Saturday, October 25, 2014
That's really an ugly word, isn't it? Cancer. As far back as I can think in my family history, no one had it, other than my Dad with prostate cancer. Now, it's striking my house for a second time. This time it's me, with breast cancer.
I've been having mammograms since I was about 35, and never a problem. Just had one in March, and it was beautifully problem free. Heck, I didn't even have a hint of a whiff of a clue that anything was amiss until mid to end of August. But the diagnosis came on October 21 (two days after my birthday - surprise!). Given the speed with which this came on, and the fact that it's in my breast and the lymph nodes of my armpit, it seems that I have an aggressive cancer. Yay me.
Of course, the first thing I thought of was my kids. They just lost their dad to cancer (brain tumors) a short three years ago. This feels like piling on. It certainly is not fair. But life is often not fair, isn't it? No need to dwell on those thoughts. Time to do what I can.
So for a while I won't be thinking of weight loss and fitness goals, though weight loss certainly may happen with treatment, and doing whatever I can to be as fit as I can would be my best course of action. But the main goal will be treatment. Effective treatment. And survival. That's right there at the top as well.
Thanks for reading. If you want to send up a prayer or send me some good vibes that would be OK too.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
My journey here on Sparkpeople (and my life health journey) has been long. It has also come full circle. But that's not the point of this post. Let me explain.
I have always been an active person, but I've been a lot of weights throughout my life. I've been thin and I've been heavy. I've been healthy and I've been unhealthy. Thin hasn't always equaled healthy and heavy hasn't always equaled unhealthy. Four years ago I was thin & healthy (and happy). Then my husband got sick, and died, and I got heavy (and unhappy). Now I'm the heaviest I've ever been. I'm not happy about that, but my life is *ok*. Could be worse.
I'm currently away from home, on travel for work. Travel to an area that's not too far from home, but far enough that you don't go there in the normal course of everyday life. I have a facebook friend that lives in this area. This friend was actually more than a friend long ago (college), but our lives took different paths after college, and we hadn't seen each other since then. Now I'm a widow, and he's married.
We decided to meet up, neither knowing quite what to expect. We had parted friends, but that was 30 years ago. Would we have anything in common? Would we still 'click?' It was a crap shoot, but we forged ahead to see.
It was a wonderful meeting. The years melted away and we talked for hours. It was like we hadn't had the 30 year break. And on a very personal level, I no longer felt like the *fat* person I feel like so often now. I just felt like me. Funny how it takes someone from so long ago to bring that out.
I don't know exactly where I'm going with this blog. One thing I do know is - take that chance. It was risky to meet my old friend/lover, but it was SO worth it. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have someone view/think of you like THAT. We remained at a friend level, which is all we can be at this time, but the sparks were still there. I had forgotten that someone could look at me and have sparks...
It's nice to remember that I have worth as a person, and can even be thought of as attractive and sexy, when I don't meet the standard definition.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
I decided sometime recently that I needed a total restart, which took effect Monday. Yeah, this is the time I'm 'really' gonna do it...blah, blah, blah...No prophetic declarations out of me this time. The proof will be in the results - or lack thereof.
I'm seriously back to basics though. Tracking all my food, trying to set reasonable goals, looking to get some exercise every day - or at least almost every day. Came up with a new 'points' system to evaluate every day & give me something to shoot for. Everything I'd tried in the past few resets either hadn't worked or hadn't lasted. If this is the magic bullet I'll surely report it!
I also decided it was time to get back to strength training. I really truly enjoy ST, but lately it hasn't been working for me, what with the bum shoulder and spotty gym. But I know this is something I really need to do, so off to the spotty gym I went yesterday over my lunch hour. I absolutely hate the machines there (they are not maintained at all, so they are herky-jerky-squeaky), but they do have a decent assortment of dumbbells. There used to be an exercise ball there too, but that disappeared recently.
My first strength workout was nothing to write home about. Tried to think of what exercises to do with dumbbells that wouldn't aggravate my shoulder, but didn't require the use of a ball or bench, or other equipment I didn't have. Did what I could think of with the weights, and then threw in some pendulums and sit-ups for good measure.
