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Topic: Thin Slices of Joy

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Nov 16, 2016 01:20PM - edited Sep 12, 2017 10:09PM by SerenitySTAT

SerenitySTAT wrote:

I finished active treatment less than a month ago, and wow, you just don't bounce right back up. Before all this started I have had sciatica for a couple of years, and it worsened during treatment. In trying to recover from both, I've been feeling frustrated. Now, I'm tired of the pain, fatigue, and frustration. Oh, and all these pills! I've been told I'm not happy unless I'm complaining about something (yes, my darling husband, though he hasn't said it since diagnosis).

I recently read this article below and pulled out some sections. It reminded me of when I was younger and said "It's the little things...". I'm going to try it and will post my thin slices of joy as I experience them. Please join me so I can experience your thin slices of joy.

http://qz.com/818998/googles-former-happiness-guru...

Google's former happiness guru developed a three-second brain exercise for finding joy

Successfully reshaping your mindset, he argues, has less to do with hours of therapy and more to do with mental exercises, including one that helps you recognize "thin slices of joy."

Although they last two or three seconds, the moments add up, and the more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy, Tan argues. "Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it's always there. Joy becomes something you can count on." That's because you're familiarizing the mind with joy, he explains.

Tan's "thin slice" exercise contains a trigger, a routine, and a reward—the three parts necessary to build a habit. The trigger, he says, is the pleasant moment, the routine is the noticing of it, and the reward is the feeling of joy itself.

A small study by psychologists from Loyola University published last month in the journal Aging, for instance, showed that among adults over age 55, those who reported a better ability to savor life were more likely to report higher life satisfaction, regardless of ill health. For those less able to relish small events, poor health made all of life seem drearier.

Sep 12, 2017 Edited to add update on sciatica: Using postural alignment exercises and nerve flossing, my sciatic pain is gone. I have most of my mobility back, and I am no longer taking any pain medications! I have significantly less mental fatigue after I dropped my Lyrica dosage. Big joy! I need to continue the nerve flossing or else I feel the tightness returning, but that takes less than a minute of my time. It took months of slow progress with some setbacks, but I finally succeeded!

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 2, 2019 05:41AM ScotBird wrote:

Just got permission to start building work in my garden. We are going to convert an old outbuiliding into a home for my mother, who just turned 90. Exciting project

ScotBird Dx 1/18/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/25/2016 Breast
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Aug 4, 2019 11:22PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Nice, ScotBird!

Latest Handmaid's Tale ThumbsUp

Down 1 lb this week!

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 10, 2019 10:35AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Went to a Tai Chi class by the water. Our first time going and felt a little lost, but I loved hearing the water, the wind in the trees, and kids having fun at a nearby soccer game.

This is where we practiced.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 11, 2019 06:24PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

While I enjoyed doing Tai Chi by the water, I prefer the Qigong exercises. Since there are many videos I can choose the difficulty level appropriate for me.

My husband and I like this video in the evening:


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 11, 2019 07:16PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Just realized that the joint pain from Exemestane is gone after less than 3 weeks of Qigong and Whole30.

ThumbsUp

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 11, 2019 10:53PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

My older daughter has been away for a few days for her first professional conference. Her flight tonight left 11 minutes early and arrived 9 minutes early. She has some good karma. Can't wait to see her. Pup will be very excited.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 13, 2019 10:21AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

My older daughter received a big financial reward for grad school!

Down 1 lb!

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 13, 2019 08:37PM romashka wrote:

Thank you SerenitySTAT. I enjoy your posts.

PALB2 Dx 8/22/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Aug 14, 2019 02:50PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

romashka - Thanks!

My family is torturing me! They keep putting my jar of walnuts in a cabinet out of reach, and my older daughter made molasses cookies this morning. She left the cookies under the cabinet with the walnuts.

I had to call down the other daughter to bring down the walnuts and place the cookies in the domed cake stand. This way I can't smell them. This is a test of my willpower.

