SBECKER526's SparkPeople Blog SBECKER526's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Tired, but happy I am so glad that the home repairs are almost done. The house looks great. I still have much to put away, but it is a great time to purge many books, cooking gear, and more. <BR> <BR> I spent some time reading about the holidays and arthritis. I cannot put up a Christmas tree this year. I will give my tree to a friend. I will then put out my small tree. Cards are trouble for me also. I plan to send a holiday email to friends and family. <BR> <BR> I am very content and happy. Sat, 18 Oct 2014 18:45:04 EST Kitchen - done My kitchen has a modern look to it. My restorer-painter is absolutely awesome in his work. He notes things and replaces them so no damage is done to my new floor. He was sensitive to Snaggles and his stress level. I am so impressed with his work and commitment. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 23:02:18 EST Major Decision Made Bob got the doctor's verdict on his tests. He has both thyroid and lung cancer. This week he has an MRI on his pancreas. We will know about pancreatic cancer soon. Bob is very weak and tired from 2 years of dialysis. He has diabetes, kidney failure and heart failure. He decided that he does not want to pursue cancer treatments. That is huge. <BR> <BR> One of his doctors told him that he was in charge of his ship. He determines how long to stay on dialysis and whether or not have canc... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 22:26:57 EST Small pleasures Snaggles, our cat, loves time with me. He delights in play and loves a plain ribbon. He runs and chases. He seems happy. He breaks up a tough day and makes me feel good. <BR> <BR> My local newspaper wrote an article about my cancer story. It ran on Sunday in section H. I got much support from people as they recognize me. Members of my church expressed surprise as they remember seeing me in church each week. I was determined to keep to a routine as much as I could do. It was better f... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 21:58:26 EST Really content Many friends wonder how I can be so content and positive with all the problems and life experiences. I do some soul searching and feel that I have learned that possessions, fancy trips and travel, and other things are only temporary. <BR> <BR> These things matter so much more: <BR> 1. The ability to enjoy the current day. <BR> 2. Time for husband and cat. <BR> 3. Time for friends with fun, service, and experiences <BR> 4. Time to exercise and cook <BR> 5. Time to get to all the doctor's a... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 20:27:54 EST Time - Where did it go? Just when I thought I was getting my life together and getting more time, we ran into problems. Our church was robbed 6 times by a career thief. I became upset when I discovered a check that I wrote was missing. I met with my banker and have direction now. I did not use e-giving as I wanted the church to get the most of my money and not pay fees. I now realize that e-giving is the way we will go. I will get the forms on Sunday and make the conversion. I used bill pay to get the funds t... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 18:27:15 EST Long term care - how to begin Both Bob and I have long term care policies. We have reached the stage to activate our account. I will ask my doctor for a letter that states my health conditions and limitations that I have. We will also spell out Bob's conditions and limitations. We will show what he can or cannot do. The social workers at the Dialysis Center will handle most of that for me. They also have great expertise. <BR> <BR> I am fortunate that we have a plan that provides for home health care. There is no l... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 22:54:01 EST Excellent improvements I am so pleased with the painter/restoration person that is working on our home. He offered sound advice with respect to my purchases. He has a busy schedule so I am pleased with the way he conducts business. He gives target dates for major work and an end date. That is excellent in business practice in my book. <BR> <BR> Bob is slowly improving. He is trying to help out. <BR> <BR> I am feeling quite exhausted. I am trying to eat properly and exercise. Just so tired! <BR> The cat i... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:40:40 EST Enjoying a few moments Today I went for a walk in the neighborhood. We had a bad hail storm in the spring. Our area was spared damage. However a few miles from us had severe roof and siding damage due to golf ball sized hail. I felt so grateful. <BR> <BR> I got the contract from my painting/renovator person. He will get everything done by October 30th. That pleases me. <BR> <BR> I am getting caught up with paperwork. I have one executive meeting and part of a general meeting left in my presidency. It i... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:04:55 EST Balancing caregiving, chores and my health I am no longer attending classes at 8 or 9 am at the gym. It is impossible for me to finish Bob's dialysis, get him ready for the day, feed the cat, play with the cat, get dressed, prepare breakfast, and travel to the gym. <BR> <BR> I also have morning aches and pains with my RA. So I am moving slower and still get exercise done. I go to the gym for trainings and try to do more at home. It is easier to be home and exercise. I still can hear if Bob is having a problem. <BR> <BR> I take ... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:52:23 EST Working on less stress! I decided to stick with doing less and enjoying what I do moreso. I have an executive meeting at 9 am tomorrow. I have a hair appt at 1 pm and a class on nutrition and cancer at 3. I am not overbooked as the next appointment meetin g is on the way back from the first. If I have the energy, I will go to the gym at 6:30 pm or workout at home. <BR> <BR> I feel less stress already. Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:18:25 EST What a day! My day began at 4 am. I finished my husband's dialysis at 4:33 am. Time to eat breakfast and get dressed. I needed to be at the golf course for the tournament preparation by 6 am. I picked up a large bag of ice at Giant at 5:30 am. <BR> <BR> The past 2 weeks were filled with small tasks getting ready for the day. Cyndi, Sherry, Hen and I worked on the gift bags from members and a merchants. A team of persons got hole sponsors. We got items donated for our baskets from members and merc... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 22:15:46 EST grateful again! I am recovering from back spasms. I h as d difficulty caring for Bob. I am grateful to be able to care for him again. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:28:23 EST Special Meeting I felt energized by the Berks County Association of School Retirees Meeting yesterday. We passed our bylaws and explained how they impact our subchapters and members. We awarded the Lauretta Woodson awards to Andrea White and Gloria Mendez. We gave the volunteer of the year award to Elizabeth Stouffer. We gave the Communication Award to Berks Encore. The Chapter received the NRTA award for Serving our Youth. <BR> <BR> I had an great time serving as President. We now transition to Can... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 20:27:03 EST No excuses I am not making excuses and making myself look good. I am being honest in as much as humanly possible. I am accepting who I am. Thu, 4 Sep 2014 20:31:27 EST time for me = better me for others I am taking time each day for me. I see a pattern where I have free time during Bob's morning nap and also during the afternoon. I use this time to exercise or do something on the me list. <BR> <BR> I have more energy and therefore can do a better job at cooking or caregiving. <BR> <BR> I feel me time yields better time for Bob and others. Wed, 3 Sep 2014 20:45:36 EST Caregiving - A willing labor Through my husband's and my health problems I am learning so much more. Yesterday's emergency room visit for my husband gave me more insight into knee injuries and protocols for care. He has the awkward immobilizer. He was a sight to behold wavering on crutches and attempting to get to the bedroom. <BR> <BR> He had a rough night and was uncomfortable. I delivered food to the bedroom and helped him get to the bathroom. I replaced the crutches with his sturdy walker. I am working on di... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 16:54:15 EST Great Weather and Golf I got to play Willow Hollow Golf Course today and to see the staff. Bob and Bill were friendly and helpful. I signed up for my Thursday morning league for a 8:30 am tee time. <BR> <BR> I finally did get a par on hole 9. I used my 7 hybrid and landed perfectly near the pin. WooHoo. I also had pars on other holes. I went to the Hitching Post for lunch and had Mediterranean chicken on a bed of spinach. I had the green veggies of the day as well. <BR> <BR> I'm tired, but happy. Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:02:01 EST Appreciating some down time I really enjoyed today. I only had a personal training booked today. I spent time at home in the morning with my husband. I got to call a friend yesterday. I hemmed two pairs of slacks for me. I played with the cat. I got to catch up. <BR> <BR> Bob was stir crazy from being at home for over a week. I took him out to a restaurant. He really ate a steak, salad, and sweet potato. He seemed so happy at just a little meal. <BR> <BR> I enjoyed the sunshine. I did pool training with ches... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:24:30 EST Neat Family I have three super friends in one family. Hen is my golf partner and neighbor. Linda is a new pastor of Calvary United Church of Christ in Barto, PA. Cyndi is the other daughter who is super at so much. The third daughter, Debbie, is a former student. <BR> <BR> This family is so outgoing and welcoming. Cyndi states we are a tribe that expands its members. We are a church family. <BR> <BR> Today we celebrated Linda getting her call to serve as pastor to a church. We had brunch after... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 16:06:07 EST My Life at the Moment My husband is needing almost constant care. He is almost housebound. When that time comes we will need to bring in outside help. Currently I do his meds, his shots, his dialysis, and manage the charting of everything. I record all foods that he eats and tally the potassium, calcium, sodium and phospherous that is required for dialysis patients. <BR> <BR> I do all the meal preparations and shopping. Thank goodness for Amazon for heavier items. I now have a cleaning service once a wee... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 15:15:05 EST fitness goal I am working on swimming strokes to regain full use of right arm after breast cancer radiation and surgery. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:47:41 EST grateful I am so grateful for each for each day. I am surprised with all the good things that happen to me. I am concerned about world events. <BR> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:43:19 EST Changes with respect to Sparkpeople I normally spent 1 hour on Sparkpeople per day. I had to learn about tracking foods and entering my groups. I then entered my favorite exercises. I did Sparkpeople radio and much more. I still find that I have much I can do. <BR> <BR> As I look at my day and demands of caregiving, I cannot spend as much time as I did for 2.5 years. I will do my nutrition tracker, fitness tracker, and much of my Start page. I will monitor the Challenged by Arthritis team and send out Team SparkGoodies. ... