Thursday, April 30, 2009

Getting Weepy and Some Reflections

Twice in the last couple of days, I've gotten weepy. It was when two different individuals - one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday - made a comment about the way that I deal with uncertainty. I was chatting with both them about these spots on my lungs. I can't remember exactly how the one on Tuesday phrased it, but I did tear up. On Wednesday, however, K. said, "I don't know how you can keep smiling" - this was after I said that I'd been a little worried after reading my CT scan results on Tuesday.

I read another blog in which the author said that someone said, "I'm proud of you" and the person started crying. I completely understand that upwell of emotion. Not sure where it stems from. Perhaps it's because we don't feel that we deserve these kinds of comments? That really, we're scared little kids sometimes and are faking it? Wondering how we can both be strong and scared silly at the same time?

I'm not sure. I don't think I'm faking it when I smile. Sure, there are kernels of worry there, but I do work hard at not letting them grow. I was reading Andrew Weil's book last night, Spontaneous Healing, and in the section that had to do with mind/spirit, he suggested that rather than focusing on worrying about cancer, you should instead focus your mind's attention on everything your immune system is doing to fight it. Imagine your immune system, the chemo drugs, etc., doing their job to keep it all at bay. Focus on the positive, in other words.

I read that before bed and after I'd done some qigong. I have to admit, even though I am taking Tykerb (not a full dose), and usually Tykerb messes with my sleep, I did sleep okay last night, if not long enough. I had a good four hour stretch where I didn't wake up, which is really an improvement over a few months ago. I've been making sleep a priority and I seem to be stringing together these four to five hour stretches more often. I need to get better about the qigong, though. I think it does help me sleep. Also, I've done qigong three times this week, right before bed, and I notice that the stiffness in my hips seems better. The particular qigong form that I do, Eight Treasures, was developed in order to help creaky joints. Hmmm . . .

I have also not been great about coloring mandalas. I colored a few after surgery, but I haven't colored lately. It helps, too.

The day has ended up sunny and in the mid to high 60s today. Can't beat that! I also drove members of Eddie's class to the movie theater today - we watched "Earth". It was narrated by James Earl Jones and was really beautifully shot. There was some predator/prey shots, too, but they stopped short of actually showing animals die. I really enjoyed it and recommend it!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Casualty of the Economy

Actually, it isn't a casualty, but it is a loss to our department. Loretta, our secretary, has been transferred to the college. Loretta has been working for us for 15 or more years; she sent me many of the boob cartoons that I've posted on this blog; and she maintains our departmental website. We had a "transition party" for her today.

We're really going to miss her.

Good luck, Loretta!

Good News Tempered by . . .

the news that a colleague of mine just had two mammograms that showed calcifications. She had two clusters of calcifications and so they plan to do a needle biopsy next Tuesday to see if it is cancer. I hope she doesn't ...

Good News - Oregon's drug repository

Here is a quote from my representative, Sara Gelser, about the drug repository bill:


I just wanted to let you know that your fantastic Charitable Pharmacy/Drug Repository bill just passed the House with no dissenting votes. From here it goes to the Senate, where I think it has a promising future.

If the bill passes the Senate, would you be interested in attending a bill signing ceremony for this bill? It would be great for you to meet the Governor, and get a pen. I'll also get you an official parchment copy of the bill with all the fancy seals when (knock on wood) it is enacted into law!

Thank you so much for your tremendous work on this!


Representative Sara Gelser

I responded by saying that I would most certainly enjoy attending the bill signing! Yippee!

If anyone has a chance, please email your Oregon state senators asking them to support the bill. I will keep you posted as things progress!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nothing New - Just a Busy Productive Week-end

Hello everyone,
Nothing new going on here. Just a normal, busy week-end putzing around at home. Scott worked on the fence and took stuff to the dump and to Goodwill, dad worked on the yard, and I did some spring cleaning at the house, put some stuff up on Craigslist, and ran errands.

