Archives For August 2017

My Breast Cancer

August 30, 2017

Tomorrow I will have a double mastectomy and begin the steps for DIEP Flap reconstructive surgery.

How did I get here?

Let me tell you.

June 28th, I found a lump in my left breast while I was putting lotion on after my shower.

July 7th, I went in to see my doctor for an exam and she confirmed what I already knew. I needed to schedule a mammogram.

I’d had a mammogram in January and everything checked out fine.

July 11th, I went in for a 3D mammogram. They then wanted to do an ultra sound that day, so I did.

After the ultra sound. The tech told me to stay put and that she would be back to let me know if she needed to do anything further.

I laid there on the table in my gown, my head full of thoughts. Do I have breast cancer? If they come in and tell me that I need a biopsy, I won’t fall apart. I just had a mammogram in January and everything was fine. Shit…..wait…..at my January mammogram they did call me back in to have another look at my left breast. Have I had breast cancer since January??? Why is the tech taking so long? Shit.

The tech came back in the room and she brought a doctor with her. 

I knew that the doctor coming in the room meant that I needed to have a biopsy. I was right.

The tech walked me to the front door and gave me the name of three breast surgeons that I could call to schedule my biopsy. I scribbled them down on a piece of scratch paper. I picked one and scheduled my biopsy.

July 18th, I went in for the biopsy. The breast surgeon and her nurse were awesome and I felt at ease during the biopsy. I asked to look at the ultra sound screen that they were looking at and they adjusted it accordingly. There it was. A black hole.

Me “Is that it?”

Doc “Yep. That’s it. We are going to go in there and take out three little samples and test it. We should have the results by Friday.”

Me “Then what? Do I come in or do you just call me and tell me if I have cancer or not?”

Doc “I will call you.”

July 19th, 20th and most of the 21st were the longest days ever. Finally, at 3:30 pm on Friday, July 21st, I called to see if they had my results. They did, but the doc was in surgery and would be calling me before she left for the day.

Great. At least I will have an answer today.

July 21st. I was trying really hard to pass the time that day and I had ran every errand that I could think of, so I finally decided to just go home and wait for the call. My phone finally rang. Mike heard it and came in the room. As the doctor talked, I kept saying “Uh huh, uh huh, okay, okay, okay, uh huh.” I turned around and looked at Mike and just nodded my head. I think I was expecting it, but clearly, he was not.

Then I told her that I really didn’t hear anything that she said after cancer. She told me to grab some paper and a pen. Good idea.

I started writing things down as she repeated it all.

 

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

most common form of breast cancer

treatable

Stage 1

Grade 1

No Radiation at this time

No Chemo at this time

You won’t die.

Surgery

Lumpectomy or Mastectomy

 

She told me to look at breastcancer.org and the American Cancer Society websites and to do some reading because I had some decisions to make.

She said that the office would call me on Monday to schedule an appointment to come in.

Mike and I spent the weekend simply staring at each other with very few words.

July 27th. We met with the breast surgeon and talked about my options.

Option 1. Lumpectomy. Remove the cancer from the left breast and have approximately 30 sessions of radiation.

This sounded awful to me. I couldn’t fathom keeping my breast and constantly wondering if the cancer would come back. I also didn’t like the sound of the 30 sessions of radiation.

Option 2. Mastectomy. I knew right away that was going to be my choice. I knew that a single mastectomy was an option, but I also knew that a double mastectomy was an option and that was what I was going to do. There is a lot of breast cancer in my family on both sides, and having a double mastectomy felt like the right thing to do for me.

I didn’t realize all of the other decisions that were ahead of me.

I was advised from several friends to get a second opinion. This wasn’t really a second opinion on my type of cancer because both breast surgeons were looking at the same pathology reports, but I did want to at least meet with another breast surgeon and see if the same options were suggested.

When I met breast surgeon number two, I knew that a second opinion was a good idea for me. The options were the same, the treatment was the same, and I’m certain that surgeon number one is a great surgeon, but surgeon number two and I just seemed to click. Mike agreed. She answered all of my questions without me having to ask them. 

She assured me that my decisions were just that, MY decisions. She assured me that I had options and that I was the one that would make the decisions. We talked about the pro’s and con’s of lumpectomy and mastectomy and in the end, she assured me that it really was a very personal decision that only I could make.

We then began to discuss the options following the double mastectomy.

Reconstructive surgery or not?

I had the option to not have reconstructive surgery or have reconstructive surgery. If I did have reconstructive surgery, I could have implants or I could have DIEP Flap. I didn’t like the idea of having implants in my body and I had not heard of DIEP Flap. After finding out that DIEP Flat meant that I could have my breast reconstructed using my own tissue from my belly, I was very interested in finding out more!

The weekend that I was diagnosed, Mike and I had breakfast at home on Sunday morning and I told him that I just wanted to have coffee, make breakfast and listen to one of my favorite shows, CBS Sunday Morning, and not think about things until we had my doctors appointment. The entire episode was on CANCER! When we realized that, we just looked at each other. I didn’t change the channel. It was actually very interesting to me. They interviewed a group of women that were breast cancer survivors and all of the women had made the decision to not have reconstructive surgery and to “go flat”. That’s what they called it. These women were comfortable in not having reconstructive surgery and knew that having breast or not having breast did not define them as women. I admired them all!

I wasn’t sure that was the path that I would chose and be comfortable with down the road, but I was in awe of their confidence and strength.

My mind went back to the DIEP Flap option. I have cancer, but I might come out of this with perky new boobs with no implants and a tummy tuck? Tell me more.

