The One Where I Say Good-bye to Health Woes

The last time I wrote, I’d just found out that my breast lump was just a cyst. AMEN TO THAT.

Since then, I went and hiked the tallest mountain I’d hiked yet. It wasn’t a hard trail, but the altitude and the things it does to my body made it hard. I get altitude sickness. Because of course I fucking do. I get every other weird assed ailment possible so why not this one, too? I don’t know what to do about it. I do know that I need to find a way to force myself to drink more water as I hike up the mountain, despite my feeling that I’m doing a good job of drinking water I am not. I need to snack more as I go up. Stopping at the saddle, just 500 feet short of the summit, did me in. If I’d just kept hiking I would have made it to the top. But stopping and letting it all catch up with me caused extreme dizziness and nausea to hit. I didn’t want to lose my balance on the last bit of up that was steeper and I didn’t want to push the nausea as I’m not supposed to throw up after my surgery. So….great.

The hike was lovely and now that I’m over a week removed from it I’m super glad I did it but at the time I was just mad. I felt like shit and my body hurt and I felt like I had no business doing it and even said “Why did I think I could do this?!” and everyone looked at me and said “Well…you did do it sooooo….what’s the issue?” I hate it when everyone just doesn’t let me be illogical and unreasonable. It’s so rude.

I was afraid to eat once we got to the post hike grub but a cheeseburger was exactly what my body needed and I inhaled that thing and then felt so much better. Behold the power of the cheeseburger!

And I’ve not done much in the way of activity since. I did some hallway walks. I did the gym once. But I’m committing to doing both of those much more often. The heat is getting higher here so I doubt I’ll be doing neighborhood walks for a bit but I can swim laps in the pool and do things like that in between hikes and gym.

On Friday I had the cyst aspirated. They did it with an ultrasound so they could ensure they got all the fluid out and let me tell you that was pretty dang cool to watch. I saw the needle go in to numb my breast and the cyst, which was the most painful part. And it made me queasy. Likely since I was watching it and feeling it. But then watching the needle go in and start to drain the cyst, seeing the cyst start to shrink smaller and smaller until it just no longer existed was awesome.  The bonus is that the fluid that was in the cyst didn’t have any blood in it, they even showed me that and it was awesome and gross. Like, that just came out of my breast!! But the lack of any blood meant that it was simply a cyst and no more testing or concern was involved. They just tossed it into the trash and that was that.

Later that night, though, my boob hurt like hell. It was tender and uncomfortable. I wasn’t anticipating that. But it recovered. It still has a bruise but it’s not sore anymore.

And with that, my current state of health is HEALTHY AND GOOD AMEN.

Tonight I am doing meal prep for the week and getting back on that train. I will lost 15 pounds and that is final. I’m making some nicely seasoned chicken breasts, some sauteed red peppers and zucchini, oven roasting some brussels sprouts with red onion and bacon, cleaning and cutting up some fruit for snacks, and making my bacon fat deviled eggs to breakfast. Solid plan. Solid menu. I’m a fan.

I also have become obsessed with Hippeas snacks. I like to feel like I’m snacking so it makes my heart happy to still have that while knowing that my snack is healthy. It’s a win win!! Woo!

My boyfriend has started eating less and running more, as if he needs to. But he’s doing it for me. So I’m not in this alone. And I love him for that and that’s gonna motivate me to really be actually motivated this time. Because dammit, I need to be motivated this time!

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High Anxiety

Friday night I was watching a live feed from a Prince Celebration concert that Paisley Park was putting on for the second anniversary of his death and it hit me in my feelings because I just love him so and he’s gone and the police report was aired on Thursday and it’s all very sad. Like, it sounds like his death could have been prevented but there’s not enough evidence to show who could have prevented it and all of that sadness. So, I’m watching the video and enjoying it when it hit me that he’s gone and then that reminded me that I have a lump in my breast and what if it’s a huge lump of cancer and that it’s metastasized into other areas already and there’s nothing that can be done and then I’m gonna die but then, you know, I could be with Prince except I don’t believe in all of that but what if I’m wrong and I don’t want to die and that is so very scary and I spiraled right the fuck out, guys. Just….a death spiral, literally.

