Saturday, December 31, 2011


As we close out 2011 and look forward to a new year, I can’t help but be excited. I mean really, look how great 2010 was! I turned 40…and had a fabulous family and friends filled birthday party, I’m real real close to finishing up this PhD, I’ve reconnected with old friends, I had my stomach ripped out (in a good way), I’ve lost 63 lbs…and that’s just a synopsis since August!  If I could remember anything from before that I’d share it too (damn brain surgery).

So, as we look forward, I can’t wait!  Like I’ve said before, I know the weight is going to slow down…especially as I start eating “real” food (I ate a taco yesterday….or part of one…I was so excited!).  I’ve lost at least 5 inches in my waist…and that’s just from when I started measuring! It’s just crazy.  I have my New Year’s Eve outfit picked out and it’s a combo of old clothes that fit again and a new shirt that I bought that was too small when I bought it and fits now! Can you hear the Hallelujah chorus (watch the video below...way cool!)  right now??  Yep, 2012 is gonna be a great year! 

My resolutions for 2012: I will get this PhD in 2012.  It’s time. I’m over it and it’s time.  That is one of my biggest goals this year! The sooner the better in my book! I’m just ready!!!  And the best part is that I won’t have to get a plus size gown when I graduate!  Woo woo woo!!!  In the meantime, I’m teaching the “Intro to Autism” class at SFA (online) this spring, which I’m very excited about. I get to create the class from scratch! While this means more work, it also means that I get to do whatever I want! Rest assured that every power point will have videos from Big Bang Theory embedded into them!  Sheldon gives us a lot of material to work with!

As this will be my last blog of 2011, I just want to thank each and every one of you for coming here, for supporting me, and for being my friend!  I feel like I have my own little support group and cheering squad in my back pocket! I know that I can come here and say what I need to say for me and know that you guys are going to read it and be empathetic and entertained at the same time!  That makes me happy!  I’ve told several people that this blog has been therapeutic for me and it really has.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are benefits of heading to the support groups that the Dr. hosts, but right now this blog is the best support group I can have.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been this candid and honest.  Maybe because it’s in writing and I’m not having to say it out loud.  I can’t imagine sitting around a table with a bunch of other people, even those who are going through the same thing, and saying the things I say here.  I have so much to celebrate…and so far to go…and so much to bitch about…and so much to be grateful for…and clearly so much to say!!  Thank you all for listening…

I hope you all have a safe and fabulous New Years and I’ll see you all in 2012! (Wow…2012…that sounds so weird!)

~Stacey, The Incredible Shrinking Woman (as Alison at work calls me!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Wow...I came home from 5 days away from my own little bubble and I still managed to lose 6 lbs!  I was very excited when I weighed! Woo woo woo!  And my jeans that I took with me to wear that were tight when I got to the Ranch and fit me comfortably today! Woo woo woo!  I'm really happy with the progress I'm making...and am still trying to get the vision of 6 months down the road!  Wow...I can't wait!

Today I went to the Fort Worth Nature Center with some friends and went on a hike! It's gorgeous out there! They've been telling me for a while how nice it is out there and I'm happy that I have a desire to get up and go! The old Stacey wouldn't have even thought about it....ok, maybe I'd have thought about it, but I wouldn't have gone. It would have been too much trouble...or I would have been worried about something an ankle or something.  But today...I just went...and it was lovely! Yay lovely!

People continue to amaze me...and in a good way this time, I'm happy to report! I've decided that riding a bike might be a fun thing to throw into my exercise mix.  I've had a bike before and ridden it maybe I gave it away.  Well, here I am again, considering the bike thing, however, I don't want to invest in something I'm not going to use. So, I threw it out there on FB that I was looking for a bike and BAM just like that I have a friend who has offered her bike to me! How awesome is that!!? I love that I have so many people in my life who are supporting me on this journey!

One more random thing...  I talk so much about jeans that fit now, that I haven't stopped to talk about the clothes that DON'T fit anymore! It's a good thing, but mercy does it look funny to me to see clothes that are too big!  It's crazy! I put on a shirt this morning and I just couldn't wear it.  It's so big on me!  It's a good's an amazing thing...but it's odd for me.  I assume this is another one of those emotional things I have to learn to handle? I've used clothes for years to hide this old body of mine...and now those clothes are too big. I'm going to have to start wearing clothes that fit...which is a good thing...but a new thing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Honesty, food and long walks in the cold!

My sweet 5 year old nephew looked at me last night and said, "Why do you always wear your Superman PJ's when we see you?"  My reply, "because they're my favorite! I love them...but they are getting too big!"  To which my amazingly insightful and conscientious 9 year old nephew said, "Ya know, I think you might be losing some weight!?!"  I turned to my parents and asked if they had prompted him...nope, he just recognized it.  He's such a sweet kid and it was very affirming to hear that come from the mouths of babes!  Their level of honesty is so real.  So now, I think I look at things a little differently.  If Parker can see it, I need to LET myself see it!  Reality is hard to swallow sometimes, especially when you've lived one way for so very long! Just like the picture I posted on FB today, "Be your own kind of beautiful"...find the beauty and embrace it!

Today was my first full day with the whole family post surgery....and let me tell you, these people like to eat! Not that they eat a lot, they just eat good food!  I made it through breakfast with my one little egg...while everyone else ate Mom's famous pancakes!  I made it through an uneventful lunch...and I made it through dinner with my aunts famous hamburgers!  I ate chicken that she grilled for me.  It was yummy...but it wasn't that big yummy burger!  I'll be honest, I looked at that hamburger and couldn't even imagine eating that whole thing!  It's amazing how behaviorally you change when pain/discomfort is your consequence for eating the things you shouldn't!  Next week I can officially start "normal" foods, but the Dr. said earlier this week that I could be on regular food.  I'm not planning on pushing that limit too much while I'm here, because the last thing I want to do is be sick when I should be enjoying my family!