I tried to read as much info as I could.

Not all plastic surgeons that perform reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy perform DIEP Flap, but my breast surgeon does work with one plastic surgeon that performs this surgery. He is not available to be at my surgery tomorrow, so another plastic surgeon will be there to begin the process of reconstruction.

I met with her last week, and she really wasn’t able to answer all of my questions regarding the DIEP Flap, so I left feeling unsure about all of the decisions that I had made. Just a few hours after that appointment, and knowing that I was leaving dissappointed, her nurse called me. She had put a message in with the plastic surgeon that would be performing my DIEP Flap to see if there was any way that he could meet with me prior to surgery.

He had a cancellation and I got to meet him on Monday! I am so glad because I loved him and he answered ALL of my questions, put me at east, and I now know that I have made the right decision for me.

My breast surgeon will perform the mastectomy, then the plastic surgeon will put two tissue expanders in and fill them with just a little bit of saline.

I will go back in two weeks for additional saline. When my breast are expanded to the size that my belly fat can fill, then we will schedule the final surgery. On Monday’s visit when the plastic surgeon examined my breast and my belly, he told me that I had the perfect tummy to perform this surgery. He told me that my new breast would be significantly smaller than what I have now, and because I am currently a DD, I was fine with that. He also told me not to lose any weight. No doctor has ever told me NOT to lose weight, so I had a moment. Yes, I have completely kept my sense of humor. He also assured me that I would be very pleased with my tummy tuck!

It’s going to be a long road ahead, but I am going into tomorrow feeling very strong mentally and confident with my team of doctors and nurses.

I’ve known I had cancer for several weeks now and it has been a bit strange to just go on with life knowing that nothing could be done about it until surgery tomorrow, but I feel so relieved that tomorrow is finally here so they can remove the cancer and I can begin the process of reconstruction.

I won’t know until after surgery if I need any chemo or radiation. 

Thanks so much for sticking with me through these last several weeks. I miss my regular blogging routine where I tell what awesome food I ate and if I made it to Yoga or got my walk in.

Those days will be back and I’ll be ready for them when they are.

Thank you to all of my family and friends for your support. The text and calls have reminded me of how lucky I am to have such a great family and such great friends.

I have been introduced or reconnected with several women these last few weeks that have had breast cancer and I can not begin to describe how good these women have made me feel. Thank you to all of you that have reached out.

I also want to thank the volunteers at The Healing Chair.

My electric lift chair was delivered on Saturday! I am told that sleeping in this chair for the first two weeks post surgery will bring me great comfort and that I will likely want to hang on to the chair for about 4 weeks.

 

These lovely ladies also brought me a blanket to keep, a gorgeous Kendra Scott necklace, a shirt for post surgery and a journal to write in for the next recipient of the chair.

 

I love it all……

 

I’m sure I’m leaving out something, but Tess is making me pancakes right now and I want to go enjoy them with her. It’s hard to write a blog post and not include a food pic!!

 

 

If you are going through breast cancer, I hope that we can bring each other some comfort. I’ve always felt comfort from others going through similar struggles.

 

A friend of mine just dropped off some beautiful flowers and this sign. I love it!

Today is the perfect day to have a good day. My Tess is here and I’m ready to move forward.

Tess will be doing “Guest Post” this week with updates. You get to meet Tess!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

 

Dark Clouds, Silver Linings

August 29, 2017

Here is a mini update…..

Our daughter Kate’s house flooded and their family of six moved into our empty nester house about a month ago. The kids are 9, 4, 3 and 3 months.

I am having surgery on Thursday and our goal was to help them get their house put back together so that they could move in this past weekend and I could do what I needed to do to prepare for surgery.

Hours (okay, days) were spent cleaning up from the flood (mostly my husband and Kate’s fiancé), replacing dry wall and insulation and painting. Then, Tuesday morning, the day the carpet was scheduled to be installed, we had another hard rain and the house flooded all over again. Worse this time.

I had a meltdown on Wednesday. A complete and full blown 12 hour meltdown.

I woke up Thursday with a new burst of energy and only positive thoughts. 

Kate’s random notes she left me around the house helped too!

These last several days have been emotional and tiring, but they have also been filled with wonderful things from wonderful people.

Several of our friends helped with the clean up and it was great to have them there.  There were a lot of emotions in knowing that we had to clean up all over again and having our friends there to help eased the feelings of being overwhelmed.

A friend of mine called to tell me that her mom had two recliners, a coffee table and two dressers that she could donate to Kate and Shelby.

Another friend let me know that she had a friend that needed to get rid of some furniture over the weekend and that Kate and Shelby could have it if they could come pick it up. The were able to get two more dressers!

Kate and Shelby found a nice leather couch on craigslist for $200!

The American Red Cross was interviewing the people on their street yesterday (17 houses were affected by this flood) and after seeing Kate and Shelby’s house, American Red Cross gave them $750!

Shelby’s van was totaled in the flood. A past co-worker of Kate’s called to tell her that they had recently purchased a new car, but still had the older car. They were going to sell it, but wanted to sell it to Kate for $4000.00 if she was interested. The car has a blue book value of around $9,000! Now they have a car!!

Their church is looking for mattresses for the kids beds and no doubt they will find them.

The house has a long way to go but this dark cloud looming over us really does seem to have a silver lining.

Kate and Shelby moved into his parents house on Saturday. I hated to see them have to move yet again. Kate insisted that I have the house to myself to recover after surgery and Shelby’s parents live much closer to where Kate and Shelby live and it will much more convenient and they will spend much less time in the car driving.