We played cards last night and Eddie got to play on the Wii at my friend's house.

I forgot to go to softball today, though. Just too busy putzing around.

Now, I need to grade some papers. I might fall asleep, though. I'm bushed!!

A big thank you to dad and Scott for helping out!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Medical Appointment Tally

From Jan 1 to March 31, a total of 90 days, I had 24 medical or acupuncture or counseling appointments on 22 days. About 24% of my days had at least one appointment.

From April 1 to April 26 (counting ahead to the week-end), I have had 6 appointments on 4 days, or about 15% of my days.

The percentage is improving.

If you recall, when I calculated my appointments for 2008, I only noted the total number of days for which I had appointments (125 days) and some days had multiple appointments, so I guess I didn't count the total number of appointments. But of the 366 (it was a leap year) days in the year, I had appointments on 125 of the days, for 34%.

My guess is that most people do not have medically-related appointments on 24% or 15% of their days. But it's a damn sight better than 34%!!

Here's to seeing that percentage decrease in the coming months! (And, I wonder why I can't work as fast as I want on my writing!)

Four weeks down, six (five, really) to go

What am I talking about?


While my classes are going fairly well, or well enough anyway, I'm really feeling burntout.

I just want more time to write.

I can't wait to go back to Alaska this summer. I haven't been to Nome in two years, I think. That's a scary thought. I really miss the folks up there and my cousins. Hard to believe that my cousin's daughter, Katie, is five or thereabouts. Sheesh.

I'm looking forward to Norway in a couple of weeks. In addition to helping plan an indigenous placenames conference, we will actually get to go out on the land and visit Sami placenames. Soooo cool!

See - that's where my passion lies: in the research. Got to figure out a way to do more of that . . .

Six more weeks of classes to go, but really only five, since I'll be in Norway for a week. Who's counting?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Conversation with my Colleague

As I posted a few days ago, I'm not entirely convinced that those lung spots on the CT are cancer. I chatted about it today with my colleague, who has a Ph.D. in genetics (I think) and whose brother is an MD (I think). S. has been my source for medical research reports - he'll read them and then explain the nitty gritty details for me. (S., I know you read the blog - please correct me!)

First, I asked S. about what he knew about the relationship between tumor markers and metastases, particularly in the lungs. I asked how likely it would be that I would continue to have low tumor markers and still have a metastases. In the end, from what I understand from him, it would be highly unlikely to have a lung metastases with my low tumor markers.

Second, I mentioned how unconcerned Dr. K seemed to be when we talked on the phone last week. He had the CT report for six days before calling me, which suggests that there was no urgency. He said that he just wanted to stay the course in case of my treatment regimen (Tykerb). If it grows in the next three months, then we consider Xeloda. But he said "if". He also told me to go ahead and keep with my long-term planning with work (i.e., years). He gave me the impression that he didn't expect the spots to grow at all. As I reflect back on the conversation, Dr. K seemed really unconcerned.

Third, I mentioned to my colleague that I had a 1cm spot and 2 4mm spots. Now, my first bout with cancer, I had a 2-2.5cm tumor that the doctors said had been growing for 8-10 years (slow-growing). This time, I had tendrils that extended out 5cm and then had spread to my skin and I had bb-sized ones in my bone marrow, which Dr. K estimated had been there for "months". This cancer was "medium growing". My point is that how did a 1cm lesion grow so quickly in 8 months? My cancer wasn't fast growing - those spots weren't on the CT scan in August. If my latest cancer was "medium growing", I just have this impression that it wouldn't be so big so quickly.

My colleague and I then talked about how perhaps I picked up some kind of infection that's affected my lungs while I was on the airplane to Norway, which would show up as spots on a CT scan. He also said that the spots could be caused by many different things.

