Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steady Improvements ... Mostly.

These photos are views from the Diefenbaker building on campus where I work. Cold weather views ... taken through the window. Brrrrr ... Kevin dropped me off and picked me up a couple of days this week. One day, walking across campus after work to get to my car, my eyeballs were so cold I had to plot my course to memory and then cover my eyes with my scarf while I walked for part of the way. And then today ... single digits. It will always amaze me that the temperature can change so dramatically so quickly.

I had a pretty good week. I realize that my physical stamina and strength is still improving. On Thursday I walked with colleagues to the Agriculture building for a seminar and it was the first time that I didn't feel everyone else was having to slow their steps for me. Without pushing myself, my natural pace wasn't any slower than anyone else's and, perhaps, it was faster than that of others ... meaning that for the first time in a couple of years, I need to show some consideration and slow down to match the pace of others. That said, no matter how much stamina and speed I recover, I will NEVER be able to keep up to Sylvia. I never could. But to have back that which I had lost ... it feels VERY good!

I was feeling especially good on Friday. I wore a bit of a heel to work and didn't suffer any cramping. Bonus. Another step toward normal. In addition to that, I have been experimenting with a blow dryer thingie that looks like a curling iron brush. I've been able to smooth out some of those tight curls and create bangs! Bangs that don't curl up again too badly! It's quite the revelation and goes a long way to making me feel more "normal". You can't imagine what it does for the soul to not LOOK like a cancer patient. My hair is still quite on the thin side in spots but when I've taken care to straighten and smooth it a bit, I at least feel that a stranger looking at me isn't probably thinking, "I don't know what she's been through but she's definitely been through something". Now someone might think, "Too bad about her thin hair, but she's making the most of it". They might not even notice my hair. That's a good thing.

Despite how great I was feeling on Friday ... I even went with colleagues for lunch to Louie's! ... I hit a wall mid-afternoon and, for the life of me, couldn't keep my eyes open. I had to lay my head down for a while, which I resorted to only after a lot of head-bobbing. I hate that!! Nevertheless, I got it together to go to a party with people I work with and people associated with the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives who I don't see so often. It was such a nice party and Kevin and I had a great time.

I had big plans for yesterday but it turned out to be a crash day. I managed a nice breakfast out with Carol and Pat but after that I crashed. I was useless. Tired. No energy. I sat like a lump. I couldn't get it together to go to my Splurge club party last night. When I miss something that I KNOW will be so fun and such a good time, you know I'm toast. It didn't help to learn that a woman who had pretty much the same type of cancer as me ... same grade and stage ... and similar treatment plan, just died. She was diagnosed in 2000, it came back in 2004 and then, in 2008, she learned it had metastasized to other parts of her body. And now she's dead. I know that her experience won't necessarily be mine, but it does bring the fear of recurrence closer to the surface when one learns of another person who has lost their life to cancer. It's less the loss of life that I fear (though that would be a total bummer), but the way one loses to cancer ... long and awful. Like most people, I would rather not worry about death and then just drop dead when it's my time. Anticipating a long, drawn-out, painful death chills me to the bone. I never had reason to anticipate such a demise before and while I try not to think about it and mostly I don't, hearing of what this woman went through before she slipped into the peacefulness of death raises all those semi-buried fears. It makes for a cheerless day for the most part. RIP, Daria. As I'm sure many of you know, we just have to find our own ways to put our fears to rest and carry on and to take the scary experiences of our lives and find meaning and a renewed sense of purpose.

This morning, I feel a little brighter and have put my fears to rest again. Even though I slept 9 hours, I still feel quite fatigued. I did dishes and made pancakes, so that's a good sign. I need to get some other things done today so I'll be ready to go back to work tomorrow. Weekends are just too short. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way, but I really do struggle more than I ever used to.

The sunshine is gorgeous today! I'd better get out there and enjoy it and the milder temperature.

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I Won A Prize!!

No, I didn't do anything special. It's not that I have a special talent or skill that earned a prize. I simply entered a draw for a giveaway on Rita's Red Pepper Quilts blog. I like to look at pretty quilts, find some good quilting tutorials, ogle beautiful fabric, learn quilting tips and techniques ... to put into practice some day ... some day soon(?). If you, too, like beautiful quilts, check out Red Pepper Quilts.

