Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just a year ago

It is a little bit crazy to me that this journey just began a year ago.  At this time last year, I was finishing up my mammogram and ultrasound, and little did I know, I was in for quite a ride. In the last year, I've had 2 biopsies, 3 surgeries, 4 PETscans, 6 cycles of chemo, and so much blood drawn that I might as well be supplying a vampire in addition to that mammogram/ultrasound.  Thankfully, I've also been able to take some cool trips to counteract the not so fun stuff.   It still isn't officially my cancerversary. That is July 17th.  I was in North Carolina at the time which really ruined that trip (to put it lightly), but since we have that NC week every year, I'm glad that I will always be doing something fun with family when the cancerversary comes around.  Wow, what a year!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Crossing another off the list

The last few weeks have been very full, and I am thankful for every busy moment.  I am also so thankful that I got to cross off one of my big things on my bucket list by taking a cruise to Alaska. I'm so appreciative that I have friends who helped make that happen. There have been a few moments that I questioned my sanity at planning so many things this summer, but while on my Alaska/Seattle trip, I heard from another friend with metastatic breast cancer, who went into remission at the same time as me, that she is already out of remission. It was a sobering reminder of how quickly things can change and how much I need to live for and appreciate every moment, while taking nothing for granted.

Alaska was absolutely amazing. We were able to see both the north and south Sawyer Glaciers in Tracy Arm which were just beautiful. Probably the best day of the trip was our day in Juneau where we went to Mendenhall Glacier & walked to the bottom of a waterfall at the base of it along with going whale watching. The whale watching was amazing because we saw 10-14 humpback whales bubble net feeding.  Our time in Sitka and Ketchikan was good as well, and the trip was topped off by a visit to Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria, B.C.  Plus I can now say I've been to Canada as well. We stayed in Seattle for a couple of days, and I loved the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in the Seattle center. The only bad thing about the trip is that I have struggled to get back on Eastern time which is why I'm writing this way too late at night, lol.  Hope you enjoy just a few of the pictures!  

This blog took me a bit longer than planned to get to because my computer decided to bite the dust the day after I got home.  I had been expecting that the computer's demise might happen sooner rather than later since I was still on my 5-6 year old laptop that had endured all the abuse of the dissertation.  It acted weirder than I would like a few times on the trip, and the day after I got home it began doing even crazier things.  Since I teach online, I have to have a reliable computer that is not going to freeze up for half the day or any other oddity.  At least, I was able to get a computer that was lighter than what I used to have, and all of my data was able to be moved over in less than 24 hours.  Four of the 5 classes that I am teaching right now end this weekend so the speed of getting back up and running to get back grading was critical. Speaking of that, I'd better get some sleep so that I am coherent enough to grade again tomorrow when I need to. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Diet and insurance

A few doctor visits ago, I asked my oncologist what type of diet I should be following since the recommendations are different for breast cancer vs liver cancer, etc.  She mentioned that with active stage 4 cancer the diet isn't going to "cure" it, but research on following a mediterranean diet seemed to be positive for cancer and many other health issues.   I looked into it  at that time, but really started trying to follow it once I got the word on NED.  The mediterranean diet is high on fruits and vegetables with a goal of 7-9 a day and is more restricted on meat saying you should have beef or pork only 1-2 times a month with fish or chicken a few times a week.  I have probably leaned more to vegetarian than it actually requires you to do.  It has been a month, and so far, I've done pretty well with it.  Due to some of my other health issues, I used to have to play a lot of games of "if I eat this, I can't eat that" that I've found don't have to be played with meat primarily out of my diet.  So, if you have any good mediterranean or vegetarian recipes, please share them with me.  I am trying to add more items to my menu.

I got some good news yesterday that my insurance has finally approved my appeal and paid for my surgery in February.  That was a huge ($20,000+ sized) weight off of my shoulders.  What a relief!

Nothing much more to share;  I am just so thankful to have that worry gone and be feeling well!