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Old Friends are GOLD

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tonight was a cancer benefit dinner, that Du & I had signed up to attend a while back. You know Du thought it was important, since he gave up his first night of League Bowling to attend. I had contacted some dear old friends to join us. We have drifted apart over the years, after being close for many years when we were all young-marrieds, but I knew from her Christmas card, that she has been diagosed with and undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and sure enough, they were happy to donate to the event and attend with us.

It was a great event, the proceeds from a silent auction went to benefit The Cancer Research Center here in Lincoln, which allows people to participate in Cancer Clinical Trials without having to leave home. I like that!

It was a wonderful chance to catch up with our old friends and we had a grand time, ate some great food (I tried to avoid the high-caloried options at the wonderful Brazilian Steakhouse where the event was held), and hopefully helped out with a great cause.

Du & I before we left for the restaurant.

Du with our dear friends.

Our friends.

We asked a stranger passing by on the street to take a picture of the four of us with their camera. As soon as I get a copy of it, I'll edit my blog and add it. What a wonderful evening!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAK25 8/22/2014 10:12PM

    Sounds lovely.

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KSNANA2 8/22/2014 9:55PM

    Everyone looks great! Especially you Pam! Glad you got to go with your friends.

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IOWAGRAMMA 8/22/2014 7:17PM

    Happy it was a good event and that you were able to re-connect with your friends. Always wonderful. emoticon

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CARRAND 8/22/2014 4:32PM

    Looking good!

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LUCYCAN7 8/22/2014 3:22PM

  So glad to hear you had a grand time,nice pictures.You look great my dear.
Thanks for sharing your friends and time with us.Hugs and Blessings to
all!!! emoticon

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PRESBESS 8/22/2014 2:55PM

    Well, it sounds like and looks like you all had a great time. You look very pretty.

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KERRYG155 8/22/2014 12:35PM

    I'm glad you were able to get together and have a great evening out. Having it be for a great cause just makes it better.

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SEATTLE58 8/22/2014 11:22AM

    How nice for you all! You look so good!

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/22/2014 10:26AM

    Sounds like a fabulous evening, delighted that you went and enjoyed yourselves so much

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CANNIE50 8/22/2014 9:20AM

    Good for you for taking time to reconnect. You look great!

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BLAZINGSWORD 8/22/2014 8:08AM

    Great picture! emoticon

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GINILEE4 8/22/2014 5:49AM

    SO glad you had a wonderful time out with friends. You look sooo beautiful in that picture. Your smile and Du's smile show that , even now, you love doing things together and love being together. I don't know where those pesky extra pounds are on you , but they certainly do not show up in the picture. Make sure you hang on to that lovely shot of your Du and you.


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LJCANNON 8/22/2014 12:55AM

    emoticon It looks as though you had a Great Night!! And contributing to a worthy cause made it even better!!

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KATHYJO56 8/22/2014 12:38AM

    You all look fabulous! Your current weight loss really shows. You look great.

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KATHYJO56 8/22/2014 12:38AM

    You all look fabulous! Your current weight loss really shows. You look great.

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It's Exciting Again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I remember when I finally bought a scale, almost four months into my weight-loss/getting healthy journey, back in March 2010, and got on it for the first time. I had been to the cardiologist for a heart check-up (my heart was fine) in January, and was a little disappointed that I was still over 300 lbs. (304 to be exact). In December when my family practice physician assistant had told me "The EKG seems to show you've already had a heart attack," I had weighed in at about 310 lbs. Later on in my journey, when I asked him to check his records, he discovered that in July of 2009, I had weighed in at his office at 328 lbs. It was at that point I gave up Pepsi. So just giving up my beloved sugared cola led to a loss of 18 lbs. in the preceding five months. But his words about "heart attack" are what really got me started. So in March when I finally bought a scale and got on, I was happy to see 280 lbs. register. It was exciting to see a LOSS! That's the same month, I began walking for exercise, and I have never looked back.

By April of 2011, I hit my goal weight of 160 lbs. Eventually I managed to get clear down to 139.8 pounds (Nov. 2011) before leveling out at 150 lbs., which I managed to maintain for the next two years. But as I have explained, last Thanksgiving, I started slipping. I began slowly, allowing myself bigger portions, occasionally making a desert from a recipe on Pinterest or a cooking show, just to have around the house, not for any special family dinner or occasion, but just to snack on, like in the old days. I bought too many of those 100-calorie so-called healthy snacks, and would binge on them, eating one after another. Mindless eating is my down-fall. Just sticking my hand into a bag of candy or chips led me to 328 lbs. I never went back to those habits, but I was eating way too many "healthy" snacks. I quit my daily weigh-ins, fearful once again of my scale. When I would get on occasionally and see the growing number, it was depressing, but I felt completely out of control. I hate that feeling, but was floundering, uncertain how to regain my weight loss/maintenance frame of mind. I even set goals for myself, knowing a family wedding was scheduled for mid-March. In early January my son and I decided we would lose weight by that wedding. Neither of us stuck with it. In January I was already up to 175 lbs., from my comfortable weight of 150 lbs. I knew I should be able to lose at least 20 pounds in 2.5 months, but I just couldn't stick with my "no snacking" plan.