Rita gave away a $50 gift certificate provided by Dennis of Fashionable Fabrics. It's a lovely online fabric shop. And I was the lucky winner! I'm so excited!! I ordered a bunch of fabric IMMEDIATELY!! More than $50 worth, by the way. It was just too hard to choose and there are so many nice fabrics and, as a bit of a beginner at this, I don't have a big "stash" of quilting fabrics to inspire me. I took advantage of some sale fabric and some remnants. Now I'll have a little stash at least. And how very wonderful to shop and order fabric from the comfort of your sofa!

I'm tickled pink. I'll post photos of what I got when I get it.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Josh!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Comprehensive Update With Some Travel News! Woohoo!!

These are fat, hungry magpies out my window at work. Nora, ever dedicated to birds and other creatures, maintains a bird feeder in this tree and I thoroughly enjoy seeing the many different birds and critters that stop by.

Cramp Update: Still sleeping with soap in my bed. Still no night time cramps! I get the occasional day time cramp, particularly when trying to get into Luke's big, old winter boots, which I've been wearing in this cold weather to hike across campus on the way to work. They're a couple of sizes to big but they are warm. I have to point my toe for a bit to get into them and any pointing or going up on my toes to reach something almost always causes cramping now. It's strange.

Weight Loss Update: I've now lost the weight I gained back over the holidays which was only a couple of pounds but I can only lose weight VERY slowly. I still have one pound to go to be at the 15 pounds lost that was my goal for Christmas. It will happen. Eventually.

General Aches and Pains: The puffiness that troubled me last week (I think it was caused by lifting a bag of especially heavy groceries with awkward arm positioning) has gone away and things are back to how they were before that little incident. I am a little more tender than usual in my chest, though. Some residual pain probably. I still experience regular joint stiffness but it's not nearly so bad as it was and it doesn't prevent me from doing anything. I don't limp so noticeably and only for a little while when I start moving after sitting for a while. I don't feel 110 years old like I did. This is certainly liveable.

Frozen Shoulders Update: I'm not seeing any further improvement. Progress is stalled. My right shoulder is moving pretty good but my left one is still quite restricted. This means I'm going to have to work harder at getting more shoulder mobility. I also intend to get back for some massages. I think those will help, especially now that there's the possibility of improved range of motion.

Brain Update: My brain is frustratingly compromised. It's very likely a lingering effect of the chemo as well as a side effect of the Tamoxifen. Every day I am quietly astounded by something that I can't quite recall. We were at a party on Saturday night for a friend's 50th birthday and there were a lot of people there. A LOT! And lots of people I know from either having worked with them or from our neighbourhood. Within half an hour of having a conversation with someone, I could recall a conversation but couldn't remember who I had it with. That bothers me. How could I lose that so quickly? It's not normal. I hope it eventually improves but I won't count on it. It wouldn't be so bad if I could selectively forget things ... like corrupt lawyers who I had a dream about a few nights ago. *shudder*

Fatigue Update: I'm tired a lot. I hate it. HATE IT! I need more rest and live for weekends when I can get more sleep.

Hair Update: It's still growing ... of course. Maybe it's even getting a little thicker, which would be MOST welcome. It still looks like I have a super curly perm. If it weren't so curly, it would look a lot longer. This weekend I tried using a curling/blower tool to see if I could straighten it a bit. It kind of worked and mostly looked like loose curls. My bangs were really resistant though. No matter how I pulled, straightened, sprayed them, they insisted on curling up. When they get a little longer, I think trimming them will cut off the tightest part of the curl. The newer growth doesn't see quite as curly. I don't think I'll be getting any more eyebrow hairs and will have to continue drawing them on, which is fine ... except that I sometimes accidentally wipe parts of them off and don't notice until the evening when I catch a glimpse in the mirror and realize that I'm missing half an eyebrow.

Recipe Update 2011: 2 new ones tried - 1) Chicken Pot Pies, and 2) Butter Chicken

Reading Update: 2 books read - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (I don't recommend it) and A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (I don't recommend it either). I've started The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson and already I'm not expecting great things from it. Next time I should do a little research before picking a book to read (which I've done and I have a nice long list of titles that look interesting). Speaking of books, feel free to browse my Library Thing library. There's a link to it in the right panel of my blog. You'll see the widget there that rotates my book covers. I've been using Library Thing for my personal collection since about 2004 and it's grown to be a really excellent tool not just for keeping one's library records but for finding out about other titles that might be worth reading. My Library Thing library is not a complete record (I don't invest too much time in it) but it does have most of my fiction titles and some art and children's literature. There's the occasional book listed that I no longer have but that I've read ... those might eventually come back to my shelves.

