SBECKER526's SparkPeople Blog SBECKER526's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Zumba-thon My wellness center held a Zumba-thon yesterday for 2 hours. I hesitated going to classes as I felt so tired. I paid my entrance fee and decided to dance. I modified some hip hop moves that my knees could not do. <BR> <BR> I felt alive and energetic. I almost returned to life before cancer, but not quite. I had to take a 3 hour nap when I returned home. <BR> <BR> We were donating supplies for the soldiers and families and funds to help our soldiers. I believe we need to help these f... Sun, 17 May 2015 21:38:50 EST working on my home I am enjoying more time at home as I work to declutter my home. My teen age year bookcases will go to the homeless shelter's store on Thursday. I have 25 cartons of gently used books for them also. Two sets of end tables will leave my home as well. <BR> <BR> We have much trash with all my husband's dialysis supplies. I am planning to read using my Kindle. <BR> <BR> I am going to work on tools, garden tools and some things from the garage. Plan to do this in 6 weeks. In the fall, I ... Sat, 16 May 2015 23:19:33 EST Feeling good about donations and changes My home is simpler as we donate items to the homeless shelter and Habitat for humanity. I will be more organized. I'm also testing how well I can do with less. I have a sense that I can be happy in a smaller space. <BR> <BR> I am finding that simpler ways allows me less things to break with my RA. I still can spill things. Fri, 8 May 2015 23:29:35 EST Decluttering and having fun <em>278</em> <em>551</em> <em>67</em> <BR> We are seriously preparing for an apartment after being in our home for 43 years. The amount of stuff - books, papers, vinyl records and more - take much time to sort. However the sun beamed good rays. Friends played golf and then went out to Beverly Hills Inn. We had fun. Back to decluttering tomorrow. Tue, 5 May 2015 23:24:49 EST Less Worrying...More organization I am not worrying about the future. I worked diligently for years to set aside funds for entrance to a retirement community. I will be able to afford one. I did attempt to consider other alternatives, but resisted as I am concerned about the type of home health worker I could get. There are so many baby boomers who will need care. <BR> <BR> I am studying the services offered when the time to move nears. One team visits and develops a plan. We then work together to get ready for the mov... Sat, 2 May 2015 18:30:21 EST Retirement Community I am a proud member of the Future Resident Club of the Highlands of Wyomissing. I attended the Soup to Nuts session for a presentation, luncheon and tour. I was pleased to hear what is offered in this Category A facility. I will attend events and begin the process. <BR> <BR> My husband prefers to be in our split level home for his home dialysis as long as possible. We have been doing this for 2.5 years. I have RA and degenerative spine issues as well as being restricted post hernia and ... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:34:01 EST Coping I am feeling better when our weather is milder. I got out to play golf on Tuesday. I did well. I get very tired. I will need to give up some activities at church. I cannot be dependable when I have a flare or back pain. <BR> <BR> I am working diligently to keep moving and eat properly. I have great social connections as well. We will get our generator installed during the week of May 11. I am eager to have peace of mind with Bob's care. <BR> <BR> I am saying no to activities and r... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 18:29:06 EST Golf and RA - post surgery I have worried about golfing, RA, and post abdominal surgery. My surgery on Jan 17 restricted me from exercise for 2 weeks and then with modifications for 6 weeks. My personal trainer, Lisa Leayman, was masterful and helpful in my recovery. <BR> <BR> We began golf body training in early March. Every Monday she worked with me for one hour to bring back my core and strengthen me. We worked on legs, posture, use of dowel, and more. Recently we added planks. I have exercises to open my hip... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:32:05 EST Recognizing change in me I am accepting the challenges that lie ahead for me. Bob has been ill most days. His stomach is finicky. Sometimes restaurant food appeals more. I relaxed the number of meals that we eat at home. I still order healthy foods when I am out. I bring home 1/2 my meal to have for lunch the next day. I make his favorite foods when I can do so. <BR> <BR> My exercising is still taking place. I want to golf. Hope I haven't damaged my knee. Pain is sporadic. Sun, 12 Apr 2015 23:06:19 EST Keeping calm I am diligently working on taking things in stride. I heard a speaker in January who reinforced that we are defined by our passions and not by our illness. I made a poster and have that near my desk. Last night I practiced some art therapy. We noted that nature brings us peace. I found that my craft helped me greatly. <BR> <BR> I have much going on in my life, but I am taking one day at a time. I spend time in prayer, exercise and eat properly. I am caring and loving. <BR> <B... