Sunday, April 29, 2012

Great News!

Our minds have been occupied with health issues and figuring out college stuff with my daughter over the past few months.   It's been a bit stressful at times.  However, the past few days have been filled with great news!

First, my daughter had a new ultrasound on Thursday and the problem she almost had surgery for is almost gone!  Surgery is OFF!  YEEEEEEHAAA!  That's such great news!  Of course, she'll continue with the extra healthy/natural eating, regular exercise and the acupuncture to to continue her healing and stay healthy.

In regards to college, she is graduating in about a month with two associates degrees and is planning to transfer to a university in the fall.  She was accepted at the universities she applied at and her auditions went great.  But, the one she wants to go to the most and that offers a program that is the best match for what she wants to study is the one that also offered her enough scholarship and grant money to make it possible to attend. We're beyond thrilled!  It's all we had hoped for and more.  She submitted her acceptance and deposit on Friday.  It looks like she has an exciting year ahead!

The great news about her health the upcoming next chapter of college are so wonderful and have lifted a lot of weight off our minds.  I'm hoping that life will get back to normal a bit around here....if there's such thing.  Less stress and more creative time would be great!  Speaking of creative soon as I finish this I'm headed back to my comfy couch, my new pile of yarn and the new project I started this morning.  Ahhh...yarn I have missed you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Roll Up Revision

My husband, daughter and I are making big changes to our eating habits.  Eating more fruits and veggies, whole grains and natural, organic, less processed foods and less meat seems like a healthy idea.  It makes sense to know what's going in our bodies. Unknown pesticides and those long and weird words that we have no idea what they are...can be scary! Processed ingredients are showing up on more and more studies to be unhealthy. Seeing how some things are made is really gross. And, the biggest reason...we just plain feel better when we eat better.  However, trying to eat more healthy isn't always easy.   But, the more we do it, the more we like it.  And, the more we do it, the easier it gets. 

Trying to eat less meat and more veggies is causing us to find and try new foods to bring protein into our diets that we'd normally get from meat.  One of the things we've found that works and is really tasty is hummus. We tried it for the first time about a year ago and loved it. It's super simple to make, very tasty and very healthy. We like to dip chips (pita or tortilla) into it and fresh cut veggies like carrots and zucchini. We also found that it's great on a sandwich. A generous spread of it on flat bread, a tortilla or a pita with layers of veggies like spinach, tomatoes, avocados, thin strips of carrots, and dried cranberries is really good.  Healthy chicken or turkey can be layered in as well.  These roll-ups are creamy, flavorful and the veggies add a nice crunch. It's a great new way to make roll-ups.

The main ingredient in hummus is beans. Garbanzo beans are the traditional choice and very good. But, white beans can be used and tend to make a creamier hummus. Here's what is needed to make it and how...

1 15 ounce can of beans, Garbanzo or white
Olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
Fresh herbs - basil, oregano, parsley or whatever you like
Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse and drain the beans and pour them into a food processor. Add the other ingredients, adding a drizzle of olive oil at a time, and blend until creamy. Give it a taste test and adjust flavors to your liking...more or less garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, herbs...or try different herbs and spices.  We've found that our favorite herb is basil. Tahini (sesame seed paste) is traditionally used in hummus and would add more protein and possibly more flavor but we've found that it's not necessary. It's delicious and creamy without it.  For a roll-up, spread a generous amount of hummus onto flat bread or a tortilla and layer in your favorite veggies, roll it up and enjoy!  Mmmmm...good!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A New Angle

I've been meaning to post an update about what was going on in my last two posts but I just haven't been ready until now. The whole thing was such a surprise and gave us so much to think about. All of the supportive comments really helped us a lot...thank you. It was comforting to receive caring and encouraging words and stories from others who have experienced similar things. Taking a breath, a little time, and the help of others has caused us to step back and take a look at all of this from a different angle. We've done a ton of research since the doctor said she wanted to rush into surgery. Over and over we've read...and heard from others...that it's not only a good idea to wait, it's usually common practice. Surgery is a BIG deal! It's not something to rush into. The idea of it really upset us all. Cysts can change and often do. It only makes sense to wait and watch to see if it changes.

