60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
SWDESERTLOVER's Recent Blog Entries

My Broken Deal

Monday, August 20, 2012

I made a deal with myself that I would buy the new kayak I want for my birthday if I lost twenty pounds. Iíve been doing even better than I expected and Iím down about eight pounds already. I still have twelve pounds to go, but my birthday isnít for another five weeks. So how could I possibly justify backing out of my deal and buying my kayak before Iíve lost all twenty pounds and before my birthday? I canít.

But thatís exactly what I did. Cliff, my son and my biggest support system in my weight loss effort, had a talk with me last week. It went something like this:

Cliff: Mom, Iíve been watching the websites that had the Tarpon 100 on sale and they are all selling out.

Me: I know Cliff, but I havenít lost the weight yet.

Cliff: But youíre doing great, and if you wait they may be sold out and you'll have to pay a few hundred dollars more for the 2013 model of the kayak you want or youíll have to settle for something you donít really want. You really should go ahead and order it and then weíll make sure you have the rest of the weight off by your birthday.

Me: But then, Iím going back on my deal with myself. Thatís cheating!

Cliff: Iíll exercise with you and make sure you lose the weight or Iíll take it away and lock it up until you do. Besides that, if you wait until the end of September, youíre not going to get to use it much before it gets too cold. And, if you go ahead and get it we can go a lot more on your days off and youíll get even more exercise.

So, how hard do you think he had to work to talk me into it? Not very. He accomplished his mission in just over thirty minutes. My son, my support system, and my saboteur. But then thereís that thing called ďpersonal responsibilityĒ that makes me accountable for my own actions. After all, Iím an adult with my own free will and could have simply said no. Still, watching him paddle around last week in his new kayak only increased my desire to have my own. Yes, I actually did feel a little guilty as I got on the website and clicked the add to cart button, but not guilty enough to stop.

So the kayak was ordered, in the color I want, it is on its way, and is supposed to be in Greensboro tomorrow for me to pick up. We have a kayak trip planned this coming Sunday with a lot more friends this time. Weíre going back up to the New River in Virginia and Iíll be paddling my new mango color Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100. And the truth is Iíll probably be having so much fun I wonít even be thinking about the deal I broke with myself, but at least Iíll be getting a good workout and burning some extra calories.

I still feel a little guilty, but Iím also really excited about picking up my kayak tomorrow!

Cliff at the Yadkin River checking out his new kayak last week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOLFGMA 8/21/2012 9:39PM

    You did the right thing and I applaud your son for his support. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOODIE59 8/21/2012 12:49PM

    You can still lose the 20 lb by your birthday and have the weight loss be your birthday gift:)

That kayak is going to get you out and exercising and enjoying life. It's going to give you family time in a healthy setting. There is no time like the present!! Have fun with it:)

Report Inappropriate Comment
VLL723 8/21/2012 11:18AM

    Kayaking is one of my favorite things to do. I have an inflatable Sea Eagle 330. Enjoy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYG7 8/21/2012 9:25AM

    Hi Cindy....
Please don't think of this as 'cheating'! You made an expedient decision based on changing circumstances..... You'll get the kayak you want, at the price you want, in the color you want. If you waited --- you'd pay a lot more. Think of this as an 'adjustment' in your goals. Cliff is so right - and you're so lucky to have him on your side.. If you really feel guilty - lock the kayak away until you lose your 20 lbs. Or use the kayak TO LOSE the 20! Set a new goal (a revision of your last goal.)

Have fun on your upcoming kayak adventure! I know you will.
(still having trouble with my computer....so I hope I can post this......)
Hugs. Libby

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIZZYP609 8/21/2012 9:15AM

    So now make a new deal with yourself. Use the Kayak to lose the weight by your birthday and if you don't then you have to put it away until the weight is gone and stays gone for a set amount of time!

Either way, it sounds like a win to me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EZRIN101 8/21/2012 12:53AM

    Lol. You have a great son to help you so much!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/21/2012 12:33AM

    I'm so glad you ordered it - I was looking at them online myself after reading your previous post and noticed several places were sold out - it didn't occur to me that 'everyone' would be sold out soon so I'm glad you son talked you into it.

GOOD LUCK reaching your goal and I wouldn't worry about the 'broken deal' - sometimes we just have to 'go for it' anyway.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/21/2012 12:22AM

    I got my Kestrel just slightly before I'd lost the 100 lbs I needed in order to "earn" it.

And then I promptly spent so much time IN the boat, that it ended up helping me get OFF those lbs! LOL

Congrats, and enjoy!


