Monday, December 3, 2012 I love thee

I don't think I need to explain to anyone who is on Pinterest that it's FABULOUS! It has the ability to make the un-crafty to become crafty, the crafty to become overwhelmed with ideas and possibilities, the un-organized to be inspired to get things in order and can even motivate us to become pretty great cooks!

I have been notorious for pinning anything and everything on my profile that looks good, or reminds me of someone, would be nice to do or make, etc. and never doing anything with all of those amazing pins....until yesterday!!!

Last night T and I decided to whip something was super easy and had just 2 ingredients in it...that's my kinda baking! It also intrigued me to see if it actually worked and tasted good.

This is what we started with...

Step #1: Mix pineapple with Angel food cake mix.

Step #2: Watch it become frothy

Step #3: Pour into pan and stick it in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes

The finished result...VOILA!

Pineapply Angel Food golden goodness!!! Now, if you don't really like angel food cake or pineapple then I guess this isn't for you, but I really enjoy it...and it's a nice sweet snack that is pretty much guilt free...or way less guilt than the double chocolate something or other I was wanting to make too :)

All in all, I got to get my bake on with Miss T and it didn't make a ton of mess or take a long time so that is always a bonus. Great experience :)

Thanks Pinterest!

Next up for this Mom...meal planning!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Off days are ALLOWED too!

Ok, so I had a nice post the other day about positive steps towards some kind of order in my house, do one thing at a time, try and stay calm around the kids...blah, blah, blah right??

I also mentioned in that blog that I wasn't one to blow smoke up people's behinds so I am going to be the first one to say that today was NOT a great day! Now, the pre-therapy Tracy would be saying to myself and everyone else around me "THIS WAS THE WORST DAY EVER" but as the good old therapist always asks me "Was it REALLY the worst day ever?? Like really??" The answer of course is always "Well, no, it wasn't the worst day ever, but it was pretty stressful and not all that enjoyable". When someone asks you that question it has a way of bringing you back down to earth. I also vented via text message to one of my super fab friends who just happened to ask if I had dyed my hair yet (innocent enough) and she got back "I JUST WALKED IN THE DOOR AND ATE. THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR EVERYTHING. C is having a temper tantrum and is in his room throwing things...Arrrrgggghhh". Poor girl...she didn't deserve any of that! She just gently reminded me about my "positive attitude" blog post that I did the other day and told me that I was strong and to just take a breath, leave the room for a minute and come back. That sort of diffused the situation a little bit...even though I felt nowhere near in control of anything going on around me at times tonight! I do indeed have amazing support :)

Today was just a super busy day that probably isn't much different then anyone else's, especially if you work full time and have kids with a spouse out of town. Literally it feels like you wake up and immediately have a full time duty to get the kids ready and out the door, then it feels like FOREVER (really not forever) until you get to the bus, on the bus and downtown in the bus, then there's the paid job that I am at everyday, finished off with another full time job of getting home, getting kids, getting fed, homework, baths, teeth, stories, bedtime. Like I said, not unlike anyone else's day but still a little overwhelming to say the least.

So, at the end of all of it I MADE myself look back at it and say "What is ONE thing you accomplished today?" and it dawned on me that I managed to get a load of laundry washed (not dried yet, let alone put away, cause let's get real here), put 2 loads of laundry INTO their dressers, and a load of dishes into the dishwasher with T's help. I also dyed my hair which is something I have never done by myself but it seems that since I turned 32 my hair has decided to turn white so welcome to the world of hair dye (not just for the fun of having a different colour anymore) ;)

I may have yelled a little, fought with a certain 4 year old to eat his spaghetti before he could have some fro-yo, then sent that same 4 year old for a time out in his room, managed to take all 3 kids to a parent teacher interview BEFORE eating dinner (which is asking for trouble if they can't eat exactly when they want to), and even had moments of self pity for a minute or two, but all in all I still accomplished some stuff and I guess I have to start patting myself on the back for some of the little things...

Here we are...made it through another day relatively unscathed and looking forward to what tomorrow has in store (besides chaos ;). Just have to keep reminding myself that we are allowed to have "off" days sometimes and it doesn't mean I am taking a giant step backwards and it isn't the end of the world. I just need to focus on moving forward!

Oh, I also managed to grab a pair of skinny jeans on my lunch hour today and all I can say is "The jury is still out on whether or not I can pull them off..." and that's a whole other blog post ;)

Have a great night!

Monday, November 26, 2012 NEVER ends!

Obviously the title to this post makes most of us go "Amen sister, preaching to the choir" along with "Duh, of course it never ends" (unless of course you want to be raising the smelly kids or be THAT girl in the office)!!

The household duties never cease to be completely overwhelming and never ending but I am determined (today anyway) to at least do something about it. Following the methods I have been picking up and following in other aspects of my life, there seems to be a lot of merit in breaking things down into manageable groups and dealing with them one at a time if need be.

Enter the semi-plan (or random smatterings of thoughts that sound good at 9:45 at night):

- Do ONE load of laundry a night...that's it. Collect all the random socks hiding on and under things, any spiderman underwear that seem to wind up in the strangest places and throw them in the wash.

- School lunches need to be made when all of us still have the momentum to move before we petrify on the couch and watch some shows at bedtime.

