Summer has arrived!

Well...it's been a while hey?
I'm mostly healed up now and have honestly just taken a break form a lot of online stuff lately. It's like facebook steals most of the things I would say here...I changed my latest format change back...I just hated it. I figured if I don't even want to read it who will...

I'm healed up pretty well from surgery. It took forever it seems and the surgical glue they use on incisions is insanely lingering... It was 7 weeks before I finally was almost healed. I've "spit" 3 stitches around my nipple which is annoying because basically your body just pushed the undissolved sitches out via the most easy place, which is the recent incision. So I have 3 tiny bandaids on my boob while it heals up. I honestly don't care except I really want a bath :) Patience...

My lifted boob looks pretty good and although my fat grafted foob is a bit smaller than it still they really point a lot closer to the same direction so I'm glad I had it done. I couldn't wear pants for a  few weeks until my hips were less sore, but overall it went well. Other than the maddening itching as nerves reconnect I've got no complaints.

I have started to walk to work again with the nicer weather and sould really get back to workouts - I've been cleared to start back in slowly and I really am jiggly so I should at least try to do a little work on myself to get stronger. I went to a small music fest this weekend where JJ did lasers and stage design and I couldn't dance like I used to. That must be fixed :)

It was nice to be out in the woods and hang with friends, relax in the sunshine while I danced to great music. JJ's stage and lighting and lasers were fabulous at Bass in the Bush - he used the grove of trees as a backdrop and created shimmering patterns all around the stage area. I helped him solder some LED light strings onto connectors that he attached to various parts of the stage so he could change the colors on it to match the other stage areas. A local wood carver created a big face out of wood and it was centre stage with glowing eyes that pulsed with the rest of the stage.  Our friends had their food truck there and others had a cookoo clown theme camp (complete with crafternoon tea)...other friends were DJing...it felt like family affair :) It was a great long weekend and a great way to start off the summer.  Even though JJ worked most nights and I volunteered a lot of the day I still got to spend a bit of time with him and had a lot of great people to hang out with in between. I tried to take some photos but my camera phone is pretty sucky so I don't have a lot to show for it...there was a photographer there so I look forward to seeing pics.

Now that I'm cleared to do stuff again I'm looking forward to clearing off our deck for the summer this weekend and planning just what to get up to around the yard and in the wide world. JJ is working almost every weekend at festivals and I can't be at all of them, but I will be at a few and I hope we can have some hiking breaks at some point. I have to do some yard work and build a shed as well so I'll be busy enough...from here on in it's bigger and better. No more surgeries.

I can rebuild each part of my life. It's tricky sometimes, but this life is like nothing else. :)

*ding* You're done!

My final plastic surgery related to my breast cancer happened yesterday morning. No more surgeries. Thank frog.
I was the first surgery of the day and went home by supper time and and I have to say this has been the least painful surgery so far. The fat grafting isn't too bad pain wise and there was no muscle work so my chest is sore but not unreasonably so. Of course I am taking T3s, but no heavy duty pain stuff and I feel pretty decent. I can get around without too much soreness - feeling better than you thought is a good thing. My other surgeries were a lot more invasive.
My old boob matches my new boob a lot more now - it's been lifted and there's more fat in my foob so it's a bit closer in size. They took the fat out above my hips from my small muffin top and with the swelling I look super super hippy below that area now tho - like there's an even bigger difference between my waist and hips (there used to be before so it's really pronounced now - almost like a shelf) - I hope some of that goes away as I heal cuz right no wit looks almost comical... but I think it went OK overall. I suppose a little dedication at the gym will help smooth things out too in the end...I am wierdly swollen there so there's no way to tell just what it'll be like until I heal - I recall the last time I looked odd too so I'm gonna try not to worry about that now. As for my chest I will get a better peek in a mirror when I can take off the bandages tomorrow. I just saw a top down view at the hospital when my doc checked things out before he let me go home. It seemed a lot more balanced and looked nice to me.....and he was quite pleased, so that's always a good sign.

Now I just get to rest and relax for a few weeks and heal up. I probably don't need 2 whole weeks off, but I can have them if I want (my job is awesome) so I'm gonna take it day by day and see how I feel. Knowing it's the last surgery tho and I'm done?
SO glad. 

Real Time

Last night I felt good enough to start the 30 day real time workout challenge from Bodyrock. I've gotten a subscription to their Sweatflix system and for $9 a month you get unlimited access to all of their workouts and they play on any laptop or device via an app. I love the workouts - lots of HIIT stuff. I can do anything for 30 seconds, so it suits me well. I found all my gear and got to it. My cold is pretty much gone now so I have no excuse. I like real time workouts where I workout with someone...I'm pretty lazy if I'm on my own.
This morning I got up and did day 2  so well done me. 2 whole days. Ooh ah. I am a bit stiff but nothign too bad so far although I need to get up a bit earlier to make sure i have more time for stretching after. I pressed snooze a few times and I had to rush to not miss my bus. I figure this 30 day plan should bring me right up to my surgery so I will do my best to stick to it and get as fit as I can before my surgery on March 14.
J will be home today some time and our friend Rocket will be here to visit for a few days too. She is the is much younger (mid 20s) but is still a wonderful friend...it's strange to connect with people far younger than you, but really...if I ever had a daughter I would want her to turn out like Rocket.  It will be good to see her for a bit....she moved to Montreal with her fiance in the fall and has been lonely and missing all her friends so she's come out to visit for a while here and in BC and Alberta. There is a big event this weekend I'm helping put on (well OK I'm just looking after the bar...) where JJ is doing lasers at as well so I have a fun time to look forward to at the end of the week. Tonight I have to run and get groceries and will try and get tasty healthy food. A  new grocery store opened in my neighborhood and it's their 15% off day so I'll get all the foods and ooh and aaah at the place a bit.

