Posts filed under: ‘Professor Mom‘

A Life Changing Decision

I was thinking today at the third month anniversary of a life-changing decision that maybe I should be blogging again. Before I explain my decision, let me tell you a bit about me.

The Problem.

At the age of 25 I had my first baby.  I gained 60 pounds and have never been able to take it off. As I am now 61 years old I’ve added some weight to it and now need to lose 100 pounds minimum.  It is only when I look in the mirror that I see the weight as I feel inside like that 125 pound, 25 year old in my mind. In 2005 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes and Hypothyroidism. Suddenly my fairly content world is topsy turvey. I’ve never minded taking pills but my pill boxes (yes, I had to buy two) were exploding! To add insult to injury, the medication prescribed for the five years after the surgeries and radiation for cancer caused a side affect to which another pill was added to suppress the affect. Then, in 2006, I fell down some steps and broke both the Tibia and Fibula and dislocated everything else in my left ankle and foot. After three to four months in a wheel chair I was pretty much feeling like everything was going downhill picking up speed and there was nothing I could do.  Please understand that over the years I had tried many diets to lose weight, (some good, some not so good) and I always lost up to 15 pounds and that was it! I finally decided that torture was not the answer and determined to like myself in spite of my looks.  This worked until I went to shop for clothes and then I would be sad again.

Fast forward to March 2011.  I met with my doctor (the fab Dr. Matt of Janzen and Janzen Health Center) for him to give me the results of an MRI of my back due to chronic pain. Basically he told me that disks L1 through L5 were seriously degenerative and L5 was bulging.  Without immediate treatment, weight loss and possibly surgery, I would within a few years be crippled, unable to walk. I had no trouble believing him as I already could not go shopping.  Ten minutes or so of walking into a store I would be bent over trying to relieve the pain.

The Solutions.

I needed to begin Core Training to learn how to protect by back. I needed to have a metabolic workup to find out why I can’t lose weight. I needed to lose weight.  All of this might keep me from needing to have surgery. Dr Matt treats scoliosis patients and has a doctor from New York come in once a month to help with braces.  This happened to be the day that Dr. Gary Deutchman was in the office.  Dr. Matt introduced us and then explained that Dr. Deutchman had recently lost weight to the point that Dr. Matt almost didn’t recognize him. It seems that Dr. Deutchman’s wife, Dr. Gail Louro had started working with her patients that needed to lose weight by becoming their Coach using the Ideal Protein protocol. He explained it to me, gave me a brochure and was very encouraging. However, I’m thinking…been there, done that and have the t-shirt that still won’t fit.

The Decision.

I took all the information home, actually a little overwhelmed by all of it.  I trust Dr. Matt and knew he was steering me in the direction I should probably go but I needed to think about it; talk to my husband about it; research it. After a couple of weeks of thinking, talking and researching, I decided to call Dr. Lauro. We talked and she answered all of my questions and I explained my reticence to putting myself through another failure. I finally decided to commit but was careful to tell no one outside of family and a couple of close friends.  I didn’t want to advertise my expected failure. April 3, 2011 I weighed and measured and started the Ideal Protein protocol. It should have been hard and as a picky eater I shouldn’t have like the protein provided. To date there have only been a couple of things I’ve tried that I didn’t like. Following the protocol has been easy and the support of Dr. Lauro has been invaluable.

The Three Months Result.

At the end of four weeks I had lost 17 pounds and though still cautious I had passed the mark and my first interim goal. By week nine I had exceeded my second interim goal of 25 pounds registering a total of 26 pounds lost.  Last Sunday (my weigh-in day) my total weight loss has been 32 pounds. People are noticing and I’m beyond 1/3 of my weight loss goal.

The non-athletic me has also been doing Core Training and additional results are that I actually spent an hour in Costco shopping with no pain. I’m not pain free but after three relatively easy months there are many things physically that have happened.  One of the pills I took for diabetes has been removed and my A1C scored at a level of someone who is not diabetic.  (I expect the other pill to go away before long) The pill that I took for blood pressure has been reduced by three-quarters. My doctors and family are thrilled.  So, with this progress I’m starting to share with others my journey.  For more information:

Dr. Matt Janzen, 408-379-0133

Dr. Gail Lauro, 212 360-7760

Additional information on Ideal Protein,


Add a comment July 1, 2011

Queen of the Night

In 1991 we moved to Yuma, Az and within the first few months a friend (Mary) invited us to dinner. In her backyard was the most amazing cactus garden with cactus as tall as her house. She later presented me with an arm off one of her cacti. Arizona? Cactus? No big deal, right? Wrong. What makes this cactus amazing is that it blooms once a year. Still no big deal, right? Wrong. Each bloom opens at night, one night and closes back up during the next day. So in order to enjoy the blooms….you must stay up most of the night.

My “Queen of the Night” bloomed with one bloom the first and the second year I had it. It didn’t bloom again and in 1997 we moved back to California. I brought the cactus with me even though it hadn’t bloomed. There was something about that plant that struck a cord with me.

In 2006 my “Queen of the Night” bloomed for the first time in 15 years! One bloom, one night. In 2007 it bloomed again…one bloom, one night. In 2008 two blooms. This year, 2009, my “Queen of the Night” bloomed again but this year…..18 blooms!!!  We’ve enjoyed watching each and every bud grow and became quite proficient at determining which night each bloom would open.  On one night two opened together…one night three…and one night five blooms opened together. Each bloom is big and beautiful, white with lots of green stamen in the center.

