Another little bit of my cancer story. Part 2: Happy 5 years cancer-FREE to me!

Has it really been FIVE YEARS?

It seems like it can’t have been that long, and yet it has been.

A couple of weeks ago had my six month cancer check up. Everything looked good on the inside — I felt a sense of relief a knowing there is nothing “in there” that wasn’t supposed to be. Last week I got the rest of my results back; my CA-125 is well with in range, and my other tests came back clear. So now I breathe a sigh of relief that I have made it another six months without abnormalities.

For those of you who manage to miss my semi-annual posts about my ordeal: I was diagnosed with stage 1-A ovarian cancer in 2012, just as I turned 30 years old. For some people it is genetic, but I am fortunate that mine was just a short straw of life that I managed to pull. I had had regular lady doctor check ups since age 19–my last only 4 months before I had symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, they are varied and can seem like no big deal: upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, having to pee all the time–the things women deal with a lot of the time withOUT cancer.

This is where I beg you. Again.

I tell you this to BEG YOU, PLEASE, take care of yourself. Whether you are 17 or 27 or 67 you are never too young to have something happen to you. I don’t mean to be alarmist, I mean to ask you to LISTEN to yourself, to your body. If you think something is wrong PLEASE don’t ignore it and hope it will just go away. Doing NOTHING is never as good as doing something…that applies to pretty much everything in life.

The thing about cancer, even the treatable/curable kind, is that it shows you who your true friends are. I still remember each and every one of you who showed me kindness through visits, cards, phone calls, and prayers. I remember you all and you have no idea what your kindness meant and still means to me. For those of you who didn’t–well, I remember you, too. I hope you never have to be in the same lonely situation I was in. Surviving cancer activates a seriously low tolerance for bullshit.

I’ve been sorting through boxes of random piles of my life’s accumulations and came across a stack of thank you cards I wrote names (and some addresses) on during the time I was recuperating. While this is not a list that covers everyone I could thank, I thought I would share these pictures of the cards and thank you again, five years later.

{I guess I’ll keep the cards and use them for something else since I never wrote in any of them and probably all the addresses for people are different since we all move like every 3 years… XD }

20170621_124630.jpg

Thank you, Annette!                                    Thank you White Girls!

20170621_124645.jpg

Thank you, Anna!                                       Thank you, Mary Jo!

20170621_124659.jpg

Thank you, Kelsey!                                            Thank you Ben & Sara!

20170621_124718.jpg

Thank you, Meredith!                                                  Thank you, Lance!

Thank you to so many others–I’ve hesitated to make lists for fear of leaving someone out. There were so many people who were kind to me during that time, but my memory is also a little fuzzy since I *was* on pain killers there for a bit.

Thank you to all that visited me in the hospital, at home, gave me helpful advice, and helped support my mom:  Tracie, Jonathon, Amanda & DubbNubb, MJ, Chris, Lacy, MaryAnn, Mandi & Geof, Hedges, Troy, Bobbie, Angela, Joseph…the list goes on in my heart.

I just stumbled on another post I started last year after my June check up.

Here are some pretty flowers I saw as I was leaving my appointment. It’s incredibly cliche, but I try to take the time to notice and appreciate all sorts of beauty around me. I’m better at this some days than others, but I continue to strive for it, no matter.

 

Click here to read a little more about my story.

If you have any questions about my experience please ask. I’m an open book. If you don’t feel comfortable asking on this post then please feel free to message me privately.

Take care of yourself and help others as much as you can.

Be kind to yourself and be kind to others, always.

Advertisements

Back Pain Management 101

DISCLAIMER!

Okay y’all I’m going to go ahead and write a disclaimer right now. In this post I’m going to tell about is the work I have been doing for my lower back health. Before I started this routine I talked it over with my doctor and my chiropractor. If you want to give these ideas a chance please do so with the approval of your own docs and try them at your own risk.

First things first:

Don’t be intimidated!

This routine looks like it’s really long but it really only takes me about 20 minutes.

{I used pictures from the internet so you don’t get me wallow on the floor.}

Here is my morning routine!

First is the Full Body Stretch.

