Saturday, November 19, 2016

Down a leg for the year...

Good news: my dissertation is being published and I am done! Amazing - I can have a normal life again!

Well. Until the bad news.

I fell while hiking two weeks ago (leaves on a steep slope) and messed up my ankle.  I just got the official diagnosis, a level III sprain that can take up to three months to heal. I am stuck in an air cast, prescribed rest, ice, elevation and physical therapy.


 So for the past two weeks, my 10 to 15,000 step count per day has gone down to under 2000.  And I am up 4 pounds. I got really used to eating a certain way because I was very active every day. But now I have some changes to make if I'm going to be decently sedentary for a while!

It's a challenge -  we are hosting Thanksgiving, and my sons birthday party the Saturday after. But I'm tightening up my usual, daily meals. Also going to focus on some exercises that don't use my ankle - arms and core.  I don't need all my hard work losing the baby weight to be undone :)

Other than that - things are going ok! I'm reading for fun and watching tv again (Westworld!) and getting to enjoy nights at home (or going out to see friends, 100% guilt free -  no school work hanging over my head). Hunter's turning one on Wednesday and is a delightful ball of sass and energy. I'm excited to celebrate with him!

That's it for me, for now. I might blog a little more, because one, I need something to do and two, it might help keep me more accountable as I recover with this ankle!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Still kicking!!

Hello! It's clearly been a very long time since I have posted. But a few of you have emailed me from time to time to see how I am doing, which is super nice! But I bet there's not too many others out there still checking in here :-) and that's OK, but I thought I'd give you a little update to let you know how it's going.

 I just wanted to say that everything is going really well. I'm not a statistic, I've lost the pregnancy weight, I'm back around 125 to 128 pounds on any given day.  I have gotten back my fitness, been hiking mountains and sharing this world that I love with my son, which was my dream! I am in the process of submitting the paperwork to finish my dissertation for a December graduation. And still looking for that dream job!

 My son is almost 1 years old, he has been walking for about three weeks, has six teeth, and is the highlight of my every day. He is funny, bright, bold, and a sweet little love.

 Things have been going well! I didn't go radio silent because they weren't, only because I've been very busy.  When I haven't been working on my dissertation, I've been spending all my time watching my son grow.  My priorities are him, my health, and then my career. So blogging fell by the wayside! I hope to return to it regularly once the dissertation is absolutely submitted and done.

 I am on Instagram as @mountainwolfe  if anyone wants to follow me! I'll follow you back, I miss the community that blogging brought me.

Till then!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

All About a Mesothelioma Lawyer

When someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma, they may find that they need an attorney to help them with their case.  This is a disease that is rare, and there is little to be said about the condition.  The rate of this disease is on the increase and there are new lawyers that are trying to settle many cases for different people.  They have stepped in for the rights of the people to help them with their case.
Many victims of this disease need to have a mesothelioma lawyer to help them with their fight.  These lawyers and law firms will deal with the victims and their families to help them claim the right compensation that they deserve from the companies that are responsible for their problems.  These lawsuits result in a lot of money being won by the families when the right lawyer or firm handles them.

Handling asbestos causes mesothelioma.  This comes from working in an environment that is affected by this deadly material or by someone that is contracted to remove it.  Most of the time, the workers are made clear of the dangers that can be caused by working with this type of material.  However, some employers will allow little or no protection from the material when the employees are handling it.  These workers are entitled to compensation for their work.
Today there are many mesothelioma lawyers to choose from and there are many that are right for you.  Many of these lawyers have dealt with this type of suit in the past and know the correct way to handle it.  Those people that are looking for a lawyer should choose someone with a good history and experience in this type of case.  Most lawyers are happy to provide clients with information that may be helpful in using them for your services.  They will show past cases with the names deleted to show proof of their victory.

It is a good idea to find out if the mesothelioma lawyer that you are looking into has won any of their cases or not.  These elements can make all the difference when it comes to trying to find the right lawyer to help you with your situation.  It is a good idea to do as much research as you can on the entire situation.  You may be able to determine your future when you choose their right mesothelioma lawyer for you and your case.

When it comes to being sick with a disease that could have been prevented, it is hard to deal with.  Finding the right mesothelioma lawyer to help you in your fight against these companies is a good start.  You will be fighting for something that means so much to a lot of people and it will be worth it in the end.

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.

It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:

1.    If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy.  Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.

2.    Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.

3.    Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.

4.    Biological therapy using interleukin 2.

5.    Immunotherapy where the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.

6.    Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy. 

7.    Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.

8.    Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.

9.    Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.

10.    Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy. 

Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Check in!

