Category Archives: Health

Another Attempt At Mindfulness (or I Think I Need To Work On This Until I Figure It Out)

I’ve tried to work on mindfulness multiple times and it has never seemed to stick with me. But it keeps coming up in my life and I feel like that is a sign of something. So I’ve been inspired to try mindfulness again and the timing is perfect since it’s time for another monthly challenge! But first, time to recap last month’s challenge.

Last month, I challenged myself to work on doing daily speed cleaning. Ideally, I would spend 5-10 minutes a month focused on a small space in my house to clean and organize it. I wanted to do this because I had felt like my cleaning was getting overwhelming and I didn’t know where to start. So I wanted to take away the pressure from doing a big cleaning in my house because that seemed to be what was stopping me. I set an alarm to work on this each day and I tried my best to do what I could.

I wasn’t totally successful with this, but it went better than I thought it would. There were several days that I couldn’t do cleaning because either I was gone all day (like during the Convention) or I had no energy because I was sick. But when things like that weren’t stopping me, I really did accomplish a lot. And by telling myself I only had to do one small cleaning thing allowed me to just do it and not worry about not having time to finish it. There were some times that I did a really small cleaning job like using a new multi-hook hanger to put all my tank tops in one spot (it also saves room in my closet). And then there were other times where my small cleaning job ended up getting me motivated to do a bigger cleaning job. But it has gotten me into the habit of spending a bit of time every day working on this so that I don’t feel overwhelmed again.

Last month went well and I’m really hoping this month will too. Mindfulness has been a struggle for me each time I’ve tried to work on it. I’ve found little things that have worked, but they aren’t enough. I want to be more aware of so much in my life. This isn’t just a food thing because there are days where it seems like the entire day slipped away without me knowing what happened. I want to avoid days in a fog like that if possible.

The book that I’m reading as my 10 pages of a recovery based book right now is all about eating mindfully. I actually wish I had read this book when I first started trying to be more mindful because it’s pretty great. Each section has a lesson along with some action steps to take. And so many of these action steps are things that I haven’t done before or thought of doing before. I actually think I need to go back and start reading from the beginning to take notes on things because I haven’t been doing that. And that is part of my challenge for this month.

I want to go through the book again and other resources I can find and start finding action steps to take to work toward mindfulness. Maybe the reason why it has failed to stick with me before is because mindfulness is more of an idea and less of something I can do. If I had steps to take and work with, that would probably be better for me. I need something tangible or to check off on a list to work with and I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing this before.

This month’s challenge won’t necessarily be about putting mindfulness into practice right away. I’ve tried that a bunch and it hasn’t worked. But instead, this challenge is going to be about researching action steps and ideas to put into use over time. I want to devote time every day to re-reading the book I’ve been reading as well as looking online or in other reference books to make a list that I can use moving forward. I want to make mindfulness work for me and it’s not something that I can just turn on right away. I need to work toward it and I have failed at doing that before. Because other challenges have come to me so easily, I assumed that this one would too. But I am learning and have realized what I hope will be the missing step to be able to implement this into my life in the long-term.

I know that this seems like a much more passive monthly challenge than others have been, but this is what I think I need to focus on this month. And there are only so many things I can add to my life with these monthly challenges, so having one that is more of a reflective thing is probably going to help me not get burned out on them. And I totally don’t want to experience burn out because I just got my 2018 Volt Planner so there will be another year of monthly challenges next year!

Tumor Update Time! (or Guess I Won’t Have Another Of These For A While)

As I mentioned in my post about getting my most recent MRI, I already knew that my liver tumors had shrunk again. That’s awesome news and I was so happy to hear that since if the tumors had grown or stayed the same I might have needed surgery. While I was mentally prepared for surgery since I thought I was having it earlier this year, I really don’t want any surgeries if I can help it. But even though I already had that good news, I didn’t know too much about what was happening which is why I met with my liver surgeon this week.

I actually hadn’t seen my liver surgeon in almost a year. I didn’t realize it had been that long, but the last time I saw him was after my second liver MRI (when we determined what type of tumors I had). After my MRI in April I didn’t see him since we had a phone call instead of me spending money for an appointment. He didn’t have a ton of answers for me then except that we should not do the surgery then because my case is pretty unique. So I was happy to see my surgeon again to discuss the plan and see what he thinks is going on.

I seriously have an awesome liver surgeon. I was randomly assigned him after it was discovered there was something happening with my liver, but I couldn’t have picked a better doctor. He totally gets that I want photos of my tumors, sends me the full radiologist report, and doesn’t mind that I always come in with a list of questions. And he talks to me normally (not talking down like some doctors do) and I think he is honestly entertained by my case since I’m so weird. In this past appointment, he said how he read about a case like mine in school but never thought that he’d get a patient with shrinking liver adenomas. I’m happy that he’s excited about what’s happening too.

