CHAT TIME ~ Life as it Happens ~ WEEKLY WRAP UP

With all the work on the House From Hell, I got away from my Life as it Happens of just chatting once a week or so.  It’s time to start doing a weekly wrap-up again.

Things have finally slowed down a bit in my life, but as it happens, just in time to get crazy again. In 2011 I had my cancer surgery and began the long trek back to health and fitness.  All in all, I was already pretty healthy and fit – I mean I cook from scratch, perimeter shop without the junk food and eat extremely little fast food.  The oncologist had said that those 3 things probably helped save my life as the cancer had nothing to feed on in my body.

But, the length of surgery caused another problem.  Turns out I had a Hiatal hernia and the stomach acid seeped up and started eating away my esophagus. So, a year later I had to have another operation to remove the shredded esophagus and rebuild the valve.  Then 9 months later an allergic type reaction to a prescription they gave me for my Fibromyalgia started lowering my potassium levels and shutting down my heart and I collapsed, literally close to death.  Fortunately, hubby insisted they take me to the hospital despite the idiot ambulance driver who was convinced I’d been drinking (strongest thing I EVER drink is iced tea) and tried to get me to sign a waiver so he didn’t have to transport me. The hospital staff work quickly to revive my potassium to a safe level and life went on.  When I came to though out on the street I became violently ill.  A few weeks later I knew something was wrong and several weeks after that I had surgery to repair my stomach and esophagus, AGAIN.

Fast forward a few years later and guess what? Here we are again.  Turns out I appear to be a statistic, a part of those late night commercials for the class action suits against products that fail.  I don’t see the surgeon for a couple weeks, but have been doing research and it appears from the last article I read that the type of mesh used to repair my stomach failed 17 out of 24 times – not very good odds in my opinion.  I’m anxious to meet the new surgeon who has gotten rave reviews from patients and doctors alike, and see what he has to say about a more permanent fix.

I have begun amassing cooking magazines and simple projects like changing over the address book, password book, etc… for when I’m laid up.  Unfortunately, this type of surgery leaves you unable to do much more than walk (no lifting, no stretching, etc…) after for quite awhile and on a very strict liquid to soft foods diet for quite a long time too.  I figured I would use the time to read, develop some ideas for new recipes and work on updating the blog compilation. I might be able to do a few simple craft projects to.

At least it is summer and since I’m relegated to the indoors during this weather anyway, it’s a good time to get well.

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LIFE – IT IS WHAT IT IS!

As I was scrolling through facebook this morning I ran across this post from 7 years ago. I found it speaking to me as it still describes life so well. I’m also pleased to say that even though there have been MANY (cancer, 5 surgeries and The House from HELL just to name a few of the BIG ones) curve balls thrown at me since then, I have de-cluttered my life really well, for the most part. So I offer you a rerun of that post below.

 
“Life has this funny way of testing us and sneaking in trials and tribulations that  weren’t in our original game plan never quite fit into “OUR” plans.  That is how it’s been for me the past many months.
 

As many of you know I have spent the last 7 1/2 months helping out various  family members around the country.  First it was my elderly in-laws  (MIL just turned 90) who begged us to come help them sell everything including the house and move them closer to family (we all know how that went – FIL is still trying to assign sentimental prices to everything in sight) and now it is my aunt & uncle.  My aunt has end stage Parkinsons disease, such a sad disease.  My aunt is extremely artistic and a beautiful painter – or at least she was.  The Dyskinesia from the Parkinsons disease has robbed her of that ability. My uncle recently saw the Oprah episode on hoarders and has decided that my aunt is one.  Trust me, she isn’t.  I once worked for a real estate company as a stager for homes and they would send me in to work on homes that were similar to those on the Oprah show – those were horrible.  So ask yourself, what is my (your) happy medium on the stuff I’ve (you’ve) accumulated?  My theory?  If you have a place for each item and it’s in its place, you’re NOT a pack rat or a hoarder.  I do offer you the definitions below.

This is one of my favorite paintings of hers. She did have a LARGE collection of art supplies and empty tins for storing those items in, but in her defense men do think in simpler terms and this is just a meeting of the minds discussion.  And in his defense they should be getting rid of most of this as she is now in a assisted living home and will not be able to use these items again.  Donating them to the church or a school while they are still usable would be best, but can’t be forced.  I pray that I will have more grace regarding these type of decisions if I reach that point and give up things more willingly, but none of us can ever be in one another’s shoes and truly know what we would do.
 
