Like getting blood from a stone…

Years ago, when I was in much better health, I used to donate blood. Fortunately, I was never afraid of needles and the sight of blood didn’t particularly bother me.  It was something I could do and feel like I was making a difference (and sometimes I would get a cool t-shirt out of it!) These days, I dread getting blood drawn. My veins, which have always been tiny, are even more reluctant to cooperate now that I’ve been through chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. Complicating things further, I can only use my right arm for blood draws and blood pressure since I had a left side mastectomy(that puts me at risk for Lymphedema, so I have to be extra careful with that arm). Since my Lupus has been acting up, I’ve had to get blood drawn practically every 4-6 weeks for the past several months – and even though I tell the technicians that “I’m a tough stick” (to use their lingo), they usually don’t take me seriously until several painful pokes later. Oh, how I miss my port! Needless to say, I’m not donating blood anymore and try to steer clear of the Bloodmobile people when I see them in the grocery store parking lot. Guess I won’t be getting any more cool t-shirts 😦


I’m going “Over The Edge”! (a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club South Florida)


Please visit my fundraising page and consider making a donation to help supprt Gilda’s Club South Florida and the awesome work they do to help everyone and anyone who has been affected by cancer.  I’m planning on doing something I never thought I would ever do – climb down the side of a building – to help raise money to fight cancer – please check it out!  Just click on the title of this article to see my page. If the link doesn’t take you to my page, you can go to and look up my page, listed under Sonia Convery.  My goal is to raise $1,000 – any amount you’re able to give will be greatly appreciated and go towards services to provide support and education to individuals and families struggling with the effects and aftereffects of a cancer diagnosis.

Here’s some more details in the event:

On Saturday, April 5, 2014 Gilda’s Club South Florida will host the 2nd Annual Over the Edge for Gilda’s, the only rappelling event in Broward County, in partnership with the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale.  Participants will rappel from the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale hotel, located on the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and A1A, overlooking beautiful Fort Lauderdale Beach.  Over the Edge for Gilda’s is an exciting opportunity to find your inner daredevil and push the limits while supporting Gilda’s Club South Florida.


The “weighting” game

I’m going to start by making a controversial statement that might make some people upset – especially ladies: I have never, ever had to worry about my weight, as a matter of fact, i have never been on a diet, have worn the same size since high school, and don’t even own a scale.  If anything, I’ve always had a problem gaining weight, and could always lose weight without even trying.  When I’ve shared this with others in the past, they typically roll their eyes and mutter some variation of “I hate you”.  I realize that I’ve been fortunate in not having to worry about my weight or body image – until now.  After chemotherapy and being thrown into early menopause, I gained some weight.  I got my appetite back after chemo was over and started eating whatever I wanted (which is always what I was able to do in the past). I also began eating meat – I had been a vegetarian for over 20 years prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer.  The type of cancer I had was estrogen positive, so my doctor advised me that I have to avoid soy products – which is the main ingredient in the food I was eating as meat substitutes (like Boca Burgers).  So, I begrudgingly began to eat chicken and turkey (and the occasional meatball sandwich) in order to get my protein. 

After a while, my body adjusted and settled into its new weight – which was more than before I got sick, but I still felt ok and was happy with how I looked and felt.  Well, now I’ve been on prednisone for awhile to treat my Lupus, which has been annoyingly more active lately.  And, even more annoyingly, I have gained more weight and, for the first time in my life, feel uncomfortable and don’t like the way my body looks.  Add in the scar from my mastectomy, the spots on my skin from the chemo and my ongoing hot flashes, and I have to admit that my body image is not what it used to be.  When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, the response I got was, “welcome to my world”.  Well, this is a strange, new world for me.  I have to figure out how to be happy and healthy in this world, especially since I’ll be on meds for the rest of my life and my body has changed forever thanks to cancer, Lupus and menopause.  Guess I’ll be grateful for the years I didn’t have to worry about all this and accept the fact that things have changed. And I guess I’ll actually use my gym membership. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the kitchen to have a chili dog and a chocolate sundae – hey, might as well enjoy my new world! 
I’ll go to the gym tomorrow…



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