Sunday, August 24, 2008

This week and stuff

I am on a 'diet' trying to lose some weight after that chemo nightmare. It is slow going, but I am not giving up!

We went out last night to dinner and the theatre. We went wandering in the city and tried on clothes. YUCK! When you are used to being a 6-8, trying on 12-14 is a total drag. My cute BF who has been training for triathlons all summer got to buy some lovely new sweaters to show off his awesome pecs, and I got one shirt that I pray will look ok with my foob.

Being at the theatre was fun!, we got to see the show Avenue Q in Toronto which I have been waiting years to see! What a blast! The stares at my bald head from the normals was oooh soo much fun too! ;) Man, we were seeing a show with puppets having sex, how could I be wierd looking???

Tomorrow I have a hard workout day, to test myself to see if I am actually going to try and do a mini race on the weekend. My kid is away for his last summer fun at a pals cottage and I am taking 2 days with no kid, no chemo side effects and no cares... as much as I can get away with anyway!

Too much work to do today!
I better get on it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am having a lot of trouble focussing on work today.
A friend of mine's son died in his sleep on the weekend, and I am having trouble caring about stupid things like sales and taxes and such.
I am at the store, and I promised some other friends I would give them skin advice to take care of their skin after chemo was over.
I am not dreading doing the writing, but there is a restlessness I feel and sitting still to type is not working. So, I am going to try....
Skin care 101
Step 1 Exfoliation 2-3 times a week your skin must be exfoliated. If you do not exfoliate you are wasting your money on lotions and balms. Lotions etc simply will not penetrate dead skin.
That said, exfoliating has to be done with some caution.
There are 2 kinds of ways to exfoliate: Physical and Chemical. Physical means use salt, sugar, pumice etc or tools like loofah, and other scrubby devices. Personally I have always preferred scrubby gloves for my regular exfoliation head to toe. I use salt and sugar scrubs for occasional exfoliation times.
Chemical exfoliants use ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid, fruit acids, glycolic acids etc. Face and décolleté should be exfoliated gently with sugar, chemical or finer grit scrubby devices.

Do not exfoliate broken skin, or open sores. On keratosis, psoriasis and excema use extreme caution and when using product only use unscented, natural and sugar based exfoliants.
I do not shower everyday, so I exfoliate whenever I shower.

Step 2 Moisturization
The best times to moisturize are directly after bathing, or before bed.
Body and Hands- when skin is still wet from bathing or showering slather on a rich lotion or balm, or body butter onto wet skin, then wrap in a towel or robe for a few minutes. If your skin is oily then use lotion sparingly in those areas.
Face- when skin is still wet from toning ( yes toner is an important step for facial skin for those over 25, or with acne issues) add moisturizer in morning, and at night or whenever face is washed.

Step 3 Maintenance - If you follow steps 1 and 2 regularly you will see a huge change in your skin within a few days. To Maintain it you can skip the occasional day here and there, but skipping more than a week without these steps will make you skin go back to rough, and dry.
Let me know if you have questions, or want to buy products that will fit what I have described.
I am off to the post office to clear my head. I will update more about how my chemo recovery is going ....soon I promise.
Suffice it to say..... I worked a 60+ hour week at the store last week and lived to tell about it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Humbled, again!!

So, today is a hard day at the hell pit called the cancer centre here in Hamilton. I am typing this while in my vinyl laz z boy (who the hell thought that was a good idea I don’t know) with the IV in my arm

In the 2 hour wait for my herceptin treatment to start I watched a couple next to me. I was sure by the deep sadness in the mans’ eyes that he was the one with cancer, but when I searched for the telltale signs I could not tell which one of them was the patient. I eventually saw the hospital bracelet hidden under her jacket cuff. Something told me that I should be talking to them.

Understand that it is not normal for people in this waiting room to speak to each other. I chalk it up to the Canadian habit of keeping to yourself. Ultimately I ended up chatting with the woman and learned that she has colon cancer that has spread to her liver. Once cancer spreads as you may know you start to be in an area of treatment that is iffy. Cancer in one spot has a better chance of being controlled. She has been in a treatment for a year and is understandably scared and her husband is terrified!

I don’t think I have ever seen a person with a sadder look in his eyes. I made the odd choice of telling them about my mother and her death from cancer. The husband asked me a lot of questions about my mother and what treatments she sought and strangely about my own mental health and depression and I had no idea what to tell him. He was so painfully depressed about his wife and so surprised about how upbeat and strong I seemed and I was useless at telling him how or why I was like that.

I was born under the sign of Sagittarius and we are notoriously strong and steadfast?!

I come from a long line of feisty and strong women who have handled lots of emotional turmoil in their lives? I am a triathlete so I handle pain and suffering better than most?!

What could I tell this guy that might help him wake up and be in a happier place tomorrow? Powerless to the utmost... All I could mutter when they left was to smile and that I would pray for his wife.

