Monday, May 9, 2011

What I did in my school holidays By Cassie (age 33)

I finally have got around to blogging about the holidays.  Finally after an 11 week term, two weeks of pure bliss.  No teenagers, no work politics, no bells and time for me and sleep ins!

I got to start the holidays early as the Friday was the last day of our adoption course.  Now completing the course, we will soon be allocated an adoption social worker, be assessed a little more, work on our profile for the people to choose us from (has to be in a binder, like a school project - going to love the presentation factor part - no digital software/dvds etc allowed).  I guess then after that, we go into the pool and wait to be chosen.  For us, adoption is the way we have chosen to go.  Foster care - we are just not at a place in our lives to cope with a lot of the baggage these kids come with.  Maybe in later years.

Anyway, much of my holidays was spent in my hometown - Dunedin.  I hadn't been down for about nine months so the last time was about 3 months before I started on the road to getting banded and beyond.

Good to see parents.  Dad greeted me at the airport, and while waiting for luggage questioned whether I thought the op was worth it since I had restricted my food choices.  I simply said to him I had lost over 30 kilos, was doing so much more with my life and my health was on the improve.  Many of the food choices I have restricted myself on are because if I start eating things like bread (which is sticky anyway) I may not stop.  I love bread.  It is easier just not to have it.  I have had to put chocolate in a similar category.
Mum was funny.  After giving me a hug - said there wasn't a lot there to hug anymore - awww - But trust me still heaps there!

My brother has seen me every few months, and had only seen me a couple of weeks before my visit.  He is very supportive of what I've done though and will give me compliments in his brotherly sort of way :)

I saw a few friends while down there too.  My best bud Fran who is due to have number two any week now.  Number one Otis is almost two.  It is amazing how he has become a little person with a lot of personality since I last saw him.  Fran also commented on the changes, even though she only saw me in January - apparently my face had changed.

What I love about my close friends is their honesty.  Fran and I went to look at clothes one day (Easter sales)  We at a shop and I was trying stuff on, when Fran goes "Cass, you need a new bra.  That one isn't supporting you.  You don't want your boobs to be hanging by your elbows!"  I guess with losing weight, the bra I had on was too big and no longer supportive at all.  So for the first time since I was 12/13 - I went and got fitted for a bra.  When bigger, I would have never done this.  However, since all the procedures I have over the past year or so - I just don't care anymore.  And the lady in the lingerie shop was just lovely and found bras that were just lovely.  Not the small selection I had to chose from previously.  So I got two for now (she said with losing weight - don't buy too many in one size) - one sport, one normal.  I may buy another.  But it was a fun experience!  And I do recommend.  Having the right bra - my clothes look so much better!

I also caught up with my friend Julie and her two girls.  Julie was the person who encouraged me to go into this journey, stating at the time, I had to look after myself and be selfish for once.  Also stating that money should not be a barrier.  I have so much to be grateful for.  Julie had also struggled with weight during her life, but one day decided it was going and did what she needed to to do it.  She looks terrific and has stayed that way.  She is a very positive person and highly motivational. It was cool, she could not get over the changes - the body, face, and even my gums were looking healthier.  I had never noticed to be honest.  Also my nose was thinner.  Her girls kept saying you are so much smaller and didnt recognise me at first.  He he - found that funny. 
Me, Fran and Julie's girls Charlotte and Madeline

Julie, Fran and Me

Saw other friends.  All were very positive about how I had changed.

While down in Dunedin, I was pretty good with the diet, desperately wanting to get rid of the kilo that I had gained in my week of indulgence.  Did a bit of exercise.  Did a lot on my return to Wellington. Also slept a lot.  I realised during this time just how much easier it is to concentrate on good eating and exercise when the stress of work is not there!  As said in a previous post I was rewarded with a 3.2 kilos loss. I also got a small fill (.2mL).  I'm thinking I may just need a .1mL this week to put me fully in the green zone.  See what the nurse says.

The holidays were over too quickly, but I did get to see a couple of movies (Fast 5 and Thor plus DVDs), read books, and caught up with many friends.

On the day I returned to Wellington, I dropped my Dad off at the hospital for some tests.  On picking him up at the ward, the doctor informed my Dad (plus me and my bro) that they had found a growth in his colon.  They had to a biopsy and have since confirmed it is cancer.  I am devastated.  My Dad is the strong one.  He simply said it is all part of life's rich tapestry (about as much emotion as Dad will show - he is British).  It is hoped that it has been caught early and has not spread.  He will have surgery in about 6 weeks or so (tbc) and all going well they can remove the tumour and part of the bowel and it will be all good.  I am really really really hoping for the best case scenario.  So I will be going back to Dunedin to help out where I can.  I feel useless as although I do know there is nothing I can do - the distance and being so far away is hard as I can't just pop over and help where needed.  The phone has been used a lot more in the last week.  In stressful situations like this it is hard not to pick up that chocolate etc, but I made the decision that I need to be at my fittest/healthiest for my Dad so I can help him when he needs it.  I have not touched the chocolate, and found that exercise has helped the stress.  I am in a feeling of disbelief, don't know really what to feel at the moment.  I feel numb.

The rest of the holidays went by quickly.  School work, coffees, lunches and of course the Royal Wedding Party - that was lots of fun.  Pimms cups, tiaras, cucumber sandwiches, British flags, royal waves etc were the order of the day.  Shown at night here, the party continued into the wee hours of the morning.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your dad Cass, that is really stink news. I sincerely admire your attitude and the way you're taking things in your stride though, you are a strong woman and I'm proud of ya :-)

  2. Really hope that everything works out for your dad, its such a worry.
    Loving the pictures, you look great!

  3. Praying for your dad-- I'm hoping for the best as well.

    Love the pictures! It's great to see people after you've taken off a chunk of weight.