Then, about 30 minutes later as I sat in my office preparing for class, S. came into my office and asked me if the CT scan found anything in the liver. When I replied that it didn't, he said that, in general, most breast cancers progress to the skin or the bones first, then the liver, then the lungs, then the spine, then the brain. It doesn't very often happen that it would go to the lungs before the liver. So, again, it's highly unlikely, since my liver is clear, that those spots are cancer on my lungs.

So, all in all, a good conversation about the likelihood that there is cancer in the lungs - not very likely at all. It made me feel better. I was feeling a bit down this morning as I walked to work - I didn't really want to be at work both because it was gorgeous out and because I'm burnt-out still from teaching; I got to thinking about how long it was going to seem before my next CT scan (and having to live with uncertainty); and I still had to grade some papers (the worst part of my job). It was a Monday, for sure. The conversation with S. perked me up. Thanks!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh yeah! Yipee!

Wanna hear some good news?


Only appointments with former students, current students, and colleagues this week!

How great is that!!!

Beautiful Sunday

So, I'm doing well. Had a great day yesterday - busy, but good. Grocery shopping, then to a garage sale given by the mom of one of Eddie's classmates. I ended up getting a set of metal panels, painted green, with grapes and vines as a design, that I plan to incorporate into my mandala patio/garden space. I also bought an El Salvadorean blanket, a camp cot, and some Mexican ceramic pieces. She didn't want me to give her any money, but I know she needs it, so we had this little discussion of how much I gave her. Norma delivered meals for me once a week last year, right after I was diagnosed with the metastases. She's been going through a tough time herself . . . so we support each other.

Then, it was home to see how Scott and Henk (my brother-in-law) were doing on the rebuilding of my fence. They got the posts in concrete yesterday - luckily, Henk had access to an auger that dug post holes in just a few minutes.

I then planted some plants I received from an auction Friday night at Eddie's school - one of the classes had a "gardening basket", so for $75, I got a yard cart, a ceramic pot, three dahlias, two pairs of gloves, Miracle Gro, two gardening tools, and potting soil. I think I got a great deal!

I also put some grass seed down in some bald spots in my lawn. I need to get some dirt or sand to put over that seed and hopefully, grass will sprout. I may also scatter around some flower seeds, too. Haven't decided yet what to do . . . maybe later today, I'll also try to find some white tile for my mandala mosaic.

I was tired last night. But a good tired, ya know?

Today, I plan to work some on an article while Scott puts the brackets on the fence. Then, maybe he and I can do something fun in the sun. I have softball practice at 3pm. Eddie will be home about 5pm.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

P.S. I changed my "label" from "lung mets" to "lung spots"

After finishing a post, I usually try to put labels on them, so that it'll make it easier to find posts on particular topics. I put "lung mets" on my post from last night, but after doing a bit of web surfing and thinking about having low tumor marker numbers and the possibility that these spots are an infection or inflammation of some kind, I decided that since we don't know for sure they are lung mets, it'll be better to call them "spots". Takes away their power. Reprograms the mind.

Good night again!

Doing Okay

I woke up today and decided to go to work. I decided that if those spots in my left lung are cancer, they've been there for awhile (weeks or months) and I've been feeling happy. I was ignorant of these spots, yes, but I was still hopeful for the future. So, the only thing that changed was the knowledge that they were there. Might as well just continue on as I have, enjoying my life to the fullest. I also got to thinking that it is certainly a reminder to slow down again.

I also got an email from Anna (at NSF) and one of the things in the email had to do with the lack of participation of indigenous people and women during presentation for the International Polar Year. Sooo, it reminded me that there is still a lot of work yet to be done in terms of including indigenous peoples and women in scientific undertakings. It reminded me that I'm first and foremost an anthropologist, too. Not a cancer patient. Perhaps an anthropologist who happens to have cancer. But it still reminded me of who I am and the reasons why I do the work I do. Got that fighting spirit back.