Finn (the 5 year old nephew) and I went for a one hour walk today! We were in no hurry, so it ended up only being about a mile and a half, but still...we were outside and moving and it was lovely! I enjoyed my quality time with him and I got to move!  It was pretty chilly outside....which again, I'm hoping counted extra towards my efforts! If I'm trying to keep myself warm AND walking, surely that's a bonus!?!?!  While walking we were able to identify and name different animal poop and tracks that we saw! Love that about 5 year old boys...Poop is important!  This is the same kiddo who recently said, "Mom..Poop is the boss of me."  Love him!

So, I realized as I was driving up here yesterday that I will be without a scale for 5 days! After weighing ever least once..for the past 6 weeks, I'm having some withdrawals.  But I will admit that I'm very excited to see how much I lose in the 5 days! Maybe this will encourage me to take a day off from the scales every now and then during the week!  Sweet Meaghan (the nutritionist) will be excited!

I've been on several tangents tonight...a little I typically am!  Enjoy!  I don't know if I'll be back before Christmas, so to your and yours...and Happy Merry Christmas and every other holiday you hold dear to your heart!  Thanks for reading my blog. I definitely think this has turned into a theraputic space for me and I'm lucky that a) I have it and b) people read it and c) people read it because they want to!

Love to you all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Doctors, calves and slip-ups!

So, I have several things to report today.  First, while shaving my legs this morning I realized that my 40 year old calves...have definition! What...wait...where did that come from!?!  Really, walking...that's all!?  Well shit, I should have done this years ago! (sarcasm)  But really...I have this little dent on the side...of both legs...where you can see the muscle! I love it! Not that I'm into muscle showing, but after many years of no definition whatsoever, I'm excited!!!

Along those lines, I went to my orthopedic doctor, Dr. John Crates (best Dr. in the WORLD...even though he puts me through a lot of pain) today and got a shot in my foot.  Every time I start exercising my plantar fasciatis goes haywire, especially on my left foot.  I've been muddling through the walks around the park, just sucking it up, because that's what  I do.  Hurt no more foot! I thought I was going to DIE when they were giving me the shot. I really think they should put you to sleep for that. It is a pain like no other and one that you kind of forget about until you are there and are about to get the 3 inch long needle injected into your arch! Ouch!  I'm good now though...all wrapped up and ready to walk!  Well, except for the back pain...that also started when I started exercising. I have a herniated disc that gets fussy every now and then, but now that I'm moving more it's decided to hurt.  I blame most of my medical woes on my bad genes, but this one I'm pretty sure is related to years of picking up kids while teaching PPCD!  Anyway, I'm going back to the Dr. for that in the morning and hopefully he'll be able to get me lined up for shots in my back next week.  They DO put you under for those!  I really want to get all of this in before the 1st of the year as I've met my out of pocket!  The only benefit of insurance is that when you use it a lot, it's eventually free! This is only the 2nd time I've hit my out of pocket, with the first being the big brain surgery.  So, hopefully I'll have a fixed back real soon too!  Until then, power through!!

I saw my surgeon today, who was really excited about my...drumroll please...wait for it....51 lbs lost!  Yep...I'm not real big on sharing the numbers, but I'll share this time.  I figure there will come a point when I'll stop sharing because you people are smart and can add things up and figure out where I was when I started!  :o)    My incisions are healed and all is well!  I go back in 6 months.  When I tried to visualize (because I'm trying really hard to do that) what I would look like in 6 months, I just couldn't.  I can't see it.  It's inconceivable to me, even with the success I've had this far!  It's exciting...and I'm looking forward to it, because there's a lot to be done (spring without my partner at work...she's having a baby, and a dissertation to start...and finish!)!  It's exciting!

He also encouraged me to start regular foods.  I'm nervous about that.  While I am a little bored with my limited food selections, it's been successful.  Why would I want to try anything new??  I need to...and I will, but I'm still bringing what I know works with me to the Ranch for Christmas.  No slip ups here, please and thank you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I'm so very excited about all the clothes that are now too big...and there's plenty of them...however, I'm a little disappointed about the clothes that are still too small! I have my eye on a couple of things and I'm not quite in them yet.  Since it's only been 4 weeks, I don't really have an established pattern of how this weight loss thing is going to go.  Granted, I know it's going quickly, but no time for a pattern.  I've heard many times, and probably mentioned it on here, that it doesn't matter what the scale says when your clothes are falling off of you! Agreed.  Definitely agreed. However... (there's always a however or a but isn't there) really, the clothes thing is just another way to measure things.  Another way to judge.  I don't really like judging...but it's inevitable.  So, if I take my obsession away from the scale, then I transfer it onto a pair of blue jeans or the measurement tape and then we're back where we started with the "don't get obsessed" thing that sweet sweet Meghan (the nutritionist) was talking about!