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 23:17:57 EST Hope for less pain I am hopeful for lessening of pain. I have spent time with yoga and tai chi at home. I have plans to exercise for 30 in the morning, 60 minutes with cardio and/or strength, and 30 minutes of yoga in the evening. <BR> <BR> I am eating fruits and vegetables almost 75% of the time. I have salmon, turkey, chicken or filet mignon. Tuna fish and nuts are in lunches along with eggs. <BR> <BR> I have a strong social network, golf in 2 leagues, belong to several organizations, and do a newsl... Sat, 4 Apr 2015 23:05:18 EST dear people in my life Today I ran into a person who is so dear to me. I have not seen him for almost a year. I am reminded how I need to reach out more to those who touched my life so deeply. I made several friends in my retired group. Those friendships carried me through many tough times. <BR> <BR> Several Sparkpeople became dear to me also. They regularly comment on my blogs and offer good suggestions. They are walking the same walk that I am. To me I am blessed with caring people. I want to be there fo... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 23:08:47 EST Working on the positive <em>126</em> Tulips are beautiful. I always order a batch for Easter and look forward to planting the bulbs for renewed beauty each year. I welcome warmer weather and hope to leave some pain at the demise of winter. <BR> <BR> <em>341</em> Grocery shopping stills wears me down. I can get the stuff in my car and put away at home. Pushing the cart is challenging. <BR> <BR> <em>319</em> I use my ball to stretch my back and shoulders. I ease my hips by rolling on it while sitting. ... Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:07:36 EST Snaggles needs more time <em>239</em> Snaggles makes me smile. He loves to tackle my ankles and run after me. He is eager for his food and snack. Tonight he had a cat friend on the other side of the window. He growled and gave a deep belly cry. I came in to check on him. He ran to me and wanted petting. The Animal Rescue League and our vet advised that we keep him an only cat. He gets trauma with other animals. <BR> <BR> He is nosing at my laptop. He wants to play NOW. Got to go. Snaggles wants his mous... Sat, 28 Mar 2015 23:45:11 EST Workshops, planning, board meetings, and more I am feeling better, but watch how much I try to do in a day's time. Several of my passions involve my volunteering. I still work with the retirement workshop for retiring members of the community college, career and technology centers, the intermediate unit and our 18 school districts. I have 110 persons registered for the workshop on Saturday. <BR> <BR> I still have odds and ends to do for card, printing, and more. Final 10 people must be entered into my spreadsheet. <BR>... Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:51:37 EST Resilience and Hope I endured a rough winter with much snow, ice and cold temperatures. I also had surgery and numerous health problems. Hence a publication headline jumped out at me. Resilience and hope! <BR> <BR> The quote that turned me around is this. "Life stretches and compresses us all. To be spiritually well does mean being able to spring back from difficulties and to live fully in the midst of them." Doug Wysockey-Johnson in Lumunos. <BR> <BR> Well, I want to live fully each day. I scanned the ... Sun, 22 Mar 2015 15:08:58 EST Snow melted - Sunny Day I felt better in attitude today with the sunshine and the melting of yesterday's snow. I want to walk outdoors and not have to bundle up. I felt energetic. <BR> <BR> My helper and I got the groceries. She put them away for me. It is amazing how fast a bag of groceries gets too heavy for me. My ineighbor cleaned off my husband's car for us. It is so difficult to not be able to do what I always did with ease. I am grateful for those who offered their help.! <BR> <BR> I did my stretch... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 22:07:32 EST getting more rest I am trying to pace myself better and get more rest. I do feel better. I'm staying on a healthy diet, doing gentle yoga, meeting with my trainer, and swimming. <em>403</em> <em>550</em> <BR> 6 inches of snow predicted for tomorrow! <em>102</em> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:35:29 EST More pain makes exercise harder My pain level is much higher recently. I am working out using the Back in Action DVD and working with my trainer. I get fatigued. I am cycling on my home spin bike for 15 minutes daily. <BR> <BR> I am using paraffin treatments, massage, and topical pain meds. Warm showers help also. I want to be positive and helpful. I started to miss going out with the morning pain levels. Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:50:27 EST Learning to accept what I cannot change I have reached a stage in my life where arthritis requires more modifications in my daily routine. I am grateful for my housekeeper, Lori. I am grateful to have a snow remover and coach in Ian. I am also grateful to have a landscaping service in New Castle. Add my painter/handyman John to the mix. <BR> <BR> With a few close friends I am not alone in making the needed changes. <BR> <BR> I must learn to accept that I will have bad days with more pain. I have several health problems tha... Sat, 7 Mar 2015 16:24:49 EST Winter wonderland I live in Pennsylvania so wind chills of -20 are new to me. There is so much ice and snow. As a person with RA and OA, my joints are aching. Frequent naps and heat are super. I am sending you this picture in case YOU live in warmth. <img src=""> Thu, 5 Mar 2015 16:14:54 EST Feeling good I met friends for breakfast at 8 am on a Saturday at the Tomcat cafe. This restaurant got best in Berks again. The menu is overwhelming. The tables have pictures of musicians. We were at the Elvis table. I had French Toast called "Blind Faith" with cheese, bacon and apple. It was perfect - not too savory or too sweet. <BR> <BR> I was glad to see my friends. We all had breast cancer one year ago. We are wanting to avoid medical tests. We have had enough for years. We had a great ... Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:21:43 EST Quiet, but good day I am doing so much better at the gym. I am using the elliptical trainer for cardio. I expect to start cycling at home on Saturday. Next week I want to take a zumba class. If all goes well, I will return to the rowing machine in 2 weeks. I have 5 more days under the surgeon's restrictions. <BR> <BR> I got the newslettter done, developed a flyer, and handled registrations for a workshop in March. I have a strong sense of accomplishment. <BR> <BR> My pain levels fluctuate. I am attem... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 23:33:43 EST Feeling better The pool was great. It was -20 degrees with the wind chill outside. My damp hair froze. As I drove home, the water ran down my back as my hair thawed. I felt energized and glad to be moving in the water. <BR> <BR> I am busy with my laptop finishing projects. I always seem to be doing the technology stuff in all groups. I will send out the invitations on Tuesday. <BR> <BR> I still must watch how much sitting I do. My back is tender. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 23:12:23 EST Catching up! I am returning to my activities as I reach week 6 of my healing. I get to go to the pool to swim tomorrow. I had a 12 page newsletter to edit and minutes to complete all needing to be done now. I have few more items to edit and complete the layout. Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:15:53 EST Reading and listing questions I see my primary care doctor and his resident on March 3. I am getting away for a day to see the Philadelphia Flower Show on March 2. Each day I enter into my journal how I feel. I am also entering into my journal how I am managing pain and what emotions I am feeling. <BR> <BR> Over the past month, I met with my GI doctor. He recommended that I stay away from all NSAIDS. I take acetaminophen twice a day. During bad RA flares I may take some predisone. For really bad pain I should take... Sun, 15 Feb 2015 09:53:46 EST Feeling low for a few hours I really felt low for a few hours. I now see the reports from all medical tests. I'm not happy about having ankylosing spondylitis and fused discs. I do wonder how much more is wrong. Is AS just RA but of the spine? <BR> <BR> I did read the AS medical conditions under Health A to Z. I now feel better. I found the web site. I have some more reading to do. Maybe it will turn out okay. Fri, 13 Feb 2015 23:36:14 EST Enjoying each day I am enjoying each day. I am getting plenty of rest. I am able to listen to my body concerning fatigue and pain. Gradually I am cooking more and returning to more normal activities. I am seeing my personal trainer and working to keep arm and leg strength while I continue to heal. <BR> <BR> I do many stairs and walk frequently. Great to live in a split level house. I am grateful to have the time to recover. I am passionate about the things I try to do. I am still trying to service o... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 22:18:46 EST Taking time to heal I am finding that my recent surgery is taking time to heal. I am using my time wisely and not doing too much. My car was discontinued in the US in 2009 ....shortly after I bought it. Recently I discovered that I had no certified technician or parts. So I spent time finding a car that would fit in my garage! I am the new owner of a Subaru crosstrek that I love driving. I made certain it had features to make my life with RA better. <BR> <BR> I also finished some light projects and purge... Mon, 9 Feb 2015 00:01:14 EST Small improvements Bob and I wish to remain in our home. A retirement community is not what we want at this time. We analyzed our home and where we wanted peace of mind. A home generator that swtiches on automatically 20 seconds after the power goes out seems good to us. Bob uses his dialysis equipment nightly for 8.5 hours. He cannot be too warm or too cold. So our 2015 present is a home generator. Yippee! Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:46:54 EST Good news and some projects done! I am so happy. My surgeon felt I'm progressing well. I may return to the gym with modifications in exercises for 4 weeks. I may return to swimming in 2 weeks. Life is getting better. <BR> <BR> I finished several projects. I need to proof one report tomorrow morning. I am meeting with an expert on the purchase of a generator. With Bob's home dialysis and my limited lifting restraints, I need a generator that is natural gas fueled. <BR> <BR> On the move! Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:18:49 EST Projects underway - feeling more alive Today I resolved to get to my computer. I have a report to my friends on the Board of Directors due Friday. I got most of my information today. The membership committee of the Retired school employees is doing a great job with the materials for a membership drive. I am so pleased. <BR> <BR> I am trying to sit up more and deal with discomfort. I see my surgeon tomorrow. Hope I get a good report. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:27:35 EST Appreciating Kindness of Friends <em>304</em> Today almost overwhelmed me with kindness. <BR> <BR> The caring and compassion of two friends really touched my heart. One friend offered a tortellini soup and brought pink tulips as well. She had a beautiful card and has been offering prayers. <BR> <BR> The other friend made an awesome and tasty chicken pie (enough for 6 people). We will have it again tomorrow. She has fresh fruit as well. She sent another meal (pepper steak with rice). <em>267</em> I also got Paner... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:58:30 EST Watching the storm I am watching the storm along with Snaggles, the cat. We like the front window to see people, birds, and animals. Yesterday Snaggles had a cat visitor. They growled at each other. I put extra food out for the Kitty. <BR> <BR> With my recovery I literally do not have to go out. I can relax and curl up with my Kindle. I may watch a movie....if we have power. <BR> <BR> My friends are prepared with 4WD vehicles if we need to get out. I hope to enjoy my home and be safe. I'm saying a f... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:34:09 EST Making small steps of progress It is often difficult to be a caregiver when I am recovering from surgery. I must really set priorities. I can take care of my husband's meds, shots, dialysis, grooming and even showers within reason. I can do the same for me. Then I need a nap. <BR> <BR> My friends covered meals for the first week. I am so grateful to them. I also found that the Atkins frozen dinners had high enough protein and low enough carbs for my husband's renal-diabetes diet. I can augment the meal with some ca... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 10:50:06 EST Recovery Underway <em>204</em> I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how things happened so fast! I was preparing for my CT scan and taking those wonderful drugs to keep me from getting hives. I used the GI doctor's patient record system and got an email from him with the results on Wednesday. My test was Tuesday. I had a belly button hernia from prior laproscopic surgeries and DaVinci surgery. It was extensive. The doctor recommended surgery. <BR> <BR> <em>359</em> I called my primary care doc... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 10:29:13 EST I did it! At each Pink in the Rink game, the Reading Royals Charities' donates funds to the Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks and the Susan Koman Group of Philadelphia. Survivors are invited to be goal shooters. During the first intermission you go behind the scenes at the ice hockey arena and come out on a carpet and shoot. If you score the BCSS of Berks got $100. <BR> <BR> I had never held a hockey stick, but decided to volunteer to try this. I asked my personal trainer to coach me. L... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 13:08:53 EST Next Doctor Visit I really do not mind visiting my internist/primary care resident and doctor. They are so focused with my care and ailments. I get nervous with each specialist visit. What races through my mind is what tests do I need to have done? What is causing the problem that got me to the specialist? Well, after cancer, there are many specialists in my life...surgeon, oncologists (radiation and medical), and others. During this past week I met with my gastroenterologist. <BR> <BR> I do have pai... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 23:39:48 EST Feeling positive I am doing better with my RA. My home looks better as the clutter is dimishing. Today the upstairs closet got its floor cleared. My plans are to try on all clothes and purge the ones that do not suit me. I've changed so much since cancer and RA. <BR> <BR> I will visit the resale store of Opportunity House. I have Fiesta plates to donate and some books. These items will benefit homeless people who are learning new skills and getting first choice on possessions as they start out in housi... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 23:16:16 EST Grateful I am so grateful for my family, friends, and cat. <BR> I am so grateful for my church family and online friends. <BR> I am grateful that I have the finances to get medical help. <BR> I am grateful that I can use my brain with the email and Internet. <BR> I have sooo many blessings. <BR> <BR> I hold up those who are facing challenges of illness, loss of loved ones or loss of hope. My prayers go out to all. <BR> Blessings and peace. Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:53:55 EST Dealing with pain I cannot take many pain medications as I have a thinned esophagus due to a previous Barrett's attack. I watch all my trigger foods so that I do not cause more GERD. Hence I must use massage, some supplements (turmeric), and heat (jacuzzi soaks, paraffin dips for my hands, and compression gloves for my hands. <BR> <BR> Recently my surgeon suggested Ibuprofen with food to ease some of the inflammation. I am trying that. <BR> <BR> I use the pool for lymphedema and arthritis. I try to cyc... Sun, 28 Dec 2014 10:46:34 EST After the holidays I ate sensibly and enjoyed time with family and friends. I needed to catch up in sleep. I had the best plans to write notes to friends. Then my RA flared up. I am resting more. I am spacing activity with rest. I used my Voltaren gel and massage hands and feet. I gently cycled on my spin bike for almost 30 minutes. Tomorrow I will exercise in the pool. <BR> <BR> I sometimes forget that I have RA enhanced by Anastrezole. I now count to 10, pull up the sherpa throw and nap. Then I mov... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 21:22:14 EST Happy Holidays Many of you do not celebrate Christmas. I wanted to wish you a day of peace, love, and hope. May you enjoy health and happiness. Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:37:21 EST Merry Christmas To those of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas. Our Christmas is very meaningful and quiet. We went to church last evening and then took the actual day slowly. Both of us have chronic health problems. <BR> <BR> We enjoyed a home cooked meal. This RA person did some preparation ahead of time. We did not send cards or buy presents for each other. I bought presents for friends and used plenty of bags instead of wrapping gifts. <BR> <BR> We watched a DVD of the movi... Thu, 25 Dec 2014 16:36:12 EST Tough holiday It was exactly one year ago tonight that I received the news that I had breast cancer. I gulped and then prepared to attend church. I said very little to anyone that evening and fought back true tears. Bob went along to church so I wanted to be stoic. <BR> <BR> As I prepare for church tonight, I said a prayer of thanks that I am doing as well as I am. I am asking for the ability to accept the pain of rheumatoid arthritis that is enhanced by my anastrazole drug. I am dealing with changes... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 17:03:31 EST Online Community for RA I joined an online community for Rheumatoid Arthritis from FaceBook. It does not have as rich a presence as our Sparkpeople group. I have met new folks and came away with the realization that I am doing rather well. While I have daily pain, I can still exercise, dress, cook and do activities. I am aware that I need rest periods throughout the day and must eat sensible. <BR> <BR> I have good friends, a fine husband and a great cat. They make my life easier. I also have a wonderful hous... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 13:11:03 EST Time to enjoy the holidays I am glad the preparation of the holidays is almost done. I will now have time to enjoy friends, my cat, and my husband. I finished wrapping gifts while listening to Christmas music. <BR> <BR> I am feeling better. I got hit with a GI episode that made caring for Bob challenging. I was successful as he did not get the ailment. I even got to the swimming pool for some exercise today, but not as good as if my trainer worked with me. <BR> <BR> I did most of the shopping for groceries. I... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 21:45:21 EST Reality and Christmas Cancer did change my outlook on life and helped me set priorities. I can't do everything I used to do, but I appreciate everything I can do. <BR> <BR> What I learned: <BR> 1. Take care of me. <BR> 2.Take care of my husband. <BR> 3. Take time for the relationships that are soo important. <BR> 4. Don't worry about Christmas busyness - cards, gifts, baking, and more. Make phone calls to distant friends. Send emails to others at a distance. Wish friends holiday greetings at social events I... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:13:11 EST Learning more I am finishing up projects and trainings for the retired school employees. I began reading minutes and key documents for board members of Breast Cancer Support Services. I feel good about my new role. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:29:58 EST Sleep is wonderful With the new cycler in place, we had no alarms go off during the night. I actually got to sleep for a longer period of time. I feel so much better and have some energy. I am happy to be more alert. <BR> <BR> I will be able to enjoy a Christmas Jazz worship today at 11 am. I will attend the cafe to see my friends prior to the service. I will get to enjoy fellowship with friends at Leslie and David's home tonight. I'm actually getting to feel good! <BR> <BR> I will take a nap this aft... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 09:24:56 EST