Wow!! Life is crazy! In a nutshell: I have a new job, am working on my second round of edits on my dissertation, and life with Hunter keeps me busy enough without those other things!

Some pics of my little man:

Life is good :) Still working on health and fitness- just another part of life really! Down another couple pounds, right at 140. So lost 12 pounds the last 3 months - pretty good rate! Will be back where I want to be in the summer if I keep it up :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Picture; Back to Work

Here's a little picture update of me (Hunter is usually the star of photographs now!):

Feeling ok - but definitely still wanting to lose these last 10 pounds. Clothes don't fit great and I'm not loving my shape right now... But not hating it either! Progress is being made.

Work is lame. I'd much rather be home, cuddling my boy and changing his diapers, letting him feed all day!! Pumping at work in a quiet, lonely room stinks. I was getting out a lot, socializing and whatnot, so I don't even appreciate the "adult" time.

Eh. I'll figure it out.

Just focusing on keeping the family healthy and happy for now!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Alive and well!

I got a comment from Vickie asking if we're all doing ok-- and I wanted to pop in to say that we are!!

However, being a new mom, finding a new job, trying to jump start my health and fitness, etc is a lot more exhausting and time consuming than expected!! I spend the hour I have to myself (given to me by my husband) reading or showering :)

But we're happy! Hunter is verrrry sensitive and cries pretty easily (very easily over stimulated, doesn't like to be set down, etc) so that's been challenging. I go back to work on Tuesday though, so he's going to have to establish some new routines.

Hunter sleeps well now, though, so that's awesome. 5-8 hour stretches at night, usually followed by another 3!

He's also insanely cute:

Things are going well in most fronts. My advisor is liking my dissertation so far. I'm potentially close to a new job. I've lost a few more pounds. Hunter is healthy and growing. 

Can't complain!!

Might blog more once I'm back at work and have forced free time on my breaks!

Love to you all <3

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Slow Progress

I've been making lots of progress in making good choices to fuel my (and my son's!) body. But I've also not completely gone without treats.

Breakfast was eggs and toast, lunch was turkey wraps with mango/avocado salsa and rice pudding:

Last night I went out with a couple friends and enjoyed a tasting flight of beer (I missed beer!):

I'm walking as much as I can - did 4 miles on Sunday with my little family :) And slowly incorporating more body weight exercises during my day (I'm really looking forward to having my core strength back!).

I'm trending slightly downward with my weight, so that's good- but mostly I see my shape changing as I get active again, my posture improves and I challenge my muscles!

This is definitely a slow process- especially since most of my energies are for my child, now! But I'm making sure to take care of his mom, too :)

Forward progress!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Though I'm not where I used to be in terms of diet and exercise, I'm being consistent with what I am capable of right now. Getting out for at least a short walk every day, tracking my food daily, making a concerted effort to eat my veggies and staying hydrated.

My steps are getting there (the cold weather is tough - some days I bring Hunter to a store to walk around), but I'll admit to just plain old being exhausted some days. But I am getting something done every day, even if it's just a little, and that's a big step!

My meals are staying consistent too - having my three meals a day, like I described in my previous blog post, and a snack or two as well.

Had haddock on corn tortillas with a side of roasted beets and roasted Brussels sprouts yesterday for dinner. Tonight I am having butternut squash soup with peas, and a black bean burger.

Staying consistent with getting vegetables back into my diet has been really big. Even though I've added grains back to my diet, I am aiming for vegetables to make up the majority of my carbohydrates! They just have a lot more nutrition and fill me up a lot better.

So even though my weight isn't dropping consistently, I'm going to stay consistent with my behaviors. I know that breast-feeding may mean that I'm not going to drop any significant amount of weight until I'm done breast-feeding, but setting up these healthy habits for me, to be a better example for Hunter, to be a healthier mom, is important.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Better Meal Choices

I've been on a pretty good streak of just plain old making better choices - with regards to both food and activity.

This was lunch today:

Lettuce, turkey, cheese and mustard with a fig bar snack (I got these on sale at the co-op, they're made with a really great ingredients and fill me up great!)

Breakfast was organic waffles with peanut butter and cottage cheese on the side.

Dinner will be a veggie/butternut squash soup.

If I eat grains with breakfast, like today, I'll do just veggies and protein for lunch. Some days I do protein/fruit for breakfast and will have bread at lunch. Dinners are getting closer to our old, pre-pregnancy dinners - lots of veggies and protein. Last night's dinner was cod with an almond meal crust, broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes.

Taking in a ton of water, too - breastfeeding seems to completely dehydrate me no matter how much I drink!

Still around 145, but definitely feeling MUCH better now that I'm eating better, less junk, more nutrition, and more well rounded (not 80% carbs like when I was eating poorly!).