The mom part of me really wanted them to just be able to stay here until the house is done, but a big part of me also knows that recovery will be much easier with just Mike and I in the house.

It’s been a full house and I loved having them here. Knowing surgery is around the corner brought a whole new perspective to having a houseful of family.

We have been reminded daily of how many wonderful people there are out there.

Our prayers go out to those of you that are in Houston or have loved ones is Houston. We can not begin to imagine what it must be like to be going through what they are all experiencing right now.

Prayers for strength, silver linings and the kindness of others to help them get through all that they have yet to face.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Remember just a few weeks ago, when I basically blogged about food and activity and fun stuff??

The week was going great. We were making huge progress in getting our daughter and her family back into their home after the flood just a few weeks ago. We even made waffles on Sunday morning and I counted steps at least one day in the past week. Things were feeling good and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

We cleaned really good on Sunday (right after our waffle feast!) and wrapped up a few things on Monday. The carpet was to be installed Tuesday and Mike was going to finish up the new trim. They just needed a few furniture pieces and we could move the kids and grand kids back into their home this coming weekend.

Nope.

The house flooded again Tuesday morning. 26 days after the first flood. It was higher this time.  The items that were salvaged in the last flood were lost in this one.

Monday. Clean and ready for carpet and trim! Yay…so happy!

 

Tuesday.

When we got the call early Tuesday morning that the street was flooding again, we all just sat in the living room looking at each other. I was thinking….there is no way this is really happening. There’s just no way.

It happened. Kate and I drove down to see the house after the water level went down. It was awful. Such a feeling of defeat. All of the hours spent cleaning up and fixing…..gone.

Many items that were salvageable the first go around now need to be replaced.

All of the doors now need to be replaced. All of the base cabinets now need to be replaced. The garage was full of the items that we were able to save from flood one. Those items are now in the dumpster that was delivered this morning. We don’t know yet if the appliances are salvageable.

Thanks to so many of our friends that went down with us on Tuesday to cut out all of the wet drywall and thanks to all of our friends that went down yesterday to help throw it all in the dumpster that was delivered this morning.

It’s hard to ask for help sometimes because I know everyone has their own stuff going on, but it was just too much to do all over again and I knew that all that we had to do was to ask.

They all just jumped right in!

 

 

 

The goal was to have the kids back in their home this weekend so I could spend a few days preparing for my surgery next Thursday.

Basically, everything sucks right now and I’m a giant mess.

I want to help our kids. They feel they need to be out of the house before my surgery. I understand that but hate it at the same time. There is absolutely no way we can now have them back in their house. They lost so much more this time. I know Mike is exhausted. Basically, everything sucks right now. Did I say that?

I’ll post one more time before surgery, but for now, we’ve got some shit to figure out!!

I will stay strong and I really do have a million reasons to smile and laugh. I do. I really do, but I cried a lot yesterday.

 

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Oklahoma Visit!

August 21, 2017

This post was going to be all about surgery fears. My double mastectomy is in 10 days! I went to a concert on Thursday night with some girlfriends and then had a full weekend with family. I forgot all about my fears and enjoyed myself. I don’t have time for fear anyhow.

Exciting News

Before I chat about our Oklahoma visit, I’d like to welcome my new readers that found my blog via Prevention Magazine.

Welcome and thanks for subscribing to the blog!

To my new readers….these last several post are not typical of my blog post, but I hope you’ll stick with me through these next several weeks as I will be anxious to heal and get back to a daily blog post of what I’m eating and what type of exercise I’m doing while having a little fun along the way.

Yes, I was excited about being in a magazine so I grabbed a couple of issues!

 

I’m in here with some really awesome women!!

 

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know what’s gong on. If you’re new, you can click on the “Home” tab up top and read past blog post to catch up on this crazy life I feel like I am living right now.

You can also click on “My Story” tab up at the top of the page and learn a bit about me. I’d love to hear about YOU too! Leave a comment or send me an email at julesfarm@yahoo.com. I love chatting with my readers.

Now…Oklahoma.

This trip had two agendas.

  1. Visit my newest grand baby for the first time.
  2. Meet Tess and Manuel (my daughter and her finance that live in Dallas) so that they can also see the baby, and take Tucker (Tess found Tucker over five years ago when she was in college and it’s time for him to go live with her now) back to live with them in Dallas.

I left Friday afternoon with my daughter Kate, two of her children and our dog, Tucker. We were all so excited to see the new baby!

Hello Oklahoma!

Hello Kingston!

Welcome to the family grand baby number 7!

 

He is just precious! 

Does he look Asian? We all think so.

 

It was a great visit, but it was hard to leave. Kingston and his whole family will be here in KC in just two weeks for my father-in-laws 80th birthday, so we will all be together again real soon.

Look at how much our new grand babies are growing!

Jake, our son, has a baby girl named Wrenley and she is now 5 months old! Adorbs. I know.

Grand baby number 5!

 

Kate, our daughter, has a baby boy named Sawyer and he is now 3 months old.

He is so handsome and so sweet and full of smiles. He is changing every day!

Grand baby number 6!

 

Tucker

This little guy was a champ in the car on our road trip!

He also seemed to enjoy our hotel stay. He may be a tad spoiled. Who needs a dog bed? Not this guy.

 

In Dallas by Saturday evening, he settled in nicely to his new home. He’s a little confused, but I know he’s happy. Again, no dog bed.

 

Here in KC

Kate and Shelby’s house is making huge progress! While Kate and I were enjoying a 24 hour trip, the guys were finishing up the paint job. Now we just need trim and carpet!

