Sunday, July 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jig

Max is en route from California. Thank goodness. I'll pick him up late tonight.

His brother is stable. He'll probably have to have the 3rd surgery this week, depending on the infection they're watching. Following that, he'll be moved from the ICU to the cancer floor. He'll probably stay there another week or so.

Max thinks he'll be home for about two weeks and then will head back out to help his brother put his affairs in order. I don't think there have been any decisions made about future treatment. I think Mike is likely to ditch the chemo and go live the rest of his days on an island somewhere. Really. Sounds kind of nice when you think about it.

I've already decided that I'm not going to weigh in on Wednesday. Everyone has been so kind ... taking me out for dinner, having me over, etc. I need about a week of normalcy to get back on the kinda lame track I had gotten on. I did get to watch one of my friend's toddlers spew carrots last night. That was a special time. For those of you who've been around a while, it kind of reminded me of last April when I was flying to Austin when the man in the seat behind me barfed all over my bare shoulder and hair. Ahh ... memories. :) That's still the most vile thing that I think has ever happened to me. Now, if it had been someone I knew, I think it would have been closer to okay. But, no, he was a perfect stranger with good aim.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just Thinking About Tomorrow!

First of all, Annie was my absolute favorite movie when I was in 2nd grade, so I think I screamed/sang Tomorrow about a billion times back in 1982. I wanted to BE Annie, despite the whole orphan thing.

Max is supposed to come home tomorrow night. I'm so excited I can't stand it.

His brother is in stable condition for the moment but has to fully recuperate from his surgeries and possible infection from the fecal matter leak before they can assess if he can go through chemotherapy. They are watching careful for infection. If he has an infection, he'll need to have a 3rd surgery to, as Max puts it, hose him down. Gross.

Depending on the outcome over the next few days, Max will stay home for a few days or weeks before heading back out. I hope it's weeks. Their mom is going to stay there until the next step is known.

I have some great friends here. I had done a favor for a friend while he was out of town (had packages come to my house so someone could sign for them), so he took me out for dinner last night. Tonight, one of the girls I sing with (whose husband has befriended Max ... they go bowling together) has invited me over for dinner. Thank goodness. Those, plus Aida on Thursay, have really kept me from going stir crazy the last few days. I did try to sleep in the bed last night, but that only lasted about 20 minutes before I got all sniffly and headed to the couch. How totally pathetic and lame is that? Max thinks it's sweet. I think it's codependent.

So he comes home late tomorrow night, and then has to turn around and be at work at 6:00 on Monday morning. Actually, he's looking forward to getting back to his routine. With his overnights prior to his going to California, we haven't been in our regular routine since early June. The overnight project got completed while Max was gone, thank goodness. I haven't made dinner for the two of us in about a month. I didn't know how much I liked doing that (most of the time).

Anyway, I imagine you are all as sick of hearing about this as I am of living it. I'm going to try to refocus on me now. By the way, my house is almost completely ready for Max to move in except for the room of woe. Now I just have to scrub a few things and clean out the refrigerator, and we'll be ready to go. I started bringing over some random things of his yesterday. I can't believe this is almost ready to happen. I can't wait!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nonami II

I've got to take today just for me. Is it selfish that I just want my boyfriend to come home? The bed is too big for just me, so I've been sleeping on the couch. Otherwise, I was finding myself reaching for him and crying in the middle of the night. How pathetic and yet sweet at the same time. So, tonight will be my sixth night on the couch. The first two, I tried the bed, and never actually got to sleep.

My friend is playing in the orchestra (violin) of a local production of Aida, so I went and saw that tonight. Then, I went and hung out with her and her husband at their apartment. I've met them through weight watchers. Her husband has lost over 100 pounds, and she has lost 40. They both look awesome! They're big fans of Max as well, so it was good to just get a night out of the house with some friends. Aida was very well-done. The woman who played Aida had an amazing voice, one you usually wouldn't find in community theater. I was pretty much blown away. She stole the show.

I need to spend a little time tomorrow making at least some weekend plans. I've been so ready to drop things at a moment's notice, that I have nothing to do this weekend. I have been going stir crazy. I expect to finish cleaning my house this weekend (all except the Room of Woe). All that's left is that I need Max to help me take the NINE bags of trash and 6 boxes of crap to the garbage and Goodwill, respectively. Then, I can actually clean, and we can start bringing some of Max's things over. I was going to start packing his things while he was gone. But, honestly, he's a total bachelor, and I'm hoping that many of his things never see the light of day in my house. We have a lot of donating to do.

He has some nice things. His couch and coffee table will eventually make their ways into the Room of Woe, and I will sell or donate the 10+ year old couch and love seat I have in there. I'm giving a coffee table and 2 side tables to the couple I mentioned before. Max is also bringing his desktop computer (I only have a laptop issued by the school), as well as a carpet steamer, a DVD player to replace my VCR, and his clothes. Everything else ... I could live without it. So, if I were to do all the packing, I think he'd miss a few things. I'll be a nice girlfriend and at least let him check things off on a list.

