Monday, January 16, 2012
My sister, Terrie, in the Gila Wilderness. Hope to be there in a few months.
In the past, Iíve found that the reward system works well for me. It doesnít have to be anything major, just something to look forward to. It makes it easier for me to keep working toward my goals. Thatís why I have planned a reward for myself.
Okay, maybe Iím putting the cart before the horse. After all, I still have a long way to go before I reach my goal weight, but setting a series of smaller goals also works better for me. I let myself get way off track the last couple of years and I have no one to blame except myself. But, with the help of my family and friends, including all my Spark Friends, Iím back on track and heading in the right direction.
Iíve always loved hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking - anything outdoors. So now Iím back out hiking every day that I can. Itís my favorite way to get in some cardio exercise, and Iím fortunate to live just minutes from Pilot Mountain where I can go and hike up and down hills. On the days I donít go, Iím using the new Spark People 28 Day Boot Camp DVD, which I love.
So what is my goal? I want to lose 15 pounds by April 15th. No, it has nothing to do with tax day; rather it has everything to do with a trip I have planned.
I know I absolutely have the greatest husband in the world. I try not to let my stress show around him. After all, he has enough to worry about just trying to keep himself healthy. But Tommy knows me too well and hiding anything from him is impossible. He also knows how much I love to hike, especially in the southwest. Thatís why, just before Christmas, he suggested to me that I fly out to New Mexico so that my sister and I can go camping and hiking. He thinks I need to get away for a break, something everyone has been telling me. While he feels pretty good these days, he knows he cannot hike the distances we can and he said this should be a girlsí trip. We discussed it and I agreed that if his next scan looked good, and if he agreed to go to the beach with some of his family while Iím gone (I donít want him sitting at home alone), then I would make plans to go.
Well, his last scan was better than I expected, so I called my sister and the plans are now set. Iíve requested and received the time off work, Iíve purchased my plane ticket, and Iíve begun to pull out my backpacking gear to see what I need to take. Iím flying to Albuquerque on April 16th and me, Terrie (my sister) and Louanne (another friend in New Mexico) are going to head out and spend eight days hiking and camping. Weíre all three really excited about this girlsí trip in the desert.
Now back to reality. I have about 12 more weeks to prepare. While I wonít be at my goal weight (losing weight that fast would be too unhealthy), I hope to lose at least 15 pounds. Thatís only a little over one pound per week, and is a very reasonable goal, especially for such a wonderful reward. So no more excuses. I will get in some exercise every day and continue to eat sensibly, using my nutrition tracker every day. I hate my scale, but Iíll weigh in once a week to be sure Iím staying on track. I WILL REACH MY GOAL!
Now Iím off this couch to go workout with Coach Nicole!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Tommy, Thor and "GG"
Today started out cloudy and dreary but by lunch time the sun was beginning to peek out and it was warming up. I'm off work today, so I couldn't pass up a hike at Pilot Mountain in such glorious weather. Tommy decided he wanted to go along, but he didn't think he could hike far, so he loaded Thor in the van and they drove me to the top of the mountain. We agreed that he would drive back down the mountain and they would meet me at an agreed upon spot on the trail near the bottom.
It was a great hike and I was mostly alone on the trail with few people being out on a Tuesday. When I got to the place where they were supposed to meet me, they weren't there. I started to get a little concerned because I knew they had more than enough time to reach that spot. I kept on hiking hoping they had just decided to wait in the van. Then about 10 minutes later I see them coming down the trail towards me with a lady. I took the above picture of them as they approached.
They had met "GG" (that is her trail name) and had been walking and talking with her. Tommy said he knew I would want to talk to her. What a super nice lady she is. She was wearing a big backpack because she's training for a thru hike on the Appalachian Trail beginning in March. We talked for a long time because that has always been a dream of mine. She gave me her trail journal information and her email so we can stay in touch. She also laughed telling me that her grandson had given her the trail name of GG, which stands for grumpy grandma! She sure didn't seem grumpy to me, but quite the opposite. I'll be checking her entries in her journal and cheering her on. For those who don't know, the AT (Appalachian Trail) is about 2,180 miles and runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Katahdin Mountain in Maine. People who hike from one end to the other within one year are known as thru-hikers. It's quite an accomplishment for those who can do it, and I truly hope that GG will be successful and enjoy her time on the trail. I also hope that someday I can do the same.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Today was a day Tommy and I have been dreading for several weeks. He had a CT scan December 28th and we were really concerned about what it would show. Itís always a stressful time when weíre finding out results of tests.
Dr. Shearer gave us the good news this morning that his scan looked good. She said the tumors in his lungs have shrunk somewhat from his last scan in September. We were just praying that they hadnít gotten any larger, so the news that they are actually a bit smaller is wonderful.
The only problem he is currently having is with some neuropathy (numbness) in his fingertips and the ends of his toes. We were told this is a common side effect of one of the drugs. Dr. Shearer did say that if it gets any worse, she may have to stop his treatments for a month or two or maybe switch to a different kind of chemo (possibly back to the Gemzar that he was originally on) for a while to allow his body some time to recover. The current cocktail of drugs heís on is very aggressive and is associated with lots of side effects. Fortunately, this is the only one Tommy has experienced since starting on this treatment program last June.
