Friday, March 30, 2012

My coworkers are MEAN

Let me preference this post by saying that I am currently preparing for Radioactive Iodine Treatment (oral chemotherapy) as a part of my Thyroid Cancer treatment.  To prepare for this, I am on a low-iodine diet (which mean I can eat basically nothing) and can't take my thyroid medicine (I am hypothyroid).  This post does not reflect my normal behavior.

I walked into my office yesterday morning and a wonderful aroma hit my olfactory senses.  When I turned the corner to go into my office, I saw them.

Breakfast sandwiches.  Ham, Sausage, and Bacon Egg and Cheese breakfast sandwiches.

And seeing (and smelling) these could not be avoided.  Let me show you the proximity of these sandwiches to my actual office (as in where my desk is):

There is no avoiding them.

I know people bring food into the office quite frequently, but I didn't expect them to bring something so aromatic and then put it RIGHT NEXT TO my office.  The entire office smelled like cheese, bacon, and sausage.  One of my coworkers said, "I can't smell them."  I wanted to reply to that with, "That's because you still have sausage grease on your face."

I didn't say that.

I did, however, several completely inappropriate almost reactions to this:

1.  I almost started crying.

2.  I almost took all the sandwiches and threw them in the garbage.

3.  I almost took all the sandwiches and threw them on the floor while stomping my foot.


And anyone who has gone through this low-iodine diet without Synthroid/Cytomel knows that is no small feat.

Needless to say, I think my hypothyroid symptoms are starting to sneak up on me.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twitter Family Reunion

My cousins are awesome.  I am sure I have mentioned it before.  Currently, they are all students at Oregon State University getting smart in all kinds of wonderful things.  Because they are young and I am older and wiser, I offered some dating advice for them a while back.

That's what older cousins are for.

Lindsay just got a twitter account and she and I had the following HILARIOUS (at least to me) conversation the other night:

Me:  I've noticed you have a thing for cats:

Lindsay:  That is the best thing I've ever seen!  Except that the kitty eyes would be on my boobs...

Me:  Oh would that make you uncomfortable?

Lindsay:  Not at all.  I'd have a kitten and that's all that matters!

Me:  You wouldn't be able to say, "Excuse me my eyes are up HERE!"

Lindsay:  As long as nobody tries to pet my cat shirt.

Me:  Only if you want them to.

Linsday:  I'll try that at the next blood drive.

{Kitty shirt from HERE}

She's a riot.  And a ginger.  The two things might be related, I don't know.

Follow me on twitter:  @mrsnjanney

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Low Iodine Lunch

I am now 1 week into my low-iodine diet.  1 week down, 4 to go.

Today one of my coworkers told me, "If I were on that diet, I would totally cheat."  Well that would be completely counter-productive.  I'm not doing this because it is fun or to lose weight (although I'd better lose some dang weight).  And just a reminder:  for normal healthy people, iodine is very important.

Lunch is by far the hardest meal of the day for me.  Breakfast is fairly easy... Some egg whites with veggies and hash browns plus a fruit smoothie (read: pureed fruit and ice).  I save all my meat and grains for dinner, but that makes lunch a little tricky.

Last week I tried no-salt peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on low-iodine bread.  But the peanut butter doesn't taste like normal peanut butter (it tastes like peanut butter in England) and my low-iodine bread is getting a little dry.

So here it is... my lunch:

Carrots and yellow peppers with homemade hummus.  No-salt white corn tortilla chips with homemade guacomole.  Apples and a banana.  I am pretty sure my daily recommended 9 fruits and veggies are all right there.  My dinner tonight will be veggie-less.  I am such a rebel.

It isn't half bad except for the fact that it takes FOREVER to eat enough veggies to be full.  I might try to keep this up when my diet is over.  But I'll probably add some things.  Like bread.  And cheese.  And cookies.  And lasagna.

Now I'm drowling.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday Funday

I made it through my first day of the week pretty well.  I felt like taking a nap at around 1:30, but I didn't!  So we will count that as a success.  I even managed to get some (one) thing finished on my to-do list.

{The boss said I HAD to make a to-do list because he knows my thyroid-less brain is not remembering everything I need to get done.  Most everything on this list needs to be done by Wednesday}

Here are some fun things I heard during my day wearing the boss pants:

1)  "This is pretty simple. You'll probably be able to do it."  Gee thanks for the vote of confidence.  PS - I do all of it anyway, simple or not.

2)  "How much will that cost?  Please initial that estimate."  Well considering the fact that you just told me the project was SO SIMPLE that even I would be able to do it, it will be costing you more.  And having me initial the estimate made me a little nervous.

3)  "We were supposed to have that last week.  When can you have that done?"  Please refer to my to-do list.  You are now at the bottom of it.

4)  "You have a fax from the boss."  I thought he was supposed to be on vacation?

5)  "You have a fax from the boss."  Ok he sucks at being on vacation.

Here's to a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Week

The weekend went by WAY too quickly.  Maybe it is just because I am really not looking forward to this week.  My boss is out of town, which means I am the engineer in charge.  And even though I have been a full-fledged engineer for over a year, the idea of making design decisions completely by myself is a little daunting.

