Thursday, February 14, 2019


So, this last month of Tamoxifen is half over.  Developments:

My oncologist, at that last appointment when he was so hurried, ordered a chest Xray. He didn't even say why.  I think it was the follow-up after my mammo, which the mammo group urges for patients who have dense breasts. So I had the Xray Jan.10. 

It is now March.   The radiologist ( a stranger) has been paid by someone, and I owe a small amount for "not covered."

Yesterday, Feb.13, I had no more patience, called the hospital imaging dept..  They didn't seem to know about it.  (Actually I had a chance or two, years ago when I worked at CAP, to learn that hospital filing systems are not always systems.)  I got someone to look.  He called back an hour and a half later; said he found it and sent it to my doctor's office.

I called the doctor's office, finally got the desk that receives those results.  Then I had to talk her into getting someone to read the results right then.  Gold star to me for not losing my temper.    Finally the nurse read the results (since when do nurses do this?) and said it looks normal.

Yesterday had been a pile of paper to sort long before the x-ray fun.  I left the apartment for a few minutes.  When I came back, some sweet person had left me a candy cane on the door.  Changed my mood in a hurry (and I don't even eat candy.) 

PS  In my first days of Tamoxifen, before the dose was cut in half, I could never had handled a day like yesterday.  May the doctor who cut the dose have dozens of valentines!

You comments are welcome here or.


Friday, February 1, 2019


Today I will take the first pill of my last month of Tamoxifen.

The doctor was in a serious hurry at my last appointment.  He made nervous gestures and seemed to illustrate that I would be scared without these pills that may have kept me disease free for five years.

And I admit I wondered once or twice if I would feel vulnerable...unprotected.

Then he said something I never expected:  "You may be better."

Yes, I'd had lots of aches and pains at first. But not as many as a friend who was taking aromatase pills.   And I did have such "chemo-brain that I forgot half my physical therapy appointments. 
But I'd had a busy year with lumbar fusion, moving across the country, and so on. 

And I felt like a normal person, and my pains had almost disappeared after he cut my dose in half--from 20 to 10 mg. 

 Will I be wondering every morning when I wake up, how February will be? 
Or will I dare to believe I will feel even better?   We'll see.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds The bottom line

My sheet on my eating plan takes up a whole typed page single spaced on the fridge

It's hard to remember all at once.   But these are the poles holding up the tent.

Eat every 3 hours or our body will start piling up fat for emergency

Get calm before we eat even our snacks, or our digestion may revolt

Check to see: Are we really hungry or just thirsty?

Eat every vegetable we can find

Put protein in every meal

Sunday, November 4, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 lbs... Eat every 3 hours...sort of

While loading up her sharp tools, my phlebotomist friend gave me quite a surprise.  We'd been talking about hydrating every few hours in last month's ugly heat.  When I said I  also watch the hours on my eating, she said:  "Of course!  That's been folk wisdom for .... "

Well, I'd never heard it until this year. (My dad, determined farmer despite important job, would never schedule a snack.  Sneak one, maybe..)

Anyway, that same 103 degree day at blood lab, the car was sizzling when I got in.  Way too hot to eat the emergency secret cheese stick on the drive home. No place in the doctor's to eat after three hours...

The weather now may make a purse or briefcase cheese stick safe, if you get the privacy to eat it. Or,  a last-minute Lara bar is a possibility, but can be hard on a white shirt  And, maybe too much fructose for more than one meal a day. 

You may have some situations when three hours is just not the time to eat. 

Whatever the weather, when I wake (not early), my thyroid pill has to do whatever it does for a half hour or more while I do eye drops and other med trivia.  It's a long time between bedtime and getting all the med stuff done.  Too long?

By the time I do all those morning health chores, breakfast is on time for a mid-morning snack , and a  snack becomes lunch.  So five meals don't always happen.  BUT would I be less hungry between meals if I got breakfast on time, and so  got the other four meals on time?