- Stay as calm as you can when dealing with the little sponges we call has actually amazed me how the stress level has decreased at bedtimes even when everyone is tired, cranky, all of a sudden can't climb stairs because their legs hurt, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, blah blah blah... all because I have kept emotions and reactions way more in check than in the past!

That's as far as I got because I didn't want to overload myself with thinking about ALL of the things that have to be done in my house. I don't know about you, but if I start making a mental list of chores and obligations that I MUST CONQUER before bed (even though I realistically don't need to achieve absolutely everything RIGHT NOW) I tend to get overwhelmed and internally combust and do NOTHING! Not very effective is it?

I understand that it's so easy to look around your house, flip out and say "How does it get like this? All the time, it's like this" "Why can't we keep things tidy at least?" "WHERE did that booger come from, WHO did that booger come from, WHY is there even a booger stuck to something that ISN'T a kleenex or the inside of someone's nose??" "Oh look, the dog is STILL taking stuffing out of his bed and leaving a trail of fluff all over the house. Why haven't I taken it away from him yet?" I say things like this to myself every single day, but there's gotta be a better way...and I hope that this is one step in the right direction for myself...

I'm not going to sit here and say that everything is sunshine and rainbows because I seem to have accomplished one menial task a day because clearly THIS is not the blog for blowing smoke up people's rear ends :) I'm just trying to pass along some of my thoughts and possible suggestions that might work for me and would maybe work for some of you...that's it, that's all. Just one crazy busy Mom to another...

Have a great night everyone!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Adventures of a pre-teen

This weekend was an eye opener for a few people in our family. Miss T is almost 11 years old and for the past few months has been able to get away with sometimes wearing a training bra but this weekend it became apparent that it was TIME for the "better wear a bra all the time" talk...this was hard for both of us to come to terms but after we went through the "I don't WANNA" response from her end, followed by my "Well honey, I wish I could tell you that it will reverse and you can go back to not wearing one at all, but they are just going to get bigger from here so we might as well go with it" we decided a shopping trip was in order.

Tonight we hit the mall, picked out some bras, ate some popcorn, laughed,  hit Claire's for some accessories and then it hit me...BAM! I was actually out with my OLDEST girl and having a great time at the MALL! If you know Miss T she has always been her father's daughter in the respect that she is NOT a shopper...actually despises the mall...or DID at least! Well my oh my how things have changed and that's when I looked at her and realized that she has changed so much in just the past few months that it's kind of making my head spin. The words "I LOVE the mall" actually came out of her mouth tonight and I just laughed. I can't even tell you how many times I have had the argument with her about "one of these days you'll enjoy shopping and we won't be able to get you out of the mall" to which she used to say "hahaha ya right, I don't think so. I don't like shopping!"

I couldn't believe what I was seeing as she cruised through the mall picking out trendy little things and ooohhing and ahhhhing as we went along. My baby girl is so not a baby anymore and we are now onto the next stage of her life. I am both nervous and excited since it is a very crazy, intense time for girls but I am so glad I can be with her every step of the way as the girly friend arguments happen, giggling over boys, fighting with her hair, trying to pick out clothes, etc. On the "I don't wanna let her grow up side" it's so hard to not see her as the 5lb 7 ounce little angel that came into my life and rescued me in so many ways.

Let the preteen games begin...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hello, my name is Tracy and I'm a Catastrophizer!!

Yep, that's right, this may come as a complete shock to you (haha, or not) that I tend to think of something and before the thought has even had time to form completely I have already dreamed up the most catastrophic ending...insert explanation here...

As the years have gone by I think that slowly I am getting better at dealing with the impending November event known as the Cancer Follow-up (must think of catchier title) but the fact still remains is that I dread it...more than I dread pretty much anything.

My therapist asked me what kinds of things go through my head when I even THINK about sending the e-mail to Mr. Cancer Doctor to start the process of bloodwork, ultrasound, injections, etc. The first thing I said was, "This is the year that they are going to find something, this is the year that it comes back, this is it..." Before I have even clicked on the "compose email" button I already have it figured out in my head and in one of the most negative how do we deal with this, because we both came to the realization that a) it needs to be done and b) that is not the most healthy way to approach it.

He had a brilliant idea, and one that I have already been applying to the rest of my life to deal with my anxiety issues, I just didn't think about putting it into practice when it came to the cancer follow ups.

First things first...chunk the "process" into stages and FORCE yourself to deal with ONE of them at a time...don't let your brain wander and get carried away to the dark side! So, first step...write an e-mail to Cancer Doctor..don't over think it, just write the e-mail...takes 2 minutes. Of course getting the courage up to even do that took almost a full week but I am happy to say that I took his advice and just kept telling myself over and over "it's only an's just an e-mail...that's it" and managed to bang out a quick message to my doctor to get things going for 2012.

Of course the next step to deal with would be the emotions that come into play when I even see Cancer Doctor's name appear in my inbox and my stomach goes into my throat...but I just opened it up, read that he will be sending me the requisitions and completed that stage of the game (check, check)

Next up...dragging some poor (yet fabulously amazing) co-worker(s) to the lab downtown to make sure I don't bail on giving them my blood. I will conquer that first and then move onto the next step which I am already trying really hard not to think about. This seems super simple to most people, and it probably is for a lot of people, but it is taking me a great deal of discipline to stop my train wreck of a brain from going on overload!