  • Also called trade rat. a large, bushy-tailed rodent, Neotoma cinerea, of North America, noted for carrying off small articles to store in its nest.
  • A person who collects, saves, or hoards useless small items or an old prospector or guide.

HOARD 

  • a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc…
  • to accumulate money, food, or the like, in a hidden or carefully guarded place for preservation, future use, etc…
Long story short (I know too late), I have decided it is time to take back MY life.  So, over the next couple of months I will be making some changes.  Some big, some small, but ALL necessary to be myself and get a handle on MY life.”
 
My aunt passed 4 years ago and in the end they found she did not have Parkinson’s disease, but did have Lewy Body disease.  Unfortunately the only way to tell for sure is through an autopsy. The treatments are similar and in the end would not have changed much.  She was offered the DBS (deep brain stimulating) surgery early on and refused it (surgery scared her to death – especially brain surgery). As her disease progressed she wanted the surgery, but had waited just too long and it was no longer a viable option.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 17 of 2017

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend. Ours was quiet. I’m stuck in the house for the most part again.

Having a compromised immunity SUCKS.  Thank you SLE. It especially sucks when you’re working with a house like this and constantly exposed to something lurking.  Despite my constant effort to wash the dirt and grime away I keep ending up with bacterial infections from what I am coming in contact with. Fortunately this time I got into the doctor the next day after I noticed a problem . She took one look and said I had what she thought was cellulitis. She referred me a great specialist the same day who says we caught it in time to avoid the hospital and eye surgery.

The ophthalmologist also told me that cellulitis can be from a mosquito or spider bite. It usually affects the skin of the lower legs, but mine is in the muscle of my lower eyelid which makes even blinking painful. While it isn’t contagious, it can spread withing your own body quickly making it a potentially serious bacterial infection that can become life threatening by spreading to the lymph nodes or bloodstream when left untreated, Boy am I glad I didn’t ignore the pain and went to the doctor right away.  I can’t be out in the sun because of the medications so, it will be a quiet week indoors for me again.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

It’s supposed to warm up quite a bit this week, high 80’s+ and even a low 90’s, but at least there is no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Black Cherry yogurt and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

I’m pretty happy.  Doing the laundry and deep cleans on Saturdays are making for HAPPY Mondays!

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

We’re going to work on some finishing touches around here this week:

  • Caulk and seal new molding on door frames
  • Seal windows

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Not much on TV at this time of year, just a few straggler shows that are about to wrap up for the season and some cooking shows backing up on the DVR so I’ll catch up on those this week. We did find a new show on Netflix that we are liking and we watched Adam Sandler’s Sandy Wexler this past weekend. It was okay.

I’m currently reading Ava Miles Dare River 5 book series. I’m on the second book, Chocolate Garden.

CRAFTS/PROJECTS

I’m working to finish a quilt for my niece Jill and her first baby, Luca.  I used a Noah’s Ark theme for one side and spring showers for the back.

KITCHEN WISHES

LOL nothing for now, but dreaming about my next kitchen.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
BACON & EGGS
PANCAKES or WAFFLES
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
BLUE APRON TAWANESE CHICKEN & RICE
BLUE APRON SEARED COD IN CREME FRAICHE SAUCE
BLUE APRON SILCILIAN STEAK & FREGOLA SALAD
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

Health tips for Kids – Precautions are better than treatment

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 13 of 2017

Did everyone have a good weekend?  Ours started out with a violent thunderstorm and tornado warnings, but we woke up Saturday to beautiful skies and warm temperatures.  I’ve been doing a lot of ebaying and organizing while I continue the minimizing and donating so wasn’t too bothered by the warm weather.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

After a beautiful, but warm weekend we are slated for more thunderstorms, warmer temperatures and high humidity as the week progresses – good thing I have a lot of inside activities this week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

I’m having blueberry yogurt with granola and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

The house is in good order despite the activities I have going on.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • A couple doctor appointments – hoping to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • EBAY pictures and descriptions
  • Trip to surprise a friend for her significant birthday.