I wore a pair of jeans Thursday night that I haven't worn in years.  They were a little snug and honestly, I've gotten so used to my really big comfy jeans and my elastic waist pants that I was dang near miserable with these jeans on! Big sigh.  It's ok though...I couldn't put them on my body 4 weeks ago! Let me say that again...I could NOT put them on my body 4 weeks ago!  That's profound! That's huge! That's exciting...even with the judgement.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Reactions...I don't know that I really have/had any expectations as how to receive/accept the comments/compliments people make when they see me for the first time! I saw a lot of friends tonight who I haven't seen since weeks/months before surgery. So, tonight, 4 weeks after surgery, there were some "wow" faces! I'm thrilled!  I think in my mind I will be the same size I was 4 weeks ago for a while....or actually where I am now, really, because I don't think I really realized how big I had gotten until...well, now.  Maybe not right now, but for sure in the last 6 months, since that's when I decided to go ahead and go through with the surgery.  Anyway...I did have a moment the other day when I saw myself in the mirror...just my face...and I took a double take. I was surprised. I think as women there is something inside us that can't ever really see what's really right in front of us...especially when it comes to self perceptions.  It is always skewed.  So, imagine my surprise when I thought I was going to see the old me...who, remember, I didn't really realize was as big as I was...and when I looked again, it's this newly evolving me?  Are you confused? too...but just go with it...I was/am consistently shocked.  Shocked by the jeans that I haven't worn in 2 years fitting again.  Shocked by my Susan Gibson tshirt fitting me with no need for tugs or stretches.  Shocked that people are so kind and supportive.  Shocked that this really is working!  It really is working!  I've had requests for some pictures...I'm not sure I'm quite ready to post any pictures for the sole purpose of seeing where I am with my weight loss, but I'm sure as the holidays progress there will be some pictures posted of me...especially on FB.  I think the day is coming soon...just not yet.

I want to include this video. I have heard this song hundreds of times...and sang along to my friend Susan Gibson singing it show after show and around the campfire...I know it by heart....but tonight, as I was writing this blog, this song kept coming to my mind! "I don't mind things that don't matter these days"  "The leaves are changing, from green to gold, I'll change with them, I'll be so bold..."  "Vivid colored dreams, nothing's what it seems, I've turned inside out then back again."  Change is coming, thoughts and feelings and emotions...and pants sizes!   ...and I'm here, ready and very glad that you're here with me on this journey!

Evergreen by Susan Gibson

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Parties

Ok, so I had several Christmas parties to attend last night and being the social beast (that's supposed to be funny) that I am, I didn't want to miss them! So, I headed out to Plano to my Miss Blair's house for her shindig! Now, what I can tell you is that Blair is Martha Stewart on crack!  Her house is decorated so beautifully and the food...oh the food! I called Blair in advance to see if she'd have anything that was mushy.  She gave me a couple of ideas so that I could be prepared.  (See..just like my kids, information before hand is a good thing!) I get there and walk into a sea of people who I just don't know.  I've been out of Plano for 6 years now and wow has the topography of people changed!  I did see some folks who I love...and have missed, so that was nice!  Back to the food...there was a spread. Everything from pate' (sp?) to iced cookies to savory cheesecake (that I still haven't figured out exactly what it is...but I'll be asking!)  And then, on one little plate I see these things...these cheese looking things.  Chips...yes, they were cheese chips! I was sooooo excited!  Those are my favorite "snack"! Leave it to Miss Blair to have something I can have! Yay!!! Party #1 SUCCESS! No need for a Danimal's yogurt between parties!

Off to party #2!  I'm headed back to Keller to Kim D's.  Now, the situation here is that Kim is making Hebert's famous stuffed chicken.  I knew that getting there late I'd miss the formal seated dinner...which was kind of my plan.  But good old KD saved me some chicken and some dressing!!!  I can't wait until lunch today to eat that chicken! I think I'm going to tear it up and make chicken salad out of it! :o)  Now, on a more immediate front, KD had Melba Rounds! I can eat those! Score! I got my piece of American cheese out of my blue insulated bag I take everywhere...just in case... and had cheese and Melba!  It was fabulous!  Aside from the food, we exchanged gifts and I came home with a Bobber floating cooler! I LOVE IT!!!  We also played a rousing game of Left-Right-Center which was pretty uneventful until I won!  Good times...good people..good Melba...good party!

Don't get me wrong...this wasn't the easiest night for me.  Christmas I figured it's a good thing I like people! :o)

On another note...while at Party #2 a couple of girls were talking to me about this blog and they firmly explained that I needed to change my blog intro on fb from "In case you're bored..." and explained how that sounded kind of negative.  I was shocked. It was not my intent at all.  It was meant to be light hearted and I surely didn't mean to be a downer.  I'm sharing this blog with everyone because you are all my friends and family and I put the "in case you're bored" in the intro on fb as a way to let you know that there was a new blog.  So, now I'm going to come up with a new plan...and even if you are bored...or aren't can read it!   I really do appreciate you guys giving me a place to say the things I need to say...the things that make me laugh and the things that make me laugh.  Your feedback and support is much much appreciated!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It's been a most exciting day! I started the day with 1/4 c scrambled eggs...had 3 small shrimp for lunch...and for dinner, 4 oz of refried beans! I made these amazing cheese chips that I made by overcooking shredded cheese in the microwave. I dipped the chip into the beans and I was in Heaven! So excited! I've had some pretty good food over the last 40 years, but I think tonight might just be the highlight of all those 40 years!

I've had a great week. I've really enjoyed getting back out into classrooms and being around kiddos again! Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the Winter break...but it was nice to leave the office!

