Friday, January 30, 2009

One month

It is Friday! yeah! And I have not only completed another week of this grueling commute but have actually completed another month - 4 weeks! Thank you, thank you to Smokey and Thomas for getting me through this. The morning walks have certainly helped out. 31 days now!

And another .7 lbs this morning. 6.5 lbs total now. The challenge is this weekend with Tarragon and the Crab Fest tomorrow and the Superbowl on Sunday. I will do my best not to completely retrace this week's gains.

On a sad note, I am mourning the loss of our trees on San Antonio. The trees, including a number of heritage pines provided a beautiful green tunnel that made me feel like I was coming home along a country lane. All of them have been razed to the ground and now the street looks like an urban, concrete thoroughfare. Not pleasant or beautiful to drive down. The city can say whatever it wants about safety, etc. but I think the real reason that they did it was economic so they don't have to keep trimming the roots back to keep the road smooth. This is a very sad loss. We need more greenery and not less. What were they thinking?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is it real or is it Memorex?

Wow! 5.8 lbs! I lost 5.8 lbs in 3 days! And that after struggling for a month now - eating right and working out daily. I fought hard not to lose hope and now - 5.8 lbs in 3 days! WooHoo! Guess I will keep doing what I have been doing.

I crossed under a marker that I had been struggling with since coming back from LA at Christmas. That made me very happy but I am still about 15 lbs off of what I was at my party last summer and 33 lbs off from March 2007 when I went back to work and started this uphill spiral. First things first - 10 lbs more to get off the Oakland commute weight. That is my first goal.

The clothes are still tight because they were bought at my pre-Oakland weight but at least I don't look like a stuffed sausage in them anymore. They are starting to look regular and business-like again. Thank goodness for that.

On another topic, today was day 30 of walking the dogs - Wow! I am so proud of myself and the dogs are so happy. The last two days, Thomas has acted out a little while I am gone - ate the phone book, pulled the rug from under the coffee table - (after 28 straight days of perfectness). I am not sure if it is because I have been going in an hour later and therefore coming home an hour later every day this week or that the walks just aren't enough for him anymore or if it was just a quirk of these two days. So, I made a few changes. Starting yesterday, I have been putting Thomas' pack with the water bottles on him and letting him "work" during his walks. This has worked out well and he is doing much better on his "heel" but he does have a bad habit of running into my leg with his pack resulting in bruises along my right calf and knee. I think he is getting more used to it and hopefully, we should find a happy style for both of us soon. The second thing was I went back to getting up at 4:30 - 45 and leaving earlier so that I can get home closer to sunset. Hopefully, between the two, he will be calm and satisfied again.

Smokey is fine as usual though he gave me a good scare this morning. He went to jump up on the bed and seems his back legs are giving him as much power as they used to. He fell off awkwardly, twisting his back legs in the process and landing on them at a bad angle. I was scared he may have broken something but he got up and, after some coaxing, jumped up on the bed - successfully this time.

As for me, headache, sorethroat and backache today. The walk didn't fix it like it usually does. Not sure what is happening but do hope that it passes soon. I want another good day like yesterday!

5.8 lbs!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its a good day

This morning was the first day since "slammed" that I have woken up really feeling well, energetic and as if my fatigue had passed so I guess this was a 14 day (2 week) episode. The worst day was the first or maybe I just get used to it. It isn't until mornings like this that I realize how I should really feel and that the last 2 weeks have been only half speed or so. I continued my normal life and even had a "super workout" day on Saturday - 1/2 hours walking my boys in the morning, 1 1/2 hours walking and working with the shelter pups, 1 hour with the trainer getting pushed on stair steps, ball walking, jump rope and the like and another 1 1/2 hours Anusara yoga - 4 1/2 hours. What it would be like to be a movie star and have time to do that every day. I, too, would have a super buff body.

Anyway, it felt excellent to wake up feeling good. And, I have not slept as much this week for one reason or another. Went to bed about 11PM last night and got up at 5AM this morning. Maybe 6 hours is good for me.

I am now up to 29 days straight with the dogs. Benefits:

Thomas has lost his fat lump that was developing on his side.
Thomas has lost the moldy groin he had from being such a crate potato all day.
Both dogs have softer, thicker, shinier fur.
Both dogs are more relaxed and calm during the day. Yesterday was the first day that I came home and Thomas had created a little mischief. It could be that I was leaving earlier and getting home earlier last week and he doesn't like my new later hours, or he could be getting used to the walks and needs more, or it could have just been the day. At any rate, I put his backpack on him today to give him a "job". He heeled much better although he was still full of energy and hopefully, he got a little more tired out.
My house is in better condition due to the calmness of the dogs.
I am more awake in the morning when going to work.
A couple of days I woke up with headaches and sore throats and thought about not going to work. After walking the dogs, I felt much better and was able to face the day.
I am getting stronger and it is showing with my yoga and gym (trainer) workouts.
I have finally lost 1 lb and hope that will be the start of 39 more. (at least 10 to begin).