Flood Day….July 27th.

 

The entire house had 5 inches of water in it. No basement.

All carpet, cabinets, sinks and the toilet had to be removed and Mike (the hubs) and Shelby (Kate’s finance) have done all of the work except for the mud and tape on the new drywall. The guys worked their little tails off!

Drying out…..

 

Yesterday…..getting put back together and almost ready!

We cleaned really good yesterday and it looks like things are on schedule. The carpet will be installed on Tuesday.

They should be able to move back home this weekend.

 

Food and the Blog

I took a picture of everything that I ate today! Seems like forever ago that I did that. I even tracked my food and counted Weight Watcher SmartPoints.

I want to go into surgery feeling my best, so it’s important to me that I eat really well these next 10 days.

Here are yesterday’s eats….

Happy Monday!

Breakfast – 12 SmartPoints

One of my favorites!

White Sweet Potato Hash with Red Onion, Zucchini, 1 slice crumbled Bacon topped with Two Eggs and a side of Avocado.

 

Lunch – 7 SmartPoints

Mixed Berry RXBar and grapes. I was on the go!

 

Snack – 7 SmartPoints

8 oz Red Wine on the deck while grilling up dinner!

 

Dinner – 7 SmartPoints

Grilled Asparagus and Zucchini with boiled New Potatoes and Grilled Chicken Breast.

 

Daily SmartPoints Total = 33

 
2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Now for the List!

August 16, 2017

Since I’m out of my routine and haven’t been blogging daily, I have a lot to get off of my chest. This blog post will be all over the place, so bare with me, just read, and remember that I am crazy right now.

 

Surgery Planning

If you know me well enough (in person or here on the blog), you know I like a list.

I like a “to do” list.

I like a “meals for the week” list.

I like a “grocery” list.

I like a “random things we need” list.

I like a “projects around the house” list.

I’ve been known to do something that wasn’t on one of my list, then write it on a list and cross it off! 

Hey! Don’t knock it til you try it! Such a sense of accomplishment!

That feeling when I cross every item off of my list, then admire it, then throw it away? Ahhhhhhhh.

Pretty much every night before I go to bed, I make a list of what I want to accomplish the following day.

Now I have a list of “list I need to make”. That’s right. I have a list of the list that I need to make.

I gave this fabulous/annoying trait to my daughter Tess. She is the one that told me that I needed to make a list of the list that I need before surgery. No joke. I thought is was genius!

Over the weekend, Tess was telling me all about her surgery list that she has made for me over the last two weeks.

She has a list of clothes I need to buy….comfy with buttons or zipper fronts.

She has a list of easy meal ideas and a Pinterest page with easy recipes for friends wanting to bring dinner over.

She has a list of things for me to make ahead of time and freeze.

She has a list of Netflix movies for me to watch.

She has a list of Pod Cast for me to listen to.

She has a list of things that I need to move to lower racks and lower shelves so I can get to them with ease. (apparently reaching up is difficult)

She has been on  Breast Cancer.org  and The American Cancer Society reading up on what mom needs to do pre-surgery and post-surgery to prepare. Tess has done more preparing for my surgery than I have! I love that kid.

I have had some great advice from friends who have had the same surgery, so I have some great resources for info!

One suggestion was to buy this particular post op camisole with built in cups for your drainage tubes and bags. Bought it! it was 70 bucks, so I hope it’s awesome!

I am also on the list for the Healing Chair. Check out the Kansas City Facebook page for the Healing Chair. This is a great link if you know someone in the Kansas City Area or the St. Louis area getting ready to have a mastectomy. This is a non-profit group that started in St. Louis and is now in Kansas City. They have 30 plus chairs now in just the Kansas City area, and they are delivered to women a day or two before surgery. They say the chair is great for sleeping in on the first few nights post op. When you are done with the chair, it is then passed on to another breast cancer mastectomy patient. 

I am so glad that one of my friends told me about this! I don’t know this for certain, but I think it is an electric lift chair? It looks like a recliner and I think that it will lift up to your body as you stand if front of it. When it is lifted, you lean back into the chair and lower it. I think. No matter how it actually works, I have read that the patients that use are forever grateful!

The chair comes with a journal that you share your story in, then pass on to the next person. I am so happy to be on that list!

 

Kate and Shelby

These two must really be exhausted. If you are not up to date, their house flooded over two weeks ago and they (along with their four children) had to move in with us while the house gets put back together.

Anne (our daughter that lives in Oklahoma) had her baby on Saturday morning and I just know that it was killing Kate to not be there in Oklahoma with Anne. They are very close sisters and have been next door neighbors for about two years. Their kids (obviously cousins) were able to play together all the time and Anne and Kate had each other to get together with at any given moment. That all changed a few months ago when Anne and Cortney moved to Oklahoma and I know that not being able to see each other every day has been tough on Anne and Kate and the kids.

Mike (the hubs) and Kate were able to drive down to Oklahoma on Sunday for a quick day visit while the kids and Shelby stayed here. Mike and Kate were on the road by 6:30 am and were back home around 10:00 pm. (I think it was 10:00? I took Tess and Manuel to the airport and was home and in bed before 8:30 pm! I was exhausted from all of the HAPPY!!) 

Kate and Shelby are in one bedroom here along with the baby and as much as they can fit in that room. I know that they must both be going crazy living out of bags and not having a place to put everything, but I swear you wouldn’t know it. Shelby has a great sense of humor and I think Kate is just going through the motions of what needs to be done day to day and trying to appreciate Shelby’s humor (seriously, the guy cracks me up!). They are really doing an amazing job as are the kids. I could not be more proud of how all of them are handling the whole situation.