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Still reading Jan Deleon novels trying to get caught up on all her series books.  This week is Book #3 of the Family Inheritance series.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
TOASTED FRENCH TOAST
CREAMED CHICKEN ON TOAST
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CREAMED CHICKEN ON TOAST  and SALAD
CAMPFIRE CHICKEN and POTATOES in foil and SALAD
GRILLED TAMARIND CHICKEN SKEWERS with MORITA CHILE SAUCE
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
GRILLED STEAKS and ASPARAGUS
TAVERN CHICKEN and NOODLES
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK

RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER

  • ASIAN PEAR and GRAPE CABBAGE SALAD
  • RED, WHITE & BLEU MEATBALLS
  • PAN SEARED CHICKEN with HERBED WINE SAUCE
  • SESAME CHICKEN
  • LEMON CURD CHEESECAKE
  • CHICKEN BOG
  • CHICKEN and SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA
  • CREAMY CRAB DIP
  • NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN DIP
  • CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY and ALMOND RUGELACH
  • MOLTEN RED VELVET CAKES
  • BRAISED TOMATO MUSHROOM CHICKEN
  • TAVERN CHICKEN

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND

2017 has been a rough year so far.  My MIL passed away on the 7th and it has taken me a couple weeks to process this. Mom was 4 days shy of her 97th birthday.  Can you believe she was almost 90 in this picture taken at a family camp out several years ago? She lived a VERY FULL and mostly happy life leaving behind a long legacy of love and family.  While at that age you know it’s natural causes and inevitable, it never lessens the severity of the impact. She had been saying for years that she was ready to go, but I just never wanted it to happen. Just knowing I’ll never be able to hear her sweet voice again leaves me with a heavy heart.

Then on the 21st my favorite BIL, Ray,  entered hospice as his cancer continued to eat away at his body.  He passed quietly surrounded by family on the 25th.  Ray was one of the best men I have EVER known in my entire life. I LOVED talking to him for hours – we have so many beliefs and ideals in common, almost like we shared the same thought process despite the HUGE age difference (hubby is almost 20 years older than me and his sister is 7 years older than him and my BIL was 3 years older than her – you get the picture). He lived a VERY FULL and happy life also leaving behind a long legacy of love and family.

His death is hitting me the hardest I think as we were both diagnosed with reproductive cancers within weeks of each other. He did everything right, just a bit too late for when his was diagnosed. I have had to struggle with moving past the Survivor’s Guilt of a high mortality cancer for the past 6 years and 99% of the time I’m doing well with it, I just wish he was walking that same path with me!

I REALLY MISS THEM BOTH!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

My violets are REALLY going to town in this window!

We had a visitor pop into our yard last Wednesday and couldn’t convince him he wasn’t ours. He had a collar, but no tags.  I tried calling rescues and local shelters and walking him through the neighborhood asking everyone I saw if they knew him.  As for the shelters they were NO help at all, at least by phone. Everyone said I was not in their jurisdiction and were actually quite rude! The last woman told me to just let him go, someone else would take care of him.  Can you believe that? So, we took him to our vet to see if maybe he was microchipped (he wasn’t) or they had any info on him.  They sent us to the nicest no kill shelter where he was immediately welcomed and seemed happy to be there. Bye Jake (that’s what we called him).  I pray you are adopted by a really nice family with 2 little boys and a HUGE yard.

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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CANCERVERSARY Year 6 and Counting

Six years ago today my life was forever changed when I woke up after my “Cancer” surgery. I will NEVER forget that day or all the support and love that my family and friends provided during my journey. The doctors, nurses and fellow cancer patients I met and have bonded with has been an amazing gift. I will always worry about my cancer coming back but right now I am so thankful and blessed to be here today. Thank you everyone for your love and support!!!
2192 days ago they told me they got it all.  Well to be honest I was out of it for the first 3 days after a being cut open from stem to stern and a lengthy surgery so I didn’t hear them until 2189 days ago.  But, my family knew and was relieved.   I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall and the elephant is ALWAYS in the room.  They learn new nuances about cancer every day, but no one knows for sure why one person gets cancer and another doesn’t when there is no direct link nor when or if it will come back.

Every bite of food I take, every prescription, every breath of air, every time I’m around fertilizer, clean the bathroom or use kitchen spray cleaner remind me that I don’t know how I got this horrible cancer and that there is is still the risk of it repeating itself.  My oncologist tells me that having Systemic Lupus may have saved my life because it changed my lifestyle all those years ago forcing me to eat “cleaner” with no boxed or canned products for the most part, give up “regular” junk food and just be more aware and vigilant in day to day life.

After surgery I was poked, prodded and put through every possible test to double check their findings because they couldn’t believe they got it all.  The tumor was large (volleyball size) but contained – unheard of for this type of cancer so I got a new label – rare and uncommon gynecological tumor which sparked a new round of tests. Even with complete vigilance I ended up with a secondary condition, Lymphedema, that requires daily maintenance.