This appointment was pretty easy. I already knew that the tumors shrank and he knew I’d want a bunch of photos of the screen showing my MRI so he set it up where we could see a side by side comparison. I did some editing since I know not everyone knows where the tumors are in my scans, but as you can see it’s pretty clear that the tumor is significantly smaller than it was a year ago.

In October last year the big tumor was 10cm, in April this year it was about 4cm, and this month it measured at just over 3cm. The smallest tumor is still gone (or too small to be seen on a scan) and the medium tumor is 1cm (it started at 3cm and measured at 1cm in April). My surgeon said that I’m in a pretty good spot now. He doesn’t recommend surgery for me since the tumor is small enough to not be a risk for me and the placement of it now has improved. There are still risks of it growing if I am pregnant one day, but he said that he isn’t worried about it.

We discussed options to get rid of it. There are some less invasive options than surgery, but because of the placement of my tumor they aren’t things I can do. My tumor is pressed against my stomach so anything like radiation or burning the tumor would risk injuring my stomach. The risks of those procedures outweighs the benefit of taking out the tumor. But we did talk about how there is a chance I’ll still need my gallbladder out one day and he said we could easily do the tumor removal at the same time. So now I know that whatever comes first (needing the tumor out or my gallbladder out) will also make the other surgery happen at the same time. I kind of like the idea of a 2 for 1 surgery.

We also discussed things for my future. Pregnancy is no longer as risky for me as it was when the tumors were larger and I pretty much knew that already. But in the past my surgeon mentioned that fertility treatments and hormone replacement therapies would not be an option for me because of the tumors. But this time, he said since it would be such a small procedure to take the tumor out, if I needed either of those one day I could just have the surgery to take out the tumor and then I could do them. I was not expecting that and it actually was a relief to hear that. I hope that I don’t need fertility treatments, but I’m aware of how many of my friends have issues getting pregnant (and I’m not getting any younger) so it’s nice to know that is an option if I need it. And I know that many women really have relief from menopause from hormone replacement therapy so it’s good to know that could be something I could use if I need it.

Besides discussing those few things, there really wasn’t much else to talk about in my appointment. There is still no medical explanation for why the tumors shrank when they usually don’t. I think it’s my visualization work that is helping do this. But there is nothing that my surgeon can tell me that I need to do or keep doing so my plan is to not really change anything. Since we don’t know what is doing this, I don’t want to change something only to discover that is why things are working.

Since there is no plan to have surgery (at least not until I need my gallbladder out), my surgeon told me that if I didn’t want to do any more follow ups I didn’t have to. While that’s a nice idea, I don’t think I would be able to not be worried about the tumors. So the plan now is that I will do another MRI in a year and we will have another chat about what’s happening. Hopefully the tumors are smaller in a year, but even if they aren’t I know they are an ok size right now.

It was weird enough to not have to do any liver related stuff for 6 months after my surgery was cancelled, but to be able to go a year without anything is even crazier! But I have no reason to worry about anything and now I get to work on hoping to continue to be a medical miracle and hopefully my appointment in a year will go as easily as this one did!

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My Cold Caught Up With Me (or I Guess I Was Due To Get Sick)

Last week before the convention, I was feeling like I was starting to get a cold. I knew I couldn’t be sick during the convention so I was trying to do whatever I could to stop the cold before it got too bad. I was drinking lots of water and making sure that I was getting sleep. And by the time that the convention started, I wasn’t feeling totally better but I was feeling much better than I had at the beginning of the week.

I assumed that I beat it and I was so happy that I didn’t get sick during the convention. But the day after it ended, my cold came back and I wasn’t able to stop it this time. I guess I should be grateful that my body held off until I had time to be sick. But it’s still not fun being sick at all.

I’m lucky that I work from home and that this week didn’t really have too much scheduled. I did have an audition this week and going to that exhausted me. I felt fine while I was there, but I took a 4 hour nap when I got home. And I did change my workout schedule around a bit to make things easiest for me (but more on that later).

I’m also glad that I got my flu shot already so I know that this isn’t the flu. I do occasionally get sick from a flu shot so that could be what’s making me sick a bit now. I already felt a bit sick before the shot, so combining whatever bug I already had plus the sickness I get from my flu shot seemed to be not a bad option.

I hate feeling so unmotivated to do things. Especially after the convention which makes me even more motivated than normal. Sitting at home not doing much isn’t easy and being sick makes my food even weirder than normal. I know I ate too much while at the convention and I was hoping that this week would be the week to get back on track. But instead, things are just weird with what I feel like eating. I’m trying to not go too crazy, but when you feel sick sometimes you just want to eat things that make you feel better.

