No major update today. I stayed home to catch up on sleep. Dad went to see mom – she was weaker today but mentally in ok spirits. More tomorrow when I see her. Was watching Oscars but they were boring!
It’s about 2:45pm and I’m sitting with mom. She’s snoozing so I’m writing.
She’s good today. I told her all about Sophia and the fit flops and whatnot. She’s looking forward to going home on Tuesday. I made a hair appointment for me for some normalcy.
Overall, I’m pleased with her progress & attitude. We believe she has situational depression so we’re treating that. Who wouldn’t be after all she has dealt with over these last 10 months??
She’s looking forward to Helen’s visit (hello, I told her you’re coming). She said, “we’ve been friends for 50 years!”
Dad has bronchitis. He’s home resting. Poor man. He’s been through so much. If you call him and he hangs up abruptly, please don’t take it personally. We get a lot of calls & texts every day, which is lovely, but can overwhelm him when people probe for more info. If you have my number, call or text me. I’m here until Friday and I can handle the “chitchat” better than him. If I can’t, I’ll write it here! If you need my info, message me!
We spent the day getting all of our ducks in a row to get mom home! We have a lovely aide named Sophia lined up to start on Tuesday, so with mom’s blood tests in order, she’ll be coming home then. We are working on getting her a hospital bed and all the trimmings. I got her a fluffy, bright twin-size comforter for her temporary bed.
So, overall, a positive day. In between, I worked. Hard to balance everything so I’m glad it’s the weekend. I spoke with one of my donors today & she said I’m the “utmost professional.” I needed that!
I went to Old Navy and got a few things since I’m down 60 lbs now. 😃
Tonight, I went through mom’s jewelry and “inherited” some necklaces. She had offered many of them on my last journey home but alas, they didn’t fit. They do now! Wearing her clothes and jewelry makes me feel close to her. I try to wear something everyday that was hers.
I recently donated these super cute size 8 fit-flop sneakers because they were swimming on my feet. Then I remembered she had gotten them in a 7! I asked her before she got sick if she’d be willing to donate them to her “incredibly shrinking daughter.” Of course she agreed. I dug through her sneakers & found them! They’re about 10 years old but as they say, what is old is new, and they’re right in style again!
So. Things are a bit brighter tonight. I may even sleep!
Quick update as it’s 11:46pm & I’m spent. Mom was better today – a bit stronger – and her oncologist believes she has more life in her. We’re working on getting a 24/7 aide to help us so we can bring her home.
Word is spreading within our friends & extended family. Lots of people are planning to come in to visit. My cousin is flying in from Florida, my aunt & uncle plan to come, other friends will be here next week. The love is wonderful! Please just be mindful that mom needs her rest so keep the visits short & sweet. Today she commented to me on how exhausted she was from guests (I’m her keeper!).
I am wiped out. Thank goodness Ted’s been checking in a lot and we’re making plans for when I return home, which will probably be a week from tomorrow. I have to help dad get everything settled at home before I am comfortable leaving.
Tomorrow I’m going to take a break and get a Fitbit at Target – I want the rose gold & lavender one. #selfcare
Goodnight, sweet dreams, and see you all tomorrow.
It’s almost 11pm. Dad and I both took sleeping pills in the hopes it gets us through the night. I came home and worked for about an hour to get my colleagues up to speed on an event I’m supposed to be running next week. I have a great turn out so it’s bittersweet that I likely won’t be there but I’m grateful for my work peeps to cover for me.
I’m back in mom’s bed and thinking about what life will look like without her. It’s not easy to imagine a world like that. You all know how close we are. But as I said to the neuropsychologist at the hospital earlier, while I have my faults, I’d like to think I’ve also inherited my mom’s people skills and some of my dad’s intellect (he’s still way smarter). I am honored to carry the torch.
She’s amazingly at peace. It’s inspirational, really. I am proud to call her my mom – now & always.
My nephew is arriving tonight from Colorado, and my sister-in-law’s folks will be here tomorrow. We’ll all be together, which is great.
Dad said he hopes friends understand that we’re surrounding mom with family now. She likely wants to go peacefully without a lot of rigamarole.
Dad, my brother and I discussed the next steps together in the meditation room at the hospital. We don’t want Dad to be alone so he may come & stay with me for a while. Or go to my brother’s. I told them I was worried about my depression and dad said he’ll be there for me. I couldn’t ask for more. Then we had a big group hug.
Mom, we love you always. 😘
It’s 1:15pm and I’m alone with mom while the rest of the family took a walk into town to get lunch (in a snowstorm). Mom and I have talked about her wishes for her funeral and I’ve asked her if she’s ok with me dying my hair back to brown. 🙂
Thanks for the outpouring of support. It’s all appreciated.
It’s 6:30pm now. We went home; I napped. My brother & sister in law went to pick up my car. My poor bro blew out 2 of my tires last night (I wasn’t in the car) so they got them replaced. Always fun when life gets in the way.
Dad and I are with mom. She was moved back to the cancer floor for hospice care. We love the staff here. They all greeted us with hugs and warm wishes. My parents spent their careers working at this hospital. It warms my heart to see how much they are revered and admired.
Another big thanks for all of the outpouring support and love. It means the world to me.
We sat around her, staring into her hazel eyes, peering out from a pale, grey haired face. My brother threw out humor; Dad said he spent the day reminiscing; and I, of course, started sobbing immediately.