I did have surgery at the end of January and at one point, in the forced "no-eating for 24 hours prior to surgery period" I got as low as 163 lbs., but after I recovered and my ulcer was finally diagnosed and medicine cured my constant severe stomach aches, I quickly regained, and soon was back in the mid-170's. I was frustrated with my lack of control, but seemed incapable of regaining it.

Finally in mid-June, my friend Brooke Birmingham,
hosted a Diet Bet. I had been reading about these Diet Bets, but they seemed very complicated, with notary public's verification required, etc. so I had not bothered to check them out more thoroughly. But Brooke, who had started her weight loss journey at 327 lbs. (endearing herself to me--since that was so close to my own starting weight), was so enthusiastic about her Diet Bet, I decided to join.

That first day, it was so depressing to weigh in, especially when the scale said 182.6 lbs. I knew those 200's were getting too close and I swore I wasn't going back there.

Just like back in 2009, it was a slow start, but I did curtail those snacks. In fact most of them went into the trash. Out of sight--Out of MIND! I barely made my first goal, which was 175.6 pounds. I thought it would be easy to drop 7 pounds, but it was TOUGH.

Thirty days later, however, when I got on the scale, I made my weigh loss goal and won an additional $14 from the $20 I had originally bet! For some reason, that relatively small amount of money really motivated me. That.....and my own pride. I was determined to DO IT for Brooke!

These are the pictures from the conclusion of my first Diet Bet on July 21. WOOHOO! Only 25 pounds to go to get back to my 150 lb. goal!!!

Immediately I joined another Diet Bet. This one was hosted by Chris & Heidi Powell of Extreme Weight Loss, and cost $30. There was thousands of people participating and the total pot was over $188,000!!!

So during this last month, I have really gotten re-dedicated and motivated, which was necessary. As you get closer to goal, efforts need to be especially strong in order to lose weight. You need to eat even less and move even more. I learned that during my first journey to get to my goal weight. So I have stepped it up. Several days last week I got in over 10,000 steps (which is remarkable, given my extremely arthritic knees), and kept my calorie-limit pretty low. Every day it is my goal to get in 10,000 steps. I don't always make it, but I always try. So it was frustrating, after an initial drop of a few pounds early in the 30-day period, when I got stuck in the 171's.

Then late last week, the scale started dropping quickly. Finally I got back into the 160's. Does anybody else get as excited as I do when you enter a new "decade" on the scale? I love it! Every day the scale would show a pound or more GONE! Losing weight got exciting again! Is there anything better than working hard and being rewarded by a dropping scale weight?

Monday morning, my scale read 163.2 pounds! Wow--that was only 3.2 pounds from my original goal weigh of 160, even though I ultimately want to get down to 150 lbs. However, there was a bump in my road. I had minor surgery on a trigger finger (this is my third surgery on different fingers for this problem--darned arthritis!) early Monday morning. I knew I would have an IV to deliver the twilight sleep drug and it's called saline solution for a reason--it's evidently full of SALT! Sure enough, yesterday morning (which was the beginning of the 48-hour Diet Bet concluding weigh-in, my scale was back up to 166.6. FRUSTRATING. I was still below my 168-lb. goal (a loss of 7 pounds, or 4%, for the 30 days), but the lower you can get, the more money you can WIN!!

So I tried to drink a lot of water yesterday to flush my system of the IV solution, and this morning the scale was back down to 165.6.

I am so excited to have won another Diet Bet! The Diet Bet people sent me a congratulatory e-mail, saying how LUCKY I was to have won. I fired an e-mail back stating, "It was NOT luck, it was HARD WORK."

It feels super good to have my weight-loss mojo back again and exciting to see the numbers on the scale dropping! I know I could get rich if I could find a way to bottle this intangible mind-set that I have right now. I possessed it for a long time, then lost it for a bit late last year and up until mid-June. I guess the only way to share this motivation and determination I feel right now is to blog about it here, and hope others can catch my enthusiasm.