Quilting Update: I've made 2 yoyo's. Yup. That's it. Nothing more. Disappointing. If I'm going to really make some quilts, I have to do better than this.

Kid Update: Hannah and Luke are both doing great. Happy. Busy. Working hard.

Vacation Plans Update: Things are coming together and I'm SO EXCITED! It looks like we'll be seeing FOUR of Luke's lacrosse games this spring! Four in 10 days and I'm SO THRILLED! Here's a link to their schedule. Usually we only get to see 2 games but instead of going to Louisville this year, we're going to follow the team around during their spring break and catch 4 traveling games: two at two different universities in Maryland, one at Harvard University in Cambridge, and one in Hartford, Connecticut. We'll stay 4 0r 3 days in Baltimore at the same hotel the team is staying at and we'll spend the rest of the time in New York. NEW YORK!! NEW YORK!! We'll travel to Cambridge and Hartford from there - day trips. A bonus is that Hannah is going to join us on the trip! She knows her way around New York quite good by now so she'll be our guide to a fun time in New York! She told me that it doesn't really matter what the place is like that we stay at because we won't be sleeping much. Oh yeah? I know what will happen. I'll be sleeping while Kevin goes clubbing with Hannah and friends. Oh well! I'm in the process of booking a loft in Brooklyn near where Hannah's friend, Dani, lives. One with a big comfy bed for me, at least. It's a hop skip on the subway away from all the hot spots in New York and only 1/2 a block from the main happenin' area of Brooklyn. YEAH!! I can't wait!

And that's about all I have to update. Not so bad all considered!

Butter Chicken! A Winner!

I love it when a new recipe turns out to be fantastic! Often they can be disappointing but this Butter Chicken recipe that I tried tonight turned out to be really, REALLY good! Or at least we thought so. I will definitely be making this one again. If all the ingredients are on hand, it comes together pretty quickly.

My memory being what it is, I couldn't remember how I found it but now that I've looked closer at the recipe, I gather that I must have seen it on Eat, Shrink and Be Merry, a Food Network show. I must have then pulled up the recipe on the internet and emailed it to myself. When I was making it, I wasn't even aware that it was a "healthier version" of Butter Chicken.

If you want to try it yourself, here's the link to the recipe ...

I followed it to the letter. I even stopped at Superstore to buy the recommended Tandoori sauce to cook the chicken in, which I did the day before and then just chopped it up and threw it into the recipe tonight. I tried to find a way out of going to Superstore because it's SO big and a bit of a pain to get to but they didn't have this particular flavour at Extra Foods. So off to Superstore we went. I hardly ever go there. While there, we toured the store. They've changed things a lot since we were last there. We were very impressed with their 2 organic/natural aisles and all the items available there, including refrigerated and frozen goods.

One thing I'll have to remember next time is to NOT cut off a chunk of fresh ginger but leave myself something to hold on to. I now have little nicks and cuts on my knuckles from getting a little too close to my micro-planer.

I am happy to say that I'll be able to have leftover Butter Chicken for lunch tomorrow. I wish we'd cooked extra rice to go with it.

For those who are counting ... probably only me ... that's TWO new recipes tried in the month of January. That exceeds my goal by one.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On A Lighter Note - Zen Master Meditating Cats


New Technology for Breast Cancer Screening on the Horizon

I thought this Ted Talk by Dr. Deborah Rhodes (see the video below) was really interesting. The possibility of an easier, improved, less costly, and less painful (less breast crunching) alternative to mammography is exciting and it sounds like it's on the horizon.

What is also very interesting in this presentation is the information provided about breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer and what women should know about their own breast density. I urge you to watch this video and be informed about breast density. Know your own breast density status by asking your radiologist. My radiologist didn't volunteer the information for me but he told me when I asked. I went from "very dense" before surgery, treatment, and Arimidex and Tamoxifen to the opposite of dense after. I remember noticing that my right breast (the one without the tumour) suddenly turned droopy about 3 days after I started taking Arimidex. As I understand it, there's a connection between estrogen and breast density and when the Arimidex cut my estrogen, it put an end to my dense breasts. Quite suddenly, too! Ultimately, I'm sure it's much more complicated than that, but if you can figure all that out, please explain it to me.

