MEADSBAY's SparkPeople Blog MEADSBAY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I am ALL that! I am inordinately proud of myself for walking for over two hours today (almost 12k steps, just under 5 miles for me), although it was almost by accident. <BR> I brought my car in for an oil change to the place I usually use (and trust) near my old house and planned on visiting a few old neighbors and going for a walk while waiting for my car but none of my old friends were available for a visit so I just walked. <BR> And walked. <BR> And walked. <BR> My longest walk in a looooong time! <BR> T... Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:23:27 EST Better and better! My son is nine days post-op today, home after six days in the hospital after life saving and life changing surgery. <BR> Every day he is feeling better and doing more. <BR> Thank you, visiting nurses!!! <BR> Yesterday he got his first shower and shave and that did so much for his morale. <BR> He cannot sit up for two weeks but he can lay on the couch, stand and walk short distances. <BR> We put one of the tiny kiddy chairs next to him and his wee ones take turns 'visiting him'. <BR> It is so ... Wed, 12 Jul 2017 09:03:47 EST One day at a time My dear son, Patrick, is home, where he will continue to recuperate from his major surgery. <BR> The latest scan shows no cancer anywhere in his body. <BR> (He lost several body parts to get to this goal.) <BR> What more can we ask for? <BR> <em>38</em> <BR> I saw him last night and again today. <BR> He is exhausted, managing his pain as per his doctor's orders (still suffering, of course) but so happy to be in his own home with his beloved family. <BR> We kept the kids here last night, h... Mon, 10 Jul 2017 19:21:57 EST Good news After a tough first few days, my son has had a few good ones and has been eating more and walking a bit more. <BR> Jean said he is like a new man this morning and is off several meds. <BR> If a few technical medical issues resolve in the next 24 hours, he may go home tomorrow afternoon. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>334</em> <em>345</em> Sat, 8 Jul 2017 12:35:57 EST Much better, thank you! Patrick had a much better day yesterday, getting up for a few short walks and one longer one, getting adequate pain and nausea medication management. <BR> He still has a long road ahead of him but he knows it will only get easier from now on. <BR> The worst is over. <BR> He is pushing to get home tomorrow or Sunday. <BR> I hope not, to tell the truth, as his wife is spread thin with three young demanding children and they have a tiny one bathroom house. <BR> The little one often crawls into ... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 07:49:12 EST A difficult day Oh. My. Goodness. <BR> That was so hard. <BR> My son was in such pain when we got up to the hospital in Boston to visit him late this morning. <BR> He cried talking about his pain, which made him start coughing, which caused awful pain,which made him vomit, which caused more pain... <BR> He kept apologizing! <BR> They had taken him off his IV pain meds (he said the doc explained why that was a good idea but he could not really remember the explanation) a few hours earlier and he was sufferi... Wed, 5 Jul 2017 21:42:36 EST Three more days I know it is a cliche, but I am in awe of my son's grace and bravery in the face of his battle with stage four colon cancer. <BR> He has already undergone months of chemo and then lost half his liver, then radiation and now will have surgery on Monday to lose his entire colon. <BR> There is no other way to possible to save his life. <BR> He is just 46 and has three small children who he wants to see grow up. <BR> He is dreading the surgery, the hospitalization, the recuperation, and the life ... Fri, 30 Jun 2017 10:53:17 EST Another dreaded countdown My son Patrick's next surgery, the big one (see previous blogs), will be in ten days.😕 <BR> We all understand that this surgery is life-saving and there is no avoiding it. <BR> That does not make it any less scary and life altering (losing his entire colon permanently) for all of us...especially Pat and my amazing DIL, Jean, who will live with those changes forever. <BR> He is getting truly scared of the actual ordeal and the long recovery period. <em>40</em> <BR> He goes to Dana Farber, ... Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:46:53 EST Hahahahaha! Funny story! <BR> Today was a busy family day... <BR> it definitely took a village! <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> My dear man took number one son to the airport for a quick trip home (he lives in FL but works in RI in the summer) so we could use his pick-up for a few days. <BR> My wonderful DIL took a day off from teaching. <BR> We all met up at ten at the elementary school for William's end-of-year K concert. <BR> (Got some nice family pics afterwards but they are on my good camera.) <BR> The ki... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:34:44 EST More heartache for my family As always, I am trying to stay grounded and positive but now we have more to worry about <BR> 😕 <BR> My sweet grandchild Lucy, 8, has been having some strange spells lately...spacing out and then speaking gibberish...then coming out of it gasping for air and confused. <BR> An EEG shows abnormalities on the left temporal lobe. <BR> Complex partial seizures. <BR> Epilepsy. <BR> She will have an MRI next week to confirm and rule out anything else (can't even think about that). <BR> <img src="h... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 17:29:39 EST Kids' b-day party My niece has just one daughter and she goes somewhat over the top every year for her birthday party. <BR> Today Sophia, whom I adore, turned 7. <BR> 🎂 <BR> They invited all of her first grade classmates, <BR> plus her many cousins...probably 30 kids altogether, <BR> and then many of the parents stayed. <BR> Luckily, the weather was fine and they have a nice big yard. <BR> There was a trampoline, a nice jungle gym, a big swinging bench, a fire pit, lawn games, two hammocks, tons of food, cup... Sat, 3 Jun 2017 21:41:30 EST Lucy's First Communion What a lovely event. <BR> I am not a believer but the service was so nice, with a young vivacious priest in a church right next door to a university campus. <BR> Lucy took it seriously and was nervous but very happy. <BR> All her family was there and then we had a nice get together at her other grandmother's nearby house. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> *Doesn't my son look great? He had been out for a boat ride the d... Mon, 22 May 2017 13:53:33 EST Just love flowers! Any flowers. <BR> Any time. <BR> Inside or out. <BR> I started buying myself fresh flowers many years ago...probably about when supermarkets started carrying them so cheaply (long before the buy local movement). <BR> But I guess I fell in love with flowers long before that. <BR> I used to get in trouble as a child picking our neighbors' flowers to bring home to momma. <BR> I worked at a florist for five years, all through college. <BR> Here are some lilacs I found on the side of the road (lit... Sat, 20 May 2017 13:56:39 EST Happy 8th birthday to our first grandchild, Lucy! Boy, did this little baby girl change the lives of so many people...she has no idea! <BR> Here she is with her beloved Daddy. <BR> They even look alike! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today she is a smart and curious 2nd grader who reads and writes beautifully, loves science and is a happy, sunny, funny girl (suffering a bit through these hard times in our family, but getting help for it) and the most amazingly mate... Mon, 15 May 2017 09:29:26 EST So far, so ok... My son finished five days of the targeted radiation of his colon cancers on Wednesday. <BR> He felt well enough to drive himself to Boston (almost two hours, or more, depending on traffic) and, in fact, was happy to have a reason to get out of the house...he has been housebound so long! <BR> His mood is better, but still some cranky periods. <BR> I talked to him about the kids actually complaining to us about it and he poo-poohed it as daddy is mean if he 'yells' at them to pick up their to... Fri, 12 May 2017 09:05:03 EST Life goes on I was nervous about going for my annual physical the other day but my doctor was thrilled that I have not regained any of the 20+ lbs I lost last year (haven't lost any more, either..well, bounced up a few over the holidays but lost them in January). <BR> She was very supportive of the stress I am under with my family situation <BR> All of my lab walk was solidly in the average range. <BR> My total cholesterol has been creeping up these last ten years (I am 65) but she said that is of no conc... Sat, 6 May 2017 21:56:00 EST Things I am doing right Eating mindfully. <BR> Eating less. <BR> Reducing carbs (my preferred and previously successful WOE). <BR> Moving more (walking, rejoined the Y, exercising in the pool, PT exercises). <BR> Getting to bed earlier (so, reading more...yay!) <BR> Meditating more. <BR> Worrying less. <BR> Nipping negative thoughts in the bud. <BR> Looking for the positive things in my life daily. <BR> Being patient and forgiving of my dear man. <BR> Keeping my new house neat and tidy (reduces my stress). <BR> Taki... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:03:01 EST Moving forward My son is in Boston today to begin preparing for his next surgery, which will happen at the end of May. He felt well enough to get himself there (almost two hours away) and to go it alone. <BR> Patrick and his wife, my wonderful DIL, went up there (The Dana Farber Institute) last week for his six week post-surgery check-up and to start the planning process for the next stage in his battle with stage IV colon cancer. <BR> His docs were very happy with his recovery so far (he lost the larger of... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:15:35 EST Need I say more? <img src=""> <BR> Here she is. <BR> Our sweet little adorable first granddaughter, Lucy. <BR> Many of my long time sparkpeeeps have 'known' her since she was born and through many of her big life events (she'll be EIGHT next month). <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:50:47 EST Happy Easter! My dear man and I are feeling better each day, but, oh, my, how weakened we are after just a month or so of illness! <em>40</em> <BR> He gets short of breath so easily as his pneumonia is gone but acute bronchitis is just now resolving. <BR> The spasm in my back is settling down and I am working on my range of motion, and of course, building up my energy level. <BR> We did go to the warm water pool for 45 minutes in the morning! Wooo-hooo! <BR> He got out in the yard yesterday's beautiful... Sat, 15 Apr 2017 08:26:10 EST All is well Seriously. <BR> My life, just like yours, is full of amazing, soul-enriching, wonderful people and experiences. <BR> Except when it's not. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> Some days are full of joy and belly-splitting laughs. <BR> Some days I am fighting tears. <BR> Right now, my family is going through an unbelievably difficult time. <BR> I try to live each day, each moment, as aware and fully in the moment as I can. <BR> There are lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles and declarations of love every... Thu, 13 Apr 2017 21:15:54 EST Who, ME? An emotional eater? Hahahahaha...I have never thought of myself as an emotional eater, never binged, don't sneak food, never eat in my car or after dinner, or when upset or sad or mad... <BR> Those things are just not part of my coping strategies repertoire. <BR> <em>43</em> <BR> (Don't ask me about drinking alcohol....that, I must admit, is in my behavioral repertoire.) <BR> <BR> So, I have been very surprised to see myself turning more and more to comfort foods lately...cookies or toast with jam with my t... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 17:24:41 EST Just getting by... Finally went to the doctor yesterday after nine days of coughing, hacking, fatigue, sinus pain, etc. <BR> I knew it was too much to be a cold but had no fever so waited it out with tons of tea and honey lemon drops and rest. <BR> Meanwhile, my dear man has been on three rounds of antibiotics in the past six weeks for bacterial pneumonia so he has been coughing his germs out all over the house. <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> My doc said it appears to be a sinus infection and I started my own anti... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:40:49 EST Updated and the beastly patient As if my wonderful DIL doesn't have enough on her plate right now, my son is being cranky and highly irritable... to her especially. <BR> Cranky when she tries to get him out of bed (he should do some walking every day). <BR> Cranky when she sends the kids in to say good morning/night or good-bye for the day. <BR> Cranky when she gets his meds ready and makes him get up to get them, esp. the daily self-injection prescribed to prevent deadly blood clots.👿 <BR> Not to excuse that crap, and I t... Wed, 22 Mar 2017 09:37:33 EST Update When I traveled to Dana Farber in Boston (only an hour and a half away but it took me THREE and a half to get home in Friday night-St. Patrick's Day traffic) I was saddened to see how my dear son was sttill suffering four days after his surgery (lost the larger lobe of his liver to cancer). They had originally spoke of him going home on Saturday but his nurse said probably not due to his so many ongoing issues. <em>39</em> <BR> Well, apparently he had a great rally overnight as they sent h... Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:59:00 EST As good as we could have asked for!!! My son's surgery (lost half his liver to colon cancer that has spread) went well. <BR> The docs saw no spread of the cancer to the remaining part (the smaller lobe) of his liver. <BR> He will be in the hospital (Dana Farber) until Saturday, then at home for 6-8 weeks recuperating and undergoing more chemo. <BR> Then he will undergo a second surgery to remove his entire colon. <BR> All this we hope will save his life. <BR> He woke up yesterday asking for a large Italian t... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:08:49 EST A nervous wreck How dare I feel so scared and nervous about my dear son's surgery tomorrow when he is facing this with such strength and dignity? <BR> His docs are doing all they can to keep him alive to raise his family. <BR> I cannot stop moving, tearing up, nibbling, and now (evening) drinking. <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> On top of everything, my dear man, who has been sick and getting sicker despite two rounds of anti-biotics and two trips to his incompetent primary care physician, has developed pneumonia.... Sun, 12 Mar 2017 20:01:44 EST Self-care or self-sabotage? Not sure if I am <BR> rocking myself in the cradle of loving kindness through a difficult time in my family's life <BR> OR <BR> sabotaging my own success with a bout of self-pity. <BR> <em>40</em> <em>38</em> <em>198</em> <BR> I hadn't checked a BMI calculator in a few months so I did and <BR> I AM NO LONGER OBESE...JUST overweight! <em>15</em> <em>9</em> <em>224</em> <BR> I am very happy about that...I have found a way of eating that works for me, <BR> slowly but surel... Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:48:06 EST Five day countdown My dear son's pre-surgery testing went well and he is still scheduled for surgery to remove the larger lobe of his liver in hopes of stopping the spread of his advanced colon cancer <BR> (see previous blogs) next Monday, the 13th at the Dana Farber Center in Boston. <BR> My wonderful DIL is taking four weeks off from her middle school teaching job to help her beloved husband through this stressful life changing time and focus on their family. <BR> Patrick will lose his entire colon few months... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 21:05:00 EST Hotter shoes...from the U.K...good shoes? A beautiful catalog came in my Sunday NYTimes....never heard of this brand but the new customer prices are tempting. <BR> I am looking for a few pairs of casual shoes. <BR> The reviews online are not great but people tend to complain on those sites and not bother when they are satisfied with a product. <BR> Any of my sparkfriends have experience with Hotter? <BR> Seems like they used to be for older folks but they are trying to reach a broader customer base with better styling. <BR> Feedbac... