Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Walk in the Park

So today I decided to get outside and walk. The day was only overcast, and a little coolish. PERFECT for walking (I hate to sweat.). My neighbor was outside when I left and she told me she'd be ready for backup in case I got to somewhere and was unable to return....But I made it! Walked 4 miles in an hour and a half--I know because I jumped in the car and traced the route. By the time I got home, it was raining, so I looked horrible, but whatever. The legs feel strong, the heart and lungs seem to be working fine....the ankles are a little inflamed, but that is easy to resolve.

I made what I will call a shower aid for Hollie. It was their great idea--In order to hold the drain tube "bulbs". The lady on UTUBE suggested a string around your neck to hook the bulbs on. Hollie's husband suggested a type of belt with pockets in it instead. We took a bath towel and cut it into three strips lengthwise, folded that in half along the length, sewed the ends together and sewed pockets into it every 5 inches. Then I attached hook and loop tape  to close it up when wrapped around her waist. That way, when she showers, she can pop the bulbs into the pockets and doesn't have to worry about them flapping around. She said it worked great, but ended up using a safety pin to close it instead of using the hook and loop tape. Then she just can hang it to dry.

Her husband is now helping her wash her hair and blow it dry. Is that love and devotion or what? She said the thing she wasn't planning on is how long it takes to get ready and dressed daily. I told her, why bother...but that's just me.

Prelimary pathology reports are back and the GOOD news is that of the 15 nodes removed, only two had cancerous cells. I won't go into all the details, but it sounded very encouraging to me. She has had her moments of "up and down", and seems to me she is overdoing things a bit, but it is difficult to keep a busy woman down.

We have arranged meals to be brought in using the website  If you are not familiar with it, try it....It is WONDERFUL. And what a great idea. The people who started it are angels.

Time for a shower....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

That's the way I feel right now. Now I know why I haven't exercised in YEARS. I ALWAYS start out with good intentions, and then fall off the wagon. Seems something always gets in the way of exercising. Lately there have been some semi serious family obligations and so I have not been walking like I planned. I know, excuses, excuses. I think to myself I will walk tonight--and then tonight comes and I am too tired. Then I think, I will do it first thing in the morning and then the phone will ring off the hook, or I need to leave, or someone needs me to do something for them. I HAVE to commit to this or I will never be able to finish 60 miles in 3 days. And I WILL do it. So, back on track. I had been getting up to 3 mph for a little over an hour--that to me is pretty good for a beginner. But, as my friend Morgan says, after 72 hours your body "forgets" the progress.

The good news is that I have helped arrange meals to be brought in to Hollie nightly for the first week (her double mastectomy is tomorrow afternoon). She has purchased "neat" camisoles to wear post op that will hold the apparatus for the drain tubes. Guess what, you can learn all about them on UTUBE, where a brave woman demonstrated all about them. Funny, wouldn't you expect a nurse or a surgeon to explain all that? But no. I guess they zip up the front and hold falsies--not the prostheses that will come later, but enough to make her look like a woman for a while. She feels encouraged enough that she will be able to visit her students and not feel uncomfortable. And, BONUS, Nordstroms will bill her insurance. At least that is one less thing she has to worry about.
Hollie is a woman of great influence. She is a natural educator and has many friends in the community. She has been blessed with cards, visits, flowers, gift baskets from her students that brought her to tears. She has been reading her mothers treatment record and believe me, treatment has come a LONG way since her mother's journey began. She told me yesterday that in the last month, since diagnosis, her treatment is farther along than her mothers in 7 years. So thank heaven for that.

Tomorrow is her surgery in the afternoon. Please remember her in your prayers.

Signing off for now, I am going to put my shoes on and walk. Not even going to watch Oprah....just hitting the treadmill.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nutrition and Cancer

Last night, while walking 2.11 miles @ 2.5 mph, I turned on UCTV and happened to catch Donald Abrams, MD--he has been an oncologist for 28 years and has studied nutrition. He deals with people who have cancer now and helps them learn to eat to fight this disease. If you click on his "link" below, it takes you to the 57 minute lecture. It is worth your time and provides valuable information and resources. I'm learning more each day. As Adele Davis used to say, "You are what you eat.", and lately we as a nation are NOT eating very well.

Nutrition and Cancer - UCTV - University of California Television

Nutrition and Cancer - UCTV - University of California Television