NINJALINDA   106,999
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

That's really an ugly word, isn't it? Cancer. As far back as I can think in my family history, no one had it, other than my Dad with prostate cancer. Now, it's striking my house for a second time. This time it's me, with breast cancer.

I've been having mammograms since I was about 35, and never a problem. Just had one in March, and it was beautifully problem free. Heck, I didn't even have a hint of a whiff of a clue that anything was amiss until mid to end of August. But the diagnosis came on October 21 (two days after my birthday - surprise!). Given the speed with which this came on, and the fact that it's in my breast and the lymph nodes of my armpit, it seems that I have an aggressive cancer. Yay me.

Of course, the first thing I thought of was my kids. They just lost their dad to cancer (brain tumors) a short three years ago. This feels like piling on. It certainly is not fair. But life is often not fair, isn't it? No need to dwell on those thoughts. Time to do what I can.

So for a while I won't be thinking of weight loss and fitness goals, though weight loss certainly may happen with treatment, and doing whatever I can to be as fit as I can would be my best course of action. But the main goal will be treatment. Effective treatment. And survival. That's right there at the top as well.

Thanks for reading. If you want to send up a prayer or send me some good vibes that would be OK too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    As always I am sending you strength and positive thoughts. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 10/30/2014 7:04AM

    Linda, I'm so sorry to hear this. I was diagnosed with triple negative stage 2b breast cancer about 15 months ago. It was also in at least 2 of my nodes. I had neoadjuvant therapy (AC x4 and Taxol x12), surgery and radiation. You will probably be having a similar course of treatment since it's already in your nodes. I hope your cancer is one of the types that has a targeted therapy available. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk more. I know this is scary for you and for your kids with everything that you went through with Bob so recently. I will say that chemo is rough, but it is all doable! I found the thread for people starting chemo the same month I did very helpful. Wishing you the best. Kay

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 10/29/2014 1:16PM

    Hugs. I will send prayers and hugs for you. You are such a strong person. I know its hard to hear that, but you are. Keep us posted as you can. We will be thinking about you and praying for you

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MSPLACEDAGAIN 10/28/2014 8:55AM

    You will be in my thoughts Linda. I followed your journey with your husband, and I know that you are a strong person. ((((HUGS))))


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SORGIN 10/28/2014 8:31AM

    Sending up lots and lots of prayers. I know you have the strength to endure this.

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SEATTLESIMS 10/27/2014 6:41PM

    Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. From the looks of your blog and SP account, you seem to be a strong capable person! Fight hard and win this one!! Best of luck during treatment and recovery!

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CALLIESWEET 10/26/2014 9:29AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. Stay strong! emoticon

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BBAHONORS 10/25/2014 9:31PM

    My friend, I am so sorry to hear this. But you are strong and will beat this. I will keep you in my prayers. emoticon

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GAELENEC 10/25/2014 7:12PM

    Oh gosh.

I don't know what to say. Praying praying praying for you!

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DAISYBELL6 10/25/2014 10:57AM

    My prayers are with you.

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CRYSBROWN1 10/25/2014 10:22AM

    Sending prayers, you are very strong and I believe that you will beat this

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-AMANDA79- 10/25/2014 10:03AM


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EVIE4NOW 10/25/2014 9:37AM

  Prayers said for you and for your children to help them get thru this too.

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This might go long. Bless you if you read to the end.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

My journey here on Sparkpeople (and my life health journey) has been long. It has also come full circle. But that's not the point of this post. Let me explain.

I have always been an active person, but I've been a lot of weights throughout my life. I've been thin and I've been heavy. I've been healthy and I've been unhealthy. Thin hasn't always equaled healthy and heavy hasn't always equaled unhealthy. Four years ago I was thin & healthy (and happy). Then my husband got sick, and died, and I got heavy (and unhappy). Now I'm the heaviest I've ever been. I'm not happy about that, but my life is *ok*. Could be worse.

I'm currently away from home, on travel for work. Travel to an area that's not too far from home, but far enough that you don't go there in the normal course of everyday life. I have a facebook friend that lives in this area. This friend was actually more than a friend long ago (college), but our lives took different paths after college, and we hadn't seen each other since then. Now I'm a widow, and he's married.