I'm still walking alot...not as much as during Thanksgiving...but I am walking. I took tonight off because my Plantar Fasciatis is flaring up. I'm ok with that...I needed a  night off! :o)

So when I met with the nutritionist yesterday she asked how often I was weighing.  I told her once a day...when really, it's like twice a day.  I have been doing this weight loss thing for long enough to know that I  don't need to be on the scale once...let alone twice...a day! But seriously, if there was a chance that you weighed one thing in the morning and had lost weight by the afternoon, why WOULDN'T  you weigh twice  a day!!  So, she says I need to only weigh once a week...and eventually once a month. I laughed at her.  Now get this visual...cute little Meghan the nutritionist who looks like she ran to work and doesn't have a dimple on her body, besides that cute one on her telling much to weigh...or not weigh! Meghan, Meghan, Meghan.  Funny girl.  So, I agreed with Meghan and assured her I'd stay off the scale, but...but...I weighed this evening (because I can) and weigh 3 lbs less than I did this morning! See, Meghan, had I not weighed I wouldn't have known! Just saying.  Now I can go to bed a food eating, 3 lbs lighter weighing, fully satisfied happy girl!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All in good time

So, I'm not gonna lie...I have these terrible cravings. I have to assume that these are because I'm going to see that dietician on Tuesday.  But let me tell you, if I don't get an egg after my visit on Tuesday, there will be a real problem! I don't know what it is about an egg...but I'm craving an egg! Yes please!  Don't get me wrong, the food at the Christmas party Saturday night was tempting....but I didn't even put myself in a position to be anywhere near it. Rumor has it I can have beans (refried) soon and the infamous boxed mashed potatoes! I haven't made those since college!  So, I assume those will be my 3rd meal over the next couple of weeks and I'm hoping that surely by Christmas I can have a little something!!!  Whew! I'm not hungry...just missing the concept of chewing!

I went to the apartment gym today for the first time and was thrilled that I was the only person least for a little while.  I do believe I like better walking outside, but since it's been raining all weekend I had to do something to get moving!  2 miles (not k) in 45 minutes while I was reading the Gabby Giffords story and listening to my iPod. It certainly made things go much more smoothly!

So, a fellow Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) friend told me the other day when you're not losing lbs, you're losing inches! Tomorrow morning I'm getting out the measuring tape! I need data to support that statement! Or maybe even a pair of pants to fit me better! I did go shopping this weekend, just out of curiosity and left a bit disappointed.  My mind is moving fast than my body! Baby steps...and all in good time!  I need those words up on a poster in my bathroom!  All in good time....all in good time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Big Sigh.

When I met with my neurologist before surgery he said, "You know this surgery won't make your Fibromyalgia go away.  Skinny people have Fibro."  I nodded, smiled, and acted like I understood, but I think in the back of my mind (or the front) I thought, oh heck yea...when I lose weight, this fibro is finished! I was abruptly yanked out of this reality yesterday.  I couldn't figure out why my hips, of all things, hurt.  I haven't really been walking much this week (and I was walking 3 times a day last week) so why would I be hurting.  This morning when I woke up and climbed out of bed it hit me...almost literally...the hips hurt and now the body hurts...the feet hurt....the back hurts...I hurt. Shit. It's back.  What I know about fibro is that weather is a trigger (hello cold wet weather) and stress is a trigger (hello back to work) and trauma to the body (hello, I just had my stomach ripped out) is a trigger.  Ouch. Ouch. OUCH!  I think I'm more sad than anything.  Sad because the walk I took a week ago, 3 times a day, killed me tonight.  All I wanted to do was see Santa down at City Hall tonight in Keller.  It's half the walk that I typically take.  OUCH! Big sigh.   So, I'm trying really hard not to let this get the best of me.  I'm trying hard not to be mad and sad.  I'm trying hard not to whine.  And I'm trying real hard not to let this slow me or my progress down. I don't have time for this. I can't have time for this.  It has to go away.  So, if you're a praying person...pray to whomever it is you pray to that this will just go least for another couple of weeks.  If you can ask for forever, that'd be great...but I think that's a little too pie in the sky. I feel silly asking for prayers for something like this when I really do feel like the luckiest girl in the world, especially when I know there are so many people who are truly struggling.  What gives me the right to ask something like this? Big sigh.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Well, the Dr. was excited yesterday! I had lost 35 lbs by their scale (in the afternoon and with clothes on), but I'm still going by mine...which has me, as of today at 41! Woo Woo Woo! I'm really ok with this pace...but I know that it won't stay at this pace. I haven't been able to walk near as much (which is going to effect my pace) as I did last week...I'm a busy girl when I work! :::How many times can I say pace in one thought process??:::  I'm on the liquid diet until Tuesday when I'll meet with the nutritionist who will hopefully tell me I can have the egg I've been craving! I'm pretty sure it will be mushy, blended food.  Apparently it has nothing to do with how well I'm doing and everything to do with healing my stomach on the inside. So, I'll just keep following directions...and hoping that i'll keep doing as well as I am for a long long time!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Big Night Out!

Folks...I have been waiting for this night out since BEFORE the surgery...and I was desperately afraid that having surgery was going to slow me down and I wouldn't get here! Ya friend Elizabeth Wills plays in Dallas about 4-5 times a year and every one of them is absolutely worth seeing.  What I know about Elizabeth is that there is not a song that you would be unable to relate to in one way or another.  She can sing a song that will speak right to your heart and it will stay there until you process all that it means....and it truly can mean something different to you each time you hear it. Or there are the songs that she sings right to your heart that touch...grab you...and make you re-feel all those feelings from that lost love or your best love. It's truly amazing and something that you must experience to really understand.

This show, though, I knew she would be be singing a few Christmas tunes!  She gets the audience involved with Jingle Bells, then she will bring you to tears with her rendition of "Oh Holy Night!" Listen to this and tell me you're not suddenly in the mood for Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas...this will bring you to your knees.

