People! People! People!

My friends — I am back!
My goodness, what a past 6-months.

On October 11th (I think it was) I wrote about my mom having been diagnosed with brain cancer. I wrote about losing my (stupid short term temp) job and I wrote about missing personal training appointment and I wrote about the possibility that I might get fat (again).

Most importantly, mom finally surrendered to brain cancer; Stage 4 Glioblastoma late January 2014. The stages in this process were rough–for all of us, though obviously mostly for her. Not going to lie to you – my precious mother was a difficult patient and until she became grounded in bed, she was angry, generally unwilling to accept help, unable to coordinate the use of eating utensils, and refused the help of hired sitters  So, it was up to me and my dad and her long time home assistant — nobody else and mom needed to be watch at.all.times.

Mom was already using a walker pre-surgery for back issues (and old age). As her illness progressed she became less and less able to let us help her getting into/onto her bed, as as well, the toilet. In trying to do things for herself, she fell and was resistant let us help her back up. In the early stages, while she was still almost strong, she fought us helping her and fought harder when she no longer had the strength to help us help her — no resistance strength from her so we had to lift her as dead weight… and this was very hard on her back which caused pain and more resistance.  Eventually she became fully bed ridden in a hospital bed; yes we had-in home Hospice.

In her earlier stages of illness after surgery, she was not able to speak; that is, could not finish a sentience. She left us hanging in suspense over the last word that never came out. I had to tease her when she’d say, for example, “I’d like to …… ”  and I’d say to her, try telling us the last word first… I am in suspense! I could joke with her, at first.

goneMoving forward, once mom was bed ridden she turned to sleep (willingly or unwilling) and did so without moving for up to 30-hours in some stretches. The last phases of the illness were quite rapid. In a highly acclaimed little booklet that Hospice provides, Gone from My Sight, it seemed that mom followed all the rules of the final stages that unfolded before my eyes. Unbelievable. I mean literally, it was unbelievable that “my” mom got sick and suffered through such a horrible time; this extremely dynamic, opinionated, confidant and once independent woman became unable to speak, communicate, write, hold a fork or feed herself.

There was no pain. The brain itself does not know pain itself although, I suppose in lay terms, it knows how to deliver it. Pre-surgery, post-surgery and through the days and final days — not once did she have pain. So, there are the agonizing and painful cancers like pancreatic, liver, lung, and breast cancer. I wonder if you had to chose a cancer, would it be the one that silences you and yet gives you no pain, or one that doesn’t silence you but is painful.

How this affected me was simple. My commitment to my mother was that she would see me most times (and toward the end, each time) that she woke up and opened her eyes. I wanted her to know I was there — always there and would be til the end and mom would never wake up alone. When she woke I’d tell her about the day, something I read, or something from the news. It was important to engage her because after all, she wasn’t dead, or dumb. She was completely coherent up until the last 18-hours of her life.I know this because she smiled at me, held my hand and asked questions, or said, “say that again”?!

In the final 2-weeks I had moved into her house and shared the room with her; her on the hospital bed and me in the twin bed sleeper beside it. Other family member(s) were not as invested in the ‘sitting’ as I was. The other primary in the family felt that if she was dying she was dying. Not being insensitive, but more like a man, he told me that she would die when it was time no matter where he, or I was at the time and life goes on. True — but on my watch… she will die with me right here.

I struggled to focus on much other than her. I went to have dinner with her most nights until later when I moved in, and promised myself that my life should not change and part of that would be going to the gym after I had dinner with her and saw her to bed. But, most nights were not easy. Her eating was atrocious and when someone tried to help she became infuriated. This fueled anger and different sets of family challenges. I’d be so upset, or emotionally worn out each time I left that the idea of taking care of myself; by going to the gym for example was so off the beaten path, so far out of my wildest imaginations — Doing so however, would have been the best thing I could have done for myself mentally and physically. But I just couldn’t pull myself together and that made me even angrier.

