Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CA 125

Just a little post that my CA 125 is up from 7 to 13, but still within normal range given it is less than 36.  I will have this repeated again in 2 months.  So happy I am still in remission!  What is causing the Right Upper Quadrant pain?  I still think it is gallbladder.  I'm going to make an appointment with a primary care physician soon.  Happy Teal Tuesday!  Go out in your teal today.  I'm wearing my survivor earrings and running out the door now to pull a 12 hour shift!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

48 Hours of Celebrations

I finally made it to Boise at 4:50PM on Friday feeling kinda poopy (literally), had my blood drawn, went to Winco and then home (with a few stops at 2 different McDonalds to use their restrooms; I was serious about the poopy part.)  My stomach has been bothering me for a week and I'm getting tired of the discomfort and hoping that it has nothing to do with my results that I won't get until Tuesday.  Hopefully it has just been a bug.  I felt bad the beginning of the week, felt better when I was in Seattle and then felt bad again almost the entire time I was home, but today I'm feeling much better, until I ate that is....

Friday when we got home we put ourselves in high gear in the kitchen, except for the short time I snuggled with my nieces.  We were getting ready for a little ladies luncheon to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday that she had last Monday.  Of course we went all out for this big celebration and this amazing woman.
After doing all the prep work, setting up the tables, teacups and the candy table, we finally went to bed at midnight and got up at 7AM to put on the finishing touches.  
We were pretty much almost finished with the details when the doorbell rang and mom's closest 25 friend's and family arrived.  It was really hard to narrow down the guest list, but we couldn't invite everyone, even though mom has many close friends and family.

Everyone had such a wonderful 3 hours chalk full of food, learning and laughter.

The Menu:

Pumpkin with Caramel, Strawberry and  Lemon Poppy seed Scones made out of our favorite scones cookbook and tea cottage in NYC; Alice's Teacup.  I heard comments from scone lovers that these were the best they had ever had.  Of course we made them fresh and they came out of the oven just as soon as the guests were arriving.  We paired these with raspberry jam and cured whipped topping

Yogurt Parfait's:  Yogurt from McDonalds, yes it can be purchased only if you are in with the manager like Tristen is.

Mom's Egg Soufle' and mini cinnamon rolls from Costco.

Let's just say there weren't many leftovers.  Some ladies even enjoyed seconds!

After brunch we sat around for nearly 2 hours each telling favorite beauty product's, kitchen gadget's, random favorite thing and their relationship to mom.  It was funny and special as some relayed how they were able to get through hard times because of the many therapy sessions they had over the phone and on walks with my mom.

Everyone went home with a "These are a few of my favorite things" bag which were full of some of our favorite things and some favorite things brought by the guests.  They included:  our favorite ratting comb, mexican vanilla, spatula's, tongs, a travel nail kit, lots of chocolate, a clutch bag for traveling, earrings, aquafore chapstick, a few favorite quotes and both mom and Aunt Thalia gave hankies; neither one knew what the other was giving which was a funny coincidence.
 We did buy mom's favorite Linda's Chocolate cake but were too full to cut it for the luncheon.
Mom's friends since she was a teenager
We had 1 hour to change close and get to the church for Kadyns special day!  He got baptized!  It was so special and spiritual and so fun to see the kids at the baptismal font.  After this we had a BBQ, chatted and cleaned up the kitchen again!
Aidree was scratching Gavins back here.  It was so cute.
How precious is this?
Today we went to church, had dinner, did some coloring, ate chocolate cake and then I boarded a plane back to Phoenix at 4:50.  This weekend went by both slow and fast.  It is always so fun to snuggle and love my cute nieces and nephews.
The next time I will go home will be in June when Gavin gets baptized.

Friday, March 27, 2015

An Unplanned FF

Yesterday morning I left Phoenix at 6am heading to Boise via Seattle on a standby ticket.  I knew I might not get out of Seattle as early as I wanted to, but I figured I'd likely make it by the end of the day given there are several flights from Seattle to Boise.  I didn't make the first flight out so I asked what the next few flights were like.  Given they were full and the 945 pm flight had 20 seats open I figured I'd see if my dear friend Aubrey had any plans for lunch.  Thankfully she tossed her to-do list to the side and 45 minutes later she was picking me up from the airport where we headed to the Cheesecake Factory for a salad and to catchup.  It is always so good to see this dear friend of mine.