We decided to meet up, neither knowing quite what to expect. We had parted friends, but that was 30 years ago. Would we have anything in common? Would we still 'click?' It was a crap shoot, but we forged ahead to see.

It was a wonderful meeting. The years melted away and we talked for hours. It was like we hadn't had the 30 year break. And on a very personal level, I no longer felt like the *fat* person I feel like so often now. I just felt like me. Funny how it takes someone from so long ago to bring that out.

I don't know exactly where I'm going with this blog. One thing I do know is - take that chance. It was risky to meet my old friend/lover, but it was SO worth it. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have someone view/think of you like THAT. We remained at a friend level, which is all we can be at this time, but the sparks were still there. I had forgotten that someone could look at me and have sparks...

It's nice to remember that I have worth as a person, and can even be thought of as attractive and sexy, when I don't meet the standard definition.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERWOMAN 10/11/2014 5:04AM

    I loved this post! You made my day.

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BBAHONORS 10/10/2014 10:59PM


I'm so glad you decided to go out on a limb and meet up with your old friend. Oftentimes, the riskiest ventures hold the greatest rewards!

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 10/10/2014 5:12PM

    That is amazing! What a wonderful feeling for you. I am so happy that you felt like you

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ARUNNINGKAT 10/10/2014 12:43PM

    I have heard it said that the key to this entire health and weight-loss journey is self-love. I am so glad you were able to realize your true value and beauty as a person. And how wonderful to meet up with someone from your past who sees your beauty and makes you feel so alive!

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NANADERRICK 10/10/2014 9:35AM

    WOW...that brought tears to my eyes. You are a beautiful person, heavy or thin, healthy or not. You dealt with tragic events in your life with dignity and composure and remained available to your children in the midst of that horrible, life-changing event. So, it has taken a toll; so, it has been rough since; so, you are struggling on many fronts; are so worth every ounce of effort it takes to get back to your happy place. You are one of the most fun people I have ever been around. You can see things from many points of view and understand the differences. You can allow those differences and not crack=up. You just keep on with this struggle. You have much, much more going for you than the average woman. I know that you are going to emerge in your happy place. Keep the faith. Even if you cant see it, don't feel ARE moving forward. I am looking forward to seeing where life takes you and the rest of the story!!! Love you Sister Linda!!!!!

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KNEEMAKER 10/9/2014 11:07PM

  Beauty is within much more than what is on the outside. I'm a man and I know for certain. Good luck and just Keep on keeping on! It is your life and you must enjoy each second of it. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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Starting over...again...and apparently at less than zero!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

I decided sometime recently that I needed a total restart, which took effect Monday. Yeah, this is the time I'm 'really' gonna do it...blah, blah, blah...No prophetic declarations out of me this time. The proof will be in the results - or lack thereof.

I'm seriously back to basics though. Tracking all my food, trying to set reasonable goals, looking to get some exercise every day - or at least almost every day. Came up with a new 'points' system to evaluate every day & give me something to shoot for. Everything I'd tried in the past few resets either hadn't worked or hadn't lasted. If this is the magic bullet I'll surely report it!

I also decided it was time to get back to strength training. I really truly enjoy ST, but lately it hasn't been working for me, what with the bum shoulder and spotty gym. But I know this is something I really need to do, so off to the spotty gym I went yesterday over my lunch hour. I absolutely hate the machines there (they are not maintained at all, so they are herky-jerky-squeaky), but they do have a decent assortment of dumbbells. There used to be an exercise ball there too, but that disappeared recently.

My first strength workout was nothing to write home about. Tried to think of what exercises to do with dumbbells that wouldn't aggravate my shoulder, but didn't require the use of a ball or bench, or other equipment I didn't have. Did what I could think of with the weights, and then threw in some pendulums and sit-ups for good measure.

I didn't realized until I went to the chiropractor today how sore my gut is from the sit-ups and pendulums I did. Really? This sore from 20 sit-ups and 10 pendulums? Yep - I'm starting over from less than zero.

BUT...I am starting over, so I give myself props for that. With any luck my next blog will report continuing progress, and not another restart!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 10/12/2014 8:40PM

    I think that's great Linda!

