28 May 2009

Weighing In

I was a little nervous today about going to the WW meeting. It was just the first week of working the program, but it had been a rough week of staying within my allotted points. It was a long holiday weekend, a holiday that is surrounded by food! I mean, there was carne asada night at my folks, wine tasting with picnic, mimosas, and who can forget the all-you-can-eat sushi joint. But I was good, I tried really hard to choose what I wanted and have correct portions.

Then there is today, Thursday. Which is a good thing usually since the science team (my team) at work has free lunch while we usually discuss whatever is the hot data for our team. I brought my lunch, knowing that the lunches provided are usually hard to say no to and full of calories and fat! Then they go and have make your own tacos! TACOS!!! With all the fixings.... YUMMY!!! I could not say no. I had 2 tacos with extra veggies, a little bit of guacamole, beans and rice. Then I went for the shortbread cookie. I had to! I only really wanted a taste (and it was not worth it). One taste of cookie that really was all that I had. So I ended up going over my points for the day by 2, but that is ok. Even with the crazy eating weekend, I hardly used up the extra points for the week. So I was safe.

But I still had to face the scale this evening. And with the bf doing so good, I was a little nervous. OK a lot nervous. I weighed in. The WW leader was quiet. Looked at me, looked at the scale and then back to the computer. She was quiet. I was getting more nervous. Then she says, "Congrats! You did great this week! Can I give you your award publicly in the meeting?" WHAT?! I did good? I get an award? How good did I do. I lost 6 pounds during the first week! I am pretty jazzed about this. I was hoping for 1-2 pounds this week, what with all the drugs I am still on.

Now I am doing the happy dance. Wanting to celebrate by eating out. But I know that that would be the wrong thing to do. So I am going to reward myself with some pudding and a silly movie.

And the award was to mark that I had lost the first 5 pounds. A good goal! Now onto the next goal, my 5%... so only a few more pounds to go...

Less is Better

Almost done with my second week of work since my return to the real world. Not quite two full weeks, but it is close enough. Each day is a little bit better. Each day is less.

Less weird at work ~
  • less comments/questions about where I have been
  • less discussions about my health
Less in life ~
  • definitely less high fat foods
  • puffy cheeks are starting to lose some of that puff
  • the bf weighed in after week 1 of WW and is doing awesome! Less 6 pounds without cutting the hair! YAY!!! Way to go! (I do not weigh in until tonight, but hoping to also report a little less poundage)
  • I am wearing rings today! No swelling of the fingers and I have been at work all day, typing away. What an improvement!
  • Also, my feet are wearing fancy schmancy shoes (ok, fancy for me) and those feet are still in the shoes. No tap dancing around the office barefoot today.
These small changes of less are HUGE!

Every day is a little bit better than the last. Hope this trend stays for a while.

25 May 2009

Relaxation and Then Some

For some reason I have had no energy this weekend. I am completely wiped out. I have not done anything that would require extra energy, that would give me cause to say K take a break, you have worked hard. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The weekend composed of eating way too much at my parents on Friday, massage on Saturday, being lazy and a nap on Sunday, movie and wine tasting today. LAZY!!!

So why do I feel like the aliens have landed and have decided to leech my life force????

The massage was awesome! My girlfriends had given me a massage for a b-day gift and I finally had time to schedule it. The masseuse was very good... until he got to my feet. And then he touched something and OUCH!!! The reflexologist in him, says the ouchie spots are due to issues with bladder/kidney areas. Ok, I can believe that, what with all the drugs that are in my system. But still OWWW!!! Who knew a single point on the pad of my foot could be so sensitive. Other than that, it was great. I am thinking of doing this more often. I believe it will be good overall. Good for the circulation. Good to work out some of the kinks.

Now must go back to figuring out how to combat the life force leeching aliens. The bf says I need to start exercising (bike rides are his suggestion) to combat these evil forces conniving against me. Hmmm... not sure about that... will think about it while I drift back to the sewing machine.