It has helped lower my anxiety a ton about the whole process and am I still scared?? ABSOLUTELY, but I know that it needs to be done and by chunking it into manageable parts I feel like I have more control over everything.

After's just an e-mail right??   :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Craft Night - Week 1 - Pumpkin & Ghost Glo Jar

Tonight was kind of hectic as is pretty much every night in a house with full time working parents, 2 full time students, a preschooler and a dog...and a partridge in a pear tree ;)

Mike has had the flu for the past 2 days so I came home from work and took the kids out to Wal-Mart for a pumpkin carving kit and some ginger ale for the big man's tummy! We decided to grab some McDonald's while we were out and then headed home to get ready for bedtime.

When we got home I busted out some supplies for our first weekly craft night with the kids...the project? Lantern style decoupaged jars! They were all over this like a fat kid on a purple smartie ;)

Behold! the supplies...and Caleb!
So the kids started in with painting the jars with Mod Podge with foam paintbrushes while I tore up pieces of tissue paper to slap on. I couldn't find orange tissue so red it was but I was hoping once the little flameless candle was in there it would give off an orange's hoping anyway.

Very focused!

Making a ghost!
After I did some touching up with the Mod Podge to seal any tissue edges and make sure we had sufficient coverage we let them dry on the table for a little bit.

While we were waiting the kids covered the lids of the jars with green paint for the pumpkin top and white tissue paper for the ghost head.

Nothing like some big sister help :)

Excuse the messy house. haha
To speed up this process as bedtime was seriously approaching and I knew they desperately wanted to see the finished product I busted out the hair dryer and they were ready in no time. Taylor and Rachel then drew their faces on their creations and we were almost ready for the finishing flameless candle!

So proud!
TA DA!!!! We turned out the lights after Caleb put the candles in the jars, screwed their lids on and this is what we saw!!!

We were so happy with how they turned out and the kids can't wait to put them out on the porch for Halloween!

Craft night #1 was a success and a great way to break up an always crazy work/school week!! It feels so great to enjoy doing things like this again :) Can't wait for next week!

Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lightbulb moment today!

So as I was busy at work (sort of) I saw on Facebook that my SIL had made these cute little Mind Jars for her kids...jars filled with water, glitter and glitter glue and it got me thinking...#1 - I totally need to make some of these for my little man since they are supposed to be awesome for calming the minds of children when they may be afraid, anxious or just having a rough day and need a distraction to zone out to...and #2, and most importantly, just because I don't have the opportunity to be at home with my kids on a full time basis doesn't mean that I still can't do these fabulous little crafts with them!

It's easy to get caught up in the "Life is crazy", "I'm too busy", "Must be nice to be able to do that" type of thinking, but as I learned at my last therapy session - Your feelings affect how you think which in turn controls how you behave. So, even though you can't necessarily control how you feel about something, you can certainly change how you think about these feelings and behave in a positive way.

Still with me?? Ok, so instead of me settling into the resentful feelings of "well, I'm not a stay at home mom so there's no possible way I could do that stuff", I had a LIGHT BULB moment and have decided to pick one SIMPLE craft that I can do each week with my kids. Not one a day or one an hour or anything ridiculously overwhelming like that, but something attainable that will help break up the weekly routine of school, work, repeat...

Enter Dollarama...we all love this's amazing how much stuff you can buy for super duper cheap. So off my friend Tacy and I went on our lunch hour to make the most of it in the short time we had. I picked up enough supplies to complete 3 separate crafts with my kids and I can't wait to start!

The plan was to do the Mind Jars tonight but we had Halloween costumes to buy and figured since we are all under a severe snow warning I should probably get boots for the little 2. Needless to say, we didn't get back home until late so the jars will have to wait until tomorrow after work and before Parent Teacher interviews...oh the fun never ends!!

Crafting pics to follow when they are completed :)

Thanks for joining me!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kickboxing - Week 1

Ok, so keeping with the fitness regime that I have been on lately (except for this week...sshhh, darn Girl Guide cookies) a friend of mine and I joined kick boxing. I've always wanted to try it so when a lovely lady I was in a wedding with this summer mentioned she was going I looked into it. No time like the present right?? Right! So, I roped a friend of mine into joining me and tonight was the night we started.

This is how it went...we walk into the place, not knowing what to expect really. Then we see the "returning girls" that are already wrapping their hands and wrists and making it look easy...Meredith and I fully admit to eachother that we are kinda scared for the class but looking forward to it nonetheless since we are wanting something to kick our butts into shape!

Enter the room...get said wraps and attempt to wrap our hands and wrists...and when I say ATTEMPT I truly mean that in every sense of the word...but there's an online video that we have for homework over the next week so I am confident that we will conquer the wrapping technique sooner rather than later.

