Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The comeback

Current state of my fitness: abysmal

Current attitude: shitty

Current energy level: about equivalent to a snail on tranquillisers *yawn*

In spite of all the above and in spite of it being mid-winter, I have embarked on a new fitness program this week. I won't be breaking any records, but I will be hitting the gym or my spin bike most days.

The 5:30am alarms are brutal, but I'm doing it.

Yep, the pink sparkly training gloves are coming out again.

There. I've declared my intention. Now I have to do it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Genius approach to mammography

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Genius 3D Mammography.

Being proactive about your health means paying attention to so many things. There’s the food you eat, maintaining a healthy weight, being active, getting enough sleep and minimising stress. But no matter how many veggies you eat or how many kilometres you can run without breaking a sweat, you still need to make sure you have regular medical screening tests. And for we women in the 40-55 age bracket, mammograms are right there at the top of the list of important tests.

Most of us have been affected in some way by breast cancer; if not personally, we have a friend, a sister, a mother, a grandmother or an aunt who’s been diagnosed. I’ve participated in a number of Mother’s Day Classics to raise funds for breast cancer research because it’s a cause I feel strongly about, having lost a close friend to the disease ten years ago. I also feel strongly about nagging every woman I know to get regular mammograms.

It’s well known that early detection is important, because finding invasive breast cancers early increases the chance of surviving the disease. If found before spreading to the lymph nodes, the 5 year survival rate is close to 100% (96%).

Early detection is where Genius 3D mammography comes in. Around 8 million women around the world have benefited from Genius 3D mammography. Unlike 2D mammography, which produces a flat image, this technology takes a series of images – thin “slices” – which are used to build a 3D image, giving a much clearer view of the breast tissue. It allows the radiologist to examine your breasts layer by layer, making it easier to detect abnormalities. It really is genius.
It’s no more uncomfortable than a regular 2D mammogram; in fact the process from the patient’s point of view is very similar.

Genius 3D mammography is proven to detect 41% more invasive breast cancers than traditional 2D mammography alone. That’s a pretty huge number. It’s also proven to reduce false positives by 15-40%. This means earlier detection than ever before and less anxiety about unnecessary further testing, including often uncomfortable biopsies. Nobody needs an anxious wait for further test results, which turn out to be nothing at all.
All women can benefit from 3D mammography, but certain high-risk women may derive particular benefit, such as:

  • Women with dense breasts (women in their 40s who are not actively targeted by BreastScreen);
  • Women who have noticed changes, i.e. a lump;
  • Women with a strong family history;
  • Women with a previous diagnosis of breast disease;
  • Or those with a suspicious finding from a previous 2D mammogram.

You do need a referral from your GP to a Genius 3D Mammography clinic, so if you think you would benefit from this technology, have a chat with your doctor.

To find more information, or your nearest Genius 3D Mammography clinic, visit www.genius3D.com.au


Friday, June 05, 2015

Ten things I like about winter

Anyone who knows me, or who has read this blog for any length of time (a big hello! to my three dedicated readers), knows that I'm a committed winter-hater.

It's especially difficult for me this year because:

a) We just got back from the tropics. Boarding a plane in 32º and disembarking into 4º is not amusing, let me tell you; and

b) Melbourne has been afflicted with a record-breaking cold snap, the coldest start to winter in 65 years. Brrr! I expected to be eased into the season with gradually descending temperatures, but nope.

Instead of following my usual M.O. and whinging constantly about it, I decided this morning that I'd try to see the good side. I set myself a task on Twitter, to find ten good things about winter. The first few were pretty easy, then I ran out of ideas. Except for food. There's hot soup, hot tea, hot toddies, hot casseroles, hot pies, hot chocolate... but ten food-related "good things" would be cheating. *sigh*

It took me more than six hours, but here's my list:

Of course, that last one is a bit of a stretch, because I usually put my pyjamas on the minute I get home from work, whether it's daylight or not.

What do you like about winter? If you're a winter-lover, you're not invited to answer, by the way. This lady said it best:


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Back in Oz

Sawadee ka! I'm back from my Thai holiday. 

Don't worry, you didn't miss a thing. It was really quite unbearable.* We planned a lazy, relaxing holiday to mark our thirtieth wedding anniversary, and here's what we got:

Day after day, we had to eat this food....

Pork something or others, wrapped in noodles and deep fried. Blech.

Sunday brunch included Raclette. Disgusting. I mean, who likes melted cheese on anything?

Soft-shell crab in a green papaya salad. By the pool. Dreadful.

Pad Thai, presented in an egg "bowl". This place was so bad, we
went back again just to be sure it was no good.

Complimentary fruit every arvo. Free stuff? Nah, nobody likes that.

Sunday brunch seafood. Lousy selection... nothing but prawns, oysters, mussels, bugs,
crabs, salmon, fresh sushi made to order right in front of you.

Desserts. You know I hate desserts.

And in the afternoons, there were naps that needed to be taken. Or maybe just a quiet read, whilst looking out at the awful view.

We had to drink horrid concoctions like these....

Cosmpolitan. With beach view. Yuk.

Bubbles, every damn day. 

Unlimited Bloody Marys at Sunday brunch. Not even close to acceptable. 

Mmm, I don't know... mojito? Can't recall but I'm sure it was awful.

Another G&T forced down.
 And the hotel was dreadful. Just look at this place. Pfft. I don't know how they can call it a five-star resort...

We kept finding tropical flowers in our room. Ugh.

The resort is built around pools and ponds, with lush tropical gardens. The scent of frangipanis was just horrid.

The pool had to be swum in, numerous times every single day... 

With only 15 rooms accessing the lagoon pool, we had it all to ourselves most of the time.
Where are the crowds? The dive-bombing children? I ask you...

Our patio, shutters closed for privacy, with our own pool entrance.  Unbearable.

Perfect pool, perfect weather. Aargh!

The pools were open 24/7. No 10pm curfew? Unacceptable.

There were storms on two of our ten days. Nothing to do but sleep, read, eat and relax. Sooo boring.

I had to suffer through foot massages and mani/pedis....

It cost me less than half of what I pay at home. I should complain.

And there was sunset after tedious sunset...



See? Horrible!

Is that the best they can do? Really?

Even when it stormed, there were sunsets to endure.

Nope, you wouldn't have liked it at all.

*Actually, it was bloody marvellous. If you like doing a whole lot of nothing in perfect surroundings, book yourself into the TwinPalms Phuket Resort. It's the duck's guts. 

If you prefer to be sightseeing and doing stuff, there are tours and trips to suit anyone. We'd done it all before though and preferred to just chill out this time. Which we did. 

I wrote a review for Trip Advisor if you're interested to know more...