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Tribute to Caregivers

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

My Caregiver

Whenever my white counts drop down far too low
Neulasta works hard so my new cells will grow
And then extreme pain settles into my core
I listen to hear her shoes tap on the floor.

Whenever the migraines take over my day
And nausea and weakness turn everything gray
I feel more forsaken than ever before
I listen to hear her shoes tap on the floor.

Whenever I hurt and feel down in the dumps
My life seems to protest, "I want no more lumps!"
Whenever I think I can't take anymore
I listen to hear her shoes tap on the floor.


Mom could have chosen to let my grandfather spend his last 6 months fighting esophageal cancer in the nursing home, but instead, she chose to move the family in with him to care for him, to give back to him what he had done for her so many years ago when she had polio and all the family members did physical therapy on her legs so she would be able to walk.
Mom could have let my dad go to stay in the hospice house for his last days with lung cancer which somehow dragged into 4 years. She could have had more help come in to do the daily chores. Instead she chose to change the sheets wet with sweat, to help him eat, breathe, and find comfort in his own home with his family close at hand.
When she heard my diagnosis over and over, she could have said Iím getting too old to do this again.
She could have left my care and managing all the problems to Home Health.
She could have left my getting to radiation and chemotherapy to the Taxi.
She could have left my passing out in the middle of the night to the emergency squad.
She could have left writing the checks to a secretary.
She could have left the job of keeping up my spirits to the counselor.
She could have left laughing at the flying brown missiles to the DVDs and joke CDs.
She could have left the laundry, the cleanup on aisle 9, and the grocery shopping to the maid.
But instead, she chose to be my caregiver for four long years.

--excerpted from "Covenants Kept", 2/2012 by Sue Atkins

You are loved. You are appreciated.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 12/6/2012 1:45PM

    Very touching. Thank you for sharing that.
Reading what you wrote made me think about my own mother... And it also made me wonder what year your mother was born. And you.

Comment edited on: 12/6/2012 2:17:35 PM

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IAM_HIS2 12/5/2012 11:53AM

    This is beautiful.

Mothers are very, very special.

And speaking as having been my Mum caregiver, it is an honor and privilege to be a caregiver. I would not have wanted anyone else to care for her.

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ANGEL1066 12/4/2012 11:47PM

    My MOM took care of my Dad thru his trials with diabetes and his final bout with cancer. She lost so much weight, too much, got down to 80 lbs, but she still waited on him hand and foot, wrestled him into and out of his chair, to and from bathroom duty, Dr. appointments and so on. He was a big man, even at the end. I don't know how she did it. Patient caregivers are amazing! Thanks for the post.

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DJ4HEALTH 12/4/2012 10:46PM

    I know some of what she had gone through and it is a tough job but I could not think of a person that would take care of my husband than me and I think that is what your mother thought too. emoticon

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JAMBABY0 12/4/2012 7:11PM

    Wow she is a savior, we all need people like her, good luck.

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DLDMIL 12/4/2012 7:09PM

    Mom's are a special breed. emoticon

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Randomness Explained

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

To any of you following the thread of my blogs lately, there might not appear to be a thread. However, I've been working hard to prepare angels for the craft fair to raise money for Relay for Life. That was Saturday. And while I didn't raise any money to speak of, it sparked a lot of conversation about eating anti-antiogenic foods as a way to proactively prevent cancer.

All that talk sparked me to start a team in Sparkdom to let others know how anti-angiogenic foods can help to starve cancer tumors and fat cells and a lot more.

So starting that team has brought people into my section of this virtual world I would never have met. And I visited a new member's sparkpage where I discovered she was the team leader for a caregiver team.

I never realized we had a team for caregivers. And then I noticed she was also members for a team of alzheimer's caregivers. And that made me think of all of you looking after loved ones who are locked in their own world and can't let you know how much you are appreciated.

So, that leads me to want to pay tribute to the caregivers on SP, and my mom, who was caregiver for my grandfather, my dad, and me for four years.

And to think these amazing people are doing all of that, and managing a Sparked life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 12/6/2012 1:46PM


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IAM_HIS2 12/5/2012 11:57AM

    Thank you for this reminder. Being an Alzheimer caregiver is a very hard job. God bless all who do--they are angels.

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PKBOO3 12/5/2012 8:09AM

    Bless the caregivers and thanks for reminding me of all those who give unselfishly.

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ASHPATCH11 12/4/2012 6:57PM

    emoticon emoticon
that was a nice post.

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Eat to Defeat Fat Cells, Cancer Cells, and More (new team)

Monday, December 03, 2012

I have started a new team, Eat to Defeat Fat Cells, Cancer Cells, and More

I have become an expert on dealing with cancer, and its surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. My chemotherapy spanned 2 diagnoses and 4 years. I finally ended that in Nov. 2011 and started looking for ways to proactively do everything I could to prevent a third diagnosis.

I knew I needed to lose weight. I was obese when it all started, but I gained 65 pounds with the steroid shots that helped my body deal with the chemo. The doctors weren't worried about that. They saw so many who lost weight drastically.

So my Google search was always "cancer prevention." I found the video at by Dr. William Li and must have watched it 50 times. It seemed to offer me something for cancer prevention AND weight loss. It was easy for me to include the anti-angiogenic foods in my diet. I worked to increase my physical activity, improve my basic health with my chiropractor. That step did away with my migraines, balance issues, and tinnitus.

Then I returned to Sparkdom in July to track my nutrition. Love the nutrition tracker. I have had 2 clear PET scans and all of my doctors just beam when they see me, my weight loss, and my blood counts.

At my November oncologist appointment, my anemia was finally gone. Great bloodwork.