(...and don't complain to me in a couple years when you're good and addicted and can't stop boating! You walked right into this one! LOL)

Comment edited on: 8/21/2012 12:23:35 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 8/20/2012 11:58PM

    I must confess if a deal like that had come along, I wouldn't have needed to be talked into it! It does sound like your son is looking out for you though,and you more than likely would have regretted not getting that deal later if it was sold out after you make your goal (and now you have to do it, or the kayak goes under lock and key!) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HICKOK-HALEY 8/20/2012 11:35PM

    Cliff is sweet as can be. Looking out after his Mom. He does have valid points. I know you will continue to lose. This week-end will be so much fun. I also vote for pictures! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBBIEDAY 8/20/2012 11:01PM

    emoticon Gotta agree with Cliff...all valid reasons to get the kayak NOW and use it to burn extra calories on your way to losing the rest of that 20 by your birthday!!!!

And of course...Ciff needs to take a picture of you in your Kayak so you can post it!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMPTYNESTER60 8/20/2012 10:17PM

    emoticon You didn't break your deal - you just amended it and added a partner to it.. Cliff just has to live up to the partnership parts - help you loose the weight (& lock up the kayak if you don't emoticon) I've got a feeling that with the new kayak you won't have any trouble reaching your goal. Enjoy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORLDSERIES11 8/20/2012 9:32PM

    emoticon Good for you!!! Get out and enjoy it. Cheers to your son for talking you into it!!!
Still need that kayak emoticon...lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVWINGS 8/20/2012 9:04PM

    Woo Hoo for your son. He's right you know. I don't know how many times I've bought something ton "settle" because i let go the sale on the one I really wanted. And it always ends up I don't like it and rarely use it!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEC 8/20/2012 8:41PM

    Just so long as he keeps his word to help you lose the weight! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 8/20/2012 8:40PM

    Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. I am super happy you got it!!
Your son had some really good points in his case... as you know!

I would say you didn't break your deal... you made a new deal. I don't think you will
give up now. I do think your determination is strong and you will continue to achieve great results!

Hope you & Cliff get in plenty of good adventures before it does get too cold!
Burn those calories and ENJOY yourself! Life is too short for guilt and regrets!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Tommy's Andy Griffith Birthday Celebration

Friday, August 17, 2012

Today is Tommy's birthday! Because he has been a lifelong fan of Andy Griffith and the show, his sister reserved Andy's childhood home in Mt. Airy, NC for me and Tommy to spend the night in. We drove to Mt. Airy yesterday afternoon and checked in at 3:00. Tommy's sister Lisa, her husband Dale, and Tommyís parents met us there. They stayed in the Hampton Inn (who now owns Andy's old home).

After checking in we drove to the house and were delighted when we opened the door and stepped back in time. Much of the furnishings are 50's and 60's style decor and very little has been updated. The only newer appliances in the kitchen were the refrigerator, microwave and a little coffee maker. In the living room was a DVD player with the entire collection of the Andy Griffith Show.

Andy Griffith's childhood home at 711 Haymore St, Mt. Airy, NC

Me in the kitchen, but I didn't do any cooking (I should have).

Living Room

Master Bedroom

Hard to believe that this little room not much larger than some walk-in closets was Andy's bedroom. A back porch has now been enclosed as a second bedroom.

While we were at the house we noticed a number of cars pulling up to stop and take pictures. Remembering how many times we've been up there and wished we could see inside, we began inviting some people to come in and check out the inside. It was fun because we talked to people from Georgia, Texas, Missouri, West Virginia, and several other places and they all seemed excited to have the opportunity to see inside.

Later we all drove to Dobson, NC (only 10 miles away) where we had dinner at a fantastic restaurant named The Depot. I didn't eat as healthy as I should have, but I did pass on the prime rib and opted for a chicken dish, some potatoes and apples instead. It could have been much worse. We then drove back to the house where we had a birthday cake in the beautiful back yard.

Tommy with his birthday cake.

Tommy and his family enjoying birthday cake (yes I had a small piece).

Later that night we went to the theater on Main Street where they had free live music. We then walked around town a little before heading back to the house for the night.

My sister woke me up with a telephone call this morning to tell me that my niece delivered a baby boy at 3:02 this morning - on Tommy's birthday!! For those of you who have been my friends here for several years, this is my same niece who lost her sweet baby Maddie to Leigh's Disease (a mitochondrial disease). Baby Maddie was buried the same day Tommy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Stephanie and Jimmy now have a sweet, healthy daughter named Abby and now little Jay. We are so thrilled for them.

After meeting Tommy's family for breakfast, we did some sightseeing around town and then went to the Andy Griffith Museum. Betty Lynn (also known as Thelma Lou on the Andy Griffith Show) was there today. We were so happy to meet her and found her to be a warm and genuine person.

Me and Tommy with Betty Lynn

Tommy gets a birthday kiss from Thelma Lou.

What a great two days. We finally made it home this evening and we are exhausted, but it was so much fun. Off to bed early tonight since I have to get back to work tomorrow.

A little souvenir we brought home with us.