I've been meaning to write about this for a while. My very best girlfriend (lives here, but we grew up together in Texas) gained about 10-12 pounds. That means she went from about 115 to about 128. Poor thing. So, she decided to do Nutrisystem and buy a stationary bike. She's down to 115 again. That took about three months! So, she's stopped doing Nutrisystem. But, since she thought that it was 'just way too much food for her' she has a LOT of extras. She gave me some (like 10 dinners)one day to keep at my house for the very few times I'm actually there. They're actually quite good. When I mentioned how helpful they were to have while Max was working overnights for a few weeks, she gave me a ton more (like 30 dinners). It's been so nice to have that since I'm not cooking for anyone right now. Have any of you done nutrisystem? I know Julie from Flip this Body did, but she's the only one I know of. I'm not considering doing it ... just wondering about you guys.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weigh-In Wednesday

I wasn't sure what this crazy week would have resulted in on the scales. Somedays, I had to remind myself to eat. Other days, I totally made up for that. So, when the WW lady told me I was exactly the same, I was surprised, but knew that it made sense. I have never been exactly the same.

I heard from my gynecologist's office today. They basically said the biopsy showed no signs of cancer or precancerous changes. I still have the HPV, and I'm supposed to have another Pap in 6 months. Phew! We needed no additional drama here.

No new updates about Mike's condition yet. They're supposed to bring him out of his induced coma today. Hopefully, he'll be coherent enough to sign the power of attorney while he's awake.

Unless Mike has a really bad turn for the worse, Max thinks it's best for me to stay here and take care of the cat. I'm totally cool with that. So, I'll be doing that and maybe even tackling the room of woe until then. Max may still need to go back to California for several weeks or months. We'll see what Mike's progress is or isn't over the next few days.

All I know is that Max sounded like himself today ... the first time I can say that in the past week.

Thanks for your continuing support and patience!

Kim :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


One day I will reclaim this blog to be about me. However, today's not the day. Sorry!

By the way, what follows might be a little TMI.

Mike had an emergency surgery today. It turns out that during his surgery the other day to remove most of his colon, he wasn't sewn up quite well enough. All this intense pain he's been in in the last few days wasn't all from the surgical pain. He's literally had fecal matter leaking into his body since last Wednesday. Max has had such a rough time getting the nurses to help his brother. There seemed to be a much larger amount of pain/psychotic behavior over the last few days than really should have been expected. It turns out there was an actual reason for the severity of the situation.

Mike is out of the surgery -- cleaned up, sewn up, etc. Things are very touch and go. They've induced a coma so he can get some rest and hopefully not feel too much pain. As you can imagine, Max and his mom are beside themselves. He could still die in the next few days -- infection, fever, etc. Max is also convinced that they're not receiving good enough care and enough attention from the nurse staff. I'm not there to watch the goings-on, so I can only listen and report his side of the story.

I think I'll be going out to California at some point before week's end. As Mike was in surgery, I packed a bag of nice (funeral) clothes for Max to take with me. I hope he doesn't need to use them.

I'm exhausted and a little stir-crazy. I had to get out of the house today. So, for the first time in days, I showered, shaved, and headed to the grocery store and to return some library books. As lame of errands as those were, two hours out of the house were great.

I finally called my gynecologist's office today. They told me if I didn't hear the results of my biopsy within 2 weeks to call. I left a message and no one has called me back yet. I pray it's nothing serious. We can't deal with anything else right now, thank you very much.

I'm going to try to go to bed now. That hasn't been so easy lately. The bed just seems so big to sleep in alone. :(

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chugging Along

There has been a little bit of progress in Mike's condition. In addition to the recovery from the surgery to remove most of his colon, another big issue was Mike's psychotic behavior. He was pretty much incoherent for several days. He has started becoming more lucid, but he is in terrible pain. His surgery is recovering, so they moved him last night out of the ICU into a private room. That's a big progression. Yesterday was actually a great day. However, last night, Max stayed in the room with his brother. He says it was a horrible night. Mike was screaming and crying. My heart hurts just thinking about it.

What we basically know at this point is that Mike is going to die from this disease. We still are not sure how he's going to choose to proceed. If he chooses to go without the chemotherapy, he'll definitely be gone in the next twelve months. If he chooses the chemo, we thing he might last 2-3 years.

Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure which he'll choose. Other than Max, their mom, and an uncle, Mike has no other family. No girlfriend, no children, just an ex-wife. I don't think it would be selfish of him to choose against the chemo and to just live out the end of the days more comfortably.

Max feels like he needs to be out in southern California for his brother. At this point, I'm not sure exactly what that's going to entail. He's coming back here to Atlanta on Monday night. He wants me to go back with him next weekend. I think I'll go for a few days and then leave Max there. Someone is going to have to deal with the fact that Mike's house is under construction and will probably need to be sold, that Mike has his own wedding photography business that will probably need to be closed or sold, and that Mike doesn't have any important papers taken care of -- living will, power of attorney, will, etc.

Max is scared to death that if he spends weeks or months out there, I'm going to need to break up with him. That made me cry so much. I'm about 95% certain that we're on the same path here ... marriage some time in the next two years. If that's the case, then I think whatever he needs to do for his brother is fine. It will be hard work, but it's totally worth it to me. I think the only place I would draw the line is a permanent move to California. If Mike is still hanging on next summer, when I'd be able to find a job teaching, I'd consider going there for a year or so, but only on a temporary basis. Now we just have to figure out what to do about his job, insurance, etc. Since Max works for a national company, I'm hoping he can try to get a post out there and actually work a few days a week. Max's uncle has offered to be for 24/7 nursing care if the brother needs it.