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 08:26:15 EST Another pic of me and my sisters, out walking <img src=""> Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:54:17 EST Sisters!!! I am so very fortunate to have two sisters I adore and who love everything about me! <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> This past weekend we had a sisters' weekend in nearby Newport, RI to celebrate my birthday and my older sister's retiring from one of her jobs (she will be 70 in April). <BR> She and I booked a day at a new spa over there which is sort of a mini Turkish baths, with small pools of various temperatures and several saunas and steam rooms. <BR> When our younger sister heard our plan she ... Sat, 25 Feb 2017 19:24:15 EST One day at a time My family is still on hold...counting the days until March 13th, the date for my dear son's first surgery in his battle with stage IV colon cancer after four months of miserable chemo. <BR> Here he is with my wonderful DIL, my sis who was visitinglast weekend from NV, and his adorable and obviously adoring daughter, Pearl, the youngest of his three wee ones. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> My amazing DIL will go on the very... Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:41:07 EST Miss Pearl at three <img src=""> Sun, 19 Feb 2017 22:14:19 EST As good news as we could expect My dear younger son, Patrick, father of my three sweet grandbabies, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer last September. <BR> He had just turned 46 and so had never had a colonoscopy. <BR> We have no family history of cancer of any kind. <BR> He has been undergoing somewhat grueling chemotherapy for four months. <BR> Today he and his wife, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful and smart daughter-in-law, Jean, went to Dana Farber in Boston for a full evaluation and presurgery testing and consul... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 22:26:47 EST Disappointing day My son and my wonderful daughter-in-law went to Boston and spent the night there to get to a 9a.m. appointment at Dana Farber this morning to do pre-op testing and plan the surgeries needed to continue his battle with advanced colon cancer (he has undergone four months of chemo). <BR> When they found out that Patrick had had a mild reaction to the dye usd in a previous scan (a few itchy hives), they sent him home with an Rx for a short round of prednisone. <BR> So they will go up there and do... Wed, 1 Feb 2017 20:52:05 EST Slow but steady So far so good in 2017 in my weight loss/health goals. <BR> It is not good walking weather and I will need to build back up to a decent walk after it warms up but I will, that I know. <em>521</em> <BR> I have two strikes against me right now... <BR> I quit my gym as we moved so much farther away from it, plus, I fell on my knees on moving day in early December and my right knee is still not right...waiting until Medicare kicks in February 1st to get it checked out....coincidentally the dat... Sat, 28 Jan 2017 11:40:31 EST Get in the water! I've said it before and I'll say it again... <BR> if you possibly can, get in some warm water and MOVE! <BR> <em>218</em> <BR> I wish I was in the Caribbean Sea water-walking for an hour every afternoon, after my one hour morning walk but that is no longer an option for me. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> I live in New England and we have wonderful summers but October to April is not conducive to getting out for walks, etc. <BR> I have found a perfect solution for us...our local university (URI... Thu, 26 Jan 2017 18:48:00 EST This and that...and say YES to SP Premium! My sweet little grandkids are sleeping over tonight....this was the earliest they have ever all fallen 8:30...just perfect, as my dear man and I want to watch an important Patriots football game tonight. <BR> Their parents took a little overnight trip to Newport, which makes me very happy. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> My dear son is not feeling very well but he felt he could manage it...Newport is not too far at all and they were going for a couples' massage, out for a nice early di... Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:57:25 EST Happily snowed in! We brought our three sweet grandchildren here for a sleepover allowing their mom to have a quick overnight respite with a friend on Block Island (she taught there for a few years a long time ago) and allow their dad, undergoing chemo, to have a restful evening and good night's sleep. <BR> The snow started about ten this morning and hasn't let up...just gorgeous...maybe 10-12 inches, hard to tell as it is drifting and still snowing. <BR> The big kids, Lucy and William, played outside happily f... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 21:29:55 EST I am worth it! Hahahaha...splurged the $29 for a lifetime of Premium SP. <BR> I am coming up on my 8th Sparkaversary next week and I have enjoyed it for free all these years...have learned so very much and made so many friends! <BR> And more importantly, I may have tried a lot of different approaches over these years but, because of SP I have stuck with it through thick and thin...LOL, <BR> My iPad is getting old and slow and I suspected (rightfully) that eliminating most of the ads would speed things up a... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 17:55:14 EST Premium SP? Happy New Year! <BR> Day ONE of a shiny new year. <BR> Make it a good one, as best you can. <BR> <em>411</em> <BR> At one point I was down 23 lbs for 2016 on LCHF but I strayed from the path, got hurt in a fall on moving day and then...well, you know how the story goes. <BR> So I am calling it a 20 lb loss for 2016 and I intend to do it all over again in 2017! <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> I have set up a little fitness area in my gorgeous new master bedroom and am committing to do 30 minute... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 09:20:17 EST Warm and wonderful Christmas holiday I cannot ever remember such a beautiful family day as we had yesterday. <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> Not sure if we just hit everyone at a happy time of their lives <BR> (certainly we are all appreciating each day as my dear son battles stage IV cancer), <BR> or the move to the new house made things more comfortable for a gathering of ten people, <BR> or the wee ones were very happy (still believers) and grateful for every little thing, <BR> or our delicious prime rib roast and all the fixings c... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 16:44:31 EST All is well! Hello, dear Sparkpeeps. <em>213</em> <BR> Here I sit, by the tiny Christmas tree decorated by my wee grandchildren, <BR> candles burning on my faux mantle (top of the tv cabinet), <BR> feeling satisfied with my life today, living in the moment as much as possible, <BR> no regrets about the past, no worries about the future...pointless wastes of my precious life energy. <em>414</em> <BR> I called my older sister today (the only one I am not that close to) to let her know I was thinki... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 20:55:53 EST Best possible news at this point! Just came from my dear son's chemo treatment center (5th round of what we thought would be 6 but will actually continue until his surgery in January or February) and the results of his first scan last week were very encouraging. <em>244</em> <BR> As he suspected (because of his diminishing abdominal pain) the tumors are shrinking. <BR> Also, there is no sign of any new ones. <BR> We are one very happy and grateful family! <BR> Thank you for your continued happy thoughts, good vibes and pra... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:30:27 EST Whew! Some would say that was an easy move (yesterday's upsizing from a condo to our new house) and we have certainly had much worse (we moved 13 times in the first ten years we were married as my dear man was in the Air Force...but then we moved back home to RI and lived 25 years in our old big house before downsizing to a condo). <BR> I'm not so sure about that. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> We did have a loooooong time to prepare for this move and the luxury of moving things down here gradually befo... Fri, 9 Dec 2016 22:10:37 EST Moving in FIVE days! is a strange feeling to look forward to something and work toward a goal for so long and then have it happen so quickly at the end. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Our condo is nearly empty, just the things left that we will need for the next few days remain. <BR> We have been filling our cars with small things and have hired movers for the furniture, have a few young family members with a pickup truck coming to help out with odd jobs, and have a bulk trash pickup scheduled for moving day... Sat, 3 Dec 2016 21:25:05 EST Countdown to moving day We are so fortunate to have already done so much of the moving as we prepped and staged the condo for sale this past year (and a half, actually!). <BR> And, also, how lucky to have had the empty new house to move things to (decided in April to buy out my dear man's sibs at the house they inherited from my late FIL). <BR> So the move itself will not be nearly as huge a deal as it often is. <BR> The new house has been just about ready for some time and we have only stayed at the condo as it is... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 10:38:51 EST Happy, happy, happy! So glad to have some good news to share for a change! <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Number son has been feeling a bit better the last few days (he is on his third two week round of chemo for advanced colon cancer). He is able to sit up for longer periods comfortably and has been able to reduce his pain meds and actually has gotten out for a few walks with his young family. He has found it helps for him to push the jogging stroller, even if it is empty. It feels like we are gettin... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:47:42 EST Three weeks in My dear son Patrick, father of my three young grands, is halfway through his second round of chemo for stage IV colon cancer. <BR> It is much more difficult than he was led to believe and he is quite sick despite strong anti-nausea meds and medical MJ. <BR> He is still in pain due to the size of the tumors and needs to lay flat much of the time and take even more strong meds. <BR> His workplace is still being very supportive and he is mostly working from home, when he can manage, and going in... Sat, 5 Nov 2016 08:30:11 EST