So, other than shedding a few tears with my office staff at this latest news (they're both struggling with budget woes here in Oregon - lots of staff layoffs on the horizon), I managed to have a more or less normal day. Teaching in my first class was fun - my students seem to be interested and engaged and I always feed off their energy. Again, it served to remind me why I'm here. My second class went well, too.

I had a late meeting (complicated by my walking the wrong way across campus to get to where my car was parked), but when I came home, I was able to visit with Scott (he and Rick and Chris, Rick's son-in-law) tore down this horrible old fence that was falling down in my yard. Scott has thankfully taken over managing the building of a new fence - that whole side of the yard will look much much better when all is said and done. I also spent time with Eddie. Scott and I enjoyed teasing Eddie, then I helped him with his homework, and then we played on his Big Wheel - spinning to get higher scores. That was fun, too. Then, it was American Idol. My favorites are Allison and Anoop and Adam and Danny.

So, tonight, as I was responding to another blogger on her blog about my latest news, the question came up about how is it I have lung spots when my tumor markers are well within normal range. I thought I'd heard that tuberculosis rates were up either in Alaska or in the Lower 48, and since in recent years, I've struggled each winter and even last summer with a persistent cough - I catch a cold and my cough hangs on and on for weeks - I got to wondering if it was tuberculosis. It does show up on a CT scan. Might I have it? I think my mom may have had it at some point and I will call her tomorrow and ask. I was just in Alaska in October.

I then googled "tuberculosis ct scan" and found a discussion group where the people also talked about having these spots on the CT scan, only to have their biopsies come up negative for cancer. These spots can be caused by simple inflammation or infection. My question is what is the relationship between this intermittent persistent cough that I get (this past winter mid-to-late Jan and for about a week or so after my surgery), for about 8 weeks last summer, last winter for several weeks, the winter before that for several weeks, etc.

So, I'm not entirely convinced it is cancer. Low tumor markers sorta argue against it. Having some kind of chronic, intermittent cough might be related to period inflammation that clears up and comes back.

I'm still going to do the prudent thing - take Tykerb again - and will also begin taking a Chinese herbal mix (Paris 7) that helps with lung health, in general. My acupuncturist says that it'll help with lung infections, inflammation, and cancer, so it can't really go wrong and there aren't really any side effects. She reminded me of a qigong move (a breathing exercise) that emphasizes lung health. And, get good rest.

So, I got a plan. My plan includes not seeing anything on a CT scan in three months. Thank you, jmoore4you, for telling me that your spots cleared up. That's what mine are going to do, too.

Good night everyone. Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CT Scan News - A New Excuse to Say No at Work!

Dr. K finally called me late this evening. No news was not good news. It just wasn't urgent news.

Apparently, I have three little spots on my left lung. The spots on my bones are still there - they aren't bigger and also there was the same amount of spots. The little spots on my lungs are 1cm and two 4mm spots.

Crap. This means I start taking Tykerb again. We will do another CT scan in three months, if the spots have grown then we bring Xeloda back into the mix.

F&*K. I was not expecting that news.

Dr. K did say that while we haven't stopped the disease, we have slowed it down quite a bit. He really didn't expect me to be doing as well as I am. He told me that I look healthy. I am mentally healthy. He also said that I should continue living my life as I have, making plans to serve on Arctic research committees if I want to, traveling, etc.

There is a chance that these spots were caused by some infection - that they are scars. He said that sometimes, after pneumonia or bronchitis, spots like these show up on CT scans. However, my last CT scan 8 months ago did not show these spots. He double-checked. So, we suspect cancer.

This is when you start second-guessing all of your decisions - like going off of Xeloda in December and trying this little experiment to not take Tykerb. But like I told Scott just now, I can't sit around regretting those decisions. I made the best one I could make - I made the one that was right for me. Dr. K sorta expects that the next CT scan will show these three spots with no changes. They could be that way for years.

So, I start Tykerb again tomorrow. I will also contact Brodie and see if Chinese Medicine might have something to add to the mix.