This next part was tricky too and this is something I MUST see past myself from here on out and forever. It’ll be hard to explain so bear with me. I was gaining weight – by the day. My step-father was losing weight — by the day. He was dieting. Last February 2013 I began personal training and aggressively lost weight and toned up to the tune of 52-lbs gone. During that time my step-father insisted (not verbally by in actions and expressions) that I could have lost the weight for free. After all, (well, lets call a spade a spade, he got jealous back then and started losing) he was losing, too. And all he did, he said was watch what he ate. Personally, I am sure there are stomach problems for him. I lived with him (while mom was ill) for almost 4-months and every trip to the bathroom was… loose and spattered.

But anyway, the more I gained the more my mom was looking at my stomach. For once, just this once I am glad she was silenced so I wouldn’t have to put up with the comments coming from her eyes. But ‘he’ kept telling me every day — and I never asked, he told company that rarely came over to visit mom – though they never asked, he told them that he was losing weight. “Another pound today”! (behind his back people would say to me, “?” and “who cares?”) and he did this constantly. But I was in this position that I would not discuss weight with him, would not compliment him because it would generate discussion about my weight and so when it was time to eat…. If he ordered pizza, I was going to eat pizza. I would not cave in and tell him I would only have a salad, for example because it would generate 2-thing: a nod to me that I had gained weight, and/or a nod to himself that he was losing. I didn’t want to hear about it let any food or manipulation on his part make me talk about it.

So I went with the flow. What I ate was off-limits for discussion and while I could have/should have been cautious and open about what I would eat and wouldn’t eat, and wasn’t going to admit I was gaining. And frankly, my weight was not my concern. I HAD been professionally trained for 9-months and when the time came I knew exactly what had to be done to lose. So when it was time, I would lose it.

I hope you guys understood that? The issue now is that I won’t go to the gym because I don’t want my trainer to see the 21-lbs I gained. And trust me, hiding from him is not helping. He is the Assistant manager at the gym and always there. So I haven’t been going. This is NOT good.

After mom passed (so tragic) I immediately switched horses to (probably) avoid the reality of her horrific death and jumped right into her Celebration of Life. It took me a month to pull it together and ultimately it was a beautiful Celebration. 80-people in a beautiful setting. I didn’t watch my weight (yet) (although I did hit the gym for a couple of days — go me) too much. I regretted having to buy a new outfit in a new size (one size up) black pencil skirt, black light knit black top and a lightweight over sweater — HATED the over sweater part — we all know why we wear them! I was stressed about finding something classy and suitable to wear that would not reveal the gain. So sad that I did spend 9-months getting to look the way I should and be exempt from these problems — but the weight gain was an epic fail and I regret not taking care of myself. But who can blame me? Should I be bouncing around in a gym while my mother sleeps and wakes and doesn’t see me sitting there? She woke at all times of the day and night. So, therefore I sat.

And now, mom has passed, the celebration of life is over, we did a mini-second service yesterday for the residents at their community and I have little reason left to have excused to not take care of myself.

I am the sole survivor of the family. My dad died in 2000, my brother in 2002. End of a era is me. For once I have NOBODY to be accountable for or to– nobody, ‘cept the guy… but you guys know what I mean…. and this new-found unaccountability and by the way, no job, has tried to turn me in a lady in the lap.of.luxury leisure (with no substantial money to back up that title — who DO I think I am?) – waking up early and getting to go back to bed, watching too much TV, running errands that turn into shopping excursions.

I understand the Psych 101 aspect of my behavior.
New found freedom can be destructive.
I need structure.
My actions are screaming for it.

So here is the plan:

If I have all this time on my hands, and I have all this discomfort and anxiety about my weight – then I’m going to have to break down and go to my gym, trainer there or not and face the music when I see him. He’ll be disappointed, but he knows the situation I’ve been in and while he is young and hasn’t lost a parent yet, he seems to understand. Still, in texts I told him I didn’t want him to see me – I was too fat.

BUT! I finally realize that the only think keeping me from going to the gym is him. And yet, he is the ONLY one who gave me structure and required accountability from me. I hated training, I hated going to the gym every day (well, not really – it became natural) but I LOVED what it did to my body. So with a great deal of free time on my hands, I do believe it must be spent in a gym — or interviewing. Period!

And I apologize for the long and poorly written and depressing story. But it’s one that I needed to tell. Stay tuned for more uplifting posts!

