Wednesday, January 28, 2009

stitches are out!

Well, I freaked out this morning when I saw a spot more of blood - so I called the clinic and they took me as soon as I could get in. My doc is in the process of out-processing, so he was kind to take the time to see me. He probably thinks I'm hysterical, because he didn't see any problem! But I'd rather be considered hysterical than actually ill. Huge relief. He took out stitches and cleaned everything up and rebandaged. The new bit looks really good. It's nice and pink and healthy looking - if a little bit tall! It should shrink about 60%, so that's good. In a month I will see a doctor - possibly the next door neighbor or possibly my last doc if he's working yet. I just need the okay to go on to the tattoo stage.

The diet is going well. The numbers are going down on the scale. I still have cravings and the afternoons are really hard - but it helps if I stay busy. Last night's mexican chicken soup was really good.

Tonight's soup was greek fish soup. I like fish, but in a soup just is not appealing to me. But I forged ahead. I made it and ate most of it. I ended up picking out the fish and throwing it away. It's not that it tasted bad, I just couldn't get past the 'ick' factor. So I will not be eating that recipe again. I rewarded myself, just for trying, with a weight watchers giant fudge bar. It's the only "treat" I've had this week so far. Boy did it taste good.

I have done some self analysis, and I've discovered that a lot of my overeating is me trying to recapture that yum moment. Like, I'll eat popcorn at the movies. The yummiest pieces are the salty ones, and they aren't all salty. So I keep eating, hoping to hit the yummy salty one. That's just one example. So, now that I'm aware of this, I need to be aware of when I'm doing this and take charge. The good side of this mentality is that I do the same thing with healthy foods. So I'll sit there and eat a whole serving of broccoli that only tastes mediocre because I'm searching for that yummy bite. Weird, it's like I'm eating a memory rather than what's in front of me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

not so terrifying...

PSA: terrifying Tuesday has been cancelled for this week, due to the absence of an important family member. We must suffer together!

Gary is in Kansas until Friday. So I'm taking advantage of this time. I'm feeding the boys junk while I suffer through the "amazing soup diet". It will be a week of terror for me. Right now my tongue has been assaulted by lunch - between the balsamic vinegar and the firey 3 pepper hummus. I do not feel done, so I'm heating up some soup - good thing it's cold today.

I made the gargantuan vat of soup yesterday. Half is in the freezer and half is taking over the fridge. What you do is you take two cups of the soup and add things to it to make it different. Yesterday was minestrone, tonight is mexican chicken. AND, you can have just the plain soup as a snack if you get hungry during the day. Yeah, just thinking about having that as a snack makes you really think twice about whether or not you are hungry! So see, it works!

Here is the link to the recipes:
okay, if you don't like medical talk, then this is the time to stop reading... seriously TMI

On the health front... I'm a total hypochondriac. Today I noticed a spot on my incision that looked a little bloody and indented. It's been almost 2 weeks, so it shouldn't be bleeding. I took my shower and it's all gone. I think it was dried blood. Anyway, I'm keeping an eye on it. About 20 times a day.

(big quease factor here)
I went bra shopping today and accidentally yanked on a stitch that's hanging off the end of one of my incisions. Ouch! Second time that's happened. These stitches are supposed to dissolve. I guess not any time soon. The first time I thought it was a hair caught under the tape, so I deliberately pulled - until I realized... I'm giving myself the shivers here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Terrifying Tuesdays #3 - the burning has finally stopped

Heh, heh, heh. No pictures again this time.

The dish: Cajun Stew
so yeah, you expect spicy. But yowza! Let me start by telling you about the dish. It has tofu, and it has a sausage-like faux product. Boca sausage links. And veggies and stuff. Spices. I should have known. I did. Actually, it called for 1 tsp crushed red pepper and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper and thought, wow! that's a lot! So I put in 1/2 tsps. Really, I should have started with just 1/8 or 1/4 tsp and tasted then added more if necessary. I cannot imagine how hot it would have been with the full amount.

I think it's a recipe worth tweaking. I chose the Boca breakfast sausage links. While the recipe just called for a soy product sausage links, I'm thinking breakfast sausages were the wrong choice. Do they make a soy based andouille? (sp?)

So the verdict is a no - not as is. Gary gave it a 3/4 thumbs up. No one gave it a total thumbs down. Anywhere between halfway and 3/4 down.