It’s good to be able to bond with the whole family.

Sunday while Mike and Kate were gone, Shelby and the kids and Tess and Manuel and I enjoyed a nice morning on the deck. The weather was perfect and I didn’t want our morning to end.

 

These two give the best morning hugs.

 

The dry wall should be done today and I believe we get to start painting tonight or tomorrow. After we paint, it’s new trim and carpet! The carpet is scheduled for the 22nd, then hopefully we can find them furniture and get them moved back into their home.

Just a reminder, each room in the house looked like this last week.

 

Me and My Emotions

We have a roller coaster of things going on here and it has truly been a great distraction for me to not think about the fact that I have breast cancer. Engagements, babies, planning for Kate and Shelby, trying to fit in some socializing and working my WW meetings.

I could not be happier for these two goofballs. I’ll take “Happy” any day of the week!

This is them the day after the proposal at a wedding of a friend.

So cute!!

 

This is me the day after the proposal.

We went to yet another funeral for a friend/co-worker of Mike’s.

The church was the same church where I married my first husband. We have a million churches here, so really we end up here? There are many bad memories associated with that part of my life and being at the church was tough. I wanted to only think about the family and the funeral but I was struggling a bit. 

 

Mike’s best friend also works with him and he and his wife (we have become great friends and I love her to pieces!) were at the funeral, so we went to lunch together after the funeral and that helped get my head back to a happy place, not to be disrespectful of the family we were there to mourn with. Did I mention a lot of emotions??

When Mike and I got home from our lunch, we went to my friend/neighbors house. She had some close friends over. I love these ladies. They have all been friends for years and have welcomed me in to their little circle. I’ve blogged about two of them in the recent months. Would you believe that three women in this picture (including myself in that three) have cancer?

One friend has lung cancer and she has just finished chemo and radiation like a trooper! I’ve never met anyone so strong!

Another friend in this picture is currently fighting colon cancer. She has chemo every other week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She’s a fighter too and oh so strong. She will finish her chemo in November.

I feel honored to be friends with them and they are a great source of strength for me right now. They are actually the first two people that I told that I had breast cancer. They knew that I was waiting on biopsy results. I had casually told them at a Friday night Happy Hour that I really didn’t want to join their little cancer club that they had going, but I guess if I was going to have to join the club, I was lucky to have them to lean on.

This was Saturday night. Truly love these girls.

 

On Sunday, we enjoyed a quiet morning on the deck which I’ve already told you about. it was nice, happy and quiet.

I mowed the lawn and Tess and I took a nice long walk.

 

This was the first day that I’ve had this many steps, but it sure felt good!

 

This came in the mail……

I freaked out for a millisecond…..only to discover it was just to verify my information. I’m certain a summons is coming soon!

 

After a nice morning, a walk and checking the mail,  I took Tess and Manuel to the airport. Sad and happy all at the same time.

I was in bed and asleep early Sunday night and slept a solid 12 hours! I think my brain is just tired.

I’ve still been eating pretty well, but not three meals a day, and no pictures, and making too many excuses for a beer or a glass of wine.

On Tuesday I didn’t have breakfast or lunch, and at 1:30 I found this in the freezer. Tess had bought it and forgot about it.

I sat on the deck and ate the entire thing.

13 SmartPoints

 

 

Tucker

Okay, this last hair cut is AWFUL!!!

Doesn’t matter. I love this dog.

 

This is big news. Tucker came here five years ago when Tess was in college. He had been neglected and all this little guy wanted was to cuddle and be loved. Long story short, Tucker belongs to Tess.

I love him dearly and I have never met a dog that loved all animals and all people the way that Tucker does. The plan has always been for Tucker to live with Tess when she established a life after college.

That time has come.

On Friday, I am driving to Oklahoma to meet my new grand baby and taking Tucker with me.

Tess and Manuel are driving from Dallas to Oklahoma and meeting me there to also meet the new grand baby, Kingston, and to take Tucker home to Dallas.

It’s bitter sweet, but after surgery it will be nice to know that I don’t have to worry about him jumping up on me and really, it’s time for him to go live with his mom.

Okay, you are now up to date.

Next post is all of my surgery fears. I have a ton!

 
2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

A Happy Weekend!!!

August 16, 2017

(I was having a few computer issues and my entire original post on this weekend that I did post, was lost! That took me a long time to write and I don’t know how I could duplicate it, but here is version two. I’m so bummed)

I’ve posted some pretty heavy stuff lately.

Today, I’ve got some really happy news that I can hardly wait to share!

Tess (my daughter) and her boyfriend Manuel came in from Dallas on Thursday to enjoy a long weekend with family and attend a friends wedding on Saturday night.

A few weeks back, Manuel called to ask for our blessing in proposing to Tess. That’s right. The man that I truly prayed for my daughter to one day meet, called and asked for our blessing in proposing to Tess. 

All afternoon on Thursday and all day Friday, I had to pretend to be clueless, which is ridiculously difficult for me because I’m just not good at keeping quiet. Not only was I worried I might slip and blow it, I was a little worried that Mike would slip somehow too. I kept telling him to go back in his office and work.

Friday, late afternoon, Tess and I showered and got ready for a dinner out with Mike and Manuel and Kate and Shelby. I told Tess that I wanted a little alone time with her, so we headed out a bit early for a short walk and a girly chat at the Arboretum, which is a beautiful place for a walk and a chat. I have been walking out there lately and she knew that, so getting her to go there with me was a pretty easy thing to do.