{Story Winery in Plymouth, CA.  This is where my boss is right now.  AMAZING Zinfandel.  That's my unedited picture.}

It will be fine.  I actually know what I am doing.  Weird.

But I have a lot on my plate work-wise, even without having to answer other people's questions.

Plus, I am not 5 days into the prep for my RAI and I am starting to subtly see the side effects of low thyroid hormones.  The ones that concern me the most are the lack of focus and the tiredness.  I know I will have to work pretty hard to make everything is done correctly and quickly which probably won't be helping the tiredness.  Apparently it is fairly common for people to not work when they are preparing for the RAI, so we will see how this goes.

Eating also takes a lot more focus than it used to.  And while I knew it would be a challenge, it has surprised me just how hard the diet really is.  I think the main challenge has been that it started all of a sudden.  You can't really ease into it.  But I am starting to get the hang of it.  It has kind of made me feel like a fatty though.  I never realized how much I was attached to food.  There are several Dr. Phil and Biggest Loser episodes devoted to dealing with this.

And I don't know if it is the thyroid or just stuff in general, but I find I get sad a lot easier.  And blogging has kind of made it worse.  It is easy to get caught up in comparing my blog to other blogs.  Followers, comments, etc.  It feels like high school all over again and I would NEVER sign up to go through that again.  Sometimes I feel like I constantly have to self-promote myself to get followers when in reality blogging is just a good way to make connections with people.  It has kind of bummed me out lately.

All this to say that I may not be posting as much for the next week or so.  Who knows how I will feel after this week.  I hope I won't lose followers and readers, but I know it is possible that I will.  I'll do my best to post regularly, I promise.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A little medical rant

Currently I am riding down to a meeting on site in Eugene. When I was invited to this meeting, I was conveniently not told it would be outside... In the snow. Maybe if I had known, I wouldn't have worn my nude pumps. Oh well. Who needs to feel their toes anyway?

My RAI got scheduled for April 17th. Getting it scheduled was nothing short of a saga. I am not too surprised as almost every step of this process has been a challenge. Not all of it, but most. I really can't complain about my surgeries since they went off without a hitch. Except for the fact that my surgeon tried to get me to not have either surgery. Ok that counts as challenging I think.

This entire process has really pointed out to me just how messed up healthcare really is. And I am not talking insurance (although that is definitely a problem). I am talking about medical professionals. I can not believe how hard it has been to see doctors, get appointments, get people to call me back, heck... Get the nurse to give me anti-nausea medication at the hospital (I thought my mom was going to go primal on her). And I know it isn't just me because my father in law has had some interesting experiences lately as well.

You would think all medical professionals would be supportive and helpful when you are scared and have cancer. But some of them either have forgotten what it is like or have never actually gone through a health crisis themselves because the complete lack of understanding is ridiculous.

For example, I was supposed to find out of my RAI was scheduled in April last week. As I mentioned earlier, RAI involves going off my thyroid hormones and going on a low iodine diet. It isn't exactly something you can just walk into. Well the hospital didn't have the schedule done because the ONE person who does the schedule was on his honeymoon so they couldn't do it.

You mean to tell me there is only one person qualified to put a schedule together? And since he knew he was going to be gone, wouldnt it be a good idea to do it BEFORE he left?

So the scheduler for my endocrinologist laid the smack down. She let them know that wasn't acceptable. Long story short, the ONLY reason I even found out this week that I NEEDED to be on my diet is because I called everyday and asked. Finally the hospital got so tired of hearing from the scheduler, they got it figured out.

I was under the delusion that once you found out you had cancer, your doctors would rally around you and make sure you at least FELT like you were being taken care of. I have found that to be a rarity (not that it hasn't kind of happened but it took a while to get there). Heck... It took me 6 months and 4 tries to even get my nodules biopsied. If I hadn't pushed and done my own research and been my own advocate, I would be sitting at the fertility clinic, probably still not able to get pregnant because my thyroid was all weird, with cancer growing in my neck.

So here is the point of this whole rant: if you work in the health care industry and you have forgotten that the purpose of your job is to take care of your patients, it is time for you to get a new job.

And here is the last point: as a patient, don't ever assume your doctors are on top of things. Don't ever stop being your own advocate. If you are sick and your doctor can't handle taking the time to take care of you, it is time for a new doctor.

And here I thought this post was going to be about the low iodine bread I made last night.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DIY Chalkboard

Here's how I turned this:

Into this:

Step 1:  Buy a big frame from Goodwill.

Step 2:  Take the frame apart, measure the glass.  Get a piece of 5 mm plywood cut to fit the glass dimension.  In this case, it was 28" x 34".

Step 3:  Spray paint the frame.

Step 4:  Prime the plywood using Latex paint primer.  Let dry.  Then use chalkboard paint and apply 2 coats.

I used THIS chalkboard paint in black.

Step 5:  Put chalkboard back into the frame and install nails.


Just hang and enjoy!

My husband and I are already using it to write eachother love notes.  Here's my love note to my husband:

And here's his love note to me:

{When they say SIMMER the beans, they mean BOIL}

I love it when he talks dirty to me.