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 16:41:26 EST Scaling Back I am now golfing just on Tuesdays in a league. I am having hand, foot and knee problems with my meds. I now take 3000 international units of vitamin D to counteract effects of my anastrazole. I don't want joint damage with my RA. <BR> <BR> I decided to cut back the golf. I will take a lesson with my pro. I have several things I want to go over with him. I also want to practice my shots and see how I can improve. I want to see what I can do at Chapel Hill Golf Course or Willow Hollow o... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:29:33 EST Keeping Calm I decided that getting upset is not working in my favor. So now I must figure out how to keep calm in the midst of disorder. Why is there disorder? My biggest reason is overscheduling that causes volunteer work to spill over into ME time. So I must reflect on how much volunteering I can really do. <BR> <BR> When projects are scheduled I put start and stop dates. I figure out how much time the work will take and add 20% more time for problems and others who miss deadlines. I also try... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:17:14 EST Looking back over the past weeks with gratitude I took time today to pause and reflect over what has happened to my husband and me over the last 3 weeks. I feel deep gratitude for all the support people have offered. <BR> <BR> I am doing well from the perspective of my surgeon and medical oncologist. I had my first mammogram since surgery and radiation therapy. All reports show progress and no signs of cancer recurring. <BR> <BR> Bob is making slow progress with his positional vertigo. He had therapy 3 times this week. He is now se... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 11:37:19 EST Getting my extra hour per day I'm working on getting that extra hour per day. I refined my number of trips to the gym to what really matters: personal training, body combat, zumba, and swimming. Training and use of the pool really motivated me to go to the gym. <BR> <BR> I took cycling off my gym plan. I have a spin bike at home to use. I use Pandora with an upbeat station. I keep pedaling away. Sometimes I use my DVD spinning classes or rides for variety. Hence I save 40 minutes driving back and forth to the gym.... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 12:21:33 EST one more hour per day If I had one more hour per day, I would spend it with my husband and cat. I would listen to his thoughts and concerns. I would <BR> play with the cat,...i try to do this every day. Tue, 5 Aug 2014 22:28:48 EST Turning Around I am trying to be strong as a caregiver. I try to turn low moods into positive ones. Prayer, proper diet,and exercise help. Support from friends helps. Sun, 3 Aug 2014 07:13:52 EST Finished End of Year Report Woo Hoo! It is finally done. I have been working on the collection of evidence of the goals and events we accomplished in the Berks County Association of School Retirees. Today I got to assemble the report with the evidence. I have all items covered. This has been a stressor in my life. <BR> <BR> I have 5 months left as the President as well as Editor of the Newsletter. I will begin the transition with the next president on September 17th. Candy is my president-elect. She will be a... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 20:18:03 EST One hour at a time I am doing fine with my health. I got a great report from my radiologist. I see my medical oncologist on Monday. My yoga class is going super. I feel more relaxed. <BR> <BR> I am worried about my husband, Bob. He is not responding to his antivert drug. His blood pressure while sitting was 174/81. When he took it standing it was 143/78. His blood sugar prior to dialysis was abnormally high. <BR> <BR> He sees his specialist on vertigo tomorrow morning at 8 am. I am taking one hour ... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:13:51 EST Being prayerful I am thanking God for strength to work with my husband. I am asking God for guidance and for inner peace. Many of my activities are put aside for now. Bob has vertigo on top of all his other problems. He is not mobile (If he moves, he could fall). So I am at home with him. I'm even putting golf aside tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> Bob is grateful for my help and concern. He is so weak. I want to make him comfortable. Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:36:25 EST peace I am concerned about world conditions. I pray for understanding and a miracle. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 22:21:16 EST Nervous I have my first mammogram since my cancer on Tuesday morning at 9 am. I am quite nervous about it. I worry that it is too soon since I'm only out of radiation therapy for 3 months. <BR> <BR> I am also worried about lymphedema. I am exercising properly and eating well. Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:59:59 EST New things I love to use technology, but recently have more distractions and problems to resolve. Today I had no activities scheduled. I decided to play with technology this weekend. <BR> <BR> On Friday evening, I used my Sparkpeople apps on my LG Optimus G Pro phone. I was able to do most things. I enjoyed the app. I even did SparkCoach via an app. Really smooth was to enter the information. <BR> <BR> Today I decided to use my LG smart tv and my Amazon prime accout to watch a DVD. We are not g... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:11:53 EST getting to another new normal I was overwhelmed this week. My 12 page newsletter is at the printer now. My husband is trying to build up strength. I moved furniture and houseclean my den. Dialysis supplies arrived on Wednesday as the new window treatments were installed!