Saturday, May 09, 2009


Yesterday I actually got some stuff done around the house and ran a couple of errands. We went to Paul & Libby's for Ramona's 70th birthday, and I stayed awake. (At 8pm I was exausted, but there was still the ride home....but I made it.)

This morning is the West Seattle Community Yard Sale and I hope to find a table to use as a potting bench, and maybe some tea party stuff. (Ryan's hoping that I find bike stuff.) And then I'm delivering soup to Habitat for Humanity for lunch, and then the rest of the day is quiet and I hope to get the rest of the garden prepped for planting tomatoes etc. tomorrow.

I've decided that part of the way that I feel is PMS meets Menopause. The little bit of estrogen produced by my adrenal glands (well, they produce aromatase, which is converted to estrogen in the body) feels like a tidal wave and my whole body is "off". I am really hoping that things regulate soon and I start to see improvements in my overall health instead of the backsliding I've been feeling.

My hands and feet still ache, but the sharpness has dissipated a bit - so that is an improvement!

This is my life, and I want to make the best of it. It was a rough week....I'm hoping it gets easier soon.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sleep - with help

I had my annual exam at my general practicioner's this week. We talked about my sleep issues, and how I wake up all the time. She expressed concern about my lack of REM sleep, and all I could do was agree....I know about that, but what is a girl to do?

We decided that I would start taking Ambien CR. I can't tell you how much I hate messing up my body with drugs, but at some point the benefits outweigh the risks.

So, last night I had my first full night of sleep in.....years? I woke up once at 5am but I was able to get back to sleep. I have that post-drug-haze this morning, but the longer I'm up the more it lifts. I deeply, deeply wish that I will have more energy today because of last night's sleep.

Also, I spent some time on last night, and found a whole lot of women with symptoms like mine. On the YSC boards most women are pre-menopausal and so don't take AIs, but on the boards the women are older (on average) and I got some good information. I also found one other woman who went off AIs and is having worsened side effects, and that is comforting.

So today I'm muddling through. I am convinced that it will get better, because I am taking steps to make it better. I will pursue every avenue possible, because this is my life and I'm going to have the best life that is possible.

I watched Oprah yesterday (hey that's what people do when they don't feel well, right?) and Elizabeth Edwards was the guest. I was mad that it was mostly about the affair, because I was less interested in that and more in her reactions toward cancer (she has stage IV breast cancer). She said something to the effect of "People think that their life will be a smooth road, they don't expect big bumps in the road. Well, I think that the big bumps are inevitable, and it is my job to make the best life I can, taking those bumps into consideration. This is not the road I chose, but I can choose what to do with my life despite these bumps in the road."

(I'm paraphrasing, and probably poorly. Apologies to Ms. Edwards.)

So, I am reminded yet again that this is what I must do. I've had some crying lately, and confusion, and fear, but I can craft the life I want. And I want a beautiful life. I am determined to go out and get it....despite the bumps.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Misery loves company

I went to and found someone who just went off AIs and feels worse, too. I feel bad for her, bad for me....and not so alone.

Prayers for Hannah

Remember the sweet 10 year old girl (she just turned 11!) that I told you about? She's in surgery RIGHT NOW for her mastectomy. I happened to click on her blog and read the update that she'd be in surgery at 2pm today, a bit earlier than planned so that she'd be out for Mother's Day.

Prayers for Hannah are flying from me. Prayers for all of the little girls who one day face breast cancer....and particular prayers for this youngest of young patients to have to undergo this.

PS No, I've never met Hannah. I've never had any contact with her except through her website, and one message from her Uncle Jordan in response to my post about her. But how can I not be touched deeply? She could be my daughter. She could be your daughter. And I know all too well about breast cancer and its I care.

Something... wrong with me.

I have not felt this fatigued since I did chemo, and I don't know why. It feels worse day by day! I spent the morning at Tessa's school (my Thursday morning routine) and now I feel like napping. Except that I haven't worked this week, the house is a mess, I need to do errands....

And all that makes me want to cry because I just don't know how I'm going to do it. This is SO unlike me, I can't even tell you. It makes me so sad. Where is my energy?

I still have my workout clothes on, but I haven't worked out yet.

I have got to figure this out.

I am bailing on a fun girls' night out tonight because how on earth would I enjoy myself at 8pm and beyond?

This is ridiculous. Aggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

And I am irritable. REALLY irritable. Please let me apologise in advance. I am so miserable right now that it's leaking out everywhere, and if you're in my path it might leak on you. I'm sorry. I'm sure that I love you, I've just got issues.

Today I feel irritable, my house is a mess;
I spilled all my coffee, and I don't fit my best dress.
My energy's sapped, my hormones awry
And when I look up there are clouds in the sky.

Today I am irritable, hope tomorrow is better.
Some change! Anything! Even the weather.



I'm signed up to run a half marathon at the end of next month.

I'm more out of shape than I have been in 4 years. And at my highest weight in 4 years. (Ugh.)

The doc said, "Get exercising." There are a million reasons to do it.

Today I've got my running clothes on. Fingers crossed that this gives me energy rather than taking away more energy....

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

State of being

It is kind of scary to feel this low-energy fatigue.