As we were finishing up lunch she asked if I wanted to spend the afternoon with her instead of going back to the airport.  Of course!  It was so fun to drive through Seattle seeing Spring in full bloom.  My Aunt Leslie is correct about not being able to enjoy all of the seasons in Phoenix.  I love Tulips and was so happy to see them in full bloom.  Aubreys darling children came home from school completely surprised that I was there. 
Aubrey did a little makeover on me and I must admit it that she totally sold me on Maskcara Cosmetics!  It never hurts to change up your 12-14 year look.  I feel brighter, younger and prettier with this make up on.
I've always thought it was great that Aubrey starts dinner just before the kids come home so that she has time to help them with their homework.  I was in heaven with her menu choice.  Brussel Sprouts which her children love and I've been wanting to try and a very delicious spaghetti like dish.

Here are her brussel sprout secrets:
Cut each in half
toss with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. 
Cook on 350 for 20 minutes and then a few minutes on broil.  This will definitely be a new dish that I'll use often.  Every time I go to my local Sprouts I want to buy some brussel sprouts, but I never knew how to make them.

Spaghetti Sauce:
Cook chopped red onion, yellow pepper, garlic in olive oil.  Brown hamburger and add to vegetables.  Add a jar of organic spaghetti sauce that starts with a B; maybe Burtelli? from Costco and then mix in 1/2 cup whipping cream.

Talk about a gourmet meal!  It was delicious!
We then stopped at her local target where I could get some of her favorite Voluminous Loreal mascara and then we had frozen yogurt for dessert.

Log story short:  When I got to the airport (actually I knew a little before hand) the 945 flight that I was going to take was overbooked because another plane had been canceled, which left me seat less.  There was 1 ticket on the 2:25 flight today which I ended up just paying for because really it's just money right?

And then we got to have a slumber party and I was able to practice what I had preached earlier in the day about how I've learned since cancer to just take things as they come, don't get upset or worked up about things out of my control and to just go with it; which is exactly what I did.

This morning we walked the kids to school, took a lovely stroll seeing all of the beautiful spring tulips and we enjoyed a breakfast of eggs with basil and yogurt.  It was a perfect, unplanned visit with this dear friend!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Busy Super Sunday

1.As promised this week was unbelievably busy with work.  I was so happy to have today off.  There were moments today when I just sat in my little green recliner and marveled at the fact that I didn't have to see a single patient.  I'm pretty sure I saw over 200 patient's this past week and all with colds.
2.  I did have a wonderful conversation with my friend Rachel who lives in CLT today.  I miss that sweet friend of mine.  She has had an difficult, unexpected event in her life and I'm so sad for her, but I know things will eventually look up for her.
3.  Last night my friend Pam sent me a text of her cute baby in a Boise State outfit that I gave her.  Pam is living in Australia for the next 2 years.  I was at the supermarket at 1030pm when she text me, so when I got home we Skyped since it was Sunday afternoon there.  It was so fun to see her, the kangaroo's across her street and her cute kids.  We had so much fun when we lived in Kentucky.  I'm telling you if I could go back to any year of my life to relive, it might just be the year I lived in Kentucky.  There are so many wonderful people there and it is so beautiful there.  I had so much fun living with my cousin Emilie and of course going to the GAP outlet, Natural Bridge and the Glitz add to my memories of my last year of grad school!
4.  I was excited to get the details this week of the Teal Diva 5K in Charlotte.  Remember one of my goal's this year was to participate in an Ovarian Cancer run?  Hoping all of my Charlotte friend's who supported me during my treatment will support this great cause and run or walk with me.
5.  Today my friend Holly and her husband Jack (visiting from Nampa) came over for an hour for banana splits and to chat.  Last night when I was at the supermarket I bought some girl scout Samoa cookie ice cream.  As I was going to reach for the "light" ice cream, I saw hiding in the back of the freezer 2 containers and had to grab one of them, since there was only room for one in my tiny freezer.  Yep, I gave into the pressure of my taste buds, but it was so worth it.
6.  Tonight my ward had a meet and greet with some of the new member's and people on the ward counsel.  We played a get to know you game and had such a great time.  It is nice to get to know more people in my incredible ward!
7.  3 shift's this week and then I get a break for the weekend to spend time celebrating moms 60th birthday and Kadyns baptism.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

