Physical Therapy for my Lungs

The Kim BC (before cancer) was quite the jock.  Hands down, that is the biggest change in my life from BC to AC (after cancer).  I know I will never be that old me; but the new me is starting to be a bit more active, which equals a happy Kim.

Switching to RO5424802 has been a bit of an adjustment.  I didn’t have side effects, then I did, now they seem to be leveled off again.  The lingering effect has been exhaustion.  Am I tired because of the drugs? Or used to being inactive for a few months?  Or because breathing is work?  Or is it simply because I am tired of being tired???

CameraBag_Photo_1000-19Well, I’m finally taking control of the parts I can control.  I started seeing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) Therapist.  It’s physical therapy for lungs.  I don’t sit around and practice breathing.  The visits are tailored to me and they kind of kick my butt. I spend my time on the treadmill then moving on to strength training exercises.  I love it.   It’s not at all what I expected; it’s like I have my own personal training coach!

I have learned through PR that my body, although it feels and sounds like hell, it is having a normal-healthy response to exercise.  This provides me with the comfort I need to put these exercises into practice at home.  I enjoy having physical activity back into my daily routine.  Being the kind of person who was mildly obsessed with exercise BC, I don’t see much of a problem sticking to this once my one-on-one sessions are over.  But, gosh, I will miss them!

 

 

 

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Play Day

photo 1-3SW and I have recently made some modifications to our life to make things easier. One in particular is a trailer for our kayaks.  It is awesome!

No more SW hoisting the boats on top of our already tall truck.  No more of me standing and watching because I’m too short to help in any capacity.  Now it is a simple, back-in, connect, and be on our way.

The first weekend, after all the insurance documents were completed, we went out on a nice 6-hour day trip. We headed to Trillium Lake on the southeast side of Mt. Hood National Forrest to kayak the lake. Ended up adding on a flat 2-mile hike around the lake. As we headed West towards home we stopped by a Huckleberry Festival and a feed store to look at baby chicks and bunnies.  The day was great.  It was so nice to be the Kim I want to be.

 

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Hint of Sadness

photo-111I prefer to water my garden in the mornings.  I stumble around with coffee in one hand and dripping hose in the other.

Observing my surroundings it occurred to me that I have so much to learn about gardening.  My shallots grew huge.  My garlic seemed to get smaller in size.  Potatoes…well…let’s not talk about them!  I want to be better at growing veggies.

I got a little sad when I thought, I wonder if I’ll be around next year to garden?  I feel great now but you never know what’s to come.

 

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Ready…. Reset!

Busy.  That is how I would describe the last few months of my life.  It has felt like I’ve had so many things demanding my time.  Not so many important things, just things….lots of little things.  I’m going to call it clutter.

It dawned on me the other day that I am really out of whack.  My number one priority is to be the healthiest person I can be.  My job is to take excellent care of myself.

Well, that’s not happening.

Some how I got off on a bizarre trajectory to clutter land.  I know it.  Now, it is time to get back to my center.  Rediscover yoga and meditation.  Build some muscle mass.  Plan healthy dinners.  Get a minimum of 30-minutes of cardio daily.  Communicate with my loved ones.

It’s slow going.  Almost painfully slow.  Eventually, I’ll be back to my happy, grounded, healthy self.  It will be nice to be that version of myself again.

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Day Trip: Bellevue

kw + sw + seahawksWednesday, SW and I headed North to Bellevue.  Barely awake we stumbled into local haunt Posies for some breakfast sandwiches and coffee minutes after they opened their doors for the day.  Waiting for the mambo-20-ouncer of latte I came to the conclusion that all I was getting was more milk.  The ‘all beverages made as doubles’ sign did not register at 6:40am.  Eventually, sammies, milk with a splash of expresso, and SW were passengers in my vehicle and I was headed north!

photo-109We made it to our first destination at the meet up time of 9:40.  Chris Draft offered SW and I two Seahawks Training Camp day passes.  I was totally impressed from the get go.  The facility was great looking, location was ideal, music was blasting, food and beverages were free, and we got access to just about everything!  We received what I refer to as the Draft Special….better than VIP access.  It was impressive to watch the athletes.  Strong.  Tall.  Thick.  Manlyness galore.  I should have expected nothing less from last year’s Super Bowl champions.

Around the time of my diagnosis I was told about the business Glassybaby.  I’ve spent lots of time eyeing the lovely candle holders online.  Now, I was a few miles away from their Bellevue store.  I decided it was time to get to know these beauties up-close and personal.  I walked away with some gems and made a great connection with store manager Pam Jenness.  (I see a possible connection for a fundraiser in my crystal ball!)

