Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Dealing with Mum's death has been difficult, to say the least. I know grief is complicated and a long process, I know it's early days yet, but I'm naturally a happy, positive person and this great wave of sadness that has hit is taking it's toll. There haven't been many tears, but it's all I think about all the time. I've been through every bad emotion over the last few weeks - sadness, hurt, anger, disbelief, guilt..... I feel so tired.
I haven't taken care of myself too well during all this. At first, I was quite focussed on getting myself really healthy so "the same thing won't happen to me". Gradually, I've become more lethargic, don't want to leave the house, can't be bothered to shop let alone cook, no interest in going to the gym, and so on. My Dad has lost a lot of weight - there wasn't that much of him to start with - but I've piled it on of course.
I know what I *should* be doing to help me feel better - it's quite another thing to actually do it.
Next week I'll be going home for a few days. Part of me is really looking forward to seeing my dad again, part of me is dreading it.
I know everyone goes through this at some point, I know people survive and life goes on, I know things will get easier....just wish I could shake this overwhelming sadness off.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
It's been a tough few weeks. I know that grief is expressed in many ways, including changed eating habits - some people eat less and lose weight, others reach for comfort in the kitchen and gain. I now know which camp I fall into, having watched the numbers creep upwards once again
Enough is enough. A friend sent me this link yesterday.
I've signed up. It seems a good incentive to resume my quest for fitness, maybe drop a few pounds in the process, whilst raising money for a very worthwhile project. And it makes a change from harassing my friends for sponsorship money!
Their goal is to have 500 people sign up. So far, there are 109.
Anyone out there fancy an Autumn challenge? Come and join me!
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Hello to my dear Sparkfriends, thank you for your messages and good wishes, apologies for my lack of response.
It's been a tough few weeks. I went home to England mid June and spent a wonderful week with my parents before travelling to the south of England to join my husband, daughter and son for our family holiday. During the 3 weeks we were away, my mum fell ill. By the time we got home again, she had been admitted to hospital. There followed 2 weeks of daily visits to see her, some days she looked very poorly, other days she was almost her usual self. On 1st August, I called in to see her before catching the ferry back to Belgium. Her consultant called me into his office and explained that it was likely Mum had cancer, although they wouldn't be sure until they completed tests the next week.
I arrived back in Antwerp around lunchtime the next day. My husband got home from Madrid that evening to find me feeling quite emotional and tearful. "Do you need to go back? I'll drive you now if you want" was his immediate reaction when I explained. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I wasn't prepared for the phone call that came a couple of hours later, my Dad telling me that Mum had passed away that evening.
The death certificate stated cause of death as Colonic Cancer and Malignant Ascites - advanced colon cancer that had spread to other areas of the abdominal cavity. Until 4 weeks earlier, she had had no symptoms. She only went to the doctors then because her legs were painful. Unbelievable.
I said goodbye to my mum at her funeral on Monday and returned to Antwerp today. It still hasn't sunk in. Trying to find positives, I'm just so grateful for the week in June we spent together, when she was her normal, "healthy" self. I'm also pleased that her illness didn't drag on for weeks and months, and she only suffered for a short while.
It's scary that mum's illness could have become so serious before she knew anything about it. Colon cancer is not routinely screened for here until you reach 70. I've been researching it over the last few days - apparently nicknamed the Silent Cancer as it is often symptomless until quite advanced. I think I will be asking my GP for regular tests before my 70th birthday....
Monday, June 03, 2013
It's been almost a month since I last blogged here. I have a confession - I've turned to the other side....
I have opened a My Fitness Pal account, which has resulted in me not using SP quite so much. I'm using it for tracking food and exercise, the main reason being that MFP is more UK friendly. To be honest, I've struggled at times with SP, the talk of cups/ounces and a multitude of food brands that are totally alien to me. MFP has a HUGE British food data base and uses the more familiar measurements. I find it much easier.
On the down side, I've yet to discover the community spirit found on SP. I've said before that the best thing about SP is the people, and the tremendous support offered by total strangers who quickly become virtual friends. I've missed you!
So with your permission, I'd like to take the best of both sites, using MFP to keep me within my calorie limits and popping in here now and then to keep up with my pals and "chat".
May weight loss = 6lbs!
Monday, May 06, 2013
One of the pleasures of living here in Belgium is that they have more National Holidays than most of the other countries in Europe - 11 to be precise! If the holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, often a Bridge Day is added to make a long weekend. 3 of these holidays fall in May, the kids love it as they rarely do a full week at school this month!
Today has been an odd one for me though. It is a Bank Holiday in the UK, so I have been reading facebook posts about friends and relatives enjoying the sun in the garden or at the beach. However, it isn't a holiday here, so I have spent the day in a hot, sweaty gym, not working out but supervising the Grade 12 kids battling through their IB exams. Our next day off isn't until Thursday (Ascension Day) - they've thrown in Friday as well for good measure.
Last week, my parents were over from England. Wednesday was a National Holiday (Labour Day) so we travelled over to the beautiful city of Ghent. As well as admiring many fantastic buildings and sampling the local beer (well this is Belgium!) we were surprised to be entertained by a huge Labour Day parade. This marching band made me smile!
Some of the buildings
We plan to spend this week's days off touring the tulip fields - we are just a few miles from Holland and we don't have to go far to find them!
In other news, Day 2 of the healthy eating plan has gone well......
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