This week was supposed to be the week to get so much done and to accomplish a lot. Instead, I’m getting up in the morning, working my jobs, and then going back to bed for a nap. I’m really not getting things done and my to do list keeps getting longer and longer. I just want to feel like myself again to get things done.

I know that I sound really whiney and I’m complaining a lot. But being sick is a tough thing for me. I do get worried that this is a sign that something else is wrong with me even though I know it’s not. I used to feel like this before getting strep throat and having issues with my tonsils. But I don’t have tonsils anymore. And when my stomach feels off I’m worried that this is the beginning of a gallbladder attack. While that can be true, I know that it’s not. This is just a cold and having it hold off for a week makes it seem like it’s never going away. I’ve been dealing with this for 2 weeks even though I’ve only really been sick for 5 days.

Hopefully by continuing to take it easy this weekend I will finally get over this thing. And I’m hoping that this is the only time I’ll be sick this winter. I know that something is going around right now and it seems like I didn’t get it as badly as other people did. But I don’t want to be sick another time this year. I don’t like losing my motivation or having to take time out of my life to get better. And I’m working hard at not overdoing things right now because I want to get stuff done. But I know the only way to get over this is to take it easy and I’m really trying hard to let myself do that right now.

Time For Another MRI (or Still Trying To Stay Calm)

After a busy weekend at the SAG-AFTRA Convention, I was ready to relax. But that wasn’t exactly what was in the plans for me. I had my liver MRI the next day and that’s not exactly the most relaxing thing for me to do. But at least it’s something I’m getting used to. I’ve had several liver MRIs by now and I know what it’s like. And even though it has been 6 months since my last one, I knew what I was in for.

This MRI was to check the tumor sizes. I have an appointment with my liver surgeon on Monday next week to discuss what the plan is going to be. But in order to do that, we need to know what is happening in my liver. So even though this was probably the most routine of my liver MRIs, it was also the most stressful for me. My first MRI was when we still thought I had a cyst and I didn’t know enough to be stresses. My second one was to determine what type of tumor I had and I knew it didn’t make too much of a difference what type it was. My third one was right before I was supposed to have surgery and was just a size check (I assumed that surgery was going to happen so I didn’t think too much about the size). But this one is to see what is happening so we can create a plan.

I tried not to stress too much about things because I cannot control if my tumors shrink or grow. Whatever happens is going to happen and I can’t worry too much. But at the same time, because I have no clue what is going on it is stressful. I want the tumors to keep shrinking because I really don’t want surgery. But I also know that if I do need surgery eventually that it will be the right thing for me.

So going in for this MRI was a mix of stress and exhaustion. I joked to friends that maybe I’d actually sleep in the MRI machine. That really can’t happen because there are audio cues I have to listen to about holding my breath at certain times, but I was hopeful that at least being tired would help keep me a bit relaxed. When I got to the hospital, they were running almost 2 hours behind so I spent a lot of time in the waiting room reading a book. But they ended up bringing me back early to get ready before the MRI machine was ready.

One part of getting ready was getting the IV started. They wanted to do this with me sitting on a chair and I was terrified. While I haven’t really fainted lately with needles or blood work, I was worried that the IV would make me pass out for a bit and didn’t want to fall. We ended up doing it with me sitting on a bench and leaning against the wall and I am happy to say that I didn’t faint with the IV! And then I found out that the new rules for the MRI machine meant that I couldn’t wear my own clothes and had to get gowned up. So I got changed and waited for the machine to be ready for me.

There was still more waiting once I was ready so I tried to just read my book and not think about the MRI. I was still a bit distracted and worried, but at least the reading gave me something to focus on a little more than the MRI. And once they were ready for me, I got on the table and they were able to get me positioned and strapped down (yes, you get strapped down for liver MRIs) quickly.

The MRI was only about 20 minutes since it was only a size check. I tried to count in my head during each scan and not think about what was happening or what they might be seeing. I still don’t really like MRIs and whenever the machine moved I got a bit panicky. But I stayed calm because I knew I needed to hold my breath several times and it’s not easy to do that when you are panicky.

When the contrast went into my IV, it felt as weird as it always has in the past. I hate that feeling and it did make me feel a bit faint, but I kept it together. And after the contrast went in, there is a 4 minute gap before the next scan so they were able to take my IV out so I could finish the MRI without the IV in my arm. That was nice and I’m grateful that they do that for me. And after those last few scans, it was all done and I was released from the table and was able to get changed and on with my day.