45 Minutes

I'm always amazed at what I can accomplish each morning knowing I have to be somewhere at a certain time, that somewhere meaning work.  I try to prepare meals ahead of time so that I can grab and go, but given I've worked the last 8 of 9 days, got home at 1030 last night and have 6 more shifts to go before having a weekend off, my mind is always thinking about my future meals.  Yep I'm always thinking food, because when you work as much as I do without being able to leave to get something prepared (and being the healthy eater that I am) you have to have it ready and available when the hunger pains begin.  This isn't a post about food, at least that wasn't my intent.

This morning and every morning I go to the gym.  This morning it was cycle from 8-8:55.  I'm home by 9, sweating and still not cooled, down even though the windows were open on my 2 minute drive home.  I turn the AC down from the usual 75 to 72 so that I'm not sweating as I try to apply my makeup.  In my mind I have to leave right at 945 so that I can stop across the street at Sonic, because I am out of crushed ice (I'm addicted to crushed ice) and the clinic I'm working at today doesn't have it.

After turning on the Today Show, because I need background noise and to be filled in on the latest news, I hop in a cool shower.  A few minutes later I lather myself in lotion, because it is so dry here this has become part of my normal routine; I use the Costco Kirkland brand. 

I put my moisturizer on my face and forget trying to finish my make up until I've cooled down.  I pull out my container of already prepared Steel Cut Oats from the fridge hit the 1 minute button on the microwave and when it finishes add some hazelnut sugar free/fat free creamer, strawberries that I cut up during the reheat session, blackberries and sit down to watch the Today show as I eat for 5 minutes. This is like eating dessert.  It is so yummy, but healthy! 

I'm finally cooled off and then realize I need something to eat for lunch.  I had pulled out a turkey sausage from the freezer last night and put it in the fridge to defrost.  I cut it up and put it in a frying pan, cut up my celery for my snack later in the day, run into the bathroom to apply more makeup, back to stir the turkey, dry my hair and then I'm back to sweating again.  I add the sauerkraut to the almost burned turkey sausage while brushing my teeth in the kitchen.  Some  finishing touches on my hair and face, get dressed, put lunch into 2 different containers so that I have some for the next few days, cut up my grapefruit, grab a protein bar, an apple, my already cooked broccoli, a handout for my new visiting teachee for later tonight, my new book on CD to listen to on my way to work and out the door at 9:45!  I love how I've accomplished so much in such a short time and I still have time to cross the street for my coke zero and extra cup of ice before hitting the freeway for my 35-40 minute jaunt to work.

Oh, yes my kitchen has dirty dishes in the sink, but I did make time to wipe up the spilled sauerkraut off of the stove, so that I don't come home to crusted leftovers that I have to scrub to remove.

How working mother do it I have no idea, but praises to them.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bob's Low Calorie Chicken Salad

I adapted Bob Harpers Low Calorie Chicken Salad recipe to my liking last week and really loved it...

4 oz. chicken breast I used a chicken from Costco
1 1/2 T plain fat free greek yogurt I don't really like greek yogurt, which is why I added some mayo which made this so much better.
1 tsp. olive oil mayo (my addition)
A few sugar coated walnuts from Winco
chopped  gala apples
chopped green onions
chopped celery
1 tsp red wine vinegar
cinnamon (my addition)

I ate this without lettuce, because I was too busy at work to combine everything.  But I'm sure it would be just as delicious with lettuce.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Super Sabbath Instead of Fabulous Friday

