SBECKER526's SparkPeople Blog SBECKER526's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 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 23:21:34 EST Beginner's Yoga I just completed my first 6 weeks of Beginner's Yoga. The instructor was awesome in her ability to immerse the class of 6 women in a yoga practice. We learned breathing and poses. The instructor helped us 1 on 1 to get the poses correct and gave us modifications so we could do the pose. She also gave us tips on setting up a home practice. <BR> <BR> I have my yoga space and props in my exercise-office space. I am now doing some yoga each day. It certainly helps my stress. <BR> <BR>... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 11:22:35 EST Managing Stress As a caregiver and person with 2 chronic diseases, I am faced with daily stresses of living. I am also active in groups that causes some more stress. I need to keep a balance and find ways to manage my stress. <BR> <BR> With care giving and living with chronic pain, I decided to get help with housework one day a week and have a firm to the outside yardwork. I also want to contract with a maintenance firm to handle painting, home repairs, ongoing repairs, etc. I did a life cycle book with... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:43:34 EST Enjoying each day I am really enjoying each day. I make time for both Bob and Snaggles, our cat. I have one exercise or golf event per day. I am doing cycling at home as well as some exercises. <BR> <BR> I take yoga on Thursday evenings. I train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I attempt to fit in a golf lesson every other week. I also play in two golf leagues. I like to walk. I put body combat on hold with my arm problem. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> I do volunteer but in a more limited capacity. I tr... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 22:25:15 EST Recognizing limitations I am a doer. I am glad to assume tasks and make things happen with the help of others. I am facing limitations as to what I can do in a day without a flare of rheumatoid arthritis kicking up or fatigue from cancer treatments. <BR> <BR> I am learning to be honest with myself and say no. <BR> <BR> I am limiting the amount of golf that I play so that I do not hurt my hands. <BR> <BR> Challenging to say no! Sun, 22 Jun 2014 21:13:35 EST Trying more video exercises This week I have a goal to do more SparkPeople exercise videos. I want to push myself to do 10 minutes more per day. <BR> <BR> You are correct to remind me about the swelling. I am monitoring that and doing what does not involve the right side. I am walking my fingers up the wall and doing massage on arm and breast each day! Sat, 21 Jun 2014 10:29:21 EST Yoga and me I tried yoga several times over the years. I bought a mat, several DVDs and even took gym classes. I was not flexible enough to do most of the poses. There seemed to be a knack that I was missing. I basically gave up and went onward to other gym classes. <BR> <BR> Six months ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was under much stress and had so much going on in my life. I went to the cancer center determined to listen and read all the materials I was given. I also tried TaiChi and... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:49:58 EST Turning 65 I will be turning 65 years old soon. I have been on social security since age 63 so the entrance to medicare was so smooth. The Berks County Association of School Retirees ran workshops on applications to Social Security Benefits and Medicare over the years. <BR> <BR> I got my medicare card 3 months before I turn 65. I must have given the mailman a hernia with all the health care plans that arrived at my home. What a grandiose waste of money to send all those applications and information... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 21:47:36 EST Slight setback I am having a slight setback this week. My breast and arm are causing me pain and some problems. I talked to the executive director of the Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks. She suggested that I talk with my surgeon and see if there is anything I need to do. My surgeon recommended that I back off of some activity and take NSAIDS after a dinner. My stomach meds and dinner should counteract the NSAID. I need to get the swelling down. May help my rheumatoid arthritis. I can dream!! Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:59:29 EST Busy, but good week I get some weeks that balancing my life and being a quality caregiver are challenging. This week has many happenings that I am looking forward to participating. <BR> <BR> On Monday I have my husband's clinic followed by my Lunch Bunch group. I recently got my Silver Sneaker's card. The program involves bongos for boomers. Should be fun to use a bongo. I have a personal training followed by my golf lesson at 5 pm. <BR> <BR> I will be going on a day trip on Wednesday to the Sight and S... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 23:18:20 EST Exhaustion caught up with me I still try to do too much! I thought I had my fatigue under control and could do more. I golfed on Thursday morning, then took a yoga class that lasted 1 hour 40 minutes. Then (Friday) I did an intensive deep water workout. I did my survivor laps at relay for life and then came home. Wow, I am so tired. <BR> <BR> Other things to do at Relay for Life: <BR> 1. Play in the mud. My sneakers are so muddy. I need to hose them first. We had a terrific storm in the afternoon. The grounds w... Sat, 14 Jun 2014 12:14:34 EST My feelings today at Relay for Life I am a survivor. I have a loving husband who tried to be the best caregiver that he could be. He has health concerns that do limit what he can do. My cancer experience is a life changer. I celebrate each day. I am slowing down and doing what I enjoy. I feel better and now can cook with ease. <BR> <BR> I was touched to hear the stories of others. I am delighted to participate in a relay. I felt alive and healthier. Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:56:38 EST New Challenges I am enjoying my experiences with the Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks County. I find the women to be outgoing, caring, and intent on helping each other deal with their illness. Today I was asked to represent the group at a fundraiser. I am honored to do so. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 22:44:31 EST Working on odds and ends I have a few projects to complete - minutes from a regional meeting, hemming slacks, cleaning up the back bedroom, purging clothes from the attic closet. Hence I have a resolve to get these odds and ends done. <BR> <BR> I have some meetings in July to finish last minute details. I have a newsletter for the County chapter and the Berks Subchapter. <BR> <BR> I also have a husband who was notified that he needs a biopsy of his thyroid. He has a 4.2 cm solid nodule. I am keeping busy and tr... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 21:03:23 EST Appreciating Small Things I feel so blessed to have caring friends and a wonderful church family. I also feel a new lease on life. I have golf buddies, church friends, SparkPeople friends, colleagues from my retirement group and my new friends from Breast Cancer Support Group. <BR> <BR> This week has several golf outings (weather permitting) and the Relay for Life. I am a survivor. Thanks be to God. Sun, 8 Jun 2014 19:49:22 EST Feeling more energetic This is a big week for me. I am getting my energy back. I had pain in my shoulder and arm. I remembered that swimming felt so good on my shoulders and body in general. I decided to do general swimming today. I spent 30 minutes on my crawl, backstroke, breaststroke and side strokes. I reached with my right arm. The pains from breast surgery diminished. I had slight pain now. <em>390</em> <BR> <BR> I golfed, cycled, and did more. I was able to pack away all small items - the Baxte... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 22:15:20 EST Fixing up my home I am slowly fixing up my home. I had the carpeting cleaned yesterday. Today I am working on getting quotes for my upstairs window treatments. Next week I will get bids on maintenance work and start putting together a plan for work. <BR> <BR> My husband can do minimal work. I am doing much of the house repair planning. I want a life cycle book setup. <BR> <BR> With both my husband and I laid up this winter, things need to be done. It is fun for me to plan the scope of the job. <... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 13:10:16 EST Where does the time go? I am thoroughly enjoying so much in my life. Time is flying by for me. I attended a luncheon on Monday, played golf on Tuesday, plan to attend a meeting on Wednesday, have carpets cleaned on Wednesday, Golf on Thursday and train 3 days a week. I am getting quotes for new window treatments in the bedrooms and bath. I attended a talk on museum exhibits. <BR> <BR> Life is full and good. Tue, 3 Jun 2014 23:29:47 EST Still Golfing I am attempting to continue golf. I love being on the beautiful courses with plenty of sunshine. I face pain in my hands after golf. I am trying to stay with it and not hurt my RA joints. <BR> 1. Play golf 2 times a week (limit to 9 holes). <BR> 2. Play on Tuesday and Thursday with rest day for hands. <BR> 3. Take extra acetaminophen during the last 20 minutes of golf. <BR> 4. Use massage oitment or voltaren gel on hands after golf. <BR> 5. Wear compression gloves <BR> <BR> I'm open to ... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 19:21:45 EST Tired, but happy I did my exercises today and cooked properly. The treat was to attend a concert this evening. I heard the VOX PHILIA and the Governors and First Ladies. Wow! This was a quality concert with incredible voices. Dr. David McConnell is so talented. Great concert.... Sat, 31 May 2014 23:23:30 EST Enjoyed People I am having a great week. I am more aware of the kindness and caring that so many people offer to me. I enjoyed time with a friend, Sherry and her family on Memorial Day. I got to see the local parade. I felt I went back in time to my childhood. People with noble values still exist. <BR> <BR> On Tuesday I had dinner with my friends. There is a richness in our friendship. They seem more like family. On Wednesday I saw my friends at the gym. My trainer is a dear friend as well. I wor... Thu, 29 May 2014 20:05:05 EST So Many Good Things! I have so much that is positive in my life. My husband, friends, and colleagues are important to me. I find that I am slowing down and appreciating things so much more. My cat is a constant delight as I watch his antics and his ways of communicating. Right now he is looking at his medicine bottle. He wants his medicine (maybe the holding that goes with it). <BR> <BR> I made plans to go with new friends from the Breast Cancer Support Group to a talk with the curator of the local museum. ... Mon, 26 May 2014 07:23:45 EST On My Own My trainer has been on vacation for 8 days so I am on my own. With several health problems I was worrying about keeping my activity level up and doing proper form. What I really learned was the following: <BR> <em>521</em> <BR> I am <em>345</em> <BR> I have good sets of exercises to do. <BR> I have a home gym. <BR> I got to the gym 6 times while she was gone! <BR> I had fun. <BR> I did injure my hands using machines, but dealt with it. RA creams and rest helped. <BR> It will be grea... Sat, 24 May 2014 13:19:51 EST Aftermath of a Freak Hailstorm In my drives to the gym, the spa, and the market I saw huge amounts of damage to trees, cars, homes, offices, and malls. My hair