For now - I must go have my lunch and get back to it. It's been a busy work week.

Portlandia

I just spent a week in Portland for management training. It was amazing.
Not only is Portland a neat little city, with lots of great food and beer but the training was invaluable. Even though it rained the whole time we were there I had an amazing time.

I'm very lucky to have a boss who understands that people aren't born leaders...and has encouraged us to go and take training wherever we can to be better at our job. Normally I am leery of training and assume it's going to be crummy buzz-word filled feel-good rubbish. This training was not that. It focused on looking at ourselves and discovering how to be more trustworthy. How to look outward, and how after we work to get our own mind in order we can work to support and help the people we live and work with to be better as well. So much of this was like a whack across the head with a 2 by 4 - so many things to apply in my personal life. Literally life changing.

Being on my own allowed me to explore and enjoy and learn and think...and also eat donuts in bed and have tasty beer and horchata and coffee in the morning. I went to training with a few coworkers who I get along with who also love to try new food and beer and walk so we explored a lot of Portland. I even had family drive down from Vancouver for the day to visit and we drove around exploring the city together in the rain. I got to fangirl out and head to te Old Portland - the wine bar opened by the lead singer of the Dandy Warhols that's attached to their recording studio and have wine there...and chat with the owner (squee)...good Bordeaux and conversation. I find it so refreshing to meet people I've admired for decades and find them to be nice people after all. Sometimes that isn't the case so that was a bonus. Add in Powell's books, Voodoo donuts, the tram, the amazing medical centre at the university, great Lebanese, chicken and waffles, ramen, kimchi and cheese croquettes and tonnes of craft beer and it was definitely a good trip. My healthy living derailed about halfway through, but I did walk a lot and I worked out a few times in the hotel gym (which was amazing). I am stressing out because my surgery is mid march, but it will all be fine. My brain keeps panicking and wants to be thin for the fat grafting so I don't go and lose the fat I'm having transferred later, but that's not reallyhow it works so I need to just relax and work to be healthy. I'll be resting up for a few weeks after so it will just be what it will be. Thankfully the weather should be nicer by then so I can go for lots of walks while I heal - walking really is the best thing when you're healing. And, best of all, it'll be my last surgery related to my cancer treatment. Thank frog. Finally done. (knock on a forest of wood)

I caught a head cold on the way home and have felt very tired and lethargic all the past week. I finally feel almost normal, although I feel all jiggly and bleh again, so I'm getting back to regular exercise again this week now that I feel up to it. J has been away most of the week in BC for a few shows with his lasers and it was good to be lazy and sick while he was away...he's driving back with our friend Rocket and should be home tuesday. He's been having a good time out there and it's good to see him doing what he loves with a crew and musician he's worked with before.

But - it's monday AM. I should get to it. I have work to do and then I hope to sneak away at lunch for yoga. I have some delicious split pea and ham soup for lunches this week (I bought a big old ham on sale last week and have been eating off of it...mmm...).

Have a good week :)

Technical difficulties - please stand by

I got bored and thought I'd tweak my blog template...it's been a while.

dear frog I have no idea what I'm doing...........hmmm

I feel like someone stole my sausage. Well, no turning back now :P


It's a date

Just got a letter in the mail with my final final plastic surgery date - March 14. Phew - so yeah... 2 months until my last (knock on wood) surgery date ever. Lift my real boob to match the fake one better and take some fat from my muffin top and pad out Frankie a bit more. The fat grafting will probably hurt more than the lift, but we shall see. I am supposed to be off work for 2-3 weeks, so I anticipate heading back to work at the start of April. I am glad to have a timeline and know that it'll all soon be over. My doc has said that after this I'll probably be as good as I can get and so that'll be enough for me...time to get on with life.

It's given me a bit of a kick in the ass to decide I'll go a bit more hard core with my workouts and see how it all goes. Being as close to my ideal weight as possible will be helpful for the surgery, since my fake boob doesn't gain weight like the real one does, so it's trickier to match it well if I'm not close to where I want to be in the end. I pulled out my old copy of Insanity and decided to start it this week before I could talk myself out of it. Did the fit test today and kept my scores...we shall see how I progress over the next month. Having a concrete goal and date always helps me focus - Here's hoping I can stick to it. I remember it being intense, but doable. We shall see.