What I learned tonight is that you have friends who will do absolutely anything for you. You have friends who are like family who you have known for 35+ years and you see them for the first time in years and years and years that it is still very easy to pick up where you left off and love them like you did. I learned that pizza smells really good and that Campisi's is first on my list for when I can start eating again! I learned that no one is going to say anything to you if you eat a cup of sugar free chocolate pudding in the middle of a show...and that it will now have new meaning to eat that pudding, as I will be taken back to just that right moment in E-Dub's song that conjured up an emotion of one kind or another!
I love that I really did feel well enough to go and enjoy the show...and enjoy I did! It was an epic night...I am a big fan of epic nights! More please....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tough Day

So, I knew that eventually I'd have a bad day, right? Bad day is probably strong...I'm just exhausted. Worn out. I think I may have pushed myself too hard the last couple of days.  Today I just sat and watched my friend Tammi and my Mom successfully clean out the guest room closet.  They would just show me things and I'd tell them to keep it, give it away or sell it!  This wasn't exactly what I thought the day was going to look like, so overwhelm kicked in pretty quick.  The ladies talked me off of the proverbial ledge and I hung with them until the deed was done.  I now have a very clean and organized closet that you could actually dance in if you wanted to! :o)

Point of the story...I'm wiped out. I have to rest up so that I'm good to go tomorrow night for Elizabeth Will's show tomorrow night at Poor David's Pub in Dallas! It's my first big outing and I'm very very excited! Good friends...good music...and a glass of water...maybe cranberry juice! :o)  If you're looking for something to do, come on's going to be a great show!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving has never really been the most traditional holiday with our family. The boys's Mom's high school I had Thanksgiving Day basketball tournaments..etc etc etc. So, today, my 40th Thanksgiving stayed within that real.  Considering the only way I'd have been able to eat turkey and dressing today would be blended and through a straw (bleck) I opted out!  Dad took Mom to Cracker Barrel (where they waited for an hour and a half) for her birthday!  I desperately wanted a bowl of potato soup, but they didn't make any today! :o(    So, I spent the day today stretching my legs.  That's what I like to call my walks that I take.  The walks that started out as one lap around the nursing station this time a week ago have turned into 35 minute walks around the newly found pond! I squeezed in a little nap, then had a visit from my very dearest friend in the world! We've known each others since 1st grade! That's like 34 years! Crazy!  Bless her heart, she's an Aggie and I've spent the last 30 minutes gloating! How about those Longhorns!?!?  Mom and I  watched Lady Gaga until 10:00, then switched it over to the end of the loved it! Great way to go out UT!!

Gotta hit the sack...big day of purging the apartment tomorrow! Salvation Army is coming and we're getting rid of a lot of stuff! It's time!!!

One by One

This morning I hadn't taken 3 steps out of my house for a walk on this beautiful Thanksgiving morning...turn on my music...Elizabeth Will's "One by One" (which might just become my anthem)

and I start crying.  Not big crocodile tears...but sweet little tears.  Funny thing is I don't really know why. I look around trying to figure out what it is...but no, I just start walking and keep crying.  Regardless I did have the wherewithall to recognize that I'm a lucky girl!  I walked for almost 30 minutes this morning and am home now watching the Thanksgiving Day parade with my's her birthday today! Lucky. See. Lucky girl.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Week! Ahhhh!

I am one week post op today! Wow! Who'd thunk 1 week after surgery I'd be out on my 2nd day of shopping for furniture! I am so excited that I feel so good! I'm also very thankful for my parents. I don't think I can say that enough! This is not their first rodeo with me.  In 2006 I had brain surgery and they were here for the duration.  I truly can not imagine what I would do without them.

That being said...after 1 week jeans are already starting to fit differently. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I weigh in the morning and have lost 2-3 pounds before I go to bed! It's so backwards from the way I've always done it before...and it's amazing!  Remember when I talked about not sure how I could be excited about having half my stomach ripped out? Well, I do believe I'm excited! Yep..I said it! So, those of you who stood by your "I'm excited for you" stance...thank you! I'm there now! We have a long way to go and a lot of excitement to come...but for today, thank you...I'M EXCITED!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Days

I finally slept through the night last night! I'm gonna say that it's because my sweet friend Jessica came and stayed with me! :o)  I'm sure she didn't sleep a wink...but I sure slept good!

Things are continuing to go well! I'm walking 3-4 times a day for at least 15 minutes each time.  This just kind of helps keep things moving and situating to their new spaces inside once the swelling goes down and of course it's just good for me! It's a little chilly outside, but I enjoy the walks...especially when Mom or Dad goes with me.  I'm anxious for Neighbor Bette to get home so that we can walk some...and of course her dog Robbie.  Walking always makes much more sense if you have a dog with you.  I saw on someones FB the other day a cat leash.  I am not opposed to harnessing up Grey Kitty and giving that a try if I could just find the leash!

I just feel like I need to say that I feel so very blessed that this has all gone so well.  It hasn't even been a week and I really could go back to work. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have this week off, but I think I'm going to be ready to get back.  This was pretty major surgery...even though it was laproscopic...and I'm in shock at how good I feel.  All the prayers and well wishes are felt for sure!

I'm still waiting for my pants to fall off as I walk across the room. My psyche is going to need that to happen soon, please and thank you!  I know it takes time...and the last 5 days my body has been just trying to get rid of the 20 lbs of gas they pumped inside me and the fluid build up...but come on! I only have a half a stomach...surely it's going to start dropping soon, right!?!?!  Patience, again, is not one of my strong suits.  I can be patient for other people...and encourage others to take their time and be patient...but when it comes to me, I'm an instant gratification kind of girl.  I know it's going to happen.  I also know that it's not going to help at all if I cross my arms and stomp my foot! So, I guess I'll just let nature run it's intended. Big sigh.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's 3 A.M....