Tonight we are having flank steak to make up for last night. :-)
I just finished watching Dr. Phil and his topic was posting private info on the internet. And I do wonder about journaling on such a public place. Especially weird stuff like the fembot post. Why be so personal? But I think back to the beginning of when I got diagnosed with BC and how important it was for me to link up with other warriors. How those who had gone before me had shared their experiences and prepared me for what was to come and getting/giving support from others who were fighting alongside me. So yeah, I have some odd/personal posts, but I'd like to think that some of those just might help somebody else. And if I make some friends along the way, then that's a bonus!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yeah baby!

I'm having a total Fembot moment. The, ah, product, came in just now and has been deployed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the saying is true

necessity IS the mother of invention. Okay, so yesterday I was complaining about the loose bandaging. My first instinct was to tape it up. But I'm sensitive to tape and it really didn't work well, unless I wanted to wrap myself in it. Not! Then I thought that wearing a tank top would be close enough to the body, yet not tight, that everything would stay together. Well, that was a good start. This morning I wanted to put a bra on top of all this, but I think that would cause too much rubbing on the new bit. Then it hit me. Brilliant. A stretchy reflector belt. All I needed was something to hold the works up, and if I put this thing around my upper waist, it works! Who cares what I look like - nobody is going to see me. So that problem is solved. For now.

One of my online friends who had this procedure said her doc gave her this product so I just ordered two. I don't what the doc will say tomorrow - but he mentioned something about cutting down a syringe and taping it over my bit. So far, though, it looks good. It's pink, but it's also black. The black is probably dried blood and stitches.

I'm feeling so much better today. I hope you can tell by the tone of my post. By supper last night I was feeling so much better. I guess the heavy drugs were wearing off pretty good. I slept in my good ole recliner, and slept really well. I was woken up several times by the wind noises. We are having some strong gusts, the surf is big but not "organized" for a big Eddie Aikau surf contest, and they are predicting the power will go out again. Ugh. Please say it isn't so. On this island, when an area goes out, it just dominoes over the island. And it takes hours to get it back up. It's happened with the big earthquake that happened the day before my mastectomy, and then a few weeks ago when we had lightening. Yeah, we don't get lightening much, so when it strikes - well, let's just say it's like southerners driving in 1 inch of snow. LOL! I can say that because I'm one of them!

This has been a long day.

Terrifying Tuesday #2 and how I'm doing

Last night's recipe was for Sweet Potato Fritters. I got it out of Heart Healthy Mediterranian Diet cookbook I have (can't remember the title right off the top). Let's cut to the chase - thumbs down all around. And let's face it, it's fried! How heart smart is that? Yucko.

Today was my surgery, I'm home and fine. I've only thrown up 3 or is it 4 times. I don't understand - I always tell them about the throwing up, and sometimes it helps and sometimes not. Whenever I move, like sitting up from a lying down position, I get nauseaus. So, I'm sitting up until bedtime. I won't take pain meds until bedtime, so I won't have the need to lie down until then. What really ticks me off is this dressing they sent me home in. They piled on the fluffy gauzy stuff and then wound it around very loosely. Too loosely because I have to hold it up when I walk around. My new bit is not staying covered. I know he doesn't want it mashed, but still! I have to wear this bulky getup until Friday. The worst part is that my scar repair side has been hurting like the dickens to I peeked under the gauze, after a chunk fell out, and saw that some of the tape, about 2 inches, that is on my incision area, was stuck to the gauze. I freaked out! I had to call in Gary to hold a mirror while I cut the tape. (he was too freaked to cut) The loose wrapping is inconvenient, the tape incident is disappointing.

But otherwise, I'm fine. The new bit looks gorey, but healthy. I'm just worried about the placement. I won't be able to judge that until I can wear normal clothes again. Not that anything can be done about it. It seems a little to the side, but he said that he got it as close to the center as he could. I was involved in the marking process. He would measure and mark and then take a picture and show me and we would discuss.

Anyway, doc is being deployed next week, not in 2 weeks. That's the Army for you. I don't know what's going to happen. We'll see. I just hope I make it to Friday. Somehow I have to coordinate childcare and such. I'm not being seen in public! I'm picking those kids up in my car!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

bad memory and moving talk

Before I forget, I added a new blog link to the side called Carrots N Cake. I'm a nut for recipes, so that's the sort of blogs I'm listing there. Don't take it wrong that I'm not listing the blogs I actually read for friendship. I'm keeping tabs on you!