So far I am officially down 17 pounds, on my way to losing those 32 ugly pounds I re-gained. I ran into a woman from my long-ago past at the surgical center Monday morning. We had been casual acquaintances over 40 years ago, because our parents were friends, around the time we were in (different) high schools and both got married shortly after graduation. I remember going to her wedding in late 1969. She still looked GREAT, although I would have never recognized her, but she called out my name and told me who she was. She said she had seen some of my pictures I post on Facebook through a mutual friend, who I didn't even know she was also friends with. She mentioned that she had seen me on the Today Show back in late 2012, and that's how she recognized me. I am so happy I have lost some of those 32 pounds I gained, so hopefully my slight (now) gain from when I was on TV wasn't too noticeable. Unlike in my morbid obesity past, it was GOOD to be seen by someone from my past.

I feel like I look slimmer. My 17-lb. loss is probably un-noticeable in these pictures, but I can see it in my mirror and my clothes are definitely looser. Those mint green size 10 jeans are going to fit soon, I'm just sure! I am excited about losing weight once again and it feels good to be back!!

Oh...forgot to mention...I have joined another Diet Bet. It starts 8/25, but I'm not going to go crazy until the weigh-in day for that one. I have gotten my mojo back and I know when I allow myself to cheat for a day or two, it leads to getting completely off track. So for the next five days, I'm going to be very good, and maybe my starting weight for the next Diet Bet will be even less than the 165.6 I weighed this morning! I can't wait to see those 150's pop up on my scale once again. Isn't weight loss EXCITING??!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME4CARRI 8/22/2014 2:07PM

    You look amazing and this blog is super exciting!!!! LOVE it! Thank you for taking the time to share. emoticon

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TMHFERJEN 8/21/2014 2:33PM

  I'm glad you got your mojo back. I get that it should be easy to take off the 25 lbs seeing you did it before. I also don't know why it can take so long to get that motivation back. If they could bottle and sell that secret to us life would be sooo much easier. Congrats on your weight loss.

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STEPH-KNEE 8/21/2014 6:16AM

    I have done several diet bets myself, they are great motivators! Although I find them a little stressful sometimes because as you said, it is a TON of hard work and your $$ is on the line lol. Great job working hard and winning that money... although more importantly, for EARNING the money and shedding that weight! :D You are such a motivator to all of us! :D

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KSNANA2 8/20/2014 10:03PM

    You made your goal! emoticon I know you will do it again!

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SWDESERTLOVER 8/20/2014 8:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KATHYJO56 8/20/2014 4:18PM

    I am very excited for you. You are indeed, blessed.

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CANNIE50 8/20/2014 3:53PM

    You look so good, and you are so right about the importance of determination and intention - it is so very frustrating to lose those, though I often think it is fatigue related. I am very happy for you, because I know you were worried and feeling some fear. Look what you gained (excuse the pun) from gaining - you found your maintenance mojo and learned not to rest on your laurels. I rested on my laurels long enough to regain 30 pounds which I am now shedding once again. I will have to start thinking of laurels as poison ivy and avoid at all costs!

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LINDAK25 8/20/2014 1:08PM


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CARRAND 8/20/2014 1:03PM

    Yes, it can be exciting. I am so inspired by you! I hope I can follow your lead.

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KERRYG155 8/20/2014 12:49PM

    Way to go! You are doing a fantastic job-something I definitely need to get back to doing. I need to make a plan that will work for both Larry and me and then stick to it like you are doing. emoticon

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SEATTLE58 8/20/2014 11:27AM

    emoticon That IS exciting! I'm rooting for you. emoticon

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PRESBESS 8/20/2014 11:12AM

    Yes, weight loss is "EXCITING"! With your hard work and dedication, it looks like you will be in the 150's in no time. I'm happy for you. Keep up the good work.

Go girl!

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LUCYCAN7 8/20/2014 11:05AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Enjoy your day!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 8/20/2014 11:04AM

    emoticon Your Mojo looks Great!! I am hoping to gain mine from getting together with a Real Live Personal Trainer today.
emoticon You are right about that "Out Of Control" Feeling -- It Stinks!!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

I have been treated with much kindness throughout my life. Sure there are the stinkers in there who have been mean for no reason, and I have discovered my way to deal with this is to simply write them out of my life. If you can't be kind, I really have no use for you, it just hurts me too much.

And so it goes with Spark. In over 5 years here, I have never encountered such a mean spirited comment as I did the other day from a so-called caring friend. I quickly deleted her nasty comment and deleted her as a friend, only to discover she had already deleted me as her friend. The reason: I had commented on HER blog and talked about myself instead of HER. To quote Steve Martin, "Well EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE Me!"