Then I went on a hike on Saturday morning and it was great. For a while. I decided I should have a lady person in the know locally and I chose one of my hiking friends for she is logical and reasonable and involved in the health care industry so I felt like she could talk me off my ledges. And she did. We let the others get ahead of us and I stopped and asked her permission to burden her with news and I told her and we talked and I shared that even on a vain level this is all very bothersome to me. I’m not the most confident person in my appearance. But I have lovely breasts. This I know without question. Will that be taken away? It shouldn’t matter…but it’s part of it and that’s ok. But she was great and it turned out she’s been though something similar twice and she helped me feel so much better.

But not 100%.

I didn’t know this, however, until I reached a portion of trail that I’m not a fan of. I don’t like areas that have a slope toward the edge where I can also see exactly how high we are. They freak me the hell out. And? I did just that. I freaked the fuck out. I could not go any further. They tried to get me past it but I’m way too anxious at this time and I couldn’t truly explain all of that to the others and that’s ok. So, me and the girl in the know turned around and did a walk around on the road to the other part of the trail and walked down. And? We wound up getting more distance in that way! Go us!

Apparently I’m just one big old bundle of stress and I need to find a way to work it out. Because I still have a week and a day to go before having this thing mammogrammed and ultrasounded. Ugh.

However, on the reasonable side of life I don’t really think this is gonna be cancer. I think it’s gonna be a fibroadenoma. Which is gonna be fine.

It’s all gonna be fine.

Ten

I don’t even remember the date but ten years ago this month my divorce was final. I’ve been divorced ten years! And in that time I’ve gone to Ireland; made friends on blogs and Flickr and traveled around to meet them in person; saw Prince in concert twice; moved to Arizona; become a hiker; lost two dogs and a cat and then gained two dogs; had a brief fling; had a very irresponsible relationship; had another brief fling; had to tell two different very nice guys no thank you; hiked the Grand Canyon; went to Russia; went to Canada; went to London; went to Spain; went to Mexico; had visitors; made visits; met a guy and started the first really good relationship since the divorce; was laid off; got a new job; got a new car; went on two family vacations; and just had all of the other day to day life you have in a ten year span. WOW! It’s just sort of nuts. It’s like I’ve lived a whole other lifetime since that time.

So, last week was horrible and terrible. Why? Because for reasons I have determined to be my own stupidity and my period converging inside of my person, I had a nice build up of debilitating gas. It was so bad I stayed home from work on Thursday. I’ve done all of the things and started treating my stomach much kinder and moved around and taken the OTC meds and it’s all calmed down now. I’ve read the forums full of people that have had my surgery and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just a thing that is going to happen for a while and until I am, truly, back to 100% (if if that is never) I need to not treat my stomach like a frat house. Moderation will now be key. Sure, I can have pizza. But not the same weekend that I also eat tacos and chorizo and cake and ice cream and beans and all sorts of other stuff. Space that shit out, damn!

And, yes, I understand that generally speaking it’s not that cool to go Googling and winding up on the WebMD diagnosing yourself with some sort of cancer. But that’s not me. I am reasonable, I know what I’ve gone through, I know what I’m going through, and I’ve not really steered myself too wrong yet. I have an appointment with the GI’s office tomorrow, however, just to make sure. Because I’m not a doctor. I’m just a reasonable person that knows how to properly Google.

I’m also a bit with the ruffled feathers when people give me side eye because “well, I know x person that had that surgery and they were fine” or “you need to go to the er immediately because you’re dying” or “did you take any pills for the pain? why suffer?” How about mind your business? Let’s do that.

I dunno. I’m as guilty of this as the next guy but we’re all very much too much with the “Well this is how I would handle it and that makes sense and works well so everyone should follow suit.” Yeah, no. Not all approaches work for all the people so how about no.

How about understand that not all surgeries are the same, not all repairs are the same, not all of our reasons for the surgery to begin with were the same, and how about doctors give us all a heads up that just because this is a laparoscopic surgery doesn’t mean it’s not a serious one. Because it is. And a heads up on all the recovery issues would be nice, too. For fuck’s sake.