Now, starving, we took a hard turn towards the Purple Cafe in Bellevue.  Purple did not disappoint with my tasty falafel sandwich and crisp flight of white wine.  I was very full, a tad sunburnt, and slightly buzzed from the wine.

My last stop in Washington was me plopping in my passenger seat.  I took a good solid nap while SW took us most of the way home.  It was just what I needed; then I could swap positions with SW so he could get in his nap so we’d both have enough energy to make dinner after we got home.

Thank you Chris for making my day fantastic! 

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Death Over Pizza

Some time ago I learned about the website Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death.  I thought it seemed rather daring.  Who sits around and talks about dying (crazy people) over a home cooked meal?  I sat with the idea for a long period of time; letting the idea grow on me a bit.  Living in NSCLC land I discuss dying often but really only felt comfortable talking to my husband about the subject and often talking in circles.

I needed to branch out, talk to a professional.  I contacted a woman I knew, Holly Pruett, a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant.  I asked Holly for some help on planning my death and dying process.  She accepted the job.

I got mixed feedback from people when I told them what I was doing.  The most common response was, “do you think you are going to die soon?”  Truth is, I feel pretty darn great. No better time to address things that need addressing.  Anything to relieve some of the burden from my husband when I do die needs to happen while I can still make it happen.

Holly and I have decided that for the time being meeting monthly is reasonable.  For our July meeting I was to review some questions she sent me just after our June encounter. I’m a project manager by training but I am a bit out of practice when it comes to nailing a deadline.  So, 2-days before our meeting I started to dive into the multi page questionnaire.  Wow.  I was in way over my head.

What will people remember most about me?  (Is that a trick question?)

I decided to do what you are supposed to do when you need help.  I asked for it!  I sent out a email Monday afternoon inviting my dearest dozen girlfriends over for Friday night pizza, wine, dessert, and uh…death.

I was comfortable hosting the evphoto-108ent for the 10-friends that could make it.  Having confidence in facilitating a meeting with your friends does not mean you don’t semi-dread the conversation.  I admit the thought of canceling the function Friday afternoon did cross my mind.  Do I really want to talk about this??? Yes!!!

We laughed.  We cried.  For 90-minutes a group of young women (36-43) talked about death and dying; specifically my death and dying.  I was zapped emotionally for the next few days.

The event was a huge success.

You can read about things from Holly’s point of view here.

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A New One – NMD

cheers

NMD = No Measurable Disease

Yup.

That be me!

Happy,

Happy!

Joy,

Joy!

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Hindsight

Contrary to popular belief, having a root beer float and popcorn for dinner is not a wise choice while taking RO5424802.  This morning has been a bit rough.

And, yes.  I wrote the truth in my daily food dairy that I turn into Nurse Andi.

And, I know…  It was a dumb decision, but after my big lunch I just….nevermind.

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Kayaking and Humor

The weekend away from my comfy-comfy bed was worth it!  I had a great time kayaking on my FDi Adventure.  This event, co-hosted by OHSU and First Descents, included one day of kayaking the Klickitat River and one day of rafting the White Salmon River. Kayaking was hands down my favorite.

I am eager to participate in an action packed, full-fledged FD1 adventure – a week-long First Descents camp.  Of course, I’d choose kayaking again.  Hopefully this will happen next year…pretty please?  If it is something you might be interested in I encourage you to sign up now; I’m pretty certain I’ve been wait-listed for 6-months or so.  They do have programs now for 40-49 year olds…could be because the wait list is that long?

Over the weekend, I’m not sure why, but I started to pay close attention to an individual’s sense-of-humor.  I wonder if a correlation exists between seriousness of chronic condition and ability to crack jokes about one’s chronic condition?  What other contributing factors are there…age, particular condition, gender, time living with condition, shoe size?  People are so interesting to me.

I wonder if Jessica Hagy over at Indexed has given it any though.

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Savannah…. Home… Sleep… Go….

Savannah, Georgia was a success.  I’ve never had a destination family vacation but that is the way to go!  Half of us had never been to the City of Savannah.  That translated to lots of  exploring, walking, shopping, site seeing, laughing, getting turned around, and dining.

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My favorite parts, in no particular order: Kehoe House Bed and Breakfast, Schnitzel Shack, sailing on the Savannah, Chamoozies from District CafeSavannah Bee Company, Forsyth Park (& cafe with air conditioning near the park!), seeing Spanish moss droop from trees, and Planters Tavern at The Olde Pink House.

Like the saying goes, there is no place like home!  

I finally feel like I am caught up on sleep.  Good thing as I am headed out of town for a short adventure over-nighter.  I’m going white water kayaking.  A trip hosted jointly by First Descents and OHSU.  Me and 7 other young adult (age 18-40) survivors will be kayaking and/or rafting the White Salmon.  In a perfect world the weather forecast would look better but we all know the world is not perfect.

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