Manuel, genius that he is, flew his parents and his sister in from Dallas. Everyone was at the Arboretum and Tess was clueless. After a bit of girly time and a nice chat, we decided to head back to the entrance. Along our walk that was full of beautiful flowers and beautiful scenery all around, we encountered Manuel. 

I walked away and the magic happened. It was after the proposal that she looked up to see Mike and I and Manuel’s parents and sister standing there.

It really was perfect.

I wasn’t expecting the knee. I don’t know why. He is a total gentleman!

 

She said YES!

 

Ugly cry.

 

So happy.

 

Mascara everywhere.

 

Me…”Let me see that ring! Yep, that’s a good one! As you were people.”

 

Hugs. Hugs. More Hugs.

 

Nice job Manuel. You may breathe now.

 

I am so happy that Manuel brought his family here to be a part of this. I love his family and they make it clear that they love Tess. She is one lucky girl.

 

After the proposal, we met our other kids and their significant others (except for Anne and Cortney, who now live in Oklahoma) for dinner.

It was a perfect night, and in all of the excitement, we sent all of the grandparents a text and invited them over for breakfast the next morning for a celebration.

I took only a few pictures of brunch, but this one sums it all up. A houseful of Happy! We had 20 people over for brunch!

 

At some point during our engagement evening, Anne let us know that she was having contractions and would likely be having the baby soon.

I didn’t like the feeling of all of us being together in KC and her and her family in Oklahoma getting ready to have the baby, but this is our new normal.

At 5:30 am, we got the call that Anne had her baby…..in the CAR!!!

Yep, that’s right. If this year could not get any crazier, our daughter delivered her baby in their car, with her two other children in the back seat.

Everyone is fine, but what a birth story to tell!

Meet Kingston Edward Murphy. That’s right. We now have an Eddie Murphy in the house!

 

More later! Lot’s going on here in our house and so little time to blog!

I hate not blogging daily!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

I Now Have a Date

August 11, 2017

I worked the food truck on Wednesday, then ran a gazillion errands, then cleaned out the fridge and stocked it with the things that I had collected while running my gazillion errands, then made dinner. While cooking dinner, Kate and Shelby and the kids arrived back at our house after being gone over the weekend. We had dinner and then I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden it was 10:00 p.m. I still hadn’t showered from working at the food truck and I smelled like a cheeseburger. A dirty smelly, old cheeseburger.

I didn’t track or count, but I did eat good food!

The doctors office called and my surgery is scheduled for August 31st. Finally!

Here are Wednesday’s eats…

Breakfast

The remaining half of my RXBar from Wednesday.

 

Lunch

Bunless Burger while working at the food truck.

 

Dinner

Roasted Crinkle Cut Butternut Squash (Pre-cut from Trader Joe’s) with Turkey Taco Meat, Smashed Avocado, Tomatoes, Roasted Plantains and Lettuce.


2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Thanks!

Thank you for all of your comments, text messages, emails of encouragement, prayers and for sharing your own stories. I know that so many women have been where I am at now and have come out of treatment feeling strong and healthy and I know that I will do the same. I am feeling extremely lucky that I found it so early.

I met with the oncologist for the first time today.

While Mike and I were waiting for the doc to come into the exam room, I told Mike that I thought that this appointment would be at a desk, having a conversation about my treatment post surgery. I didn’t really think about an exam. Mike told me that if the doctor came in and was good looking, he might leave during the exam. Cracking up! 

The oncologist (He wasn’t un attractive, but Mike must have thought so. He stayed.) said that when women typically find a lump in their breast, it is much larger than the lump that I found. So YAY me for knowing my boobies!! He seemed very impressed. I was like….I know my body dude.

The appointment was extremely informative and I am learning a lot.

However….I am feeling extremely anxious about the fact that I have cancer and nobody seems to be in a big rush to get it out of me or do anything about it! A huge part of me is screaming….”What’s the point of early detection if you people aren’t in any big hurry to get this out of me???”

It is not necessary for me to have any chemo or radiation at this time, which is awesome. There is a very small chance that I may have some chemo after surgery, and as of right now, no radiation. This is great news.

I am being told that my tumor is slow growing, and that surgery at the end of this month will be just fine. I still have yet to be given a date, and that is what is giving me the most anxiety. I’m trying really hard to trust that they know what they are talking about, but it just seems like a really long time to have to wait!

I am having a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery and apparently the breast surgeon that will do the mastectomy, and the plastic surgeon that will make my new boobs, are having a hard time finding a date for me that works for the both of them. So right now, I’m a scheduling issue.

Being optimistic is actually pretty easy right now, but I think mostly because I don’t feel any different and it’s all just talk. Nothing is actually happening. It kinda feels like I am talking about someone else. On occasion, I think to myself…Oh shit..I have cancer! 

 

In other news….

Kate and Shelby and the kids were here for a week, then they left us. If you missed those post, Kate (our daughter) and Shelby and their four children experienced a flood in their house. A few things went to storage, a lot of things went to the garbage, and the house has been gutted.

Shelby’s parents are out of town, so they went to stay at his parents house with the kids to dog sit.

They left on Friday? The will be back tomorrow night.

Mike and Shelby have been working on the their house like crazy. Those two boys have spent the last few days hanging dry wall. It is 11:30 pm and Mike still isn’t home. I went down tonight for a few hours to do what I could. There is just so much still to do.

