Sunday, November 09, 2014
Children have a totally different perspective than we "time-tainted" adults. Until life and experience change this, we can learn so much from the way they see things.
Case in point.
We have this beautiful little 3 year old in our family who has been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. It completely fills his abdominal cavity, wrapping over and behind all of his organs and infiltrating the bones. The doctors have given a 70% survival rate....if...he gets through each stage along the way.
As you can imagine, when this news was dropped like a bomb on his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we had some difficult days. We still have some moments when it hits anew but Raiden has been a champ and has been teaching us about life.
The second of five rounds of chemo is completed. Along the way there has been a drainage tube to try to relieve pressure from a belly full of gallons of fluids caused by the tumor. A feeding tube to augment his nutrition since he had no interest in food in the early days of his hospitalization. A catheter to drain the bladder until he started taking fluids and being able to do this on his own. A port surgically placed to aid in the chemo administration and surgery to biopsy and stage the cancer. The diagnosis involved scans and other procedures that couldn't have been fun for a little boy. There has been pain from various causes and sores in the mouth, night terrors, rashes, loss of hair.....many hard things for him to go through or for mom & dad (and all of us) to watch.
But....in this month in the hospital, he has also trick or treated in the halls of the hot unit. To encourage his walking in the halls, the physiotherapists have made it fun by sticking gators in all sorts of unexpected places that he hunts with his nerf gun. He's also had nerf wars with his grandpa (my nephew) and the giggling battles have been shared on facebook as have some of these other fun activities. Any doubts of the value of the internet are totally dashed. LOL
Now, mom & dad are hopefull that they will all be able to go home for a brief bit of normalcy before the third round of chemo. Being able to go home of course is predicated on all things being OK so it's a hope right now not a reality.
Here's another of Raiden's lessons for us. He told mom that it doesn't matter 'cause he LIKES it at the doctors. LOL He's been having some fun, lots of attention. Mom & dad are living in his hospital room with him, grandparents visit on a regular basis. The nurses bring soup, Popsicle etc. whenever he calls to them to bring food. LOL Although some of the doctor and nurse visits mean uncomfortable things, he quickly shoves those things out of his mind and focuses on the fun side of their visits to his room. When he feels good he plays, when he feels badly he cuddles. Simple!
Now you and I have set goals for ourselves. We spend a lot of our time looking ahead and sometimes allowing ourselves to feel badly because we aren't reaching our goals or aren't doing it quickly enough. We look at our exercise as a chore we HAVE to to instead of a game we GET to play. We think in terms of the difficulties instead of living in the moment and enjoying the journey.
Time to remember the lessons we learn from the children in our lives!
It's snowing here. The first of the season for us. I could groan, thinking about the cold, the shoveling and the months of the same over and over again. But I won't. I choose instead to imagine playing in the snow. Running around, head tipped to the sky trying to catch the silver dollar sized snowflakes on my tongue. No calories in snowflakes!!! LOL
Sunday, November 02, 2014
Lyrics of old songs pop into my head and run in a continuous loop in there even if the song itself was never a particular favorite.
Today, it is an old Petula Clark song..............
"It's a sign of the times
And I know that I won't have to wait much longer
You've changed a lot somehow
From the one I used to know"
Well, I would have gratefully sat with my laptop and my coffee enjoying the cozy warmth of my fleece jammies this morning. I kept glancing up at the thermometer which was refusing to rise.
Of course I needed to run. I wanted to run. I am stomping out those virtual cancer cells that have plagued my great nephew Raiden. And, I have some Sparkfriends/facebook pals who are running NY today in the cold and wind. Getting dressed and going out for a run is the least I can do. LOL
It's a sign of the times............I had to give a great deal of thought to what I would wear. 36 degrees by the time I was preparing to go out the door means careful layering.
The ice on the puddles at the end of the road showed me that we won't have to wait much longer for winter. Who was getting impatient? LOL
At least we didn't have the brisk winds that the NY runners faced. Sorry Nancy, I would have taken that from you if I could.
As is often the case, when I push myself to get out for a run, I find it to be a pretty good one. The cold helped my pace. I started to unzip layers in the first 1/2 mile and ditched the gloves shortly after. I create a lot of heat when I run so I soon decided to make note that I had mis chosen some of my layers but thankfully I had skipped the wind pants. As I crested the hills on the north side of the lake, I encountered some breeze and the zippers were adjusted but all in all I was warmer by then than necessary or desired. Plugging in to the computer when I got home, I saw that I maintained a very good pace and even managed negative splits. This is highly unusual for me. So perhaps.............