Ok, it's really almost 4:00 and I can't sleep! I woke up to the sound of Milo puking!'s that time again.  Every 6 months he does this puking thing. I also think that there is a correlation between his puking and the stress levels in the house.  I don't know if it's the extra people in the house or if it's getting that innate feeling that I'm sick...not real sure.  He had to go to the vet when I had my brain surgery too. Nothing like an old cat with IBS! Guess we're taking him to the vet next week!

So, I know I need to NOT do this, but...I can't wait until it's time to wake up (for real) so that I can weigh myself! Crazy huh? I had this vision in my head of the weight just melting off (literally) of me with little effort.  I know that's kind of coming, but I literally expected to leave the hospital 10-15 lbs lighter. Nope. I actually gained weight with the water retention, etc that my body went through.  Interestingly, however, I weighed yesterday morning, then again, randomly yesterday afternoon and I'd lost 2 lbs.  That's way backwards from what I've always seen the scale work...but I'll take it...and it's only been 4 full days. I need to just chill.

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have Mom and Dad here? They are quick to play High Protein Bartender for me and of course gopher as I send them to the store for something at least once or twice a day! I think Dad likes getting out of the house! I secretly told him when we were walking our laps at the hospital that there is a Cabella's no more than 10 miles away from my house (don't tell Mom)...and he doesn't have to fight the Grapevine traffic (to get to Bass Pro).  So, there's another excuse to get out of the house.

I was very lucky to have special friends come visit me last night! Monday is my friend Amy's birthday and she was kind enough not to share the fact that she had a birthday party with me, so I wouldn't be sad that I was missing it...especially once I learned that the Austin crew came up for the party! So, when Amy and Cheryl came to visit yesterday, Dad opened the door and I was in the kitchen getting ice...Amy walked in...then my friend Cari (form Austin) and I was way excited.  I guess I looked down at my glass to put the ice in it, looked back up and my friends LaDon and Paige (also from Austin) were standing in my living room..and local Cheryl came in lastly.  Holy cow, I couldn't believe it. They were all here...then it hit me...they were all here for Amy's birthday. Big sigh. So we all went next door to Neighbor Bette's house (she's at her daughters because she had a pace maker put in on Monday) and just chatted and laughed for a bit before they continued on with the birthday festivities.  I assured them I was there in spirit and that coming to see me meant the world to me! Great, great friends, I tell ya! I'm a lucky girl!

Oh, and the realization that the weight isn't going to just FALL off of me hit me when talking to them. I don't know, I think I was little embarrassed that there hadn't been more weight loss....which prompted the conversation about it NOT just falling off of me....which prompted discussions about where they were going to eat dinner,  Blah de blah de blah... Big sigh that I'm not hanging out over there.

Which leads me to the fact that Mom wouldn't LET me walk around the apartment complex after dark. I tried to assure her that Keller crimes only involve folks selling drugs or people trying to cover for their husbands suicides! She didn't seem to really care.  I am very loved...but I can assure you there is no reason for me to NOT walk in my parking lot.

Ok, I'm getting a little sleepy again! Woo Wooo woo! Night all...morning some...and so on....

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Place Like Home

That Dorothy had it right..there is no place like home! It feels so good to be here in my own bed, on a real computer!

I've had an exciting 3 days! I never, ever expected to stay 2 nights, but, the Radiologist who had to read my swallow study ( the way) was running behind, so I didn't get that done until around 1:30 yesterday, then the nurses had to monitor my fluid intake, which is what kept me there over night.  I wasn't sure the Dr was going to release me today...I figured he was out playing golf somewhere! Nevertheless, I was released and we're all home!  Well, Mom and I are.  She's sound asleep on the couch, Dad's out and about and probably shopping for things he doesn't need to shop for! And I am sitting in my bed and about to take a nap. I have to nap between 4 oz of fluid breaks. 4 oz at a time. That's it.  That's all I can put into my tummy. Oh goodness.  We bought a bag of sonic ice to munch on because that is the BEST!

I'm not really in much pain...but then again, they gave me my last Morphine shot yesterday afternoon and have been on liquid hydrocodone after that. I have 4 incisions on my tummy. They are between 3/4 and 1.5" long.  Not too bad...and they don't seal you back up with stitches anymore, it's this glue and I think I like it! I also have a hole in my side from the drain. Apparently they don't stitch that up after they take the 2 foot drainage tube out! She just kept pulling and pulling...bleck!  I'm glad it's out though because I didn't want to have to deal with that....but now I just have a hole...with gauze and a bandaide keeping it covered it. I will chunk the first cat that steps on my tummy though!

I don't think I feel any different because of this. I will say that I'm amazed by the support, love and prayers I received over the last few days! I am such a lucky girl.  Before we got out of the car at the hospital the day of my surgery Dad wanted to say a prayer...I told her yes, but be sure you throw in "pray for no excessive gas or nausea" and guess what? I had neither!!!  That was the best thing ever! So very excited about that!

So, now I just follow the clear liquids diet for a couple of days while the swelling goes down, then I can start in on more of the protein type foods. I'm excited to get to see Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt again!

Ok, I think my pain medicine is kicking in...I can't hold my eyes open!  Love to you all and thanks for a lot for reading my crazy stories!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well folks...I survived!!! I have walked the "sleeve walk" which is 2 laps! I just got my pain meds and am happy to report that I'm doing really well! I'm actually a bit surprised...pleasantly surprised! I'm sore, as expected...but I do believe I'm going to make it! Woo woo woo! Watch out world...The New Callaway is coming!

I wish I had a funny story to tell...but for tonight a celebratory story will do!

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and well wishes...they are working!!!!