I have too many real worries to spend much time thinking about this poor soul and her angry words. I feel sorry for her that she is so involved with herself, that she can't see how hurting someone in my position is so wrong, so misdirected, and so very mean. Especially when I had no intention of being nasty to her, that is not in my nature.

As much as I tell myself to forget about it, I find myself fretting over it, just as I used to when I would hear a rude comment from a stranger about my obesity when I was out in public. Those mean words stay with you forever. As Anna says in Frozen, "LET IT GO!" Good advice, which I plan to try and take.

I did not respond to her angry, mean comment and do not plan to do so. I assume, since she has unfriended me that she will never read this blog either. I really hope not. Revenge is not my intent. Kindness is such a wonderful character trait. I will continue to practice kindness here at Spark, as well as in all Social Media, and hopefully in every aspect of my life. How about you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANA2JONEMIMAT 8/20/2014 9:58AM

    Let it go, Let it go, as the song says. Life is too short to dwell on the negatives.

You have accomplished so much in your journey of getting healthy and have much more on your plate with DU's health issue.

Others on SP have encountered those Negative Nelly's and have done what you did in deleting the person and have gone private with their pages. This doesn't the new SP with finding their motivation in the success of others. Some have created a new SP page just to escape from those type of people.

Negative Nelly's should take the advise of most people's Mama's: If you can't say (or write) anything nice, don't say anything at all.


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KSNANA2 8/19/2014 11:14PM

    I don't understand the people that bully or belittle other people. You are well loved and inspire many people here at Spark People. This was probably a case of jealousy rearing its ugly head. Please don't let it bother you. "Let it go" is such good advice in this instance! emoticon

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TIME4CARRI 8/19/2014 2:08PM

    This is so timely. I woke up hurt today (not the first time) about being written out of a Sparkfriend's circle. It has happened before and I too am amazed at how much it affects me. You are wise to let it go and move on. It's just a testament to the fact that you are genuine and don't treat even your online relationships callously. Take care and thank you:)

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SWDESERTLOVER 8/19/2014 9:42AM

    Wow, with all you have been through and are still going through, I am so sorry this happened to you. Best thing you can do is to remember that her words speak volumes about her, not you. Thankfully, most people here on SP are kind and caring. I know words can hurt, but try to just forget this. You're a good person and an inspiration to so many others. That's what you need to remember.
emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 8/18/2014 11:55PM

    Yikes - I would definitely be in trouble if that is the criteria for commenting on a blog. I try not to focus solely on myself when responding to someone's blog, of course, but the whole point of a community is to relate to one another and I find that I am moved by hearing that someone relates to something I have written. I hope you are able to let it go, and the sooner the better! Take care, Pam.

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KERRYG155 8/18/2014 7:51PM

    Sorry she got so nasty. I often mention myself in response to a blog because that way the writer can see that I have some experience with whatever their issue is and maybe what I went through can help them in some way. I'm sure now that the song Let it Go will be running through your head all the time. emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 8/18/2014 7:49PM

    Sorry to hear this happened to you. SP is the kindest community that I've ever encountered. It feels very safe to share here - so it must have been a nasty shock to see her reaction to your comment. Hugs.

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LUCYCAN7 8/18/2014 7:07PM

  emoticon I Hate to hear also someone can be so cruel.Usually
hurting people hurt others because of their own hurts.I am proud that
you have better character than that person.Turn it over to God and
release it.Hugs and Blessings!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 8/18/2014 6:38PM

    emoticon I am So Sorry that you encountered that. But it is Human Nature to find one Sour Apple in every Bunch. Spark Land is certainly a Big Bunch of Apples. We don't know her story, or the Story behind some of the other Sour Apples I have heard about here. Fortunately, they seem to be few and far between.
emoticon The best thing to do, I think, is Forgive Her, and as Elsa said "LET IT GO!!"

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WALKSINLIGHT 8/18/2014 6:22PM

    No matter what the circumstances, there is no reason for anyone to be mean to another person. You are dealing with so much already and we really don't know each person's story is, what their own struggles are, so showing kindness is the only way isn't it.

Just remember how loved you are by so many - how many friends here respect and admire you and we are always here for you.

Hang in there, I know that it is difficult to let go of hurt like that but let our love wash over you and gradually it WILL fade

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CARRAND 8/18/2014 6:00PM

    I am with you all the way. Kindness is one of humanities greatest qualities.

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LINDAK25 8/18/2014 4:34PM

    Gee, your "friend" wouldn't like me either, if our comments are only supposed to be Woo Hoo comments. I think it's great when people respond to your blog by telling you how it relates to them. I thought that was the point. Hmm. Just remember that this is her problem, not yours. You're okay. Really.

