Surgery DayRead Now
I am tired. I know my husband has been through so much more today, but he snoozes, luckily. I on the other hand am restless and anxiety filled. I know I am operating on a seriously low battery and I keep intending to do more work but find myself darting off in so many directions I cannot focus. Not being focused does not serve for my best work, so I opted to try this writing distraction, and here I am. Sitting in the darkened lobby of the surgery recovery. We have been here since 5:40 am. I stayed with him through an hour to two of pre-op, where we tried to make jokes. We were visited by so many doctors, nurses and fellows my mind boggled. The team, the called themselves. They all seemed pretty savvy so we entrusted them with wheeling my hubby away, off to induction and surgery around 7:30 am.
I faltered, our previously decided plan of how to handle things seemed off. I didn't want to leave but knew I had to because our son was at the hotel with his Grandparents, waking up, causing chaos, wanting activity and liveliness. I knew his they could only handle this for so long before, being out of their element, they would feel overwhelmed so I swallowed my fear and raced back to the hotel for the most joyous hour of my day, Swimming with my son. We swam and played and I moved with purpose, knowing this is all I would get like this today, while I secretly panicked about work I needed to do, and being away from home, and a little surgery thing going on. No big deal, and every once and I while I would glance at my phone, not too much, but just every 15 minutes or so. Watching the text updates coming in.
Before I knew it we were on our way back to the hospital, the whole clan in tow, and the text came through as we headed through security that he was in recovery. A small sigh of relief, but I still had that twisting gut thing. Waiting in the waiting room, until shortly after I received the text that he could have visitors, and off I went to see my still very woozy partner. He was just as folks are when they first come to from anesthesia, sleep, uncomfortable, painful, abrupt. One second wanting not to see the incisions and the next, wanting to. then want his gown off his arms, asking random questions, squeezing my hand, just general uncomfortable behavior. He finally fessed up to his pain and they administered him a sleep inducing dose of pain medication and he drifted off. I stayed with him till they brought him out of the OR recovery and into a general recovery room. Then I once again went off to find the family.
Nonno and Nonna looked a little worse for wear so I took my son and we ran around the campus for a bit, literally, from the parking garage to the playground, and back again. Until finally I made him a deal that if he listened exceptionally and came with me to eat some vegetables in the cafeteria, he would earn those slick cars he saw in the gift shop. He was all onboard for this so we had some fun, and then ate some salad bar in the cafeteria. He dutifully ate his cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, and tofu and told me he liked spinach because it makes him strong like Popeye. Perfect. He earned his cars so we snagged those with the understanding he would be allowed to play if I could work a bit, a routine he is familiar with, so he agreed and off we went to work and play good hour until my inlaws returned. They saw me working away and stressing and offered to take him to play a bit more if we could go eat dinner after and I agreed, I needed the brain break, so I worked about 30 minutes more and they returned.
I was incredibly grateful to have them, but I am not going to lie, I was a wilted flower at dinner. I could not really get into seeing the boats on the harbor, or conversation for that matter. I was tired and cranky. I still am. There is no food up here, and I am about to sleep on a couch that looks about as comfortable as a vinyl covered bench seat in an old pick up truck. I ate a scoop of Lean with water and a mashed up banana, because it's what I had. Thank goodness for lean, it did the trick, and funnily my husband can only eat broth and jello so he was envious of my proteiny concoction.
I wish I could say I feel fully at peace now with this over, I was hoping so but I have anxiety about the pathologist report. I am optimistic and hoping for and expecting the best, especially since the surgeon said everything went and looked as they planned and suspected. So my hope is the pathology is the same, or better, curative and complete are the words I am affirming daily. Right now I am comforted by how quiet it is in here, the gentle click, click, clicking of my keyboard. The strange whirring sound of the elevator going up and down and my eyelids grow heavy. I hope I can turn this brain off, to be fresh in the morning, to tackle some work and get my husband home.