1.  After running some errands on Friday we picked Tony up from the airport and then went to dinner at our new favorite pizza joint, Fire Pie.  It is so yummy.  You can put as many toppings on your pizza and salad for the same low price.  The balsamic vinaigrette dressing is the bomb!
2.  Saturday morning we went to my cousin Amy's baby shower, to the Aloha Festival where we had delicious snowcones and spent the evening eating BBQ at Rudy's with our friends the Sondrups.
3.  Sunday we attended church and I made the ever delicious Limeade with mint and cucumbers and Tuna Salad!
4.  I said goodbye to Tony Monday morning and started my very long week.  Mom and Dad flew home Tuesday morning and left me all alone!  It's kind of nice to walk around the house with little on!  I'm so glad they were able to come spend 5 weeks with me their favorite daughter!  We had so much fun and made many memories.  I love you mom and dad! Come again anytime!  Have you noticed how much mom and I wear stripes?  Especially navy blue and white?  Like mother like daughter!
I spent most of Tuesday in Casa Grande learning computer stuff and then had a visit from my Bishop and one of his counselors that evening.  They are so nice and it was fun to get to know them and feel like a part of their ward.
5.  Wednesday my VT's came over for at least 2 hours.  It was fun to get to know more people in my ward.  I really am blessed to have such a fantastic ward.
6.  Thursday-Saturday....very long days of working, like 14 hour days.  Good thing I'm only going to work 9 days a month.  The days actually went by very quickly and it was nice that I only had to go across the street to sleep in the sleep rooms that they provide.  They were actually very comfy.  I also love that they have crushed ice that I can chomp on all day long!
7.  Today we had an amazingly spiritual ward conference.  The theme was "How having faith in Jesus Christ requires us to take action to allow changes in our lives."   Here are a few insights that I gathered:
-The softer word for repentance is change.
-Ponder the pathway of your feet
-We show our faith through obedience to our commitments.
-The way will not always be crystal clear, but if we will have faith like Enos we will be directed by the Lord to do what He needs us to do and be where He needs us to be.
-The people in Joshua 3 couldn't just walk by the water and it would part, they had to step into the water before it parted.
President Monson has said, "Wishing will not make it so.  The Lord expects our thinking.  He expects our action.  He expects our labors.  He expects our testimonies.  He expects our devotion.  When we plan prayerfully and work diligently to achieve our goals, the Lord magnifies our efforts and helps us reach our potential."
8.  Tonight I went to Aunt Leslies for a delicious dinner of grilled chicken, fruit, orange glazed rolls, a big green salad and brownies with the best butterfinger ice cream!  Deborah made a very yummy fruit dip that consisted of 1 vanilla pudding package, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup milk and 6 oz. orange juice concentrate.  It was nice to visit with everyone, especially Leslie and Gordon when everyone left.  They make me feel so very loved.
9.  My 2014 blog book has been created.  Now I will just have to wait for it to come in the mail!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

You're Pregnant

Today I had a patient who came in with vague epigastric abdominal pain which she had had for only 5 days.  She had never been pregnant and told me that after a few rounds of invitro without success her and her husband just decided they would never be able to have children....until today.

I told her that her sx. were likely related to acid reflux or a viral syndrome, but that because she was having abdominal pain that I'd like to get a pregnancy test just to be sure.  I had even written up my chart as if this was acid reflux. 

We did a pregnancy test and immediately it turned positive.  She was in quite the shocked state.  It was actually pretty funny, but I was so happy for her.  We put her positive pregnancy test in a bag and I told her she should do something fun to surprise her husband. 

It's kind of fun being the person to surprise someone who hasn't been able to have a baby that they are pregnant, even though I felt like I kind of sprang it on her.  We both thought for sure it would be negative and we were both very surprised.  Happy Day for this patient of mine!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Come Wednesday

Come Wednesday my life is about to get very busy.  In the next 2 months I will be working every day (nine, 12 hour shifts and the rest 8's) except for when I go home the end of March for 4 days, Sundays, April 4 and April 16, before going to a CME April 23-29.  That is a lot of working days, which means I will probably not have anything exciting to blog about, but if I do, I promise I'll blog about it!. 

Life should slow down some in May.  I can't believe I'm talking about May already.  But it will be here before we know it with temperatures close to 100.  For now I'm enjoying 70's and 80's, evening walks, cool mornings and the smell of citrus blossoms which I caught a whiff of on our walk last night!

