Friday, October 22, 2010

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with that in mind when was the last time you checked in on the girls? :0) Regardless of your family history, everyone should check 'em at least once a month.

Here are the signs to watch out for:

Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
Change in the size or shape of the breast
Dimpling or puckering of the skin
Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

The Komen Foundation has a great online tool if you need instructions or tips. Here's the link:

Don't think it can't happen to you. Be smart. Check them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I think the best thing that Weight Watchers OnLine taught me is how to make better choices. Everyone makes food choices every day. But do you know really what you are eating and how much of it?

I was reminded of this yesterday when I went to Panera Bread. I go to Panera alot to use the Free wi-fi for work, typically I get a coffee and that's it. Yesterday when the cashier scanned my frequent user card she said "Oh! Happy birthday! You get a free bagel!" I was going to say no, and then saw the Pink Ribbon Bagel, and figured I could eat it as my lunch. So I got it plain in a to go bag and took it home with me.

A great cause ( $.50 of each bagel goes to breast cancer research in the month of October), and a really yummy bagel, I ate it plain for lunch and enjoyed it. Then I went online in the afternoon and looked up the points value. 8.5!

So just to make my point clear - for lunch yesterday I had one, plain, pink ribbon bagel.

For that same points value I could have had all of the following:
a banana
an apple
a chocolate vitamuffin
the whole can of Progresso light Santa Fe Style Chicken soup

Which do you think would fill you up more? One bagel or that list of food?

This is the basis of Weight watchers. The choice is yours, and if you want a bagel sometimes then have it, but if most days you pick the list, you will not be as hungry, and you will loose weight.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Your diet does make a difference....

This week I am inspired by my good friend Martin. Martin and I have been friends for over 10 years, somewhere along the way he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. He takes two different pills to control his sugar levels, and like most type II diabetics, is to watch what he eats. Martin, like most diabetics, got a little lax recently on watching what he ate, and when he went to the doctor was surprised to hear his hemoglobin A1c was really high. Not good! His doctor gave him the option to try and better his score with changes to his diet, and if that did not prove to be successful then Martin was headed for insulin shots. That same day I got an email from him asking "can you help a brother out?". :0)

Of course I was eager to help! I love to tell other people what to do! LOL. So we started with testing his sugar more then once in awhile, Martin impressively tested for me 4 times a day. He was hitting high levels after eating both lunch and breakfast. So we took a look at what he was eating. Here's his typical day:

Honey Nut Cheerios

Bagel (white)

Stir fry shrimp and veggies
White rice

A few cookies

A lot of empty carbs, so we decided to switch those up and see if there was an improvement in his numbers. After much work on his part he stitched to:

Scrambled egg whites
1 piece whole wheat toast
2 pieces turkey bacon

2 slices whole wheat bread
turkey or ham lunch meat
low fat cheese

Veggies - steamed or stir fried
Brown rice or a smaller serving of white rice

OK now it took over a week to find this pattern, but the changes made his sugar levels drop down and remain impressively low. When he started having some sugar levels that were too low, he researched one of the medications he was taking and figured out he would be better off taking it at another time during the day. With this additional change his high sugar levels have disappeared! Martin is proof that you can take control of your health, you can work at it, tweak it, change it, and you can make a difference. His doctor gave him a decision, and he acted on it, and persisted until he had the outcome that he wanted - better sugar levels. He is proof that what you eat directly effects your health, every-single-meal.

He inspires me to do better and try harder at my own diet, not letting myself fall into a food rut. But more then that, about a week into our "project" he texted me that he was out to dinner with friends and he was having a margarita. And my heart sank I was so disappointed. Then the next day I got an email telling me about this wonderful dinner he had with great friends celebrating there birthdays at a great Mexican restaurant. And it was my turn to learn a lesson, and be inspired further by my friend Martin. He has taught me that life is too short to not stop sometimes and enjoy those special occasions with those we love, and the food we love along with that. It's just one meal, in the long run it wont make a difference to your diet - but the happiness and joy we get from friends and family is something that can never be measured.

Your diet makes a difference in your health and in your life. It goes both ways as Martin and I have proved. Watching things closer can bring you better health and help you feel better. And, letting loose sometimes to enjoy food with family and friends can help you truly live life.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Drug trial update

Just a quick update this morning on the drug trial, since I know I haven't mentioned it in awhile. I do not have the bloating anymore (yeah!) so I'm not sure what this was, but hopefully it was not a side effect of these pills. I do still have numbness in my left hand fingers, which has been ongoing for 3 months. I also have a remarkable amount of itchiness on my left palm. Weird, but possibly a side effect.

Last week I did catch a cold from Brad. Not thinking I took advil cold and sinus and went along with life. At lunchtime I decided to walk 3 blocks to the ATM and got so dizzy I almost had to sit down. I figured my sugar level was low and didn't think about it again. The next morning I took more advil cold and sinus and went for a run with Brad. About mile 3 I got so dizzy I thought for sure I was going to pass out. I completely lost all of my energy and was just out of it. I never have had an issue with advil before, and I take it all the time. That night when I spoke to my friend Marianne she asked me if I had called the drug nurses before taking it - OOppps! No I didn't. So I called them and they said they didn't know of any drug interactions but to log it all in case I had some side effects. I still had no energy, and I still felt very dizzy - but my sugar levels were fine. So I stopped taking the advil. Within 2 hours I felt 99% better - my energy came back, I was no longer dizzy - sure I had a runny nose and a bit of a sore throat, but the difference was remarkable.

So, I still don't know and can't say if it really was a drug interaction. But if you are out on the Internet like I was last week looking for someone else to tell you they tried this and did not feel good at all, then here you go. I took Advil Cold and Sinus with Neratinib and I lost 80% of my energy level, and felt very dizzy!