As we are punching and kicking we are quickly realizing that we might not be able to lift our legs or arms in the morning...sweating profusely was an understatement. As I was trying to be a good little blocker pad holder for my friend as she did her large amount of kicks I start feeling like hearing starts to diminish, I get all clammy and almost felt like I was going to pass out. I don't know if it was the heat in the room or the half a box of cookies that I had consumed that were now making me feel horrid but wow, I had to leave the room and get fresh air. Once I splashed some cold water on my face and sat for a few minutes I was golden but man I have never felt like that about epic fail for my first kickboxing class :(

Thankfully I was with a very understanding, fabulous friend who made me feel like less of a moron for almost biting it in the middle of the class...hahaha, that would have been comical.

At the end we felt great and were super proud of ourselves for doing it and we are pretty sure we are going to love it so it was a success!!! But ask me tomorrow if I still feel this way if I can't move my body ;)

Next week...more water, way, way less cookies (yikes!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

8 Years?? Really?? Wow!

Today is our wedding anniversary...sometimes it amazes me that it's already been 8 years and then on the other hand it's hard to believe that it's ONLY been 8 years!! We have been through so much and grown a lot together and as individuals that it's pretty fantastic!

How do we celebrate our special day this year?? Well, we couldn't get a sitter so we ate some grilled cheese and soup (I think Mike had beans and toast), Rachel and I went to order her birthday cake from Sobey's and we will put the kids to bed and watch NCIS...cause that's how we roll after 8 years of marriage, 3 kids and being exhausted after full days of work. Sounds pretty great to me!

Monday, October 8, 2012


I have been wondering for the past little while if everyone reading this blog is saying to themselves or to others "why is she telling us all this personal stuff ?...why doesn't she just keep it to herself?..."

My first issue is that I need to stop caring or worrying about what other people think, feel or say about me...whether they like me or not, if they're mad at me, why we don't talk much anymore and so on...cause at the end of the day, I can't make people like me. All I can be is myself and if that isn't someone's cup of tea then that's ok...

The reason I have chosen to write down everything for people to read is because that's how I get through things...I talk about them, think about them...write them down. It's good for my brain space. If I get it out of there then it's less noisy and easier to deal with other things. I by no means want people to think that I am just looking for attention or that I feel like I am any different than anybody else walking through this crazy journey called LIFE, but you have all been an amazing support to me for the past 4.5 years or longer and I want to continue to be honest with each of you.

This honesty path I have taken for the past couple of months has been extremely hard for me because I am facing and acknowledging things that I have long since pushed aside, pretending that they don't matter. That tactic hasn't been working very well so it's time to be REAL. I have been told for so long that I am strong...even when I don't feel strong. But naturally I would tell myself that if people think that I'm strong, then it must be true and so it was hard for me to show moments of weakness. I am now realizing that even the strongest people can have the weakest moments...and that's ok too.

I write this blog so you all know what's going on, so you can maybe get a glimpse of why I may have acted a certain way or reacted differently somehow. Behind all of the sarcasm and jokes there is some stuff happening and it shouldn't be something that has to be hidden from people or kept quiet. Life can be tough for everyone, but it makes it way more bearable at times if you have someone to chat with that you can trust or vent to someone and know they are truly listening to you.

All of this definitely doesn't give me an excuse for my behaviour sometimes but I am working on it and I thank you all for your patience, your support and most importantly, for listening :)

WIP (Work In Progress)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Therapy - Round 2

This time around it was easier walking through the front door but I wasn't quite prepared for the emotions that came out just by filling out a "how messed up are you" questionairre (for a lack of a better term) and a brief overview of my life experiences up to this point...

You think you get over things or move past them, but then you are asked to explain life to people in pretty great detail and quickly realize that there are just certain things that happen to you in life that have messed you right up and even though you THINK you have come to terms with haven't. I had a few of those moments this week with my counsellors and they came to the conclusion that these feelings have been accumulating for years now and the cancer was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.

How do we deal with this?? Who knows at this point, but they assured me that they will help me heal and also told me that even though people kept telling me to "get over it" and "let it go", I had EVERY RIGHT to be hanging on to certain feelings and resentments because I was and still am really hurt by people in my life that should have had my back. That would affect anyone. So although I am not excited about dealing with these parts of my life once again, I do admit that I have to face them and everyone who was involved and deal with it properly...because it's not just going to go away on it's own. I've been holding onto these feelings for so long now that I am looking forward to being free from them. What a weight that will be...

Therapy tidbit of the week: I was told that "Therapy will change me, which will in turn affect everyone around me. Sometimes these changes are positive for relationships and sometimes they aren't, depending on what you figure out about yourself and the people in your life."

I am looking forward to the change in me so I can be a better person and love myself...and hoping that any changes to my life relationships are all positive ones :)

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend everyone :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Totally Getting this Fitness Thing

Today my fabulous friend Heather and I did a Zumba class. She was a Zumba virgin and I had only been a couple of times but we had a BLAST!! Once you get over the "I look like a moron" feeling, it turned out to be a great workout and we were sweating like crazy by the end of it!! We were definitely not coordinated enough to do some of the moves which involved shuffling feet to a rhythm, moving your arms to a rhythm and doing who else knows what, but we shall grow in time!! By the end of it we were the masters of the cha cha bum shuffle so we are going to adopt that as our signature move. We rocked it! LOL.

I am having so much fun with this fitness regime this time far this week I did my run yesterday, Zumba today, run tomorrow (dressed warmly because BRRRRRR), and either another run on Thursday or a Total Body class at the gym!