I can repeat that second line.
"You've changed a lot somehow
From the one I used to know"
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I was lying around, pondering the problems of the
realized that, at my age, I don't really give a rat's ass
If walking is good for your health, the postman would be
whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still
rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while
tortoise doesn't run and does mostly nothing. Yet it lives for
And you tell me to exercise?? I don't think
that I'm older, here's what I've
started out with nothing, and I still have most of
My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and
finally got my head together, and now my body is falling
Funny, I don't remember being
Funny, I don't remember being
6. If all
is not lost, then where the heck is
It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get
Some days, you're the top dog. Some days, you're
9. I wish
the buck really did stop here. I sure could use a few of
Kids in the back seat cause
Accidents in the back seat cause
It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been
The world only beats a path to your door when you're in the
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my
When I'm finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play
16. It's not hard to meet
The only difference between a rut and a grave is the
These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter .
. .I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm "here
Funny, I don't remember being
HAVE I SENT THIS MESSAGE TO YOU
Friday, October 10, 2014
There is so much of this health journey that is about motivation.
5 years ago, I saw an add in the back of a magazine. Sparkpeople, a free web community to help you meet your goals. I had regained a lot of the weight I had lost on weight watchers. I had been trying to lose it again without going back to WW but it wasn't working. I was motivated, but not enough to do it alone.
Here, I found tools to help me and more importantly I found the support and connection with others who guided me through more than just the diet and exercise. This became a journey of self discovery and unloading of emotional baggage. Those last two things are necessary before change can be complete, at least for me.
I've been mostly on maintenance now for a long time but last winter took a toll. I met spring and summer holding the higher limit of my maintenance window. You know the drill, go back to basics, plan, commit, track and make sure there's accountability.
A lot of my friends here already know that I didn't really accomplish much this summer to improve the situation and as October rolled around, I realized like my friend NINJALINDA, I needed to go back to square one. Ok....gonna do this!
Enter that key ingredient. MOTIVATION I know, I am motivated but I needed to be motivated enough.
Now, last Saturday, we got a call from my nephew's wife. My nephew's 3 year old grandson was admitted to the children's hospital Thursday last and is diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. I shared this devastating news with one small team and had little intention of saying anything about it in a blog because......after all, there are so many of us who have devastating family concerns, loss etc. and I didn't want to appear to think that my worries were any bigger than anyone elses.
I had forgotten the value of sharing like this though. The friend I had told have been so very supportive and understanding and I am ever so grateful.
So I am sharing the story.
First, I should explain, that having no children of our own, my oldest sister's boys are the closest to having my own children as could ever be. We have had and still have a parent/child relationship with these guys. We were lucky enough when the oldest had children of his own to be given the opportunity to have our "grandchildren" for vacations etc. The father of our sick little Raiden spent weeks with us when he was the same age. So you see, hearing that Raiden is so sick has broken our hearts. The Drs. are giving a 70% chance of a five year cancer free survival. That's an improvement over a few years ago when it would have been 30% at best so we're grateful, hopeful and yes still very fearful.
If any of my sparkfriends reading this are moved to do so, I would ask you to check out the facebook page my grand niece set up. Raidens Battle. Many of you who are my facebook friends have already done this. If you check it out please "like" the page. It's a little thing but my grand nephew told me on the phone they are so stunned by all the page "likes" and the expressions of concern, prayers, well wishes from family and friends of course but also from people they don't know. It's showing them that this world of ours is one big caring community.
Sometimes, just knowing someone cares, helps.
Back to motivation.
I have been dedicating my runs and strength training to Raidens battle. Yesterday, I didn't feel like going out in the cold to run but I thought about him getting his first chemo and thought I had no right to "choose" to not do something when he has to go through this.
I ran and every time my shoes hit the pavement, I imagined stomping out a cancer cell. That was over 8500 cancer cells I killed and since he was getting his treatment at about the same time, we did double duty.
I hate ST, and have always had trouble motivating myself to to what I know I need to but today, knowing I was building strength to knock the crap out of cancer, I did it.
I'm going to continue to dedicate my fitness to Raiden.
Raiden, sweety, Aunt Donna's doing this for you!
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