Sunday, April 24, 2011


Here I am in Scotland and to you folk, depending on what time stamp shows up on this entry, you will think I am doing the usual trick of posting in the middle of the night.... but alas - it is 8:15am here.

For my time here, this practically IS the middle of the night as my jetlag time adjustment seems to keep me up until 2:30 or 3:30am and sleep in until 10:30 or 11am.... but not so today. (the first part is true but not the second part.

Oh yeah - HAPPY EASTER!!!

Today is looking like a gorgeous sunny spring day - which is good because yesterday it pissed with rain until the late afternoon. But otherwise the weather here has been good. No rain to speak of and some lovely sunshine.

We went to Rosslyn Chapel on one of the sunshiny days. Actually, it was a gloomy damp day when we left but just out of town the clouds thinned and -voila- fabulous afternoon for the visit. Rosslyn Chapel has been around for over 400 years but it wasn't really all that well-known until Dan Brown featured it in THe DaVinci Code. Before that, they received around 10,000 visitors per year. The yeara after the book came out, they got 170,000 visitors!!! Now they are getting about 130k per year.... Turns out it was a great way to get the restoration sped up since they charge £7.50 to get in (I think the exchange rate is just over 1.5 these days - so about $11.00 CDN)

Otherwise I haven't really been doing too much 'touristing'.... Of course that is not why I came - I'm here to visit with Jennifer & Greig and try to add some level of entertainment / comfort to their last days of freedom before the baby arrives. As promised, I have been doing my part to encourage the baby's arrival before I leave. Although she doesn't want to eat a hot curry due to heartburn - but I do often put my mouth up to her belly and tell the baby to come out and meet his Auntie..... So far, no luck. Cam thinks that method is a sure way to make he doesn't arrive early - he thinks I probably scared him into hiding.

I think today I will convince Jenn to take me to the Royal Mile. I saw it 15 years ago when I was here (also when I did mostly all the usual tourist things anyway so now I can see the 'real' Edinburgh). But it would be cool to start at the castle & work my way down to see the closes etc. But my expectations are realistic - Jennifer is due in exactly one week and her mobility & speed are rather limited. It won't be a whirlwind tour, that's for sure....

They live a very healthy lifestyle in this household - both in fitness and eating habits - which suits me fine as I have been able to stick to my plan. I have probably lost another 5 or 6 pounds since the surgery so I'm curious to see what the plastic surgeon will say now (I see him upon my return home). Of course, other than that he wants me to have a nipple..... that's standard.... but if he notices my further weight loss.

Will keep you posted (literally) if a baby decides to show up while I'm here....

Friday, April 15, 2011

My last hurrah....

It's back to work for me the first week of May. To squeeze in one more trip before my 'freedom' ends, I am off to Scotland on Monday to see my dear sister-in-law who is about to have her first baby! (due May 2) I'm hoping for an early delivery...... I'll read up on things to feed her to put her into labour early....!

Just as my plane takes off on Monday afternoon, Cam will be finishing his first day of work at his new job as a Warehouse Supervisor at Pharmasmart. It's located in Cloverdale - for the first time in a very long time Cam won't have to cross a bridge to get to work. It has a pension plan, plus RSP matching and decent vacation time.

I am getting skinny!!! OK, well, maybe skinny is pushing it a little but certainly on the road to it. Last night I went out with Suzanne and she said she needed to take our traditional photo of the two of us - so she did and when I saw it I realized I had no double chin. It has been a long time since that happened.

On another topic, I had been totally confused about some foods as I had decided I wanted to eat healthy choices and soy products and ground flaxseed are in the 'superfoods' categories. But they also have phytoestrogens and the paperwork handed out at the cancer clinic lists all the foods with phyoestrogens (plant estrogens) but then goes on to say that there isn't much research on the effect of these foods on certain breast cancer patients and so to consult with your medical professionals.

So I tried to talk to my oncologist but he wasn't much help. He said eat soy in moderation but I hadn't asked him about flaxseed. So then I phoned the cancer agency again and asked the flaxseed question and the pharmacy reported back that hormone positive patients shouldn't eat ground flaxseed due to the estrogen but that flaxseed oil is ok. This frustrated me because I really WANT to eat flaxseed and I read a study online that said that the weak estrogens in the soy & flax will help my Tamoxifen (cancer pill) to work better. So in my frustration & desperation, I emailed the organization who did the Run for the Cure. Since they raise money for research and I want to put in a suggestions for them to do research on the foods, I emailed them.

They actually emailed the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and a registered dietician answered my question! And the answer is that new research HAS been done and the info I received before was out-of-date. A new booklet was published last August called A Nutrition Guide for Women with Breast Cancer and says that up to two servings per day of soy products is safe as is 1 - 2 TBSP of ground flaxseed. YAY! I guess things are really getting back to 'normal' for me.... it's a weird feeling but, as Red said in Shawshank, you either get busy living or get busy dyin'...... I intend to get busy living!!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My first post-treatment ball game!

Tonight I played ball for the first time in a LONG time on my fabulous slo-pitch team the Crazy Dutch Bastards. Only half a game - we have lots of players so we all have to share playing time - but it felt good to get back out there. I even got a hit! I had to wait until now because the plastic surgeon said no running for a month after surgery - so I didn't - and let me tell you, the wait was BRUTAL because I LOVE running.... . I know - sarcasm doesn't translate well in writing....

Well, the ugly truth of return to work is upon me - a couple more weeks of freedom and then, back to the grind. Well, half time anyway for a couple of months. The good news is that I'll get to wear all my new work clothes that I bought in Palm Springs. And more good news is that I am continuing to lose weight - so those clothes are going to look better & better!

I have spurts of motivation and have been doing a few 'spring cleanup' kinds of chores around the house - but I also still take naps. I haven't figured out if it's because I have to or because I can. I always did love me a long nap....

I'm posting in the middle of the night. I'm not really sure why. After the game, we went out to the pub for dinner as it was one of my teammates' 40th birthdays. To celebrate, I brought a bottle of Crown Royal to the game. A bunch of the team had shots and of course I also partook. Hadn't eaten since breakfast so a few shots of CR are very efficient on an empty stomach. Got home at 10pm and went straight to bed. I'm not sure 'passed out' is the terminology in this case, but it MIGHT be..... But then I woke up at 2:40 and now I can't sleep so here I am.

Today I used a sewing machine. (one of those afore-mentioned chores). I shortened some curtains - by myself!!! Of course, if I didn't have mum-in-law threading the machine, I probably would still be sitting there. But it did bring back memories of high school when I sewed myself some 'Hammer pants' that had stripes. And as a happy coincidence, the stripes lined up properly on the sides (definitely not planned - I'm not that meticulous) - and my sewing teacher gave me a high grade because of that. For those of you who know what Hammer pants are, welcome to middle age. For those that don't - they are baggy pants with the crotch at the knees. I wonder if the waist of those pants would fit one of my thighs these days.....

I really don't have much else to say. My treatment is done, my boobs are done, I'm able to run now (against my better judgement - or should I say my 'laziness' judgement). Now I just have to focus on getting fit. For real! It sounds awful, I know. But what can you do when you live in a shoe? (eat sole) OK, that's it - now I know it's time to log off.... Good night!