Mike was going to do the mudding and taping after hanging all of the dry wall, but Kate found someone today that can come tomorrow and do it! Mike was ecstatic! Mudding and taping tomorrow meant that all of the dry wall had to be completed tonight. There was quite a bit still left to do.

Next, we can paint! Then trim, then carpet. Then….they get to move back in! We are trying to get them back home by the end of the month.

 

More news…..

Tess and Manuel are coming in this weekend from Dallas! They have a wedding to go to here in town on Saturday, so they decided to come in on Thursday and have a little extra family time with us! Maybe we can put them to work!

 

The Job

So….at the very first appointment that Mike and I went to after being diagnosed, my phone rang during that appointment. It was my territory manager. Of course I didn’t answer, but I saw that he was calling. I knew right away why he must be calling. I knew there was only one reason. I was right!

I called him later that afternoon. After all of this time…….he was calling me to tell me that I was finally going to get my own meeting. It was not an At Work (which I truly do love both of my At Work groups, but I really want a meeting outside of those) but a Weight Watcher meeting open to the public!

I got to pick my day of the week and the time and the meeting would be starting around the last week in August.

You know I had to decline. I told him what was going on and that I knew it wouldn’t be fair to have another Leader get the meeting up and going, then I come in and take over. It’s just not right. I had to decline.

He was very sweet and he did promise me that he is getting other meetings started before the end of the year and that I will get one. So again, I will be patient and optimistic, but really, that sucked.

 

Weight Watchers

I finally feel like I am back Weight Watchering. I really have not been eating terrible, but I haven’t been paying a whole lot of attention either. No planning, no pictures, no tracking, no walking, no yoga.

These last three days, I did not track points, but I did take pictures and was very mindful about what I ate.

I need to make walking/yoga (at least one of these!) a priority. I think mentally I am just pooped. I really don’t mean to make excuses, but I haven’t felt like I had the time or energy. MUST WORK ON THAT!!

I know that Yoga will greatly help with the anxiety.

I’m off to work the food truck and forget about the rest of life for a few hours.

 

Food

Here are some eats from the last few days……

Veggie, Bacon (one slice) and White Sweet Potato Hash topped with that beautiful YOLK!

 

Tuna Salad, a few Roasted Plantains and lots of crunchy veggies.

 

My favorite Salad!

 

Toast with one Wedge of Laughing Cow sprinkled with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning (great combo!) with Egg Whites and Cherries.

 

I used this bread for the toast and I really like it! One Slice = 2 SmartPoints.

 

Again with the Tuna Salad and Veggies with some Apple Slices.

 

And…..again with the Salad. It’s easy. It’s delicious. Why not?

 

Wine with friends.

 

I needed just a little something before my appointment today, but had a nervous stomach, so I went with 1/2 of this Blueberry RX Bar

 

My Chicken Salad looked more like Grape Salad today, but those grapes were so juicy I couldn’t help but add a lot to this salad!

 

 

I use this mayo and I love it too!

 

I do love the Trader Joe Roasted Plantains, but I found these at Whole Foods and they taste just as good!

 

I got home at around 9:00, so I wanted something easy.

Sausages, Bell Peppers and a few Potatoes that were already cooked tossed in the skillet! Easy…..

I ate about half of this, saved the rest for the hubs.

 

 Loving these! I found these at Whole Foods.

One Sausage = 2 SmartPoints!

2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

 

When I found this, I knew it was perfect for this post!

I totally feel like a turtle right now, moving so slow through this whole process, but at the same time, feeling positive and optimistic.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

I have five different drafts for this blog post. One draft is like a novel, the other drafts are just a few short paragraphs.

I keep trying to find just the right words.

Some really really great things have happened this year and some really really crappy things have happened as well. Moving my mom’s cousin into the nursing home in February wore on me both emotionally and physically. The moving, the decisions, the second guessing, the visiting, and the new responsibility were all things that I was never quite certain that I was taking care of in the right way. Then one day out of the blue, she became ill. Nine days later, she was gone. The responsibilities that followed her death left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. From moving her out of her apartment into the nursing home at the beginning of February to her death at the end of June was a lot emotionally and physically. While I felt like I was holding it all together on the outside, my insides were in knots. I could feel my anxiety creeping higher and higher and I just kept thinking……breathe.

Between the day that Anna Lee passed and the day that we had her service, I discovered a lump in my left breast. I was putting on lotion after a shower. The following day all I could think about was “What will I say at Anna Lee’s funeral?”, and “Should I have this lump checked out?”. Three days after the service I went to the doctor. The doctor suggested that I have a mammogram, even though my mammogram in January of this year was fine. At the mammogram they decided to also do an ultrasound. After reading the mammogram and the ultra sound the doctor came in and said that I should have a biopsy.

On Tuesday, July 18th, I had a biopsy. I spent the next three days wondering if I had breast cancer and breathing really deep to chill out.

On Friday, July 21st, the doctor called to tell me that I did in fact have breast cancer. I think I knew it when I found the lump. 

I can’t believe I found the lump! I’m not great at putting lotion on after a shower, but I did that day. I felt the lump towards the top of my left breast. I knew that I hadn’t felt that lump before, and I also knew that they always say, if it feels unusual, have it checked out. I am SO glad that I did! Had I waited until my mammogram next January, this might be a whole different blog post.

I’ve had several appointments already and I have more appointments ahead before surgery. I will be having a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery before the end of this month. The date is not on the calendar yet, but should be soon.

I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage I. It is very treatable and I am going to be just fine. In the world of cancer, I’m truly one of the lucky ones.