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I still couldn’t remember my password!

My goodness, what a ride this year — and it ain’t even over yet!

I’ve written!…. but never got them posted. So, here’s what’s happening and I hope to be a better blogger — I need the outlet. Read on and find out why.

I am still with my beloved personal trainer since February 2nd, but that ride stops on November 7th. I lost 52-lbs in 9-months. Yeah, that pretty remarkable but….. at the end of June I wrote the same thing: “I have lost 52-lbs’. Clearly the process slowed down since coming to a seemingly a screeching halt since July. BUT, the better news is that I have not gained any weight in epic or small proportions in all this time. I have gained miniscule amounts which were quickly addressed!  I am holding steady at 50-lbs.

Much has happened in the past few months and none of my news is positive. My professional agent has kept me in steady work since mid January and up until this past week. The contracts I have been in have been wonderful jobs but not jobs I took with any hope of being hired on full-time as part of the company. Unfortunately, and quite simply, the nature of the tasks I was hired to do have not been geared for full-time direct-hire within the company, period.The fact that I was not hired on, or one of those 1 in 5 contract workers will get hired on (a myth) with the company can be frowned upon by future potential employers, but what can I do; it’s been what is was I for the work I’ve done this year, I have been HIGHLY rated.

As well, One contract I was in let me go after holding onto me as long as they could (from 1-week to 4-months) but had to surrender me for lack of funding for the business need — of me. My agency quickly placed me in another great position and just learned that the company which gave me up — had asked for me back!

So the temping work has not been all for not and I loved the jobs I was in. Now for the bad news; the last job I exited was on September 27th and people — this is NOT the time of year to expect placement in a temp job or to get hired. 4th quarter is, THE WORST. I do think my agent will call for one little or large job or another; it’s just the waiting game.

Now for the worstest news. My mother had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. This came as a devastating shock and the worse news than we ever expected when she went in for a brain scan to see if she was having onset Alzheimer’s. I can assure you that the news of Altz would have been far more welcoming that this news! She is 87-years old and at the early stages of Altz we may not have ever seen a full-blown case of it with her. This worse news brings with it a very shortened life span, in terms of months, a month or days.

My head is the clouds of denial over this (always lately). She will have a brain surgery next week — we hope a scheduled appt waits and we have no specific date as of today. I won’t even talk about what could happen in surgery but we are hopeful that it will be successful and she will stay with us to live a normal life span. Mom does suffer from memory issues and getting full sentences out. It’s a tough thing to watch, a tough thing to think about and a tough thing to ‘wait for’ for sure. What does ‘wait’ mean? Wait for the appt, wait for results, wait for recovery or wait for inevitable. Just sit and wait.

How am I doing? I am numb and in denial. I spend extended amounts of time with her; whom you would never know was sick and when I have my alone time — I stay alone. I don’t particularly care about a job at this moment and if I did have one; how well would that go? I’d take off for the surgery date; and that generally that scenario might be tolerated in a real job, but would not work in a temp job, and I’d stay off work as long as it took to be sure mom is in good hands. On the other hand, I could accept a job, stay in it as long as I could and quit if I have to — burning every last bridge that I have crossed.

My fitness plan has gone down the toilet My fitness plan is in jeopardy but I won’t put up with gain…. But it is all I can do to tear myself away from doing nothing to get to the gym; and even then, only on the reaming days that I have left to train — I will not be renewing a 4th time.

Must, must, must get back on the rails! Just before all the drama began this year, I learned by experience and through my personal trainer that rowing is an amazing cardio workout that does display quick results. My trainer likes to see me on the Stair Master climber — something I hate but it too will show results right away. My trainer wants me to use the Stair Master climber for 15-minutes per day and then the Precor Elliptical ATM hate that even more, for 15-minutes and/or the rowing machine That’s all he asks of me.

Do you think I can do that in my state? YES! I realized that honestly; I can’t give up everything just to sit there and watch mom… you know. Until she gets her surgery or has an ‘episode’ as a result of the tumors, we are all ‘on closely guarded watch’ but on the other hand, I do need to take care of myself — at least for 1-hour day, right?

Well, I guess I should get something done today. :eyesrolling:

~tootles…