Speaking of memory and forgetting, I've got to post what ridiculousness I just went through.
  • I went into the kitchen to refill my water bottle so I could take some vitamins.
  • forgot to take vitamins
  • instead went to bedroom to fold clothes
  • remembered that I forgot to take vitamins
  • walked to kitchen, forgetting my water
  • headed back to bedroom, got water
  • bypassed kitchen to get laundry basket
  • did a u-turn because I remembered my vitamins (only because the water was in my hand)
  • FINALLY took my vitamins
  • went to get laundry - dryer was empty!
  • loaded wet clothes into dryer LOL!

I think I need to start on memory enhancing vitamins - what do you think? LOL! This is just a taste of my future...


moving news... Gary emailed me in a little bit of a panic yesterday. The people who schedule the movers and packers wanted a date. The move is 5 months out - we haven't even begun to talk about that. So he's been busy plotting and planning the best dates to move. It will be sometime mid to late June. He needs to think about how much time he needs to outprocess. His report date is July 15. We need to find a house between leaving the island and reporting to work. We have decided to rent. Ft. McPherson is definitely closing in 2011. So it's just not wise to buy a house for 2 years. (although, the housing market is absolutely saturated there, we could get a great house for a good price) From the searching I've done, we can RENT a great house (twice the size of what we're living in) for well within our housing allowance. Shhhh, don't say that too loud or they'll reduce it.

Our considerations are schools, of course, safety and commute. One of the areas I'm looking at is Peachtree City. It's a planned community. A "golf cart" community. Lots of golf cart paths, like 80 miles of them. It's an affluent area and pretty self contained. I have visions of Stepford Wives, ya know. I'm both fascinated and wierded out. Gary's sponsor lives there and he says the commute is between 35 and 45 minutes, depending how early he leaves. I'm not wild about a 45 minute commute, but that's probably not bad for Atlanta. And I'm actually not wild about living in an affluent area. I'm a relaxed person and I imagine I won't be able to meet many women because they overschedule their kids. (that sounds pretty judgemental, eh?) But the paths fascinate me. I can imagine that I could easily find long, safe walking routes, and we could walk or ride bikes to school. I love living in the country, but country roads are not safe to walk on! I guess that's what they make gyms for. Plus we need a house that has guest rooms. I don't think that will be a problem.

The boys started school today. Ryan has been so upset. He was crying last night. See, he forgot to bring home his reading log notebook, and he was required to read every day during winter break. He's done this before and so the teacher "flips" him (behavior chart) when he forgets. He's afraid of how many times she's going to flip him. He's been writing his reading responses on notebook paper, even though he knows he'll get flipped. He was a basket case at the beginning of break when he first realized he forgot it. I hope it wasn't too harsh for him today. He worked so hard on it and was very faithful to read - even though he knew he would be in trouble. I'm proud of him. It would be so easy to just say "forget it, it's not worth it".

I leave in 5 minutes to pick them up!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the first Terrifying Tuesday and pre-op appt.