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KATHYJO56 8/18/2014 4:27PM

    I am so very sorry that this happened to you. I think when you are dealing with as many people as there are on Spark People, it is likely to happen to all of us at one time or other. Once, when I had just announced that I had reached my weight loss goal, a man wrote to me and told me that I should be focusing more on my spiritual body than my physical body. I still don't know where he got a call to write that spark mail. I immediately fixed things so that he could have no further contact with me. Hang in there. I look forward to your blogs and I wish you nothing but the best that life has to offer. emoticon

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Feeling Better

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I had been stuck in the 171's for over a week. Despite eating right, and walking as much as I could (for three days in a row I got over 10,000 steps--my knees hurt all night--but I DID IT!), the scale would NOT go down. I joined Chris & Heidi Powell's Diet Bet just after my previous Diet Bet had ended July 21. I barely made my 7.4 pound goal during that first Bet, but I got there! So this month started better. I was more motivated and much more self-disciplined. No Fourth of July holiday in there, just lots of family birthday celebrations. But I've been doing better and better every day, and I am so proud of be back in the grove of weight loss. I honestly was afraid I was on my way back to 328 lbs. I didn't seem able to stop the constant snacking. But I DID IT!

I do have one concern. Monday (tomorrow) morning I am having some minor surgery on a trigger finger. I have had this done on both thumbs and the middle finger on the right hand already. So I know what to expect and am not nervous at all. But I'm worried about the IV saline solution. Every time I have any kind of surgery, and they hook me up to that IV, I gain weight. I'm really trying hard these last several days to get BELOW my goal of 168 lbs. (which is a 7 lb. loss for the 30 day-Diet Bet period), so that if there is a gain due to surgery, I have some lee-way. The concluding weigh-in is Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully I will be okay.

Finally late last week the scale started to move! The right direction! After a week of those 171's, finally the scale started dropping. I got to 169.2, then the next day was back up to 172. ARGH! But I didn't give up. I just kept trying, and sure enough soon the scale was back down to 169. The following day I had dropped to 167, and then yesterday it said 166.6. I was super good yesterday even though we went to my granddaughter's 5th birthday party. We got there early and helped my son carry in the groceries as he was just arriving home from shopping when we got there. I carried in 3 grocery bags full of potato chips. POTATO CHIPS! All kinds and varieties (evidently, I tried not to get close enough to even see what kinds there were). Potato chips are my nemesis. I love them, and used to eat them by the bagful. They also had cookies from the store bakery (I didn't see those either), a beautiful hand-made Ariel (Little Mermaid) cake, and a giant sub sandwich from a local sandwich place. My daughter-in-law also prepared spaghetti and marinara for the kids. Du & I were sitting in their family room as everyone went through the food line. Finally, he asked if I wanted something to eat. I was holding Noah, which gave me a really good excuse not to even venture into the kitchen where the chips, cookies, cake and sandwich were. I just said NO. I realized none of it was food that I should be eating right now, even in small quantities and decided I could eat when I got home.

Du got up and got a sandwich and some chips (I didn't check his plate too closely, I'd rather not even SEE those potato chips). But he is not supposed to eat cured meats, like the lunchmeat that was in the sandwich. So he had taken it out, and basically had a lettuce and cheese sandwich (he was it was mostly lettuce), and gave me the cold cuts. It was a small roll of meat which I devoured. I didn't eat cake (as usual), and when we got home I had a Weight Watcher ice cream bar, and some watermelon (with NO salt--I LOVE salt on watermelon).

So this morning the scale said 164.4! That's right--another 2 lb. drop. I was going to be happy if the darn scale just didn't say 170 again! But 164.4!! I am almost back to having lost HALF my starting weight (328 lbs.), and that is exciting. My original goal weight was 160 lbs. and I am getting very close! So exciting. Of course, ultimately I want to weigh 150 lbs., so that I have that 10-lb. leeway before going over my goal weight. So I won't stop when I hit 160. What am I saying? I'll never stop. I found out that stopping leads to gain. It's NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle! I know that!!!

I'm not sure the reason for the sudden weight drop after staying the same for so long, but I AM GRATEFUL. And the loss really gives me incentive to stay strong. When I look in the mirror, once again I LIKE what I see. When I got into the 180's, and even the 170's, I just saw FAT in my mirror reflection. I feel good about myself again, and confident and IN CONTROL! It just feels so good to have my mojo back. Even with all our family turmoil, I have tried to stay strong in my food and exercise choices, and it's paying off.

Amber's birthday party was a wonderful celebration for a beautiful little girl. My daughter-in-law's family was also there, she has 5 siblings, so it's a large group of people, because most of them are married with children as well.

