Monday, June 25, 2007

Life on the river, in the river, across the river...

Life on the river is sweet.  A nice vacation.  I could just sit out there forever - and I've been working on it.  I like the wind, and watching the geese and ducks and the boats that occasionally go by.  The odd jet ski or two.  I laugh at the simple fishing boats that I see going by with their motors full blast bouncing on top of the choppy waves.  Cracks me up because I would be hanging over the edge, green.  Either that or would have whiplash.

There are a few interesting things I've seen.  Today, I was just looking at the water and noticed what I first thought was a goose or coot of some sort?  What was it?  The neck was too long for a duck, not colorful enough for the type of geese we have and I didn't think it was a coot....Where's the body?  No body.  Wait.  That's not a....oh, I hope it's not...It's a snake!  Look!  It dove down.  Sure enough.  No body.  No tail bobbing up.  Nope.  Nothing is surfacing.  IT's a snake.  Ugh.  That means a cottonmouth or water moccasin.  Whatever, it's a snake.  Yuck.  OR it's a nessy sighting.  (would that be The Pasquatank Monster?)  Yeah, you country folk laugh at me.  Snake.  No big deal.  I've had more than my fair share of run ins with them myself, thank you very much.  Don't like em.

Another thing going on around here (and I'm starting to sound like an old gossip), smoke.  This must be the field burning season.  I've seen 4 or 5 plumes (HUGE things) of smoke going up here and there.  Me and Gary teased that we feel like it's The Others (from Lost), and good ole Smokie from the island.

You have to understand that my parents have a prime location.  They are on the river.  I mean, their back yard and side yard drops off into the water.  And it's a wide river.  It's so pretty.  They get the best sunrises.  And they've got two large pecan trees in the back yard that provides great shade.  I've been sitting out there in the dappled shade, thinking I was okay, but getting sunburned!!  I'm a really pale person, the variety that doesn't tan.  But living in Hawaii and being out in the sun every day, I've gone from pastey white to off white.  Well, I'm pinkish now.  Funny, have to come to NC to get some sun.   LOL!  I just need to be more diligent with the sunscreen.

Friday, June 22, 2007

rules are made for breaking, right?

LOL!  We've been here in North Carolina for a week, and I've surely gained 5 pounds already.  My mom greeted us with The Barefoot Contessa's Outragious Brownies - and then proceeded to bake sugar cookies with the boys.  Stayed a few days and then went to my MIL's house where we've eaten non-stop.  I counted - we've eaten fried chicken at 4 meals!!  Not to mention bar-b-que, hush puppies, sweet iced tea, good mexican (Hawaii can't make Mexican food) - yadda, yadda.  Ice cream.  Fresh from the garden vegetables - of course, laden with either butter or lard and salt.

I've done SOME walking.  I've got blisters on my toes, so I took a break today - but tomorrow - long walk day.

When we first got here we were freezing!  Didn't even make it to 70.  Luckily, we had left a box of winter clothes here at my folks house - so we had sweaters and sweatshirts.  LOL!  It was colder than we got in our winter in Hawaii, I do believe!  It would have been fine if I had brought a pair of long pants and mom didn't insist we eat outside!

Gotta go - typing on borrowed time here.  I'll try to update before we leave.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

flying out tomorrow

Going to the mainland to visit family.  I won't get much computer time, so just to let anyone who is interested know that I won't be reading journals or writing them until I get back.  Awwww.  I won't get back until early July.

I hope everyone has a great summer!

Monday, June 11, 2007

rule #4

Ugh.  Time for another rule.  The weeks fly by pretty fast.

Okay, positive rule and easy.

4.  have a yogurt or skim milk snack once a day

My dairy intake is pitiful.  It usually comes in the form of cheese.  I don't like milk in cereal.  I had a bad milk incident during pregnancy, so I can't just drink it plain.  When I do drink it, it's always skim and chocolate (sugar free Quik).  I just don't do it often enough.  I think this rule will ensure that I get it twice a day, or at least once a day on my bad days. 