So, not only would I not break up with him if he needed to stay a while, but I have several connections in the LA area. People who might be able to give Max a temporary job. People who might be able to bring meals. People who might be able to offer a helping hand. On my facebook account, I noticed that I have 17 friends in the LA area. I've never even been there! Most of them are college friends.

With Max's move to my house upon us, it's probably the best time for this to happen. I need Max here to move some things around. Even if he misses out on the actual move, I know I have friends who would pitch in to help pack, move, and clean his apartment if I needed them.

I think I'm going to have to ignore the room of woe for a few more weeks and tackle it after all this has calmed down. I'll get the entire house ready except for that room. Really, I'll just have to find a temporary space for Max's couch and coffee table (the only things nice enough for him to bring with him). I can squeeze them into my living room and move them as the room of woe empties out. I have a couch, table, and love seat in there that I was intending to sell once I had the room clean enough to see them. Max's furniture will be going in there.

The funny part to me is Butterbean the cat. A few years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me I was going to be a cat owner. Now, I think I'm going to be living for a little while ALONE with a cat. Who'd a thunk it?

Enough of that. I went to a party last night. Mostly teachers who haven't seen each other since the end of May. I had lots of fun catching up ... hearing about the 7(!) teachers who are currently pregnant and due between October and February. I will not be drinking the water. I made a Cooking Light recipe that had good intentions but was pretty much taste-less. It was called Edamame-Garlic puree. I took that along with a tray of carrots, celery, broccoli, and pita wedges. Even with 10 cloves of garlic, it just tasted like a light green mush. Everyone thought it was tasteless guacamole. It was good to catch people up on what's been going on, have them miss out on seeing Max, and know that I have them as an additional support.

I haven't been doing a lot of eating. I guess that's a good part of this. I've been making mostly frozen dinners since it's easy, and I haven't been to the grocery store enough to have too many snack foods around. Plus the whole sitting around crying and staring at space thing has kind of been keeping me busy.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go home and get the entire house ready for move-in. Max comes in after midnight. We have a lot to do in the few days he's home. Go over what's going to have to get packed while he's gone. Maybe even get a few things packed. Lots to do.

Thanks for everything!
Kim :)

Friday, July 11, 2008


I grew up near a street called Nonami. As if the city couldn't come up with just one more name for one more street. That's how I feel today. I can't come up with a title ... so Nonami it is!

Not a lot to report that I have much control over. I went to synagogue tonight to
put in a good word for Max's family. It was nice to know that I had other people pulling for them as well. Of course, I know many of you are keeping us in your thoughts as well. Thanks.

I was going to try to make this post in someway not Max-filled. However, I don't really have much else to talk about right now. And, even though this may not be the exact right forum, it definitely feels good to get it all out there.

First, Max had a terrible experience yesterday getting from Atlanta to southern California. He was supposed to fly from Atlanta to Phoenix to Burbank. His mother was flying to Burbank and was supposed to land about 20 minutes before Max. Max's connecting flight got canceled (not delayed, but canceled). Three hours later, he took a flight to Los Angeles and somehow got the airline to shuttle him the one hour to Burbank. By that time, through phone tag messages, Max learned that his mom decided to stop waiting for him and take a cab to the hospital and hotel. When Max finally got to Burbank, rented the car, and called his mother to get the names and addresses of the hospital and hotel, his mother had TURNED HER CELL PHONE OFF! He was so frustrated and had no idea where he was supposed to go. Long story short, he finally found her, but he had to work very hard to keep his temper. Yesterday was a long day for everyone.

Here's the really sucky part. Max's brother, Mike, has been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Of the stages, four is the worst. We were 'hoping' that it was going to be stage 3A, 3B, or 3C (of course, hoping that it was nothing, too). There is basically about a 5% chance that he will live for the next five years. Max says it's a very bad situation. The cancer has spread to a lot of Mike's body already. He will hopefully be starting chemo in two weeks, followed by other treatments as needed.

Mike has other issues as well ... rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns, depression, etc. I don't know if it's because he's been off of his medications, but Mike is having some serious psychotic episodes in the ICU. Honestly, I don't know if he'll make it a few weeks in order to start the chemo. He is barely cognizant of his mother and brother being there with him, and they are starting to think that he may not gain a lot of lucidity back.

Max and his mom went to Mike's house today to start 'putting his affairs in order.' Mike is only 40, and though he owns his own house and business, I don't think he has a will or any of those types of things set up. Mike's house is currently being remodeled, and Max says it's a mess.

Max's mom is doing okay physically right now, but of course, she's having a hard time mentally with the whole thing. As I wrote earlier this week, she has breast cancer. I believe it's in remission, and I think Max once told me that she had had a double mastectomy a few years ago. I'm not sure what it is that keeps her in pain, but she has basically been in constant pain for years now.

I'm praying for all of them. For Mike, who probably won't live another twelve months. For their mom, who is having to watch one of her children die a painful death. For Max, who is trying to hold it all together and be the one who is holding all of the loose strings. I'm also praying for me. It may seem self-centered to do that, but this is also difficult for me. I feel like a total outsider who is supposed to feel like an insider. I've realized that all I can do is be there for Max and listen to him. I've realized that I can't fix this, and that I can't even attempt to.

What a mess. But I am eating pretty well, so that's a good thing. I'm going to a BBQ tomorrow, so I'm going to take a few WW-friendly things. I might actually go to the gym tomorrow too. I think it will help me clear my head.