In reality, this note is super sweet.  He made garbanzo beans for me so I could eat dinner at my family's birthday celebration to celebrate my brother's birthday.

And no... this has nothing to do with my low iodine diet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I'm sure you can tell, but I have been having a difficult time lately.  So many things have been up in the air and I do a whole heck of a lot better when things are planned.  I like having plans.  I like knowing when things will happen.  And since nothing has been going smoothly, my patience (which I already don't have much of) is wearing even thinner.

Seriously... why can't this cancer stuff go smoothly?  How hard is it for someone to put the schedule together?  And how hard is it to make sure that the schedule gets sent out?  UGH!


We have some fun and exciting stuff to look forward, but it is still kind of far off.  Far off enough to almost be MORE depressing because I am pretty sure time is moving backwards.  I need something to look forward to RIGHT NOW.

Which is why I have decided to make a conscious effort to find something to look forward to EACH DAY.

Last night, it was putting together my chalkboard and watching Dance Moms.

Today it is finding out, one way or another, if my RAI treatment will be in April.  And the Hawaiian food I had for lunch.  And getting to see my nephews tonight.

Tomorrow... Well I am not sure about tomorrow, but I will figure something out.

You get the picture.

That along with lots of DEEP breaths and reminders like this:

{image from HERE}

{image from HERE}

{image from HERE}

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Radioactive Iodine and Low-Iodine Diet

A part of my thyroid cancer treatment involves a dose of Radioactive Iodine (RAI), which is oral chemotherapy.  To prepare for this, I will have to stop taking my thyroid medicine and go on a low-iodine diet for about 5 weeks (4 weeks before, 1 week after).

Educational moment:  Thyroid tissue is the only tissue in the body that takes up iodine and iodine is actually really important for normal thyroids.  Lack of iodine in the diet is associated with goitars and other thyroid malfunctions.  For this reason, developed countries have added iodine to pretty much everything to make sure that people get enough.

The type of cancer I have likes to spread via the bloodstream to your lungs and bones, but really it can pop up anywhere in the body.  And even after a thyroidectomy, there is still some remnant thyroid tissue left in the body (around the parathyroid glands).

Since iodine is only taken up by thyroid tissue, it is the perfect mechanism for killing leftover thyroid tissue and killing any thyroid cancer cells that may be in other locations of the body.  RAI will help get rid of any cancer cells which may have spread (which hopefully none did) and help keep the cancer from coming back.

A nuclear pharmacist (like our friend, Reid) will prepare a radioactive form of the iodine (I-131).  In terms of side effects, it doesn't have many.  It is a MUCH better alternative to systemic chemotherapy.

The Low-Iodine diet will basically starve my body of Iodine so that when I get the I-131, the thyroid tissue will soak it all up.

There are quite a few restrictions on this diet.  They differ a little depending on who you talk to, but here's the jist:

-  No dairy (that includes cheese, milk, ice cream, butter, yogurt, and chocolate)
-  No egg yolks
-  No soy products
-  Basically nothing processed
-  No iodinized salt
-  Nothing from the ocean.  No fish, shellfish, sea salt, seaweed, etc.
-  No chicken plumped with brine.
-  Only 6 oz. of meat a day
-  Only 4 servings of grains a day
-  No Red #3
-  Distilled Water
-  Certain types of beans are off limits
-  Not too much spinach and broccoli
-  No canned anything (except peaches, pineapple, and one other thing I can't remember)

There's still plenty to eat, but it requires a little more planning than usual since almost EVERYTHING has to be made from scratch.  And it will be a lot of fruits and vegetables.  I am secretly hoping I will lose weight while doing this, but that isn't likely.  In addition to the restricted diet, I have to stop taking my thyroid medicine so my metabolism will be virtually non-existant.  And I'll probably feel like crap. 

But it must be done!  I can do it.  Hopefully this will be one of the last steps in this process.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a good and hectic one, filled with friends, family, and projects.  Here are some highlights:

I spent Friday night with Jenna and Danielle at the OSAA Dance and Drill State Compeition.  It brought back lots of memories.  Mostly of disappointment.  Hard work leading to no pay-off.  Dance team would have been a completely different experience if our team had been good.  Or had actual coaches.  It is nice to see other teams do well though.

Saturday, I went shopping by myself and found this gem:

It is currently being transformed.  I was only interested in the frame which cost a whopping $10.  Phil wants to keep the picture and the pink matte, but I said no.  A girl's gotta put her foot down sometimes.

I made low-iodine spaghetti sauce which required me to chop an entire head of garlic.  I think my hands may still smell like garlic.

We had drinks and dinner with our Irish friend (it was St. Patrick's Day afterall), Ian.  And we discussed the restaurants poor adverstising of Boddington's (which they pronounced Buddingtons) as an Irish stout (which it is totally not) and the fact that St. Patrick's Day parades always have men playing bagpipes dressed in tartan kilts (while bagpipes and tartan kilts are Scottish, not Irish).  Then we watched Michael Collins while I folded all of our laundry in front of Ian.  He's now seen all of my underwear.  The best part is that I don't think he had noticed until I pointed it out.  Awkward points for me.