Okay, so this week is taken care of.  But I'm going out of town for 3 weeks and I will not be guaranteed any online time.  So this is my vacation rule.  I'm granting myself one unhindered Bojangle visit.  Spicy fried chicken, biscuit, spicy fries and hurt your teeth sweet iced tea.  I'm sure we will eat out a lot, so my challenge will be to order the most healthy thing on the menu.  If there aren't good options, then to keep portion size down.  I am determined not to gain weight (hard to do in the deep south).  Plus, my official marathon training begins while I'm gone, so I WILL keep up with my walks.  Which will be a challenge.  I'm terrified of loose dogs when I walk.  Plus, the towns we are going to are very small.  I went online to a site I have where you can map out a route and get mileage.  Gee, I swear these towns are about 1 square mile!  And that's weaving in and out of streets.  Small town America.  I'm not about to wander winding country roads that have no shoulder or sidewalk. 

confession: twice this week I ate after 8.  Once by accident, and the other was willful.  I took an evening walk tonight and am really desiring to snack - but I think that's from habit.  So instead I'm chugging water, on the pc and watching a scary movie.  I've done good with the fruit, in fact, it's a nice addition to breakfast.  And I've been challeneged only a couple of times with the seconds and did good.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

oh the horror

I just realized that in 7 years, when my boys are 14 and very savvy on the internet, they are going to find these journals and be horrified by the content.  Hopefully the spongebob picture will be the only picture I post publically.  And hopefully, it's not used against them by some arch rival in school who happens to find it first and wants to humiliate the boys.  Ack!

Hmmmm.... Contemplating what my summer tattoo will be...

3 days is the winner!

I assume my great wide audience (LOL!) was placing bets how long it'd be before I posted another boob entry.  Just a quickie.

Sneezing and yawning. 

I bet you never thought these were activities that involve your pecs.  Oh yes, my friend.  When you yawn, there must be some sort of muscle directly connecting from the neck to the pec which pulls, odd, odd feeling.  sneezing.  The man hand is back and squeezing as hard as he can.  I had quite the sneezing fit today.  Like being put through a mammogram machine.  :-P

That's all I have.  I'm sleepy, after my 2 hour walk this morning.  And I just bet, as soon as I get comfortable, the boys will be bugging me to play Life.  Better catch those zzz's now!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

ahhhh, in a much better place

head-wise.

I had my appointment with my plastic surgeon today.  It was a good appointment.  I didn't even have to do much/any whining.  We are on the same page on the changes we want to see, and he says that he thinks a gel implant would get better results, the fullness and projection I need.  But it's still early and he doesn't want to see me again for a couple of more months.  Whew!  I can live with that.  And I like the idea that I'm giving it time to improve so I may not even want to swap.

What a relief.  And I feel so blessed that I do have options available to me.  I just need to make sure that I don't get my hopes up too high and my expectations are realistic.  Ya know?  That's why it's so good that I'm getting a few months to sit on it.  You know, this morning, before I left for my appointment, I saw pictures of an online friend who had reconstruction gone very wrong.  She had had radiation in 2004 and last year went through the expansion/implant route.  She did a couple of revision surgeries, she had a lot of scarring, and her incisions have since opened up.  It's just so painful looking, and it is painful to her.  (please consider autologus reconstruction if you've had rads!)  It's given me pause.  Do I really want to risk the good healing and so-so results, and potentially exchange them for bad healing and horrible results?  You know, I'm not completely flat, like after the mastectomy.  What I have I can get by with, if you don't really look, and most people don't. 

So, I thusly close this chapter on the boob monologues.  LOL!  I may throw in a bra shopping expedition or two, but I pretty much hope to be silent about it for at least a little while.

Oh, one last thing - my lifted side -it's HOT!  I LOVE it!  Who says you've gotta have big'uns to be HOT!  This B cup is da bomb!  I'm gonna enjoy it before gravity takes over.   Where are those girls gone wild cameras?  LOL!  Just kidding!

bringing home the school papers

and lookie what I read!

