Sunday, October 12, 2014

Needles but no knives...

The syringes they used.
The needle was crucial!!!

I went to see my OB/GYN on September 30th. She felt the cysts and thought that one felt different from the other. I was elated to know that I’m not just paranoid. Another human who happens to be a medical professional could also feel the difference. She referred me to a surgeon. I saw the surgeon October 6th. He explained to me that he can aspirate the cysts. Aspirating the cyst involves taking a humongous needle, sticking it into the mass and drawing out the fluid inside. First he made marks on my breast to show where the needle should go. He then numbed my breast with Lidocaine. I hate needles but this was bearable. After this, he took a much larger needle and stuck it into the cyst. I could not watch this because I hate needles. The insertion of the needle was a bit uncomfortable. The syringe was full of a brownish liquid after the aspiration. It was super gross. The doctor explained that the fluid would be sent to a lab. I will follow up with him in about 2 weeks to see if they have grown back.

I feel absolutely amazing. There are no lumps in my breast anymore. The pain and pressure that I was feeling in my breast is gone. It was sore after the aspiration but I think that’s natural after having a gigantic needle stuck in it several times. I am happy that my voice was heard and that the professionals in my circle acted according to my concerns. In two weeks I am certain that this will all be over!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Searching for a yoga home...

I’m currently on a mission to find a yoga home. It’s kinda like finding a church home. You want to go somewhere that teaches in a way that is beneficial to your body and mind. You also want to go somewhere that is open and accepting of all people. I am specifically looking for a yoga home that feels comfortable to me. Cleveland Yoga offered 30 days of yoga for $40. Of course, I had to try them. How could you pass up such a deal? They also have showers there which would be great for early morning yoga before work!!!!I signed up at the Uptown location. I went on a Sunday with one of the residents who works at the clinic where I am employed. When we arrived, no one greeted us. There were three individuals sitting at the front desk. Noone greeted us. We told them that we wanted to pay for the month. One young lady stood and addressed us. The other young lady and the male who were sitting at the desk did not speak to us at all.  I decided to go on and try out the class. The instructor at this first class was also an instructor for the HIV+ ladies who are patients in the clinic where I work. When she worked with our patients, she never assisted the patients or did any corrections. I assumed that this was her style of teaching. I found that it was not.  During this class, she corrected and adjusted many of the yogis. Almost everyone, except us.  I was disappointed. The ladies from our clinic are all beginners and could have benefited from someone helping them do the poses correctly. When we left the class, my friend asked what I thought of it. I told her that I was not happy with the experience. She shared that she was not either. I ended up taking a lot of classes. I can honestly say that I really liked one instructor. His name is Ezra. I attended a morning class. I told my friend to attend a class of his and she too was sold. We love him. I did not love Cleveland Yoga though. No one there is friendly. No one speaks to you. Well, one time, one woman spoke to me. She was pretty nice. Generally, there was not a welcoming feel there. I’m a social worker looking to spend my meager social work salary somewhere that I feel is warm and welcoming and supportive of my practice. This just was not the place for me. I live in Lake County. Cleveland Yoga is close to my job. I am now going to try yoga close to my home. I will be taking my talents to Harmony Yoga Studios in downtown Willoughby. I have taken a class there in the past and liked it so I will give it a shot and let you know how it works out...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Boobie Update...

What I imagine is happening inside my body...

     My OB/GYN told me not to worry about the lumps in my breast. She said that they are just cysts and that I can relax. While I don't believe that I am a hypochondriac, I have yet to relax. I can feel these lumps through my bras. I touch them all day long. Sometimes, they are painful. Once a day, I wonder if someone made a mistake and if I am dying. I am still frightened that I may have tiny little cancer cells invading my body. My OB/GYN has never felt the lumps. I found them and was immediately sent for a mammogram/ ultrasound. I have an appointment scheduled with my OB/GYN for next week. I am excited for her to finally feel them and to hear what she has to say about them. There has been a positive to come out of this. I discussed the lumps with my daughter who is still young and explained how I found them. I also let her touch them and explained that if she ever felt anything like this in her own breasts to let me or her MD know. 
     I personally have no desire to live forever but I want to make the most of this one lifetime I have been given. I need to see my children grow into adulthood and I need to be a grandma. I need to stay alive for a while. I am not really handling this well. I'm currently praying for peace. 
     Boobs!!! Ugh!!!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Check your boobies!