Sunday we went to my brother's house to celebrate David's birthday.  Since David is 4 (and thus a certified tattle-tell), he was really concerned when my oldest nephew, Daniel, had gone to the bathroom and locked the door.  He proceeded to tell my brother that it was wrong and wanted to know what Daniel was doing in the bathroom.  That conversation went like this:

David:  But Daddy, why does Daniel have the door locked?

Nick:  Probably because we wants some privacy.

David:  But with the door locked, I can't get into the bathroom.

Nick:  Which is probably why Daniel locked the door.

David:  But what he is doing in there?

Nick:  He is probably going to the bathroom.

David:  But he is not peeing or pooping.  What is he doing in there?

Nick:  It's none of your beeswax.  Just leave him alone.

Then Sunday evening, we went to Josh and Joanna's house for a home-cooked meal.  It was crazy good.  The best part was when Josh was holding Braxton on his lap and trying to get him to sit down with the phrase, "Sit down Brax or Daddy will shoot the Easter Bunny."

It was a great weekend.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Thursday, I had a mole removed on the back of my leg (upper thigh).  Just a precaution.  Hopefully everything will come back normal.

Anyway, getting stuff removed from the back of the leg is kind of awkward.  This spot is right next to where I had the bug bite removed last summer, so I am used to the awkwardness.  Plus the PA doing it was a man and the nurse assisting him is Russian Orthodox.  And even though that shouldn't matter, it made me feel even more awkward.

I knew I would have to be pants-less, laying on my stomach, with my butt in the air.  This meant one thing:  I would need to be careful about my underwear choice.

Last weekend, we did literally all of our laundry, but I haven't folded any of it, so my choices for underwear were limited.  I wanted to make sure I had on full coverage underwear.  That gave me two choices:

1)  Purple leopard print


2)  Bright blue underwear that had "Give a Little, Get a Lot" across the butt

I thought the purple leopard was a little more appropriate.  More professional, if you will.

It ended up not mattering.  The nurse did an excellent job of making sure my long top was covering my butt the entire time.

Phil said this was another example of how I should have bought the St. Patrick's themed thong we saw near the check out at the grocery store.  You know... to be in the holiday spirit.  He's so helpful sometimes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Was Tennyson Right?

Yesterday morning, one of our employees called.  His granddaughter had died the day before.  She was 11 months old.

To say that we are all so sad for him and his family is a HUGE understatement.

A little later, someone said, "Doesn't that make you feel better?  Is your glass half-empty or half-full?  It could be worse."

I have noticed people do that as a way to try and comfort - mention other people's troubles as a way to make you feel better about your own situation.  As if to give perspective on what is really important.  And I know that works sometimes.  If I were fretting about a squabble with a coworker or a small fight with my husband or something.  But I don't think that necessarily applies all of the time.

Sometimes it just points out to me that things can still get worse.  And I know things could still get worse.  That is what scares me.

It scares me that after everything that has happened lately, my cancer could have spread.  Or when we finally start fertility treatments, we may found out we really can't have children.  Or when we do have children, they could still die in some horrible tragedy.  Or some tragedy I haven't even thought of could happen.

I don't think two half-empty glasses make a half-full glass (ok obviously fraction wise, two half empty glasses could make a half full glass, but you know what I mean).  Other people's pain doesn't erase or diminish my pain.

And that got me thinking... what is worse?

Is it worse to be hit by a tornado?
Or find out you have cancer?
Or be infertile?
Or lose a child?

Alfred Lord Tennyson said:

 "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all."
Is that true?

Is it better to have a child and lose them, or to never be able to have one?

Personally, I think they both just suck.  And we shouldn't try to diminsh someone's struggles or pain just because we think someone else has it worse.

One thing I know for certain, I feel horrible for my coworker and his daughter.

If there is one thing I have gained from my half-empty glass, it is knowing how much it sucks when other people's glasses are half-empty as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Laundry Soap

Apparently I make everything from scratch now.  Here is a list of things I (and by I, I mean with a great deal of assistance from my husband) made from scratch this weekend:

Almond Milk
-  Ketchup (did you know it takes FOR STINKIN' EVER to make ketchup?)
-  Pickles
-  Hashbrowns (not that it is hard to make shredded potatoes from scratch.  But I peeled and grated 10 pounds of potatoes)
-  Laundry Soap

{We NEEDED the laundry soap.  Can't you see the pile of laundry in the background?}

I finally made laundry soap (using THIS RECIPE).  And it only took 9 months and 2 attempts to do so. 

And no... making laundry soap is not related to my upcoming low-iodine diet.

Why 2 attempts?  Because I forgot to add water when I melted my soap and ended up melting a spoon instead.  And it made our house smell like melted plastic and burnt soap.

I figure since apparently now I make EVERYTHING from scratch, why not throw in laundry soap?

I have crazy sensitive skin.  We can't use fabric softener.  No laundry soap with scents.  So I was a little concerned about making my own soap.  But it has NO dyes and NO scents.  Just a bunch of soap.  It works and our clothes smell clean.

