Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gozer's diet

We received Gozer's weight-loss information sheet earlier this week. It says that we're going to turn Gozer into a supermodel :) Her last weight at the vet was 11.8kg and the vet wants her down at 10kg. Gozer is to lose the weight over at least nine weeks; losing it more quickly would be bad.

I know 1.8kg doesn't sound like much weight but it is 15% of her body weight and that's a significant amount. Imagine if you had to lose 15% of your body weight - it would take a while! It's also important that the weight come off slowly so that she stays healthy.

To lose the weight, Gozer is allowed 440 calories per day of which at most 10% of the calories can come from food. Therefore, Gozer is now allowed only 3/4 cup of her food twice daily. That's down from about a cup of food twice daily and I think we were actually feeding her even more than that. When packed tightly, her food used to completely cover the bottom of her food dish and now it doesn't cover the bottom at all. Packing her food tightly leaves about one-third to one-half of the dish exposed.

The goal we've been given is to give Gozer only 30 calories in treats each day. Currently we give her a small amount of peanut butter in the mornings which we figured to be about eight calories. I know I've given her up to a full teaspoon of the peanut butter but at 33 calories per teaspoon, that can't happen any more. We also give Gozer a treat when she goes into her kennel in the mornings and evenings. We checked and each one of those treats has 22 calories (or 29 for the other flavour). Therefore, Gozer doesn't get a full cookie any more when she goes into her kennel.

Because Gozer's current food doesn't have any flexibility for things like getting a bath (when she would normally get about two liver bits at eight calories each), we need to re-work what treats we're feeding her. We have room to cut down on her kibble when she gets more treats so we can always do that. We're also going to do some investigation into other treats with fewer calories (including things like carrots and apples; the vet also suggested cat treats) so that we have more flexibility in what we give her.

I'd also like to be able to give her more volume of treats for the same calories, if possible. Gozer has been on her diet for a couple of days now and I think she thinks she's starving. When she sleeps on the chair in front of the tv she almost always has one of her squeaky toys in her mouth. When she's not up on the chair with me, she's looking for insects to eat. Poor girl. I know how she feels, being hungry all the time. I figure if we can give her treats that are more filling and have fewer calories, she'll be happier.

I am looking forward to seeing our little fluffybutt becoming leaner. Already she seems to have more energy on her walks and when playing so I think that she'll like being leaner, too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

MBCN Chicago conference

I had the best time ever at this weekend's conference in Chicago. The conference itself was hit and miss as some sessions were extremely informative while others offered nothing new or relevant. Of course I didn't go to the conference for the information; I went to connect with my friends on our online board. I haven't seen them in a year and I've missed them. Seeing people online is no substitute for meeting and hanging out with them in person.

I really connected with people this weekend in a way that I haven't done in a long time. There have been times that I've come away from these things feeling a bit like I don't fit in. Somehow, this time I felt like I really belonged. Maybe it's because I made a couple of real friends - not just people that I know and talk to, but people that I feel like I could (and will) stay in touch with outside of the board and facebook statuses, if that makes sense. I already knew one person and this weekend we got to know each other much better. Another person and I just clicked, and another couple of people and I got along super-well (if we'd talked on our own, we'd have clicked, I think).

Another reason I felt like I belonged is that people came up to me and told me that they really wanted to meet me. I want to meet everyone but I haven't always felt like other people want to meet me, you know? I've also struggled with feeling like I haven't got much to contribute on the board because my cancer is so stable and I was so happy when people told me that they wanted to know how I was doing, that they followed my updates, and that they did want to hear from me.

The only down side to the trip (aside from the fact that I had no time to go shopping) was that my sternum has been aching since yesterday and I've been in agony. My painkiller patches are up to date and working well so I don't know what's going on. I suspect it has something to do with flying and the pressurized aircraft but I don't actually know. I'm taking supplemental painkillers and taking it easy.

Sternal pain aside, I can't help but notice that the last two trips I've taken have been the best ever and that I've come back feeling happy and connected to people. I think that the work I've been doing with my psychologist over the last year has been making a huge difference in the way I'm approaching and thinking about these trips. I love love love this change.

I'm so happy that I had such a great time on this trip. I'm can barely wait for the next one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's been a while

It's been a while since I've written anything, hasn't it? My sister has moved to to the UK; she arrived safe and sound and has been exploring her surroundings.

We spent some time with Ian's parent's for Thanksgiving. I enjoyed visiting with Ian's parents especially because I haven't seen them for any length of time in quite a while. We ate delicious pumpkin pie after a very satisfying and also delicious meal. We decided to allow ourselves to eat what we wanted in moderation because we figured that easing up on our new diet restrictions would be ok for one day. We're on a low saturated fat diet while also trying to minimize the amount of fat in our diet. I have no idea what our cholesterol levels are like but we've both lost weight.

On Friday I'm headed to Chicago for a conference on metastatic breast cancer. Mostly I'm going to see my friends. Hanging out with them is what makes going to the conference worthwhile for me. I guess the information presented at the conference might be useful but because my mets are so stable, the information isn't as relevant to me.

All that doesn't really explain why I haven't been writing anything lately... and I guess I don't have much of an explanation. I've been tired, and I've been having what might be described as panic attacks. I have no idea why that's been happening; I don't think I'm all that stressed, but maybe I am. I have been feeling a bit more depressed (and bored?) than usual, too.

One of the things that's come up in therapy is that I have a lot of anger and rage issues. I'm not quite sure where they're coming from so I'm trying to identify how I feel right before the rage. I wonder if shining a light on that rage is bringing up some of these other feelings. Or maybe I'm feeling the way I do because I haven't been doing much of anything lately - sitting in front of the tv surfing the internet doesn't count as an activity.

I am looking forward to going to Chicago although I'm nowhere near finished getting everything ready! It's going to be a fun trip.