Fell Off (Again)………

So, I fell off the face of the earth.  Again.  Not sure who all stops by here anymore – I’m a lot more active on facebook, pinterest, goodreads, or ancestry these days.

Cancer – My sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma a few days ago.  We are still reeling from that little bit of news – trying not to over-google it…but still trying to research it just the same.  We’ve joined a few support groups and are just trying to process.  It’s definitely a life changer. We don’t yet know what strain or what stage she is in.  There will be a bone marrow biopsy and a PET scan done within the next week.  From there we’ll know more and then the oncologist will come up with a course of treatment.  The prognosis is good, so although we are scared, we are hopeful for a  positive outcome.  Your prayers are very much requested and appreciated.

Reading – Well, no surprise that I increased my reading goal this year to 110 books.  I’m about 75 in so far….fingers crossed.  It’s nice to know I’ll meet one of my goals this year! (ha ha).

Health – You would think that someone who was diagnosed as pre-diabetic would work harder at making better food choices for herself.  I know what good choices are – I’ve gained and lost a lot of weight over my lifetime.  For me, limited processed carbs works best.  I do better with proteins, veggies, and fruits.  I need to lose the weight – over 100 pounds, as a matter of fact.  I need to cook more at home, less eating out, less convenience foods – more movements, less sitting around.  I need to have more respect for myself and I need to get healthy.  End of story.

Genealogy – Still plugging along.  Still a lot of dead ends and roadblocks, but it is a passion of mine that I’ll carry for the rest of my life.  It is wondrous how connected I can feel to ancestors that lived generations before me.

Thirteen Days…

is all we have left until Christmas?  How did that happen???  I didn’t even realize it until Jill Shalvis mentioned it on facebook yesterday, (thanks Jill!).  So, I did some last minute shopping (thanks Amazon.com!). I’m still not ready, though.  Who would think that the hardest one to buy for would be the 4-year-old?  Yup, she’s spoiled!

What’s Up With Me (also known as making very bad excuses for why I’ve deserted my blog)

I moved in August. Physically I just wasn’t able to live on-campus at work anymore – I’m so limited in what I can do right now, so I just thought it was best to leave.  Plus, I watch J a lot and if I have to choose between spending time with her, or spending time on-call, it’s really no contest. So am trying to re-educate myself on budgets, since I didn’t have to worry about housing & utilities when I lived on-campus.

In February, I started getting another flare-up of my neck/back.  I’ve endured months of chiropractor, physical therapy, doctors, etc., etc…finally in August I had X-Rays and MRI done.  Of course, I’ve known that I’ve had issues with my neck/back stemming from 2 car wrecks in which I was T-boned on the passenger side of my car.  The first time, the truck was going roughly 40 mph; the second one, the car whipped through a red light and hit me going at roughly the same speed.  So, it could be worse; but has left me with a lifetime injury.  Anyway – X-Ray and MRI showed what I already knew – well, mostly.  I do have 2 bulging discs (C3-C4, C5-C6) plus bone spurs, which are pressing onto the nerve roots at the base of my spinal cord which is what causes the burning, tingling, numbness from my shoulder blade all the way down my right arm. Doctor thinks I’m a good candidate for epidurals  blocks, or injections (not quite sure what the difference is between the 3); so am on my way to a neurosurgeon on Tuesday (the same neurosurgeon that did my mom’s surgery last month).  I’ve a bit nervous – I think the worst thing someone can do is research on the internet…….which I’ve done a lot of.

The thing is, I’ve lived with this for 9 years – it wasn’t horrible when I lost the weight 4 years ago…but then again I was very active and exercised everyday. About 3 years ago, I gained the weight back and then some. Now I hurt all the time, so common sense tells me that I would feel better if I lost the weight and got to moving again. The problem is I hurt all the time and don’t really feel much like moving around. But I need to do something.

Which brings me to vacation plans.  The whole family is going to Disneyland next year for J’s 5th birthday.  I want to be in the family pictures, but I can assure you I won’t be at this weight.  Either I don’t lose the weight and don’t get in the family photo, or I get busy knowing what I have to do.

Snowed In

Mom was supposed to leave today for Minot for Christmas.  So far, she’s still at the airport.  Darn those snowstorms in the midwest!!  She is still supposed to get out by 3pm today; which will put her into Minneapolis by 6pm……then she won’t leave Minneapolis until 9:40pm (if she gets to leave at all!!) and gets to Minot at 11:30pm.  Yikes!!  Being the loving daughter, I told her “Ya know, if you’d driven, you’d already be there by now!”  Of course, that’s not true – the roads are closed in North Dakota and the plows aren’t even coming out.  I do pray for safe flights and that she gets there tonight – this is the first time she’s been able to spend Christmas with all of her brothers and sisters (7 total!) in about 30 years.

In other news, I’m just ready for vacation.  Two more days and then I’m off for 11 fun-filled days of sleeping in, reading, watching old movies, and doing genealogy.  That’s it.  That’s all I have planned – and I cannot wait!

Oh! If you could, please say a quick prayer for Morgan and her family.  She had surgery this morning and I’m really hoping they were able to get most (if not all, preferably!) of the tumors from her lungs.

Miracles 4 Morgan

I promise I’ll get back to regular posting soon.  My pinky is still a bit wonky, so it’s difficult to type up a long post.  On the bright side, the splint is off now!! 

Anyway, if you could please spread the word to keep prayers going for my cousin’s daughter, Morgan, I would appreciate it.  She is a 15-year-old girl and is battling a couple of very aggressive cancers.  You can read up on her story here. (You will need to have a caringbridge logon in order to view her page)

Also, if you could please spread the word amongst your friends and families to keep Morgan in their prayers, we would appreciate it. 

A Beautiful Summer (Fall) Day

I was quite elated this morning when my sister called to let me know that her ex-husband called in sick for his visitation today.  (Long story on this one, and not sure it’s a story I should tell in this format).  So, I got an unexpected fun day with Baby-J ( who is 3 and I really should quit calling her a baby.  It was supposed to be a beautiful day outside today so J and I decided to go to the zoo with a picnic and then play at the playground before ending our day with frozen yogurt.

I should have gone to Subway for our picnic – they have fresh fruit options and your sandwiches can be made to order.  Unfortunately I went with Wheat Montana instead.  Chips instead of fresh veggies & fruits (I didn’t eat them).  Didn’t really like my sandwich, so I ended up tossing out at least half of it. Half of the zoo was closed for refurbishments (which begs the question, why wasn’t the price to get in 1/2 off then???). 

The animals were pretty scarce – I think it was just too hot for them (it was upwards of 90 degrees today).  Boris the Grizzly Bear was out putting on a show – she was essentially just sitting in front of the fence and checking out all the people that were checking her out.  Right across from her, the wolverines were enjoying mealtime, so they were out putting on a bit of a show.  Other than that, the animals weren’t out at all.  J just wasn’t interested though – she just wanted to play on the playground.  So, I think next time we’ll just go to the park.  But, at least at the zoo, I get to walk the trails so I can get some exercise in at the same time.

The sensory gardens were beautiful and there were quite a few trees whose leaves were changing to a glorious red color.  Not to be missed.  That’s one of the reasons I love Fall (even in 90 degree weather).

After 2 1/2 hours at the zoo, I was ready for something cold and refreshing so we headed to town for frozen yogurt. I’m now officially in love with Red Velvet Cake froyo.  And I don’t even like Red Velvet Cake.

I’m so glad we went out to enjoy the day – there won’t be many more beautiful ones like this left before Winter rears her ugly head.