In a really crowded day, one of my dishes of microwave veggies and a bite of meat may be the whole\afternoon snack meal.. You can work out a never-fail snack meal for your emergencies.s

HINT If you, like me, can't eat a lot of salt or spices, some markets have onion powder, which may be easier on my digestion than raw onion for seasoning.

Also, we have to remember Marilyn Glenville's encouragement to put protein in every meal (including the 2 snack meals.)  When I'm home, I can make a minuscule sandwich with some uncured ham. Then a small apple.

All I can do is what I can do.  (And that includes not grazing until I'm sure I'm hungry and NOT just thirsty.

I wish you health.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds Good moves.

 I had a great  Physical Therapist twice a week for a few weeks.   My doctor says he'd be more than happy to get me another course of it any time. 

But there are other moves we work on alone, and those moves make the difference for us.  Some are harder than others for me.

1.   Put the spoon or fork down between bites.  Makes me more aware of eating slowly. 

2.  Chew food slowly and politely even if you're late for work.  

3Whatever I'm mixing up or serving up in the kitchen, I try to put it on a plate and sit down to eat in  the dining area. 
  (If I had a kitchen window counter with stools, I hope I'd still sit on a stool, not eat standing up.  Eating standing up is okay at a formal reception, but a person like me can wander around grazing and eventually forget having eaten.  (Except for being forgetful, I have nothing against grazing.) 
4. Other mindless eating:  If I bring a whole cheese stick to the laptop, you know I'll eat it all instead of the half I planned on.  And I may have to go back to cutting off one piece of Lara bar in the kitchen and bringing it to the table.

Yes, I do eat my breakfast oatmeal and berries in front of the screen once in awhile, especially when I can't wait to see the thunderstorm forecast.   But I know I'll eat the oatmeal every day.  It's the remembering to chew slowly and pay attention to the good food... Okay, I admit I may also read at breakfast. 

(Next weekend I'm going to talk about timing: the rule to eat every three  hours. That can need a lot of adjusting in bad weather when there are doctor appointments, and other places where it's awkward to eat.)  Send me your suggestions!

I wish you health. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

LAST 4 or 5 POUNDS Cool room myth?

 When I lived in northern Indiana, my father's idea of healthy cuisine helped me put on more weight than I needed.

In winter, once in awhile someone would  say, 'You want to lose weight?  Just go out the front door, stand in the snow, and breathe that icy air."

I don't remember doing that often.  I felt like an idiot standing in the front yard, and besides,  my grandmother's mantra followed me out there: "You'll catch your death.!" 

Fast forward: one day recently, I saw a line on line about sleeping in "a cold room"  for our weight.  They gave a simple reason:  Our bodies have to work harder to warm cold air to a temperature we can use.

This week I dug around on line  to find that original quote.  Instead were notes and articles from various formal  studies. 

But we're not in a scientific experiment.  As it gets chilly out, I can have an extra blanket ready.  Or two.  And find out what my lungs might do with "cool-room" air on the last 4 or 5 pounds.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

THE LAST 4 or 5 pounds: The Plateau versus The Ego

It crept up on me.  I've always gone up and down a pound or two with my new eating regime.  (And since I do retain water, there will be some higher numbers at times. )

But the last week or so,   the  same couple numbers keep bouncing  up and down..

And I hate it.  Especially because my doctor isn't delighted that these few pounds are at a lower level than months ago.

I want to go in there in two weeks and show him Progress! But he's a doctor, not a guy who will take my picture for a yearbook or something.    

I want to see the best of my numbers every day on the scale.  

Yes, it's ego.   

And I'm embarrassed to write about it because I know a plateau, a time to rest at the same weight before going on can be good for us.

  (Remember I was the one who lost too many pounds too fast two years ago, and watched them come stubbornly back.)

I know that if I keep up my eating plan, and stabilize here,  (okay, and remember to check if I'm thirsty when I think I'm hungry) the next three or four pounds will go in good time..  

I wish you health.