But I wasn’t done just yet. Because things were running so far behind and you have to pay to park at the hospital I go to, I decided that I was going to take advantage of something they were offering. If you got a flu shot, they gave you parking validation to cover the cost of parking that day. My parking was going to be about $20, so I figured this would be the perfect time to get my flu shot and to ┬ánot have to pay a lot for parking. I got it, didn’t pass out, and got free parking. Totally a win (except that my arm is still a bit sore).

I have my meeting with my surgeon on Monday, but I already got an email from him. I don’t have all the details, but I do know that my biggest tumor has gotten a bit smaller! When it was discovered a year ago, it was 10cm. When we did the MRI in April it was about 4cm. And in the MRI this week it was about 3cm. I don’t know about the other tumor or if the 3rd one is still not able to be seen, but this is big news! I’m assuming this means that I still won’t be having surgery, but I don’t really know much more than the size just yet. But I’ll be updating you all when I know more!

3 Workouts In A Row (or Using Fitness To Beat A Cold)

This past week of workouts was an interesting one. First, I had only 3 workouts in the week. Plus those 3 workouts were 3 days in a row. I don’t usually do 3 days in a row, but it was the only way I could do 3 workouts this past week. But it also ended up being a week where I was working out while not feeling my best. I was hanging out with a friend on Saturday night who ended up having a cold on Sunday. I think I caught it from them and was fighting a cold all week. But I knew I couldn’t be sick last week because of everything I had, so I was determined to sweat the cold out of me!

Monday’s workout was an endurance 3 group workout. That was the first morning I was feeling a bit sick, but I was mainly contagious and didn’t feel light-headed or anything. So I knew it might be tough to workout, but I could do it. There was no way for me to run, so I walked everything. It was a bit annoying to walk because this endurance workout was actually pretty ideal for me to work on my running. The first block was 1 minute intervals so that’s something I’m used to running. And the second block was all 45 second intervals. But I was just focused on being a good power walker and taking the breaks to catch my breath that I needed to.

Next I was over on the rower. The first block started with a 500 meter row with 20 bicep curls using the rower handles. Then each block the rowing went down 100 meters. I was very focused on keeping my rowing steady and not too fast. It means my rowing doesn’t get as high in wattage as I’m used to, but my form is better. And my coach even noticed that my rowing was improved and commented on how much better it was looking! That made me feel a lot better considering that I was not feeling my best that day. And the second block on the rower followed the treadmill block with 45 second intervals and again I just tried to focus on keeping my rowing speed lower than I used to and steady. The goal was to get 1300 meters in that block, but I only got about 1100 because my wattage was low. But I’m ok with that since my form was better and I was working on what my coach wanted me to work on.

Once I got to the floor, I was feeling better and worse at the same time. My congestion was better, but I was feeling a bit exhausted from all the other work I already had done. But I just told myself to take it easy and do what I can with taking breaks when necessary. The first floor block was rows with weights, squats, strap work, and plank crunches. And the second block was high row on the straps, plank leg lifts, and situps. It was a bit tough to do plank work or work where I was on my back because of the congestion, but I pushed through.

On Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and was thinking that maybe my workouts would help me beat the cold. But I was still not feeling like I had beat it completely so it ended up being another walking day for me. And again I was frustrated because it was a run/row day. I really wanted to try to run, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to keep having good form on the rower. The run/row started with a .25 mile walk at 6% incline for me and then a 500 meter row. Next was a .05 mile walk at 10% and a 250 meter row. Then .2 miles at 7% and 400 meters on the rower and .05 miles at 10% and 250 meters on the rower again. I was just working on the .15 mile walk on the treadmill at 8% when time was called. I kept my speed on both the treadmill and rower pretty steady although nothing was as much as I could normally do.

After the run/row we had 4 blocks on the floor. And again I had the same problem I had on Monday with the congestion affecting when I was doing some of the work. The first floor block was squats, row with weights, and plank work. The second block was lunge and tricep work and this was the block I did the best in. Despite feeling off, I was using 25lb weights instead of 20lb weights. It helped that both moves were upright moves so the congestion didn’t bug me as much. The third block was lunges, pullovers on the Bosu, and situps on the Bosu. And we ended with a core blast which was the toughest part because my nose felt so clogged and I was coughing a lot. But again, I was so proud of myself for working out when I didn’t feel great and I was continuing to be optimistic that working out would get the cold out of my system.

I continued to feel a bit better on Wednesday, but I still wasn’t totally back to normal. Plus having it as my third workout in a row made it a tough workout even if I was feeling awesome. So it was another power walking day for me and again I was sad because it was a power day and I really like to work on running those. We had 4 blocks and every block was 4.5 minutes. Every block was a mix of 1 minute and 45 second intervals and I just has to focus on walking. I did all my push paces at 6% and all my all out paces at 8%. I didn’t bump up my speed or incline really at all but to me it was most important to just keep going.