Just wanted to share with you guys some of the stuff I have been up to and for the first time in a long time I am actually sticking to something...not just all talk! That's a great feeling!!

Next week marks our Anniversary/Rachel Birthday/Justin Bieber/My Birthday extravaganza but it is also the week that I start Kickboxing with my friend Meredith! Seriously ready to kick some butt. It's always something I've wanted to do so there's no time like the present :)

It's been a great week so far my friends, hoping for many more :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Be Real Time

That was the theme of this past Friday. I had my first appointment with my counsellor through the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. He has his resident with him so I get to have two people analyze me throughout this process, but they are both really nice so it can't be a bad thing. Having extra professional help is always welcome ;)

It took every bit of strength in me to walk into that building but once I met them it was pretty easy going. It was mostly just a background of what I've been through up to this point, what state of mind I'm in now about it all and then we were done. I wasn't sure what to expect but he put my mind at ease when he said that he deals strictly with patients who have head and neck cancer, so he was familiar with my endocrinologist and knows my surgeon really well. (haha, MY surgeon...that's a strange thing to say...) He was also familiar with all of the parts of my neck that they had to disect and take out and the seriousness of my calcium deficiency after the first surgery, even all about the numbness I now have in my shoulder and neck...and they mentioned my upcoming birthday too so that was another plus for them..hahaha

Anyways, the first step has been taken and I am very glad I have started this journey. He validated everything I have been feeling and made me realize that even though I am still here, I have still been very traumatized by it all. He said that I have something called "Survivor's guilt" since I don't feel like I have a right to complain or be upset about my experience since many others don't have the luxury of being around 4 years after their cancer diagnosis. The words "Intense Psychotherapy" were mentioned so it's probably a good thing I'm there chatting with them...!!! I might also have to talk to my cancer doctor about my dose of Synthroid since he said that sometimes if the dose isn't right (regardless if my bloodwork comes back "within the right levels") it can mimic depression...pretty much to a T...hmmmmm, interesting...

I had a very, very emotional and real day and I was exhausted when it finally came to an end...but it's needed.

I go back this Friday for another hour and take the next step...chatting away, chatting through it all!! I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

First time for everything!

As I sit here and reflect on what I have been going through the past little bit, I came to the realization that for the FIRST time in my life I actually feel in control of my eating and exercise!!! I used to listen to people say "oh, exercise is just a part of my routine"...BLAHHHH!! I didn't buy it! Quite a few years ago I used to run on a regular basis...but I didn't enjoy it! Not like the people I used to run with in the run clubs...they seriously enjoyed every single step. I was so not that person. Every step was work...hard work! Every km felt like FOREVER!! Then if I didn't see the results pretty much instantly I gave up. What was the point in doing something you hated to do and not get what I wanted out of it??

A few months ago I was sent a letter from a doctor that was conducting a study on young cancer survivors and the effect exercise has on their recovery, state of mind and if it has anything to do with recurrence. I chose to become part of the study and have to fill out a questionnaire every couple months that evaluates my exercise levels on a daily basis and state of mind and how I am dealing with everything (working on that ;). At work we also decided to join the Global Corporate Challenge and strap on pedometers and record our daily steps every single day for a few months. It really did seem like the perfect time to get serious about getting healthy!

I'm not quite sure what changed in me to give me the motivation this time around (because we ALL know that I've been down this road many times before)...maybe it was finally just saying to myself that I CAN be as healthy and active as I truly want and need to be...not just being "OK" with how I look and feel...maybe it was my amazing support system around me, especially the lovely ladies I work with. They have been my rocks lately...each one has given me the strength and courage to achieve very individual things and I am so extremely thankful for them. Perhaps it was the fact that every time I think it's a good idea to fill my face with an entire bag of chips it makes me feel horrible...not just the guilt, but it actually makes me feel ill and that is not a fabulous feeling! It definitely doesn't mean that I don't eat junk at all...let's get real! But I do know how to limit the amount I do eat.

It was probably a combination of all of the above but I am FINALLY at the point where I look forward to my runs at lunch (almost crave them) and I just can't wait to get out there. If I ever do have those days where I "don't have the time" my friend Colleen is on me convincing me to just get out there and do it because I will feel like a million bucks when it's over...and she's always right...every single time! I enjoy the company, the fresh air, the atmosphere, love it all!

I have managed to slowly become one of those people who has just made exercise a part of my day...every day! I never thought I would get there but I'm ecstatic that I am finally happy with how I feel and how I'm starting to look...the next challenge is to NOT focus solely on the number on the scale but the actual inches I am losing and the muscle I am building. But the temptation to look at the number each morning is a hard habit to break...but progress is progress my friends!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Call...

This afternoon I received a call from one of the psychologists that works with the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. The first question was "so why do you want to talk to someone now" (since it's been a few years)?? I followed that up with a "well, I was diagnosed when I was pregant with my third baby..." which is when he stopped and said "no need to explain further, we need to talk". I then told him that I kept putting if off because I thought it would just get better with time and it would be easier to deal with. But now that I think about it, trying to force it away from my mind is actually making it control me even a very negative way. I keep telling myself that because I am still alive after cancer I don't have the right to complain or be upset...and that I should just be thankful and feel blessed for every day I am given at this point...but I think before I get to that point I have to actually DEAL with the fact that I had cancer. I figured since I made it THROUGH cancer that it meant that I had dealt with it...I now realize that I have been kidding myself.