 It's the end of school so the boys are bringing home all kinds of stuff.  Ryan's class put together "scrapbooks" from throughout the year.  This is what Ryan wrote for Thanksgiving: (I'll clean up the spelling not the grammar):

I am most thankful for God because he is the one who made us and everything else even the earth and Virginia and every other state and country.  No one can be better than God.  Everybody can worship God.  He is the best person ever.  And he died for us all.
 
*sniff* Just makes you want to cry, doesn't it?!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

bra shopping

This post is mainly for me.  (as I suppose all of them should be!)  Because it's going to be about boobs and God.  yes, I said it, in the same sentence (or sentence fragment).

Against the advise of my doctor, I went bra shopping today.  I did not plan on buying, just trying - and trust me, I didn't buy.  I practically had a meltdown in the dressing room.  The horror.  One perfect boob, one perfect mess of a boob.

This week's sunday school lesson was on Psalm 37:1-11.  We picked it apart verse by verse, broke it down into a chart of Do's and Don'ts and Promises/Principles.  It's quite easy to do and it's amazing what you see when you do this.  What jumped out at me and slapped me in the face was that 3 times it says "do not fret".  Does God know us or what?  I fretted all week last week.  Frankly, I've fretted for the past 3 weeks.  What a colossal waste of time.  Plus verse 8 says "do not fret - it only leads to evil" - yup.  And repeatedly it says to trust in the Lord, commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, be still before the Lord, wait patiently for Him...  Ahem.  paying attention, Stephanie?

And then last night, during bible time with the boys, it's focus verse was Philippians 4:6-7.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."   And let's not stop there, go on to verse 8!  "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -  if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."  My mind has been focusing on the wrong things.

I swear I'm the most rebellious Christian I know!

Well, I have to go get the boys at school - but that's the main gist of what I've been thinking about.  Do you thinks it's possible for me to not fret between now and my doctor's visit tomorrow?  We'll see if I set aside my rebellion!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

rule day

So, like I predicted, rule #2 was harder than you would think.  The day I got my hair done, I didn't get my fruit in.  I've done okay otherwise, but I really have to think about it and make a conscientious effort.  Not a habit yet - so I will plug away at it.  I think it's a good rule.

Rule #1 is still an effort too.  I'm so glad I have this rule.  It has prevented many empty calories from entering my body.  It's a keeper.

Rule #3 is going to be a "negative" rule - but an easy one, since I'm still working on #2 too.  So, rule # 3 is: no seconds!

I don't do that a whole lot, but I definitely do it if I make biscuits.  I even PLAN for it!  I always bake enough for everyone to have 2.  And the second usually ends up being after I've already cleaned my plate - so it's not like I need it, and I"m usually overstuffed after eating it.  So, it's gotta go.  Gluttony for sure.

I've been thinking about future rules, and I'm going to have to make some concerning candy holidays like Halloween.  My boys went to a birthday party and brought home tons of candy from a pinata - guess who's been eating it?  Plus I'll want to implement rules that will encourage eating new healthy foods.  I've been trying for years to learn to like sweet potatoes.  I've written about it many times.  I've toyed with the idea of a rule being, "try a new fruit or vegetable or other healthy food every week".  And rules like, "eat fish twice a week" or "make 2 (1?) meatless suppers a week" - and these would involve planning ahead and a longer span of time than just one week.  I don't know if I can find that many meatless dinners that 'the people' will eat.  So it will be a challenge.  But I want to make it more of a game than a chore.  Otherwise, I won't do it.

