Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Sunday of . . .

. . . 2013. I started the morning with a 4 mile run with Sophie. It was cold, but the forecast was to continue to get colder as the day went on, so around 9:30 Sophie and I headed out the door. Holy cow, it was slippery! There must have been a fine layer of mist on the pavement that froze and that made for a very slow and cautious run. Once we made it out of the neighborhood the roads generally have more traffic and ended up being in better shape but it was still a run that kept me slow and careful. I had thought about wearing my yaktrax, but I don't think it would have helped, the little ice that was on the pavement was just a very thin layer.

The temp's were still in the mid 20's so there was lots of slush on the roads. Sophie's belly was full of grit and salt and needed an under chassis wash when we got home!

Early afternoon took us out to mega warehouse Costco and mega local grocery store Woodman's. I usually stock up on the big bags of broccoli and cauliflower at Costco. I love the convenience of having the broccoli and cauliflower already cut up but didn't buy any today because the "best purchased by" date was January 1 - no way could I eat that much by Wednesday!!! I searched the bottom of the containers, but couldn't find any later dates.

Back home I made a quick salmon quesadilla with creamy chipotle cilantro sauce for lunch, HERE. I had purchased the smoked salmon last weekend so I figured I could try another recipe before tossing the salmon. How long does smoked salmon last in the frig? I just googled it, and most answers said 5-7 days after opening the package. So it was OK today. I love a good quesadilla and I love smoked salmon, but I am not sure I would make the combo again, but I definitely would make the creamy chipotle cilantro sauce for sandwiches. It would be great on turkey or a cucumber and tomato sandwich!


Then we settled in to watch the Packer / Bear game. (Current score is 27-28). Sure hoping Rogers can pull out a win for the Pack, I would hate to lose to the Bears twice in the season!!!!! Updated to report: the Packers WON!

At the half we headed into the kitchen to make Spicy Jambalaya, HERE. We are now patiently waiting for the Jambalya to be ready!

Adding to the jambalaya will be a loaf of 'rosemary olive oil bread' from Costco and a bottle of Charles & Charles chardoney!

The Jambalya was really good. I have recipe for a 'day long' version of jambalaya that is REALLY good, but I would have to say the Jenna's version is much easier, quicker and pretty much - just as good - yum! I learned years ago that while I love to cook - I would rather spend less time cooking, since no matter how long it takes you to cook, it takes the same amount of time to eat! I added a little hot sauce from 'Crazy Ed's Chili Beer hot Sauce' - HERE. We brought it back from Key West.

You can't go wrong with a bottle of Chalres & Charles HERE! Don't let the twist off top put you off - it is a good Chardonnay!

Enjoy the moments!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Wishes . . .

. . . to everyone reading!

Pretty quiet Christmas here . . . presents, church, family, snow, baking, cooking and wine. What more could anyone want?

Eat,live,run recipe update

I added three recipes to my project - Turkey meatballs, Broccoli, Cheddar and Potato soup and Turkey Taco Casserole.

Sunday while watching the Packer game I made the turkey meatballs, HERE. Positive comments from everyone. The meatballs were good and the marinara was quite tasty. Until the meatballs go into the marina they aren't much to look at, ground turkey has a way of looking pale and (honestly) somewhat sickly compared to beef.

On Christmas Day I made the Broccoli, Cheddar and Potato soup, HERE. Usually I make cream of broccoli soup for Cristmas Eve - but since we celebrated on Tuesday, I decided to switch it up and made soup on Wednesday. I have to say, it was hard for me to not make my customary Cream of Broc soup - but I gave Jenna's recipe a try. The recipe called for blending the broccoli and cooked potato. I used my immersion blender and left a few chunks of broccoli and potato. The recipe includes a bit of cayenne, mustard powder and sharp cheddar cheese - this all gives it a bit of a bite. It was really creamy and yummy. Another great one. This is a pic from my lunch today at work - I remembered that I had not taken a photo, so this had to do!

Although I was thinking we would order pizza tonight I arrived home and decided to make Turkey Taco Casserole, HERE. Easy to put together and ohh so good. It is quite apparent I need to learn to take better food pictures. Well, if you want to see better pic's make sure to check out Jenna's blog - she takes much better pic's! I added sliced black olives to the recipe.

I am off to make a Cosmo in celebration of getting released from infusions today! I saw the Doctor today and she decided today's infusion was my last. My arm looks good and I just need to keep an eye in it and make sure to call if there is any type of recurrence.

Tomorrow I am heading out for a run and will be adding the squats and lunges to get ready for skiing.

Enjoy the moments!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Updates . . .

. . . First the Recipe Update:

During the last week I made two more recipes from Jenna's blog, eat, live, run HERE. Both were easy and worthy of making again. Although based on my resolution to make all of Jenna's main course recipes over the next year - I won't be making them again until next year . . . but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't make them sooner!