Boy, it came fast! Well, today was the first terrifying tuesday so I decided to take it easy on them and prepare one of the safer looking recipes. I chose Barbecued Raspberry-Hoisin Chicken. I got the recipe off the weight-watchers website. I'm not sure if there is some sort of copyright infringement to posting other people's recipes, so I won't do it unless I know it's okay. Let's just say this recipe is a winner, and it's pretty heart healthy. The hoisin is the most suspect item, but the sauce really is only a light coating, so it couldn't be too bad.
The reason this recipe was chosen is because I grill a LOT and need some more inventive grilling recipes. I'm kinda on a "mix fruit with different items" kick. Plus my boys don't do Chinese food. So this exposes them to Chinese flavors. Hopefully we can start going to Chinese restaurants as a family!
I served the chicken with brown rice and salad.
The verdict: well, it was very tastey. Everyone gave it a thumbs up. It was fairly easy to prepare - you have to prepare in advance so it marinates. I think cutting the chicken and putting it on the skewers is the most taxing part, if you want to call it taxing. LOL! Chicken thighs are such a weird part of the chicken. The recipe will be put in the keeper file.
yesterday I went to my doc for a pre-op appointment. I can't believe I'm finally getting near the end of this long recon process. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. My doc, yes, you can feel it coming can't you, is going to be deployed for 6 months, starting 2 weeks after my surgery! Can you believe it? I've only met him a couple of times! I'll barely be recovered! And I'll be moved before he returns. He wasn't happy about that. He told me he'd give me his email so I can send pictures if there is a problem. IF he's somewhere that allows email. Yeah, like they'd even allow partially nude pictures, even for medical purposes. (not like it's a real boob or anything) I guess it's that or see my next door neighbor! The horror! LOL! Yeah, so pray for good healing! He's more worried about the scar revision than the other procedure. Especially since I'm allergic to tape and it's in the line of the bra band. He said no running or exercises that rub for 6 weeks. Ugh. I really need to exercise to keep control of my weight. So I'll be on a quest to find out what I can do. It sounds like biking.
Anyway, he wanted to take pictures. This is normal. Yes, the humiliations never ends, but it's normal. When I first stood there, he said, "Dr. xxxx did a good job matching the size." So that made me feel good. It's not a perfect match, but it's good to know that you got an acceptable result. There are always doubts, and I can see every flaw.
There is a lot to post about this process, but it's getting late, and the subject is a bit awkward. So I'll sign off for now! Aloha!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I've been buried under a pile of recipes and have emerged alive, 28 recipes later. I will add more as time goes by, but this will give me a good start. Plus, there will be a break during the move, so I won't need 52. And as a bonus, a friend of mine, who is a vegetarian, offered to have me over to her house and us cook together! She'll pull out one of her cookbooks, we'll pick a recipe and cook up a double batch. I'm so curious to see what's in her pantry and fridge (shhh, don't tell her!).

In the midst of my recipe quest, I've visited quite a few food blogs. It's quite amazing how many people out there document photographically every bite of food they take. I think that's an awful lot of work and time. The blog I linked on the side, Kath Eats Real Food, is one such blog. But it's really interesting to see just what a trim, fit person eats regularly.

I've also done a lot of tossing. Throwing away, finally letting go of some junk, and finally sorting through some piles of stuff. It's all in the quest to prepare for the move. So I"ve got a good start on my new years resolutions.

I have also just enrolled my boys in twice a week basketball. It's free and at the local community park. Not a competitive thing. Mostly learning skills and rules and such. I'm also hoping to enroll myself in the Thai cooking class. I talked about this last year. This is my last chance to take this class. Ironically, Gary will be in Thailand during the first class. So I need to line up a babysitter for a few hours.

New Years Eve. It's always a spectacle here in Hawaii. This year was no exception. We have some neighbors a few houses in front of us (we live at the top of a T intersection), who go crazy with the fireworks. We had bought a large package and some special individual fireworks. When we had run through ours, and had cleaned up our mess, the neighbors came over bearing a big load of fireworks. He said they had 3 truckfulls, so we could get more if we wanted. He gave us about 5 packages of the strung together firecrackers (you may not have them where you are - they are quite popular here and LOUD!), a big box of the poppers that you throw on the ground that are fun for the little kids, and about 3 big packs of big fountains and other stuff. I don't know where he got them from, and I wasn't going to ask! It took another hour to light all he gave us. A lot of pickup trucks and cars kept coming to his house. He had iced down drinks in a cooler. At midnight I dragged Gary out to listen to it and watch the neighbors instead of watching the ball drop on tv. This is a tradition in Hawaii. I'm actually going to miss being smoked out of my house! It rained off and on, so I didn't hear any firetrucks. We were laying in bed at 12:40 and it was still going on and then the wind kicked up and the rain poured and silence reigned.

This is the view from our front door looking towards our neighbors house at midnight. It's the firework finale, I guess they just made a big bonfire and threw everything in - at least that's what it seemed like! I was a little scared there because the fire got so big and it was in the middle of the street. But I guess there weren't any cars nearby. The fireworks were going off like crazy, but it wasn't any louder than anyone else across the island. You could hear loud, deep booms and see the sky flash from way far away, not to mention all the noise from our side of the island and our town! I'm sure O'bama was reliving his youth, remembering the craziness.