I can’t find a good picture for this one, but basically you are making yourself one long straight line pointing your fingers in one direction and your toes in the other.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Stretch your legs out as straight as you can.
  • Put your arms over your head and point your arms out straight.
  • Point your hands north and your toes south as hard as you can and HOLD for a count of 5 Mississippi (I say “one Mississippi, two Mississippi…” up to 5).
  • Relax for a count of 5.
  • Alternate and do this 3 times relaxing and holding the stretch.

Next is the Knee to Chest Stretch.

Knee-to-chest

photo credit here

Known as the “ardha pavana mukta asana”…

…or “Breaking Wind” pose. Lmfao.

  • Lie on your back.
  • Keep your right leg flat on the floor.
  • Pull your left knee up with both of your hands and press it to your chest.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds. (I say “one Mississippi, two Mississippi…” up to ten)
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat with your right leg.
  • Do this with each leg 3 times, alternating back and forth between legs.

Next is the Hamstring Stretch.

Hamstring-Stretch

photo credit here

  • Continue to lie on your back.
  • Lift your left leg, as high as you can.  Don’t worry about how high you can get it–mine isn’t at a 90 degree angle like the lady in this picture.
  • While your leg remains raised, keep your pelvis flat on the floor.
  • Keeping the leg straight in raised position, hold your lower thigh with both your hands.
  • Pull the leg toward your upper body. You will a stretch in your hamstring.
  • Hold for 10 seconds. (I say “one Mississippi, two Mississippi…” up to 5)
  • Come back to starting position.
  • Repeat with the right leg.
  • Do this with each leg 3 times, alternating back and forth between legs.

Next is the Roach Roll.

knees to chest

{I have no idea what this is really called but I feel like a flipped over bug when I do it, hence my name for it.}

  • While you are still on your back from the previous stretch bring both knees up together and hold them to your chest.
  • Rock gently side to side concentrating the rolling motion from your lower back to your middle back and back to the lower area again.
  • Do this for a count of 5 Mississippi or longer if you want–it feels so good!

Next is the (modified) Pigeon Pose.

yoga poses - Pigeon Pose position (kapotasana)

Photo credit here.

{I call this “modified” because the Pigeon Pose typically has the leg up and at more of an angle. I find that the stretch feels best for me when I lay on my leg with the matching side of my chest–left knee to left side of the chest, right knee to right side of chest etc.}

  • From the last pose roll over with arms stretched over your head, almost flat on your face, except you’ll bring your left knee up to your chest.
  • Hold for a count of 5 Mississippi.
  • Switch to your right leg and repeat.
  • Alternate between your left and right knee so each leg is stretched twice.

Next is the Child’s Pose

Yoga_ChildsPose_300x350

photo credit here

  • From last pose, pull both legs under chest as shown above.
  • Start with arms out stretched (first picture) for a count of 5 Mississippi.
  • Next do the pose with arms tucked behind (second picture).
  • This feels really good so sometimes I do it for about a minute…just don’t fall asleep!

Last is the Cat and Camel (aka Angry Cat) Stretch

cat_camel

photo credit here

 

  • Move from face down from the last pose up on to your knees, positioning your knees and feet hip-width apart, with your feet pointing straight back.
  • Place your hands on the floor, positioning them directly under your shoulders at shoulder-width with your hands facing forward. Reposition your hands and knees as necessary so that your knees are directly under your hips and hands are directly under your shoulders.
  • Gently exhale and contract your abdominal muscles, pushing your spine upwards towards the ceiling and hold this position. Pretend you are pushing your tailbone to the sky and hold for for 10 Mississippi then relax.
  • Let your head to fall towards your chest, maintaining alignment with spine and  slowly relax–also let your stomach fall towards the floor and hold this position for 10 Mississippi.
  • Return to your starting position and repeat 3 times, alternating Cat and Camel.

NOW GO GET YOUR CLOTHES ON AND GO GET COFFEE!

YOU ARE NOW READY FOR YOUR DAY!

Note: I used info and pictures I found from a few different websites. You might want to check out other stretches/poses/exercises they have to offer. Click herehere, and here for more!