21 May 2009

Coming To Terms With The Scale

While I must admit that I LOVED having the time off from work (more than I ever realized I would). I now have to deal with the reality of returning to work and oh my goodness!, what changes have occurred within / around / near my body. Somethings I am powerless to change ~ the deep sunken eyes and the swollen, puffy cheeks ~ all due to steroids. And will come off eventually, when I am no longer taking them, but that is going to be a while. This is my mantra ~ it is not permanent...

It really is the overall weight gain which is stashed somewhere between the thighs and boobs that has caused me to no longer fit into my pants which were swimming on me in February!!! To do something about this weight gain, to make me accountable for what I stuff in my mouth, I joined Weight Watchers today. I knew I had gained weight. The clothes did not fit. I just do not like the way I look. But the WW scale tells no lies. In this short 10 weeks, I have gained 27 pounds! YIKES!!! It can be "hidden" with properly fitted clothes. But I really do not wish to have to buy a new wardrobe. I like the old size 10 body and my wardrobe is FINALLY fitted to that old body.

I knew I had gained weight. Who is to blame? I could blame the weight gain all I wanted to on the steroids, other new drugs, feeling bad for myself, just eating MORE, being sick, etc, etc. But I will not! I need to take ownership of my body and my life. WW will allow me to be honest with what I shovel into my mouth and with my true weight. Hopefully, even with the steroids and other drugs, I can begin to lose these extra few pounds.

It may take a while, but no more excuses. The first goal is just to lose 9 pounds ( or 5%).... we shall see how long this takes...

Even the BF is going to do the WW plan with me. YAY for support!!!
Wish us luck!

What People Say

Yesterday was my first day back to work after 10 weeks off. It was a nice mellow day full of interesting comments and really no work. Most of the day can be summed up within the following four topics:

  • welcome back - how are you feeling? (talked more about my health yesterday than I had all of last month).
  • you were gone??? (this by someone in marketing who I rarely interact with, so it is ok).
  • the one I was dreading - You have gained weight! ~ Really, no way, I would never have noticed that! Who says that to someone? Really? SRSLY??? Yes, I know I have gained some weight, but hey, I have been sick and recovering.
  • and my personal favorite of the day, sincerely meaning this: "You have such a good attitude about you today and I noticed you are smiling a lot. It looks good on you!" ~ What an amazing thing to say! The person then asked me what the difference was, I said that I am no longer in constant pain and getting away was a nice break, good both physically and mentally.
Now people, when someone comes back from an illness, focus on the positive DO NOT TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE FAT, cuz I am sure that they know that they are no longer the svelte beauty they once were. And it is just rude! But I was expecting the fat comment, from somewhere, someone, just was not expecting it yesterday. Oh well. It was rather funny. At least that is how I took it.

19 May 2009

Almost Back to Work

My last day of FREEDOM is today. What to do? I have a to-do list a mile long, of all the things I should get done before I go back to work, of all the chores around the house that have been left undone, of all the the things I want to do... what should I do?

Tomorrow will be my first day back at work after my 10 week leave of absence. WOW! 10 weeks went fast! And what do I have to show for it?!
  • progress on quilts and knitting projects
  • a veggie garden that is starting to bloom (I have baby squash) - such a proud mama
  • a healthier, happier body that has been relatively flare free
  • an awesome support network of friends, family and doctors
  • and a body that needs to go on a diet (YIKES! Steroids are not good for the figure)
  • vacations to see family and friends
But the thought of going back tomorrow terrifies me. I know most of the people there. I guess the company has expanded with sales and marketing folks since I have left (and you know how those teams grow and multiply!). I am worried about how I look. My face is horrible! I haz the cheeks that can store nuts for a whole family of squirrels for an entire winter or two. Plus my face is so red. My face will calm down once I get off some of the extra drugs, but that will still be awhile. It is the one obvious way people can tell that I am not normal. It really bothers me. The rest of the weight gain (about 20 pounds) can easily be hid as long as I wear clothes that fit... must admit to weight gain and buy new clothes.... So not too worried about that.