We've also learned that dietary/eating changes can make a big difference with this and thyroid (the other issue). We had already been making significant changes in our diet and this was the push we needed to take it to an even higher level and get more serious about it. We've been eating more veggies, whole grains, natural foods, no dairy and less meat. In fact, we're almost vegetarian. The only meat we've been eating is some fish and an occasional meal with organic, free range chicken. We're limiting ourselves with the red meat to verrrrrry seldom. We've read so much about how a more natural, plant strong diet can be life changing. And, so far, we all feel better from it. Although, I'm not sure I'll give up my Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch ice cream! Hubby and my daughter have found alternatives that they LOVE! They both love coconut ice cream...especially the cookie dough flavor. Hubby fell in love a few years ago with Trader Joe's soy ice cream with dark chocolate and cherries. I haven't found any alternatives that I like yet. So, an occasional tub of Ben and Jerry's just might be something I won't give up.  But, I rarely have, that's ok. 

Exercise always seems to be one of the answers to just about every health issue. This is no exception. Talk about a kick in the butt to get to the gym more regularly! Hubby was already doing great. My daughter was doing ok. I had gotten a little lazy with it over the past few months. But, now, we're all going to the gym just about everyday. The hardest part is going but once we're there it feels great and I can't believe I put it off. It makes no sense to avoid something that can make us feel so good and improve our health and quality of living.

Another thing we've read and heard a LOT of good things about is acupuncture. It has a reputation of correcting these kinds of problems. We decided to go for it. My daughter had her first visit just a few days ago and is noticing changes already! The acupuncturist we're going to specializes in women's health. She also recommended Chinese medicine for the thyroid. We were ready to go for it with that too but when my daughter mentioned it to her OB/GYN, she said it can cause more problems. But, in the same email, she suggested giving my daughter injections of a hormone that we already told her my daughter had a problem with in the past. My daughter's immediate reaction to that hormone was, "no way!". We'll talk to the acupuncturist about the Chinese medicine some more tomorrow. In the meantime, she's going to stick with the acupuncture and see what happens.

It just seems to make the most sense to do healthy and non invasive things to try and correct this or any other health issue. I've read and heard countless stories about the success of such things. Cutting someone open and doing surgery should be a last resort we can avoid!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Thank you to everyone who left such kind words, support, prayers and positive thoughts. It's all so appreciated! :-)

We got good news at the doctor that my daughter's tests came back negative for cancer. Whew! Yeah! But, we got the not so good news that she'll have to have surgery to remove the cyst. Because they'll need to keep it intact to check it and see what it is, the incision will be large enough to accommodate it. That means she'll have a longer recovery time of 6-8 weeks. She's not happy about needing surgery. I totally understand. I'm not happy about it either. But, it needs to be done for various reasons.

My daughter is working with her instructors to try and have the surgery at the beginning of May to recover in time for finals and graduation to receive her two associate degrees. The doctor recommended getting it done soon because she doesn't know whether it's a fast or slow growing cyst or if it could be that dreaded "c" word...although the odds are slim on that.

I can't help but wonder if the doctors we went to under our old insurance would have done an ultrasound like I had asked for years ago that it could have been caught much sooner and been easier to treat. Ugh! I'm just happy we found this new doctor and that she has been so thorough. So far, all the research I did to find her has paid off. She has lots of great reviews and people go to her from all over the country. I can see why. We feel like we're in good hands with her. I hope so.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


That's the best way I can find right now to describe how my husband, my daughter, and I are feeling. To make a long story daughter and I went to a new OB/Gyn doctor about a month ago for some problems we've been having and we've both been undergoing various tests.

Most of my tests have come back fine with the exception of needing to have a surgical test called a hysteroscopy. Ugh! The doctor is leaning toward a benign (and hopefully simple) problem but it could also be a pre cancerous or cancer problem. Yikes! I have an appointment with her next week to find out more and schedule the next step.

Even more nerve-rackingly stressful is that my daughter's first round of tests revealed a large cyst that prompted the doctor to order more blood tests including ones for that dreaded "c" word, cancer. This doctor is great about sending us emails of the results on her office portal system. In fact, my daughter and I both had some blood tests done a week ago on Monday and I had my results on Tuesday. My daughter, however, has heard nothing. She keeps checking multiple times a day and nothing. Each day that we hear nothing adds a little more intensity to our stress level. She called today and found out that the doctor got the results back last Friday but is "waiting to go over them" with her. Yikes! We keep telling ourselves that it's probably all fine and that it's NOT the "c" word. After all, the doctor thinks she's just having a problem that is super common and that problem is non cancerous 99% of the time. The waiting and not knowing is hard! Talk about having a chance to practice positive thinking! My daughter's appointment is tomorrow. Now, we just have to hope that the jury duty she has this week and hasn't had to go in for will stay that way....she won't have to go in. Because, waiting another week will be torture!

Please send prayers, positive thoughts and keep your fingers crossed. We need all the positivity we can get! get on with the day and do things that will make the time pass quickly so we can get...what we're hoping for...GOOD news tomorrow!