Me and Tommy


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGSTARDADDY 8/20/2012 4:46PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
PAMNANGEL 8/19/2012 12:42PM

    How fun! Thanks for the photo tour!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANNYQUINN 8/19/2012 12:32PM

    Wow , so much excitng news, First Happy Birthday Tom , what a great way to celebrate. Second Congrtas on the new addition to your family. emoticon. This is all such good news. This looks like a wonderful place to visit , I adore visiting our countries real towns and people. I am glad you had a good time . PS You look Awesome. Hugs Karen

Comment edited on: 8/19/2012 12:33:29 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/18/2012 3:50PM

    Now that is a truly unique and interesting way to celebrate - good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLFGMA 8/18/2012 1:27PM

    Thanks for letting us enjoy the birthday for Tommy in pictures. Your SIL did great to plan such a nice birthday for Tommy. You both look wonderful! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
OBIESMOM2 8/18/2012 6:33AM

    I'm a big Andy fan, too.

what an awesome b'day!

congrats on the baby.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORLDSERIES11 8/18/2012 1:03AM

    What a wonderful experience!! And news of the new baby just made the experience that much more special!! Happy Birthday Tommy!! emoticon
Love Andy Griffith!! And Love all the pictures...thanks for sharing!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMPTYNESTER60 8/17/2012 10:56PM

    Sure wish you guys had been staying there when we were one of those people driving by taking pictures many years ago emoticon It must have been so awesome to spend the night in Andy's house. I love Mt Airy! It is truly a quaint little NC mountain town. So glad you were able to have this neat experience.

emoticon Tommy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLJ35 8/17/2012 10:44PM

    WHAT A NEAT EXPERIENCE!!! And you did such a good job of describing - makes me want to visit there!
Tonight, as I rode recumbent bike, I watched interview of Andy on public television. Such a down-to-earth person.
Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HICKOK-HALEY 8/17/2012 10:22PM

    How much fun, and so sweet of your SIL to arrange everything for you. I always liked Andy Griffith. The home looks good. I love the kitchen. Happy Birthday to Tommy, a little late!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MJ7DM33 8/17/2012 10:07PM

  Looks like a really good birthday celebration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LASKIE2 8/17/2012 9:08PM

    Wow, these pictures of Andy Griffin's childhood home are great! I had no idea the home still exist! Sorry to hear about your niece's baby, and about Tommy. Looks like wveryone had a good time. Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEC 8/17/2012 9:01PM

    Wow, the picture of the kitchen looks a lot like my Grandmother's kitchen!

It sounds like a great time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOODIE59 8/17/2012 8:55PM

    Thanks for sharing Tommy's great day:) And really nice of both of you to let the curious onlookers inside for a peek -- bet you made THEIR day too!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 8/17/2012 8:51PM

    What a wonderful experience!!!

I always enjoy your blogs & your pictures! Tommy is looking good ~ I hope he's feeling well too!

Glad you enjoyed some cake too. I'm a firm believer in enjoying special occasion treats... *especially* birthday cake!! emoticon

Thanks for taking the time to share this with us! Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCYPAT1 8/17/2012 8:32PM

    That is SOOOOOOO cool. I have always been an Andy Griffith fan also. Maybe one of these years I will have MY birthday there too. That sounds like a totally wonderful thing to do. I think you are awesome to do that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVEMALI 8/17/2012 8:29PM

    Love this!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Some Extra Motivation

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My weight loss has been kind of off and on lately, two pounds off, one pound back on . . . Not that I had been really trying all that hard. I talked a lot about it, but my actual efforts were half-hearted. I think boredom had begun to set in and I found myself exercising less and less. I love to hike, but itís been so hot and humid this summer that I havenít even done much of that.

That all changed when my son (Cliff) and I tried kayaking. I previously blogged about how much fun we had and how we were looking forward to going again. Well, last Tuesday Cliff, Jeremy (my younger son), Rosa (Jeremyís girlfriend) and I went kayaking on the very lazy, meandering, Dan River for Cliffís birthday.

We had fun, kind of, sort of. Okay, it actually went like this. Put kayaks in water, paddle, paddle, paddle. Hit rocks, scoot, scoot, scoot. Give up, step out of kayak, pull across the rocks, get back in kayak, laugh at others still stuck on rocks, paddle, paddle, paddle. Repeat. That was most of the 3.5 hours we were out there. There were a few fun spots where there was actually enough water in the river and enough riffles (very mild) to enjoy it. One spot was enough fun that we would go through it, pull the kayaks back up river and go through it again. We did that several times. Okay, we were desperate! There was also the issue of the kayaks themselves. Cliff described them best as ďbathtubs.Ē They were large and cumbersome, hard to control (even in the extremely calm water), and Jeremyís was cracked and leaked the entire way so he had to stop about every 30 minutes to drain the water out of it. The oars were very heavy also, but at least my upper body got a great workout just paddling with these weights.

On the banks of the Dan River getting ready to go.

Jeremy after coming out of a small rapid.