And now we are the proud owners of 10 gallons of laundry soap.  I estimate we won't need more laundry soap for about a year.  At least.  And I think, over the course of the year, I have saved us a whopping $100.  Cha-ching.

I think this makes me an official pioneer woman.  Which makes total sense, since I live in Oregon (the end of the Oregon Trail).  We did spend quite a bit of time in elementary school learning how the pioneers lived, complete with making our own wool and square dancing.

I think I am ready for my own butter-churn.

Oh wait... after next week I can't have butter.  Ok in a month and a half, I'll be ready for my butter churn.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fitting In

I have been finding it really hard to relate to people lately.  I am not really sure where I fit. 

-  I don't have kids, so mommy groups are out. 

-  I'm too tired to finish any projects, so I can't be a crafty kind of person. 

-  Seeing as I wear dress pants and blazers almost every day of the week, fashion posts would get boring fast.

-  While I am still a newlywed, the harsh realities of Ed's Liver Cancer, infertility, and Thyroid Cancer kind of took away the honeymoon "life is sunshine and daisies.  Unicorns and glitter" phase from us.

-  Since we have been banned from pursuing fertility treatments (which we were about to start when my nodules were discovered) for at LEAST a year and a half, I don't fit into the infertility blogging community as well.  Of course, I am not sure how detailed I would get about that anyway since I am sure no one wants to know what cycle day (or CD) I am on.

-  I'm not even sure how I feel about my own cancer.  My father-in-law has Liver Cancer.  That is serious stuff.  Usually you hear of people having Liver Cancer and they only live a few more months.  Thankfully (in a weird way), Ed's liver ruptured and that has most likely given him more time.  I have Thyroid Cancer.  The "good" kind of cancer.  As everyone keeps saying, "If you have to have cancer, Thyroid Cancer is the one you want to have."

So I am supposed to feel grateful?  I am grateful to have to a kind of cancer with a great prognosis.  But am I supposed to be grateful that I have Thyroid Cancer?  Is it not a big deal because most likely, I will be fine?

It is a big deal to me.

I know it isn't good to let cancer take over your life and steal your identity, but I am finding that REALLY hard to do with Thyroid Cancer.  My lack of thyroid hormones is drying out my skin, causing my hair to dry out and break off, making me exhausted (and look exhausted), making it impossible to remember things, making me gain weight, making me too tired to move or even think about moving, messing with my hormones (read: more frequent periods and SUPER emotional.  Just what every girl wants), making me depressed, and making me freezing cold ALL THE TIME.

It is making it really hard to remember and hold on to all of the wonderful things about myself.  :)

And it is about to get a lot worse.

But it has to be done.  I have to let it consume my life for the next couple of months so that it won't be factor in the rest of my life.

So for the next couple of months, I won't really fit in anywhere.  I will be in my own little space, doing what I need to do, waiting to get through this Thyroid Cancer stuff.

I hope you'll stick it out with me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Almond Milk

Phil and I have always wondered about milk subsitutes.  What exactly is soy/almond/rice milk and how do they make it?  How do you milk an almond?

In case you too were wondering about how you make almond milk, here's how you do it:

Almond Milk

1)  Soak raw, unsalted, unroasted almonds and soak them in water for a day.

2)  For every 1 ounce of (dry weight) almonds, use about 1 cup of water.  Place almonds, water, some salt, a little bit of maple syrup, and a cap and a half of pure vanilla extract in a blender and blend away.

3)  Strain blended mix through cheeseclothe into a container.

4)  Taste.  The first batch I made was absolutely disgusting.  I had only added a few drops of maple syrup and hadn't figured out the vanilla yet.  Once I got that all figured out, it actually wasn't that bad.

Let me just say, there is a reason they put these things in cartons you can't see through.  It looks kind of gross after it has sat a while.  Definitely need to SHAKE before using.

I have no idea why anyone would ever make their own almond milk if they didn't have to.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm glad I'm married

Phil read me a status update of one of his Facebook friends who recently signed up for online dating.  She posted an e-mail she had gotten from someone who was apparently very taken with her online dating profile.  Here is his e-mail:

"I came across your profile and was quite enamored by such an articulate and heavenly blessed beauty. I would be kicking myself if I didn't ask, so I was wondering if you would accept an engagement of witty banter between two intellectuals? Of course this "engagement" may start off as purely platonic but my sensual desires will...l most likely guide our cohesive unity down more erotic, lascivious, and sexual paths that will include but are not limited to passionate make out sessions under the star lit sky, dry humping, fondling each others naughty parts, and an abundance of new uncharted sexual positions where I assert my pure dominance in establishing a realm of absolute sovereignty in your nether regions.

Is this something you would be interested in pursuing"

There are so many disturbing things in this e-mail.

-  I imagine this guy with a woman in a hole somewhere and he is feeding her doughnuts while instructing her to put on more lotion.

-  The real selling point of this was when he mentioned dry humping.

-  Or maybe it was the idea of him asserting his dominance and absolute sovereignty.

-  Phil and I are pretty sure this guy likes Renaissance fairs and is a frequent LARP-er.