📱I got a new phone. Now for a quiet weekend!!😃 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:55:57 EST Why can't we get dialysis supplies? We have had several months of shortages of my husband's low calcium dialysis solutions. Once again our order is delayed. We know the company will eventually come through, but the stress is overwhelming. <BR> <BR> I don't understand why the supplies were not released on time. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:50:00 EST Busy with projects I am working on the 12 page newsletter for my retiree group. I designed and edited 6 pages today. <BR> <BR> I also have lists of potential new members to invite. <BR> <BR> I played with the cat and rested too. <BR> <BR> Today was a rest day from gym exercise. Sun, 20 Jul 2014 22:28:59 EST 5 words or less I feel: <BR> Hopeful <BR> Content <BR> Energetic <BR> Peaceful <BR> Grateful Fri, 18 Jul 2014 07:45:14 EST Some decisions made Bob decided to accept his surgeon's decision to have follow up. Can you believe no doctor ordered thyroid blood tests? Yet Bob had a CT scan, an ultrasound, and a biopsy! He will have the thyroid blood test soon. <BR> <BR> He will repeat the ultrasound in 6 months and see his surgeon. If his growth is more complex he will have surgery. <BR> <BR> We also talked about going to emergency in the future. We will call our doctors' offices or the dialysis center. We don't need more tests. ... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:58:34 EST At his limits My husband is really at his limits with respect to tests, procedures, and his many health problems. We will go to the surgeon tomorrow afternoon and listen to his suggestion. We then will go home and ponder what he wants to do. Ultimately he makes the decision about surgery or treatments in general. I respect his desire for quality of life. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:27:57 EST Being Supportive My husband faces so many medical challenges. He is showing some weariness with tests and procedures. I am willing to listen and to offer suggestions. I do research on Medline and Web Md for him. I do Health A to Z as well to find out more information. <BR> <BR> I have questions for the Dialysis Center staff and for Dr. Kimmel, Bob's surgeon. I made several favorite foods for him. Today was his 76th Birthday. We will go out to dinner tomorrow so we can celebrate our birthdays. <BR> ... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:21:37 EST Reflecting My husband and I face many challenges, yet grow closer with each one. We can express our deepest fears snd joys. We are present to each other. It is as blessing. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:42:59 EST More medical problems for my husband My husband, Bob, has courage and wants to do the best he can. Recently he had a CAT scan of the chest and a MRI of the thyroid. He then needed to have a biopsy of the one lobe of the thyroid for a large nodule. <BR> <BR> He got the news that he must see an ENT surgeon and plan to have the thyroid removed. When Bob questioned his primary care doctor about a malignancy, the doctor stated that the cells were suspicious. That was the language that was used with my tumors in breast cancer. <B... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 22:51:43 EST New phone on the way! I soon will pass my Blackberry phone onto my husband. ATT required us to replace his "dumbphone." I will swap the new phone; he'll get mine. <BR> <BR> I will be in app heaven. I want to download the Sparkpeople app, My Health Chart from my doctors/hospital, my home security system app, and others. I will use all the apps to keep my wellness things under control. <BR> <BR> I'm excited. I am a former director of technology for a school district so I am in technology heaven with a new to... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 23:23:35 EST Mindful eating and social gatherings I am finding that I am in social gatherings more than usual during last week and next week. I am dedicated to entering the foods in my nutrition tracker and to be mindful of the selections that I make. <BR> <BR> I am keeping my breakfast sensibly focusing on cereal, fat free organic milk, berries or a banana. Two cups of coffee are part of my morning. I am selecting chicken or a meat at lunch or dinner. When possible I will have a salad for lunch or dinner. I tend to skip desserts an... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 12:17:38 EST Rescue Cat and Fireworks Snaggles, my rescue cat, has separation anxiety with respect to me. If I am away, he chews his fur off. I am working with him and comforting him. He is also scared of fireworks. <BR> <BR> So this 4th of July finds me at home. I have Snaggles snuggled at my feet. He is currently purring. We just finished his stress time of loud noises with neighborhood fireworks. He did well. He took his stress level from me. <BR> <BR> I also gave him his prozac meds later this morning. What we ... Fri, 4 Jul 2014 22:07:09 EST Staycation Treats I decided to claim the month of July as my vacation at home. So I went shopping at the farmer's market and got great items to cook. I planned wellness treats such as manicure, pedicure, and shiatsu treatment. I got my hair style changed up. I purchased a few new outfits to match my decrease in size. <BR> <BR> I will go to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday and also visit friends. I used what I would spend on hotels, restaurants and things away from home to purchase new window treat... Wed, 2 Jul 2014 22:31:29 EST Limiting Fast Food I watched a movie titled Super Size Me. I am committed to avoiding quick solutions to my cravings. I also read a book, Fast Food Nation. I will be limiting my intake of fast foods. I need to be healthy. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:21:35 EST