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the turbulent month of May

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I'm going to try to log a blog here twice a month just to keep to some sort of commitment on Sparkpeople while I'm officially in a maintenance mode.

Last month we discovered that my mother-in-law has a tumor in her breast (actually 4). A biopsy has confirmed they are cancer.

I'm not going to get into what she should of done or how she should have taken care of her health. She's in her mid 80's so cut the woman some slack.

Also, as we close into the senior part of our years something will indeed try to kill us, whether its heart disease, cancer, diabetes or whatever. It's unrealistic to think that we can keep good health forever - we are not immortal.

She has a MRI scheduled tomorrow and meets with her surgeon on Monday. So we leave Tulsa tomorrow and head down to OKC for a few days to be involved.

The important takeaways at this this point is:

1.) please get a mammogram on a regular basis.

2.) breast cancer is very treatable.

3.) until we know the cancer's markers we don't what the treatment will be. Some cancers can be treated with medication.

4.) I'm pretty much 100% sure she will be getting a mastectomy (which she is on board with) but again, until we meet with the surgeon and more tests are done we won't know for sure.

5.) otherwise she is in very good health and should be able to handle surgery.

6.) due to her age, they may not recommend chemo. Or if they do chemo it will be a chest wall chemo. That hasn't been discussed yet and until the team gets together and we know more, we won't know if this will be one of the options they offer.

Due to this Miles and I plan on being in and out of the house for the next few months. He and his sister are going to be attending almost all the doctor appointments (especially the important "discussion" ones) so this simply means our life will be in a big upheaval and it is what it is.

Him being gone though means I eat crappy and of course with the pressure it means we turn to comfort food. Overall, I'm doing "okay" as my weight has stabilized at 202 BUT it means I'm not in a mood to try to lose weight. That will need to wait.

Next up on all the changes...

Kid #2 graduated from community college with his degree in Criminal Justice. He has applied to the University of Oklahoma (still waiting to hear but I don't see why he wouldn't be accepted) where he plans on majoring in philosophy. After obtaining a BA (another 2 years down the road) he will be applying to Law School.

I'm not going to discuss the merits of law school or lawyers. I personally think it will be a great avenue for him as he wants to pursue advocacy work for minorities. Being Chickasaw he is also interested in pursuing Native American studies and law in that area too (which is tremendously complicated so we shall see).

To clear things up here - he may not "practice" law as a lawyer. It seems a lot of folks get law degrees in order to work for non-profits where a law degree is helpful. What he does exactly with it will be determined once he gets it. LOL

Kid #1 is home for his college break. He didn't do well this semester and this is going to be a major problem. So next week I'm sitting down with him to discuss some hard facts about how the money for his schooling is running out. He is on a tick-tock notice on when to wrap this up.

It's a delicate balance because as his mom I want him to achieve his dreams but also as his mom I can't continue to keep shelling out money for classes he drops or fails. He is tremendously smart but he is not working with his ADHD at all and thus the failures.

To complicate this further he is very close to his grandmother so the news has hit both the kids pretty hard.

Now about me....

The last six months I've been having an intermittent pain in my right upper thigh. I finally discussed this with my doctor during my recent checkup and he said it was bursitis (fancy name for inflammation). He gave me a shot and it subsided.

But about 5 days later I pulled my back which ended up being somehow related to the hip pain so I saw him Monday and got another shot as well as a course of prednisone to take.

Everything has improved BUT I can tell it's not "well" yet. There is still intermittent pain that comes and goes (though duller) so walking and working out is off the list. Even bending over to do the dishwasher can tweak some things back there.

I'll be getting an appointment with a specialist as soon as I can. If you don't know why I haven't gotten that done, go back and read the first part of this blog.

Right now I've decided to stick in maintenance mode. What does that mean and why is it dangerous?

1.) My plan is to stabilize at a 200-202 weight. To achieve that I weigh every morning and I keep a log of what I'm eating. It may not be a calorie counting log but I do record what I've consumed in a day.

2.) I still limit eating out. That is the most dangerous place for me. With all the bro-haha about my MIL we've eaten out more than I would have liked. So grocery shopping yesterday and we bought things Miles will take with him to my MIL's house so we can try to keep on a better path when there.

3.) With the worry, snacking has been a problem. The good news is I'm snacking from my pre-approved list. The bad news is I'm snacking!

