We have had a laid back summer. We started out with vacation in Hilton Head Island, SC. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, but we agreed that it's just not that easy to get there and if we are going to the beach in the future we will stick with the Gulf. I have only been working one or two days a week and have thoroughly enjoyed my time at home with the boys. It's great that they are getting older and more independent.
The boys have (sort of) practiced math and reading over the summer, especially Carter. He needs to master his multiplication tables so we have worked quite diligently on that. We had a summer reading chart that was going really well, then life happened and even though Carter reads everyday and both boys are read to every night, I haven't been keeping track quite as well. We have had frequent trips to the Adventure Science Center, Circus World, playgrounds and the pool. The boys are finishing up swimming lessons and I am hoping Carter is not far away from being able to pass the swim test at the Y.
It's hard to believe that I will soon have a 4th grader and a Kindergartner. Yikes!
My weight loss journey has been pretty much stuck since my last updates. It doesn't mean I haven't been working on stuff, just trying to take the steps forward to health. Life keeps getting in the way, as it always does, but by no means does it mean my desire to be healthy has waned. I have a great trainer that I meed with twice a week, I am still in counseling (although not as frequent), I have been doing a summer group with some gals from church going through a great healthy body image study. I am also considering my options for getting healthy for good. Since I have been working on this for so long, and I don't want to give up, AND I want permanent change, I am looking at all my options.
Sadly, everything hasn't been smooth sailing this summer. My dad has chronic health issues and this is his second year on dialysis. He's been doing well with that and is looking forward to switching to home dialysis soon. My step-mom had a major health scare in January and had major surgery and spent 10 days in the ICU. My sister and I were at the hospital with dad as much as possible. Thankfully, Linda has made a full recovery. During that time, dad had been diagnosed with pneumonia and the doctor's thought a spot on his lung may be cancerous. Thankfully, with treatment, the spot on his lung shrunk and the doctors felt that there was no cancer. All that was going on while Linda was in the hospital.
Fast forward to summer and my dad ended up in the hospital after an outpatient procedure preparing him for home dialysis. It was scary because they found spots on each of his kidneys, he had every kind of scan and test and after his second day in the hospital with more tests, I drove to Chattanooga to see what was up. Thankfully, the doctor's felt like the spots on his kidneys are cysts and not cancer. Dad was released a few days later and I decided to visit him at home last weekend to see for myself how he was doing.
Unfortunately, they had gotten some pretty disturbing news at the doctor's office that day. The spot in daddy's lung has more than doubled. Worst case scenario, it is cancerous and it may have spread to his kidneys. Best case scenario would be pneumonia again. Since I wasn't at the doctor with them I really don't know what was going on, but Linda said that the doctor's face and expressions were quite serious. They removed fluid from my dad's lung and sent it off to be biopsied.
That was Friday. Today is Wednesday and we still haven't heard anything. So, I'm sitting here, waiting to hear back from my dad to see if he has cancer.
Kind of puts a negative turn on summer, huh?
I don't know if the scenarios in my head are worse than reality right now, but I don't think my body knows the difference. I can only imagine what dad is feeling. And Linda. At this point, I just want to know. Whatever it is we are dealing with, knowing would be better than the imagining the worst. Plus, we can have a plan.
It just stinks that I am sitting here, waiting to see if my dad has cancer, which would most likely be terminal.
So, I decided to share the journey we have come so far. Even if dad doesn't have cancer (and we are diligently praying he doesn't) his health isn't going to improve over time, unfortunately.
That means my sister and I are dealing with end of life issues with my dad, and that means frequent travel to and from East Tennessee and, in general, just worrying about what is coming next and praying for the best.
So, it's been hard and stressful. Not nearly as much for us as for my dad, but stressful nonetheless. Do we get dad and Linda to move here? Do they stay close to three hours away? How do we handle frequent hospitalization, and other aging parent issues. Linda is still recovering from a quadruple bypass that came with serious complications leaving her weak. Can she care for dad 24/7? How will we know when she can't. They are adults, completely independent, and have their full faculties....the decisions are in their hands.
So, I figured it was time to write, since writing helps me get stuff out. It also brings in prayer and support from others, and I feel that is needed too. Too long we carry the load and burden all alone and we are so much better working as a team, asking for help, even if that help is nothing more than prayer. But how are going to know what to pray for if we don't share the struggles we are going through.
So, I am sure there will be more updates, more writing and we appreciate even more prayers.