A bit about the following video ...
Working with a team of physicists, Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new tool for tumor detection that's 3 times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissue. The life-saving implications are stunning. So why haven't we heard of it? Rhodes shares the story behind the tool's creation, and the web of politics and economics that keep it from mainstream use.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Normal is Relative

When the oncologist said I was "normal like everyone else", he forgot to remind me of a few little exceptions. One being that I still shouldn't be lifting anything very heavy with my left arm.

Sunday night my underarm started to feel puffy and uncomfortable but I didn't pay too much attention as that has happened occasionally and usually subsides within a day. But this time I was uncomfortable in the night and it was worse on Monday and tender into my chest. So between being really tired from not sleeping well and trying to keep my arm elevated (despite a still mostly frozen shoulder), I didn't do anything on Monday but recline on the sofa. No quilting ... no computering ... I just watched our great big tv. Despite that, my underarm was still puffy last night and again I didn't sleep well. By this afternoon, though, it's been subsiding and is now much less bothersome. What a relief. It's been a little demoralizing but my spirits are bouncing back already.

Puffiness in and around my arm makes me nervous because the threat of lymphedema still hangs over my head somewhat. Apparently between surgery and mostly from radiation, it can happen any time ... if it happens ... over the next 5 to 6 years. It seems there is still a lot to learn about the how or why of lymphedema, which is probably why the information about it is not very clear. There doesn't seem to be any way to determine who is at risk for it and who is not. Once recent study I read suggested it might be just the luck of the draw and which key lymph nodes get damaged or lost in surgery and/or radiation. Even if radiation totally zaps 6 lymph nodes, for example, maybe the key node or nodes necessary for draining fluid were spared and you won't get lympedema. But if one or more of those 6 were the main drainers, you will likely get lymphedema. The study suggested there might be some merit in adjusting or blocking the radiation beams (the same way they do for your heart) to prevent so much damage to lymph nodes.

What typically happens now is if you get lymphedema, you will be told that you should have done more to prevent it and yet there are not clear instructions on how to avoid it. And even for those who take precautions, they might get it anyway. And once you get it, there's no turning back from what I understand. It's kind of backwards the way they treat or don't treat lymphedema risk. One thing I've been reminded, though, is that I should NOT be lifting really heavy grocery bags! Not for several years yet.

The photo is of my fern in Movember.
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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Splurge Fun

We had our first splurge party of the year on Saturday. I had missed the one in November and even though this is January, it was our "December Splurge". I hadn't seen my splurge angels for quite a long time. It was great to see everyone and catch up on the latest. We had a very fun time with our annual silly Christmas gift game. The blue scarf/perfume combo gift was especially popular and 4 of us possessed it for at least a little while. I had it long enough to get a chill on my neck when it was taken from me. It ended up back with the first person who had it. Appropriate.

Gail brought me a surprise birthday gift. A surprise in any case but especially surprising when it's not my birthday! It makes me smile. I hope I look like that one day ... yeah, right ... exept with hair instead of a scarf.

It's wonderful to laugh with friends.
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Warm Your Innards Chicken Dinner

I promised myself to make at least one new recipe each month. The pressure is now off for January.

Last week I started PVRing (recording) several cooking shows. I have the machine scheduled to record each episode, then I can quickly review the recorded shows, delete those that don't interest me and then pay attention to any that do. I found a couple on Saturday to inspire me and so today, after getting groceries, I made the "Starvin' Guy Chicken Pie" from the Food Network show, "Eat, Shrink & Be Merry". It's a reduced fat, reduced calories version of the usual chicken pot pie recipes. And I must say, I think it's pretty good. Kevin liked it, too. Greta and Janet are the hosts of the show and they remind me a bit of the women who host "The Shopping Bags". I didn't have the size of ramekins recommended for the recipe but my old french onion soup bowls worked perfectly. They're a little bigger than the ramekins and so I had enough extra biscuit dough to make 4 extra biscuits.

Things I learned and liked about the recipe include:
  1. It recommends using all the meat from a roasted deli chicken for a couple of reasons: a) It's cheaper to buy a whole roasted chicken than to buy the usual pack of chicken breasts, plus you get both light and dark meat, and b) you get a "roast chicken" flavour.
  2. I learned that condensed milk is good for low fat, low cal cooking. I didn't know that.
  3. I liked the biscuit dough, for which you use 3/4 cup of mashed sweet potato. Yummy! The mashed sweet potato takes the place of most of the butter. You only use 2 Tbsp of butter in the whole recipe, plus an extra little bit to brush on the top of the biscuits. Very tasty! Oh ... and on the topic of "sweet potatoes", I think they used yams in the recipe and that's usually what I see at the store but today they had both yams and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes are about the same colour as a yukon gold potato but when tasted, is definitely a sweet potato.
  4. Next time I will reduce the 1 teaspoon thyme to half.
A very satisfying recipe. Very filling. Great on such a cold day.