On Wednesday August 13th, I hopped in the shower and was singing along to Avery Sunshine. I was determined to have a great day. I was singing "Shine" and lathering up. I am a jerk. I don't care if any one else in the house is sleeping. I sing loud and off. So...while singing and lathering, I found a lump in my right breast. My day immediately went downhill. I thought of my mother and her fight with breast cancer (despite the fact that we had no genetic connection) and leaving my kiddles and then I snapped back to reality. I thought about who I could talk to. The answer was: no one. I was worried but would anyone else be? And does anyone else need to worry besides me? I thought and thought and decided not to talk to anyone. I went to work and called my ob/gyn's office and requested an appointment. I was scheduled for September. I share an office with one of my ob/gyn's nurses who is also a friend. She jumped into action emailing the doctor and then scheduling me for a mammogram and ultrasound for the next day. I was relieved to have the appointment and that someone else knew and was also concerned. I had my first mammogram on the 14th of August (1 day before my 39th birthday and 1 year early). I had heard terrible things about mammograms. It wasn't as bad as I had heard. I was a little embarrassed at how much the young lady struggled to smoosh my tiny little boob onto the plate. I imagine that if I were perhaps a cup larger it would be easier but , alas, my girls are wee little things. After the mammogram, I waited in a little room watching HGTV and eating snacks with an older lady who was VERY talkative for what seemed like hours. Finally, I was taken for the ultrasound. I watched the screen as two masses appeared. "Oh" she exclaimed "There are two here". She examined them and took pictures and then explained that she thinks that they are just cysts and that she will send them to my doctor who will contact me. The doctor has not contacted me yet so I am going with "no news is good news". My nurse friend said that they would contact me immediately if there was a concern. I am now very hopeful and thankful for the quick response.
Sometimes I ignore ailments for fear of of the unknown or because I don't want to look silly for complaining about something that is minor. This situation reminded me that I am in control of my health and I need to be vocal about whats going on and my needs.  Just wanted to remind everyone else to check your boobies and be your own advocate for your health. You're the most qualified person to do it!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Free yoga: Tried and Tested

Over the past few weeks, I have frequented as many free yoga classes as I could. The common theme has been the setting. They are always outdoors. There is something perfect about the combination of yoga and nature. I found that many of my balancing poses were done in the grass; and not on my mat. I felt grounded and connected and powerful. Every single outdoor yoga experience has been unique and amazing.

I went to Moonshine Buzz with two friends. We practiced at night under the full moon. Despite being bitten by 1.2 million bugs, it was an awesome experience. There was a great turnout and the energy was high. I learned how to improve my revolved chair pose.

I went to yoga at the Art Museum a few times. The instructors were warm and friendly and eager to assist. There was a variety of fitness levels at the last class I attended and the instructor worked hard to cater to all participants. I also received special help after the class on my upward bow or wheel pose. I have not been able to straighten my arms completely but she gave me great pointers to help work on it.

I went to Northcoast Namaste on Tuesday evening. Yoga on the lake is exactly as you would imagine it. It was serene and perfect. While there were a lot of yogis practicing, there were not a lot of non-participants in the area to drown out the sounds of nature. The only sounds we heard were sea gulls, waves crashing, our own breathing and the instructor. The sun was warm but the grass was cool. The atmosphere was calming. It is a most perfect location for yoga.