Tommy is such an amazing person. He has been fighting this battle since 2009 and he somehow manages to stay positive and says heís thankful for every day. I think his attitude has much to do with the fact that he is still here today. His oncologist has always been amazed by him. We even learned today from a nurse that, without using his real name, they are now telling new pancreatic cancer patients about Tommy and how well he is doing to help give them hope to fight on. Apparently this is true as I was talking to the wife of another man who was diagnosed last July and when I was telling her about Tommy she said, ďOh, your husband must be the man our doctor was telling us about.Ē Apparently, Iím married to a star.
Weíre still realists and we know his prognosis, but weíre not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Tommyís positive attitude is infectious and he really doesnít care about statistics. It looks like heís going to do things on his time line. We still have a lot to do!
Saturday, January 07, 2012
I got home from work a little after midnight last night and followed my usual routine of grabbing my computer and turning on King of the Hill. This is my time to wind down after work. Itís quiet in my house because Tommy and Thor are usually already in bed. Catching up with friends on my computer and watching something funny on TV helps me leave behind all the stress of the evening. I logged onto SparkPeople and was so surprised to find that there is now a Spark People Motivator badge on my page. Thank you so much to those who nominated me. It makes me feel good to know I was able to help motivate others in return for all Iíve received from this community.
Hmm! I wondered how this happened. Me, a motivator? But SparkPeople is where Iíve always come to find motivation when I begin to slip a little. This is where I find friends who encourage me, share advice, help me to pick myself back up and get back on track. I also try to encourage others along the way, but I never really thought of myself as a motivator. I would have to think about this a little while.
So finally, after much thought, it came to me. I AM A MOTIVATOR! AND SO ARE ALL OF YOU! Because that is so much of what this community is all about. Friends helping friends. Encouraging and cheering each other on to help us all reach our goals, providing little tips weíve learned along the way, meeting new friends, sharing our common interests, supporting and helping each other through the rough spots in the road, and celebrating in the success of others' achievements.
So thatís it. I have figured it out. Weíre ALL motivators and we all need each other. It is each and every individual that comes together to make this such a special community.
Congratulations to everyone who has achieved their goals and who is now living a new and healthier lifestyle. For those of us still working to reach their goals, itís a new year and a fresh start. TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL DO THIS.
Thanks SparkPeople for this wonderful site, and thanks to you all for helping keep me motivated!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The presents are wrapped, the goodies are baked, Christmas cards all mailed out, the house is cleaned, and finally at the stroke of midnight itís Christmas Eve and I am off work for two days. Tommy and Thor have both gone to bed leaving me in silence with my own thoughts. As I sit here in the quiet of my living room at 2:30 a.m. I think about how quickly this year is coming to an end and how much has happened in this short twelve months.
On my way to work this afternoon, I saw all the traffic backing up with holiday shoppers trying to get into the stores, people on a desperate mission to find that perfect gift for each and every person on their list.
Just a couple weeks ago I too had been out shopping for gifts, but everything I looked at seemed so trivial. So much has changed in our lives that these gifts just didnít seem as important as in previous years. I finally managed to find gifts for everyone except Tommy. I had asked him many times what he wanted for Christmas, but he would always just look at me, smile and tell me not to buy him anything. I knew what he was thinking. The only thing he wants for Christmas is his health; something I do not have the power to give him, no matter how hard I try.
We finally talked and decided to skip giving gifts between the two of us this year and instead we will give ourselves a trip to the coast in a few weeks, even if just for a few days. Weíll spend a couple days walking on the beach in the off season when there are no crowds. Thatís always been our favorite time to go. The time together will be worth much more to us than anything we could buy each other at this time in our lives.
After posting my last blog about Tommy and Thor, I was amazed at the number of responses I received from this wonderful Spark community, not only posts on my blog, but also on my Spark Page and many private messages. I am so deeply touched by all of the support that Iíve received, and also by the many stories of others who are dealing with illnesses and the loss of loved ones. The messages have been comforting, and sometimes also heartbreaking. Although I simply havenít had the time to respond to all of them, I have certainly read each and every one.
Itís been a busy and tough year between working nights and spending much time at Forsyth Regional Cancer Center. I am not complaining though. I am just thankful that Tommy has access to this wonderful group of professionals who are working as hard as they can for him. Iím also thankful that we found a veterinarian who was willing to operate on Thor to remove all he could of his tumors. While Tommy and Thor are both fighting cancer, we thank God that He has given us another year together. This is Tommyís third Christmas since his diagnosis! He has finished his chemo treatments for this year and will have another scan next week.
There are people all around this marvelous Earth who are facing difficult times for many different reasons. Many are fighting against disease for their lives or know someone who is, many have recently lost a loved one, while others are facing unforeseen financial hardships. There are so very many people who need our prayers, not just at this time of year, but all year long. Itís so easy to take life for granted, until reality hits you and you realize there never was a guarantee for a tomorrow. Each and every life is precious. Thatís why we should live every day to its fullest and cherish all of the time we are given with our loved ones.
I hope that while you are celebrating Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate during this season, you will take just a few minutes and send prayers up for all of those who are not as fortunate this year. It costs nothing but a few minutes of our time. Also, if there is any way possible, please remember there are many of our furry friends who are living in shelters and dog pounds and they truly need a forever home and a family to share their love with. If you can open your heart and home to an animal, you will be greatly rewarded by the unconditional love that you will receive from these wonderful creatures.
Thank you to this awesome Spark community for all of your kind words of support. You are truly an incredible group and a blessing.
My wishes to each and every one of you for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Get An Email Alert Each Time SWDESERTLOVER Posts