-  This is so the OPPOSITE of You've Got Mail.

Phil... Don't ever leave me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tagged Again!

Anna at My Adventures as a Parker tagged me for another 11 Questions.  Anna and I go WAY back.  I am not sure exactly when we met, but we went to the same church as kids and we used to run the projector for the worship song lyrics in middle school together.

The Rules:

1. Post these rules

2. Post a photo of yourself & 11 random facts about you.

3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger's post.

4. Create 11 new questions & tag people to answer them.

5. Go to their blog/twitter & let them know they've been tagged!

{Phil and I at Tegan's wedding}

11 Random Facts
1.  I'm left handed.  Of course, judging by my complete and total weirdness, you probably guessed that already.
2.  I have deformed feet.  My little toes lay on top of the toes next to them.  I was born that way.  I think I must have been super squished in-utero or something.  It makes it really hard (and often painful) to wear certain shoes.  I had surgery done about 4 years ago to try and fix them and it didn't really work.  They said in order to really fix them, I would have to have the entire joint replaced.  Not really worth it.  However, since I will have reached my out of pocket max for my health insurance this year, I have thought about it.
3.  I hate having the lights on.  Ever.  I work under just a desk lamp at work.  And we used minimal lighting at home.
4.  My skin is allergic to pretty much everything.  The sun.  Grass.  Most laundry soap.  All fabric softener.  Almost all soap.  Bubble bath.  Bug bits (apparently).  I am ready to be fit for my bubble.
5.  Junior year of college, when engineering classes got super hard, my friends always came to my apartment to do study and do homework.  They always complimented me on how nice my apartment smelled.  I may have an obsession with scented candles.
6.  I love having a clean house, but completely SUCK at cleaning.  I tend to let it wait until it is completely out of hand and then spend like 2 days doing a complete overhaul.  And each time, I vow to keep on top of things so it doesn't get that bad again.  It doesn't last that long.
7.  I love milk.  I'm that person that orders milk at restaurants, where one glass costs more than a gallon would at the store.  Love me some milk.
8.  My three older siblings are all half siblings.  My oldest brother and sister are my dad's kids from his previous marriage.  My brother, Nick, is my mom's son from her previous marriage.  I like to think I am the glue that holds the family together.  Genetically at least.  In a weird, back woods way, my nephew Jeffrey is my only "full" sibling (my parents adopted him several years ago).
9.  I twirl my hair.  More so when I am tired or stressed.  But I twirl my hair A LOT.
10.  I'm a Potterhead.  Big time.  If you don't know what that means, I don't think we can be friends (ok not really).
11.  If it were socially acceptable to wear slippers and fleece pants in public, I would.  Oh wait... I already do that.  Well at least I don't wear them to work.  (yet)

That was really hard.

1. Least favorite subject in high school.
English.  Or maybe Health.  Smoking is bad.  Got it.  And the pictures the health teacher showed us of hairy tongue which is caused by chewing tobacca scarred me for life.

2. Who was your childhood hero?
My brother, Nick.  My oldest siblings used to pick on me all the time and he would stand up for me and keep them from hurting me.  And one time in kindergarten he kept a sixth grader from bothering me on the playground.

3. What major US city could you see yourself living in?
I'm not sure I could see myself living in a major US city.  I could see myself living on the east coast someday (don't tell my dad), but it would probably in a small town.  Phil's not really a "city" kind of guy.

4. Biggest fear?
This was in my previous tagged post.  Cancer.  Or dying young.  And spiders.

5. If you could go back to college, what would you study?
Medicine.  I wanted to go into medicine, but knew it would make it almost impossible to have a family.

6. Have you ever wanted to learn another language? Which one?
I am currently trying to learn spanish.  I can say "the dog runs."

7. Coca-Cola or Pepsi?

8. What is your favorite way to relax?
Veg out at home, watching Big Love or Top Chef.  Usually in bed.  And sometimes while eating pizza.

9. Favorite current obsession?
I have been reading and reading and reading about radioactive iodine and the low-iodine diet.  I am trying to make sure I understand what is going to happen and the things I need to do to prepare for them.  Turns out iodine is in EVERYTHING.  Since I want this to work really well the first time and to never have to do this again, I am trying to make sure both Phil and I know exactly what I can and cannot eat.  It is kind of confusing.

10. Who is your favorite sporting team?
Portland Trailblazers.  Currently, they are making it hard to be a fan (especially road games).

11. How would you spend $10 million?
I would some land and build a house.  Go on a trip to Harry Potter World and to Europe.  Give some to some charities.  Invest the rest.  I know... I'm WILD.

Alright I did it!  I wonder if I was supposed to do the 11 random facts for the first tagged post?  Oh well.  :)

I am going to tag my friend Tegan at Enlove with Life!  Same questions.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Katherine at The Bailey Daily tagged me for some blog tag.  I was pretty excited about this because it was the first time I have been blog tagged.  Another blog first for me.  Next on the list will be a blate.

- You must post the rules.

- Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged.

- Tag 11 people and link them in your post.

- Post their button on your post if they have one.