Last week I made Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, HERE. I loved the earthy, cheesey flavor. The recipe fed us several evenings and I was able to freeze 2 containers of the meat sauce which is great for a quick meal during a busy work week.

Tonight for dinner I made the 30 minute lemon brown sugar chicken, HERE. Another easy recipe. The chicken didn't get as browned as in Jenna's pictures, maybe I should have left it in the pan a little longer but the flavor was bright and sweet. My son, Charlie thought it was a little to tangy because of the lemon juice and zest. As the name of the recipe says, it was ready in 30 minutes, which would be great on work nights.


Medical update:

I was at the clinic this morning for my second antibiotic infusion. My arm looks and feels better today; it is not nearly as swollen, the color is closer to normal, and my temperature is only slightly elevated. I still am a little achy - but it didn't stop me from doing some shopping, baking and cooking!

I have another appointment tomorrow morning. To counter balance the effects of the antibiotics I have been eating yogurt and bought a container of Kefir. I have appointments scheduled through Christmas Eve day and hope that will be enough. I have had lymphedema for 9 years and have never gotten cellulitis - I am trying to hope that this is a single event, even though it appears that once you've had it, you are more prone to contracting it again.

In the end, no matter how much I try to put it behind me - - it is always staring me in the face - Cancer Sucks!

Enjoy every moment!


Friday, December 20, 2013

What a day . . . .

. . . that I wasn't prepared for. Last evening, somewhere in the wee hours of the morning I woke up feeling achy. At first I didn't think much of it, after all I have added squats and lunges to my morning run with Sophie to prepare for our annual ski trip to Colorado. With less than 4 weeks to go - I have been pushing it a bit. But last night I also felt like I had a fever, so I got up and checked and my temperature was 99.9. Slightly elevated, so I took a couple Advil's and went back to sleep. This morning I still felt a little under the weather, but needed to tough through the aches and get to work. For accountants, year end is an extremely busy period and I knew that with days off for Christmas next week, I needed to get some work done. Plus I was planning on taking my staff out for a 'thank you' lunch and I certainly didn't want to cancel that.

When I got to the office I noticed that my right arm was red and quite warm to the touch. As a result of my breast cancer I had a right side mastectomy. In addition to breast removal I also had 15 lymph nodes removed which resulted in my developing lymphedema, a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system. Because of this added lymph fluids in my arm, I have to be concerned about infections. The lymph fluid is a protein rich fluid, so any infection can quickly grow and easily spread through my body. In other word, it isn't something to take lightly! I immediately called for a Dr appointment and was lucky to get in within 1/2 hour. As soon as my Dr walked in, I could see her concern. "We need to get some antibiotics into you as soon as possible." She left the exam room to make some calls and get the arrangements made. When she came back, she was very apologetic, because the clinics infusion center was swamped, I would have to head to the ER at the hospital. So off I go to the ER. I gave one of my co- workers a call - "the lunch would need to be cancelled! Would you cancel the reservations and send an email to my staff?"

Once at the ER - the nurse drew lots of blood to test for bacteria and then started the antibiotic infusion. By -1pm I was back at work, with appointments for Saturday, Sunday and Monday for additional infusions.

Not exactly what I wanted to do this weekend.

Lower portion of right arm

My Dr drew on my arm to see if the redness continued to climb. Tonight I don't notice any positive change. My arm is still very red and hot to the touch, and every muscle in my body is aching. Time to take a couple Tylenol and head to bed!

Enjoy the moments - my eyes are heavy - it has been a long day!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving and . . .

. . . Birthday rolled into one. In case you didn't know, Thanksgiving was the latest in November it can be, based on the 1st being a Friday this year. When this happens it means that Thanksgiving falls on my birthday, or my birthday falls on Thanksgiving, take your pick. This year marked the beginning of my 58th year. I need a few days to let the fact that I am closer to 60 than 55 sink in and will post more about that later. For some reason this seems monumentis but maybe I am making too big a deal about it!

I sadly have no pictures from my birthday or Thanksgiving. My college son came home Wednesday afternoon and my oldest son and girlfriend came over on Thanksgiving day. We had the normal turkey, stuffing, beans, corn, stuffing, rolls and apple and pumpkin pies. Nothing photogenic about that.

No Black Friday shopping for us. The day started with a 5+ mile run with Sophie and then a couple of appointments at the house. We had a furnace check up and our house contractor came to measure one door and check on molding and trim decisions. I haven't previously mentioned this, but we are having new interior doors, window trim and base molding installed. Such hard decisions, picking trim! All the books are profile pictures, yet most of the time you look straight on at the window. Anyway, deciding on the doors was pretty easy, but the window trim was really hard. It is one of those decisions, that you spend lots of time himming and hawing over, but in the end, any of the choices would be fine!

Saturday was the last home football game for the UW Badgers.Surprisingly, the weather was fine. With the last game on Nov 30, you never know what to expect. As it turned out the temp was around 40 at kick off. While it did cool off as he game progressed, it wasn't until the 4th quarter that my feet got chilly. Too bad the game didn't have a better outcome for the Badgers, losing to Penn State.

