METALBABE's SparkPeople Blog METALBABE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 187 Today I took my mother to a Nia class - a dance-like exercise style infused with Tai Chi movement. The class is specifically for cancer patients and survivors, and I used to go to it when first in recovery. I dropped out when my heart started acting up. My mother can't really stand for long periods, so she was seated in a chair with her oxygen. But she kept standing up, and moving more than she is able to without losing her balance. She would teeter and I'd come running. It was almost i... Wed, 16 Sep 2015 01:15:01 EST Day 186 Let me start by saying that the most positive thing about my day just happened - when reading your loving comments on my posts. It gives me such immeasurable comfort to know I am not alone, and have your amazing energy to buoy my spirits and light my way. Your perspective always returns me to balance and reminds me to pause. Again, I cannot thank you enough. I don't have much to vent about today. I'm glad she's still well enough that I can leave her alone and go to work. I prepare all her m... Tue, 15 Sep 2015 02:32:57 EST Day 185 I feel like all my sentences are going to start with, "The hardest part (of this) is..." My experience tells me that it probably yield more positive results if I were to focus on sharing a good reflection of the day, like, "The best part of today was..." But boy, that is NOT where my head is at. I need an outlet to vent. Is that bad? Am I dwelling on the negative? Maybe I should make myself do both. <BR> <BR> The hardest part today is dealing with her lying. I just learned she had bee... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 13:22:07 EST Day 182 this is late, but I woke up realizing I didn't post yesterday and I want to establish the habit again. My sentence for yesterday was: That hardest part today is living with someone you know is dying when she has not recognized or accepted that herself. I'm trying to bring curiosity and gentleness to the observation of this struggle, but it's so difficult to watch. Fri, 11 Sep 2015 09:05:11 EST Day 181 I'm not sure if I can call this Day 181, since I have been MIA for almost a whole month. Maybe this should be Day 1 all over again... <BR> <BR> My life has been a whirlwind of activity and emotion. My mother now lives with me, and I am her primary caregiver. Her diagnosis is Stage IV lung cancer, and at this point, no treatment is available to her. She will be entering hospice to manage her symptoms and maintain her quality of life for as long as possible. Right now, she is feeling qu... Thu, 10 Sep 2015 01:44:49 EST Day 160 I have been avoiding blogging. It's not that I forget every night, or even that I don't have time (I never had time before, but I just stayed up until I got it done). I suspect I am avoiding blogging because I don't want to deal with my emotions. That's what I'm actually avoiding. But it turns out I need the support that you provide, and probably need to start working through some of the many complex emotions I am distracting myself from/stuffing down. <BR> <BR> My mother is arriving o... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:26:34 EST Day 152 Well, I've missed a few days of blogging. Some of it was from being incredibly busy with all of the preparations for my mother to arrive. Some of it was honestly just laziness. I am APPALLED and concerned about how quickly my entire self care routine has gone by the wayside. I have stopped logging food, blogging, and going to the gym (though this was also under chiropractor orders after I tore a ligament in my back lifting something stupid). I have been eating thoughtlessly at weird hours... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 02:58:00 EST Day 149 Another very long day, but one of some accomplishment. I finished sorting all the clothes needing to be donated, kept or sold. I unpacked the last box that has been packed since my partner moved out. I hung curtains, shelves and art. I moved a lot of furniture, including a nice cloth recliner I found on Craig's List and drove an hour and a half to get. I think my mom will be very comfortable in it for sleeping, and if she doesn't come, I can always resell it. I also replaced the toilet seat ... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 03:50:31 EST Day 148 Hurry up and wait. But be ready. But you don't know for what. The oncologist who is her "primary care" point person (the only one she has seen in person so far) seems to be taking his time with my mother's test results, and also with ordering more tests. He and her pulmonologist seem to have written her off, in some ways. I spoke with my brother today, and he has the same impression after working with both of them that I did. <BR> <BR> The oncologist in Portland that my brother has ma... Sat, 8 Aug 2015 02:44:30 EST Day 147 Thank you both for your constant support, kind words and outside perspective. I feel that the biggest danger of this situation is that I have tunnel vision and find myself unconsciously falling into my childhood role of peacekeeper and caregiver. It is helpful to have your wisdom and outside perspective to snap me (gently) back to reality and not lose myself completely. Turns out that the cough is from the cancer. The type of tumor she has causes mucous production, and it can't really be tr... Fri, 7 Aug 2015 02:06:47 EST Day 146 Today was a day of sadness. My brother has been