- Let them know you have tagged them.
Now is the time where I will admit that I am a terrible blog tagging person right now.  I thought and thought and thought about creating 11 questions and I honestly couldn't think of anything.  I blame my fogging brain.  And then I thought of who I would tag and I got super self-conscious (I am an engineer afterall.  Social skills are not my forte).  I promise things will get better and I will be able to play nicely in the future.
But I will answer the 11 questions Katherine came up with.  :)
1. What's the best fashion advice you've ever received?
I'm an engineer and spend most of my time around men.  In fact, it is very rare that I see a woman in my normal day to day life (sad but true).  So after thinking about this for a LONG TIME, the best I could come up with was "put on all your accessories and then take one off."  Since I usually don't wear much in the way of accessories, I tend to follow this rule by not wearing any.  This kind of makes my husband made because he bought me some BEAUTIFUL earrings for our wedding and I don't wear them very much.  (Pretty safe to say, he isn't too thrilled about getting me any more expensive jewelry.)

2. Who do you most admire?
Oh my gosh I SUCK TODAY!!  I can't think of any one person.  I think in general, I admire positive, faith living people.  I tend to be a bit negative and have my doubts about God and His miracles.  I want to be more like the positive and faith living people.

3. Favorite blogger?
Grace at Camp Patton.  She writes about her life as a resident's wife raising 2 babies, but very sarcastically.  She's hilarious.  She is also one of the first bloggers that reached out to me and got to know me.  Plus she had thyroid cancer and has sent me numberous information and encouraging e-mails.  Hopefully I can be that encouraging and helpful to someone going through this crap.

4. Would you rather spend money on clothes or home decor?
Clothes.  I really like the way our home looks right now.  Plus, we are currently renters and really there is only so much you can do in a rental since, ya know, we don't own it.

5. Biggest Fear?
Honestly, my biggest fear has alway been getting cancer and dying.  That is kind of dark, but true.  I honestly think that is why I have thyroid cancer.  God knew I wouldn't be able to handle a kind of cancer that didn't have an excellent prognosis.  Now my fear is that the cancer will have spread or will come back someday.  I need to get over that because it is a reality I will have to live with.

I'm aware that a more light hearted answer of "I'm afraid of octopii" (as the multple of octopus) would have been more appropriate, but it wouldn't have been the truth.  I am kind of afraid of bugs in general (thanks a lot Lyme Disease and pseudolymphoma).

6. Do you have any pets?
My husband and I currently have one dog, named Taylor.  She is the BEST dog ever I think.  Seriously... everyone that meets her wants to steal her from us.  And we are hoping to get a puppy in the next couple of months.  You can read about that (if you haven't already) HERE.

7. What was the last thing you pinned on Pinterest?

{from my pinterest}

I MUST make these before my low-iodine diet starts.
8. What is your best tip for fellow bloggers?
Be consistent.  Every time I take a few days off from blogging, the number of visitors and pageviews I get drops considerably.  It takes a bit of planning, but write ahead of time and try to post consistently.

9. Beach or Mountains?
Right now, I would pick beach.  But it would have to be a warm beach.  Oregon coasts are FREEZING cold.  I could really use a warm location right about now.

10. What do you do to relieve stress?
Read, blog, have my husband rub my back.

11. Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate.  Hence why I need to make those baked smores.  :)
Thanks for tagging me, Katherine!  That was fun.  Next time I will follow all the rules.  Promise.

Zebra Glasses

I went to my follow-up appointment with my eye doctor yesterday morning.  Let me just say... I think when your doctor requires a follow-up appointment, you shouldn't have to pay a co-pay.  My surgeon didn't.  Of course, visiting the surgeon will end up costing me a whole lot more than $25.

But I digress.

While waiting for the assistant to call me back, a little old lady came and sit down right next to me.  She proceeded to tell me about the type of frames she likes to pick out and the type of bi-focal she has.  I tried to convince her that she would look good with some zebra pattern frames. 

{zebra glasses from HERE}

After a few minutes of this she said, "I'm telling you this so you will know for the future to get better bi-focals."

My mom has this amazing ability to get people to tell her their life story without even having to say a word.  It happens everywhere.  The grocery store.  Church.  It happened while we were waiting for the tram last week.  And we usually joke that she has her bartender's glass out.  When the little old lady started telling me all about her glasses, I got kind of excited.  I think I may have inherited this peculiar trait. 

Being a female engineer, I think I tend to give off a "don't mess with me" vibe.  I guess I didn't today.

The little old lady made my morning.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Morning Commute

I know I have mentioned this before, but I share an office with a 72 year old building designer.  He is a very nice man who would give you the shirt off his back.  He also happens to be extremely negative.  Some days are better than others.  But on bad days, he sucks all the joy and happiness from anyone who walks past him. 

I believe he might actually have been the source of inspiration for J.K. Rowling when creating dementors (ok not really).

{image from HERE}

But I digress.

Yesterday morning, he told me a story about his commute to the office. 

Apparently he was at a stop light, in the left turn lane.  He was looking out the window, daydreaming, when he realized that the light had turned green and then red.  About the same time he noticed this, the man in the car behind him began honking and making all kinds of hand gestures.  As a response to this, what does my office mate do?