Some may wonder why I have such a facination with this plant. I’m not sure why it started but the continuation is that no matter what I do this plant does what it wants. During the move back to California the plant was in a dark storage garage for a month without any water or even light. It survived anyway. There have been times when I’ve watered it and taken care of it and times when I’ve neglected it, yet it survived and didn’t bloom. It is a plant and it does what it does no matter what I want or do. I have no control or say so. It makes the times it blooms so much more special. That is what the past two weeks of blooms have been, “special”.

1 comment July 1, 2009


I was just reflecting about my life. Are there things I’d change if I could go back and have the knowledge I now have? Definitely! But those are just circumstances, the important things in my life are not things… they are people. The three most important being my husband, son and daughter. Their support of me is invaluable. They love me no matter the mistakes I make. They stand beside me, encouraging me; behind me, pushing me, and in front of me, protecting me. They are my “family”.

I am surprised in this reflective look to see there are others that are important to me and invaluable in their support of me. They’ve only been a part of my life for four years but have called me “part of the family” and helped make these past two incredibly difficult years less difficult. They understand what I need sometimes before I do. I am and always will be grateful for each of them .

I have found that family isn’t determined only by “biology” and I’m glad.

Add a comment April 8, 2007

Amazingly Connected

Who would think there would ever be a connection between a broken ankle and a breast cleared of cancer? Tuesday will be what I hope is the end of a weird series of events. One and a half years ago, breast cancer and the resulting surgeries and radiation to be cancer free. Then six months ago, a broken ankle. Little did I understand that there would be any connection between the two let alone result in another surgery. Physical therapy for my ankle had been going well. Then one day one of the pads for the electrical nerve stimulation was placed over one of the screws in my ankle. Since I had no feeling there yet due to the surgery I was unaware that the current was burning my skin covering the screw. Days later it became infected, but I kept a topical antibiotic on it. There was no pain (no feeling, no pain) so I thought all was fine. However, the infection traveled and decided that the breast that had been cleared of cancer was a great place to live. Four weeks and multiple aspirations later… surgery to clear the infection. Several friends have commentd that it is amazing how the body works.  I think that not only is the body amazing but so is the connectivness of the events in our lives.

Add a comment March 23, 2007


Anyone who knows me would not think I place much priority on shoes.  I wear comfortable shoes having given up years ago on wearing shoes that are painful but oh so cute!  The past 5 months I’ve only been allowed to wear tennis shoes, so I bought a brand new pair of New Balance.  I was ordered to wear tennis shoes after I broke my ankle but the shoes I bought had a Pink Ribbon (with some of the cost going to Breast Cancer Research) embroidered on them so I could live with it.  However, lately I’ve wanted REAL shoes!  You know, the kind that don’t require socks! I want the kind where my feet don’t suffocate and everyone can see that I’ve painted my toenails.

Aerosoles were recommended and when I checked out their web site…Oh My GOSH!!!  Style, cute and comfortable.  I bought my first pair today and will go back for more as they had several styles that I wanted.  I’ve got to get my ankle used to these first.

Yes, my toenails are painted.  Yes, I wore them out of the store. Yes, REAL shoes at last!

Add a comment March 17, 2007

A New Look

After being in a “funk” for weeks now, I think I’m beginning to come out of it. I finally found someone to cut my hair the way I want it. I’ve been getting compliments all week. One person said it is “sassy”!!! I think I like that compliment the best. Now when my new glasses get here I’ll have a completely new look.

With my broken ankle healed and expectation of a clear mammogram in March; this year is starting out better than the past year and 1/2 has been.

Add a comment February 23, 2007

Broken…Not Yet!!!

It’s hard to know what to say. September 10, 2006 started out as a day somewhat like any other. Everything was ready for a quarterly meeting for work being held at one of the hotels’ meeting rooms. One minute I’m walking along and the next I’m at the bottom of the steps. Results: dislocated and two broken bones in my left ankle. Surgery repaired the ankle and now I’m waiting for the healing to be complete and being able to walk again.

Between family, friends and co-workers I’ve been well taken care of but I’m ready to take care of myself. Of course, that’s not possible … yet.

I may have broken bones, but I’m not broken.

Add a comment November 23, 2006

Another First

As each new month rolls around it’s seemingly a chance to start again. Just think after no longer than 31 days (shorter on a few) you get another FIRST! My FIRST for September started out well with a surprise, “You can go home early” announcement. Then mid-afternoon it got traumatic with the possibility of cancelling surgery scheduled for the 5th. Late afternoon with a “greenlight” for surgery it became a better day. I wonder if this FIRST day of September is any indication of how this month might go?

Add a comment September 1, 2006

Celebrate Life

I thank God that those who were to be “targets” in the near future were today spared. Though they , nor anyone else, will ever know who they were, it’s nice to know they are safe. We never know when tragedy will strike but it’s nice to know that today many families were spared the agony of life cut short. We should celebrate life today.

Add a comment August 10, 2006

Blog, Blog, Blog

I’ve been sitting here tonight determined to write but nothing of importance comes. I know I don’t have to write everyday but somehow I want to. Could this have become an obsession so soon? A Blog A Day Keeps the Blues Away! Okay, so maybe I’d better quit while I’m ahead. Blog, Blog, Blog

Add a comment August 9, 2006






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