I had the honor to be on Good Morning Reno this morning, bright and early to show and chat about some healthy snacks for back to school! I chose these recipes because they are quick and easy to make, I am talking 30 minutes of prep for all 3, tops, and no bake or super short bake times. They provide a big bang for your time, and will leave you with healthy, homemade, grab and go snacks all week long, probably longer. So ditch the bars, and pre-packaged junk, and have some real food! These are great for as the kiddos are running out the door in the morning, to put in lunches, or as quick afterschool snacks to fuel them for sports, homework, play and everything in between. Last but not least, they taste great (which is important for the kids, let's be real) and they are filled with protein, to keep them fueled and feeling full longer, which will help them make more nutritious choices throughout the day. Here is where you can find the super quick recipes I shared on the show, and find out about ingredients and more! Don't forget to grab the magic ingredient.
Protein Mini Muffins
These are my son's favorite, and they are quickly becoming a staple in our house. Grab the recipe here and the delicious protein powder I use to make them here. Bake time is 10 minutes, you cannot beat it!
Protein Pop Tart
These literally take 2 minutes to make and they are such a great grab and go snack you can get creative with. Find this recipe here.
Gluten Free Energy Balls
Find this quick and easy, bake free and satisfying recipe here.
Remember that with a good lunch box and an ice pack no food is unavailable, you do not need to turn to processed foods out of convenience or storage worries. With a little extra work on the front end you can provide you kiddos with delicious, and nutritious foods inexpensively and in little time. Some of my personal favorites that require no prep or baking are veggies, the more colorful the better, if you are really short on time you can even buy them pre cut. Pair those with a healthy fat, like natural sun butter, or hummus. Another great pairing is a non-fat or low fat cheese stick and a piece of fruit. Fruits like bananas, and oranges are great as they come in their own earth friendly container! Kids will follow your lead, they should eat what you eat, so remember to set a good example and practice what you preach. When your plate is diverse and colorful, so will theirs be. Include them in preparation of these snacks and in meal planning and prep, and having a say in what you are making as well as ownership in the process will encourage them to explore foods they may otherwise not eat, enjoy the process, and make it more likely they will actually eat the foods your prepare! Win win!
Watch my whole spiel here: https://www.kolotv.com/video?vid=547397702
Happy DistractionsRead Now
Here I am sitting on a plane, winding up our family travel for the most part. I have three days I imagine will be whirlwinds, getting back into the swing of things before we zip off the San Fransico for my husband’s surgery. I feel refreshed and re-invigorated to do what I am passionate about. A slew of positive things have occurred on this trip, most importantly including some quality time with my husband in relaxing circumstances. My instagram thrived with fun photos.
I was a living testament to the importance of building and maintaining healthy habits. A few times I poked myself in the mirror to see if I was getting a bit soft, who wouldn’t, but my trip activities were a happy blend of time spent in the gym and exploring via the most active ways I could find, from running, hiking, biking, boating, calisthenics and more. I tasted and enjoyed a myriad of vegan and vegetarian foods all of which I enjoyed, not all exactly on path, but quite a bit were. The first stop I made when we got to Connecticut was to a grocery store. I loaded up on essential travel goodies, including stevia, protein powder, pb fit, protein bars, and veggies and fruits that I didn’t have to refrigerate. They actually proved to be essential provisions that kept me from “hangry” bad choices so many times.
Travel does not need to be an excuse to go totally off the rails. You can maintain the habits you have built and not feel like you have to start fresh all over again every time you return home. I am very eager to get back to my pull up bar, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t feel like I’ve had huge gain losses over the last ten days and if anything I feel like the rest was much needed and going to allow me to come back stronger and with renewed excitement. The same goes for my work habits over this trip. I maintained my responsibilities but I defiantly too a much needed step back and allowed myself to put down the phone and computer and resist all the shiny pennies of responsibility at least until now. Here on the plane I am diligently working away on client notes, and playing catch up on the special projects I have been working on (which are so awesome by the way LadyBoss’ get ready!) I have some exciting opportunities coming up as well and I am looking forward to crushing my goals as I go forward.