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DDHEART 10/4/2014 11:19AM

    I give you props too and I have to say I'm right with you.....Started October with the realization that this is serious and I need to be too. I can't say exactly why or what has happened in the last year or maybe if I'm totally honest I can pinpoint it...I've been phoning it in half of the time (maybe more than that) so...back to basics and back to square one.

Sad to say, it makes me feel a little better to know I'm not alone. We both know what to do, we just need to DO IT!

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SEATTLESIMS 10/2/2014 12:32PM

    I know what you mean from feeling like starting over from less than zero! I was barely off workouts for vacation, and coming back to my workout class was tough! and sore abs for sure! But hopefully that just means our bodies will bounce back faster than actually starting from less than zero.. muscle memory right! ;) Just trying to stay positive! Have a great day!

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CALLIESWEET 10/2/2014 1:12AM

    Believe in yourself! emoticon

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BBAHONORS 10/1/2014 9:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ROBBIEY 10/1/2014 3:35PM

  emoticon Take it slow, you can do it!!!

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CRACKERS4554 10/1/2014 3:25PM

    One day at a time!

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CINDYLOU4782 10/1/2014 3:16PM


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Bound to get better sooner or later. Hmm...looks like later

Monday, September 15, 2014

Well, I took my cat to the vet today for the nasal flush. Had high hopes this would be the ticket, but we all know what can happen with high hopes. Picked up my cat this evening, and he sounds just as bad as he did when I dropped him off this morning. Now I have to decide whether to subject the poor thing to surgery - in hopes that it will help - to the tune of $300. Oh, and today's vet visit was $276. (And the chiropractor was $115)

I hate being in a downward spiral like this. I know it has to end sooner or later, but sooner is not looking to come through for me. As I continue to fork money hand over fist, I can't help but think about everything that's looming. Christmas. My 10 year old car with 275,000 miles on it (and I drive 100 miles/day). 20 year old refrigerator, and heat/AC system. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, and it will probably break tomorrow!

If it does, it does. Fretting & worrying over it won't help. Just have to keep moving forward, or at least try not to fall back. Maybe I can make it through tomorrow without spending any money. Maybe?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-POLEDANCEGIRL- 9/22/2014 10:24AM

    HUGS!! Hang in there. One thing at a time. It will get better. i promise!

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KLONG8 9/17/2014 12:47AM

    Thought I'd check in on you. Sounds like you're dealing with a lot of strength-zapping crap, Linda. Calliesweet's message is right on though. Don't worry about what you can't control....things have a way of sorting themselves out. I'm rooting for you! And your cat!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/16/2014 10:41AM

    Wow....100 miles a day in your car. That's a lot. I'm hoping that everything keeps working. It can be overwhelming when we start looking at everything that could go wrong. I guess the good news is that it's pretty rare for everything to go wrong at once.

Wishing you an event-free week! (or if there is an's a GOOD one)


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CALLIESWEET 9/16/2014 9:19AM

    I feel so bad for you. Could you go with a friend for a walk or to have coffee to talk all of this out? Try very hard to distract yourself from thinking of all the potential costly problems that could happen. You are adding the weight of things that aren't happening to what is actually going on, which is already enough to think about. Which I already know you know, but it's what I'd say to a friend over coffee and what I'd want someone to remind me. emoticon As a side note, did they send the materials from your cat's flush to the lab to double-check what's going on in the sinuses to give you all the options and an idea how likely the surgery is to solve the problem? Hang in there and take good care of yourself through all this!

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When your 'small potatoes' problems come in 50lb sacks, or death by 1000 paper cuts

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Life has been on the 'UGH' side lately. I feel a little guilty for feeling that way, though. I have enough perspective to step back, look at things objectively, and realize that it's mostly minor annoyances that I'm dealing with. Even minor annoyances, though, add up when there's enough of them.