So picture this....(WARNING...long and lots of rambling)

First of all...a disclaimer: I love my parents with all of my heart and would not be the person I am today without them. So, if Mom should be able to figure this out and get here, please know that I'm just having fun with this,'s funny...ask Kellie Casse...she was cracking up earlier.

So, I come home from work today knowing that Mom and Dad would be here, anxiously awaiting a trip to the store.  I come in the front door and I feel like I'm in some Army Barracks.  Dad has his boyscout cot spread out in the "dining" room at my house.  Mom's asleep in a camping chair and I, well, I was looking for the campfire! Dad presumes that this will be much more comfortable than the couch, so cot it is!

We ventured to the store, which I've done several times in these past 2 weeks without event, and I felt like we were on the hunt for the craziest things...water chestnuts, pistaccio's, etc etc etc.  Once I got what I needed and convinced them that it was time to jet! Hanging out at the grocery store these days is not my idea of a good time!

Back home for a packing and going over the directions for post-op with my mother. I had to remind a friend that we have 2 special ed teachers and a kindergarten teacher trying to manage this process! I do have a couple of tutors on call, and you know who you are! :o)  We'll figure it out though...lots of 1 oz cups and lots of protein! I'd like to keep my hair, please and thank you.

On a serious couldn't get more real than this. I'm closing my eyes for the last time as the Stacey that I've known since I was an infant. I was born 9 lb 9 oz (I try to convince myself that God made me this way!)  I was always the chunky girl in dance....the one who had trouble with the bars in gymnastics...the one who WANTED to play the big tenor sax (because I was big and tough enough, but wasn't allowed to)...the one whose highschool volleyball jersey always had to be special ordered because the regular order didn't fit. There has always been something. Something that made this weight always and forever an issue. Now, it's a different kind of issue.

Do I anticipate that this is going to change me...yes, but only for the better.  As my friends, I want you to tell me, whew...ever since that surgery, you are just different...especially if different isn't a good thing.  I want to be the same happy girl...funny girl....studying girl....grading papers girl....loving her job girl...loving my friends girl...loving my family girl...and loving who I am girl and I may need your help in doing that!

It's actually morning now, as I fell asleep last night trying to finish this. I was exhausted. I'm awake now, early, probably anticipating....but I'm awake.  I will go to work this morning for half a day, which is probably a good thing. It will get me out of the house and away from thinking about not eating!! No food or drink until the surgery. None. Sure does make a girl thirsty! :o)  So, I'm going to go distract myself by going and doing the thing that I love the most in the world....working with kiddos....then it's time!

I will be taking my computer with me to the hospital. I told mom it was non-negotiable.  I don't know what my time is going to look like there, but I hope to keep you all posted somehow.  I'm certain there will be a fb post after surgery and maybe just maybe a blog tonight!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as I begin the latest adventure in my life!!! Love to you all....HERE WE GOOOOOOOO!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great quote

I got this quote from a friend tonight...I think she might just have made it up...she's full of great quotes!

The new you will be the old you with new geography.

That's pure genius...and that's what I'm banking on!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here we go....

Saturday was the first day in this 8 days of the liquid diet that I actually felt hungry. Today...on a clear liquids only, I thought that I might just die. Ok, die is a bit dramatic...but good lord! FYI, fat free chicken broth tastes like dirty water. Yes, I said dirty water...nasty dirty water! Goodness. I sustained myself through the day with staying busy, and apple juice and grape juice and water!  However, when I got home I had the very best broth from Ramen noodles! So so so so good!

I'm really ready. I really really am ready. This whole process has been eye opening and I'm learning a lot about myself and the people around me. I'm so lucky to have loving family and friends...people who support me and who are willing to hold my hand (or hands) through this process.

While I am posting this blog, I'm not really advertising this whole surgery thing. I figure there are folks who will infer the meaning of some of my FB posts, some who will read these, and some who won't even notice...and that's ok. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed...just trying not to muddle the FB world with my ramblings. And we know that I can ramble! So, go ahead and start sharing your prayers and well wishes to whichever power you pray more day of liquids, then it's off to the hospital! Surgery Wednesday at 2:30 at Baylor Trophy Club! I'm ready...HERE WE GO!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last nights post

I really hope no one was offended or upset by my post last night. I want to make sure that everyone knows the gist of the post was more about the nature/type of surgery rather than the intent of your comments. You guys are wonderful and I LOVE the support I'm getting! Thank you!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've been on this liquid diet for one week now. One week! I'd kill for a Pringles right now...or is it a Pringle? I'd be happy with just one....but I digress.  So, I'm blogging as a way to say what I'm thinking, right? So, I can say what I want? Right? Before I go on, I need for you guys to know that this is not directed at's just me unloading. Unloading is even a little strong. I'm just sharing.

I've had 5 surgeries in 40 years. 3 ankles, 1 gall bladder and a brain. Not once in 5 surgeries has anyone said to me, "Are you excited?" Nope, when I was waiting on results from my MRI, no one said, "are you excited?" Headed back to have the gall bladder removed, no one said, "hey, are you excited? Are you ready?"  And the ankles...nope.  I absolutely recognize that this surgery is different. Absolutely.  I guess if I was getting a boob job someone might say to me "are you excited?"  And with that, I suppose I might be.  I love, love, love the support I'm getting from everyone. The love that I feel is invigorating. You guys are amazing. But am I excited? No, not really.  I know that good things will come from this surgery, as it was when I had my brain surgery.  Sometimes there are things in our body that just don't do what they're supposed to anymore....and that's how I feel about this surgery. Bottom line, my stomach is more trouble than it's worth!   If I want to make it to old age, it's gotta come out, just like that cyst in my brain and just like my nagging old gall bladder! So, if I make a sour face when you ask me if I'm excited, please don't be offended.  If I smile and shrug and say, "Yep...I'm excited"...know that in that moment, I am.  It's an emotional ride...and will be for quite some time! Hang on and enjoy the ride, right...because I'm nervous and scared and overwhelmed and sad and shocked and surprised and amazed...and yes, a little excited.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Missed a Meal???