The other thing that bothers me is what will people say to me? what will it be like to go back? what will I be working on? It is all those first day of school/work type jitters. I guess no matter how old one gets or how many new jobs, you never really get over those feelings. I also am worried that people will see me as less than whole. Like I can not do the job anymore. Which is totally not the case. I am completely fine! I can function as well as before. I just know I have a few boundaries that I need to work into my day, like no more forgetting to eat, making sure I get to bed every night at a decent hour, things like that. I hope people do not just see me for my illness but for me, the me that can function normally (well, as normally as any of us really function) as an adult. I mean, I am no longer getting stuck in places anymore! I can touch my toes, well sort of, as long as it is not one of those crazy yoga poses - but then again, I could never do that.

Today will start with a Costco trip and hopefully some fun will follow for my last day of freedom! For tomorrow is back to the normal working adult world.

15 May 2009

Fridge Clean Out

Over the past few months I have been switched medications over and over and over again. So I have (or had) a nicely stocked fridge of Enbrel and Humira. Hoping I could donate it somewhere, to someone. My doctor kept telling me to hang on to it, just in case and wait a few months, then donate. But between leaving for Reno and coming home, our fridge went out... so all the meds have been room temperature for about 3 days. Not good for the meds.

I guess this is one really expensive fridge clean out!

Stronger Than Before

My 12 day adventure came to an end. And what an adventure it was!

Texas was amazing! The weather was perfect Texas weather ~ nice and warm with a tad humidity and a chance of thunderstorms. It was a great chance for a good flare. But nada nothing zilch happened. YAY!!!

My twin nephews are adorable. I managed to gobble them up every chance I could get. They were both a bit sick and unhappy in the beginning of my trip, but by the end of the trip, they were smiling, playing and just so happy. The twins even wanted to show us how to play with the Wii. Running around, pretending to throw the controllers and growling at the TV. It was pretty silly.

Walking around stores in Texas with the twins was quite interesting. People will just walk up to the boys and touch them or try to pick them up. I was not use to that at all!!! My brother says that this is just normal. And NO he has not gotten use to it! WOW!!! Not sure how I would feel about that if it happened all the time. Everyone was real nice. I had no problems with anyone. It is just a weird feeling when someone approaches you and makes a bee-line to the child.

I managed to catch the twins cold. Which amazingly was great for travel. With the swine flu scare, I managed to get the whole row to myself. No one wanted to sit next to a coughing, nose blowing chica. Oh well. I flew home nice and comfortably into SFO. Caught the dance recital by Peck Peck Dance Ensemble while in SF. And had a really good time seeing the performance and catching up with my folks.

With my cold full blown, I caught a plane ride to Reno and tried to party it up. Ok. I went to bed early every night, but I still gambled my little tushy up and had a great time with the girls. I need to do these little mini trips more often. It is just so nice to get away and be with your girlfriends.

After this amazing, hectic 12 days, I feel surprisingly good (with a little tired and a nose that wishes to be on someone else's face). I really expected either the weather or the travel to cause some sort of physical ailment in my body, some sort of random flare moment. But really nothing. Maybe the Rituxan is working... Wouldn't that be awesome! I am tapering down the prednisone and am currently down to 30 mg a day. Half of where I started with no ill side effects.

Yes, I can not wait to be completely off the prednisone and able to lose the sunken in eye, chubby cheek look. I want my body and face back! But I really should not complain. I am a million times better than I was 3 months ago. My recovery is going well.

I am even going back to work next week. The true stress test... but will discuss after I start back...

02 May 2009


With this almost rainy day, one really wants to just sit with a cup of hot cocoa and watch a movie or two. However, I am swamped with a mile long to-do list as I begin my first true adventure since taking a leave of absence. It begins with me going to a bachlorette party, then heading to Texas, only to come back to California for a day, before I head to Reno all in a short 13 days. The adventure begins this afternoon and I am procrastinating packing for the overnight party. Somethings never change.

Today I woke up and there were certain things that just made me smile...
Pure blissful happiness...

Finishing the first row of the quilt. It is coming along nicely.

Finding that perfect container that fits (almost) all of my daily meds.

And seeing my garden grow. :D

new growth (but I can not remember what is planted here)
and tomatoes and squash and all are still doing well

Now to packing and adventure and hoping that my body stands up to it all!