reporting from my mother's house, and she is not doing well. Her cough, he says, is sporadic, but very bad. It's hard to read tone just from texts, but I can tell my brother is pretty freaked out by her condition. He is definitely jumping to conclusions about what the cough means, and I have been trying to help him not get ahead of himself, but at the same time I am also fearful. Everything seems to be happening so fast. She is so fragile,... Thu, 6 Aug 2015 02:15:26 EST Day 145 I was too tired to post yesterday, and am pretty wiped out today, but really trying to stay committed to my self care during this hard time, and I know that blogging is a big part of that for me. I just got home from teaching my long day, and logged my food. That's another huge part of the wellness pie for me, as it's the only way I stay accountable. If I stop logging, my out-of-control eating feels easier to excuse: I don't have to look at it in black and white. But this is documented, a... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 02:02:10 EST Day 143 Confession: I did NOT finish anything I had on my list to do for home prep today. I woke up late (after staying up way too late), and after doing one load of laundry and some dishes, got asked to tag along on a short hike/road trip with my brother and his fiancee. He leaves tomorrow to be on the east coast with my mom (hopefully bringing her back with him in two weeks or so), and I wanted to spend time with him before he left. If my mom does come back with him, I don't know when the next ... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 01:06:49 EST Day 142 In preparation for my mom's possible arrival, I have been scurrying about trying to ready the house. This translates to taking care of a lot of projects and flotsam and jetsam that I have been putting off for a year or more. One of those projects is the sorting and getting rid of a LOT of clothes. <BR> <BR> I am a clothes horse. I'm not what most would call "fashionable," necessarily, but I do enjoy expressing myself with how I dress, and am not afraid to look "different." Over the yea... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 02:46:52 EST Day 141 The heat wave continued for another day above 100 degrees. I have been sitting with ice packs on my head and neck when I get home from work to try to cool off. <BR> <BR> Today, my back was really flared up. I made an appointment with a new chiropractor and got to see her after work this afternoon. She was great, and I felt like we actually have a plan of action to get what she thinks is a torn ligament back on line. Treatment includes anti-inflammatories and - yes, more ice packs. <BR>... Sat, 1 Aug 2015 03:03:33 EST Day 140 Today, my brother and I planned on taking a walk at a local wetlands preserve. We originally planned a more rigorous hike, but with my slipped disc, there is no way I could do anything that strenuous. When we got to the bridge that would take us to the preserve at 6AM, it was closed, and we realized it was due to a protest that had already been going on for 24 hours. Thirteen climbers from Greenpeace had suspended themselves from this tall bridge to block the passage of an ice-breaking shi... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:06:05 EST Day 139 Today was a little bit better. I talked to my brother a bit, and he said he has been emotionally overeating, too. It is helpful for me to feel "normal" with my abuse of food when my brother, who was raised in the same abusive environment as I was, has similar issues. Somehow it just puts it all into context. I know that many other people struggle with the same issues, also. It is very comforting to me not to feel alone. <BR> <BR> He also said that for him, celebrating tiny victories hel... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:57:09 EST Day 138 Bev, I am going to print out the whole comment you wrote to yesterday's entry so I can hang it on my fridge. All those things you would say to me if alcohol were my drug of choice absolutely ring true for me with food (though as you say, I can't walk away from food all together). And you are right about trigger foods, also. For me, it is both sweet (ice cream is a HUGE one, so I NEVER have it in the house), and salty high carb foods (chips, buttered pasta, etc.). Simple, processed foods t... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 01:58:26 EST Day 137 If I were an alcoholic, I would be deeply drunk right now. Instead, I am a person who abuses food, and uses it as a way to numb myself from experiencing my emotions - to distract myself from reality, and reinforce all the bad things I think about myself. All weekend, I worked on getting my house ready for my mom, did a lot of research, and I ATE. I ate enough for a whole week in two days. No exaggeration. I was out of control. Still am, really - I did fine this morning and afternoon at ... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 01:37:16 EST Day 134 No real news today - mostly I just wanted to express my gratitude, once again, for your presence in my life, Bev and Bine. I continue to be astounded by your compassion and the fact that you keep showing up for me through it all. I know you both have busy lives with many responsibilities and people who rely on you in "real life," so I want to let you off the hook if you can't show up. But seriously, every day you do it a HUGE gift, and a wonderful surprise that strengthens me in ways I can... Sat, 25 Jul 2015 01:31:48 EST Day 133 Today, we learned that my mother's cancer has moved outside of her lungs. It is in the lymph nodes in her chest already. It's Stage 3. They are not saying anything about the prognosis if no treatment is pursued, but they have ruled out surgery or IV chemo for her because of other preexisting conditions. There are additional pathology tests the oncologist has ordered on the biopsy tissue already taken that will inform what other palliative treatments may be pursued, but Medicare has a rule... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 00:59:52 EST Day 132 Thanks for your comments on my blogs the last couple of days. I was starting to worry about you, two, also! I am glad you are ok, though it sounds like things are very busy in your worlds. I wish I could support you more... <BR> <BR> I don't have much to say today. I am overwhelmed with a whole spectrum of emotions. The oncologist met with my mother and sister yesterday, but since he had not gotten the results of the PET scan before the appointment, he could not really tell them anythin... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 22:48:21 EST Day 130 I finally made it home. After some very crazy driving in pitch blackness in rural Maine and several flight cancellations/changes that left me stranded in cities I wasn't even supposed to be in for long hours, I finally walked into my house last night at around midnight. It was 95 degrees in the house even then, because it had been shut up in such heat for so long. My poor cat! I managed to get up and go to work this morning, but I feel completely comatose. Need to go to bed early tonight... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:52:28 EST Day 125 Today was a hard one. My mom's needle biopsy was cancelled, because the first biopsy of her right lung showed malignant cells. This morning I learned that they are adenocarcinoma, a non-small-cell cancer that occurs in mucus membranes and is the most common form of lung cancer. (This is the same as one of the cancers I have.) I asked if it is presumed that this is the same as the “spot” that is showing in her left lung (which we were supposed to do the needle biopsy of today), and he ... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:55:44 EST Day 123 Day 3 here in New York. I got the new toilet seats and door knob/catch installed, along with hauling a load of things to the dump and Goodwill. My mom's mood was a real challenge today. She went through several phases, ending tonight in clear anxiety. The clotting factor they want her to be at to be safe for the procedures is the same as what it was at when she had her recent stroke. At the same time, she's scared NOT to be that low, because then they'll cancel the procedure tomorrow again. ... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 23:31:08 EST Day 122 Going to keep it short tonight because I'm writing this on my phone and am so tired... My mother's procedure had to be postponed today, as we feared it might be. Her clotting factor was just too low to be safe for biopsies. She will go on Wednesday for the bronchoscopy and then Thursday for the needle biopsy (assuming numbers are good by then). In the meantime, I've got her eating kale and collards to try to get some natural vitamin K in the mix. I had to change my flight to the board meet... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 23:17:17 EST Day 121 - part 2 Got into New York safe this morning. Long flight with little sleep, and I'm heading to bed now but wanted to post an update. My mom's spirit is good, but if I'm being honest, she does not look well. Her color is very drained, and she is unstable on her feet. Since I've been here, all I see are scary things about my mom's house. The light bulbs on BOTH the stairs to the second floor and the basement were out - PITCH BLACK. She swears they must've both just gone out today. She also has no... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 23:26:05 EST Day 121 Well, my stepdaughter has been handed off after a successful sleepover. I'm almost done packing and have a ride to the airport lined up. Just wanted to write here to reaffirm my commitment to Spark before I go. I need to keep logging food while I am traveling, even if it means 'fessing up" about poor choices I make. I will try to blog regularly for my mental health. <BR> <BR> My mother's blood clotting factor was off when she went to the doctor on Friday, so much so that the doctor said... Sat, 11 Jul 2015 20:47:14 EST Day 119 What perfect lyrics those were, Bev - I completely feel that way. I am crawling out of my own skin and find myself wanting to scream and lash out at others. Trying hard to "maintain," and keep things in check. <BR> <BR> My sleep schedule is completely screwy. I haven't been to the gym all week. My eating is INSANE (I didn't even log today, because it was so out of control I don't even remember everything I consumed). This is not how I needed to go into this trip. <BR> <BR> I pick up ... Fri, 10 Jul 2015 01:30:13 EST Day 118 I am feeling very anxious tonight. Anxious about my sleepover with my stepdaughter on Friday. Anxious about getting everything done before I leave on Saturday. Anxious about leaving my cat alone. Anxious about the ants taking over the house in my absence. Anxious about having to ask my friends to come feed the cat, water the plants, etc. Anxious about forgetting something. Anxious about being able to be patient with my mother. Anxious about the news we may get about her health. Anxio... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 01:28:26 EST Day 117 EIIIIIWWWWW!!!! This morning, I awoke thinking I would head to the gym before teaching my long day/night, but when I got to the kitchen to feed my complaining cat, I discovered ANTS. The whole kitchen was OVERRUN with tiny black sugar ants. I am talking on EVERY SURFACE, even the ceiling in some areas. They were inside the cabinets and dishwasher. On top of the fridge. On the stove. There was NO SIGN of ants when I went to bed just about six hours before. It AMAZES me that they could ... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 02:19:23 EST Day 116 What a lovely day! I am so glad I got out there today, after all. We left around 5:30AM, and it took a little over two hours to get to Lost Lake. Then we suited up and headed up the Lost Lake Butte trail. It was a hard climb - steady ascent with no real areas of rest or even grade. It was about an hour of uphill climbing, panting and sweating, but the payoff vista was incredible. I would post a photo of the vista here, but every time I post landscape-oriented photos here on Spark, it tu... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 00:47:04 EST Day 115 I still feel a bit funky after overdoing it in the heat yesterday. Tonight is just not really cooling off, which makes it harder to recover. Tomorrow morning my brother and I will attempt an early hike - about 4.6 miles with 1270 foot elevation gain. It should take us about 3 hours, so we should beat the heat of the day. I am not worried about the hike, but just the heat. Trying to hydrate preemptively now. <BR> <BR> This is the hike we will be doing. It looks BEAUTIFUL. <BR> http://... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 00:52:49 EST Day 114 It's almost midnight and they are still at it. Not sure how I will sleep tonight. The air is thick with the smell of gunpowder, and there are packs of drunken people shouting in the street. How is this fun? I just don't get it. <BR> <BR> I spent all day out in the yard today, raking up leaves that never got taken care of last fall, unloading the lawn furniture and scrubbing it down. I hung my hammock, which has not seen the light of day since I moved into this house (more than eleven ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 02:44:01 EST Day 113 Still hot. Still sick of it. No such thing as global warming, huh? Please! Do the politicians in your countries try to sell you that line of crap, also? <BR> <BR> Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US - the Fourth of July. Supposedly it is a time to celebrate and remember the day we declared independence from England, but most Americans just see it as an excuse to drink, barbecue, and blow things up. I don't know how or why they think that buying fireworks and setting them off in the ... Sat, 4 Jul 2015 01:49:36 EST Day 112 Wow, I missed yesterday and didn't even realize it until now. I took a muscle relaxer and completely zonked out. I figured out that the pain in my shoulder/arm was actually from the bulging disc in my cervical spine (from a car accident years ago). It has never done THIS, exactly, but on a hunch I gave myself traction for about fifteen minutes and then iced it, and sure enough, the pain is getting better. I did it again tonight. <BR> <BR> Thanks for the stretch suggestions. I am actu... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 00:09:46 EST Day 110 Just got home from teaching a late night again, and I am too tired to write much. I had an almost exact redux of the experience I had in class last night re: awkward position about my ex with his coworker in my class. She never actually asks anything about him, but there a couple of other nosy students who like to ask prying questions. I try to just sidestep them, but it is so awkward and painful. I hope this isn't going to happen every week for the whole ten-week class. <BR> <BR> All fo... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 01:57:23 EST Day 109 Things have sort of cooled off here - never thought I would say that about a 90 degree day! At least the nights are cooling off again. I love the story of the rising pizza dough, Sabine! Hilarious. I think my computer problem is a memory issue. I think all of my storage is too full for my computer to function. The irony of this analogy is far from lost on me... <BR> <BR> My mom met with her pulmonologist today, and there is no improvement in her scan. In fact, things look slightly w... Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:25:04 EST Day 108 My computer is acting up - long delays between when I type and when the words appear on the screen. Basically the computer is just freezing for moments at a time... Not sure why or what to make of it, but I hope it doesn't give out on me, as I really rely on it and can't afford a new one right now. I already tried the old tried-and-true turn-it-off-and-turn-it-on-again trick to no avail. Not sure what else I can try. But for tonight, I will keep it short. Hope I will be back tomorrow! <... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 01:00:45 EST Day 107 I am disappointed to report that I am NOT writing to you from next to a campfire in the mountains. I got through with my workshop this afternoon and was just way too tired to pack everything up, drive for two hours, and pitch a tent - all for just one night. Instead, I came home and ate like crazy. I know when I am overworked and stressed, I find myself eating well beyond hunger. Some of it is physiological, I think - my body wants sleep, but since I am not giving it that, it asks for mor... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 01:16:31 EST Day 106 SO HOT!!! It doesn't seem to be cooling off at all tonight. Glad I will be in air conditioning all day tomorrow while teaching my workshop. Hope it goes smoothly. I have some devoted students signed up, so I am hoping it will be a breeze... <BR> <BR> My mother was supposed to hear from her pulmonologist to discuss the results of her latest lung scan, and I am concerned that there was no reporting email in my inbox when I got home from work. She is usually very on top of those things, so... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 23:38:28 EST Day 105 Frustrating day. Lots of weird misunderstandings and technological snafus. Long day, too. I'm teaching on Thursday nights summer term, as well as Tuesdays, and I feel like I just don't have any room to breathe. I hate coming home to a house that is in total disarray - dishes in the sink, clean & dirty laundry stacked in piles, stuff everywhere because I'm just always running, running... <BR> <BR> It's also going to be about 100 degrees Farenheit here for the next WEEK, which is very, ver... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 01:19:52 EST Day 104 Thanks so much for the helpful feedback and support about my day yesterday. My little "confessional" actually did help me sleep. Leaving it all on the page really worked. So thank you, once again, for helping me through it all. XO Thu, 25 Jun 2015 01:53:40 EST Day 103 Tuesdays are ROUGH. I get home so late after being so "on" for so many hours, and I tend to be both exhausted and completely amped by the time I get home. It's very hard to get into a place of peace and ready myself for bed essentially as soon as I walk in the door, so I can be ready to face tomorrow at 5AM. Usually, by 10PM I am in bed these days to try to get seven hours of sleep. But Tuesdays throw my whole week off, since I don't even get home until after 10PM. Maybe blogging will he... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 01:47:12 EST Day 102 Overwhelmed is the word of the day. I am feeling like I don't even have time to write this tonight. So I'm not going to write much more than this. Have to write a letter of recommendation for one of my students before I go to bed. So, off I go. Just wanted to check this off my list... Check in? Check! Tue, 23 Jun 2015 01:26:48 EST Day 101 Got to see my stepdaughter today. Her behavior has changed so drastically, and not for the better. Not only have her manners completely disappeared, her language has gotten filthy (in an eight-year-old sort of way). Everything is poop and barf and violent talk of killing and dying. Though she does not hit or act out violently herself, her make-believe play has her stuffed-animals and other toys acting this way. She then acts as though she is not responsible for their actions. It is a s... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 22:48:10 EST Day 100! We made it!! 100 days of blogging (almost) every day. It's just a number, but it feels like a nice milestone to celebrate. <BR> <BR> And I wouldn't have gotten to this milestone without you! But as always, I hate that blogging is so one-sided. So here are a couple of more questions so I can hear from YOU and get to know you a little bit more. As always, I will answer, also... <BR> <BR> 1. If you could do ANYTHING for one day, what would it be? It could be anything - trying a new voca... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 00:05:42 EST Day 99 Wall push ups = great idea! My wrists seem not to be able to support all my weight on the floor, even with my knees bent, so the wall push ups are a great idea. Thank you! <BR> <BR> I don't have much to say tonight. Just checking in. Amazed to see that I have been doing this for 99 days today (with a couple of skipped days in between). Thanks for cheering me on along the way! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow, I want to "celebrate" by asking a few more questions. Will have to come up with something ... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 23:55:23 EST Day 98 I'm feeling pretty good about my progress this week. Or maybe progress isn't the right word - maybe something more like...dedication? I have not lost any more weight in the past couple of weeks - it seems like after the first twenty pounds came off, my body is starting to feel possessive about letting go of any more. Not that the first twenty just melted away - it has all been really effing hard! But I guess this is what they call a plateau. I wasn't expecting to get here this soon... <B... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 00:52:21 EST Day 97 Yesterday was actually a good day. Even though it was my super-long day of teaching, I have a new group of excited students in all my classes. After teaching until 10PM, I joined my brother and his friends who were already in full swing singing karaoke at a karaoke "box" bar (where you get your own room and food and drink is delivered to you - VERY FUN!). I didn't know anyone, but I stuck around for my bro, because it was his birthday. He entered a song I knew he wanted to sing with me as... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 00:07:23 EST