The Birthday Girl

Noah & I. I took over his care so his mother could hostess the party. He is such a good baby.

Amber & her birthday cake.

My sweet granddaughters.

I think things are looking up. At least I hope they are.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOCKITTOME 8/18/2014 10:31PM

    You need to remember that weight loss is not like a Swiss train. Our bodies do what they do, and you cannot depend on a daily drop just because you eat right that day. Weight fluctuates, and we must remember that or else we start caving in to bad eating habits while feeling hopeless. Always keep that in mind, just keep doing the right things, and you will get to your goal. That is how it works.

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LUCYCAN7 8/18/2014 1:11PM

  Hope all goes well with your surgery.Good to hear you got your mojo back.
Very pretty grandchildren!Keep up the good work!Hugs and Blessings.
Have a good week. emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 8/17/2014 11:38PM

    Glad you are feeling better today. Happy birthday to your adorable granddaughter!

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CARRAND 8/17/2014 8:14PM

    Good for you!

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KERRYG155 8/17/2014 5:47PM

    I'm glad you were able to stay away from the bad foods-it's so easy to get hooked on those chips! The party sounds like a success all around. You have some cute grandkids!!

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LINDAK25 8/17/2014 3:40PM

    Wow, you did great at the party! Congratulations on your weight loss. Hope your surgery goes well.

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KATHYJO56 8/17/2014 2:25PM

    I'm glad that Amber had a happy birthday! She's such a beautiful little girl. Don't worry to much about the saline solution tomorrow. I have had many surgeries and am getting ready for another and I always gain weight for several days because of the saline. It does go away by itself, but it takes several days and drinking lots of water to flush it out. I pray that all goes well with your surgery tomorrow. Hugs!

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/17/2014 2:16PM

    You did a wonderful job at the party. All those tempting food but you stayed true to yourself, congratulations.


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Some Good Things in My Life, as I Try to Find Balance.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

First of all, I am staying strong in my commitment to lose the weight I gained over the last six months. In the last almost 60 days, I have dropped 14 of the 32 pounds I gained, and feel so good to have my weight loss/maintenance mojo back. It truly takes constant vigilance and obsession with eating right and moving more and that's where I am at once again. So that is ONE good thing in my life.

My Du is responding to his cancer treatment. That is another GOOD thing in my life. His cancer remains just two small spots on either hip, not growing or progressing, and that is what the treatment is supposed to do. The Urologist told us that with Du's aggressive cancer (8 on a scale of 1-10), it wasn't likely the shots would work all that long, but so good. And that is truly a GOOD thing, maybe the BEST thing in our lives right now.

I adore my pets. That might seem like a small thing, but they bring such joy to my life. Tonight, Du's legs were "tingling," this is how he describes a feeling he gets almost every evening. His family practice doctor compared it to "growing pains," when Du asked him about it. He said it was the result of the Xgeva shot he gets every month, which is to strengthen his bones, fighting the devastating effects of cancer. Du insists it isn't painful, but it is bothersome. Tonight, when the tingling started after dinner, I suggested we go for a walk. It was a beautiful evening, after a rainy day in Lincoln. We took off with Juno on the leash, and kitty Neymar joined us as we walked down the driveway. She sometimes follows us a little ways down the driveway and then takes off, to hunt, or whatever it is cats do. Tonight, she followed us as we walked down the road. I tried to carry her, but she wanted down. Usually she is content to be held, but I guess not when we're supposed to be on a walk. So I let her down and she continued to follow us. It was just the cutest thing, but of course we worried that we were teaching her to be on the road or to wander too far from home, so we didn't walk too far, turned around and came back home. She turned around too and followed us home. Such a quirky, fun little cat. Since she wandered onto our acreage last Fall, she has certainly wormed her way into all of our hearts. Today, my pets are the third GOOD thing in my life.

I still have major concerns and worries in my life as well. My oldest son continues to struggle with depression, and his wife is so unhappy too. He treats her quite badly, gets upset so easily and she is really at her wit's end. I'm afraid she is ready to throw in the towel and give up on him. She texts me, and I am her one confidant, and I feel so badly for her. It upsets me so much, I told Du I am tempted to tell her that I need to step away and let them handle it now. I can't do that. They need me. Does a parent's job ever end? No it doesn't. I got a call about 10:00 Wednesday night, and when my son's name popped up on the caller ID on my TV, my heart started pounding. I feared the worst with a call so late at night. But all they needed was a babysitter for my sweet Amber, who started pre-school this week, but was ill with a bad cold. So I went and picked her up yesterday and we spent the day together. She is a jewel and is the fourth GOOD thing in my life right now. I adore that child--she has a special place in my heart and always will as the first little girl in our family. She turned five on Tuesday, stayed home from school that day too, as she went to the doctor with her Mom, trying to get help for her cold. The doctor suggested Tylenol, so the cold is just running its course. But yesterday we had a beautiful day, as she felt well enough to jump on the trampoline,