So I've been sharing Dr. Li's "Eat to Starve Cancer" message and decided it was time to spread his spark by starting this team. Come visit if you'd like to learn more. You can learn about what he says without actually joining the team, but we'd love to have you!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FISHER011 2/13/2013 11:47PM

    emoticon I joined the team! Great info- thank you for sharing! emoticon

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IAM_HIS2 12/5/2012 11:54AM

    I've check it out and joined!

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KITT52 12/3/2012 8:16PM

    I'll check it out

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LESLIELENORE 12/3/2012 12:38PM

    I checked out the list of foods and I eat quite a few already. Interesting stuff! I went ahead and joined the team.

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CHRISTINASP 12/3/2012 10:50AM

    emoticon I joined!

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Craft Fair Booth for Relay for Life

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Friday, I set up my craft fair booth.

Handkerchief angels on 3 trees, watercolor paintings, marquetry, knit scarves, and my book in print and on CD.

And Saturday it looked pretty much the same at the end of the fair.

Meet Mom. She sold three pieces of her hand painted china. So she splurged and bought one of my angels. Then one other lady bought the angel on the top of the tallest tree.

But nevertheless, it was a great day because the Relay for Life signs and my book became the conversation for many to talk about their own journey with cancer, or the tribulations of loved ones. It seemed everytime I turned around someone else was at my table asking about something or talking about a problem they were having with nutrition. I used that as the opportunity to share info about Dr. Li's Eat to Defeat video and full food list.

When I got home, I decided I needed to set up a Spark Team to put that information out there for other Sparkers. So here is your invite, notice, etc. I have started a new Spark People Team. It is still in the figuring out how to do it stages, but I DO have links up to the video and food list. If you would like a sneak peak, you are welcome to check them out. You can see the video and list without joining the team.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 12/3/2012 5:10AM

    And how nice to 'see' your mother!

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CHRISTINASP 12/3/2012 5:08AM

    That's a great idea.
Maybe it's a good idea to write a separate blog entry about this and name the team in the title so all your team mates of other teams see it when they visit their forum.
Please also post about your book! I want to know more.

I read the book 'Anticancer' by David Servan Schreiber about a year ago, it was a great read for me.
I'm quite interested in the topic, so I'll join the team!

Comment edited on: 12/3/2012 5:52:25 AM

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ANGEL1066 12/2/2012 11:37PM

    Great idea! As a breast cancer survivor, I need to do all that I can. I'll check it out.

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Saving Money on Fruit and Veggies

Friday, November 30, 2012

I have been buying truckloads of fruits and vegetables everyweek to have the requirements for the fruits and vegs for Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live and the fiber in the Full Plate Diet.

1 pound of raw veggies, 1 pound of cooked veggies, and 4 fruits, minimum. Now, many articles at SP talk about using coupons. I don't ever see a coupon for fresh produce.

So I started looking for ways to save money on what I needed.

First of all, I needed to be sure I was eating what I bought before it spoiled.
It just hasn't happened. I'm usually searching for more to meet the daily goal. So the wasted money, throwing away the spoils is done.

I started looking at ads to find the bargains and planning around them. But I was wasting a lot of time, making it tougher than it needed to be.

For example, I needed 4 fruits a day or 28 fruit servings. I made a list on a spreadsheet of all the fruits I liked. Everyday I wanted to eat a banana, apple, orange or grapefruit, and a berry (or other type of fruit that showed up as a good deal, usually as it came into season, or had been sitting in the store too long.) So that meant I needed a bunch of bananas, a bag of apples, pears, peaches, grapes, or melon if in season, and a bag of mixed citrus, and 7 servings of berries if possible. Berries have a very short season. And they are super for my health and adding color and sweetness to cereal and smoothies. So they became the object of my savings search.

I stumbled upon this video when I was learning more about the full plate diet:

The shelf price for the small container of raspberries was $3.99. That's what I usually pay here, but I did find those containers for $1.00 when they were about to be pulled. I bought the whole lot and put them right in my freezer.
I had smoothies for $1.50 every morning. Delicious!!

Road Warrior (spokesman in the video) talks about the full plate diet book. You can purchase the printed copy or download the free E-book at

And if you need more reason to look at the Full Plate Diet, then watch this video:

And one more way to save for this blog because I need to get to bed,
Winn Dixie, a grocery store, now gives you a store card. When I bought all my produce and the turkey for Thanksgiving, the clerk said I had $.40 off a gallon at the Shell station. I finally needed fuel today. I bought 9.5 gallons and instead of paying $3.31 a gallon, I paid $2.91. To my mind, that's a savings on produce, because I already received a sale price on the turkey.

More in another blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIELENORE 12/1/2012 2:33PM

    Our local supermarket runs a gas station too where I can get discounts based on the amount of groceries purchased. The savings really add up!

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KITT52 12/1/2012 6:37AM

    I buy frozen berries when I run out of my fresh or in the winter....making sure no added sugar or salt.....

good luck and thanks for the blog.....

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CHRISTINASP 12/1/2012 1:58AM

Thank you for sharing. Just downloaded the ebook.
One thing I often do is after shopping I write down a list of what produce I bought and look at it in the mornings, to check if I'm using it all up so nothing goes to waste.

Comment edited on: 12/1/2012 2:03:23 AM

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ANGEL1066 11/30/2012 11:35PM

    I always freeze extra berries and cherries in season, and buy them frozen, too,so much more reasonable than fresh. They are great in smoothies, and over cereals and salads when partially thawed. Also good as garnishes for chicken and pork dishes. Buying fresh can certainly be expensive now. I buy as many of the more common and cheaper fruits and veggies as I can eat, and splurge on a few others as our tastes and finances can manage. Thanks for the good ideas.

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