I used to be energetic, right? I used to do all kinds of things! Did I use up all of my energy already?

I'm in bed. And I'm so tired.

I went for my annual physical today. I'm going to wait to see if going off Aromasin helps, and if I don't feel a bit better in a month then they're going to send me for a sleep study. I am awake often through the night and I feel like I don't get any REM sleep and of course that could be causing problems. If it's joint pain from the Aromasin and hot flashes that are keeping me up, then maybe it will get better on its own. I also have a sinus polyp, so do I have problems like apnea going on, too?

I'm also going to try a "sleep aid" - Ambien CR - again. Since I don't have trouble falling asleep, I have trouble staying asleep, the controlled release might help.

I am going to figure this out. It is impacting my every minute these days and I'm so tired of that. (Bad pun.) Enough already.

Bit better

Well, I skipped dinner last night (and those who know me know that I NEVER skip dinner!) and tossed and turned last night in bed, but I'm feeling a bit better today. Slogging through!

I have my annual physical today, so I happen to be going to the doc today anyway.

I'm sure that this is nothing, but for "nothing" it's highly inconvenient. Enough already!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I feel crummy. Uh oh. (Sigh.)

Yup, it's still me

Exhausted. 5:48pm. IRRITATED.

Simplicity Circles and Life

Last night was our second simplicity circle, kindly led by Rev. Peg. Ryan and I have elected to hold it at our house so that we can both attend without worrying about a babysitter. (This is a mixed blessing. Tessa was full of energy yesterday, and I didn't do a good job of balancing my mom duties with my simplicity zen. Hmm. I'll do better next time.)

I was fascinated by the fact that I was the only one in the group who viewed simplicity as about time; the others in the group were widely focused on de-cluttering. This does make sense to me - if you can't locate your stuff, it's actually a time issue. For me, though I struggle with some clutter (who doesn't in America?!) I generally feel like I have it under enough control that I just want to focus on time right now. How is it that I feel pulled in so many directions?

Every minute of every day feels full. When I am as fatigued as I am, that is particularly difficult. I need downtime, and I realize that I don't give myself much of it. As I add "working mom" - even part time, even from home - to my list of life, I am realizing this more than ever. When I took on the project, I didn't let anything else go. Well, where did I think my time would come from?

I am learning how to say "no" to many volunteer opportunities, even though it pains me. I'm still doing volunteer work at Alki and Family Promise, but not as much as I had been doing. My house is clean, but not as clean as before. I'm still doing home cooked meals, but yesterday I bought a rotisserie chicken from PCC as the meal's centerpiece. I'm still gardening, but it always goes more slowly than I hoped.

Little adjustments here and there. I will find my balance. But simplicity isn't simple, it's complicated.

Are you living simply? Are you embracing your innermost ideal self and letting go of the clutter of your life, whether that's stuff or time? How are you paying attention to what is real and best and important, and letting go of the minutea that gets in the way? I am really interested in this dialogue - please share your thoughts in a comment or an email. I'd love to know what you're up to.

"Live simply that others may simply live." - Ghandi

I'm pretty convinced that I am on to something here....but I have a long ways to go.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Waiting for her to show up

I've been off Aromasin for a few days now.

My new self has not shown up. It is 8:04 and I'm going to crawl into bed now, while Ryan and Tessa are reading together. (She's reading HIM a story! I LOVE IT! She still insists that we read to her, which I also love.)

Anyway. I'm tired of feeling like this. I am not to expect a change for a month, but man this stinks.

It does not help that I was awake about a zillion times last night. Grrrr.

I'm waiting for great changes...

West Seattle Days

This morning, after coffee and snuggles in bed (I love it when Tessa comes bounding in on the weekends, filled with smiles and snuggles!), Tessa and I took off for the Junction, on foot with Shep and an empty basket, and Ryan set to working on a friend's bike.

Tessa and I spent a few hours at the Sustainable West Seattle Fair, and we even got our picture taken with the mayor, (I am hoping that exposure to politicians will help her to feel connected to the political process; she's had her picture taken with Mayor Nickels and Gov. Gregoire now.) which you can view on the West Seattle Blog at Tessa got her "Undriver" license, whereby she promised to encourage her mom to carpool, skip the ride, bike, bus, or walk. We got free "green" lightbulbs, some magazine previews (for "Yes" and "Edible Seattle"), and literature about saving Puget Sound, visiting Camp Long, and the rest. Tessa got an on-the-spot crochet lesson with Elena (love running into friends!), and got her face painted by CoolMoms for a Hot Planet.

And then we headed to Skillet for lunch, and for meeting with Michele & Dave (Everett also in attendance, but Elliott was with his Grandma and Grandpa). We picnicked in the grass, Tessa picked weed-flowers from an abandoned lot, and we enjoyed the sun. And we also went to the Farmer's Market - smoked salmon, Cirrus cheese, asparagus, greens, the last frozen raspberries....


And now I've set the timer to take a half hour break, before I get in a couple hours of work on the book in preparation for tomorrow's meeting with my boss, Fred. I'll rest, then I'll dive back in to work on a sticky transition paragraph that's bugging me. Tessa and Ryan are off to a birthday party for a classmate....and Tessa is crocheting in the car.

What a lovely day.