Thanks again for just listening.

Kim :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In

Thanks so much for all of your prayers for Max's family. He is currently en route to southern California (with a canceled connecting flight, no less). He's meeting his mom there and then heading out to see the brother. I think he'll be there 5 or 6days.

I'm realizing that I misread my tracker last week and I actually gained 3.8 pounds ... not 2.2! This week, I lost 3.4! That gives me a net loss in the last few weeks of 1.2 pounds. That's pretty good for not really trying. I didn't meet all the goals I set for myself, namely with exercising. However, I'm keeping the same goals this week. Maybe with Max gone and me not trying to adapt to his working overnight schedule, I'll get a better pattern going.

Sarah, I hate to tell you this, but there will not be a before shot of the room of woe. I asked Max to take my camera with him to California. I don't know if he'll actually take any pictures, but I told him to blame me. The only 'recent' picture I've seen of either his mom or brother are from his brother's wedding about 10 years ago (he's been divorced for several years already). If we have children, I want them to know their relatives, even if they are no longer with us.

This week, I'm going to focus on getting at least the entire house ready except the room of woe. Maybe I'll even tackle it, but that's going to be my 'super goal.' Wish me luck with all of it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's just not fair

I cannot seem to stop crying for more than a few hours today. At least this time, I know why I'm crying. Max got a terrible phone call yesterday that his younger brother was in the hospital in southern California. Today he had some sort of surgery to try to figure out what was going on with his insides. The doctor says that he has very advanced colon cancer that has already started to spread to other parts of his body. The doctors are going to start him on chemo very soon but the outlook is really bad right now. Max thinks he's going to head out there this weekend to help him put his affairs in order. I don't think most 40 year old single people with no kids even have wills. I imagine they have a lot of work to do.

Despite the fact that this totally sucks for the brother, what's really not fair is how hard this family has been hit.

Everyone but Max's mom has had a life-long autoimmune disease. Max's brother got the bad one, Crohn's Disease, which their dad also had. Max got off fairly easy with psoriasis. It affects him daily, but it's definitely just a skin thing. Thank goodness his insides are okay.
Their mom lives outside of Phoenix, and she has been living with breast cancer for a few years now. She's usually okay, but she has been in the hospital a couple times in the last year. Max's dad died several years ago from skin cancer. What the hell did this family do to deserve all of this? Even the cat has a thyroid condition.

I feel badly that Max's family isn't close geographically. I've never met anyone in the family, but I have spoken with his mom and brother on the phone before.

Is my family the rarity in that we haven't been plagued by disease? If so, thank g-d for that. However, it's just so sad that they keep getting sick. Will Max follow suit? Will his luck pass to me? After all, I haven't heard from the doctor about the lab work from my biopsy from last week. Can you imagine if I have to pile a bad report on top of this?

It feels good to just be able to put this out there without you all trying to stop my tears. I've been a big crybaby lately, and I just feel bad that Max has gotten the brunt of it. Y'all aren't going to dance around naked trying to get me to laugh like he does. Are you?

Weigh in tomorrow. At least I don't think I've gained. We'll see about the loss. Three different scales (mine, Max's, WW) tell three different stories. I'll cross my fingers!

Cleaning Frenzy

As I mentioned before, Max is moving in with me soon. We are usually at his house because of his cat. So in the 15 months we've been together, I think he may have showered here once. For the last six months at least, my house has just been a dumping grounds. I come home once or twice a week, check the mail, drop off clothes I'm not going to be wearing for a while, and that's about it. I have not cleaned house in months, and there is so much clutter (especially around the front door).

I moved into my condo almost exactly five years ago. It was pretty clean and organized once I'd been here a while. Too bad I really haven't deep-cleaned or reorganized as I've gotten new belongings. I am a collector of stuff. I wouldn't go so far as to call me a hoarder (I have two friends who are certifiable hoarders, and I'm VERY different). I have a lot of stuff that I have accumulated over the last 32 years, and especially in the last 5.

Once I have something, it's very rare for me to keep it really clean or to get rid of it. Case in point ... I cleaned out my pantry. I threw out FOOD that expired in 1999. That's the year I moved to Atlanta (and 4 years before I moved into the current location). Granted it was just cocoa powder, but there were things that were more perishable that expired several years ago.

I'm really afraid that Max doesn't realize just how much STUFF I have. He really doesn't have much ... doesn't want much either. So, I'm trying to get rid of some things (purge isn't the right word, but it's close).

I have been a busy girl. Max still has his weird schedule in which he is working a lot of overnight shifts (yuck for both of us). So, I came 'home' for a few days to work on getting it ready for him. So far, I've tackled four closets (linen, coat, etc.), the pantry, and the kitchen. I have gotten a LOT done, and I'm proud of what I've gotten through. I still have to clean out the two bathrooms. I am certain I'm going to be throwing out cosmetics I haven't used since I moved in. I need to clean out my drawers and make space for his clothing. Thank goodness he doesn't have much.

However, the part I'm totally avoiding is cleaning out what I call the 'room of woe.' I am not looking forward to this. The room of woe is the dumping grounds for everything. The door has a lock on it, so therefore, it is almost always locked when I have people over. Max has never seen it. I haven't decided yet, but I may take before and after shots.

