Thursday, October 23, 2014
Just a quick check in. We spent 3 days sightseeing around Kathmandu and spent the last 6 days trekking in the Annapurna foothills. Two of the days were grueling but the other 4 were moderate or easy. Today we are in Pokhara,which is busy with lots of Trekkers from all over the world-- Germany, UK, Australia, etc. not many Americans though. Tomorrow we head to Chitwan national park which is also a sanctuary for elephants, rhinos, etc. we will kayak and hike and hopefully get to ride an elephant!
Wifi is spotty or expensive so I probably won't check in again until we get to India. I can't wait to share some of the pictures we took, so far 1700!
My mother is doing better so I'm glad we went on the trip.
By for now!
Saturday, October 11, 2014
My father-in-law died today. It looks like a memorial service will happen later in the year. But OMG. Can this trip be any more heavy... Or doomed?
Friday, October 10, 2014
Thanks so much for everyone's kind words and support yesterday. All the kind words and comments really helped me to put the situation in perspective.
OF COURSE my mom wants me to go on this trip. She and my father also traveled extensively in their retirement. I sent Mom our detailed itinerary and she told me she's read it through several times and wants to get out "the big atlas" so she can see daily where we are.
The best news is that my brother will be staying with my mom. He actually just sold his house is moving into a condo. But he's going to have it completely gutted and remodeled; he's even taking out a few walls! This will take many weeks so instead of staying with friends he'll just move in with my mom. My sister will take over on the weekends. I'll plan to go up once we get home from the trip.
So things are looking better on the home front, and guess what? I'm tracking my food today!
Thursday, October 09, 2014
We are leaving for our month-long vacation in Nepal and India on Sunday.
Earlier this week my mother fainted and called my brother to come stay with her. He lives 2.5 hours away.
My brother drove Mom to her oncologist appointment and the doc agreed Mom's fainting was probably due to not eating or drinking enough, which is due to the effects of the radiation. She has incurable, inoperable lung cancer (although she's never smoked a cigarette in her life). Mom did 2.5 weeks of radiation and the doctor wanted her to do 2.5 more. The side effects are horrific; tremendous pain and burning in her esophagus, fatigue, chronic constipation and no appetite. She's refused any more treatment. She's DONE, both with the radiation and the chemo.
I'm very sad about this, but respect her decision. In 2013 she saw my dad spend a horrific three months doing radiation that destroyed the nerves in his face and left him unable to eat or speak normally and caused him to go blind. Did it buy him more time? Perhaps, but it added days to his life, not life to his days.
I can't tell you how guilty I feel leaving on one of the longest (and most expensive) overseas trips we've ever taken while my mother is going through this fresh hell and my two in-state siblings are the only ones there to cope.
I offered to cancel the trip and go up to be with my mother but Mom (predictably) said "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" In her mother-tone. That made me feel less guilty but I still know the burden will fall on my SISTER, the one with the 80-hour a week job working with health care providers trying to implement the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare).
I can't say my eating has been good. I know it's no excuse, but I just feel really stressed and scared right now, which means I eat more than I should. I know what I'm doing to myself, I know it's not rational, but still I can't seem to stop. Overseas trips are stressful for me by themselves, but with my mother's health thrown in I'm sort of a hot mess.
I just wanted to update you on where I'm at. I'm hoping once we get in mid-November I'll do better with my eating and get back on track.
Monday, September 29, 2014
We are less than two weeks away from leaving on our trip to Nepal and India!
The suitcases are out. Packing is a multi-day/multi-week project. We will be gone a month and my PLAN is to take one small roller suitcase that can go in the plane and one LARGER suitcase that we will check. The only reason we will check a bag at all is because of our hiking poles. (Darn you, TSA!) I also have a large bag that fits under my seat and TC may take a tote bag to fit under his.
We always try to travel light -- when we went to China we had two plane-sized roller bags and that was it! There was one couple who had SIX oversized suitcases! But I digress!
My to-do list is a mile long -- everything from get a haircut/color my hair to stop the mail to pay bills in advance to start feeding our cat in the (cat-accessible) basement. We need to eat down all the food in the fridge and TC (of course) will be working on yard work until the bitter end so our property will only be partially atrocious when we get back.
Today I went shopping for a super-comfy airplane outfit, and I think I found it! It is a swingy black knit skirt that ends just under my knees with a stretchy waist and NO zipper. I am claustrophobic and a terrible flyer -- I need to be able to tuck my feet under me and move all around in comfort without ANY restraint or I will go MAD! I added it up and we will be taking 4 flights for a total of 19.5 hours in the air and 12 hours of layover time. That's just to GET to Kathmandu!
On a happier note, my hip/back/leg issues seem to be resolving. I did NO exercise on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we climbed up Mt. Nebo, 2.5 miles up and 2.5 miles DOWN. This was the second time in a week and it was MUCH easier the second time! Some pictures:
Now this is a switchback!
Two-thirds of the way up, overlooking the Arkansas River Valley. Can you see why I feel blessed to have moved to this area???
Terrence at Sunset Point
This is a panoramic view, using the new camera I bought TC because I love him! This is from a bench sitting at Sunset Point:
AND, using the incredible zoom of the new camera! This road runner was hoping we'd feed him. He was about 60 feet away, but bad news for him -- we NEVER feed wildlife because people food is unhealthyand they tend to get dependent on it, so perish in the winter when the tourists are gone).
And me, at the sign which says 1,800 feet. Hey, not much of a mountain by most standards, but pretty respectable for Arkansas!
Thank you for letting me share our favorite "high effort" hike with you.
We will make this week "The Week of the List" and "The Week of Hiking". We plan to do this hike on Mt. Nebo 3 days in a row: 2.5 miles up, then the 4-mile bench trail, then 2.5 miles down. If we can do this 9-mile circuit three days in a row, I know we'll be ready for hiking the Annapurna Circuit!
Onward and upward!!!
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