Play in the sandbox, (making apple pies with apples we picked from our trees and placing them on top of a panful of sand),

Drive to the Park where we walked and played,

Then stopped for ice cream at the Dairy Sweet,

Before I took her to Shopko, and let her pick out a Play-Dough set. She told me that she would have to leave it at my house, as her mom doesn't like her to have Play-Dough, it's just too messy. She played with the set the rest of the day, made an awful mess, but that's okay, Grandma didn't mind cleaning up after her sweet girl. If I had to deal with it everyday, it might be a different story however.

So after my heart-pounding reaction to a phone call Wed. night, Amber and I had a lovely day, but it showed the stress I am under, as after I talked to my son and agreed to babysit the next day, that night, at home alone (Du had gone to bed earlier) I had a good cry, just to relieve the stress.

Today I was at the Pharmaceutical/Health Supply Store, buying new catheter bags for Du. A couple was ahead of me, I believe it was a mother and her son. They were buying a shower chair, it looked like, and were discussing their situation with the clerk who had waited on them before. The woman said she would not have been able to get her husband home from Florida, if her son had not flown in from California to help. Evidently her husband had a medical emergency of some kind while on a trip to Florida. She said, her son had not flown in six years, she knew, because the last time he had flown was to come home for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, six years earlier. To show how stressed I am, I had to fight back tears, as I fervently and silently wished that Du and I could just get to 50 years of marriage, it's still six years away, and we sure have no guarantees. In fact, the odds are NOT in our favor. Nobody has guarantees, I realize that, but we certainly have an awful diagnosis and an uncertain future looming. I know my son's depression is leaking over into my own life, and I just don't need that right now.

But how to shut them off from our help? It's impossible. Du and I have a lot on our plate, and my son and his wife have both acknowledged that and I know they feel guilty for burdening us with their problems, but it's so critical right now, their marriage is literally hanging by a thread I fear. I cannot walk away from that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMKATIE 8/20/2014 10:00AM

    Pam, I'm so sorry for all you're going through right now. I can't even imagine how scary it is to know that your husband has cancer that will likely take his life much sooner than you'd imagined when you got married. I have high hopes that you two will definitely celebrate 50 years of marriage! I'm so glad that his treatment seems to be helping right now.

The situation with your son sounds very stressful, too. Try not to let that weigh you down. He's a big boy, and can handle his own issues :)

Amber is absolutely adorable, and very lucky to have a grandma like you!

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LINDAK25 8/17/2014 1:09PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! Good for you! Great news about Du's cancer treatment, too. I know it still feels like you're holding your breath, waiting for bad news. Crying easily is one of the results of stress.

The picture of your walk made me laugh. My cat used to have to be in front of me whenever I was doing something. She was always trying to anticipate to she could get there first or be in charge. Then again, maybe she was being protective and looking for danger. lol

Such a treat to spend an unexpected day with your granddaughter. So sweet. Sorry to hear about your son's depression. Could they find a different medication that doesn't cause depression? He needs to talk to his doctor to help find a solution. While his depression makes his marriage more difficult, there's probably more going on there, marriage counseling would sure help. I see where others have said to stay out of it. Certainly, there are details you don't need to know, but giving your support is a good thing. Is your DIL giving you details to punish at her husband or is she genuinely seeking your help? Only you can look in your heart and know what to do.

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SLIMMERJESSE 8/16/2014 10:25PM

    I know it's tough, but you have to draw boundaries as to when and how much you can help others. Even if it's our kids. Especially in stressful times. Chances are, even with your help, they will have to do the hard work on their own. You need to step back and let them learn to deal with life's problems as you already have a very heavy burden. That's my 2 cents. Wishing you better days.

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TEMPEST272002 8/16/2014 10:16PM

    Hugs to you! Life is hard and filled with joy. Both at the same time. Your GD is incredibly cute. What a sweetie and so glad you have her to help you smile! Liked your cat story too. Reminds me of Louie, my cat that passed at 19 years old. He was quite the character and would often join us on walks. He liked to walk on the way out, but get carried back. lol

It must be painful to hear about your son's bad behaviour and stressful because there is very little you can do about it. With my own grown son, I'm always trying to find the line between sympathetic and supportive mum and over-involved mum. With his girlfriends, I take the same path as Cannie - "I like you, but my son's well-being is my first priority."