The appointment is this Friday, September 28th at 3:00 p.m. I am scared to relive it all, and I'm having serious anxiety about it not helping, but excited at the same time. I NEED to take this step and trust the experts to help me. I am tired my friends...tired of being sad...tired of being angry....tired of not enjoying life...tired of waiting for the ball to drop...tired of not wanting to deal...tired of every day being a struggle...tired of being TIRED!

I will keep you all posted on this new stage of my journey...thanks for your support as always :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend away = great R&R...and retail therapy

This weekend our kids went away with their fabulous Auntie, Uncle and Gramma camping so Mike and I decided last minute to hit Great Falls for some time away just the two of us...and of course some shopping ;)

When life gets ridiculously busy it's so easy to disconnect from the relationships that you may take for granted (not intentionally of course) and become consumed with everyday tasks and duties. It was nice to get away with my hubby so we could just have some US time for a change....and for a non-shopper, he did REALLY well!! So proud of him. We had a great time, and so did the kids so it was a win win weekend!!

I did manage to score a new sports bra so I am SET for running at work this week! Can't wait! I haven't enjoyed running regularly in a very very long time so I'm pretty stoked! It also helps that I have a fabulous friend at work to run with...she keeps me in line and keeps me doing my pushups ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

HUGE step for me

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 4 months since my last round of blabbing...but here we go again!!

Over the past few months I have been struggling with a lot of things, most of which I have already discussed here with you such as depression, anger and a plethora of other emotions, but lately I have also been noticing that I am pretty much hating the world. I have been sticking close to very few friends and hiding away from many, many others that I used to spend a great deal of time with. It has been easier in my mind to become a hermit and avoid than to actually deal with people or situations around me.

This approach has actually backfired for me as it is affecting my ability to be a great Mom, Wife, Auntie, Sister, Daughter and Friend. All of these roles I am extremely proud of, but don't really seem to have the energy or zest for them like I used to...this is a very scary situation to be in. I have become resentful, angry, jealous of happy people because it is what I desperately want to be but don't know how to get there anymore.

If you recall I did see my doctor about some of these things but didn't follow up and AVOIDED what I knew I REALLY needed to do...and that would be taking advantage of the counselling services that they offer cancer patients at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

I got this from their website and I have pretty much every single issue they are describing:

Counselling can help you:
Cope with reactions to cancer
  • Anger at having the disease
  • Depression
  • Fear of cancer
  • Changes to your body
  • Anxiety about treatment
  • Fear of cancer coming back
  • Anger at not getting clear answers
  • Loss of control
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Wondering if life will ever seem normal again
  • Grief or sadness
Address family issues
  • Relationship or family counselling
  • How the family can be supportive
  • Changes in roles within your family
  • Talking with children
Confront practical issues
  • Reorganize finances
  • Plan how to raise issues with your doctor
  • Plan how to talk to your employer and co-workers
  • Solve transportation/ accommodation problems
  • Obtain information
Explore personal issues
  • Assess relationships, career, or leisure pursuits
  • Clarify values, goals and priorities
  • Make the most of your life
Sounds like a pretty great service right?? Why has it taken me 4 years since my diagnosis to finally pull my head out of my rear end?? Because addressing the above SCARES the crap out of me...more than you could imagine. Reliving all of these emotions is something that I was hoping I would never have to do again, but I also need to acknowledge how much cancer changed EVERY aspect of my life and tell myself that even after 4 years, I AM NOT OKAY!! I was hoping it would get better over time, but it has gotten worse to the point where I don't like being around very many people. Being social used to make me really happy and now I have to talk myself into going to gatherings and convincing myself to have a good time....this is exhausting and I am tired of hating the world around me...

I have taken steps to get myself out of my funk. I am running again with some fabulous people at work, and doing exercises at home daily before bed. Eating better has improved things also, and I am finally starting to feel good about myself on the outside, but it's the inside that needs serious work now.

Today I called the cancer centre and gave them some information. They are now going to draw up a referral and my counsellor will call me to set up an appointment...time to get my life back! Time to be happy again and not resent people around me!

Thanks for continuing to be an amazing support group for me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Great Quiltghan Swap - Sister Quilt

There has been so much going on lately. We are taking possession of our new (to us) house in a few weeks and we've been camping the past couple weekends so I haven't had much time to get my crochet on! But...over the past little while I have been working on something pretty darn sweet...but I can't post any pics on it since it's a blanket for my SIL.

We decided quite a few months ago that we would love to make eachother blankets. She is a quilter, I'm a crocheter...seems like a great swap scenario! So, we have dubbed it the Great Quiltaghan Swap (hence the title :P )

With each great blanket, there should be a name that goes along with it...I think I am going to name mine the IMB Blankee!! The IMB part is a long inside joke between the two of us that has been going on for years, starting way back when people still used MSN messenger on their computer!!

I am really excited about the swap and can't wait to see the finished products, and of course share pics with everyone!

That being said, I am going to work on it a little right now. Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

His ears must have been ringing!