The floor was also 4 blocks that were 4.5 minutes each. The first block was a rowing block. We had 150 meter rows with medicine ball work between each row. I knew I only had 1 good row in me (even though we were encouraged to improve on our time each time we rowed), so I told my coach I was going to go all out on the first one. Because I can be pretty powerful on sprint rows, she stood on the end of my rower to keep it steady and I went for it. I didn’t worry about form, I just wanted to go as quickly and as hard as I could. And it paid off because I got a new 150 meter row PR! I did it in 27.8 seconds which is pretty impressive (you know I wasn’t feeling 100% myself because I forgot to take a photo of my row time with my phone). After that first row, I went pretty easy on all the other times I rowed.

The second block on the floor was shoulder work with weights and push ups. The third block was more 150 meter rowing with squats and plank jacks. I didn’t worry about speed with that row because I knew I was exhausted. And the last block on the floor was pull ups on the straps and more plank work. Even though I was still feeling a bit sick, Wednesday was the day I felt the most like myself and that was an accomplishment.

I went into this past week thinking I would just have an awesome 3 workout week with 3 days in a row. And it ended up being a week that I had to put my mind over what my body was saying and trying to do my best. If I was really sick, I would have skipped the workout. I’ve done that before. But I knew that I could fight this cold and it seems I might have actually done that with this past week of workouts!

What Will Be Sobriety (or A Friend Making Me Think About What I Want)

I was in the car recently with a friend of mine. This friend and I can have some pretty serious and deep conversations and we are pretty honest with each other. While in the car, we started talking about books which led into me talking about how I read 10 pages of a recovery based book every day. And that discussion led into talking about my eating disorder.

We talked about how I feel pretty certain that this is something that I was born with because I remember episodes from when I was a toddler. I doubt it is learned behavior when it starts that young. And we talked about the progress that I’ve been making and trying to make to get myself into recovery. And then we got into a pretty interesting discussion about recovery means.

I’ve said in the past that having an eating disorder/food addiction is so different from any other addiction. This is something that you will have to confront multiple times a day for the rest of your life. When you are an alcoholic, you can go the rest of your life without alcohol. But you cannot survive without food. And I know I’ve had some feelings of almost jealously over friends who have recovered from other addictions because they can just avoid whatever they were addicted to. It seems so much easier than what I’m going through (although I know that it’s not the case).

When I attended the OA meeting with my friend, they talked about the idea of sobriety. Sobriety is a personal thing for anyone, but in OA it becomes even more personal since everyone has their own idea of sobriety. Obviously, you can’t be sober from food. So you have to pick the things around food that you want to avoid and doing that creates your sobriety. For some of my friends, that has meant no eating after a certain time, not eating a certain food, or only eating when it is on a plate and not out of a container.

When I was telling my friend about that idea, he asked me what sobriety/recovery would mean for me. And honestly, I don’t know. I know what I’d like to have my relationship with food be like but many of the things I want are not realistic. For example, I’d love to never have a binge or overeating episode again and to always be in the right calorie range. But everyone has a time every so often when they overeat. When you go out to a restaurant you can easily overeat.

But maybe I can change how I view those episodes. If I don’t let them bring me down and just view them as a normal part of life and can move on, that could be good. I don’t want them to affect me the way that they do now and if that happens maybe it could become a rare occasion instead of something that sets me off.

Beyond the idea of never having a binge episode again, I’ve never really thought too much about what sobriety would mean for me. That’s all I’ve wanted. But because of my conversation with my friend I did start thinking about habits I have or had and what I can change. And one of the biggest ones that I thought of was how I have not ordered delivery food in over a year and a half. Well, technically occasionally I order Chipotle from Postmates, but I don’t consider that delivery food as I can order exactly what I would have gotten if I went to get it myself (unlike when you order Chinese food or pizza and have to order more than what you know you can eat).

For a long time, I thought I’d never be able to be delivery food free and I have managed to do it much longer than I ever have as an adult. And I don’t really even think of getting delivery food when I’m hungry and don’t know what I want to eat. It’s nice having that out of my head and not an issue any more. So in some way, I think that since I’m able to get over delivery food (which felt like it could never happen) that I could also get over binge episodes. But at the same time I don’t want to put that pressure on myself.

I still really don’t know what my version of sobriety means to me. But realizing that I don’t know this has made me understand that I can’t get into recovery until I really figure this out. I need to sit down, set some goals, and make some more concrete plans. Even though I have been working on this, having this idea in mind is an entirely different game and I think it can only benefit me by working on it.