technician informed me that all employees and those who were here for services had their cars damaged. The skylights fell through at one of our malls. Baseball sized hail hit in two communities. The storm was eerie. <BR> <BR> I felt blessed that I was resting at home and missed the event. We only had golf ball sized hail. I feel compassion for those who face ... Fri, 23 May 2014 19:29:28 EST Took it easier When I awoke my hands were so stiff and then painful. I stayed home and did not golf. I also had pain during the night so sleeping was difficult. I did some chores and soaked my hands. <BR> <BR> I decided to do 2 sessions of cycling for 30 minutes each. That gave me some burn and kept my knees limber. I am going to my yoga class tonight. <BR> <BR> I am trying to yield to pain and let my body guide me. I finally took an extra pain pill. <BR> Thu, 22 May 2014 15:12:16 EST Feeling better, but worried I am feeling better after limiting my exercise today. I had pain from the golfing on Tuesday evening. I am worried that I may have to give up golf. I will put that worry on hold. I plan to talk to my doctor, my trainer and others with my RA. <BR> <BR> I am also concentrating on all that I can do. I found the flare up reminded me of the number of good days that I have had. <BR> <BR> Guess I want to be some degree of superwoman! I will be 65 in July! <em>278</em> <em>87</em> Wed, 21 May 2014 20:33:19 EST Working at home I had a bad flare of RA today. I will be exercising at home tomorrow. I need to get extra rest. Tue, 20 May 2014 23:42:03 EST Blessed with Friends I feel so blessed with all my friends. I do not have much in family so friends are even more important. My friends brought so much cheer on Facebook, Sparkpeople, texting and more. My church friends include me in so much. I do not feel alone. <BR> <BR> So many people offer to help with Bob. That is another type of blessing. <BR> <BR> Thank you! Mon, 19 May 2014 22:16:34 EST Having Fun I am working on enjoying each day. With my husband's illnesses, vacations become limited. We discussed several options, but realized we have so much at home that we enjoy. So for now we are at home. <BR> <BR> I looked at my calendar for the week. It is full of social appointments, golf, some doctor appointments, and much exercise. I have the menu ready for the week; we will eat properly. <BR> <BR> I signed up for two classes in June. I have a new Immersion Yoga class on Thursday. A... Sat, 17 May 2014 21:45:23 EST Progress on exercise I finished radiation on March 19th. Today is May 15th. In the almost 2 months, I have been able to do Body Combat (Les Mills) for 60 minutes. I am slightly under my full pursuit of Combat. <BR> <BR> I really feel capable of doing deep water aerobics for 60 minutes with 30 minutes preceding it treading water. I get winded when I swim laps. I get 2 laps done with side stroke or 8 laps with backstroke. I am lucky to do one laps front crawl. I do have work to do with this. <BR> <BR> I cy... Fri, 16 May 2014 23:32:16 EST Saying NO It is very hard for me to decline service to others. I was asked to return to a data team for intensive work in June-July. I already have a newsletter to get out in July. I have an annual report to file. These projects are time intensive. <BR> <BR> I have some new things in my life. I play to walk with the survivors at the Relay for Life event on June 13th. I want to serve for 3 hours at the food bank. I want to sleep late one day a week. <BR> <BR> I want to keep my stress down so m... Thu, 15 May 2014 20:04:29 EST Getting healthy stuff to use I have a great deal of inflamation with my RA and also want to keep safe with post radiation and my arm. I visited the Image Center to get some recommended products. <BR> <BR> I found that Blue Lizard Sunscreen had great recommendations from dermatologists. I have a massage cream ordered that has arnica for lessening inflamation. I found Remedy Skin repair cream for use after radiation; I am still using it. I also found Queasy Drops for my husband. He is on dialysis. I am absolutely th... Mon, 12 May 2014 22:22:57 EST Phase 2 of treatment My use of anastrozole is going well. I had one week of slight problems, but now I seem fine. The only slight bit of trouble occurs on a Friday when I take methotrexate as well. I take the anastrozole at 6 am. I then take the methotrexate at 9 am with a fruit bar. The coldness of the fruit bar helps the headache. <BR> <BR> I saw my surgeon. She was pleased with the look of the incisions. I may do more exercise, but must take care of my arm. I do not want lymphedema! <BR> <BR> I will ... Sun, 11 May 2014 19:41:50 EST Back to Blogging I got a bit overwhelmed with deadlines. I am trying to cut back, but work diligently to get past commitments honored. I set aside time today to blog. So here are my thoughts at the moment. <BR> <BR> I want to explore things that always interested me, but I could not explore due to commitments. I guess these things are on my bucket list or are activities that my doctor recommended. <BR> <BR> Need to relax each day: <BR> Choice of Yoga, TaiChi or Qi Gong - There is a super yoga instructor... Sat, 10 May 2014 17:35:51 EST Enjoyed the day I attended a more intimate church service that I really like. We have communion, a message, prayer, and a scripture. I followed the service with a light luncheon with my husband. I went to a yoga retreat while he took a nap. <BR> <BR> The yoga retreat was outstanding. Sun, 4 May 2014 16:39:39 EST Escaped for a day I got to get out of town for a day. I enjoyed an excellent guide at the Gettysburg Battlefield. The cherry blossoms and orchard looked great. I appreciate how much was done to make the battlefield look like it did in 1963. <BR> <BR> I was tempted to eat too much food at the buffet. <BR> <BR> I needed to get away for a day. Sat, 3 May 2014 20:41:33 EST