Around 4:00 this morning I was still lying here awake, so I decided to get up and work. I worked until nearly 9 a.m.! The kitchen is like a new being. The coat closet doesn't have many coats (I do live in HOTlanta after all), but it's organized with all my shoes and purses. The linens are all being washed so I can reorganize the linen closet. I feel like I got a ton accomplished, and I'm so thankful that I'm a teacher on vacation. So, I'm off to bed for a few hours. Will get up in a little while, take a load to Goodwill, and start all over again!

Later today ... bathrooms, one more closet, and bureau will be done. I might just tackle the room of woe. We'll see.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A few pix

I've been taking lots of pictures with my new camera! I'm going to post a few of Max, me, and our cat Butterbean.
I have another new blog below.

July 4th in Atlanta

My dorky boyfriend

Butterbean trying to hide in the covers

A fun-filled weekend

Not a whole lot to report except that I had a good weekend with lots to do.

Started on Thursday with some fireworks in a suburb here in Atlanta. Lots of friends. We met up for dinner beforehand. I didn't do so good at dinner, but the good thing was I didn't snack during fireworks.

Friday, we met some other friends for different fireworks. Hit up Subway on the way and brought some snacks with us as well.

Saturday, I worked most of the day making my house Max-friendly. I have so much crap I have accumulated. I don't know how in the world I'm going to make my home seem like it's his as well. I have a huge project on my hands here.

Today, I met up with some friends to go out to dinner (yummy Thai) and go to a play.

The week coming up doesn't have a whole lot to it. Max is working some overnight shifts, which means he sleeps during the day. I'm going to spend some time at my own house working on it. Yuck.

Hope y'all have a great week to come!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Still getting back on track

Here's what I think it takes to get back on track:

Going to weight watchers: check
Actually weighing in while I'm there: check
Posting new blogs: check

Reading others' blogs and commenting: half-check

Counting points: not really
Practicing self-control: not really
Exercising: no

I'm on my way. Baby-steps. I overwhelmed myself before and basically made zero progress in the last year. It's time to take charge again.

Weight change: +2.2 lbs this week

Goals for this week:
exercise at least twice (gym at least once)
count points 4 out of 7 days
post at least three new blogs
comment on a least 10 posts
weigh in next Wednesday
revisit this post in a week to check up on goals
post this list in a place where I can see it

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What a difference a day makes!

I didn't cry at all today. What a novel idea. Thanks for your kind words about my post from yesterday. It totally made it worth it to get it off my chest.

I got to spend some much-needed down-time with Max today. He's had a rough schedule lately. As a security guard, he usually works from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some contractors been doing an overnight job in his building for two weeks now. Max's job has been to watch them not steal things from peoples' desks and make sure they keep the building clean. What a horrible job. He's worked with no days off from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. for nearly two weeks. Hopefully, they'll finish this coming Sunday.
Thank goodness I'm on vacation. Otherwise, I'd never get to see him. He says the overtime pay is worth it. I'll be glad when it's over.

I bought a new digital camera -- the Canon PowerShot A590 IS. So far, I love it! I've only taken a couple of pictures ... Max and the cat. I'll post a few when I've got some new ones of me.

Also, some of you know that I'm a (somewhat) professional singer. For several years, I've been singing in a Jewish women's a cappella group. Talk about a niche market. However, we keep pretty busy, get paid to perform, and have a CD out. One of the girls in the group is engaged to someone who is in a blues band. He's asked three of us to be their backup singers. We had our third rehearsal tonight. AND, our first show with the rest of the group is later this month at a really cool bar. Definitely not a place the Jewish ladies usually perform. I'm so excited!

Not a lot going on otherwise. Has anyone read the new novel by Janet Evanovich? I don't know the title, but it's something with the number 14 in it. Is it worth buying, or should I just sit in the bookstore for a few hours? I'm #66 on the waiting list at the library. :(

Feeling the Pinch

I haven't talked about this with any of my friends besides Max yet, and this isn't exactly the place for it. However, I'm going to tell you about the biopsy I had today.

At my annual gyn visit a month ago, I had an abnormal pap test. I was told over the phone that I tested positive for HPV, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. I was also told that I needed to have additional tests done since it seemed irregular even for the HPV.

First off, the sexually transmitted part of this is a horrible thing to think about. Neither Max nor I were virgins when we met. So, somewhere along the way, one of us got this virus. The totally unfair part of this, as far as I can tell, is that symptoms don't manifest themselves in men, there is no test for a man to be able to tell if he's a carrier, and there is no treatment available for men. So basically, men can have this without knowing and continue to pass it on. For women, on the other hand, HPV can eventually lead to cervical cancer. That doesn't seem quite fair, does it? Most HPVs usually 'disintegrate' over about two years. That is the hopeful outcome here.

So, today I went in for a colposcopy ... basically a closer look at my cervix. The 'colp' part of the word comes from 'womb.' I've been doing my research. First, right there in the room, they did a test of my cells which came back as positive for some unknown something. Then, they pinched out some of my cells as a biopsy to be sent for further testing. I should know something in about 10 days.

I've spent a lot of time crying. First, this makes me feel like a dirty whore. Second, I'm worried about what I've done to my body and how things might be affected in the future (childbearing, cancer, etc.).

It's slightly comforting to know that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease. It's also slightly comforting to know that one of us may have had this in our bodies for years and it's just manifesting itself now. It is not, as my doctor explained, a recent transgression from my boyfriend like other STDs would imply. However, the truth is that if I'd never had sex, I would not have this virus and these possibilities.