Cliff enjoying an area where there was actually some water.

Still we had fun and it was a good trip because I learned two important things. First, never, ever, ever go back kayaking on the Dan River, at least not in the area where we were. There just wasnít enough water. Second, I really want my own kayak, a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100. This is what I used on the New River and I absolutely loved it. Cliff ordered him a new kayak for his birthday and it is supposed to be delivered next week. Iím sure weíll be going out very soon afterwards so he can try it out. Weíre also planning to go back to the New River again in a couple of weeks.

So, thatís where one of my new goals and an additional motivation to lose weight comes in. I made a deal with myself and Cliff that when I lose twenty pounds I will order my new kayak, hopefully for my birthday in late September. Iíve been getting up early every morning and going out walking, lifting some weights every other day, tracking everything I eat, drinking at least eight glasses of water every day and also riding my exercise bike when watching TV. Iíve already lost 4.6 pounds so Iím almost one-fourth of the way there. emoticon

This is the kayak that I want for my birthday. Gotta lose that weight!!

Changing subjects, I took Thor out for a walk this morning and saw this gigantic moth laying eggs on my aloe plant. I had to run inside and get my camera to take pics to share because it was so cool looking.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Keep working toward your goals and together we can do this!!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWSNAKE 10/22/2012 4:50PM

    I believe that is a Cecropia Moth.....I did a report on one in third grade if you can believe that one! An I still remember the name altho I might have mispelled it? Happy Kyaking and enjoy! ***SNOW*** emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYVOLSFAN1954 8/16/2012 9:55PM

    Here's to your new kayak! I know you can get there so you can order it! woohoo! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LJ32920 8/16/2012 3:36PM

  Sounds like good times. It's nice you have people ready to go with you. I've never been kayaking, but I've done whitewater rafting with my senior Girl Scouts, and that was loads of fun. I'm hoping to go kayaking on the Colorado with my whole family some year. At the same time. Hopefully there'll be a time when all the grandkids are big enough but none of them have babies yet.

Report Inappropriate Comment

  I'm so excited for you! (I have friends who love kayaking on the New River as well - they rave and rave and rave...) I love the kayak - I've only seen one color so that one seems much much more outdoorsy and "I'm in this to do this!"

Those friends and my husband and I went tubing on the Dan around this time two years ago. We had the same experience - lift butt to try not to get bruises from rocks, get stuck on rock, get up and walk a bit with tube, sit back down for 1 minute, repeat for the next 2 hours.

We still had a great time. But I think if I had a kayak (and not a tube) I would not have enjoyed carrying it as much.

Congrats on sticking with everything. I'm looking forward to the "Here's my Kayak!" post in September.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HICKOK-HALEY 8/14/2012 12:32AM

    The water looks nice. It's to bad there wasn't enough water, but like you said, good exercise. That is a fantastic goal. Buying a Kayak. That means more beautiful pictures hehe.. How lucky to find a big moth, plus laying eggs. I'm so glad you took pictures. Excellent pictures as that. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/12/2012 9:21PM

    Sounds like fun, in spite of the challenges - and I love the 'goal reward' you have in mind. That's awesome!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEILITHICMAN 8/12/2012 5:12PM

    Way to go, kayaking is awesome.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/12/2012 3:53PM

    Kayaks are AWESOME motivators. I've done that several times, myself.

I even have a tattoo of a kayaker on the inside of my forearm to remind me that I want to KEEP fitting in my boats!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 8/12/2012 1:42PM

    Hope you get that kayak! What a great incentive to stick with your program! And cool pics of the moth...you must have a really good camera!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 8/11/2012 10:42PM

    That is an awesome kayak ~ that is excellent motivation right there!!

I know you CAN do it!!

Glad you had a good time with your boys! I think we are all enjoying summer... but longing for that break from the intense heat!

Super cool moth photos!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKIPPYDOG 8/11/2012 9:20PM

    I am glad that you haven't given up kayaking. I love to go on my Kayak it is so much fun. I am going tomorrow. I went kayaking on the Great Salt Lake near the South marina. The lake was infested with those lovely brine flies and of course the Orb weaver spiders that eat the brine flies.. To say the least I won't be back to the GSL in August anyway.

Keep up the good work and you will get your kayak soon. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYG7 8/11/2012 3:53PM

Loved your story.....good on 'ya for not giving up on kayaking, in spite of your last experience. I'm sure you'll burn lots of calories.....
And congrats on your weight loss. I've slipped up lately also. This summer's heat and humidity has been the worst thing for me..... I've been stuck inside, in the a/c.....with no energy at all. I've even gained a few pounds back..... Yuck!

Well, today, I'm back on program...and I'm journaling again. It's still unbearable sticky - and unpleasant - but I don't have to eat my way through it!!

Take good care - sweetie.... Hugs to you, Tommy and Thor!