So, last week there was no official weigh in but when I did weigh in I was down a total of 5.5 lbs but that won’t last. That was after taking prescription Miralax for two days and not eating a whole lot.

Yesterday I hiked. That made me feel a whole lot better. So, I’m gonna do this thing where no matter what and no matter how I feel I move my body each day. Every day. In some way. Because I want to be healthy. And my blood work revealed that I mostly am. But damn if my triglyceride levels weren’t high. So, no more bacon fat deviled eggs. Oops. I may have just revealed the source of that issue.

To end I want to recommend everyone listen to Dax Sheppard’s podcast “Armchair Expert.” It’s SO GOOD, OMG!! I’m finding my favorite podcasts are the ones where the interviewer is doing more of a good conversation. Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, and now Dax are my three favorite podcasts.

Sproing!

So, it’s spring. Which is good. Except I’m in Arizona and we don’t see much difference outside of some flowers and cactus and other plants in bloom. But the weather is about the same and we get sort of rude about how lovely the weather is in regards to it snowing its ass off on the East coast. We’re the worst.

I did not make it to the gym again last week and I will not make it this week. Last week I was far too sore, I was giving rides to and fro work to a coworker friend with car issues, and I just plain ran out of time and steam. This week I am way involved in a spring cleaning project I started over the weekend and have plans in the evenings and wow, when did I get so busy?

So, the spring cleaning. It was totally brought on by an impending visit by a friend. However, I’ve had friends come to visit and all I did was a regular cleaning and life was fine. So it’s not totally due to her and her fam. I just, somehow, when I started doing the usual cleaning got all deep with it. And it’s a mess. Because I’m sort of kind of a low level hoarder. I have to accept this now. It’s fine. I’m cleaning rooms and closets and dumping shit into the office room off of my bedroom for the final push of de-hoarding and it’ll all be grand!

Right now, minus the closet, my computer room is done and it’s looks awesome. I decluttered the bookshelf, I am utilizing one of the built in wall shelves, my computer desk is, mostly, cleared off but I still have to do finances so I can only clear off so much at the moment, and my file cabinet does not have a large stack of paper waiting to be filed. Did I file it, you ask? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You are so funny. No. I found a box and put it all in a box and that box is now in the previously mentioned dumping room. Oops. It’s fine. Also, the closet in that room isn’t too bad. I just have to pull out old computer equipment and dump it into the dumping ground to be added to the yard sale stacks. So I’m calling this room done.

The guest room is the same. All clean and good except for the closet. This closet holds all of my old props from my self portrait fun times. That ended 10 years ago. These should be dumped into the dumping ground and they will as soon as I’m done with the other cleaning what the eye can actually see stuff. So this room is considered done, too.

I’ve made a list of the rooms and the things that need to be done this morning and it made it all seem so much less over-whelming. Even though the list is longer than I thought it would be. It won’t be over-whelming, really, until I go to tackle the dumping ground. But then? My life should be de-cluttered and then I should only have to do the regular cleaning that other people do in their lives. Whew!

This morning I finished dusting the dining room and I’ll just do one final vacuum in there when I do the final vacuum of the whole front area of the house. The living room, kitchen, dining room areas.

All that leaves is the kitchen, the living room, and the hallway bathroom. My bedroom and the dumping ground will be tackled last and not at all before this weekend because whoa!

I’m also re-cleaning my diet but that’s gonna be blown this weekend and you know what? I care not. I’m happy and so there.

I hiked Saturday, I got almost all of my steps in Sunday and Monday, and I’m doing all sorts of moving and lifting at the house so I’m not worried too much about my activity level.

And that, my friends, is where we are today.

Square One-ish

Today is official weigh-in day. I am still, somehow, in first place out of the two of us BUT I went up and now I’m only down a total of 0.1. HAHAHAHAHA!

My carb and sugar fest has caught up with me and I totally know what I need to do to move forward and I shall. This is not a problem.