Max has been awesome. He took me to my appointment today and has promised me that we'll get through this. I'm confident that he's in this for the long haul, and that I have his total support. I have cried, huge sobbing shaking-shoulders tears, and he has been there. For weeks. The worst part has been waiting. It's been nearly a month since I made today's appointment.

I'll share this with some of my friends when I know something concrete in a couple of weeks. For now, it's just so good to get this off my chest without having to inundate Max with my tears AGAIN. He's so cute and clueless, but he's been totally amazing. I'm lucky to be with him. It's sad that he's blaming himself for women that he slept with before me. We've made the decision that since we can't tell which one of us had this in the first place, we've got to move on from blaming ourselves.

As for weight, I'm pretty afraid of Wednesday's weigh-in. I've been snacking a lot just because it keeps me from thinking about what I've got going on inside of me. That's a terrible excuse, so I'm going to make a true effort to not have those types of eating 'episodes.'

On a totally unrelated topic, can you believe it's July already? I decided to use some of the money I made from teaching summer school to buy a new digital camera. I can't wait to go pick it up tomorrow! New pix soon!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from the Lake

I have seen enough phalluses in the last 36 hours to last a LONG time. My friend, Mindy, is getting married in August.

This weekend, we had a lovely ladies' luncheon with a bunch of women and the moms, etc. This is my friend who has cooked about as much in her life as I have in the last two weeks. Her registry was the biggest thing I'd ever seen with all these kitchen gadgets I know for certain she will never use. So, since I know she's a canned goods kind of girl, I got her an electric can opener and an electric jar opener. At least I know those will get used!

After the luncheon, all the younger ladies headed up north about an hour to one of the bridesmaid's lake house. We had penis everything ... cookies, straws, etc. Then, we had a woman from Pure Romance (the people who put the 'o' in romance) come for a little party. Lots and lots of phalluses. In a lot of bright colors. Hmm.

We also had lots of snacky foods. Fortunately, the hostess is also on WW, so everything was mostly decent to start with.

Thanks so much for all the welcome back messages! I've missed you guys!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Watch This!

One of the blogs that has given me a lot of inspiration is Pastaqueen's Half of Me. She has lost so much weight and has recently written a book about her experiences. It's called Half-Assed. I think that's an awesome title!

You can check everything out here. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Square One

I am going to give this another go. I have destroyed some of the progress I made, but I still have lots of progress that I've kept. However, I kept resting on the fact that I'd lost so much weight. I made the decision a few weeks ago, on my first time at WW in months, that I would reset my weight loss to zero pounds lost. I think that will give me the kick in the pants I need to start making that loss number big again.

At my first weigh-in since zero, I had lost 1.6 pounds. That was nice. It was the first time I'd felt like I'd lost in a long time. Of course, I'm basically where I was a year ago at this time. However, I feel like it's time to get back on track.

I'm starting over with my blog, but I'm leaving everything to be seen at the bottom. Since I'm starting over though, I'll have a new list of weigh-ins, I've written a new 'about me,' etc.

Here are a few personal updates. I am still dating Max. Much to my surprise. I'm not going to go back into old stuff, but I for one never saw this coming. I found that when I concentrated on my relationship with him and not how my relationship with him was different from all the other relationships I've had in my life (the ones that ended for some reason), that I was madly in love with him. We are so lucky to have found each other at such a perfect time in our respective lives, and I anticipate that we'll spend our lives together. After spending the last 15 months living between two homes (mostly his because of his cat and his nearness to both of our jobs), we will be combining homes in July. He's moving into my condo. I cannot wait! It seems like we've been living together already. Honestly, I've only slept in my own bed alone maybe five times in 2008 so far. At this point, the only prediction I have is this: I think by this time next year, we'll either be engaged or single. I've never been one who rushed things. I was never one of those girls who dreamed about my wedding. I still say that I'd rather never marry than divorce. However, I've begun dreaming about my wedding with Max. He makes me happy, and for the first time in a relationship, I truly know what it is to feel loved. Any boyfriends I was 'in love with' in the past just don't hold a candle to this.

Besides my love life, and my weight, there hasn't been that much going on. I've been on vacation from teaching for most of June. I was supposed to be teaching summer school. Actually, I taught summer school for a week. However, it soon became evident that there were too many teachers and not enough students. I had the least seniority, so I got the summer school axe. I actually anticipated it, and I was kind of glad to get fired. I worked a week and made enough money to cover some expenses, so I'm happy.

I hope that some of you who used to read my blog all the time still have me on your RSS feeds so you know I've updated. I'd love to hear from all of you, but I know I'll have to build my relationships back up and work on being consistent. Thanks in advance for being there for me!

Kim :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Late Weigh-In

I did weigh in on Wednesday. I gained .2 of a pound. I'm not bummed. I went out to lunch right beforehand (duh), and went out to dinner the night before. Things have been fine though.

I left my tennis shoes at home on Tuesday morning and then stayed the night at Max's. Max lives 4 miles from my work, and about 5 miles from my gym. I, however, live about 20 miles from both work and gym. No tennis shoes and I had a training appointment with my beautiful trainer Montez.