Because I was diagnosed at the age of 50 and because my maternal grandmother had breast cancer in her 50’s, my insurance will pay a large portion of the cost for genetic testing. I should have those results in two weeks. I’ll talk about that more in a later post if necessary.

Please have your annual mammograms, and remind the other women in your lives to do the same. Pay attention to your body. If you are suspicious, take that time to check things out. It could make all of the difference in the world. I know so many people right now with different types of cancer, and this is one cancer that we can find early and treat, so please take advantage of those mammograms and take the time once in a while to do a self breast exam. I admit that I have not done them often, but I had done them just often enough that when I felt the lump in my breast, I knew that it was unusual.

I’m feeling good about things but also very anxious. Breathing really does help.

I think I’m more worried right now about Mike than I am about having breast cancer. With my news and now the kids house flooding, I know he is wondering what is next.

I did promise him that I could give a rats ass about the master bedroom remodel and if we look at the unfinished celling above the tub and shower for years, I won’t care. lol

This is why Tess came in over the weekend. She needed to see that mom is mom and I look and feel just like I always do.

I worry about getting the kids house finished from the flood before I have surgery and I will admit, I’m feeling super stressed that won’t happen. I don’t want them to feel like they have to go anywhere else while I recover before their house is ready for them to move back in. Can you imagine the stress they are feeling?

So, those are the words I’ve been struggling with, but there a few decisions I wanted to make before blogging about things.

My stress factor is obviously high these last three weeks and I’ve tried to stick to my healthy eating habits but walking has fallen to the bottom of the priority list.

I am so glad that I’ve changed so much of the foods that I eat. I feel like a strong and healthy person, and I know that will make recovery after surgery that much easier.

I would imagine that I’ll be back to blogging daily up until surgery if I can find the time. Remember we do have a houseful right now so we are just taking things one day at a time and I never really know what each day will bring. Yesterday Mike had a flat tire. Today, Kate had a flat tire. I think I’ll stick to the kayak!

I’ve had a couple of little melt downs, but I really am feeling good about things, especially when I think about how different this blog post could have been had I not found the lump.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Flood, Family and Food

August 3, 2017

Flood and Family

Thank you for all of your sweet comments and text and emails. We are all taking one day at a time and remembering that this too shall pass.

If you missed the last two post, well, they were full of stories that leave you saying phrases such as….”This sucks”, “Holy shit” and “We’ll figure it out”.

Over the weekend, family stepped in to help Kate and Shelby clean up from the water damage in their house and now what is not in this dumpster is in storage.

 

The boys got busy and were able to cut out drywall in the whole house.

 

The house is pretty empty waiting for the fans and dehumidifier to do their thing.

 

The toilet and sinks sit in the garage and the major appliances are in the middle of the kitchen.

Now we wait for things to dry out, pick out carpet and plan to paint!

Kate and Shelby and the four kids will stay here until we can all get the house back together. I know that Kate worries about me being stressed over the house not being in the OCD order that I like it in, but I swear nothing is bothering me and more than anything I am really enjoying having bonding time with all of them. Having the house full of family is feeling really good.

Food

I really was worried that I would lose all control and go back to old habits with kid friendly (Julie craving) food around, but I’m not doing too shabby! Everybody actually eats pretty healthy and the only foods that I have struggled with are foods that I bought for the kids!

Saturday morning the house was extra full with Tess here too and everyone was on their own since I was working. Rumor has it Mike provided Breakfast Burritos from McDonalds.

Saturday afternoon I grocery shopped and tried to come up with a food plan for the week that would satisfy all.

Sunday morning I made the Big Ass Waffle for the fam and enough bacon for the whole block!

 

When you have a baby in the house, all of your clothes have spit up on them, and you don’t even know it, or care.

 

The waffles were delicious and spit up free!

 

After a full day on Sunday, we came home to a pot roast in the crockpot. I hadn’t thought  about the fact that two pot roast and extra veggies might need to cook on high. Oops.

We had scrambled eggs, the leftover bacon from breakfast and toast for dinner Sunday night. It’s all good.

I don’t get home until after 7:00 on Mondays, so it was nice to know that pot roast would be ready for everyone else to eat whenever they were ready!

 

Tuesday I made Spaghetti and Roasted Green Beans.

I cooked pasta for the kids and made Zucchini noodles for whoever might be interested.

I opted for a big bowl of Spaghetti over my Roasted Green Beans. I love this combo!

So far the food plan has been a success and as far as I know, no one has gone to bed hungry.

I did buy some things that I don’t typically buy, and after dipping my hand into the Life Cinnamon Cereal one too many times, I said “enough!”, and it hasn’t bothered me since.

So, a lot is going on here lately and scheduling things that I would typically schedule doesn’t always go as planned and having a houseful of family has made it easier for me to make excuses to not do some of the things that I had been doing, like walking and getting in my steps.

I did not get my steps in yesterday for the StepBet, which means I am officially out of this StepBet and I forfeit my $40 bucks. I’m a little disappointed in myself but also trying to remind myself that things are just not normal right now and I will get back to my step game soon.

Since I did not get the steps in yesterday and I’m out of the game, I did decide to get time in for this while Mike played golf with the boys.

Last week in the WW room we talked about getting in some Fun Activity. I’m looking forward to telling my members that I finally got the kayak out on the water!

Did you get in some Fun Activity this week? I sure hope so!

2017 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Eat three meals and one snack daily
FOUR 100 Mile Walking Challenges this year! (This goal has changed a little now that I have this fabulous Fitbit.)

 

“love the life you live, live the life you love”