunches etc. It is so nice to catch up with them. In my mind, I still see them the way they were our senior year. If they ask to see a current picture of me, I send most of them the picture taken right before I started treatment. I was fairly thin with long red, blonde hair etc. Not to far removed from the way I looked 20 years ago - just updated and older. I don't think I look "bad" now but I am at point where people who see me can't tell I have been sick. They look at me and say why did she cut off all that wonderful hair and why did she gain so much weight. (Even the guy checking my ID and boarding pass at the airport commented about me cutting all my hair off!) UGH!!!!

People who have been through the journey with me know that I look a heck of alot better now than a year ago. And most of the time I really don't care what people think of me. Cancer taught me to let go of that. But this group of people is different. I know I shouldn't worry about what old high school friends think but remember how important appearance was in high school? I think I still attach this thought process to some of my old friends. Shallow? Maybe. We always want to impress those who knew us back then. I don't care what they look like but stress about what their response to me will be.

The fact is that almost two years ago I didn't know if I would be around to reconnect with high school buddies. So I should be thankful (and they should be thankful too) that I am even here to make the connection.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trying again

I had a nice post this morning and lost it all when I tried to post it from the hotel computers.

DC is humid but great. I am soooo tired though having to start out my days by getting up at 4:00 Boise time. We are 2/3 through our proposals and it is intense. My brain is mush!!! I feel so inferior to the scientists but I know they really want my take on things.

I am one of the youngest women here and the "newest" survivor at 1 year, 8 months. Being here is emotional and the lack of sleep isn't helping. What a great experience it has been!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Down time???

I head out to Washington DC on Sunday to participate in peer review of breast cancer grant proposals. I am nervous and excited to be part of this process. I hear it is very mentally draining and very rewarding.

I am already pretty wiped out from the last few weeks at work and home but I am really looking forward to the down time too. I don't mind that I have a layover in Denver or that I will be on a plane for hours. I do have to study my critiques since it has been a few weeks since I wrote some of them but that won't take too long. I am hoping to get caught up on some sleep and some reading. I am months behind on magazines and I have been trying to read Obama's book since Christmas time! I also need to write up my story to be in a book about attitude. I have been promising the author for months that I would get to it when things slowed down. If I truly wait until things slow down then she will never get it.


Ladies, give your breasts a rest, research says
The news that breast self-exams are officially on the way out is a relief for some busy women, but perplexes others.

Granted a self exam and even a clinical exam did not locate my tumor but I don't understand why they would say they do more harm than good... I know many women who found their tumors during a self exam.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tell them it is important!

I have good news! The House and Senate budget bills for the government's next fiscal year include an increase in funding for cancer treatment and research. If passed, it would reverse the trend of flat or declining funding over the last six years. Not only will this money improve early detection and treatment options, it will support new research grants that may someday lead to the cures.The FY2009 budget bills are being negotiated in Congress and we must act quickly to make sure they are passed. I just took action by writing my legislators and asking them to support the budget bills and the new investment in the fight against cancer. Join me in helping to support increased funding for those who are fighting this disease and prevent future victims from facing it at all.It's easy to help - just click the link below to join me insupporting new federal funding for the fight against cancer:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Stand up to Cancer

Tony Snow has passed away. I remember when his cancer returned in 2007. It was about the same time that Elizabeth Edwards cancer returned. I really struggled watching two well known people from the political arena having to fight the beast again. With Tony's passing, I have to wonder how Mrs. Edwards is doing.

I am sure their stories, along with so many others, helped inspire Stand Up to Cancer. In September the 3 major networks will hold fundraisers for cancer research. It will be similar to what they did after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. This is desperately needed. Many people do not know that government monies for cancer research actually come out of the Department of Defense budget. Since we are at war more and more monies are going to that battle and less is going to find ways to win the cancer battle. We must stand up and tell our Congressman that the cancer war is important too and we need to find a way to win it!

Finally a honest commerical...

...about weight loss in women.

No idea if the product actually works but you have to love the ad campaign!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It is a numbers game

I am so tired of fighting with numbers. I am feeling pretty good and getting tone and almost back into my prechemo clothes. BUT - I am still 20 pounds away from a healthy BMI weight at and at least 30 pounds away from a healthy weight for someone my age. My waist line is not going down and borders on the magic number that puts me at risk for heart attacks etc. I haven't checked my fat percentage lately but last time it was still way too high. People tell me I look good and don't need to lose weight. When I tell them I am considered overweight with an unhealthy waist circumference some seem surprised. Part of me wants to throw the scale and the tape measure and even my trainer's fat pincher but I can't. I am addicted to knowing the numbers. I don't measure all my success on those numbers but they certainly play an important role in it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Rough week

I am glad tomorrow is a holiday - except that we are running around getting ready to go camp with friends. They are already up in the mountains and we are going up to join them for just a night. We have too much yard work etc to do around here to be gone for 3 days. Not to mention the dog sitting issue. I don't want to leave my friend with a wild dog for too long and I don't know how he will react to being with them. We haven't been camping in years, only day trips. Being the anal person that I am, I am freaking out about what we might forget. We are going with 3 other couples, one in a trailer and one in a motor home so I am sure they could cover anything I forget but I still want to remember EVERYTHING!

This week we settled into the new office. There are still many things to find homes for and new routines to adjust to. It has certainly caused some stress but over all it went better than we had expected.

BSU football player Ian Johnson works for the contractor who remodeled the building. He was in the other day and I got a few autographs for me and the hubby. We had a nice chat about football and married life and his busy schedule. He is a very nice young man!

This week also brought my once every three month blood work. Everything looks great! So I don't have to see the oncologist again for 3 months as long as I am feeling "good".

In addition to the move I have been stressed with other things this week (thank goodness the blood work wasn't one of them). I am trying to get through these intense grants and get my write-ups done on time. Our daughter is in swimming lessons every night. So I am sitting out in the heat reading grants while she is swimming. I would rather be swimming laps but my problem graft isn't completely healed so the doc says no swimming yet.

There are some things at work causing stress besides the move. Of course there is always something stressful about work and dealing with people etc and this isn't the place to vent about since co-workers etc read the blog from time to time.

Our youngest son is on a trip with grandma which leaves us on dog duty in addition to doing his chores. (We forgot about feeding his turtle for a week but he is still alive and now eating pretty much nonstop since I remembered him last night.)

Well my break from cleaning and packing is done. I better get back to it or I will be up all night trying to organize cooking gear, food, clothes, fishing poles, etc.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!! Be thankful for what freedoms we have even though gas is costly etc.