I don't want to teach tomorrow. I sorta feel like crawling into a hole. It's gonna be hard to act like everything's normal when it isn't.

Update (10 minutes later!) - I just added the subtitle "A New Excuse to Say No at Work" - I'm trying to regain my sense of humor and equilibrium. Bear with me, please!

Well, shit anyway.

No News is Good News?

I called Dr. K's office again today to get the results of last week's CT scan. His secretary told me that she'd left the note for him yesterday. I asked whether or not his nurse (or someone else) could give me the report. His secretary, D., found my chart - it was on his "to do" pile, which means that he is the one who wants to do the calling and won't leave it to his nurse or secretary. So, I must wait. D., though, did say that if they found something to be concerned about, he'd HAVE to call me, so the fact that he hasn't called yet is a good thing.

Dr. K's last day in the office is tomorrow - then I think he's off to the Philippines to treat patients in a prison there. When he told me where he was going, he gave me this little look of worry, a sort of "what did I get myself into?". I told him that he should go to YouTube and watch these Philippine prison inmates do Thriller by Michael Jackson. I figured if these prison inmates are dancing, they can't be all that bad, right?

I found that video after watching another video by these Australian aboriginal youths, who danced to Zorba the Greek. They became a kind of overnight sensation last year - one of the listserves I read sent the link. I loved that video, too. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tumor Markers!

A quick message - I need to get to bed. I'm tired after an active week-end in Seaside with my son.

I found out on Friday morning that my tumor markers are as follows:

CA15-3 - 19.6
CEA - 1.6

So, continued good news, huh?

Here's the history:

Sept 2007 - 23 U/mL
Jan 2008 - 31 U/mL
Mar 2008 - 36 U/mL
June 2008 - 23 U/mL (started radiation that month)
Aug 2008 - 18 U/mL (week of August 4th)
Sept 2008 - 14.5 U/mL YAAAAAAY!!!
Oct 1 2008 - 19.6 U/mL
Oct 31 2008 - 15.3 U/mL
Nov 28 2008 - 19.5 U/mL
Dec 30 2008 - 16.0 U/mL
Jan 22 2009 - 15.4 U/mL
Mar 2 2009 - 17.8 U/mL
Apr 8 2009 - 19.6 U/mL

Remember that anything below 33 is considered normal.

Here's the history for the CEA:

1/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
3/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
6/2008 - 1.0 ng/mL
8/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL (need to double check this number, but it was in that 0.9 to 1.2 range)
9/2008 - 0.5 ng/mL
10/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
10/31/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
11/28/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
12/30/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL
3/2/2009 - 1.4 ng/mL
4/8/2009 - 1.6 ng/mL

For the CEA, anything below 3.8 is considered normal!

Yippee skippy!

I still haven't heard from my doctor's office about the CT scan. Considering that it was last Tuesday and Dr. K didn't call me right away, even after I called on Thursday, probably means that all is well. Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

One of the blogs I read, Laurie at Not Just About Cancer, had a post last week about the passing of Sara, at Moving Right Along. Her partner wrote about her passing yesterday on her blog. There were a lot of other bloggers who posted about her and how sorry they are for her death. She had had cancer for many years, I believe, and it was the cancer that prompted the doctors to amputate her right leg several years ago. I don't know the whole story. She also posted about disablism. I've linked to her blog before; what I appreciated the most about what she had to say was how important it is to live a normal life even with a terminal or life-threatening disease, and to find joy and happiness even though all this other health-related crap is occurring. I remembered Sara this past week-end, as I trimmed my lilac bush, because I remembered that she was looking forward to lilacs blooming in the Boston area last spring. Last spring, I posted a picture of my blooming lilac for Sara and she commented and said, "thanks!".

So, today, as I searched for that post from last year, I skimmed through my entries from that time.