Good day all you lovely people!
In my last post I mentioned that I still had to follow up with my Dr. in regards to the bloodwork that I had to get done after my stimulated thyroglobulin test (say that 5 times fast) and I truly had every intention of doing so (really I did!!), but his ears must have been ringing (and he knows me too well) because he beat me to it. He really is a great guy but every time I hear his voice on my answering machine it sends a chill down the spine! I keep telling myself that one of these days it will get easier....but I'm still waiting for that to happen.
Of course it was a Friday when he called so it wasn't until after the weekend that he returned my phone call and in the end it's not ALL bad news...what does THAT mean you say?? Well, last year when I did this test my number came back as a 5...Again, what does THAT mean?? It means that the lower your number, the less chance of a recurrence essentially. Last year my number was a 5 also, meaning that whatever is left in there is in sleeper mode (and can remain that way for many many years, but can also change on a dime) He said that a 5 is relatively low so I have a few options. We can either wait it out another year and see what it is then, and if need be deal with it with MRI's and PET scans if it has elevated....or he can run me through a bunch of these scans now and see if anything in me lights up. Now initially when you first hear this it would be an immediate "Let's do the scans and deal with anything that comes up", but the good Doc then went on to tell me that even the most sensitive PET scan most likely won't show anything below a 10! Now, THAT'S a game changer...and something I have to think about and bounce off some people.

So at the end of the day the question scan or not to scan...hmmmmm...obviously he said it was up to me and he was available anytime for me to ask him questions and discuss but I don't know if I should put myself through all that stress right now when it won't necessarily be a very reliable scan because my level isn't high enough...but on the other hand, on the off chance that it would show something, we could deal with it now instead of waiting a year...OH THE INSANITY OF IT ALL!! Thoughts anyone? Cause I would love to hear them!

Although I would have loved for him to call me up and tell me that they didn't detect anything at all, I am comforted in the fact that it hasn't gotten any worse and he is willing to be super extra cautious with me because of the type of Thyroid Cancer I had. There's a silver lining in everything right?

For right now, I feel great and all the energy I have is going to be channelled into moving our family into the new house next month! It's such a great feeling to have something exciting to look forward to!

Night all!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lots going on!!

Hello peeps! Long time no chit chat! Well there's been a lot going on!

First things first, I didn't have to go Hypothyroid after all since I found some of the elusive meds at the hospital pharmacy so that was a relief! But silly me decided to do the injections on the Monday and Tuesday of the week of Good first this wouldn't look like a big deal, but when you find out that there is only ONE lab open in the entire city on Good Friday it becomes an issue.

But I asked the specialist if it was at all possible to get my blood taken on the Thursday before and he was cool with that, so in the end it all worked out....but now that I think of it, he didn't call me with the should probably call him....hmmm...

Onto the next topic! We have sold our house and are moving! Where exactly is still kind of in the air since we haven't walked into a house yet that has screamed TAKE ME!!!! So the search continues...but we are very excited about this next chapter in our lives.

I have a cousin who has been diagnosed with a very serious cancer and so I have been trying to wrap my mind around writing him a letter so that has been pre-occupying my mind lately in hopes that he will actually read it and also try to come up with something that might actually help him, even in a little way...the letter is now sent and if nothing else he will know that he is being thought of...

On the crafting's been nothing but crickets, but I have managed to add to "THE STASH" at a charity yarn/fabric sale that was brought to my attention via the classified ads at work...needless to say it was somewhat of a gong show but my SIL and I managed to score some pretty great (and some not so great) stuff for super cheap! Now to create!!!!

I will give my Dr. a call next week (maybe ;) and let you know what he says about my bloodwork!

Ciao for now!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hypothyroid anyone?

I have been trying to track down a drug called Thyrogen. This would be the astronomically expensive injections that would put my body into a hypothyroid state without all the nasty side effects and allow me to continue my regular meds while I get my bloodwork done. But alas, it is no where to be found because of a MAJOR shortage nationwide. Good times...NOT!

Now what? Well, the only other option is to stop taking my thyroid meds for 3 weeks, and then go for my bloodwork. I have never been off my meds before so I'm pretty freaked out since it sounds like being hypothyroid is all kinds of brutal with things like headaches, puffyness, tiredness, the shakes, mood swings (more so than normal LOL) and the list goes on! I think Dr. C described it as "feeling like you've been hit by a truck". It also looks like the symptoms can vary greatly from person to person so here's to hoping that it's a little more on the bearable side and not the unbearable side, cause with working full time and a very busy family at home it could be ridiculous in this house over the next 3 weeks!

I am warning you all in advance and thank you for your patience :)

If nothing else, it's another adventure and at least I'll know how my body reacts if I ever have to do it again.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March it is...

Good evening! First of all let me just acknowledge my epic fail for blogging the past month. But anywhoo, onward and upward my friends. There's really no excuse besides the fact that I can be a bit of a procrastinator.

On with what's happening with me and my the beginning of February I had my annual meeting with my endocrinologist Dr. B, or the physician otherwise known as Cancer Doctor. Mike and I went to see him and he informed us that my ultrasound came back clear, my bloodwork was great and right where he wants it and if I was any other thyroid cancer patient he would let me off the hook and call it a day with me...GREAT NEWS RIGHT???