Back To Focusing On Health (or Back To Back Doctor Appointments)

In some ways, it seems like I took the summer off from my health. The last big doctor appointment I had been not really an appointment at all but my MRI for my liver back in April. I never saw my liver surgeon after the MRI, we just had a phone call that went over most things plus some follow-up emails with some blood work instructions. And I did get my eyes checked this summer, but that was something I had been putting off and wasn’t that big of a deal.

But now, it seems like doctor appointments are coming quickly for me. Some of them have been normal things. I had an appointment with a dermatologist recently and will be going back for a follow-up in a week. That’s something I pretty much do every year. And yesterday was my annual appointment with my OB/GYN, which is another pretty normal appointment. Although it does seem like I’ve seen her a lot lately since I had my IUD appointment and follow-up for that not too long ago. Again, seeing my doctor every year for my annual appointment is very routine for me.

And I’m assuming I’ll be going in for a mammogram again this year, which isn’t the most fun thing but I know I need to do it. It’s funny how a year ago I was so stressed about having a breast MRI because I hate IVs and don’t love MRIs. But since that MRI, I’ve had so many with IVs so now that seems like the easier option. But it’s much more expensive and not necessary for me to do every year. I don’t know how often I’ll be alternating the mammograms with the MRIs, but that’s something that will be worked out for me by my doctor and a geneticist that my doctor consults with.

But even though it seems like all the routine doctor appointments are coming at me quickly, I also have to add in my liver stuff too. I will be doing my next liver MRI in the next month or so and then I’ll have the follow-up that goes along with that. Obviously, my hope is that the tumors have continued to shrink so that I can just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll just have to do another follow-up MRI in 6 months. If they keep shrinking or disappear completely, there’s a chance I’ll still have to do semi-annual or annual MRIs, but that’s not that bad. I could deal with MRIs every month if that meant I didn’t need to have surgery.

But of course, there is always the worry that the tumors have grown or stayed the same. If they are the same, I’m in a weird spot because I still could benefit from surgery but I could also wait longer to see if they shrink again. To me, having them stay the same is the worst case because there’s no clear answer on what I should do. And if the tumors have grown, I need to have surgery and that’s that. I don’t want surgery, but I also don’t want tumors in me that are growing because that can turn life threatening.

I’ve been doing my tumor visualization every day and I haven’t really changed much in my routine since I found out my tumors have shrunk. So I’m really hopeful that the tumors have shrunk. But I’m back to feeling a bit disconnected to my body since there is no way for me to know what’s happening until I have the MRI. I’m not going to stress about it because there is nothing I can do beyond what I’m doing. And if my MRI ends up being in October, I don’t want to spend all of September stressed about it.

It’s interesting how the timing of things worked out where it was pretty much a summer off of medical stuff. Considering how much medical craziness I’ve had lately, it was nice to have a break so I could focus more on my life and not on the what ifs with my body. But it’s time to buckle down and get back to making sure that I’m doing everything I can for my health and to make sure that I’m on top of all the things I need to concern myself about.

My Version Of Back To School (or I Need To Get Out Of My Summer Mindset)

Most of the schools in LA went back this past week. It was cute to see all the first day of school photos from my friends with kids and most of my friends are pretty excited to have some free time back in their lives. It’s crazy to see some of my friends’ kids in school when it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that they were born. Especially since I don’t feel like I’ve aged as much as those kids have!

Back to school time used to mean so much to me. When I was in school it was a great way to reset things in my life and get them back on schedule. Even when I was working as a substitute teacher it had that effect on me. There’s something about knowing that school is back that triggered a sense of seriousness in me and I’ve realized that I don’t have that anymore.

I don’t miss school. I do a lot of learning through various things on my own every day so I don’t need a set class that is fall to summer. But I do miss the feeling of resetting things and getting back on track. And getting back on track is something that I do struggle with at times and yet again I’m going through that.

I have to feel lucky that I have my fitness stuff down and that doesn’t need to much work. I think things would be so much worse for me if I didn’t have that in place. But food is still a struggle and I know that things have gotten a bit out of control again. It’s a combination of my schedule being crazy, having lots of adventures and outings, and just being lazy because of the heat.

I’ve said this so many times before, but I really need to get back to my meal planning. Or at least having better options in my house to choose from. There have been far too many days where it’s 3pm and I’m done with work and I’m going to the grocery store because I’ve got nothing to have for dinner. And unfortunately, when I do that I will sometimes buy things I don’t need because they seem good to me in the moment.