On to Sunday with pictures.

Breakfast, was the usual steel cut oats with fruit.
Todd and I spent time cutting down the perennial flower stems and summers growth, while Sophie rolled in the lawn!
Then it was off to run some errands. First stop at the dog park at Token Creek so Sophie could run!
A few groceries and essentials at Costco and Woodman's.
Tonight's dinner was Thai Red Curry Chicken, compliments of Jenna's recipes at eat, live, run blog Here. My recipe count is up to three. I haven't figured out exactly how I will keep track of used recipes or more specifically, how to record it on the blog, but will come up with something.
The curry was a smashing success! I think Todd's first response was that it tasted OK, but then I think the subtle flavors worked their magic and he started to really enjoy it, even going for a second helping! This recipe was easy to make and tasted delish. There is plenty for at least two more meals. I love the bright orange color of the curry. I served it over rice.
Enjoy the moments and curry!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Three Shades of . . .

. . . blue - every picture from this morning was cast in a blue hue.

Nothing exciting to fill the post - just normal Monday activities.

I woke up to wind and snow. I knew the wind was still blowing, because all night long I heard it! When I looked out the window, the snow was blowing horizontally! Yikes - I usually never run on Monday and figured this would be no different. So out the door Sophie and I went for a walk.

The morning was eerily blue from the falling snow.

The lake had frozen. It won't be long before the ice fishing begins! More blue.
Sophie loved the snow, running around and rolling at every opportunity.
This was the first real snow of the season. Last weeks snow fall was more of a dusting, while this mornings snow accumulated to a whopping 1 inch. You would not have known that it was only 1 inch based on traffic! It was crawling this morning - it took me about 30 minutes to get to work, when a "normal" commute takes 15 minutes. Work was so work like! I only had 1 meeting, which is extremely unusual - for example tomorrow I have 5 meetings! I actually got quite a bit done. Luckily by evening, traffic was back to normal.

On the cooking front, we had left over Broccoli Wild Rice casserole and it was just as good warmed up. There is plenty for tomorrow also!

Enjoy the moments.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Where do you go . . .

. . . for new recipes? Various websites, or recipe books or a combination?

I have been following this blog for years - somehow in following various running blogs, I happened upon Jenna's blog, eat, live, run. I immediately loved it, her writing, her stories, she easily pulls you in.

Her blog has evolved over the years and is now my first place to stop for new recipes. I can honestly say that I have loved every single recipe I have used and I have used many, over and over again. You must check it out.

Last night I made the Spicy Thai Shrimp Skillet - here. Oh my gosh it was delicious. Her recipe included marinating the shrimp with Stubb's marinade - we used the Pork, which was nice and spicy (hot). The outside temperature was single digits last night, so the added heat was more than welcome. We made 2 small changes to Jenna's recipe, one was I added more marinade to the skillet and we made more brown rice (2 cups) and then served the shrimp and veggies over the rice. It was delicious. Here is a picture (from the left-overs that we ate today) and it tasted just as good).

This evening I made Broccoli Wild Rice casserole, HERE, not one of Jenna's, but from The Pioneer Woman and recommended by Jenna. Again it was delish, so creamy and good. I made a small addition of some chicken, but other than that, followed the recipe. It filled a good size casserole dish, so we will have leftovers for a few evenings.

All this talk about cooking got me thinking! I have been wondering if I could do my own version of the "Julie/Julia project" as a 2014 goal. In case you aren't familiar; Julie Powell began her famous blog, "The Julie/Julia Project," in 2002, at the age of 29. The blog chronicled Powell's attempt to prepare all of the dishes described in Julia Child's classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in just one year. 524 recipes in 365 days!

I have seen glimpses of the movie, but not in its entirety and have never read the book. Looking up information for this post, I see that most reviews are negative for both the book and movie . . . but I don't care, I love the idea of expanding my recipes and cooking out of my comfort zone.

Since I love Jenna's recipes, this would be a perfect goal for 2014! But how would I do this? She has far too many recipes on her blog which would make it impossible for me to get them all done in one year! But I think I would be able to cook all of her main dishes, currently sitting at a few more than 150, over the next year. Add in some salads, snacks, desserts, etc and we will be eating all of our food for 2014, compliments of Jenna's eat, live, run blog.

Now my biggest decision is whether to start now, or wait for 2014?

Since I made the Spicy Thai Shrimp Skillet last night and the Wild Rice casserole tonight, I am going to start now. I figure with vacations and other busy times, I probably need a head start!

My plan will be to reference the recipe (giving credit to Jenna) and comment on each one. This will give me another reason to blog on a regular basis.

Stayed tuned for my journey!

No running today - but we did head out to the dog park with Sophie at the end of the day. The winds were still bitter cold, but the sunset was beautiful.

Enjoy the moments!