Today I am reading : Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris , which is one of those books I’ve been picking up and putting down and I always find nuggets every time I read it.
Today I am listening to: More Tim Ferris (probably why I thought to pick up TOM again) we listed to his interview with Seth Godin today on the ride to the airport.
I am continuing to focus on finding gratitude and living in the now and that seems to be fueling things along nicely. We are hoping for smooth sailing into and out of this surgery on Monday and I am thankful for all the support and stories we continue to get. The stories have serious been amazing! At the wedding we attended this past weekend many friends told me tremendous stories of survival and perseverance through some really rough stuff. I cannot say enough how empowering it feels to be supported and not feel alone in this path we are walking with my husband facing the possibility of cancer, and what that means for us as a family. We continue to be strong and optimistic, eternally gracious for the happy distractions of joy, family, love, and possibility.
Presence and GratitudeRead Now
A little update about how things are going for us. Before all this kidney stuff came up we had been planning a family vacation to the East Coast for my brother in-laws' wedding and some summer fun with family. We were concerned of course that my husbands' surgery might conflict with our travel and to our surprise it worked out perfectly to not conflict. We went back and forth on what to do and decided the best course was to go, have fun, enjoy each other and our family, and be grateful for all we have and can do. It wasn't necessarily in the plan but it has turned out to be an opportunity to live it up a little and I am also tremendously grateful for that. We decided to extend our trip a bit and leave a few days earlier so my husband could roll in some work with his impending surgery and recovery as well as take advantage of the travel and the close by family.
As I sit here in a hotel room in Killington, VT looking at the mountain top out my window, I feel so many warm happy feelings. This was always our dream, that I wouldn't be strapped to the gym and I could travel with my husband on his work trips to these beautiful and fun places. We are blessed that he loves his job and that I can now work from my computer wherever I am and know that the gym is in good hands with my amazing staff. Our son is in Connecticut enjoying the beach life at his Grandparents, cooking pizza with his Nonno, and watering the garden with his Nonna, making memories he will remember forever. Both my husband and I work during the day, he spends most of his time in meetings and me on my computer or phone, but I get to workout, enjoy the pool, and the other amenities of the ski resorts.
I would be lying if I didn't say we sometimes have bad moments, hours or days. We are still spending every available minute researching, following up, and soaking up every bit of information we can from stories of others, podcast, doctors, articles, you name it. We are also sending a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has sent us resources or told us an uplifting story or shared their own experience. We are listening to and reading them all and they have been tremendously helpful. It makes us feel so not alone in this journey, and gives us more and more hope every day.
Sometimes that punched in the gut feeling creeps back in, and we wonder if we are doing enough. He wonders constantly, should he do this diet, should he cut out this thing, there is so much conflicting and confusing information. But the journey is his, to face uniquely in his way. I can only tell him what I think I might do where I in his shoes, and to be honest, it's hard to say what I would feel were the tables turned. We are making what we think are the best decisions together for our family. We feel that surgery is the best course of action, along with a few supplements recommended by the naturopath to hopefully give the potential cancer less chance of spreading. He continues to maintain his healthy diet and lifestyle, eating all the vegetables, working out everyday.
I continue to try to improve my own health and fitness as well. My plan was to take my after photos for the Oxygen Challenge 5 before we left but the entry was not open and I have not had a chance to take them since we have been on the road. It has honestly worked out for the best, I am still getting good hard workouts in and eating very well. I hope to get them taken before the wedding Saturday, and I think this little bit of relaxation and family time will actually pay off in my benefit in my body composition. We shall see.
For now we are focusing on living in the moment, and being grateful for it, just as it is. He even convinced me to go zip lining yesterday and I am not a huge fan of heights. I said "yes!" right away so I couldn't have time to think about it. I cannot say, in this instance, that stepping outside of my comfort zone was hugely gratifying, it scared the crap out of me, but it was definitely something I will remember we did together, and I was amazingly beautiful up there at Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire. My husband just got a kick out of the fact I did it, so I guess it was worth it. Living it up, being present and maybe getting a little brave, and that is a good thing.