He shifts his car into park.  Opens the car door and walks to the honker's driver side.

I don't know if it is because I am a woman, but I would flip out if a driver got out of his car and walked back towards me.  Seriously.

The driver rolls down the window and my office mate proceeds to ask him what he is in such a hurry for.  The man yells at him that the light was green and he should bleepity bleep move his car.  My office mate replies, "Well why don't you get out of the car and we can talk about it."

The driver and my office mate begin a stare down.  They stared at each other long enough for the light to turn green and then red again.  Then my office mate very SLOWLY turned and walked back to his car.

My first thought (which I didn't voice out loud) was that I would have honked and made some offensive hand gestures as well if the car in front of me just sat at a green light.  In fact, I had done that on my way to the office.

My second thought (which I did share) was he was lucky he didn't get shot.

My office mate replied, "I don't care! I hate it when people do that."


My office mate and I should never drive together.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Puppy Watch 2012

The puppies were due last Thursday.  We heard from the breeder that it wasn't quite time yet.  Same message Friday night.  Saturday morning, the puppies were being born.

We were so excited.  We knew we shouldn't be getting our hopes up, but we were hopeful.  We figured the breeder wouldn't accept our application and our deposit if it was impossible to get a puppy.  So we spent all day Saturday glued to our e-mail.  By the end of the day, 10 puppies had been born. 5 boys.  5 girls.  Then a message came through that said she would let everyone know on Sunday who was getting a puppy.

Sunday morning, we had multiple e-mails with pictures and videos of the pups.  But we didn't find out until early Sunday evening that we would not be getting a puppy from that litter.


{Taylor does not like black jellybeans.  Just like her momma.  We save all our black jellybeans for my brother.  That's right... we are keeping something OUR DOG won't dare eat to give for my brother to eat. Should tell you something about black jellybeans.}

We knew of a litter due at the end of March in Washington.  And we also had a deposit with a breeder in Corvallis (where Phil goes to school), but we hadn't heard from her in a while.

So Phil was immediately back on the market, searching for another puppy for me.

In a stroke of luck, the Corvallis breeder responded VERY quickly... she has 2 litters due in April and we will be pretty stinkin' high (my word choice, not hers) on the list for a girl puppy.


So as long as there are at least 2 girl puppies from the combination of those litters, we will have another furbaby!!

The timing of this is much better than the first litter of puppies.  If we had gotten a puppy from the first litter, we would have been brining the puppy home before my radioactive iodine treatment.  I would have gotten to spend a couple of weeks with her and then wouldn't have been able to be able her for a week or two.  Since part of the goal with this puppy is for her to attach to me (since Taylor wants nothing to do with me when Phil is around), that would have been counter productive.

Since yesterday we found out that my womb is officially close for business for a while, I am doing my best to focus on the excitement of my first puppy.  :)

Now, in April when I am on a super strict diet, too tired to breath, depressed, and freezing (aka hypothyroid), I can think about all of the cuddling and playing I will do with my husband and 2 dogs.

Eye on the prize.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Endo fun

{This is how Phil and I relax... Duck Tales and candle light.}

This morning was my follow-up appointment with my endocronologist.  It was a regular riot of fun.

The [new] murse (male nurse) went to weigh me and moved the 50 lb marker PAST my weight to which I said, "Oh no you did not!" in a joking voice.  He turned a bright shade of red.  Then he took my blood pressure which was 110/70 which is a little high for me.  When my mom pointed that out, the murse said, "It is probably because I overweighed you." 

Yes.  Yes it is.

Then the doctor came in.  After I confirmed that she was actually talking about me and looking at my chart, I began asking her the 21 questions I had prepared for the appointment.  I literally asked her 21 questions.  No joke.  Plus Phil and my mom had some questions for her as well.  I got my moneys worth out of that co-pay.

At one point, she examined my neck and said, "Your neck feels totally normal."  There's a phrase I haven't heard in a while.

And because my brain is in a massive fog thanks to inadequate thyroid hormones, I still can't recall about half of the appointment.

Here's the jist I think:

- In a couple of weeks, I will stop my thyroid meds and begin the low-iodine diet with hopes to have my radioactive iodine treatment in the third week of April.  Low iodine diet = eating like a rabbit.
-  The full-body scan will be a week after that.  Another scan a year after that.
-  Then she is giving me lots of thyroid hormones.  The good ones.  The kind that should help with the mental fog and maybe even allow me to lose some weight.
-  No babies for even longer than we originally thought.

A fun fact about radioactive iodine:  If I need to fly within 4 weeks of my RAI treatment, I will need a special letter from my doctor because I will set off the alarms at the airport.  TSA will consider me a safety threat.  That could make for a very uncomfortable security screening (if you catch my drift).

Since it looks like I will be on the low iodine diet sooner than we originally thought, Phil and I spent some time tonight looking over recipes of things to make in advance.  So far, we know we will be making low iodine ketchup, almond milk (which I always wondered how to make), hummus, and bread.

I never thought I'd be making my own ketchup.

But I do love me some ketchup.

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