Libby emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANNYQUINN 8/11/2012 3:23PM

    Hello Stranger , great pics, perhaps no water due to drought? I know have had a terrible drought this summer , hot and humid. Congrats on your weight loss! At least you had fun with your family. Karen emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORLDSERIES11 8/11/2012 3:11PM

    Congrats on the weight loss!!! And finding a new and exciting way to work out and to motivate you!! SP needs to create a kayaking emoticon...lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLFGMA 8/11/2012 2:59PM

    I think you have found a new love! Good for you . The kayaking does sound like fun especially in the hot weather we have had this summer. Wonder if there are any spots on the Yadkin River for this sport? Great picture by the way! The weight loss is super! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVEMALI 8/11/2012 1:48PM

    What a great motivator!! I bought a fitness ball and a 3-pound weight today ( one? Yes. I have one and couldnt find the second!) to go with a book about toning my arms. My reward will be better arms -- and I'm getting a second ear piercing when I hit goal. My daughter will freak out! Lol!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Hubby Taking a Chemo Break

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

People who know me well also know that Iím not a person who likes confrontations. Iím usually the peacekeeper, even going so far as to try to ease tensions between others at times. I prefer a peaceful home and working environment (and thatís not always easy working in a jail). However, this should not be mistaken for weakness. When pushed, I am prepared to fight for what is important to me, and thatís what Iím doing now. Iím in a fight to make everyone respect the wishes of my husband, and itís a fight that I will win. I refuse to let others take control of whatever time he has left on this Earth.

As Iíve said before, since September 2009, Tommy has had a scan every three months for his pancreatic cancer. Heís been on very harsh Folfirinox treatments since June 2011 in an attempt to stop or slow the progression of the metastatic tumors in his lungs. He told me just before this scan that he really wanted a break from the chemo, something his oncologist had also said he might want to consider. He said he was ďtired of being tiredĒ and tired of the mouth sores, the neuropathy in his hands and feet, and sleeping all the time. He said he wanted to feel good enough to go do things again and actually enjoy himself. Iíve always supported Tommyís decisions and this time could be no different. I told him if thatís what he wanted then he needed to talk to his doctor about it and he needed to make the final decision.

Unfortunately, his family doesnít seem to feel the same way. There seems to be a push from other family members that he has to ďfight, because you can beat this thing.Ē Yes, Iíve heard those very words from at least two of his family members. While I wish this was true, the fact is that he has stage IV pancreatic cancer and every expert weíve talked to says they cannot cure it and that at some point it will stop responding to any treatments. Iíve spent many hours talking to my sister who used to be a hospice nurse. She told me that she faced this same situation many times and had many meetings with families to try to explain how these statements can have a negative effect on the patient. While itís important for us all to be supportive and optimistic, she says family members, while well-intentioned, often place their loved one (at least in the patient's mind) in the impossible situation of either beating an incurable disease or failing and disappointing their family. I can't imagine the enormity of pressure this would put on someone when they should be enjoying every day.

When I told one of his family members that he wanted a chemo break, she actually looked at me and said ďWell, thatís going to depend on his scan results.Ē I couldnít believe she actually said this and immediately snapped back, ďNo, itís going to depend on what HE wants.Ē While I love my in-laws very much and I know they are afraid and they mean well, I simply will not allow them to control his medical care. I told another family member later that everyone needs to understand that this is not about what anyone else wants; not his children, not his parents, not his sibling, and not me. This is his life and we all need to support him so he can feel good about his decisions.

We went last week to get the results of his latest scan and, while still there, the nodules in his lungs are a bit smaller. The response to the treatments over the last three months did not seem as remarkable as with his three previous scans. The concern is whether or not the treatments are beginning to lose their effectiveness against this disease (something we have been told would eventually happen). But at least there was some decrease in the size of the nodules, so for that we are grateful.

Tommy was pleased and I was so proud of him when he spoke up and told his doctor he wanted three months off. She agreed and even said it would probably be good for him to take the break. So we are planning to do some camping in September and October when the weather cools a little and weíre hoping he gets enough energy back to enjoy some bike riding again.

He told me he doesnít know if he made the right decision, but itís what he wants. I reassured him that if itís what HE wants, then itís the right decision for him. Heíll have another scan in late October and then meet with his doctor to decide how to proceed at that time.

None of us know what tomorrow holds, but right now weíre having fun. We just spent three night in the mountains and took a friend of mine and his cousin with us. We all had a great time and we're looking forward to going back again, soon!

Tommy and his cousin in Whitetop, Virginia.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 8/16/2012 10:24AM

    I had a colleague whose husband had a brain tumor that was being kept under control with medication for over a year. Then he decided he wanted to stop taking the medication. Simply, it meant that he would die.

I remember wondering what it would take for someone to make that decision? I didn't understand.

But after discussing it with friends, I learned that the side effects from the medication made his life so much less than what it had been.
He was unwilling to continue with the quality of life that the medicine gave him.