Find the recipe at the Eat, Shrink and Be Merry website. Take a look around while you're there. There are some other recipes that look good, too.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

What to Have for Lunch at Work

I very much appreciate these excellent lunch ideas from Tracy of Shutterbean (a food blogger). Read it and get some great, healthy, ideas here ... Lunch Ideas- ROUND TWO!

And then, if you like the ideas in round two, check out Round ONE! I wish Tracy was making my lunch, too.

One personal caveat ... a lot of the images show hot food in plastic containers. I NEVER heat anything in the microwave in plastic. Plastic can leach bad stuff into your food when it's heated and it's too complicated to figure out which plastics might be microwave safe and which aren't. And even if something says it's "microwave safe", it ultimately might not be. Why risk it at all? I suggest transferring food to a microwave safe glass or ceramic dish before reheating.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

A couple of Mom collages. Click on them to view them in a larger format.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who Do You Think ...

... is celebrating a birthday tomorrow?!


Saying Good-bye to Auntie Vi ...

... famous to me for her ginger cookies among other things. The funeral will be in Calgary on Wednesday. I'm sorry that I won't be there.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Plug for Chia Seeds

Leslie Sarna writes on her blog:
Who knew the unbelievable health benefits that come from eating the seeds?! I can't believe I've gone so long without knowing much about these. I have to thank my Uncle Alan for educating me about these. We were staying at his house over Christmas and he picked up a scoopful of chia seeds and ate them. Now my Uncle knows his stuff when it comes to health, he's one of the top surgeons in the country and is the smartest person I've ever met! So when he has something to say, I listen. We had a great discussion about the seeds and all the health benefits.
She then goes on to list some of the many health benefits of chia seeds. Read more here ... Chia Seeds - Leslie Sarna.

I Take It All Back

... my new year's resolutions, that is. At least that's how I felt yesterday. After feeling so good on Sunday and Monday ... rested and ready ... I DID NOT get that much needed good sleep before going back to work yesterday. I was struggling to keep my eyes open by 11:00. I thought lunch might perk me up, but no. I was wasted the whole afternoon and it got worse as the evening went on. I shouldn't have even been at work in the afternoon. I was useless. And I felt awful. It's terrible to be that tired and unable to sleep. I could have crawled into bed as soon as I got home but I didn't want to risk messing up my nighttime sleep so I forced myself to stay awake (not alert - no chance of that) until 10:00 and then I went to bed.

I'm happy to say that I had a good sleep last night and felt good today. Not as rested as I would like to be but I got through the day just fine. I know I'm not the only one who misses getting out of bed at 10:00 or so. And naps when necessary. Last night as I sat here in front of the tv feeling exhausted, I saw no hope whatsoever of meeting my goals for 2011, especially my exercise and quilting goals. I couldn't have stitched a yoyo last night if my life depended on it.

But today the world looks a little brighter. Sleep. It's a VERY good thing, as much as I wish I didn't need so much.

Life Without Shortbread

Am I the only one sad to see the last shortbread cookie gone? I can't say I'm actually feeling withdrawals, though I should be. I'm just sad that they're all gone. I love them. Just my Mom's shortbread, though. No others make me feel this way. It's not Christmas without them. I ate the last one ... savoured it ... a few days ago and now there's just an empty shortbread container sitting on the dishwasher. Until next year ...

Just in Time ...

... for the World Junior's Hockey Championship! Kevin's and my Christmas present to ourselves arrived today. All 54 inches of it! Isn't our tv stand lovely? Kevin made it himself. Well, I think Dana helped, mostly with the wire business.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Custom Under Armour

Good luck trying to find this mauve under armour in stores. It's a custom colour. It's what you get when you put white under armour in the wash with a bunch of new team wear. The team colours for the Bellarmine Knights are scarlet and silver. Luke has not one but TWO pair of mauve under armour shorts. They're so pretty!
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New Year's Resolutions - I Have a Few

We've been watching a lot of hockey. Mostly the World Juniors. Canada just won in the quarter finals against the USA. We're looking forward to the final on Wednesday against Russia.

