Category Archives: Breast Cancer

I just want good days!

I started this blog two years ago when I decided to document going minimalist in My Journey Begins. Between September and January of 2015, I managed to do quite nicely in downsizing.  Then I stopped writing when the drinking got out of hand when I wrote I will not admit I am defeated…

I thought I would just delete this blog and start a new one but I’m tired of “starting over” so I will just have to catch up on the many things that have happened in a year and a half.  Some of it was fun and I progressed quite nicely in downsizing….it also wound up to be some renovation to my home as well.  Some of it was awful (breast cancer) but I managed to get through it with help from family and friends.  I wonder sometimes why I did not document any of it.  Now I will have to rely on memory.  Since I have a few followers, I want to put it together so it is not too confusing.  I think I will work on a “catching up” post this weekend – might take a few parts.

The good news is I am still not drinking wine (or any alcohol) and my health is stable.  My drink was always Chardonnay.  I never did drink anything else except a nice red wine sometime.  Chardonnay was the drink I used when feeling good, sad, depressed, sick, lonely, tired, overwhelmed and every day no matter what I was feeling …..  I know today that if I drink one glass l be back to the bottle a night – or two.  There were times soon after I quit when I wanted to stop and pick up some cool Chardonnay…but I pushed past it.  It has not been as hard a I thought.  Of course, this time I keep thinking that “if you have breast cancer and in remission, there is a 90% chance of it returning if you drink any alcohol”.  Smack down…

These days…I just want good days.  I can’t have them when drinking wine. So I won’t drink….

I had a check up with my cardiologist on Monday.  He said the echogram showed my heart is fine.  There was only a minor change and it would never bother me….the usual “due to my age”.  My blood pressure was 96/58 so he cut one of the blood pressure meds in half (I think this good news is due to not drinking alcohol).  The feet are still swelling somewhat but he doesn’t know why and I don’t want another round of doctors to “try” and find out why.  I’m just going to do a little better with my diet and exercise.  Loosing 25 pounds would definitely make it all go away….

Watching the Olympics! I love, love the Olympics!

Time to feel “great” again!

I do not feel well….. I actually feel pretty crappy.  I do not remember the last time I felt good but I am sure it was prior to the cancer diagnosis.  Feeling “great” has left my vocabulary.  The cancer surgery was trauma to my body and the fear of all of it took its toll I am sure.  Then the 21 radiation treatments caused me to be really tired, as the doctors said it would.  I would have thought by now the tiredness would be over…but then I thought it should be over after a week.  The doctor said it could take three to six months…it has been seven months.

Then my feet and ankles started swelling and stayed that way.  I could only wear one pair of shoes.  The skin stretched which made it feel like elastic on my legs and not a nice feeling.  I have had this before but it went away at night.  This time it did not go away at all.  So another round of doctors visits.  My cardiologist did an echogram..heart is fine.  He said some of the elasticity was gone but was “age” related.  On a scale of 1-4 it was probably a 1..not much for my age.  He put me on Lasix meds for fluid and my regular doctor took me off it just as quickly because it depleted the salt in my blood to a critical level.  She also added a pill so I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom so much at night. No wonder I don’t feel good.  Then I had some kind of test to check for blood clots in my legs…again negative.  The only suggestion was to loose weight (haven’t gained) and wear support hose.  Ha!!

Then one day the swelling went down just as quickly as it started.  I have no idea why but I am beginning to think it is a sensitivity to some sort of food…I have not been able to figure out what exactly.  Now I am eliminating wheat to see if anything changes.  I still get swelling but usually at the end of the day and it goes down at night or when I elevate my feet.

I also played golf one time – pulled a muscle in my lower back – and then proceeded to 12 sessions of physical therapy.  Much better….but not totally!!

There were days I cried the “ugly” cry because I was just such a total wreck.  Very depressing….but damn, I am not taking meds for depression.

I have been off my vegan diet.  I did not feel like cooking so stopped somewhere and got food.  It was usually a sandwich at night but definitely meat.  Breakfast and lunch stayed pretty much vegan. Basically, I didn’t care about self-care and was only existing and not very well.

Now the good part…I have not had alcohol in 60 days.  That’s a record.  I just decided one day I had enough and have not had any since.  I still go out and no one says anything.  In fact Jean and Doug go periods without drinking as well. Nobody cares really.  I felt a lot worse when drinking so thought I would feel wonderful not drinking.  Not so much so being sober definitely is a plus.  I don’t want to drink anymore. I’ve had enough.  Reminded me of when I stopped smoking…I just stopped.  No announcements – no planning – just stopped.  For good this time!  I’m done.  Considering how much I had been drinking, I’m amazed there were so few withdrawal symptoms.  The only thing was some insomnia but got through that OK.  I’ve lost 12 pounds since – my face looks so much better – I don’t look like a “drunk” anymore with swollen face, bloodshot eyes and red nose.  Why is it we don’t know what we look like as long as we are boozers?

This morning I decided to work on my health – not just lip service this time.  I watched some videos by my favorite people, Dr. Pam Popper and Dr. Michael Greger (the “How Not To Die” guy).  Dr. Popper talked about seniors being over-medicated with hypertension meds.  I am taking two very strong one’s.  My BP yesterday was 99/64 and today it is 115/68.  She said one of the reasons seniors ha so many falls is low blood pressue from being over medicated.  She also said there was a major study in Sweden done where patients in nursing homes improved greatly when blood pressure meds reduced.  Maybe that could be a little bit of my problem.  Today, I am going to reduce one in half – from 200 mg. to 100 mg. day.  Then see what happens.   I also stopped the “bathroom” pill (that’s what I call it).  I only took it for a month and the only thing different was a dry mouth.

I am going back to my completely WFPB diet.  I won’t give up the oil just yet but will when I get the WFPB part down.  I have reduced salt but still use some.  Getting rid of that may or may not come later.  It depends on how my blood pressure acts.

Also, back to the gym tomorrow.  Maybe some Yoga at home.  One thing at a time!