But, for now, it's still baby steps.  I'll use my free time (ha-ha-ha!) to do some meal planning for future challenges.  I don't know, summer is really going to be interesting with the boys home.  They are at a much better age to help with the cooking.  Last week I got them to help me make snickerdoodles.  I had made the dough and they helped roll the balls and dip them in the cinnamon sugar.  Sure, it's cookies.  Of course they will help.  They even want to start a snickerdoodle company called Snickies.  LOL!  Think I can get them to roll sushi by the end of summer?  LOL!  Doubt it!  But hey, that's an idea.  They are horrified by the idea of sushi.  We have so many sushi restaurants here - like Sushi Man and Mr. Sushi.  I keep teasing them (I'm sure I shouldn't).  Maybe I can find a tasty faux sushi, like a dessert sushi we can make.  Hmmmm. I'll have to google it.  BTW, I'm not a sushi fan.  The combination of the vinegar smell and the fishy smell of the nori just gag me.  That'll be a good thing to overcome.  :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

why do I do this? and a top 5 list

I'm just wondering why I make my husband look at the gross and weird things on my body.  It can't be a good idea.

yes, I'm back to the boob topic.

I really feel that PS's need to let their patients know the truth about what the outcome will be.  Let expectations be realistic.  Mine reassured me that I would have a good outcome, my skin was good, blah, blah, blah.  He didn't tell me that I would be disappointed at first.  And it would take a while to get used to it.  (I've discovered that a large %age recon patients are disappointed)  I guess he may have implied it, by saying that it takes weeks for the swelling to go down and things to settle.  He did tell me that I would be squashed on the one side and extra "perky" on the other side.  I guess, being a melodramatic person, I need it put into melodramatic terms.  The "perky" boob was gargantuan.  The squashed boob looked like a shriveled, white prune.  THAT would have prepared me, because that's what I saw.  (I suppose he didn't want to scare me?...)

He also didn't tell me about the neat party tricks my boob does.  (this is what I showed my DH today) I've got a couple of lumps, that are obviously the implant.  You can push them in and it feels like those pop-o-matic games.  Well, I have one on the side and if I watch that while I bend forwards I can see it move, being pulled by gravity.  Until it forms the corner on that side.  The corner to what?  Well, my boob is rectangular!  Flat on the end.  When I stand up, it's kinda triangular from the bird's eye view  (an offset triangle).  And if I run my fingers along it, I can feel all kinds of lumps and bumps.  My implant is NOT smooth (although it is a smooth style).  By what I feel, it's all wrinkly.  I wonder if it's not all filled.  Maybe there was a leak.  Maybe it doesn't fit the pocket right.  Maybe it'll change with more time.

I'm used to them now, with clothes on.  I dread the bra shopping that I'll need to do.  But I hear the VS Ipex bra and t-shirt bras are good for us recon patients.  Hides all kinds of wierdness and flatness.  I know that I won't be able to wear the bras that I had before BC.

If I see one more movie where the BC recon patient flashes her spectacular new boobs to strangers in the doctors lobby, I'll freak.  Ok.  So maybe I will just freak on the inside.  But you are not going to see the movie where the BC recon patient is home alone, crying.  And hating that she is even plagued with that much vanity, despite being grateful for being alive and being thankful for the opportunity to have recon.  Blasted emotions.

Just a little tidbit here, before BC, I spent maybe 0 minutes a day looking at my boobs.  I now spend at least an hour a day, or more.  Much of it is peeling off the stubborn thin layer of glue and spreading on ointment, but I often check out what's new and if it's changed somehow...

Anyway, on the latest news, the redness has subsided substantially.  I even took a 1 1/2 hour walk today and didn't itch!  Now that I'm almost my pale pink self again, things do look more "pretty".  At least normal-ish, not so much post surgical.  The other day I prayed that God would let me see myself with different eyes.  And that has helped, enormously.  (despite what you may think by what I've written - what I write falls days behind what I feel at the moment sometimes)

I was thinking about making a top 5 (or 10) list of the things I like about my recon.  This is what I have so far:

7.  I can fully reach my arm across my body without being inhibited by the large hard expander

6.  I can sleep comfortably (almost) on my sides again.

5.  I can see my stomach again (not so good for my stomach though!)

4.  I don't unknowingly knock things over with my expander side

3.  it won't put somebody's eye out

2.  it's soft

1.  I can hug on that side again