Thursday, September 22, 2011

Highs & Lows

Another two months since my last post. Thank Heaven that blogging is not my chosen profession; I would have fired myself by now! As usual, my other projects and life events have taken priority and blogging has been on the back-burner. There is a quite a bit to share, so I'll apologize now if I become overly long-winded; it is a trait of which I am frequently guilty in the 'real world' as well.

Good news first - as of this week, I have officially shed 75 lbs from my frame! I truly cannot express how good this achievement makes me feel, both physically and psychologically. I have much more energy and stamina than ever before and I no longer shriek away from the mirror when I see my reflection. People say I smile more, and that I carry myself a bit taller and straighter, which in itself is an achievement as I'm only 5'6" on a good day! Two months ago, I said my goal was to lose about another twenty pounds. From that point, I am down nine more, with another eleven to go. However, I've been re-assessing that number and I think another fifteen from where I am now would be a good stopping point. That would still place me about five pounds over my 'ideal' weight, but still leave me at a good weight balance for my height and build. And it doesn't hurt that my physician believes that 155 would indeed be too small for me as well. And while I am not setting a deadline for my goal weight, it would be extremely nice to be at that weight or very close to it by the time Christmas holidays rolls around.

And more on the good news front - my patio garden was an overall success this year! I harvested the last of my 'crops' over the weekend and I must say that all of the hard work was very much worth the effort. If you've never had fresh produce right from the plant, you really should try it. The flavors and textures are much cleaner, richer and crisper. Needless to say, I will be growing and harvesting again next season; however, I don't think I will try and plant everything 'under the sun' and then some! Some vegetables grew and produced much better than others (tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant), and they will be repeated next year. Others didn't fare so well - cucumbers, watermelons and cantaloupes; they won't be returning. I did, however, add an additional fruit to the patio, planting two blueberry bushes and hopefully in two seasons, I'll have my own blueberries; only time will tell.

And now, the not so great news. Cancer, it seems, is flourishing all around me with people I know and love. I had mentioned previously that my brother has been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. From the latest information I have received, the disease has progressed to his liver. I don't have this knowledge firsthand, as yet again, he has written me out of his life. Evidently, I do not care enough because I don't call on a daily basis and stroke his ego in the manner he expects and in the manner others do. I truly am sorry my brother is suffering through this illness; but after forty years, I am tired of the drama that results from our 'relationship'. It is exhausting and continuously pulls me down into the muck, and that my friends is a place I do not wish to live. So, I shall rely upon my sisters for information and leave the relationship with my brother as is. Might I regret that decision in the future? Maybe; probably. But as I am struggling to learn, I cannot live in tomorrow, I must live in today.

And speaking of today, well recent 'todays' anyway - in the past month both my father-in-law and my step-grandmother have been diagnosed with cancer as well. My step-grandmother's diagnosis is Stage 4 lung cancer. She is in her early 80's and has decided not to undergo treatment and let the disease run its course. She always believed that she would develop some sort of lung disease/disorder as she had been a lifelong smoker up until 10-15 years ago.

Also diagnosed with a Stage 4 cancer is my father-in-law, Doug. His cancer is cholangiocarcinoma - a rare cancer of the bile ducts. Both lobes of his liver are affected.  Without treatment, his oncologist gave him an estimate of 4-6 months. This is the diagnosis for a man who has always been in excellent health and has always been very active. (And why is Stage 4 showing up suddenly in people who have regular, annual physicals? Have all of these cancers just grown so quickly over the last twelve months that they went unnoticed/undetected for so long beforehand?) Doug has chosen to to undergo the first rounds of chemo and then a reassessment to check if the treatments are having any positive effect on his cancer. He has kept a positive attitude about his illness from the get-go, and he is in touch with Michel every few days to keep him abreast of how things are going. On the outside, Michel has been taking his dad's illness well; on the inside, I can see that he is being torn apart on the inside. He experienced a small part of the cancer battle when Mom was ill, and I truly hate that he has to face it firsthand now with his own parent. On a good note though, we learned a lot about cancer from Mom's illness; this time we were prepared with the right questions to ask and to have Michel's dad ask his own doctors. And unfortunately, we know what to expect with the chemo and the side effects, and the havoc cancer plays not only upon the person afflicted, but those who surround that person as well. We are better prepared, but nothing truly can prepare a person for the potential loss of a parent. I only hope that I can be as strong of a support system for Michel as he was for me in my time of need; time will tell.

I hate to end this post on such a negative tone; but in order to have good days, we must first suffer through the bad ones so that we have something of which to compare them. Relatively speaking, this was a good day - if for no other reason than I was here to see it arrive.

1 comment:

T said...

I'm sorry to hear about your family. But, I'm proud of you for losing all that weight.