I didn't realized until I went to the chiropractor today how sore my gut is from the sit-ups and pendulums I did. Really? This sore from 20 sit-ups and 10 pendulums? Yep - I'm starting over from less than zero.
BUT...I am starting over, so I give myself props for that. With any luck my next blog will report continuing progress, and not another restart!
Monday, September 15, 2014
Well, I took my cat to the vet today for the nasal flush. Had high hopes this would be the ticket, but we all know what can happen with high hopes. Picked up my cat this evening, and he sounds just as bad as he did when I dropped him off this morning. Now I have to decide whether to subject the poor thing to surgery - in hopes that it will help - to the tune of $300. Oh, and today's vet visit was $276. (And the chiropractor was $115)
I hate being in a downward spiral like this. I know it has to end sooner or later, but sooner is not looking to come through for me. As I continue to fork money hand over fist, I can't help but think about everything that's looming. Christmas. My 10 year old car with 275,000 miles on it (and I drive 100 miles/day). 20 year old refrigerator, and heat/AC system. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, and it will probably break tomorrow!
If it does, it does. Fretting & worrying over it won't help. Just have to keep moving forward, or at least try not to fall back. Maybe I can make it through tomorrow without spending any money. Maybe?
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Life has been on the 'UGH' side lately. I feel a little guilty for feeling that way, though. I have enough perspective to step back, look at things objectively, and realize that it's mostly minor annoyances that I'm dealing with. Even minor annoyances, though, add up when there's enough of them.
Don't know if I've blogged about it, but my shoulder has been unwell for about a year and a half. A year ago May I went to my doctor, who gave me some exercises that didn't work, so he sent me to the orthopaedic guy who gave me a shot that didn't work, so he sent me to physical therapy. That worked, to a point, but I didn't have unlimited time to take off work & unlimited $$ for therapy, so I got myself to an acceptable level of motion and pain & stopped going. Didn't really have the equipment to continue the exercises, and over time my shoulder started getting worse again. Ignored it until I couldn't any more. Didn't want to go back to the ortho guy, as he was going to want to suggest surgery.
Did a little research and decided to try a chiropractor. I'd seen in my digging that acupuncture might help, and this chiropractor offers it. I've been going since mid-July, and I feel like I'm making progress, but slowly. And unfortunately, acupuncture is not a covered medical service per my insurance. So 3x a week for 3 weeks, and then 2x a week for 3 weeks, and now 2x a week for 2 weeks and then 1x a week for 2 weeks I'm paying $115 per session for my treatment. Anybody have an EXTRA $345 or $230 or even $115 per week? No? Me neither.
Then, one of my cats got sick. No biggie - off to the vet. Visit + antibiotic later and there goes $85. First antibiotic doesn't work, so we try another ($28), and that doesn't seem to be working plus the cat decides NO MORE PILLS. So back to the vet and now we have a nasal flush scheduled (requiring anesthesia and X-rays). Who knows how long the cat will have to stay at the vet, and of course, he will be discharged with additional meds. CHA-ching. Oh, and all four of them are due for regular visits & shots.
I was working from home the other day when I picked up the phone to call the vet (see above paragraph) only to find my phone wasn't working. Called my home phone from my cell, and it went straight to my 'I'm already on the line' voicemail. Only none of the phones in my house were off the hook. Had to have Verizon come out (of course I don't have the maintenance plan), and they were able to fix it, thank goodness.
Just seems here lately that my life is a series of problems. Some get solved and some drag on and on. I guess everyone's life is that, in some way or another. I'm just tired of it being all about me. Being married for all of my adult life, until my husband died 3 years ago - at least we could divide & conquer. I would deal with the stuff I was good at, and he would take what he was good at, and anything else we'd flip for or do together. It's not fun being the only responsible adult left standing!
The last several weeks/months have been a constant juggling act of work, doctor visits, vet visits, repair visits, household chores, etc, etc. Stop the world, I want to get off. But I can't. Have to keep plugging, plodding along - hoping it all works out eventually.
As an update - I decided not to go for the promotion. With all the other stress & clutter that my life has become, I decided I don't need to throw a question mark into the mix. No need to toss one stable, good thing in my life aside for a question mark!
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