It has been so fun to have Mom and Dad here for the past month.  They have worked so hard at helping me put things in place so that I feel like my house is a home.  For this I'm so grateful.  I've relaxed a bit on my exercise program, ate out more than I typically do and eaten more sweets than I should.  Needless to say I'm a bit scared to step on the scales, but I'll have a little time each day to work out in the mornings and the evenings.  Starting today...I already did a spinning class this morning and this evening I will go on my last walk with mom and dad. 

Spring is here and soon Summer.  Did I mention that I always feel like I'm on vacation living here in Phoenix?  I love it!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tropical Smoothie

I made the best smoothie to go along with our breakfast burritos on wheat tortilla shells this morning.  Mom told me to write it down so here it is:

1 Orange
Handful of frozen Pineapple
Handful of frozen Mango
A squeeze of Agave
1/4 banana
tsp vanilla
Handful of Spinach

Blend and Enjoy!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Fabulous Friday Is Back!

Fabulous Friday is Back!  Yes, I've taken a month off, but I think I'm back to my normal routine of life, well at least I'm feeling settled and most things are put in their place for now so I should be back to my normal FF.
1.  I'm going to have another niece or nephew early this Fall as Tyler and Danielle are expecting the end of Sept/first of Oct.  It is always so fun to have a baby in our family.  I adore these nieces and nephews of mine and love each of them with all my heart!
2. In celebration of having lived after a diagnosis of OVC for 2 years, I bought tickets for our family to go to Disneyland in September.  My nieces and nephews have been wanting to go for a long time and they are all in love with Disney Characters.  I'm excited to see their joy when they experience The Happiest Place on Earth.  They are all the perfect ages to enjoy the magic of this place.
3.  My friend Linda Cook-Jensen and her sister have been wintering in Phoenix.  Last week we met up for dinner at an English Pub.  They had the best cream brulee and dad loved the meatloaf'!  It is always so good to see her.
4.  Saturday evening I took mom to a dinner theater for an early 60th Birthday present.  We had a delicious dinner and then watched the most amazing Les Miserables.  This was at Arizona Broadway Theater.  The play was one of the best I've ever seen.  Mom and I had such a great time!
5.  Sunday we had dinner with cousins at Aunt Leslies and my cousin Amy came from Utah with her new darling baby.  I love family Sunday dinners!  That evening I slipped over to see my friend and hiking buddy Ofa.  I am missing our weekly hikes.  Hopefully when I get on a schedule I will get back to hiking.  It's hard to have a schedule when you have visitors, because for some reason I have this mindset that I'm on vacation too.  I think living in Phoenix makes me always feel like I'm on vacation.
6. Yesterday we drove 3 hours to cross the boarder into Mexico and to visit our friends the Jensens who were down there having dental work.  We had the most delicious tamales and shrimp tacos for lunch and then we went shopping.  I can't believe how you can walk into a pharmacy and buy medications without a prescription.  It was great.  Not that I needed anything, but I bought some medications for others.  I also bought a pair of leather flip flops, a hat, a great wooden spoon/soup spoon, some vanilla and some toffee covered almonds.  We had such a fun time down there.  The Jensens have a trailer that is like a small apartment, it was nice and relaxing to sit in there and listen to the wind chimes.
7.  My brother Tony flew in tonight and will be here for the weekend.  We have several fun things planned, which I've been looking forward to for weeks!
8.  Do you want to see what MVY looks like in the Winter?  This beautiful picture was taken there this week.  It's hard to believe most of the country has snow when it is in the 70's-80's here in Phoenix.  I haven't missed the Winter snow one bit.  I am excited to be going back there this Summer!
9.  I finally got privileges so I can start working for EMP next week!  I'm going to work until the end of April both jobs and then only work for Onsite Care as needed, because they found someone to work through the Summer.  Remember I was only PRN for them, but they needed me until they filled the position.  I have so much enjoyed working there and am actually a little sad, but I will still be able to work for them some.  
10.  I have started a little herb garden here which I'm excited to start using in my cooking.  I love fresh herbs, they make everything so much tastier.  First thing I'm going to make will be a drink that my friend Melanie made when I was in MVY which includes limeade, mint and cucumbers.  It's super refreshing and delicious.