Montez, for the first time in 9 months called and canceled on me. Now, I had no tennis shoes and no appointment. What's a girl to do? I thought about going straight home. Instead, I decided to swim laps since I had a swimsuit in my bag. When I got there, I found out it was the time for water aerobics with a bunch of old ladies. I decided, what the hell ... and loved water aerobics with the ladies!

It was a lot of fun AND a good workout. I think I'll go back one of these days.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday night recipe

Okay, so this is my 3rd post in 24 hours. That's more than I made the last two months of 2007. Please make sure you read the third post down ... my 100th post! The top two are just recipes. This will be for the recipe I made tonight for Sunday Night Family Dinner. The ones that follow in the 2nd post is me catching up for those of you who have wanted to know what I'm cooking.

This was really good. I served it with Spanish rice (from the box; Goya brand) and the Greek tomatoes I made for supper club last night (recipe in the next post). It was a perfect size for us ... 2 big servings with 2 leftover servings for tomorrow's lunch.

Tamale Casserole
Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2006

Makes 4 Servings

4 teaspoons canola oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound ground skinless turkey breast
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon hot Mexican chili powder
2 cups water
2/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup shredded fat-free Monterey Jack cheese

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Saute' the bell pepper, onions, jalapeno, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey and cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon until browned, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, corn, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the chili powder; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring only once or twice, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Transfer to an 8-inch-square baking dish.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of the water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. In a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal into the remaining 1 cup water. Slowly pour the moist cornmeal into the boiling water in a thin steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes back to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to form large bubbles, about 5 minutes. Spread over the turkey so that it is completely covered. Bake 25 minutes, then sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving (1/4 of casserole): 300 calories, 6 g fat, 6 g fiber, POINTS: 6

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I just made my 100th post, so don't miss it! It's just below this really long post. Some of you have been asking for my Sunday night recipes. Here's what I have made so far. Let me know if you want me to tell you the other measurements (cholesterol, sodium, etc.)

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Ginger Sauce
Cooking Light, May 2001

3/4 cup apricot jelly (can also be peach or apple)
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
cooking spray

Prepare grill.
Place first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 16 minutes or until center is 160 degrees, turning pork occasionally. Place pork on a platter, and let stand 5 minutes. Serve pork with sauce.

4 servings (4 ounces pork and 1/4 cup sauce)
Calories: 290; Fat: 3.4 g; Protein: 24.2 g; Fiber 0.5 g

Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook, 2006

Makes 4 servings

1 (10 ounce) tube refrigerated pizza dough
1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced artichoke hearts
3 roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup thinly sliced turkey salami (I used Canadian bacon)

1. Preheat the oven to 375F; line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough; press into an 8 X 12 rectangle. Sprinkle with cheese, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges. Top with the artichoke hears, peppers, and salami. Starting on a short end, roll up the dough jelly-roll style to enclose the filling. Crimp the edges to seal.
3. Place the stromboli, seam-side down, on the baking sheet. I decided to brush the top with olive oil to make it brown and crispy. Bake until golden brown and crusty, 20-25 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve piping hot.

Per serving (1/4 of stromboli): 262 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g fiber POINTS: 5

Italian Sausage with Peppers
also from the WW New Complete Cookbook

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 Bermuda onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (I used regular onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I used 3 green peppers since they're cheaper)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (I used the ones that are garlicky)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 pound cooked hot Italian pork sausage (I used turkey sausage)
2 cups penne
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Saute' the onion, bell peppers, and fennel until the vegetables turn golden, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute' 1-2minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
2. Cut the sausage on the diagonal into 1-inch slices. Add to the vegetable mixture; simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes longer. If the sauce becomes too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
3. Meanwhile, cook the penne according to package directions; drain.
4. Add the basil, parsley, and penne to the sausage mixture; toss to combine.

Per serving (1/4 of sausage-pasta mixture): 438 calories, 20 g fat, 6 g fiber, POINTS: 10

I totally changed the points value of the recipe by using turkey sausage. It ended up being approximately 5 points per serving.

Side dishes:

Greek Tomatoes (made this for Greek night at Supper Club)
Cooking Light, April 1996

3 small plum tomatoes (about 6 ounces), cut in half
vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese with basil and tomato
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat toaster oven to 350F.

Place tomato halves on toaster oven pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each tomato half, and top with cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes: To bake in a conventional oven, place tomato halves on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
Try to buy flat-bottomed tomatoes.
If making multiple recipes, you'll need to play with the cooking time. 20 minutes was no where near enough for 4 recipes together.

Sauteed Artichoke Hearts with Garlic and Lemon
Weight Watchers My Turnaround Program Cookbook, 2006

Hands-On Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Serves 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until artichokes just start to turn brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, 2-3 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Per serving (scant 1/2 cup with 1 lemon wedge): 60 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1 POINT

Sesame Broccoli
WW Turnaround Cookbook

Hands on Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Serves 4

4 cups fresh broccoli florets
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1. Put the broccoli in a steamer basket; set in a saucepan over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and steam until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to a medium bowl.
2. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
3. Add the dressing to the broccoli; toss to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve at once.

Per serving (1 cup): 79 calories; 5 g fat; 3 g fiber; POINTS 1

100th Post!

Welcome to my 100th post! Just 55 weeks later.

Progress so far: I am a week away from one year at Weight Watchers. I am approximately 40 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. A year ago, I wore a size 26. Now, I'm wearing mostly 18s with the occasional 20.