The magazine article I was reading comparing the iphone to the blackberry seemed a total waste of time now. I was affected by this mans sadness more than most things since my cancer diagnosis.

Am I handling this better/ differently than other people? If so... Why?

Why is this fair? Shouldn’t the more terminally affected by graced with the strength to deal with this better? I can only hope that something I said or did make those people have a better day/ week … whatever….

I can only pray that God gives them a break.

Me? I remain Lucky … as always


This is the lyric that came on as I wiping away tears when that couple left the chemo room....

Relevant? I don't know... but the words and memories of the song made me cry....

At the point of the knife, you never see anyone and the strong will survive at the end of that gun.

We Run
by Drew Arnott (Strange Advance)

You're on your own and meet a friend
Who doesn't kill but wounds for life
The sun blinds you through the trees
While watching clues fall from the skies
And she smiles


At the point of the knife
You never see anyone
How the strong will survive
At the end of their gun
We Run...

Frozen smiles for men returned
They never even left this place
She kissed me softly on the cheek
And a shadow cut across her face

Take heart the fountain of my life
and stone the victim to his knees
I've got scars for my mistakes
And now post atomic dreams
I dream...


I walked for miles and miles to the sea
We burned, the fire from the sun
I know you never tried to deceive
Who can touch us when we run

Friday, August 8, 2008

food and diet

Shelley, to answer this mornings question about white flour vs rice flour.... anything white is usually your enemy when it comes to a healthy diet. White rice, white flour, white sugar and most of the time potatoes.
Rice, unless it is brown is pretty high glycemic.

For the rest of you I will paste the diet details I mentioned to Shelley in a comment this week.
This is the eating plan I have switched back to after chemo. During chemo I ate whatever tasted ok with my chemo mouth, and whatever sat well on my chemo stomach. With the bloating from the meds and the lack of exercise I gained almost 15 pounds. I have lost 4 since chemo ended, and it looks like that was mostly fluid. The rest of the weight loss will be hard work.
Here are some simple details on my eating plan.

Here is my fave breakfast on the run/ snack to keep in the fridge.
1c plain (no not vanilla) low fat yogurt, 1c frozen or fresh berries, 1/2 cup plain oatmeal. Layer oatmeal, berries and yogurt in that order in a big bowl overnight or for a few hours and stir. Add a small amount of brown sugar or real maple syrup to taste.

The plan is not that different from South Beach. The website I use to choose my food is It has a fairly good glycemic index (the speed at which your body converts food to sugar in your blood ) list. So, the ,simple idea is you choose your foods mostly from the low glycemic list and rarely from the high glycemic list. ie. White Bread= high glycemic an Apple= low glycemic.

Rule #1 no juice or soda pop (no not even diet, artificial sweeteners are bad for you, and make you crave other sweets) I still drink coffee with a little brown sugar but other than that I drink water

Rule #2 you can have 1 cheat meal a week, I used to do it on Sunday night and have a meal with all the bad things I wanted and dessert. A little bit of dark chocolate ( no not a candy bar, and no milk chocolate either) a day is fine to satisfy a craving.

Rule #3 No white rice, No white sugar and avoid white and enriched flour products like the plague(white bread, white pasta, most cereals) When I lost the big weight in '02 I did no wheat, no rice and only a very small amount of brown sugar. If you choose whole/ sprouted wheat products with no white/ enriched flour in them you can get away with a little bit of wheat. Do not assume a label that says 'whole grains' means it. Check the ingredients carefully. Enriched flour messes with the hormones in women.

Rule #4 no eating in the 2-3 hours before bedtime- this REALLY works.
I have a nutty few weeks ahead of me, and then i hope to have a few days off to relax and train for the tri I want to do at the end of August.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I am in a crabby mood. Waaaaaay too much to do to get ready for this cursed cactus festival. I feel like I am in a movie and everyone was right.... I am cured and everything will be back to the way it was. I am overworked, overtired and not handling it. I have too many balls in the air and if I drop any things won't work out.

In MY movie I have a few more weeks of time after chemo before things get nuts.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

see? I am writing

My old pal Sally told me I do not suck for not writing for a week.
My thought for you at the moment, when I am supposed to be eating my boring ( yes I made it, so it is my fault my damn lunch is boring!) lunch is that you should all watch my twitter feed to the right. That's right, look to the right side of this bloggy page and see. That is my Twitter feed.
I update it all the time from my phone and my computer and such. If I have not blogged, then read my Tweets, they are like my micro blog... it will tell you what I am doing and how I am feeling.
Even better, sign up to and "follow" me on twitter.
I am called Ellenoire on
Try it, is is fun, and you will be soooo coool if you do! Not everyone is doing it-YET!
More soon.

ok ok ok!!!

as usual I suck! I will write tomorrow I promise.
almost 3 weeks out of chemo! I feel much closer to myself, but far from well or right or normal.
Happy Tuesday, I will talk to you all later when I get a lull in the activity in the work day at the store.
I havta go to bed lest I be a grump in the AM.