I dread the waiting between check-ups, but the dread is lessening with every passing check up, but NOT the vigilance!  I’m always afraid that I might not get a clean bill of health with every blood test or check up.  While I can now claim complete remission and have been moved to the “survivor’s clinic”, but even then there are no guarantees.  While I know I am one really lucky girl, I am always vigilant.

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HOUSE FROM HELL day 458 update

I’m still under the weather, but trying to get some things done none the less so I try to pick an inside project each day that I can come close to accomplishing.  Unfortunately I’ve entered the “Full Flare” phase of Systemic Lupus and Fibromyalgia.  These are two really horrible diseases to have to begin with, but together they equal complete misery – every joint and nerve ending are on fire between shooting pains.  The SLE makes you beg for death some days with aching joints and the shooting pain and at the very least think about staying in or going back to bed.  Then the Fibro has you crawling the walls with pain, but ironically that pain feels better if you get up and move.  My motto since I was diagnosed all those years ago has been “GET UP & GET GOING” no matter what!  Eventually I feel better as the day goes on even I do crash by 8PM. I’m doing pretty well for someone who is supposed to be living a stress free life and still dealing with this house the past 14 months.

Last year I did the “turn your hangers around and anything not worn during the year you donate” challenge.  Well, I used to have an office job – the kind that actually required nice dresses and heels. I’ve moved those clothes around with us the last several years thinking they’d be good for church and nice nights out, BUT I don’t need so many of them.  So, I went through them all today (my project for the day) as well as my skirts, blouses and slacks and was able to seriously clean out my closet by 52 gallons, four 13 gallon bags full to be exact. Since I’m continuing the minimizing challenge this year, logging everything has helped A LOT!

Tomorrow I’m thinking about doing the spice cabinet or the desk.

Hubby on the other hand worked outside and  has taken over my digging on the stump trying to get all the small roots out of the way.  It took him several hours, but he made good headway today.

We’re still looking for someone to at least chainsaw off as much as possible though we’d prefer to find someone to grind it out!

 

OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and my birthday month.  Is there a correlation?  Probably just for me, but the irony is NOT wasted on me.  At this age many people just say, it’s another day, oh well.  For me, I look forward to it like a small child.  Not because of cake and presents, but because I’m alive to celebrate it. In a few months I will have my 6 year check up, an event fairly rare with this type of cancer, so I’m ecstatic to be having another birthday that puts me that much closer to being labeled cancer free AGAIN! I have vowed to tell my story every year in hopes of raising awareness.  My story was not just pure luck.  In today’s world it’s hard work to stay on top of awareness, healthy eating and a positive lifestyle, but it is also SOOOOO worth it!  BE AWARE. BE VIGILANT. BE HEALTHY. BE POSITIVE.

SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

I’ve always been a good girl and gotten my yearly well woman exams. I know my own body.  I started getting my mammograms at a very early age because of a serious family history of breast cancer.  I have a degree in the health field.  I am aware, yet imagine my surprise at my well woman appointment when they said they thought I might have a serious problem – Merry Christmas (December 2010) to me!  Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was confirmed.

Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don’t neglect any little pain or irregularity.

  Take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Despite getting my yearly well woman exams I had been having a few pains  here and there for several months before my scheduled appointment, but ignored them because they “mimicked” my chronic appendix of many, many years.  I ignored them and it almost killed me.  Are YOU ignoring something that you should be having a doctor check?  Think twice and make an appointment 1st thing tomorrow.

Ovarian cancer has an ugly step sister too, breast cancer.  If you have any family history please get tested for BRCA also.  You have probably heard about it with a few celebrities having chosen to remove their breasts after testing positive.  It’s a simple blood test and can give you a world of relief to know the answer and if by chance it’s not relief, then your are armed to save your life with positive choices.  You can learn more about it here. Because of my family history I not only got BRCA done, but I was ready to act on it f necessary.  Being prepared mentally is one of the best things to do fo yourself.  I cannot say it enough:

Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don’t neglect any little pain or irregularity.

Everyday Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk can be found here

Go check these out NOW!  
Here are a few other tips to get you started.
  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get moving with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
  • For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit THEM online at www.cancer.org.

NEW LIFE to an old KITCHENAID

Back in 1994 we lived in Northridge, California. On January 16, 1994 I spent the day setting up banquet tables in my dining room and living room so I could empty out EVERY kitchen cabinet and drawer of dishes, food (including 6 dozen freshly made jars of jam) and cooking utensils onto those tables to prepare for a complete kitchen overhaul.  It was a tough job and in all honesty some things were stacked a bit precariously, but I made it ALL fit onto the tables.