Ok, so I didn't miss a meal...that's really only happened once or twice in my 40 years...but, I really didn't even want to "eat" tonight.  I know that's not a good thing and certainly not a notion I need to entertain, especially after surgery, but it is interesting.  And then...when I made my shake, it just didn't work out. I failed miserably at it! It's like horribly watered down chocolate milk.  Big sigh. I'll drink it...because I'm supposed to.  Pre-op bloodwork at the hospital in the morning...good times! No "eating" after 9:00. It's real's happening! (can you see both the fear and excitement on my face???)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting better...

So, today, life and work took control of when I got to "eat" today.  There was a slight chance that I was going to fall out around 3:45, but luckily I had a thing of cottage cheese in the car! Saved my life! Whew! It wasn't the end of the world though...which was very nice to know!  I also know is that this is working. I'm down to a set of numbers I haven't seen in a while....which makes it really exciting at the notion of what's to come! I wish that I had this blog thing going on 5 years ago when I had my brain surgery. I said I was going to write in a journal, but never did. Granted, my brain was pretty tired, so it might have been harder.  I think this is going to be nice for me to look back on and reflect on where I was when I started and every step in between.

Monday, November 7, 2011


My tummy is growling.'s not pretty!  But it's bedtime and I know I don't NEED food. I got my protein in for the day, and actually went over a bit. I do love those Smoothie King drinks. I like them so much I feel like I should ask the Dr. if it's ok for me to drink them! :o/   The good news is I'm getting through this! We (and by we, I mean me) have 6 more days of this diet, then 2 days of clear liquids only diet.  My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16th at 2:30...yes, 2:30.  That's awfully late! My poor parents will  have to tolerate my crankiness.  Or, maybe I'll go to work in the morning , then just leave there for surgery.  Why does that seem odd?  Might as well save a half day, right??  While I am struggling with all this craziness, I can still see 2 months down the road and how excited I am going to be about the weight I've lost! How exciting will it be to go shopping at Target...and Old Navy! I can't wait...and I'm gonna be so stinkin' cute!  Hahaha!  I need moments like this so that when my tummy is growling, I know that it's all for a reason and all because there is a bigger plan!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today...The 3-Day Walk

So, distract me and give me something positive to do, I headed to Dallas to a cheer station for my friends walking the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Folks...if you haven't done this, do it! This is such an amazing a spectator! I can't imagine what it must be like for the participants! The stories we heard just standing there...absolutely gut wrenching and inspiring and absolutely exceptional.  I watched these women walk and I thought to myself....I'm bitching about only getting 1 "meal" a day? Seriously?  How selfish of me. I am about to embark on a journey that, while necessary, is elective.  I realize that long term it might be a different situation, and the choice will not be mine to make, but today...November 16th... it's elective.  So, tonight I'm grateful for the choice.  I'm grateful for the friends and family who support me.  I'm grateful for the hundreds and hundreds of women and men who walked this weekend so that many of us won't have to make a choice some day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 2 - Not a very creative title!

So, today was better. Much better. I was a lot busier today too...I think that's the key.  I'm still very excited and the support I'm getting is amazing.  Thank you to everyone! Thanks to Glenny at work who made me some soup to have! It'll be nice to have something other than Chicken Noodle. Now, I did buy some Disney Princess Chicken Noodle Soup! I'm certain that there will be a day that I NEED to feel like a princess in the next 12 days!  I still can't believe this is happening.  The last time I was 12 days away from surgery, I was preparing for brain surgery!  This was a surgery that was not a choice.  I feel like what I'm doing now is a choice. It's a necessary choice, but still a choice.  That seems to make it a little bit more difficult to swallow, so to speak.  I know this is what I need to question about it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Day of the Rest of My Life

So, today I've had a grand total of 630 calories, all in the form of protein shakes, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt! The fact that noone got hurt at work today is pretty exceptional! This is a good thing. This is a good thing. This is a good thing.  The behaviorist in me is trying to pair this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day with something positive...but I'm not having much luck! This will get better. This will get better. This will get better. Right?

I really do think of this as the first day of the rest of my life.  13 days and counting...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Last Supper we go.  November 2, 2011.  I'm headed to Texas de Brazil to eat the hell out of some meat! Tomorrow begins my 2 week liquid diet and my surgery is November 16th.  This is something I've thought about for over 10 years now.  The whole "God made me this way" schtick isn't working anymore. It's time to get healthy. I have little people I need to stick around for! I need to feel better. I want to feel better. So, I'm doing it...and hopefully I can/will keep up with it and you guys through this blog. I considered just journaling and that's what this may turn into...we'll see. 

I'm nervous...excited..scared...petrified...anxious...and any other word you can find that means the same as scared shitless! Scared because it's another surgery.  Scared because it's such a huge lifestyle change. Scared because I don't want to change WHO I am.  Scared because it's going to smell good at lunch when people bring in Chinese food.  Scared that I'll make myself sick somehow if I don't follow the directions. Just scared. I don't think I was this scared when I had my brain surgery! Big sigh. I have to throw my faith up to the Big Man and pray that he will watch over me and calm all my fears. So, if you're the praying type...throw one up for me...I'm going to need it!!