Wednesday, March 31, 2010

walking to save women (aka having cancer made me get off my ass)

Some of you already know I have cancer, and that I recently got the news that I am in remission.  Hooray!  Only three more years until I am declared officially cancer-free.  I know I'll get through it though, I'm in remission, and I'm staying there! 

Within days of finding out I was in remission I walked into Shoppers Drug Mart and saw the pamphlet for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers walk.  I picked it up and browsed through it... a 60km walk over 2 days where the proceeds go to finding a cure for breast cancer and gynecological cancers.  Hmmm.... I have gynecological cancer....  the walk is on my birthday weekend....

I decide that it can't be simply co-incidence that I just went into remission, this walk is fundraising for gynecological cancers, and it's on my birthday weekend.  I bring the pamphlet home with me and promtly sign up for the walk.  Then it hits me.  The realization that I have just agreed to walk 60km.  I don't mind that I've commited to raising a large sum of money for the cause, that I can deal with.  The problem is that I've been sick, for a few years now.  I've been home.  Sitting.  Puking.  Playing video games.  I'm not sure of the last time I walked 1km, how in the world am I going to manage 60???

Since signing up though I've been following my coaches advice.  Start small.  I started out walking 1.5km, then 2.6km, 3.5km, 4km, all in the comfort of my home on my manual treadmill.  Then on Sunday I participated in an official training walk for The Weekend.  It was a 5km walk around the mall before opening hours, so we even got to do a little shopping with no other people in the mall.  That in itself is a fantastic experience, especially if you're like me and can't stand the crazy crowds usually associated with downtown shopping malls. 

The 5km itself was just fine.  It made me realize that walking longer distances really isn't that hard when you've got something to distract you.  Walking on the treadmill staring at a wall makes time drag on for an eternity (although on a side note I've recently realized that I'm talented enough to play my Nintendo DS while walking on my treadmill...wooo!).  In fact after finishing up the 5km I walked another 2.5km.  Yay me!  Of course I paid for it that night and the next day.  I still get so rundown sometimes, and it seems to take me forever to recover from anything.  Unfortunately the effects of chemo stay with you for way too long after you've finished.

Now my problem is that it is soooo beautiful outside, that I want to start walking outside.  Plus the coaches said that only walking on a treadmill is not a good idea because you're feet have to get used to walking on pavement.  That's all good, I want to be outside roaming around my part of the city... but I have no idea of distance.  How am I supposed to know how far I've walked?  I thought of thinking of it in terms of time, but I don't know how accurate that would be because what if I slowed down to enjoy something that caught my eye?  I really wish I had a better sense of distance.  I really have no idea how far things are.  If anyone has any advice on this I'd really appreciate it.

Right now I'm off to go pick up some Lego (oh Lego how I love you!), and then I'm going to try to get in my first outdoor training walk.

Oh!  Stay tuned, I'm going to be starting a new blog with my home/cancer/health/family posts.  Posting about cancer walks on my gaming/book blog seems counter productive.  Procrastination and motivation just don't mix.  Once I start it I'll post the link.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

adventures of a 30 something gal with braces

I'm not sure how many of you out there have had braces as an adult, but it's a pretty crazy thing to experience.  I got my braces on about 10 months ago (not that I'm counting lol), and life has certainly changed since then.  The story of how I got my braces is a long one that deserves it's own post when I have more time.

Since I've had my braces on I've suddenly become 16 again, at least in my appearance.  I get asked for ID everywhere we go.  Add to that the fact that people now look at my hubby like he is some sort of perv when we are out in public.  To be honest though, I really don't mind all of that, I love my new straight smile.... even if it is silver and shiny. 

I never had a straight smile when I was growing up, my teeth were very crowded, and although I was considered pretty I would never ever smile.  I was too embarassed.  Now that my teeth are straight I can't stop smiling though!  It's really amazing what it can do for a persons self-confidence.  People always say that no one discriminates against people that have crooked teeth, but that is simply not the case.  It's an inconvenient truth that the way we look (smiles included) makes an impression on people.  Once I got my braces on people actually said to me, "Oh it will be you're going to look so great once your teeth are straight!".  Nice.  Whatever, it is what it is.

Now that my front teeth are straight I'm dealing with the pain of moving my molars so that my bite lines up properly.  Ouch.  I got my wires changed last week and I've had terrible headaches everyday since then.  I've been surviving on mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and melt in your mouth cookies.  I really can't complain though, I'm am perfectly happy to go through all the anguish to get the final results.

When I got my braces on I was told that I would have them on for 24 months, but now I'm being told that my teeth moved so quickly that it will probably be over much sooner than that.  I have speed braces on which work differently than traditional braces, the wires are able to move on their own through the brackets so they don't need elastics... which, as the name implies, speeds things up considerably.  Honestly, I'm kind of enjoying having them.  I don't mind if I have to wear them for another year.  I don't mind feeling young again.  I don't mind brushing my teeth 5 times a day to make sure I don't end up embarassing myself when friends arrive for tea ;)

Now I have to decide what to make for dinner, and I think it's a toss up between creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and soup.  My hubby must hate the week after my orthodontist appointments ;)

Friday, March 26, 2010

the weeks winnings

Wooo!  I was fortunate enough to win something this week!  And since I said I would post all my winnings, that is exactly what I am going to do. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not rich now.  I haven't won anything of any huge significant value.  I won't driving any new vehicles, or topless tanning on an exotic beach.  That doesn't mean I'm not excited.  It's the start of a trend for me!  (If I say that it makes it true right?)  I'm just starting out small.