This week is a busier one at work and I actually have something to do. The day passes more quickly and I don't get as tired as trying to fill 8 empty hours. This should continue for the next week. Sure makes it easier to get up and go to work in the morning. I like to be busy and give the client good service. Makes it tough when they just have you on hold, waiting around. If I could go home and get paid, that would be good. But must sit here in my chair at the office - not just 8 hours but an extra 1/2 just so that I take the lunch legally prescribed by law although I would much rather work through my lunch hour and be able to go home earlier rather than wasting another 1/2 hour.

That is about it for now. Hoping for more good days. Iknow that this must be really boring but it helps to journal the leftovers from C treatment so that I have a comparison to see that things really are getting better and also to know about why other things are happening to my body, brain, etc. since those effects also take place when I am having one of my "fatigue" episodes. For example, I wrote some things for a case and when I looked later, couldn't even remember writing them and they were wrong. I had to correct them. What's more, it didn't even seem like my writing or style. I wouldn't have sworn that someone else had written them but there they were in my own handwriting. Whew! How scary.

Its a good day! have a great one yourself.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Yes. I am super grateful for the salary this current engagement brings in and I do hesitate to complain......

But...ohhhhh...I must have an outlet here. I am BORED. There are few things more difficult than trying to fill out an 8 hour day when there is not enough work to do. And, the work that is there is BORING. Writing Policy and Process documents is just not my thing. Yawn! Can't keep my eyes open....

The walking in the mornings is going well. 20 days now....1.5 miles/morning. Jogging briefly now. The dogs continue to do well. Thomas' eyes are much clearer. His coat is softer and fuller and his moldy belly is cleared up. His fat lump in his side has shrunk and is almost unnoticeable now. Both of them are happy and content and my house is, too. As for me, the walks are nice, not always relaxing (depending on the quirkyness of the dogs that day) and I haven't lost even one pound. And that includes the 1/2 hour I walk at lunch time, packing my lunch, cooking my own dinner (all within WW standards), Curves workout 3X/week, 1 hour with Personal Trainer on Sat and 1 1/2 hour yoga on Sundays. Needless to say, it is frustrating. By the end of last week, I was on edge, even during the walks. Couldn't figure out why. Nothing seemed to be stressing me (imagine that). When I came back to work this Monday, the answer was there for me. After a relaxing weekend, I was once again on edge.

The commute is killing, the work is boring and there isn't enough of it and, last week, the manager had the nerve to question my integrity about whether I was really putting in 8 hours/day. Yes. I am and working much more quickly and efficiently than the other staff. If he wanted to, he could give me much more to do. I would be happy. It would be a lot better than twiddling my thumbs for 8 hours.

But, again........I AM GRATEFUL for the paycheck. Just needed a sec to vent.

And, BTW, the post-C event lasted just over 36 hours and then I was okay again. I dragged myself through what I needed to do and got the dogs out on their walk. Everything has resided to a more or less normal state right now, except for the weight which may be related to post-C, job boredom and stress or who the heck knows what. Just hope that passes soon, too.

Peace to all today!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Just when you think that things are going good.........

I was feeling good, the exercise starting to sink in and the muscle ache less. More energy, more life......and then.....

The ugly post-C monster reared its head. In the time it takes a heart to beat once, the fatigue hit. Completely unexpected and from nowhere. One second, I was sitting wide awake and working and the next, my head went down, my eyes went closed. My whole body just sagged with the fatigue. I felt like I had suddenly developed narcolepsy. But wait, I was still at work but fortunately, near the end of my day. It was only 3:45. I struggled through until the 4:10 ending time. The shooting pains had begun in my head and I started to slur my words. It felt like a mini-stroke but I had been through this before.

I dragged myself to the train station. Once on the train, I attempted to work a crossword puzzle and then read a book but my eyes just wouldn't stay open. The shooting pains continued and I almost could not see out of my right eye at all. The nausea set in. Don't let me throw up, I pleaded with the cosmos. Just let me get to my car.

Finally, we reached the station and I dragged myself to the car. My breathing had become very labored by this point and my heart was beating very sluggishly. Once in the car, I knew I could make it home and prayed the traffic would not be too bad. It wasn't and I was safely in the house at 6:00. No workout for me this evening. Just try to get some food - preferably, high iron, red meat into me and get the dogs fed.

By 7:00, I was laying on the couch in front of the TV. The last I remember, the clock read 8:59 before I woke up at 11PM. I dragged myself in to bed and slept through until 4AM. Just a little longer, I thought as I snuggled into the warmth of the dogs. I knew I had to be up at 5 to walk them and get ready for work since I had to leave early for a meeting today. I still felt tired but the fatigue, shooting pains had subsided enough for me to walk them. My heart was still sluggish and I still felt like I needed to sleep another 24 hours but I was up enough to make it to work. The time seemed to rush by as I showered and ate so I knew that I was moving very slowly.

I am at work now and the right eye is still a little droopy. I am not the bundle of energy that I have been but I am hoping the worst has passed. I never know. Sometimes it drags on for weeks and other times, it is just a couple of days.