I am SO SORE. Sitting down hurts. Especially when having to sit down to pee. Toilets are so low, you guys. Ouch. But I packed my gym bag and gymming will happen again today. I may just, you know, not work my legs so I can hike Saturday morning as planned.

In other news, remember when I said I used a new product on my face and dried it the fuck out and I was so sad? Well, I did some research into the two products that I used and discovered other people had the same issue with the moisturizer, so I stopped using it. It was CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizer with 30 SPF. My usual facial moisturizer only has 15 SPF so I was trying to give my face more protection but by doing so I dried it way out after only two uses! So, no more of that. And my face has finally returned to it’s soft and smooth self. I also added Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water to my routine and holy fuck is that shit magical. I feel like my face is even softer and smoother and looks more even and glowy. But that could just be all in my head. Which is fine. If I think I look better it helps with my confidence and that reflects in my posture and my face and my all of it so I likely wind up actually looking better. It’s a win! I will say that all of my fine lines are still there and that’s fine. I don’t believe that any products can actually get rid of them and they are all selling you a lie. That’s what I think. I think you can look brighter and shinier and happier using some of these products but none of them are gonna do magic, you know? Let’s just all get happy with aging, ok? Stop calling them crows feet…that’s an ugly term and of course you’re gonna hate it. They are laugh/smile lines! That’s how they form! That’s years and years of laughter and smiling on my face!

I also finally cut my hair and it looks SO MUCH BETTER. Which is, I believe, also helping my face. My hair is healthier and softer and not so scraggly and it’s all better. Yay, haircut!

To recap, the carb and sugar bonanza is gonna end and my evening walks are going to get back to the serious phase and away from the “some walk is better than no walk!” slack fest.

And that’s the news as I know it.

I Need a Foam Finger

I’m still #1 in the weight loss challenge. I went down just a weeeee bit this past week to put me at 3.2 total pounds lost. I’m surprised, to be honest. I’ve been on a carb-fest and not doing my evening walks and my period should arrive at crap o’clock tomorrow so I’m likely even bloated sooooo, it’s possible once that is all gone and I don’t go full bore nuts with eating I’ll see a nice drop next week! Yay! And if I maintain this rate I should, hopefully, get to 11 pounds lost by the end. I can do this!

So, as I mentioned I’ve not been doing my evening walks. But I’ve also not just been going home and plopping on the couch, either. I’ve run some errands, straightened up piles in the house, cooked, and cleaned the kitchen a bit and that’s not really allowed for much more than, maybe, an hour of sitting in the evening. Which is great. But it doesn’t get me to my 10k steps goal, either.

Yesterday I had reached peak irritation and it’s amazing to me how my boyfriend and my friend, Randi, just know me so well, you guys. Usually my boyfriend knows just in how I answer the phone that something is wrong and Randi just picks up tone in my IMs! It’s amazing. So, she picked up my mood and then allowed me to unload on her for an hour and then I felt better and then I realized last night “Yes, this thing is bothering me for sure but….PMS enhanced it.”  PMS is a bad mood enhancer, you guys. Then I open Facebook this morning and see a Woman’s Day post that just feels like a nice “fuck you” to me and I want to lash out but I will not. It is not about me. It is about the person that wrote it and I can rise above.

I sure do get tired of rising above, though.

Saturday was the charity hike and it was the longest hike I’ve done since being sick and I did great without any training and that made me feel good. Like, I can tell I’m not in peak shape but I’m no where near ground zero shape, either, Woo! I now have a really big hike planned for May and I’m looking forward to that and I need to get in shape for it. A goal!! A GOAL!!

During the hike, however, I found myself a bit back from my friends and it was nice and quiet and I was just taking in my surroundings and I suddenly felt this calmness take over my body. Like, I literally felt it flow down from my head to my toes. Calm and happiness. It’s like a nice warm feeling, cozy and relaxing. In that moment I knew without question how great my life is and how happy I am. Everything is not perfect, of course, but my life is rad anyway. I have friends that love me and are just amazing and supportive. I have a great boyfriend that does all of these tiny, quiet little things to show me love. My Mom and Dad are supportive of me to the end. I’m in the right place, right state. I have hiking. I have my life and I love it.