So here's the list... drumroll please...

Yesterday I won 1000 iCoke points (and now my iCoke account is screwed up and won't let me play anymore, so if any iCoke tech guys happen to be reading this... please fix my account!  I like the roll and win game). *ahem*, moving right along... Then I won a free music download from a box of Alphabits, which I promptly used to download the Opeth song "Throat of Winter" from  For those of you who don't know Throat of Winter is from Blood and Metal, which happens to be the soundtrack for God of War III, and the God of War series of games happen to be my favorite games ever, and Opeth happens to be my favorite band ever, so all of these things mixed together make me a happy girl.

Blackwater Park

Okay, focus... Then (and I'm super excited about this) I won an Ugly Doll from TheBigToyBook on Twitter (@TheBigToyBook).  They also had a super fun giveaway party last night too I might add.  They're my new fave toy store for sure.  I know a certain little someone who's going to be very happy when it arrives!

Ugly Doll Classic Ox

Finally today I woke up to an email saying that I had won advance passes to Max Manus for next Tuesday.  I'm very excited about that one too, but the show is at 4pm, and everyone else I know is working, so I'm not sure who I'll be able to take with me... booo.

All in all a very good 24hrs! 

I'm also super excited to be doing my first organized training walk for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers on Sunday.  The big 60km walk isn't until Sept, but since I'm recovering from chemo I figure I need all the extra training I can get!  Unfortunately it's at 9am.  I'm not sure who invented being awake and doing physical acitivity before 11am, but I'm not pleased.

100 Pack Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness Temporary Tattoo Tattoos

Monday, March 22, 2010

watching hoarders makes me itchy

I turned my TV on a few hours ago for some background noise and a mild distraction while I am doing work on my laptop.  I haven't changed the channel at all, so I've ended up watching a few hours so far of "Hoarders".  In case you've never watched Hoarders before it showcases the lives of families (usually 2 families per episode) who have extreme issues with hoarding stuff... garbage, animals, paper, crap....

Anyway, everytime I watch this show it makes me itchy.  Seeing how dirty their houses are, and how unsanitary they are.  Ack.  And then it makes me want to get rid of everything I own.  Now, I'm no hoarder, but everyone has stuff they don't need.  Oh don't throw out those magazines, I might read them one day.  Oh I'm going to keep that dress I've had since tenth grade because it might come back in style.  You know how it is. 

So everytime I watch this show I end up getting rid of something, and after I do I'm always surprised at how relieved I feel. It's nice to have a little extra space, or at least to know that something useless is out of the house... or that someone else is getting some use out of something you have no use for anymore.

Right now I got an episode on pause (thank God for PVR's) because I suddenly feel the need to put my dishes away and wipe the potato chip crumbs from off the couch next to me ;) 

After I finish the episode I'm certainly going to need some stress relief.  Screw Calgon.... Kratos, take me away!

Monday, March 15, 2010

an experiment in procrastination

Having an unfortunate amount of time on my hands I have decided to do a little experiment, for no one's benefit but my own.

I have heard in the past of people who win all the time. Contests, sweepstakes, lotteries, things of that nature. There are even e-books and blogs about how to become a master contest winner. I on the other hand never win anything. Ever. That is not to say that I haven't had my share of good fortune (mixed of course with my share of bad fortune).

I got my braces (that I am currently sporting) for free because of one incredibly generous and empathetic person. That is of course balanced out by the fact that I had to go through my entire teenage years and twenties with crooked, crowded teeth... leaving me socially and emotionally scarred. Kids can be so cruel.

I also am overjoyed to finally be in remission, free from any evil life sucking cancer cells. This is obviously balanced out by the fact that I had to deal with cancer for several years, and the physical, emotional and financial toll (of which I am still feeling the effects).

So, of course life is always give and take. You give so much, and you get something in return. Now, however, I am fascinated by these people that just get. Huge windfalls drop at their feet, and they are giving very little (only the time it takes to fill out the entry forms) in order to receive it. Can this really be true? I can sometimes be a pessimistic person by nature, but now with my new lease on life I am trying to change that. Thus begins the experiment.

I want to see if it is really possible to become a "winner" in this sense. So for the next month I am going to enter a minimum of 50 contests/sweepstakes etc. per day. There are many websites out there that have listings of all the various contests going on throughout this great nation that we are eligible for, so this really shouldn't be a difficult task. In fact maybe I will try to make it double that amount. Maybe I will do it for two months. I haven't quite ironed out the details.

The simple fact is that I am going to enter as much as possible (min. 50/day) for at least a month and I will see how long it takes me to actually win something. I suppose if nothing happens in the first month I will just keep going. At some point I will either win something big, or prove everyone wrong. (Of course I am hoping not to have to prove anyone wrong).

We shall see. I will post my progress, and of course any winnings I may encounter.