I’m working on getting back to the way I was meal planning earlier this year, but it’s not exactly what I think I need right now. So I’m back to experimenting with what things will work and what will help to make me as successful as possible with not having problems with having the right food in my house. I know that my schedule is still a bit crazy and will continue to be a bit crazy, but that can’t be an excuse for me anymore. Life will always have moments of craziness and that can’t be stopping me.

I also need to refocus on work and time management. For the next month things are extra crazy for me because I’m doing the temporary job for an old boss of mine. I have to manage when each day I’m doing each job and I really need to focus on it because I need to get it done when I plan on getting it done. It would be so easy to let time fly by and not have the chance to do what I need to do a certain day. I make sure that it doesn’t happen, but I also see where there are cracks in my plan and where I can improve things.

It will be so nice when one day I don’t have to stress about these things as much. Maybe one day food will come as easy to me as the workouts do now. And maybe one day I’ll only have one job (or one job with a few side jobs that are related to that job) so I don’t have to color coordinate my schedule to know when I need to work each job each day. Fortunately with work, I am an organized person so it’s not too horrible to manage things. But I do look forward to when things are simpler in life and that I can focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking every single hour and day.

Taking Back A Medical Miracle (or Getting My Eyes Checked Again)

I wrote recently about how I got my eyes checked and how I had another medical miracle. It was so crazy to be told that my eyes were getting better, especially since my prescription hasn’t changed in about a decade. But after talking to my mom, we figured that maybe when I went off hormonal birth control something might have changed with my eyes. When I was looking into it, your vision can get worse when you start birth control. When I started it, my eyes were getting worse every year so I wouldn’t have noticed it.

I was so excited and ordered new contacts and lenses for my glasses right away. I had a slight issue when the lenses for my new glasses came in, but I was able to resolve it (and get a partial refund because I was able to go with a cheaper option). I didn’t notice how my vision was in the glasses because I was wearing my contacts while I was there. I didn’t want to take out my contacts and just figured it would be fine. But because of the issue, I had to get my old lenses back in my glasses while they ordered the second set.

Then my new contact lenses arrived at my house. The day after they arrived, I tossed my old lenses (with my old prescription) and put in a pair of the new lenses. And everything seemed fine for the first few minutes. New contacts always feel nice when you put them in, so I was getting used to that feeling fora minute. But then I sat down on my couch to watch the news that morning and realized that things weren’t right. There is a clock on my cable box and I wasn’t able to read the time on it clearly. Then I started to look around my house and noticed that things were blurry that never have been blurry for me before.

I knew that something was up and I immediately put the new lenses in a spare case and put the last pair of contacts with my old prescription in and everything stopped being blurry. I was told my vision had been overcorrected, but I knew that I should be able to see things within my house without them being blurry. So I called the appointment call center to see what could be done. They agreed that I should come in to get my eyes checked again, but I wouldn’t be able to be seen for a few weeks.

So I waited patiently and this week I went in to get my eyes checked again to see what was happening. Long story short, while my vision is slightly better than what it was 5 years ago, it’s not improved enough to change my prescription. I could go to a slightly weaker prescription, but in my case it’s better to overcorrect things a bit (it becomes a problem in 6 years when I’ll be 40). The doctor I saw the second time was so nice to me and explained that so many things could have caused my eyes to be weird and to make it seem like I had improved vision. But in the end, I’m keeping everything the same.

I was able to get a straight exchange of the contacts I bought (I’m just waiting for the new ones with the old prescription to be shipped to me) and I was able to cancel and get a refund for the new lenses for my glasses that I ordered. And since this appointment was a re-check of my eyes, I didn’t have to pay for the appointment. Basically I walked out with everything being the same as it was before I walked in for my first appointment.

I know that some people would probably be a bit disappointed to not have another medical miracle. But honestly for me, I’m actually a bit relieved that my vision didn’t get better. I’ve felt so disconnected from my body with the entire tumor situation and to not realize that my vision got better would make me feel that way even more. When the eye doctor told me my vision was better, I was actually a bit disturbed that I didn’t notice anything. And I tried to let that feeling go because I thought that I was just being crazy.

So to know that I shouldn’t have noticed any differenced helped to make that feeling go away. I also like knowing my vision is still the same because it gives me the option to get laser eye surgery if I chose to do so. It was a bit annoying to have to go through 2 different doctor appointments and some complications with ordering contacts and glasses, but that’s a minor inconvenience compared to how disconnected I was feeling.

I still have the medical miracle going on with my liver and my tumors, so that’s pretty awesome. But I’m ok with only having one miracle going on at once.