My food this week, for those that want to know:

Breakfast has been egg muffins with roasted red peppers and chorizo with a bit of creme fraiche. DELICIOUS! Also my usual one cup of coffee with the Natural Bliss creamer.

Lunch has been fried chicken meatballs (paleo) and a bit of pesto orzo. I’m on a pesto kick. I want to pesto all the things.

Dinner Monday was a bit of steak as I cooked and a few meatballs to make sure they tasted ok. Dinner Tuesday was, not proudly but deliciously, a large bowl of Breyer’s Reese’s ice cream and a quarter of a steak. Dinner last night was creamy cajun pasta with Andouille sausage. It must have been real good because the boyfriend had three servings! I know I sure liked it.

Over the weekend I used my hike as an excuse to eat a corn dog AND a hot dog on Saturday and then I had crab alfredo on Sunday so, yeah, being down in weight is amazing. But I’m keeping my lunch time walks going so I’m sure that helps as does the not sitting all evening despite not walking.

I’m doing the right things, I know it. I feel good about it. I just need to get back out there in the evenings and walk it off. It’ll help the mood and help the scale and help with my training for the big hike!

This weekend I have a Blue Apron box coming so that will be lunches and dinners for next week. One has pasta. It’s fine.

On an unrelated to diet and hiking and me note….I have to take my wee girl dog that I love too much to an ophthalmologist this weekend to find out what the cloudy areas on her eyes are and what the future may hold for her. Going blind is not the worst thing in the world, of course, but she is my little hiker and I love seeing her stand on large rocks to survey her desert kingdom and it’ll be sad if she loses that. So, good thoughts for us that it’s something we can slow the progression of, or isn’t a big deal at all and only requires drops, or is just nothing but little clouds and nothing to worry about or put drops on. Please and thank you and fuzzy kisses from my girl kid.

Challenges

I’m going to participate in another weight loss challenge at work! This is the kick in the ass I need to get my shit straight. It’s just three of us and the goal will be to lose 10 pounds and we’ll have 2 months to do so. I feel good about this! Yay!

Have I mentioned I have tinnitus? Because I do. I have no idea when it started or when I noticed it, I just know it’s here. And sometimes it’s so bad that it nauseates me. Luckily that’s not very often. But the main thing is that I no longer ever have total silence. Ever ever ever. I used to love to just sit in a silent house, with my dogs at my side, a nice warm cup of tea, and just be. I don’t get to do that any more because now there is constant noise in my ears. Forever. Since, generally, tinnitus doesn’t go away. sarcastic Yay!

I already filed my taxes and thanks to fully funding my HSA last year with post-tax dollars and all of the medical bills I get nice refunds from state and federal and yay for that!

I bought a new phone. A Google Pixel 2 and I absolutely love it thus far even though I’ve not got it all set up quite the way I like it all to be. And I did something really dumb and lost my podcasts and now I can’t remember what I was following and if I can’t remember I must not have really cared about them so I need to let that go, right? Right. The good thing is that buying it directly from Google you get 2 years to pay for it, interest free! I am the BOSS! of interest free payments, y’all. It’s like layaway, except I get the merchandise NOW. I dig it.

So, now I have to pay off my interest free balances and then, fingers firmly crossed, start building up a savings. I have the great credit. I have the mostly debt free balances. I have no savings. This is my goal for the year. Get some savings. Rinse repeat for next year.

I hiked yesterday with my dogs and that was swell.

This week is super busy and I’m already tired and that does not bode well. I have a late basketball game on Wednesday and then my Dad arrives for our annual PGA event fun time and that wears me out more each year. Funny how that works. That age bullshit. But it’s all fun and it’s one week a year and I’ll rest next week!

A woman I hike with is constantly telling me how fortunate I am. She envies the relationship I have with my boyfriend so she usually is referring to that when she says it. But when I step back and look at my life as a whole? I am very fortunate. I just like being able to acknowledge that and, therefore, appreciate it.

I appreciate you, my life. You’re pretty nice.