I also practiced at Edgewater Live on the beach on Thursday. While this is another great location, the atmosphere is not so serene. There are throngs of people. It is very noisy. There are many onlookers. This location is accessible to a variety of people and they are exposed to yoga in a relatable manner and given the opportunity to try it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the free yoga and plan to continue, but I know that it is time for me to consider finding a yoga home. I am beginning to feel changes in my body and my abilities and I need to find classes that foster growth in my practice. I have begun looking…

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Free Yoga in Cleveland

I've been a fan of yoga for a few years. I've taken classes at several studios but the cost has deterred me from consistent practice. I have recently begun practicing more regularly with the patients in the clinic where I work. We have a terrific instructor who is passionate about yoga and the particular population we serve. I've been seeing improvements in my abilities since I started. I have also started practicing at home with various DVDs. I'm pretty confident that I can now officially say that I love yoga and how it makes my body feel! I've been trying to get the Joes to practice with me for quite some time. The littlest Joe was very excited to practice yoga on our last cruise but we were unable to because of her age. She was too young. Last week, I was headed to the Believe in CLE yoga event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and invited her to come along. Surprisingly, she accepted the invitation! We went to this event with no expectations. I just wanted her to experience a fun introduction to yoga. This event was a perfect first experience. The energy was amazing. There were so many people and so many different levels of experience. She was able to feel comfortable and free to try something new. She did tell me afterwards that she never imagined that yoga was this difficult. She thought it was something super easy that her old mama does! She was so excited that she has decided that she will accompany me to the next outdoor yoga event.

The Littlest Joe in Child's Pose
Her desire to practice with me led to a search for other similar yoga experiences. The free classes I have found so far are as follows:

Saturday Morning Yoga at 10:00am: East 4th and Yoga at the House Of Blues in downtown Cleveland sponsored by East 4th Neighborhood and Zenworks (free valet parking) Check it out here!

Every Tuesday from June 3rd until September 30th at 7:00pm:  Lakefront yoga series sponsored by Northcoast Namaste located at Northcoast Harbors Voinovich Bicentennial Park (first forty registrants get free parking on the pier. There is additional free parking at Docks 30 and 32 behind FirstEnergy Stadium.) Check it out here!

Every Wednesday from July 7th until August 27th at 6pm:  Wade Oval Wednesdays outdoor yoga at the Art Museum sponsored by Zenworks Check it out here!

Saturday July 12th from 9:45pm- 11:45pm:  Moonshine Buzz Moonlit Yoga sponsored by Yogaroots, Athleta, The Range, NOOMA and thrive at The Range at Valley View Check it out here!

Sunday July 13th from 11am-2:30pm:  Family Yoga sponsored by Zenworks at the Art Museum
Check it out here!

August 8th at 7pm: Believe in CLE in downtown Cleveland on Mall B sponsored by Inner Bliss Studios Check it out here!

If you are new to yoga and want to try it out, these are perfect for you. If you love the energy of large yoga congregations, these are perfect for you. If you are parsimonious, these are perfect for you. You could actually go to yoga 3 days a week all summer for free. Even though these yoga classes are all free, your donations are also welcome and would be greatly appreciated! If you know of other free fitness opportunities in the Cleveland area, feel free to comment and share! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

My most favorite smoothie yet...

I am always trying new and different blends of things to make smoothies. Some are fruity some are not. Some are yumtastic and some are truly fails. Today I decided to try some things we had at home in a smoothie.

I put the banana, rice milk, peanut butter and a drizzle of coconut oil in the Ninja. Initially, I did not use oatmeal, but the smoothie seemed a little thin. The oatmeal thickened it up and gave it a little more texture.I should probably admit that I am a fan of chunky milkshakes/smoothies. I loooved the texture of this one and it was also delicious and filling.

I have made fruity smoothies that I have found to be terrific but this one was great for what I was craving today. It was thick and not too sweet and pretty nutty and wonderful. Try it if you, too, are a fan of the chunky smoothies. Chunky and smoothie? I guess that doesn't really match but that's OK. You'll love it!