Thursday, March 26, 2015

Energy and Motivation, Don't Leave Me Now!

I guess I could put an ad in the local paper, but I am afraid the things I have lost, cannot be found that easily. I have a long list of excuses as to why I have gained several extra pounds in the last year, but the plain truth is, I have been snacking too much and not getting enough exercise.

The Cancer ordeal of this past year did have a tiny bit to do with it, but it was not the only factor. It took the better part of the summer to heal from my surgery and I did tend to stay in and do as little as possible during the healing process. Then there was the Iron ordeal. I had to go to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center once a week for a 2 hour session of intravenous iron. Louisville being 60 miles away, and the traffic being so bad at times, I was a nervous wreck each time we had to make the trip. Pop does the driving, and he scares me as he is much older now, not to mention, he thinks he is still 25 and driving on the racetrack, which he was really good at, back then. But age tends to change a lot of things, and he doesn't accept change easily. Many times when we'd make the trip, one of his two daughters would go. Most times, they would drive, but occasionally, they will let him drive. They truly want to believe he is just as capable as he was when he was much younger, and do not want to hear me say he does not need to be driving to Louisville.  I've lived with him for the last 37 years, so I feel I know his driving habits a little better now. I would rather one of them would drive. They are both good drivers, although they do drive faster and take more chances than I ever would. I guess it's a case of choosing the lesser of the two evils.

Nevertheless, the Cancer and the Iron ordeals are behind us, for the most part. I am still taking the chemo pills daily, and I still need to have a CBC once a month, regular check ups with both my surgeon and my oncologist, once every 3 months. and a scan every 6 months. Both doctors are in Louisville, so that's a pain, having to make the trips backup there, but when you consider my alternatives, it's not that bad.

The Winter was really rough on me this time. Over and above the other issues, I have been experiencing a lot of troubles with one of my shoulders. Both tend to bother me a lot, but the right shoulder froze up completely. It, too, was possibly brought on by inactivity. During the time I was recuperating from the cancer surgery, I was doing a lot of work on the computer, planning my big 50th class reunion. I was on the computer the better part of every waking hour for much of the Fall and Winter. I was the number one, search and find, person, for locating our 169 plus classmates.
I enjoyed every minute of it, but I do think it may have played a big part in my shoulder joint freezing up. I went through a few weeks of physical therapy, and it helped somewhat, But I still do not have the complete mobility back in that arm. Mom had a similar problem with her right arm and shoulder. They would not do surgery on her because of her age, but I do not plan to have surgery at any age on mine. I am hearing too many stories of bad results for folks who have had the surgery.

Now,back to my topic. Spring is here now. My aches and pains seem to diminish with more activity and a change in the weather. It will take me all summer to clean up the mess left from my inactivity of the past year. Things tend to get out of hand in the yard and gardens, without regular routine care. I have been working with these things for a few days now, and I do feel I am rebuilding my strength and stamina a bit. It's a slow process. I am struggling with low energy and weak muscles, but I plan to persevere. Hopefully, I will get back to my usual self before Winter hits again,along with the long spells of inactivity which accompanies it. I have never been one to do my exercising indoors.

I do believe the fresh air and outdoor activities tend to play a major part in how one feels, but diet does play a huge part in it, too. Thus, I have just today, ordered Dr. Phil's 20/20 Diet Book. I have never been one to follow a diet, and do any good, but hopefully he will have a few pointers that I can use in my own routine.I'll check in, in a few days to post an update on how I am doing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Our Family Grows

One day, this past few months, Pop and I were working with the winter's wood supply, when we heard the 3 dogs barking incessantly at something they had treed. We investigated and found it was a young calico cat. It didn't appear to be a full grown cat, but maybe 3/4 grown. We called the dogs away and between Pop and I, we coerced the kitten down from the tree. It seemed to be comfortable with humans, so we went about convincing the dogs that it was not a varmint, so they,too, become  comfortable with each other, right away. It seemed to be a well kept cat. It was healthy and friendly, but it was determined to follow us, every step we made. We'd go inside. It would follow. We'd go outside. It would follow. It knew exactly where to go inside the house, for water, To the commode. That told us that it must have been a house cat where ever it had come from. We continued on with letting it be a house cat, but it definitely wanted to go outdoors to do it's business. It would use the litter box if it had to, but we could tell, it preferred to do that outside in the dirt.We noticed it getting fatter and fatter, or so we thought. It only took about 60+ days to figure out it was not fat that was making her appear much bigger. Pop was worried she had a tumor, and sure enough 60+ days later, she had 5 little tumors. We have spoiled them all rotten now, and it will be hard to let them go, but we are pretty sure we have found homes for most of the babies. We plan to have Callie, the Mother cat, neutered as soon as possible. She is a darling pet. It is hard to understand who would have dropped off such a great pet, but with the economy being as it is nowadays, we figure they could not afford to feed her, plus most likely knowing she was bred, did not help.  Our male cat has been neutered so we know he was not guilty of fathering the kittens.She had to have been bred when she was dropped or shortly thereafter, by a neighboring male cat. They do tend to travel great distances, when in season, to find a mate. No matter. She is our cat now, and we love her dearly. The babies are all precious. Each with it's own darling personality. They will make great pets for their perspective owners soon, although we will miss them terribly. It is so easy to get attached to a tiny kitten, as we are learning, all too well.

Back in the Saddle Again

This has been a very rough year for me and I am hoping with the arrival of the Spring season, to be able to get things back on track. My muscles have deteriorated over this past Summer and Winter, due to inactivity. The Cancer scare, hopefully, is behind me. I had it removed and I am now taking 300 milligrams of Gleevec, a chemo pill, once a day.The healing from the surgery took about 6 weeks, but then we learned that my iron levels were bottomed out, so that took another 6 weeks to get the treatments for that taken care of. All in all, I have had very little outdoor activities to keep my muscles built up as usual. One of my shoulders froze up, probably due to the same reason, and I am convinced that age and the weather had a bit to do with it also. I went through a few rounds of therapy which helped to a great extent, but I am sure some of the pain and discomfort will be with me always. I have kept myself busy as always, through this lengthy recovery from all of the above. I have busied myself doing lots of my many craft interests, but the one that captivates me most often is making the little pincushions.This is only a few of my pincushions as I have been giving them to friends and family as gifts this past few months.I enjoy making the little pincushions, although they are very tedious and time consuming. The process does seem to have a calming effect on me, so when I am stressed, they are the perfect distraction and remedy.