Takes effort to not indulge in food as pleasure (especially when I'm stressed with Hunter!) but it's worth it. I feel more energetic, for sure :)

Hunter making his weird face in his bear suit :)

Family walk at the golf course- got in 3 miles here!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Weight, Ramping up activity

Things are progressing - slowly but surely  around here! Hunter is six weeks old officially today. I look back at the pictures of him a month ago, and I see how much he has grown, even though it is hard to see day to day.

And even though he still not sleeping much through the night, things are changing around here. Especially because I'm feeling stronger and more capable as the days go on. It is two more weeks until I am cleared for more activity than just walking. But I had chilled out on even walking too much for a while, because I was certain I had pulled my internal incision by doing a little too much too fast.

But I've been getting out this week! Taking some walks with Hunter and the dog, running some errands, going shopping.

And I have been sticking to tracking my food, though I am obviously eating far more than I need to maintain my weight because I want to keep my milk supply up. And I am making plenty of milk, finally. Hunter was growing so fast for a few weeks, because we struggled so much with breast-feeding in the first three weeks, I think he had a lot of catching up to do!

I lost a pound, now at 145. Not much, but a small downward trend. Lost 3 lbs in 30 days - I think that's a good rate that  won't endanger my supply! But best of all, I can see my old body shape coming back as I get more active. I'm not so horrified by the changes anymore... I have hope I'll get somewhere close to normal by/during summer :)

So, despite sleeplessness and feeling overwhelmed, I've been able to stay on the path to getting back to health and fitness (getting more active, eating better foods and tracking what I eat). Just required a little effort not to reach for the cookies and not to always lay in bed (though I do lay in bed a fair amount, taking care of a newborn is hard!). Little changes add up over time - and all I have energy for right now is little changes!

I pumped milk for tonight - leaving Hunter with Chris and am hitting up a girls' night! Pretty excited for adult times!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First meal I've cooked in a loooong time

I've been very, very lucky the past many months to have a husband who has cooked dinner for me, first while I was pregnant and writing my dissertation and second while I've been recovering from my csection and feeding a newborn. I haven't cooked anything more than eggs in maybe half a year!

Also the past month, we've been eating food made by friends and family, ranging from turkey soup to a huge lasagna to vegetarian meals. That's been a big help.

Anyway, it worked out that Hunter was well fed and well rested at dinner time and we were making shrimp - my favorite thing to cook! I handed the baby over to Chris in a good mood and got to cooking.

I made garlic butter shrimp tacos on corn tortillas with guacamole and a side of roasted broccoli:

I'm a little rusty but it was fun to get back in the kitchen. Hunter is still making it difficult for me to cook when I'm alone because he doesn't like to be put down most of the time, but hopefully that will change as he gets older :)

As the flow of prepared food slows, it'll be important for us to get back to cooking and food prep if we want to eat well (do not want to rely on takeout or frozen pizzas!). I think we'll definitely simplify from what we had been doing- more frozen veggies, premarinated meats, etc, but preparing the food ourselves has always been important to us! Chris and I love cooking together and always have a lot of fun doing it, so it's good for our bonding too :)

New Year, New Life, New Goals

I definitely am very excited to see what 2016 will bring - I've never had such a life change as having a baby before (and life has changed pretty drastically for me in the past)!

Hunter is 5 1/2 weeks old, showing a little more personality and I know this year is going to see rapid changes for him! And for our little family :)

I don't really have any resolutions for this year, nothing specific anyway. My goals are just to make sure I try my best to be a good parent, to make sure Hunter is happy and healthy, to make sure I am happy and healthy, and my marriage is happy and healthy. All of those things are connected.

I want all three of us to be active, get out in the world, to learn new things, eat nourishing foods, to stay socially engaged, and to fill our spirits with bright and enlivening things. I want to try my best to start our family off on a good foot :)

So what does that mean? That means putting energy into these goals. To make healthy decisions, not lazy ones. As Hunter continues to get older, I can feel my own energy returning, and know I will be rejoining this world shortly (right now, I'm still spending most of my time in bed feeding him!).

I just really look forward to showing him the world this year. I want him to know how beautiful it is!

For myself personally, my resolutions are definitely to get healthy and work on losing a little bit of baby weight, but not to obsess about it! I had got into a really good place last year of maintaining a healthy, trim body without counting calories or being controlling about it. I don't want Hunter to see a mom who has a bad body image or issues with food. So I'm going to work on myself with a loving demeanor- not a self- or body-hating one. It's more important than ever to have a good relationship with my body so that Hunter knows the body is a beautiful and amazing thing that can carry him through this world!