After I accomplished that tiresome job I removed all the cabinet doors and had them stacked and ready for stripping and painting the next day.  I was exhausted, but I was ready for the next day full of painting. Or so I thought.

What I didn’t know when I planned that project was that the 6.9 Northridge earthquake was going to strike at 4:31 the next morning, only a few short hours after I called it a day from the prep work for the kitchen the previous day.  Long story short we lost 95% of EVERYTHING in the house and garage including my car.

It took a FULL month plus to pick up, bag up, box up and haul everything out to the curb to throw away the broken pieces of our life including furniture, walls and the jam mashed into the carpet.  We had no food except what was in the freezer.  We had a 2 week long block party with the neighbors all taking turns at cooking on BBQ’s in the street.   No electricity, no stores, no banks, no phones (the days before everyone having a cell phone)… life came to a grinding halt.

But, when the dust had settled, the insurance inventories had been submitted, insurance checks began to arrive and when we had caught our breath we began rebuilding.

One of the first things I bought was a new mixer.  I had decided that I was going to splurge and so I bought a top of the line (for the time) 6 qt. professional Kitchenaid.  At the time you couldn’t get all the designer colors so I got a simple white.

In early 2007 I couldn’t stand how it looked after so many years of use, but it is a work horse and I love it so I decided to paint it.  No since in spending money just for a prettier mixer so I chose a hammered copper paint which was popular for the time. 

Now, lmost 10 years later it was time again.  This time I chose a teal color to keep with the color theme I have chosen for this house.  Teal is my new favorite color since it’s the awareness color for Ovarian Cancer.  A day doesn’t go by that I don’t thank God for surviving Ovarian Cancer so choosing the teal is a happy reminder that I’m here and healthy. I got a little carried away and started painted a lot of things.

 Of course it began to thunder and sprinkle then rain so I had to move everything inside to finish drying.

All finished! A great 22 1/2 year old KitchenAid professional workhorse in a new custom color.

SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and my birthday month.  Is there a correlation?  Probably just for me, but the irony is NOT wasted.  At this age many people just say, it’s another day, oh well.  For me, I look forward to it like a small child.  Not because of cake and presents, but because I’m alive to celebrate it. In a few months I will have my 5 year check up, an event fairly rare with this type of cancer, so I’m ecstatic to be having another birthday that puts me that much closer to being labeled cancer free! I have vowed to tell my story every year in hopes of raising awareness.  My story was not just pure luck.  In today’s world it’s hard work to stay on top of awareness, healthy eating and a positive lifestyle, but it is also SOOOOO worth it!  BE AWARE. BE VIGILANT. BE HEALTHY. BE POSITIVE.

SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

I’ve always been a good girl and gotten my yearly well woman exams. I know my own body.  I started getting my mammograms at a very early age because of a serious family history.  I have a degree in the health field.  I am aware, yet imagine my surprise at my well woman appointment when they said they thought I might have a serious problem – Merry Christmas (December 2010) to me!  Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was confirmed.

Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don’t neglect any little pain or irregularity.

  Take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Despite getting my yearly well woman exams I had been having a few pains  here and there for several months before my scheduled appointment, but ignored them because they “mimicked” my chronic appendix of many, many years.  I ignored them and it almost killed me.  Are YOU ignoring something that you should be having a doctor check?  Think twice and make an appointment 1st thing tomorrow.

Ovarian cancer has an ugly step sister too, breast cancer.  If you have any family history please get tested for BRCA also.  You have probably heard about it with a few celebrities having chosen to remove their breasts after testing positive.  It’s a simple blood test and can give you a world of relief to know the answer and if by chance it’s not relief, then your are armed to save your life with positive choices.  You can learn more about it here.

Everyday Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk can be found here

Go check these out NOW!  
Here are a few other tips to get you started.
  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get moving with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
  • For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit us online at www.cancer.org.