Rethinking Being A Warrior (or Refocusing On My Word For The Year)

I’ve talked about how my word for the year this year is “Warrior“. It’s a strong and powerful word and I’m very glad that I chose it this year. It meant a lot to me to have it as my word at the beginning of the year when I was preparing to have a major surgery. When the surgery was cancelled, I didn’t immediately think about how the word warrior was going to change in my mindset. But recently someone asked me about my warrior bracelet and why I had it.

I explained how it was my word for the year and how I was planning on being a warrior through my surgery, but that was cancelled. They asked me if it was still my word for the year and I told them yes. But later I was thinking about how I want to be a warrior for the rest of this year since I’m not focused on recovering from surgery.

I guess I never really thought about how I should readjust my thoughts for being a warrior. It wasn’t all about my liver, but honestly a majority was about it. And that’s not really something I’m focused on anymore.

I’m still being a warrior for my liver. I’ve got my next scan in the fall and I want my tumors to be even smaller! That’s the best thing I could ask for and I’m doing everything I can (which really isn’t much) to try to make that happen. I’m working on my visualization every day, I’m not drinking since that puts stress on your liver, and I’m now taking some supplements that help with liver health. I know I can’t really fight for my liver to get better, but I think that I’m doing the best that I can to be as close to fighting for my liver now.

And I’m still a warrior in my workouts. I’m trying to run more, but I’ve been having some setbacks lately. I’m lifting heavier weights when I can and I’m trying to not let my mind tell me that my body can’t do something. It’s tough not to be frustrated when I don’t make the progress I think I should be making, but maybe being kind to myself is also being a warrior for myself in a way. But I’m still hoping that this year will be a good year for me making progress in my workouts.

I guess you can also say that I’m being a warrior in online dating. Part of me being a warrior with dating is catching cheaters and calling them out on it (and telling their wives/girlfriends so at least they can find out). That’s not something I would have done before this year. I’ve been the other woman before and I didn’t tell his girlfriend that he was dating me too. I didn’t feel like it was my place to do that and I kind of regret it. But I’m also being a warrior by putting myself out there and trying online dating again when I’ve been burned in the past. It’s not easy doing it, but I do want to find someone and this is one of the few ways I know I can do that.

But all this reflection has made me think about where I’m lacking in trying to be a warrior. As much progress as I’ve made with my eating disorder, I haven’t been fighting as hard as I should have toward recovery. I’ve made some great steps and I know that they are helping me build good habits that I need to make recovery a possibility for me. But I also know where I’ve been slacking and ignoring some warning signs that I need to work harder. I don’t need to get into specifics, but just know that I know I’ve been doing things that aren’t helping me and I haven’t cared enough to try to change those. It isn’t something that I can just turn on or off, but hopefully awareness and admitting that I haven’t been doing great will help get me a bit more on track.

And the other thing that has been less than warrior like is related to something that is a warrior thing. Because I’ve been going full force into online dating, I’ve been prioritizing others over myself. If I’m chatting with a guy and he wants to meet up for a drink or coffee, I’ll rearrange my schedule to make myself available because I’m scared that if I can’t meet him then that he will move on and I will miss my chance. That has happened to me before, but I shouldn’t be in fear of that. If a guy can’t wait a little longer to meet me because I have a busy schedule, then I shouldn’t want to meet him. But I’m still in fear that whoever I meet will be the last person who will like me and I need to get over that.

Every time that I’ve been scared that I will never find someone who wants to go out with me, I meet another guy and that cycle happens again. I don’t get dates as often as I probably would like, but going out with someone every other week or so isn’t that bad. It’s significantly better than what I was doing before I put myself out there. And I need to be more focused on fitting someone into my life instead of rearranging my life to fit someone else.

I don’t know how to phrase it properly, but in essence I need to be a warrior for myself first and foremost. That’s the most important thing. I can be a warrior for myself in fitness and health but I also need to be a warrior for my emotional wellbeing and my life. I don’t have to let someone else’s schedule dictate mine or wait for a text or phone call to find out what the plans will be that night. I don’t want to be the girl sitting at home waiting for the guy to let her know what’s going on. I need to put my life and what I want to do first and hope that I can find someone who will either join me or will fit in. Or at least someone who makes plans with me in advance so I can schedule around it.

It’s going to be tough for me not to prioritize others, but I know that doing that will make me happier. And if I’m happier and doing more of what I want to do instead of waiting for others to make plans with me, that will make me a better person and hopefully someone more fun for a guy to date.

I usually don’t focus this much on if I want to alter how I think of my word of the year in the middle of the year, but I think it was necessary this year. It’s not that the word of the year took a backseat after my surgery cancelled, but I didn’t take the energy I was focusing on getting through the surgery and put it toward other things once that wasn’t needed anymore. Hopefully now I can make the second half of this year even more powerful and more warrior like.

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