Sunday, January 26, 2014

Take Care of Yourself: A testiment to being your own caregiver -- FIRST.

If there is any information I can pass on right now, it is that you need to take care of you first. My husband equates it to the instructions you get on an airplane -- if the oxygen mask comes down, put yours on first then your children. You are no good to your kids if you are sick or unconscious.
We are in the middle of a medical issue with me. It started back on 2012 but has reared its head recently again and now is the time to take care of it. When things started, I had the chance to have a procedure done but chose not to - doctors thought there was no immediate need, we had other things to attend to, the issue was not too bad. During this time, there have been some painful reminders of an ovarian cyst that might be growing but I explained it off as other things.
The other night we were at a fundraiser dinner. Shortly after eating, I found myself hunched over in pain, throwing up in the bushes in front of the building we were trying to leave (nice testiment to our dinner, it was very good - we hoped our hosts understood) and on my way to the ER. Long story short - it looks like the ovary twisted (nice painful feeling) and blood markers for the probability of cancer have risen. It should have been a quick and simple procedure the other day to remove it but because of the marker information that came in right before starting and my doctor could not find an oncologist who could come right away to assist, it was stopped and now we continue to forge on. My doctor decided to do an endometrial biopsy. There is an appointment with an oncologist set up and we are all hoping to get things taken care of soon, within the month I hope.
Looking back, I should have done things right away, we wouldn't need to worry about all this other stuff -- with low cancer markers, there would be no need for an oncologist. I can't work for awhile since I don't always feel well and cannot always drive because of the pain killers so I can't be on the road.
I try to look at the positive -- right now there is a 44% cancer chance which means there is a 66% chance of NO cancer - this is the number I focus on. Our oldest son is leaving in a couple of weeks for another state to work with Americorps. This is the time we need to make sure he is organized and has everything he needs to leave. Will still has not started his adult program so I really need to be home with him. So if there is any time that would be better to be ill and be home, it would be now. So I thank God for being around now and for the 'good fortune' and good timing of being around now to help. Once all is settled, I will be back to work when our boys should be in there programs. But for anyone out there -- take care of yourself first, even if it doesn't seem like it is serious enough. Just do it.

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A Caregiver's Poem

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Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom:
(picture from Caregivers Blog)

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.

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