He knew, too, that this medication did not provide a permanent cure. It was only a temporary reprieve. The brain tumor would eventually win out.

Then I understood.

It is a decision that only the patient can make. And I think it has to be very difficult for loved ones to watch and accept - especially if their thinking is to do everything possible to extend life.

Your husband's time away from chemo may not have the same result. I hope it doesn't. But even so, it is a difficult decision to make.

You are so caring and loving to support him in this decision. You are truly putting his desires ahead of everything, and he is fortunate to have you back him up.

My wish is that you and your husband will enjoy his time away from the chemo -- and that you make some wonderful memories together.

And I will continue to pray for you both.


Report Inappropriate Comment
LUCINDARW 8/7/2012 10:36PM

    I'm very glad that you are respecting Tommy's wishes so he can enjoy his life the way he wants. I will keep you both in prayer. Lucinda

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNSHINE31797 8/6/2012 5:54AM

    I applaud you for supporting your husband's decision to enjoy his life. I especially respect your defense of his decision when his family members disagree. As you stated, the decision for each adults life is theirs to make.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JADE0757 8/6/2012 2:20AM

  None of us know how much time we have and we need to fully enjoy the time we do have. I hope you both have a wonderful time camping and spending time together with family and friends over the next few months. Know that we are all thinking of you and praying that you have good news with the next scan.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HICKOK-HALEY 8/2/2012 9:08PM

    You are giving Tommy wonderful support, and you are right. It is his decision. I'm glad you stood up for him. Camping sound like so much fun. I'm glad your planning the trip. I hope you take some pictures!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGSTARDADDY 8/1/2012 3:07PM

    A challenging time. Know that you and he are in our thoughts.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLFGMA 7/27/2012 5:18PM

    Stand strong and respect Tommy's wishes just as I believe you have in the past. Enjoy the vacation from chemo and do all the things Tommy feels well enough to do! I'm sure that Tommy has prayed about this and found peace in his decision. The family should respect this. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKIPPYDOG 7/27/2012 10:14AM

    Glad that you support your husbands decision for treatment. I know that I would do the same thing. Everyone needs to respect your husbands wishes and enjoy the time with him and you. Praying for both of you. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

  Good for you!! It is ridiculous how those we love tend to make the tough decisions in our lives even more difficult instead of coming at it from love and care as you are.

I am glad Tommy (and you) are taking a break and protecting your time and decisions. Enjoy every moment.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRIS3874 7/25/2012 10:15PM

    You know I think its GREAT that Tom takes a break- it sounds like he really needed it and perhaps it will help in the long run.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEILITHICMAN 7/25/2012 6:20PM

    That's great that you can back him up liek that, some people just deal with things differently to others.

By the way, that mountain area looks really nice.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JIBBIE49 7/25/2012 6:16PM

    Look up Roby Mitchell, M.D. whose web site is www.drfitt.com as he had advanced prostrate cancer and he cured himself with diet and exercise. He has a LOT of good information and although he certainly doesn't say he cures everyone, he does have a lot of help on feeling the best you can. I'm sure your husband knows what he can tolerate in this situation.
I found Dr. Mitchell when my son, Nathan had Testicular Cancer in January '09. So far, we have been lucky that his scans are clear, after he had surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEC 7/25/2012 5:23PM

    It is great that you are supporting his decision. I suspect his family is in a lot of denial, which will make things harder for them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYG7 7/25/2012 4:57PM

    And......by the way, Cindy.......

Have I mentioned how incredibly wise and unselfish I think you are. If I may say it - Tommy is lucky ----- to have you on his side -- running inteference for him.
I wish you many happy, active days coming up....make the most of them!

Again.....all the best. Love and hugs.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/25/2012 4:58:34 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
OBIESMOM2 7/25/2012 2:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
enjoy your time off from the chemo. I hope Tommy has many good days during the break and that you both have fun doing all the activities you love.
emoticon for both of you

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/25/2012 2:36PM

    I'm so sorry you have the strife in the family to deal with in addition to the cancer and everything else! When my mom got liver cancer, an oncology nurse I knew pulled me aside and said I should tell my mom to skip chemo, do things she's always really wanted to do and save up her pain meds for a 'final exit' - knowing my family would have freaked if I'd suggested any of that, I kept my mouth shut but my mother's passing was so horribly terribly awful, I understood why the nurse had said that - it's different for each cancer and each treatment but sometimes it's better to just let nature take its course and enjoy what we can while we can rather than over-do the harsh treatments.