Don't know if I've blogged about it, but my shoulder has been unwell for about a year and a half. A year ago May I went to my doctor, who gave me some exercises that didn't work, so he sent me to the orthopaedic guy who gave me a shot that didn't work, so he sent me to physical therapy. That worked, to a point, but I didn't have unlimited time to take off work & unlimited $$ for therapy, so I got myself to an acceptable level of motion and pain & stopped going. Didn't really have the equipment to continue the exercises, and over time my shoulder started getting worse again. Ignored it until I couldn't any more. Didn't want to go back to the ortho guy, as he was going to want to suggest surgery.

Did a little research and decided to try a chiropractor. I'd seen in my digging that acupuncture might help, and this chiropractor offers it. I've been going since mid-July, and I feel like I'm making progress, but slowly. And unfortunately, acupuncture is not a covered medical service per my insurance. So 3x a week for 3 weeks, and then 2x a week for 3 weeks, and now 2x a week for 2 weeks and then 1x a week for 2 weeks I'm paying $115 per session for my treatment. Anybody have an EXTRA $345 or $230 or even $115 per week? No? Me neither.

Then, one of my cats got sick. No biggie - off to the vet. Visit + antibiotic later and there goes $85. First antibiotic doesn't work, so we try another ($28), and that doesn't seem to be working plus the cat decides NO MORE PILLS. So back to the vet and now we have a nasal flush scheduled (requiring anesthesia and X-rays). Who knows how long the cat will have to stay at the vet, and of course, he will be discharged with additional meds. CHA-ching. Oh, and all four of them are due for regular visits & shots.

I was working from home the other day when I picked up the phone to call the vet (see above paragraph) only to find my phone wasn't working. Called my home phone from my cell, and it went straight to my 'I'm already on the line' voicemail. Only none of the phones in my house were off the hook. Had to have Verizon come out (of course I don't have the maintenance plan), and they were able to fix it, thank goodness.

Just seems here lately that my life is a series of problems. Some get solved and some drag on and on. I guess everyone's life is that, in some way or another. I'm just tired of it being all about me. Being married for all of my adult life, until my husband died 3 years ago - at least we could divide & conquer. I would deal with the stuff I was good at, and he would take what he was good at, and anything else we'd flip for or do together. It's not fun being the only responsible adult left standing!

The last several weeks/months have been a constant juggling act of work, doctor visits, vet visits, repair visits, household chores, etc, etc. Stop the world, I want to get off. But I can't. Have to keep plugging, plodding along - hoping it all works out eventually.

As an update - I decided not to go for the promotion. With all the other stress & clutter that my life has become, I decided I don't need to throw a question mark into the mix. No need to toss one stable, good thing in my life aside for a question mark!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 9/15/2014 9:09PM

    Things just have to start looking up for you Linda!!!! I know you are due for some good news :-) I also know how frustrating it all can get ( especially the injury part and trying everything and throwing money at it just hoping something will work and that you will get better). Hang in there Linda! Good things come to those that..... XOXO

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ARUNNINGKAT 9/15/2014 12:25PM

    Gotta love those medical bills and cat bills. Our cat bills last month were enough to scare anyone. Can't they just stay out of fights and stay healthy???

So sorry about your arm! It is always so frustrating when nothing seems to work...and everything costs money too.

emoticon emoticon

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BBAHONORS 9/14/2014 9:47PM

    I know exactly what you're going through, my friend. And, at times, it does get a bit overwhelming. But things will even out and get better. One day at a time, my friend... emoticon

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CALLIESWEET 9/14/2014 9:50AM

    That is a lot of juggling! And a lot of money! I'm glad your shoulder is getting better, if slowly. As crazy expensive as the chiropractor sounds, I guess it's probably cheaper (and less scary) than surgery. Maybe the chiropractor can suggest some at home exercises that don't require an investment in equipment once you're done with the acupuncture. That promotion sounded interesting, but stress is the worst thing for your health, so it's smart not to potentially add any more of that to your life right now. Wishing you and your cat happier times ahead! emoticon

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KNEEMAKER 9/13/2014 10:48PM

  Yep never give up. Just Keep on Keeping on! emoticon

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AGILECAT 9/13/2014 10:32PM

    That is just life, sometimes, and we deal with it as best we can. You are due for some smooth sailing--hang in there!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/13/2014 9:57PM

    I hope things get calmer for you soon.

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