I ate walnuts and prunes instead. Joy?

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 17, 2019 04:05PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Confession: we cheated on the Whole30. We planned it last night. Today we took a walk by the water with the pup. Then we stopped at a local ice cream stand. I had mint Oreo in a waffle cone. It was delicious. I gave the tip of the cone to the pup because she was very good. It was a very good cheat.

During the walk, we came across some working sheep. They graze inside their mobile pen. People can feed them too.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Aug 30, 2019 04:02PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Well, after all the latest tests I've gone from my MO declaring me bizarre to not normal. I think that's good. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I saw my MO and RO today. Last week's CT scan hasn't been read officially, but both docs reviewed the scan and found nothing significant.

My CA 15-3 dropped from 1385 to 921. Still way high with unknown cause but going in the right direction after almost a year of trending up from normal.

Next blood test and MO visit are in 4 weeks. My RO appointment is in 6 months. Today's RO appointment wasn't really necessary. My RO just seemed very curious. Guess she's been discussing my case. While comforting, I would prefer not to be this special.

In other news, Whole30-ish with cheats ended with 5 1/2 lbs lost. I'm still doing Qigong almost daily. Besides increased flexibility, I've noticed I breathe deeply more often than before Qigong. Fasts range from 13 hours to 36 hours depending on how I feel.

The day started with rain, but it's been sunny and breezy since we left the hospital. I made sure I looked up.

Winking

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 3, 2019 03:39PM ScotBird wrote:

It sounds quite reassuring but I wish they could diagnose and fix you without the vagueness! Being an interesting patient must be a bit annoying.

I had a good day today, nothing in particular happened, I just had a nice day. I’m also fasting and have lost a little weight, so am feeling virtuous too

ScotBird Dx 1/18/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/25/2016 Breast
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Sep 5, 2019 04:14PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Yes, it's been frustrating having a year of increased scans and tests without a definitive diagnosis. So far, the high 15-3 is the only thing that is not normal.

Qigong has helped me to keep calm even during the last CT scan.

Hope both of us continue to lose weight with fasting. The Whole30 helped, but I still have lots of weight to lose. The stress eating has to stop. It's easier to avoid during a fast.

Joy - After black coffee and ginger tea, a cool glass of water is delicious.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 11, 2019 12:13AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

I fasted 45 hours. I thought of continuing the fast until tomorrow, but I made mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, so fast ended. I can't recall the last time we had mac and cheese, but yum!

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 13, 2019 02:11AM ScotBird wrote:

the new extension on my house is coming on really well. We won’t be able to use it until November, because it’s going to have underfloor heating which takes a month to install because it needs to dry out before the tiles can go down on top. It will be great when it’s done!

ScotBird Dx 1/18/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/25/2016 Breast
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Sep 14, 2019 02:02PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Underfloor heating is so nice! We don't have it, but our kitchen tile floor holds the heat really well. That's as close as we'll get.

Since we've been watching the British baking show, I felt like making Madeleines. Finally did it today.

Lemon-glazed Madeleines:


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 14, 2019 06:31PM santabarbarian wrote:

OMG my mouth is watering

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 14, 2019 10:47PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

They were so yummy! Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside with the requisite hump. They took time to prepare, but I have enough batter in the fridge for another batch tomorrow!

Probably won't make them again until next year. I'm still trying to lose weight. Before the madeleines I was down another pound.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 14, 2019 11:05PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Did you see the full harvest moon? Gorgeous!

https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/news/article/september-2019-rare-friday-the-13th-harvest-full-moon-photos-in-canada

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 17, 2019 08:45PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

I went to a free lecture at a university today. I had learned of it on Twitter. After I signed up, I realized it was restricted to students and faculty of the local universities.

