Monday, September 07, 2009
This morning I received a phone call that you dread.....it was not unexpected, but it was also not welcome....you see, my cousin Debbie had gone a few years without her yearly mammograms, but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, she finally got up the courage to be tested. By that time there were 2 tumors in her breast, and it had also spread to her lungs. Before we knew it, she had metastases to the bones, receiving radiation treatments to multiple areas is her spine, and her brain. She had a great outlook and although we didn't speak as often as I would have liked (we moved to Florida 8 years ago and she still lived in NJ), when I did speak to her, she was pretty upbeat and positive.
I am now 2 years out from my diagnosis, but Debbie wasn't so lucky. She was admitted to the hospital late last week, and they did not think that she had much time left. Sure enough, this morning we received that dreaded phone call that she had passed away, only about 1 year from her original diagnosis. She was still very young, only about 49 by my faulty math......At this point she was in such bad shape, that it really was time for her to go, but my heart goes out to her husband of 27 years, her son who is in his first year of college, and her other son, who is only a sophomore in high school.
After I shed some tears, I dragged out the old photo albums and relived the great times we had together....ski trips in Vermont, beach vacations in North Carolina, hundreds of family get togethers.....she was always there, always smiling. Then there were pictures of her with her babies...and the cakes she made for their younger birthdays, beautiful, wonderful creations that rivaled most wedding cakes! Debbie's smile was infectious, and she loved to get together with family and catch up on what was going on in all of our lives. Before long, my tears had dried, and there was a smile on my face again. I will miss her terribly, and I know that her family will have a hard time going on without her, but the memories that we have, will be cherished forever!
Love you Debbie, my cousin in marriage, my sister in the breast cancer fight, you are one special lady and will be tremendously missed!!
Sunday, August 09, 2009
For the past couple of days I have been wracking my brain to come up with a new exercise routine that would help me burn calories but not cause too much pain. As a result of chemotherapy (and probably years of high impact sports , let's not blame chemo entirely!!) my hip and shoulder joints have become very arthritic, and makes my current workout routine (karate training) not a viable option. I've been walking the dog, but just couldn't get my heart rate up with that alone, but was really having a hard time coming up with something that I could stick to, was convenient, but would burn some much needed fat!!
Thanks to a blog that was posted previously.......about exercise equipment becoming an expensive clothes hanger......I remembered the Nordic Track that I had used faithfully when we lived up north, but somehow never got in the habit of using now that we live in Florida. It was in the back of a closet, rather dusty, but still working beautifully. Add an iPod and my favorite tunes, and it was like I had never stopped!
Of course this is one day, and only time will tell if this is a life change or just a passing fancy, but the economic minded me is happy not to shell out hundreds of dollars, and I'm rather proud of myself for resurrecting an old friend who has never steered me wrong.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
OK, when I started on Spark, I decided that I would only post my weight as it decreased....so there would be days and days where I would not change it. But on those days when the scale was my friend, I jumped at the opportunity to post the lower number! And for awhile that worked....but then health issues caused me to work out less, or at a lesser intensity, and the numbers on the scale started rising.....yet on Spark, the number miraculously remained the same.
But it is time for a change, time to be honest with myself and with my friends here. No, I am not still at 159+ pounds, this morning I stepped on the scale and was actually HAPPY to see it read 165.....as it had been as high as 175, practically the weight that I was when I started. Though I see 165 as a form of failure, I've decided to "speak the truth" and be honest with myself. Yes, I did put on weight, no, I am not happy about it, but I no longer want to hide behind the erroneous 159 number......I vow to update at least weekly, whether high or low, it will be the truth!
Will this help my resolve? I do not know. But I do know that if I am honest with myself, and admit my short comings, I will be more patient with others who are fighting the same battle, and not feel like such a hypocrit!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Just arrived back from a week in Washington DC, my son and 179 other High School students marched in the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade last Saturday, and did a great job! They also played at the Navy Memorial afterwards, during the Blessing of the Fleets ceremony, which was just amazing. Even though it rained a bit while we were there (Friday and Monday), we rearranged the schedule to make the most of the sunny days, and visited museums on the rainy days. We took a dinner cruise, went to the Holocaust Museum, the Air and Space Museum, Iwo Jima, Air Force, WWII, Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, Korea and Vietnam memorials, along with our bagpipers playing at Sousa's grave, and a special ceremony at Arlington for the father of one of our chaperones (also the grandfather of one of the band members) who was buried there. 2 of the students played Amazing Grace on bagpipes, and another played Taps on trumpet. It was one of the most moving experiences, and I think it deeply affected the kids as well as chaperones.
We had a great time with the kids and they behaved quite well, including a 26 hour train ride on the way there, and a 22 hour train ride back......was a bit much to ask of them, but they made us quite proud.
Now I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight and getting back to my Spark People routine!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Well, only had to stay overnight, but didn't get discharged until 5:30 pm, I think that they forgot about me! I had to go to a different hospital than "usual" as that's where the specialist worked out of, and I was more than willing to go wherever he felt comfortable working. The surgery went well, they were able to remove uterus/tubes/ovaries with the laparoscopic assistance, so only 3 small pelvic incisions, not the 6-8 week recovery, only looking at about 2 weeks recovery! Last night was a bit rough, but with the help of some pain meds, was able to sleep pretty well (right through 2 TV shows that I wanted to watch, but that's what they make reruns for, right?) Today is a totally different day, feeling human again, resting, but able to go without pain meds, as they only create nausea anyway.......Very happy to be home and looking forward to catching up with all my spark buddies again, I feel so out of touch!
Oh yeah, think I forgot to mention, all tests have come back negative for malignancy. Even though they didn't feel that it was cancer related, nice to know for sure! So regardless of how sore, tired, achy I am, I am THRILLED to be home and soooo happy that everything is benign!
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