Maybe you could find a way to help your DiL without being her confident. Tell her you can't be her sounding board because it is causing too much stress in your life but that you would like to support her in a different way. You both need some stress relief too so maybe you could take a yoga class together or meditation?

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JILL313 8/16/2014 8:05PM

    Your GD is beautiful. I can't believe she's 5 years old and starting K. Focus on all the Joys in your life. You are so right as our grown children's lives affect us also and we do what we can as we want our children to be happy and content with life. Has your oldest son seen a Psychiatrist as there are helpful RX to treat depression. He maybe together with his wife need to see a good psychologist to help them. Depression is a serious illness that can make one cranky, unhappy out of sorts unfortunately it's their loved ones like his wife that get the brunt of his bad mood, etc. I'll be praying for Them as well as Dru & you. Life can be so complicated. Things usually do get better in time. Congrats on losing 14#s, WTG;

Hugs & Love,

Jill emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POSITIVEHOPE 8/16/2014 2:02PM

    Your DS needs to see a doctor and a counselor to help him deal with his depression. Is there someone he trusts that he would be willing to go see? Maybe if you do the leg work at finding him someone to see he will be more willing to go. When you do find someone, tell him that you are concerned and that you want him to get some relief from all the pain and stress in his life by seeing a doctor.
I will keep you all in my prayers as you deal with this pain.

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 8/16/2014 12:47PM

    You're making a big mistake if you allow yourself to get involved in your son's marital troubles, no matter how well-meaning you think it is. It will come back to 'bite you', from either his side or hers - or both. Encourage them both to get individual AND marital counselors, and other than that, step out of the middle of this.

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CARRAND 8/16/2014 8:56AM

    You do have a lot of good things in your life. I love the cat story! I'm praying that you and your sweet husband make it to your 50th.

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KERRYG155 8/16/2014 8:01AM

    Your granddaughter is adorable and I am so happy the treatments continue to work. I've had cats follow me down the road but never mine as I don't let them out. Okay, I only have one now since the old one had to be put to sleep.

I can imagine your fear when you got that phone call especially with all the news about Robin Williams. I'm glad you are there for them though I know it has to be hard. The parenting job never ends. I know even the day she died my mom was worried about kids and grandkids. I'm sending prayers that your son can find a treatment that helps him. My SIL is in treatments for PTSD which includes depression and now is having to relive everything he's gone through so it can all be worked through. Even the treatment is extremely hard but hopefully it works. emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 8/16/2014 1:10AM

    life is throwing one challenge after the other at you, but you are finding the roses amidst the weeds. the good things in life help us to carry onů your granddaughter and your pets bring such happiness, and each day with your Du is one to cherish. on top of it you are getting control of those pesky pounds. you have so much to deal with, but you are handling it well.

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CANNIE50 8/16/2014 1:00AM

    You have so many richly deserved blessings in your life. Your sweet g-daughter is looking like such a young lady now! What a doll. My heart aches for you with the situation with your son and d.i.l. How I wish you could say to them "at our stage of life, with what we are dealing with, we are hoping we can lean on you for a bit". My son had a serious girlfriend once, who called me with complaints about him, and, as much as I liked her and sympathized with her, I found the ability to tell her "I just cannot be objective about him, and my first loyalty is to him. I wish you well but you need to find someone else to confide in and support you through this." It is different, of course, when they are married and there are grandchildren involved, but it just feels like such an untenable position for you to be in. It is hard to know we cannot save our children from themselves. I often have to remind myself, about my older children, "they are strong and smart and capable adults - I have to trust them to find their way through just as I had to do". I hope this doesn't sound preachy - it just struck a nerve with me, and I worry that you have so much to deal with that it upsets me to hear you get one more heartache placed on your shoulders.

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LJCANNON 8/16/2014 12:56AM

    emoticon I will add your son and his wife to the Top of my Prayer List! I know that God is Still In Control, even when things SEEM to be spiraling Out Of Control.

emoticon We have a little gray Stray Cat that has been living here for over a Year, and usually follows us to the store when we walk at night. Sometimes he will yowl piteously and he often looks as if he is panting (do Cats even pant?) but if we try to pick him up he bites. He does NOT Like being handled at all. It is funny because he NEVER follows us when we walk in the Daylight, but he did walk in the Snow with us last Winter.
emoticon Go Figure!!

Comment edited on: 8/16/2014 12:57:37 AM

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KATHYJO56 8/16/2014 12:45AM

    Life sounds pretty good for you right now. You are right, we never stop worrying about our children. Hopefully, your son and his wife will get things worked out before it's too late.

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