Luke left this afternoon. Back to Kentucky. I know he's eager to get on the lacrosse field. Aside from a short period of practices at the end of August and sometimes a fall ball game in September, they don't practice as a team until their first days back in January, leading up to their first season games in February. He's excited. We're excited.

Kevin poured me a glass of wine at dinner. I didn't want a glass of wine but since he poured one, I've had some of it anyway. I probably won't finish it. Wine makes me so tired. I don't want to feel tired.

Yesterday I de-Christmassed the house. Aren't you proud of me, Norma?! As sad as I always feel to take down the sparkle and coziness of the Christmas decorations, I'm glad to have them all packed away and the house tidy and ready for the new year and back to business.

A few days ago I started to feel panic. I was feeling so exhausted and was terrified of starting back to work feeling like that. But I've regrouped the past couple of days. And while I could definitely use some more regrouping time (couldn't we all?!), I do feel rested enough to go back to work. Then again, ask me if I still feel that way tomorrow morning when I have to get up before 10:00 a.m. I might feel differently. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope I sleep well tonight. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to start back to work feeling alert and not dragging my butt ... not feeling like I'm going to drop off to sleep at my desk. I guess we could call that a new year wish. Not so much a resolution. Just a wish.

As for resolutions, I have a few. In no particular order ...
  1. To lose 20 pounds in 2011. That's nearly 1.5 pounds per month. Sounds do-able. Of course, between you and me, I'm going to try to exceed my goal. It goes without saying that this goal includes getting more exercise as part of the package.
  2. Make at least one new recipe per month. That shouldn't be too challenging. I hope to exceed that goal as well. Along with this goes eating more local, more organic, more pulse crops and ancient grains, more vegetables and fruit.
  3. Finish 5 quilts - emphasis on "Finish". Three of them need starting. Two of them still need planning/designing. I have to finish that yoyo quilt, Hannah's handkerchief quilt, and start and finish Luke's t-shirt quilt. And then I have two more that I really want to make. This will be my most challenging goal.
  4. Digitize our 35 mm negatives from pre-digital times. For Christmas Kevin got me a scanner that scans and converts negatives. Next week I hope to try it out and get some sense of how long it might take.
  5. Remain cancer-free. I'm very firm on that goal, though I'm not sure what level of control I have over evil cancer. All I can do is eat nutritiously - a cancer prevention diet in particular, take my vitamins and supplements, get my weight down, get more fit, be rested, and avoid stress. And take my &*#@$ Tamoxifen. As much as I hate taking it and don't like the side effects, I'm glad if it's preventing a return to cancer.
  6. I will feel more and more like myself. I will either get used to this new me or I will become more like the me I remember. Probably a combination of the two. I will grow more hair. I want bangs. I NEED bangs. I will be able to wear some of my clothes that I've outgrown. I will gain more range of motion in my shoulders. I will worry less about the possibility of my body betraying me again.
  7. Come up with a way to express my deep gratitude to all the many people who have kept me in their thoughts and who have helped me get through these very challenging last couple of years. At one time I thought a big party would be the answer and that I would feel ready for that after my last radiation treatment but to say I was a bit naive would be an understatement! And I'm still not in "big party" mode yet. I think that's a long way away. I know that because I'm a little wiser now. In the meantime ... I feel so indebted to so many, I want to at least offer some small token. Expect something. Don't hold your breath. I'm not very quick.
  8. I will count my blessings regularly.
There are things I would like to include in my resolution list but I may have already over-extended myself. If my energy improves to such a level, I would like to include ...
  1. Spend more time with family and friends. Have more dinner parties. Go to more movies. Take in more events.
  2. Do more for others. Pay it forward.
  3. Take a quilting class or go to a quilting retreat or joint the quilter's guild.
  4. Make things. Make lots of things.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our House is Getting Quieter

Hannah left on the 30th. She was back in Vancouver to celebrate New Year's with a host of friends, several of whom are from Saskatoon. It was SO nice to have her home over Christmas. She's so helpful and brings so much warmth and interest to our lives.

I had to get a photo of her before she left wearing her new Riders shirt. It's quintessentially Saskatchewanny to wear Roughrider paraphenalia so we just HAD to get her one even though the role of sports cheerleader isn't much in keeping with her interests. We were all amused.

Luke leaves tomorrow. Then things will be VERY quiet. I'll miss them both. I love having them home.
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Happy New Year!

I really should learn to use my camera's timer thingie so we can all be in one photo. I've used it before but I don't use it often enough to remember on the spot.
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