It sounds to me like you and your husband are proceeding in the best possible way under the circumstances - you're right that nobody knows what tomorrow might bring and I salute you for enjoying the time you have together at the moment!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORLDSERIES11 7/25/2012 2:31PM

    I was the primary caregiver to both my parents in their battles with cancer, so I have some sense of the struggles people go thru. I'm sorry some relatives can't put aside their fears and be more supportive, but ultimately the decision is between you and your husband, and everyone needs to respect and accept that. I'm so glad you will be able to enjoy whatever activities you have planned...have fun!!
You are both in my prayers:)
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVEMALI 7/25/2012 11:37AM

    My prayers are with you and Tommy. Enjoy this special time together.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOODIE59 7/25/2012 11:27AM

    You are such a sweet, kind soul. Your wisdom shines through in all your blogs. At this hard time you stand by Tommy, empowering him and the quality of his time here. It is his absolute right to make his own decisions. Blessings to you both. I hope the next three months will be filled with the kinds of things he feels he has been missing out on:) Enjoy it.
Take care

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 7/25/2012 11:19AM

    What a wonderful team you two are together!! We don't ever know what tomorrow holds, and he should be able to enjoy the time he has as much as he possibly can. I'm so happy his Dr. supported that, and hope that it will be good for him.
I hope that you both have a wonderful time together during your break from the harsh effects of chemo. Camping sounds awesome!

I don't like confrontation at all... but good for you for fighting for Tommy and supporting his wishes.

Wishing you some really happy, wonderful times together!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOGIMARIE 7/25/2012 11:07AM

    I really admire your strength and courage, both yours and Tommy's!!!
Enjoy your camping...
I'll be thinking of you!
Marie emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYG7 7/25/2012 10:38AM

    Hi there luv,
As a cancer surviver myself.....I can say, with all due respect, this is NOT a difficult situation!!!

You and Tommy ARE the deciding unit in his care....and you've made the absolutely right decision, given all all the facts, that Tommy is the master of his fate and his care. It's his body, his life, his call --- and if he needs a break, and the doctor is in agreement, that's all that matters. Don't let ANYONE - not his family, not his friends, place a guilt trip on you. Put blinders on - and do what is right - for Tommy! He must be exhausted by now - and given his prognosis - a break is what he needs. It's encouraging that the last scan showed some progress ----- but knowing ALL the facts ----- enjoy to the fullest, the time you have together.

I'm an advocate of patient's rights to do what they feel is right for THEM. You don't even have to defend it. Just say 'this is what is going to happen. End of conversation'.
This is time to be Mama Bear! And I know that's just what your are!

God bless and the best of luck... Go, and do, and have fun.
How is Thor??

You're the best!!!
Luv, Libby
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NORWOODGIRL 7/25/2012 10:13AM

    Wow! What a tough situation you are in. I'm sorry for that. What a tough cookie you are! Your strength is exactly what your husband needs. Enjoy the break from chemo. I hope this will be a special time for you and your husband. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

My First Kayak Paddle

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My oldest son, Cliff, and I have always wanted to go kayaking. Iíve been canoeing, tubing and rafting, but had never been on a kayak. When I say I wanted to go kayaking, I meant on a nice, calm, meandering river, not the wild white water stuff. But itís always been something we just talked about, never actually acting on our desires. Until today.

Last week we decided we wanted to go ahead and just do it. We researched areas close by and decided on a place up in Virginia on the New River. This particular section of the river sounded perfect for two beginners who had no idea what they were doing. And so, we called last week and reserved our two kayaks and shuttle. I explained to the man we spoke with that we had never kayaked before, and he assured us they would put us on a safe section of the river. We spent the last several days watching youtube videos from REI about proper paddling, safety, etc. We were finally going to do something weíve been talking about for a long time and we were excited.

We got up early this morning and to the sound of hard rain outside, we got ready, loaded up our water shoes, hats, dry clothes (for after the paddle), bottled water, and everything else we could think of that we could possibly need. I even brought a rain poncho for each of us! Not sure what I was thinking when I packed rain gear; we were going kayaking so we were going to be getting wet! Oh wait, I still thought we were going to be on a calm, meandering river. Anyway, it rained on us all the way to the outfitters, but we were determined to make this happen.

When we reached the outfitters we got our vests and they loaded our kayaks onto their trailer. We were the only two kayaking, and there was a family of three that had rented one large raft. We were driven to our launch location and given a map; a PAPER map showing the river and all of the obstacles we would encounter along the way. Did he say obstacles? Our driver began to carefully point out on the map where we would encounter various rapids and the best way through them, where to avoid the ďbig waveĒ and where weíd go over the ďdeceptive ledges.Ē Iím not sure what all he said after that because I was still stuck on the ďbig waveĒ and the ďdeceptive ledgesĒ and wondering what Iíd just gotten myself into. This wasnít sounding like the calm, meandering river Iíd envisioned. Still, I kept my mouth shut, and when he finished we grabbed our maps, secured our belongings on our kayaks and shoved off.

Cliff with our kayaks getting ready to launch.

Nice calm water. This was what I was hoping for the entire way.