Wait a's the kicker! Because I didn't just have your run of the mill papillary thyroid cancer I am a bit of an exception to the rule he says...if you recall (and I seriously don't think you would) I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer Tall Cell Variant. Because of this variant which is known to be a little on the tricky side and unpredictable he isn't dropping me from his doctor roster just yet.

What's up next??? Thyrogen injections once again. This means I get to try and track down this IMPOSSIBLE drug from somewhere and pay a BILLION dollars for it (thank goodness for benefits) and have it injected into me twice. Thyrogen has been on a massive shortage for a very long time and therefore very difficult to get. If I don't get this drug, the alternative would be to take myself off my Synthroid (fake thyroid) for 3 weeks which would result in me probably feeling like I have been run over, again and again by a MAC truck.

WHY in the world do I have to do this?? Because we need to see if there are any pesky thyroid cells left lingering in my body that could turn into cancer getting the injections it would immediately raise my levels to where they would need to be to get an accurate Thyroglobulin reading to see if there are any detectable cells lurking...without the side effects. But I might not have a choice but to feel like complete junk and completely useless because I am having ZERO luck with tracking down this drug...but the upside I guess would be it would give me an excuse to just lay around and sleep since I probably won't be able to do much else :)

If the bloodwork comes back from this with a detectable thyroglobulin level then he really wants me to go for an MRI to see what we can find...yippee eh?? Ya, not so much! If you think I freaked out with the ultrasound of my neck, stay tuned folks cause you ain't seen nothing yet! LOL

So, now that you are all up to speed on the thyroid cancer situation, I have also made a decision to stop striking against the medical profession and have booked a physical! WHOO HOO!! This may not seem like a massive thing to many, but it really is a positive step in healing for me!

Never a dull moment my friends...never...thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February already???

How did that happen?? It's amazing how things just fly by. The older I get and the older my children get, the faster things seem to go. I went shopping with our lovely 10 year old last night and boy oh boy is she becoming quite the young lady...she went from loathing shopping trips and not really caring about hair, clothes or accessories, to picking out green skinny jeans, purple high tops and seriously loving belts right now. The discussions we have been having in the past little bit made reality hit me square in the face - she is embarking upon those lovely teen years which we all cherished (bwahahahaha!!!) Obviously it's only natural to get all mushy and nostalgic about when she was a tiny baby and all of her firsts but I'm actually quite excited about it...not the crazy mood swings, the bad hair days and the "my world is ending" part of what is coming up for her, but the anticipation of the next phase of our lives...

We are DONE here in the Ferguson household when it comes to all things BABY, so it's onto the next the time fall rolls around ALL 3 of our beauties will be in some sort of schooling...yes, that's right! C will be in pre-school, R will be in Grade 1 and T in Grade 5 (Middle School!!!!!!!)

Over the past few weeks we have been working our little butts off getting rid of clutter in our cozy little abode hoping to list it in the near future so we can find a house where we AREN'T all living on top of eachother...sorting through all of this stuff is actually quite ridiculous! I can't believe how much STUFF we have been hanging onto for years! Well, tis the year to PURGE and it feels GREAT!! I used to be the Queen of holding onto everything (just in case) but throwing stuff out, bagging things for donations and doing dump runs feels fantastic! Almost like a new start...

Happy February everyone...

Monday, January 23, 2012

One thing at a time

OK peeps! I have been doing a little soul searching lately resulting in ridiculous amounts of thoughts running through my head that I wish would just automatically record on something so I can write it out when I get home to share with everyone...but alas, until such a thing can be imbedded in one's brain I must go through all of my random thoughts one at a bear with me...(not all in one blog post so DON'T WORRY!! LOL)

I haven't been too motivated lately to do's one of those things that it gets overwhelming trying to wrap your mind around ALL of the things that need to get done or that I want to get done so in the end VERY little gets done...even though I feel like I never stop moving...little bit here and there so a lot of things get started but not a whole lot gets completed! STORY OF MY LIFE!

I've had to be honest with myself about a lot of things and try to change the way I think about life, my attitude, my relationships with others, how I can't control a lot of things (which is very hard for me to grasp) and so on...but I need to focus on the things that I can control like how I react to people by not letting things get to me and taking them so personally that I start to think something is wrong with ME...and just!! So for 2012 I have to focus on busting out of my comfort zone and doing things to help my mental state cause I am EXHAUSTED!!

If you can recall, since my cancer diagnosis I have been trying to strike against any doctors this healthy? NO, of course not, but it turned out to be one of the ways I dealt with it (or didn't deal with it). Although I have gone to all of my follow ups with my specialists I have moaned about each and every one of them (you know what I'm talking about, you read it ;)

I was angry at my family doctor because he was the poor man who had to walk into that room and tell me that I had cancer. But today I CHOSE to follow through with an appointment to go and see him to have a chat. After we had some honesty time together I realized just how NOT OK I am with stuff that has been happening in my life over the past 3.5 years....I have to find a way to enjoy life again and enjoy the things that used to make me happy...

So, that being said, I found a crochet dishcloth book that I have had for years with 99 patterns in it. I am going to set myself a goal to make 1 dishcloth a day until I have a schwackload of them. I've always wanted to do it so there's no time like the present! I know this may sound lame, but it's something small that I can start little thing at a time :)