Friday, January 21, 2011

Mid January Update

Well I had a few minutes of down time so I decided to give everyone an update on where I am right now.

I met with a personal trainer the first week of January and we decided to start me on some weight machines. I have been working on getting settled in to a routine as to when is the best time for me to go to the gym. The week of the 10th was not all that successful so I decided to try a different time this week, and I am proud to say that I have been to the gym 3 days!!

I had thought about going when the kids were both at school, but that took up the majority of my time to run errands when they are not with me. So I changed my thinking and have been going right after I pick JB up from school on MWF. This works out really well because the kids are entertained in the nursery and I have Mommy alone time while focusing on me. I have been trying to avoid the scale because I am lifting weights, and I have not perfected my routine yet. My mindset of gym time has already started changing. It is becoming more about enjoying my alone time and less about an inconvenience of taking time out of my day. Why did I not start this sooner?

I am feeling pretty successful so far about getting into a routine and schedule, and I am loving it!!

School started this week, and I am enjoying it. I decided back in November to limit myself to just one class, especially since my class is Anatomy and Physiology I. My other reason being it has been 7 years since I graduated with my first degree, and nearly 5 years since I have been out in the work force. So far I am very happy that I decided to start taking my Medical Terminology course back in October. If I had not done this I believe I might have been overwhelmed. Things are going well, and I still feel like I am making the right decision here.

Taylor and JB are both back in school after the Holiday's and we are for the most part healthy (apart from the occasional sniffle and sneeze). Things are going well, and we have been able to enjoy some much needed home time after all of our traveling before Christmas.

Hope everyone is well!!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

The next logical step...

As all of you know we spent 2010 reducing my risk of breast cancer. Now that surgery and reconstruction are behind me it only seems logical to start focusing on the next step. Surveillance is of course very important and you can rest assured that I will be visiting my doctors for the recommended screening every six months. So, other than surveillance what do I feel is the next step?

I feel that in 2011 my thoughts and research need to focus a little more on my overall health. Each and every person that we encounter has a different opinion on what is important to our health. I will offer myself as a perfect example of this. Twelve months ago my idea of what was necessary for a healthy lifestyle was completely different than what it is today. What I considered "enough" for my daily activity is much different today than what it was last January. Supplements and vitamins were something I would look into in the next ten years. So much has changed, and I believe for the better.

The new fad seems to be focused on clean eating and physical fitness. I would like to start by giving my input on a few of these. So far, I can tell you that I am no where near perfect at any of these, but I do believe that they can make a positive impact if applied. Clean eating is a new key phrase for 2011. I have read many on-line articles about it, and it is easy to see that if implemented it would be valuable to any ones diet. For the Timmons family I have tried to implement my own version of this method.

Clean Eating - Betsey's steps

1. Avoid the inner isles of the grocery store. Stick to the perimeter. By doing this your waistline and your pocketbook are both benefited.

2. Fresh!!! Processed foods lack the nutritional value of fresh, and honestly Fresh tastes better in my opinion.

3. Make a list before you go to the store. I find that meal planning helps me out a great deal! If you get tired of the same old meals all the time I recommend this site. They offer easy meal planning and a grocery list. I used it for several years. I still have most of my weekly planners, and I pull them out of my binder when we need a little variety.

4. Portion size is a big deal! It is so easy to forget what we are putting into our bodies when we go out to eat. Many restaurants have nutritional information on their websites, take a look before you go out. We also need to think about portion size at home. I utilize calorie counters to get an idea of what a serving should be. If you are unsure of what 3 oz or other measurements look like invest in a scale, or borrow one and take pictures for future reference.

5. Add an extra vegetable or fruit to your day. Another tip of mine: my kids do not eat fruits and veggies consistently so I supplement with V8 juices. Also, if meat and veggies are all that's available they are more likely to eat them.

Physical Fitness

1. There are some of us out there who are not going to go to the gym, and that is ok. Invest in a pedometer. This is any easy way to be informed. Try to increase the number of steps you take each day. This is simple, but can make a big difference.

2. If you are going to the gym set up an appointment with a personal trainer. I think this is good to do from time to time. You can utilize your trainers knowledge to learn new exercises, focus on areas you are concerned, and many other things. Post surgery I still have certain exercises I cannot perform. My trainer had a few different methods of working the same muscle groups. Some of these methods worked for me while others did not. We are each unique in what works and does not work for us in the gym, a trainer can only help with this.

3. Get some variety! The same exact workout can become tedious overtime. Utilize all that your gym has to offer. Pick up a new schedule of classes and see if you can pick up a class once a week to give your work out a little spice.

4. What can you do at home for those days or weeks that chaos occurs? Pick up a pair of free weights from the discount store. If you have them available at home you can supplement for those times when your good intentions come to ruin because of your busy schedule.

5. Take advantage of the outdoors! January is not really the month that we think about being outdoors, but don't forget about it. Jump on the trampoline with the kids, go to the park and play chase, take the dog for a walk, ride your bike, or so many other possibilities. If the weather allows it go outside, and soak up some Vitamin D!!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thank You!

You have been so much to me this year:

an answered prayer

comfort even when I did not ask

strength in the difficult situations

an explanation when I had none

words when they did not seem possible

a visible Angel when I was scared

confidence where it was once absent

ideas that were not present the day before

understanding where is should not have been

compassion that could have been overlooked

a new definition for what is "My Life"

faith that I had not known before

an untraveled path for me to walk...

Thank you God, for all that you were for me and continue to be!!

Please allow me to be something for someone in 2011.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello 2011!

Were do we begin... I think we can first and foremost say it has been one heck of a year. This time last year Cody was in Dallas going to school to learn how to fly a new airplane, and I was packing up our house in Denver City in preparation for the impending move. A few weeks and several u-hauls later we started to settle into our new northern outpost. All in all, January was fairly uneventful in comparison to what we would soon be experiencing as a family. Katie, my sister, was diagnosed with breast cancer and later that same week I was diagnosed with the BRCA 2 mutation.

February brought with it surgery for Katie, and more doctors visits for myself.

March was also busy. I had my Prophlactic bilateral mastectomy, and Katie celebrated her 30th birthday by starting chemotherapy.

April and May were filled with weekly doctors visits and preparations for another surgery.

June wrapped up my breast reconstruction! My expanders were exchanged for implants on June 18th!!!

July was heavenly! I was fortunate enough to be wisked away to Florida and the virgin islands for 10 days!

August was the start of a new era, my little man JB went to big boy school. Pre-k has become the highlight of JB's routine!

September was marked with more doctors visits. More importantly though Katie and I were asked to share our story several times during October and September.

October was very busy. I participated in Race for the Cure events in both Amarillo and Lubbock. Katie and I were interviewed several times, and were the speakers at an event put on by the Joe Arrington Cancer Center in Lubbock.

November came around with Little Miss Taylor's 3rd birthday, a Thanksgiving trip to Ruiodoso, a wedding, and a never ending list of Christmas gifts to buy.

Oh, and did I mention I started taking an on-line course back in September, and preparing to go back to school this January.

December did not bring a moments rest. By the time Christmas came around Cody and I calculated that we had been away 3 times more on weekends from the beginning of October till Christmas than we had been home.

Needless to say my hopes for this year are as follows:
1. Less time spent in doctors offices and hospitals.
2. More time spent at home on weekends.
3. Successful completion of anatomy and physiology 1 & 2.
4. Attend FORCE conference in June!
5. Continue outreach to anyone I can help!
6. Continue to learn the do's and dont's of BRCA mutations.
7. Give God more of my undivided attention!!

Happy New Year!!

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