Fortunately, these incidences are becoming fewer and farther between as I get farther into my survivorship. They haven't gone away though and insist on coming back now and then just to remind me that those 3 years really did happen and my body has a long road to come back to "normal".

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


and la

what's up

So, first of all, I would like to know why my last post is in my "Edit Posts" file but does not appear on my blog. It was posted on Jan. 9th.

Next, on to the purpose of this blog.

Just talking to myself, as usual and quite proud of the fact that now I have walked the dogs for 14 days straight/ 1/2 hour each day. 5AM on workdays and about 7:30AM on weekends. The dogs are just reveling in it. They have been walked all of their lives but not too regularly (except for Smokey the first two years of his life). What prompted this now? Well, last Oct I was sent on an assignment 2 hours from home (4hrs commute/day). This threw my whole schedule out of whack. No more painting. No more walking the dogs. No more exercise. No more lunches with friends. Just work, commute, sleep - maybe a little TV.

The net result of that was as 10lb weight gain, unhappy dogs eating up my house and a very achy body from lack of exercise. I so looked forward to Christmas/New Year's when I would have 3 weeks off and be able to catch up a bit on the exercise.

As it turned out, I was on vacation in LA/LV for 2 weeks and the dogs went off to camp. My friends, being of like mind, were very helpful in getting me out on walks, to the gym, etc. That was a good start. I got back home Christmas Day and the doggies came home 3 days later, all tired out from camp and settled. That seemed like a good time for me to start them on their new morning routine (and me, too). It was cold in the morning - about 32 degrees.

Where did I draw my inspiration from? My friend Lorraine and her dog Sydney. Lorraine lived in Aspen where it is very cold, snowy and icy in the winter time. In spite of that, she got a dog, knowing full well that she would need to take her out a few times each day which meant bundling up and going out into the cold. I figured if Lorraine could do that, then certainly I could walk mine once daily under somewhat less adverse conditions. Now, whenever I don't feel like rising in the morning, I just picture the snow and ice and it gets me going. The dogs have been much more content (which was to be expected - dogs should walk) and I also am reveling in the early morning peace and quiet and am so much more awake and have more energy when I am off to work.

The dog walking was only the beginning. I had to start back on Jan 5th with the same client, meaning the same 2 hr each way commute. However, I was determined not to have the achy body and unhappy dogs. I continue to get up at 5AM each morning to walk them for 1/2 hour and then get ready and head off to work. Because of the walking, I have a bit more energy when I get home and also get home a little earlier so can make it to Curves most days. That gives me 1 hour/day. On the weekends, as luck would have it, our coach for Dragon Boat, who is a personal trainer has donated her time every Saturday for a personal training session (1 hr + cool down) and then I have the 2 hours of walking the dogs at the shelter. Sunday brings 1 1/2 hours of yoga. Needless to say, my body has been very achy - diaphragm, glutes, quads, arms - as it trys to bring itself back to health.

I think that I crossed a threshhold this morning as I am not totally and completely achy, just slightly. The really good thing is that, even with the aches and pains, I have felt very loose and not stiff for the last week or so, despite the long hours in the car, at work and on the train, so the exercise is defintely helping.

Have not lost more than 2 lbs yet but I am sure that is coming. Really want to get the 10lbs off and then start working on the 20 I put on at the last assignment. That should about bring me down to my post-C, pre-return to work weight and I should be in good shape to boot.

All of this sounds good now but it is just one day at a time. The motivation and inspiration that started it all was the dogs of course (along with thoughts of Sydney and Lorraine) and hopefully they will be what keeps me going.

Oh and I got a Wii and WiiFit. It is totally fun even though I haven't been able to use it much yet. Just hooked it up on Sunday but was thrilled to find that my Wii age is 32years old. WooHooo! Thanks to yoga since much of the determination is made on balance and agility.

Monday, January 05, 2009

More Cancer follow-up for anyone watching Breast Cancer


3 months in a row now. Dec. 3 and then Jan. 3. And very normal, regular periods. And, yes, I am still obese. Working on that for the New Year. And for those ladies who aren't 20, neither am I. I am 50 years old, was not menopausal when diagnosed with Cancer at 46 and only lost my period due to chemo. Now, 3 years after starting chemo, it appears that I am back. Just hope this means good news for my bones and brain! :)

The end of 2008 was tough with a 4+hr/day commute to Oakland each day. No time or energy for exercise, painting, dogs, family, friends. Except for the paycheck (for which I am EXTREMELY grateful), the rest was miserable.

I started back again today and will continue for another 5 - 6 weeks. The 3 week break was good and I feel more rested and determined. Am trying to get the dogs out for a 1/2 hour walk every morning. They need it and I need it. It means getting up earlier on an already early day but don't think I can go another 6 weeks without exercise on the weekdays. And neither can they. I am also hoping that this along with packing my lunches will help to resolve the obesity issue (and more). I haven't been this heavy in more than 6 years and don't want to use work as an excuse anymore (even though the long commute is a pretty darn good one.)

Well that is enough of the blog for today!