ONE YEAR CLOSER TO COMPLETE REMISSION & THE ELEPHANT IS ALWAYS IN THE ROOM

Four years ago today my life was forever changed when I woke up after my “Cancer” surgery. I will NEVER forget that day or all the support and love that my family and friends provided during my journey. The doctors, nurses and fellow cancer patients I met and have bonded with has been an amazing gift. I will always worry about my cancer coming back but right now I am so thankful and blessed to be here today. Thank you everyone for your love and support!!!
1464 days ago they told me they got it all.  Well to be honest I was out of it for the first 3 days after surgery so I didn’t hear them until 1461 days ago.  But, my family knew and was relieved.   I am always waiting for the other shoe to fall and the elephant is ALWAYS in the room.  They learn new nuances every day, but no one knows for sure why one person gets cancer and another doesn’t when there is no direct link nor when or if it will come back.
Every bite of food I take, every prescription, every breath of air, every time I’m around fertilizer, clean the bathroom or use kitchen spray cleaner remind me that I don’t know how I got this horrible cancer and that there is is still the risk of repeating itself.  My oncologist tells me that having Systemic Lupus may have saved my life because it changed my life all those years ago forcing me to eat cleaner, give up “regular” junk food and just be more aware and vigilant in day to day life.

After surgery I was poked, prodded and put through every possible test to double check their findings because they couldn’t believe they got it all.  The tumor was large (volleyball size) but contained – unheard of for this type of cancer so I got a new label – rare and uncommon gynecological tumor which spark a new round of tests.  

I dread the waiting between check-ups every few months.  I’m always afraid that I might not get a clean bill of health with every blood test and check up.  In 365 days I can claim complete remission, but even then there are no guarantees.  While I know I am one really lucky girl, I am always vigilant.  

BUCKET LIST UPDATE

TODAY I AM CELEBRATING 
LIFE AS IT HAPPENS EACH & EVERY DAY.
On 12-29-2010 my life changed forever with a cancer diagnosis so of course I made a BUCKET LISTNo, not because I’m dying, but because I’m living. I’m doing well and getting close to being able say complete remission.

Miracles DO happen 

Then life kinda got out of control and I forgot about the list.  It is time to start thinking about it again make some fun plans.

There are so many things I want to do before I do die, but there never seems to be enough time, money or energy so I’m making a list as I go and changing that.  I’m fortunate that I have already done so many things, but there are so many more yet to do!  I no longer stress out over the small things and they were right, they are all small things! 
  • Eat a hangover burger – 12-28-11
  • – Go to a PRO football game
  • – Go to a PRO hockey game
  • – Learn a new hobby
  • – Finish my novels
  • – Finish my cookbooks
  • – Get published
  • – Go to Vermont/New England and see the changing colors in the fall
  • – Go to Disneyworld/Epcot Center
  • – Go to an Olympics
  • – Get a postcard series of pictures published
  • – Go white water rafting
  • – Go Deep Sea Fishing (if only for the pictures)
  • – Go Parasailing
  • – Design and publish a quilt pattern
  • Travel 1st Class (sort of) 10-7-14 (trip post to follow)
  • – Move to a new part of the country and start afresh learning new local history
  • – …
Every time I update this list I will change to the current date to show my progress.

My birthday is in September, but with the weather so hot during that month we waited until October to take a trip for my birthday, not that the weather was that much better.  In the “old” days we would take a little trip for each of our birthdays.  That all changed with hubby’s last alert, activation and eventual deployment.  With the fall out of the VA after that, then my cancer and 5 surgeries we never seemed to get back to the trip around my birthday – something ALWAYS came up.  Well, this year we made it.
So for my birthday present from hubby we spent 3 days and 2 nights aboard the historic Queen Mary living in a harbor view first class luxury stateroom with a trip to the Aquarium.  I promise a post and lots of pictures soon!

CANCER – ARE YOU SCREENING?

SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!

I’ve always been a good girl and gotten my yearly well woman exams. I know my own body.  I started getting my mammograms at a very early age because of a serious family history.  I have a degree in the health field.  I am aware, yet imagine my surprise at my well woman appointment when they said they thought I might have a serious problem – Merry Christmas to me!  Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was confirmed.

Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don’t neglect any little pain or irregularity.


 Take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.

Despite getting my yearly well woman exams I had been having a few pains  here and there for several months before my scheduled appointment, but ignored them because they “mimicked” my chronic appendix of many, many years.  I ignored them and it almost killed me.  Are YOU ignoring something that you should be having a doctor check?  Think twice and make an appointment 1st thing tomorrow.

Ovarian cancer has an ugly step sister too, breast cancer.  If you have any family history please get tested for BRCA also.  You have probably heard about it with a few celebrities having chosen to remove their breasts after testing positive.  It’s a simple blood test and can give you a world of relief to know the answer and if by chance it’s not relief, then your are armed to save your life with positive choices.  You can learn more about it here.

Everyday Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk can be found here

Go check these out NOW!  
Here are a few other tips to get you started.
  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get moving with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
  • For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit us online at www.cancer.org.