Okay, this place looked good. The rain stopped right after we got on the river and the water looked calm. The paddling was easier then I expected. We were on our way, just the two of us, having left the family in the raft far behind. It was so calm I could even take pictures with my camera hanging around my neck. Then we rounded a bend and I suddenly heard water; lots of rushing water! I sat upright straining to see down river and, sure enough, I could see some white water ahead. I admit there were a few moments (okay, a lot of moments) of panic because I was heading for some rapids and had no idea what I was doing. I learned that you CAN paddle in reverse, but eventually you just have to go for it. Iím pleased to say that even though there was a few seconds in this section where I really thought I was coming out of that kayak, I managed to hang on.

Me following Cliff

It stayed cloudy all day, but at least it didn't rain on us. The scenery was beautiful.

There were a number of these areas along the way, and we learned what a ďdeceptive ledgeĒ is; the name is appropriate. We got better as the day went on and began to recognize the best places to paddle straight into the rapids. It was a good thing because the paper maps he gave us were wet and in pieces after the first two sets of rapids. By the way, we were also soaked from head to toe and I had to laugh thinking about my little rain ponchos I had brought. By the third set of rapids, we were having a great time (still a little scary though). Also, as for the ďbig waveĒ we were told to avoid, because our maps were destroyed we had no idea where it was and guess who went right through it - both of us! Still, we managed to stay upright and in the kayaks. It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes to get to our take out location. We were so excited because we had just completed our first kayak trip and it was much more than we ever expected. And, we didnít fall out of our kayaks. It was so much fun.

Tonight I am sore, but it was a great day. Weíre planning on doing this again!

My kayak after we had finished.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKIPPYDOG 7/21/2012 5:34PM

    Glad that you liked your Kayak trip..I also have gotten into kayaking this year..so much fun! Even my little Skip loves to go with me. His new nickname is Capt Jack. (since he is a Jack Russell). will have to post some pics of Skip in the Kayak.
Enjoy your summer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYVOLSFAN1954 7/14/2012 6:06PM

    Way to go! You had a wonderful adventure with the kayaking. Something I'll never even try since I can't swim and am too stiff and arthritic to even try to get into a kayak. I'm glad the weather held up. Way to go! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOODIE59 7/11/2012 9:55PM

    What an adventure!! Way to go. You make me proud:)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 7/11/2012 5:23PM

    Wow! What a great adventure! Good for you!
Loved the pictures!
Go Girl!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLFGMA 7/11/2012 5:18PM

    Whew, I'm scared just reading your blog (Great by the way!) and don't think I could get up enough nerve to try it. My son would do that , but, i would be in the kayak with him. They do make two seaters don't they? Glad you had a good time. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVEMALI 7/11/2012 12:24PM

    I have never done this. My husband and son have gone white water rafting -- scary! I think that I need to try something new! Now look what you've done!! xoxo

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOGSTARDADDY 7/11/2012 12:23PM

    Looks great!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/11/2012 11:25AM

    Wow, you are adventurous!! My brother and sister-in-law INSIST that I have to go kayaking with them the next time we visit Lake Tahoe so I guess I'm going to learn! I have an aversion to water [and bathing suits!!] which has caused me to avoid boats and kayaks - but it does look like fun and I hear it's great upper-body exercise, which I need. So glad to hear about your adventure - it gives me courage to try it myself!

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/11/2012 10:42AM

    Be very very careful...

...kayaking is highly addictive!

(I figure my compulsion to do it is an illness I choose not to cure. After all, it's at least a little less expensive and dangerous than heroin...) LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 7/11/2012 10:06AM

    You clearly have an adventurous spirit!!

Way to go on braving the "unknown" out there and even liking it!!

So glad that you both were able to stay in your kayaks. What a nice mother & son outing!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 7/11/2012 9:59AM

    That really sounds like fun! Kind of unexpected adventure.... emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

  I have friends who love kayaking but I have to admit I've always been scared of rapids (deceptive ledges, big waves, etc.) I was happy to read that you enjoyed it so much (as a first timer) DESPITE all those things. Maybe they will get me into a kayak after all.

I'm glad the weather held up for you and you had a great time. (PS: Love the background!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYG7 7/11/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I just love the way you 'attack' life.....You just GO for it! I so envy you.....
Sounds like you had a ball.....a wet ball!!

Just stay safe......

Libby emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORLDSERIES11 7/11/2012 12:34AM

    So glad you got to realize your dream and share the adventure with your son!! emoticon
They need to add an emoticon for kayaking...lol

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEC 7/10/2012 11:55PM

    It does sound like an adventure. I am glad you had the adventure and not me! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMPTYNESTER60 7/10/2012 11:28PM

    emoticon emoticon So glad the rain stopped & the heat wave broke so you could enjoy this day. Are you planning to do it again? Sounds like a wonderful adventure - maybe a little more than you were planning on? emoticon But you did it! ! ! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Last Page