In addition, I have now been dating Max for approximately 9 months. Things are going very well, and I'm still looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

Financially, I'm still poor. I used to work two additional jobs, but I decided to devote my time to my body this year. I stopped my part-time retail job as well as the tutoring I used to do. I've got to figure something out for this year. I used to make an extra $500/month with tutoring and working. I am currently paying out about an additional $200 month for WW, the gym, and my trainer. Alas, I'm still poor ... even poorer than before. It's a good investment, but I'm not sure how long I can keep it up.

So far, 2008 has been pretty good. I'm down almost 5 pounds, and I've kept up my Sunday night family dinners. Some of you have asked about my recipes. I'm going to see if there's a way for me to add them on the sidebar. If I can't, I'll do a long post next with the last few recipes. Beyond that, I'll add them each week.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Weigh-in Wednesday

Yeah! Three good weeks in a row. I'm still having a problem getting back into the swing of things mentally, but physically I'm doing most of what I need to do.

I'm down another 1.2 pounds this week, a total of 4.8 so far this year. I'm part of a work contest for weight loss right now. In December, we set our own goals and put $50 into the 'pot.' If we don't reach our goal by February 29, the money from the pot gets split amongst those who did make their goal. Best case scenario: I make my goal, earn the $50 I put in back, and no one else makes their goals (j/k) so I get all of their $50s. Worst case scenario: I don't make my goal and the others get to split my money up. In December (before the holidays, mind you), I set a goal of 12 pounds. After my gain in December, I think I'm down about 3. Yikes! I've got 5 weeks to lose 9 pounds. I am poor. I am determined to at least come out even. 9 pounds is a lot of weight to lose!

Sorry I'm not blogging much yet, especially commenting on your blogs. I'm still not blogging on Max's computer, and I'm there 4 or 5 nights a week. So, I either have to sneak it in at work, or wait until I'm at my own house (usually Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let it Snow!

Second snow this week in Atlanta, Georgia! I don't remember the last time I actually saw real snow. Sometimes we get freezing rain or sleet or ice, but it's been a long time since we had snow. It was beautiful coming down!

I lost .6 of a pound this week. Not as much as I'd like, but I was excited it was a loss!

Off on Monday for Martin Luther King's birthday. Anybody doing anything exciting for the weekend? Not much here. Tomorrow night's 'family dinner' is strombolis from the WW cookbook. I'll let you know how that turns out. I've never made anything like that!

Enjoy your long weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can't Sleep -- Might as well blog about it

I have always had a hard time sleeping on Sunday nights. It's currently almost 4:30 in the morning, and I'm still up. Yes, my alarm is going off in less than an hour and a half. Sucks.

I had the second installment of Sunday night dinner tonight. I made a weight watchers recipe called Italian Sausage and Peppers. I lowered the points value in the WW cookbook from 10 to 4 per serving by changing the pork sausage out for turkey and the regular pasta to whole wheat. It was really yummy and had Max telling me I could become a professional chef! I also used fennel for the first time. It was easy to prep once I found a how-to site online with pictures showing how to cut it. I didn't use the tops/fronds/leafy stuff, but I saved it. Any idea what I'm supposed to do with it now?

I am cooking more now than I ever have, and most of the time, I love it! I cook dinner for us probably 4 nights a week and nice breakfasts on the weekends. This morning, I took 'used' rotisserie chicken from dinner earlier in the week, put it with some egg whites and pasta sauce, sprinkled in a little low fat mozarella and put a couple of jalapenos in, and wow! It was really yummy!

I'm starting now with just doing the main entree from scratch. I hope a few months from now I'm at the point where I'm cooking the whole meal from scratch. For now, it's store-bought appetizers and desserts and easy vegetable sides that I can stick in the microwave (like tonight's steamed broccoli).

I'm enjoying myself, and that was one of the main goals here. I'd like to have a night set into my schedule for us to have friends over for dinner from time to time. I'm trying to establish Sunday as a low-key time at home. Next week, I think I'm going to make a WW stromboli recipe I found.

Then, Max heads home, and I have a hard time sleeping. It's a nice little pattern.

I haven't been great on exercise this week. I had a baby shower to attend on Thursday after work and missed my workout. Also, Max and I have both been fighting a little bit of a stomach bug, so today, I just didn't feel like doing anything physical. He came home feeling crappy on Friday, and I just felt yucky today. Yesterday, I swam laps for an hour, so I'm glad I got that in.

How's everything going in your world?

P.S. I'm catching up on reading your blogs, but I haven't quite gotten around to responding to everyone yet. I'm working on it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

I knew I'd had a good week and I was proud of my 3 pound loss this week! I was below my points every day but one, and I logged 19 activity points that I didn't end up using. I even had more than 20 of my flex points left. It feels good to actually write my food down, which I do on eTools.

Tonight, my singing group (7 women) and I had our annual holiday gift exchange and night out. We had dinner and saw the movie Juno. I loved it! Have you seen it yet? It was fun hanging out with our little group without having to actually rehearse!

I hope y'all all had good loss weeks!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I'm back?

Just a quick post to say I'm ready to rejoin the healthy. I'd taken a little while off ... which became three months to the date since my last post.

I'll do an update soon ... with how much I've gained since then as well as what I'm going to do about it.

The short list:
*back at Weight Watchers
*back to counting points
*back to working out more than once a week
*back to blogging (I've missed y'all a lot!)

See you soon!

Kim :)