4.) Once I'm cleared for walking, I'll be back to that on a regular basis. It's the easiest exercise you can do and I've found it to be the easiest to keep doing.

What I don't think people understand (because they are thinking mostly about losing weight) here on Sparkpeople is how dangerous it is to "maintain." Because I've already yakked on and on here, I'll just hit some bullet points about why this can be a dangerous period.

1.) You use the word "maintain" when you really mean giving up. It's a fool-me word so you can excuse away that you ate those cookies and ice cream - after all you're "maintaining" so it's back to "real" food.

2.) You think maintain is a license to live your life the way you want to live it without any consequences for over-eating and under-exercising. But it's okay because you are maintaining - until one day you simply aren't and you are gaining.

3.) To maintain means no more record-keeping, no accountability. I've seen my husband fall into this trap. He's already re-gained because he isn't calorie counting or getting on the scale. He doesn't want to think about it and if he ignores the warning signs than he can ignore the weight gain. Nope.

4.) Weight creeps back on when you maintain. You ignore and more creeps back on. Your body and mind adjusts to the new weight gain and it doesn't seem all that bad. Six months later you've regained 50 pounds.

It can be so easy to blame health issues and life problems on re-gaining weight. I know that I've already lost muscle tone from not working out myself which is a huge bummer BUT you can't allow these setbacks to stop you from being the best healthy you that you can be.

emoticon Becky aka Labyrinth
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Becky, Those were great bullet points! Just to let you know I have a personal best of 5 min 20 sec. on the wall squat and 5 min 15 sec. on an incline plank. my normal is between a 3-4 min on both. I hope your hip and back are fully recovered. And MIL has had the treatments she needs! (((HUGS)))
    645 days ago
    So many difficult things. I'm thinking of you and wishing you all my best. emoticon
    725 days ago
  • LORI-K
    Thinking about you and your family! emoticon
    732 days ago
    Morning Becky. So sorry to hear about your MIL. It does sound like she has a great attitude and other than nasty cancer healthy - both of which bode well for success🤞. I hear your concerns re maintaining- I am there too, never give up we can do it!
    746 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13161572
    I've been wondering how you have been doing Becky so thanks for the update! I actually think you are so wise to put yourself into maintenance mode by still logging and getting on the scale daily. I don't see it as giving up! emoticon
    763 days ago
    I'm sorry about all the things going on around you, and for the things you've had to deal with..please know you are in my loving thoughts & prayers. Sending you ((((HUGS)))), only wish I could be there to give you those hugs in person...I hope things work out for your MIL, and for your sons as well.
    Take care of yourself..be good to yourself..you so deserve it!
    Loving (((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))) & thanks for sharing with us!

    764 days ago
    764 days ago
    Hi Becky,

    I have kept you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, too. So much going on. Congrats to your son on his graduation. Best wishes on getting the other son back on track. That isn’t an easy conversation.

    I hope your all works out with your MIL. It will be a tough road for all of you. The support from all family members is so important. It sounds like that is happening.
    I hope you start feeling better. Stress can really add to the issues you are experiencing. Such a viscous circle. Stress plays havoc with your body, so you have to fall back from exercising/walking. Yet if you could walk it helps with stress. Your assessment on maintenance is so true. That is how I have regained my weight over the years. Such a good reminder of how we get caught up with maintenance.

    I will keep you in my thoughts, hugs!
    765 days ago
    Thank you AquaGirl - I do want you to get better so much! I know this has to be absolutely frustrating for you.

    Yes, Miles lost his dad to Parkinson's disease about four years back and we are working hard so my MIL has many more years left. I've got my fingers crossed for good news - the best being that the cancer has not metastasized and that it can be treated with the new drugs on the market. These are keyed to the estrogen factors in the cancer and can stop its growth or maybe even reduce its size.
    765 days ago
    I'm so sorry to hear about you MIL. Even if you know that life doesn't go on forever, it is still upsetting. I'm in a situation where I'm waiting for surgery and working out, is out of the question. Even holding onto my walker is dicey. I can't put any pressure on my hand/wrist. However, if I go to the store and walk with a shopping cart, where I can rest my hand/arm on the cart, I can do more walking. So, I'm watching everything that goes into my mouth and trying to maintain or slightly lose. So far so good. I hope things begin to get better for everyone soon.
    765 days ago
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