Boy, what a difference a year makes! I was facing the prospect of doing radiation again, dealing with side effects from Xeloda and Tykerb, and yet also trying to model the outlook Sara and Laurie and Carver have about enjoying life as much as possible and learning to appreciate what you have instead of always bemoaning what you've lost. A few weeks after the blooming of the lilacs, I entered into a depression that I struggled against and with the help and the support of a lot of my readers and my colleagues, I got through it.

And, now a year later, my tumor markers have been well within the normal range for months. My sleep is improving, slowly, Scott and I are back together, work is busy but very satisfying, and I am looking forward to another trip to Norway in a few weeks, my family and I will be in Seaside enjoying the Oregon coast this week-end, and I have the support of many friends and family and colleagues, still. I'm happy. Life is full and mostly fun. My son is doing well. I don't really have any complaints (well, except against these silly bureaucratic duties that come with my job, and, obviously for the fact that I've had to deal with cancer). But, life is good.

Also, Scott received the news on Saturday evening that a long-time family friend (the father of a bunch of boys he grew up with) died the night before (April 3). I only met Orville once, at a party for his son's 50th birthday two years ago. He and I sat talking for a good long time; he just had interests in a lot of different things, particularly archaeology and anthropology. I think he was an engineer and he and his sons worked on cars a lot. He had a lot of hobbies and seemed to enjoy life and to enjoy learning. He was full of life, I guess. Scott was shocked at his passing and then felt bad that he's been so wrapped up with things happening with his daughter and getting laid off from his job in January that he hadn't seen him in awhile. Orville Sayre died of cancer, too, that he'd been struggling against for the last year or so.

Rest in peace, Sara. Rest in peace, Orville. God (or whatever power you believe in) knows that you both deserve it.


I'm going to talk to my plastic surgeon today .. . I ended up playing volleyball last night without checking with him first. Our team didn't have enough players, so I decided to play. I thought that I know, more or less, what I can and can't do, and I also knew that the spring league is more for fun and exercise than anything else, so if I didn't over extend myself (literally), I'd be okay. So, I didn't hustle for any balls, but if they were near me, I'd bump them. Last night, after I got home, I could feel my abdomen tighten up a bit, but it's fine this morning. It was fun to get back on the court. It is 8 1/2 weeks post-surgery now.

But now I'm really hungry! I have to fast (no drinking water, either) for four hours before my CT scan today - which is at 10am. This is the hardest part for me. I usually wake up hungry and thirsty and not being able to eat or drink is tough, not to mention the lack of caffeine.

Two hours and 52 minutes and counting.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


A few weeks ago, my dad and my brother painted my bedroom. A few days later, I decided to sponge over some of it with what ended up being sorta gold. I only did the sponging on two of the walls. You can see the two different walls in this picture. I think it turned out well! What do you think?

Hope you all have a great week!


We had gorgeous weather today - sunny and a high of about 70 or so. So, I convinced Scott to work on my mosaic, which will go in my backyard this summer. If you remember, last June, I broke a bunch of plates in an effort to let go of any repressed anger. I then decided to take some of the shards to make a mosaic that I entitled, in my head, "Letting Go". The idea is that the center of the piece (my center) would be blue, which represents calm and peace to me. Blue's my favorite color, too. Then, there would be arms of color (like a spiral galaxy) that would go from blue, to green, to tan, to brown, and then red. The red represents the anger that I'm shedding. You can see the red floating off into space.

The first shot was where we left the project last August - it just has the blue center. (Sorry, we left tools and my diet pepsi there.)

The second shot shows how much we were able to finish today. We got all the arms of the spiral completed and then Scott got an idea to use these spotted pieces to create a galaxy, surrounding a blue center. There's another blue centered galaxy in-between a couple of the spiral arms.

The next time we work on it, we will fill in with white and create a border. Then, I guess we grout the whole thing, cover it with a sealant (I think) and then it'll be ready to set outside! Cool, huh?

Norway Pics - Finally!

Here are some pictures from Bergen.

