Friday, June 25, 2010
I usually find when things feel too big or feel like they are spinning out of control, if I slow myself down and start with really appreciating the little things in life, I get re-centered and renewed. I have been hit hard by too many losses of people I love in the last 4 years and part of me would love to lapse into either escapism or depression. My soul hurts.
But I also know that I will be of no good to those I love if I allow myself to fly off center or wallow in my feelings. I am grateful to life for the lessons that I have learned about feeling my feelings and but not letting them overwhelm me past the amount of time I need to feel them. Life is the here and now; focusing on the current moment, and enjoying the time we have with those around us in the present, is very important to fully participating in life and being available to reach out to others.
Today I took stock of the beauty of the little things that surround us daily; the beauty and serenity of nature. This is my photo journal of my day:
I must remember to live in the moment. There are no guarantees about anything; the present moment is the time to live in, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the beauty of the world, cherish those we love, for these are the moments that we have to do such things. My brother's health, my dear friend's health, my progressing neuropathy... these are all unknown outcomes which will unfold in their own time. They may be the unfolding we expect, or they may have surprising outcomes, there is no way to predict.
Tonight I am taking stock in what is real, and taking time to express my love to my family and friends.
Friday, June 25, 2010
I am still reeling. My brother called last night, frightened and anxious. He was just diagnosed with a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, and will be going for CT and bone scans next week to see if it has metastasised. He did not say anything about Gleason scale, but he said his PSA count was an unheard of 125 - sky high. The biopsy results did not look good.
He is scared and angry. He is just about to celebrate his second year smoke free and had been very pleased with his recent lung x-rays and he has been planning his retirement, looking forward to getting back into his jewelry making. He feels betrayed by this and angry - a very normal first reaction to such a scary diagnosis.
He is also scared. We helped Dad through his chemo and radiation treatments, and Gino is scared to go through that, and scared by the specter of death. I feel sad that we live so far apart, and grateful that I do have summer off so I can spend time with him when he needs me to be there.
I am hoping that next week's test results will show that the cancer is contained, as treatment options and survival rates are much better if it is. I am so worried!
Gino and I on my 8th birthday in front of our grandparent's house.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The long story, which perhaps I will tell in a future blog is that I was almost killed in a car accident when I was 17, and had serious head/back/neck/hip injuries. I have been in pain for the 43 years since the accident; I have learned to deal with it and enjoy my life in spite of the discomfort.
Over the winter, I have been having increasing pain and numbness in the big toe of my left foot, enough that it frequently keeps me up at night. It has been a weird combination of numbness, sharp pain, and a kind of electric pain - hard to describe. I was thinking that it might have something to do with my bunion pinching a nerve, or ingrown toenail, or from the time I peeled off the bottom of my toe in an accident. Or, if it could be from the L-5 damage I have.
I finally got in to see a podiatrist, and the diagnosis is an unhappy one. It is from my L-5 injury, and the damage may be irreversible. I got a prescription for a topical medication which has an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and a nerve medication ($85!) which I am to apply for a few months. If it is successful in treating the pain and numbness, the damage will be considered 'reversible' although what it will do is go into remission - I can expect repeat performances of what I am currently experiencing.
If my toe does not respond to the medication, the nerve damage will be considered irreversible, the pain and numbness will get increasingly worse until all pain goes away and my toe becomes permanently numb. Numb may sound better than pain, but I'm not so sure about that.
I am not willing to just accept what the podiatrist has to say without pursuing some other avenues of treatment. I will go back to my chiropractor, and also check out other treatments such as acupuncture. In the mean time, I am applying the medication and trying to remain optimistic about it.
In the big picture, it could be worse. I have friends who have cancer, a friend with MS, lost a friend to ALS - in the broad spectrum of things, a toe that loses all feeling is not league with things that are much worse. But, I have to admit to being sad about it and I would like to not be in so much pain.
After all that whining - sorry , I do have to end on a positive note.
Rhymes with toes, but smells much sweeter..
Monday, June 21, 2010
There are people dismiss teenagers, or who spend too much time listening to the news and not enough time with teens and think they are just trouble. Sure, some of them are, but for the most part, I love teenagers for their newly emerging adulthood merged with their childlike approach to life.
Last week, during the sadness and turmoil of losing Mike's mother, having my teenage nephew visit infused that week with some much needed joy.
This weekend, we were blessed with a visit from our dear friends who moved to PA 5 years ago. Athena coordinated the Walter F. Anderson Award ceremony I wrote about in yesterday's blog, so we got to spend time with 4/6s of the family on Sunday. In those 5 years, the youngest child, Kobrin grew from an sweet eight year old to a sweet 13, the youngest daughter, Amidia, is in college, and the two oldest daughters have now graduated from college. We only get to visit once a year, so it seems like the children grow exponentially.
As much as I love teenage energy, Stella loves it more. She thought Kobrin was her new bestest friend!
While Stella will confess to a love of teenage boys, Kevin had never met a standard poodle before, and didn't know how much fun they are. They wore each other out!
Big sister, on the other hand, enjoyed a spin on the Honda with Mike.
It was sad to have them leave, and I am looking forward to our next visit.
A great weekend was had by all, and Stella is sleeping in this morning.
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