I am excited because next week I go to Portland for 6 days for training for work. I never did get to Portland when I was in the US last fall, so I am hoping there will be some cool things to do in the evenings. For now, I'm just gathering up stuff and passport and all those fun things.

I should get to it - lots of lab stuff to do this week since I'll be away next one. Have a fabulous week!

The year of the wow


The changes in my partner in the last month have been remarkable. I really am quite in awe of his work, not only being done on himself, but also at our lives. He is taking time to deal with some anxiety and some relationships that have been toxic for him and find more fulfilling work to be busier and more fulfilled. Since January he has been on a quest to reorganize our home with his time that he has to spare at home and our house is literally being transformed. His goal is to have the 3rd level as a studio madness workshop and I am absolutely on board with that - all his stuff in one area and not all over the house? Cool.
Areas of the home that were full of stuff and clutter are now clean and useful and things have homes so we can better keep them organised. He was inspired once h did a bit of organising to finally go through things in the house - I am not good at decluttering. I just make new piles. He is tossing and ordering and...well...wow. There is a whole part of the basement fully open now that I stood in last night that I honestly have not been able to get into for YEARS. It's really amazing.

He's also been offered full time work with a local lighting company who do live events and theatre, and they are treating him really well. 1 week officially there and it's been great so far. It all came out of the live work he was doing the last few months at a local theatre. He's learning new equipment and getting to do what he loves with people who also like to do lighting and decor. He's also found a collaborator for working with lights, video and lasers here in town who is as into things as he is so for the first time in a long time he has the potential to create and make things again and isn't tied to toxic unhealthy people who bring him down.

I don't know if it's a combination of therapy and medication and life and work and fullfillment but J is so much more positive and caring. He's even more aware of when he says things without a filter and is trying to be a bit more...kind. I am really in love and the edginess and stress that was so prevalent in our lives last year has drifted off into the breeze to leave behind our love. It sure helps that I really love when he does things around the house and it's amazing to see him and not me working so hard to make our home amazing. I really would not be able to do this. I am super busy at work right now, but am doing my part to maintain clarity and pick away at things I feel need work as well - mostly trying to make sure we both eat healthy and workout regularly. I've been reading/listening to "the happiness project" and I think 2018 is going to be a renewed focus on contentment, being present and decluttering/organizing so that where I live makes me happy.

My life is so nice now. I am full of gratitude and hope.

2018 is the year of the wow.



...and also the new Beck album is seriously great. Listen to it. Go on...

Ya snooze ya lose

I had grand hopes for the morning - get up and workout before coming in to work.
I failed.
I couldn't sleep so I took an ativan to help and I did get a good rest, but I didn't wake up well. I hit snooze a few times without noticing and cut out my workout time. It was warm enough at least that I could walk to work, but no morning workout for me. I do plan to go to dragon flow yoga at lunch tho so there is that. I'm also a part of a daily arms and legs mini workout challenge from a cancer recovery fitness facebook group so I'll fit that in too. They are 3X10 reps of 3 different exercises that are easy to fit in the day. It helps me feel better.
I do plan to get to more dedicated workouts this week though. I stayed up to wierd hours on the weekend and had an amazing weekend...but realised jsut how that makes me exhausted for work. So I need to reign that in again.
Oh well - new week. I am already finding myself to be more flexible and core strong from the yoga I have been doing. I am particularly pleased about the increased balance and fine muscle control I am gaining. THAT is cool. Perhaps I will move beyond being Clumsy McGee :)
Happy monday my good peeps. I'm off to the lab.

Looking for answers



It's odd - I get asked this a lot. 

Some people seem to think that having been through the illness I have I should have some kind of quest for deeper meaning and hope that I didn't have before. Being raised in a religious family certainly gave me some starting points, but I will admit to a lot of screaming and ranting at the sky while ill, and that in the end I have not found any sort of faith or meaning that I didn't have before and I have relied on knowledge to carry my through the worst of it all. My mum had a very strong faith and it sustained her while she was ill and I would never have tried to take that from her - but for me that wasn't how it worked. It's not like I didn't think about dying - and truly I'm not scared to die anymore. With me, now I just have so much to do that I don't want to have to stop before I finish it all. To me clutching to a belief I do not have simply because I was dying and thought it might be a good idea to hedge my bets against an eternity and unknown conclusion is not a valid reason for faith. Maybe I'm weird that way...but faith is faith and belief is belief...regardless of where you are in life...or death. I am committed to a lifetime of learning.

In the end, I currently get by with the love and support of my partner and family, a little help from my friends and a lot of knowledge from wherever I can find it. The line in this cartoon sums it up completely for me - "I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science." 


And yes...2 years later I'm still doing science and I'm still alive :)

(Brilliant comics courtesy of XKCD)


Happy Mew Year


I am sitting with my Dax asleep in my lap, drinking amazing coffee and listening to some great music. I have slept in and am getting myself together for a fun evening over with some friends to ring in the new year with music and laughs. I am happy. I am content.
This is life.
Cheers to a new year my friends :)