The first one is a shot of the Rosenkrantz, which was built in the 13th century and was a prison, I believe. Our hotel was located right next to it.

The second shot is of the Bryggen, or wharf. These are very old buildings which have settled catty-wampus. We were located about 5 minutes away.

The third shot was taken the day before my conference started. I took the shot for Carver - she's been photographing the spring blooms lately and I thought of her when I saw these blooming crocuses near a "kirken" or church.

This next shot was taken as we took the "funicular" or cable car up to the top of Mt. Floien. You can see this fjord, which was the one we could see from our hotel.

This is a picture taken at a reception held at Hakonshallen (sp?) located near the Rosenkrantz in the first picture. Yes, I'm holding a glass of wine, before the dais. I guess the only person who ever sits in the middle chair is the King. This hall was built by the King for his son in 1261, on the occasion of the son's wedding. Also, note the "orb" located around my belt-line.

Here is a shot of Scott on the dais. Note the orb on the chair and also a more faded one located to the right of the letters on his sweatshirt.

Here is a shot of the hall - just to give you perspective. During WWII, a bomb destroyed the wood roof, but the stone survived and they rebuilt it. Also, note the "orbs" floating around the ceiling. We took a lot of pictures in Norway, but the only orbs were located in this old hall - and one time, it showed up near Scott in our hotel room, located near this hall. Some believe that these are spirits hanging around . . .

This picture was taken by Beth as we walked around near the center of town - this was a street a few blocks long where there were a lot of cute shops, including the Asian market where I bought the calling card. Note the cobblestone street.

Scott took this shot to give a view of part of the city of Bergen.

Someone we sat near at another reception took this picture of me and Scott. This was at the hotel were the conference was located.

This was a picture Scott took of me and Beth, a grad student from UAF. Beth will work for me this summer and she and I cowrote an article together. This was located near the "bryggen".

Well, hope you enjoy the pics! We certainly enjoyed our time there!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The World is Trying to Tell Me Something

Recently, in the past week, I've read about two other bloggers that are working or have changed their diets so that they don't eat processed foods and especially sugar and fats. I have to admit that while I think I generally have a good diet, I have kept not given up on sugary foods. I don't eat fatty foods hardly at all (occasionally french fries but I'm getting to the point where I don't like them anymore). It's the sugar that gets me.

For a long time, I only had a thin layer of margarine on my toast, but last year, I started putting jam (I had some homemade jam from Kai and I think Agnes M that I used), but after I ran out of the jam, only having margarine on my toast was boring. So, lately, I've had cinnamon toast, which includes a bit of sugar and then cinnamon. Cinnamon is a good spice - I think I read that it has antiinflammatory properties. But, it's the sugar. Also, after lunch or dinner, I do crave some form of chewy candy. Lately, it's cinnamon bears or red licorice. In Norway last week, I ate a lot of milk chocolate. I've also been drinking diet pepsi more, too, for my daily caffeine (I drink chai in the morning, but toward lunch, I have the diet pepsi). The artificial sweeteners in pop (soda) are not supposed to be good for you.

Anyway, since these two bloggers (Jill and Jeanne from NYC) have mentioned getting rid of sugar in their diets and how that might keep their bodies healthier and able to fight off cancer, I think I need to make a stronger effort to eliminate sugars from my diet and cut down on the pop.

Shoot. But there's a greater good there, too, right? Eyes on the prize and all that. I don't think I'll completely eliminate those things from my diet, but maybe cut down on the amount I have on a daily basis. I think my acupuncturist might say that a little bit won't hurt you. Once last year, I mentioned that I had a couple of beers after a softball game and I told her that I know I shouldn't drink. Her reply was, "Did you enjoy yourself?" and I said that I did. And, she replied something that implied, "let go of the guilt. You had fun." I just think that I've been letting go of the guilt a bit too much lately. Time to do more to eliminate a bit more of that stuff from my diet.