Joys:

1. When verifying my registration, I passed as a post-doc. ;)

2. Lunch was provided. Nice chicken wrap.

3. Dessert was awesome! I might have gone back for seconds.

4. It was a gorgeous day.

5. Husband left work early to take the train home with me.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 18, 2019 11:16PM ScotBird wrote:

The madeleines look amazing! I have a tin for Madeleines but I never make them. I’m inspired to copy you...

ScotBird Dx 1/18/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy 7/25/2016 Breast
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Sep 19, 2019 10:12AM MountainMia wrote:

Thanks for this running post. There are plenty of threads that feed anger and fear -- when I find myself getting sucked into one, I have to push away. This one is good at feeding gratitude and joy, much better for me!

Today I am happy because I have new kitchen appliances to be delivered! I'm also happy because I did my Spanish homework last night, so I'm ready for class tonight. I have a box of Spanish-English vocabulary flashcards to sort through, also, and will spend some time on that today.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Sep 19, 2019 08:22PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

ScotBird - Definitely make some Madeleines! I may have to make them again sooner than next year. I recommend browning the butter and refrigerating the batter at least an hour (to skip baking powder).

MountainMia - Initially I needed to distract myself from the pain and frustration. The pain is mostly gone, but I still have the fear and frustration, so here I am. Enjoy your new kitchen appliances and good job learning Spanish! Note cards do help.

Due to a headache, I cut my fast to about 18 hours. No big deal. Just glad the headache went away after eating. I've added a few dried cranberries to my prunes and walnuts snack. Jazzes it up a bit. Not as much as Madeleines would though.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 20, 2019 04:30PM MountainMia wrote:

Yesterday I looked at the Spanish flashcards and decided they will not be helpful to me. There are 1,000 tiny cards in alphabetical order, not grouped by categories of things. The cards had been my dad's long ago. He died in 1997. So I've had them in my house and not useful for all that time. :) But it was good to look, and to decide to donate them. Perhaps someone else will find them helpful.

I enjoyed my class last night. It's through the community college and meets a few blocks from my home. There are only 6 students, which is kind of nice. Last night was #2 of 8 in the term. I'm surprised how much I remember, and how much I forgot!

Tonight is the visitation for a dear friend of mine. She was smart and wise and funny and kind. I'll miss her. I planned to go to the funeral tomorrow and not go this evening, but my husband convinced me that we should. Must remember to take tissues...

If you wonder why that belongs in a thread about joy, it's because of how graceful she was in her dying. She had stage IV colon cancer de novo, diagnosed a couple of years ago. So she's known all along it would kill her. And she still lived well and generously. What a great example, what a great teacher.

Blessings to all.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Sep 20, 2019 05:24PM santabarbarian wrote:

She sounds like a beautiful person! Such people are a THICK slice of joy. :-)

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 20, 2019 07:05PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

MountainMia - Making my own notecards worked well for me. I remember more if I write the words myself. Even now I hand write notes to prepare for an exam. I'm sorry for your loss, but it sounds like your friend had a well-lived life, and you are better for it. Reminds me of this song:

Santabarbarian - Exactly!

My husband's making milkshakes!

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 22, 2019 05:54PM MountainMia wrote:

My husband made me cry a few minutes ago. My birthday is in October and we are going to have a party, just an open house, but a time for people to come celebrate with me. He mocked up an invitation and showed it to me. It was perfect.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Sep 23, 2019 07:39PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

MountainMia - He's a keeper! Happy almost birthday!

Suffering through allergies even with meds. Guess I'm happy to live at a time when tissues don't leave the skin around my nose raw. Good times.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Sep 23, 2019 07:55PM Yogatyme wrote:

I am loving this thread! Serenity, I have had issues w sciatica, so I feel for you. Literally a pain in the a_ _

Yogatyme Surgery 3/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/13/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Sep 24, 2019 06:30PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Yogatyme - It's such a pain! I've had some sciatic pain when sneezing. Fortunately it goes away. I have to do a little more nerve flossing and hip crossover stretches.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC Left IIIC 10/11 nodes ER+PR+HER2-, 12/2015 Left Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva

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