This morning, Dad called me around 9:30am and said that things weren’t looking good for mom. I asked if I should come. He said yes. He called my brother; he said he’d be joining me. We wrapped up things at work (thank you to my wonderful supportive job and boss), and arrived at Riverview Hospital around 6:30pm.
The room was darkly lit and mom was resting peacefully. She greeted us with a voice that was stronger than I anticipated. She was happy to see us. So was Dad. He actually greeted us downstairs in the lobby.
Mom told us that she wanted to close her eyes and not wake up in the morning. After taking that in for a few moments, we started chit-chatting and a bit of joking, reminiscing, and crying (again, me).
We left an hour later, feeling fairly sure we’d be seeing mom again tomorrow.
That was a few hours ago. I’m laying on mom’s bed, writing, after speaking with Ted. My brother went to pick up his wife at the airport. Dad is watching some nature show downstairs – on full blast – after having a few snifters of whiskey.
I know many of you reading this love mom and want to speak with her. She’s peaceful, at the end of her life, and she just wants to rest. She spent her life caring for everyone and now it’s our time to respect her wishes – quiet, peaceful, rest. She can’t have an influx of visitors. It’s just family time now. It isn’t personal towards anyone. It’s just what we need right now. No cell phones, iPads, laptops.
Please remember that I’m going through something really tough. While I know you want a response on my cell or here or email, please be patient. All love and prayers are appreciated. And, a few people have felt the need to tell me how to feel or how mom should be treated. Trust our judgement, please, to do what’s right for our family. Most of you have been wonderful & I thank you for that.
Dad just came in to say goodnight. I’m sleeping in mom’s room tonight. A great comfort, I told dad. He said, you’re her girl! That I am. Always & forever.❤️
I used to write an anonymous blog and referred to depression as “the big D.” I don’t call it that anymore because it gives it too much power.
I can feel my depression rumbling. I’m back home now, not in the throes of having to make immediate decisions about mom, and my mind starts to wander. I have time to process now.
So, what can I do to help myself? I can write about it (ahem, thank you blog!) and talk it out (thank you Ted). But sometimes I can’t stop it so I have to live with it and try to take away its power.
I’m a people pleaser and when I know I’ve messed up, it messes with me. I said a few things in the last few days that I regret. I opened my big mouth & shouldn’t have done it. How can I get over my regret? Time will tell.
Working from home this afternoon (again) as we get hit by a moderate snowstorm.
Trying to figure out next steps for mom – rehab, then home with a home health aide. She wants to get home badly – I don’t blame her – but we need to make sure she’s strong enough. Dad “facetimed” me from the hospital today so I got to see mom. She could see herself on the phone, and commented on how she looked. Ha, she and I are so alike!
I am trying to juggle a lot of things right now – work, caring for my folks, and then my hot water heater started leaking so I needed to dig up an extra $1,200 this week for that! Did I mention how happy I am I am going to my therapist tomorrow??
I do have to say that, physically, I feel very good. I can walk a lot more than before my surgery and I feel better in general. I don’t mind seeing myself in the mirror the way I used to, and it’s fun to try on a size large pair of pants – and they fit! It brings a lot of joy to my life, which is helpful when there are major stressors going on.
I do know that a lot of important people in my life are reading this blog – and I thank you for that. It makes it a lot easier than having to respond to a lot of texts and calls, though I don’t want you to think they aren’t appreciated, because they are! My family couldn’t get through all of this without our wonderful supports in our life.
Ted’s Valentine’s Day gift arrived today in the mail. Excited to give it to him (he’s reading this so hi!). Can’t wait to spend the evening with him and his kiddos. They crack me up.
Dad just called me while I was writing this – mom is heading to the rehab floor at the hospital, which is great progress!
Working from my couch this afternoon after going to my office & a meeting. Good to be back at work in person.
Taking a break to give you an update. Mom is about the same today – no better or worse. She’s still dealing with severe CDiff and little energy. I spoke with her briefly this morning and she sounded tired but ok.
It’s hard to be away from her, and it’s hard to have left Dad, but he’s going to dinner tonight at a friend’s house so he won’t be alone.
I’m trying to find a home health aide to help when mom goes home but I’m having trouble finding one. If you have any leads, let me know!
In other news, Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and this is the first year in many when I’m in love & have someone to share this cheesy holiday with…Ted has the kids that night so it’ll be a family affair! Thank goodness for Ted.
PS down 57 lbs!
It’s Saturday, and I’m back at the hospital. This morning, we had a plumber come over and give us the schpiel – we are getting a new furnace at my parent’s place tomorrow. Don’t ask how much.
Mom is pretty much the same today. Very weak and still dealing with the Cdiff. She said she just can’t wait to get home and take a shower. It’s the simple things, right?
I am leaving tomorrow at 1:22pm, and I get home around 6pm. I’ll do a little grocery shopping and likely then pass out on my couch. My next-door-neighbor offered to get me food. So thoughtful. She’s collecting my packages for me, which is always good so it doesn’t look like no one is home.
I took a sleeping pill last night, so that helped me with more energy today. I ran around doing errands for dad and mom.
Mom is weak and still susceptible to infection, and visitors could catch cdiff so please use your discretion when coming to visit her. Thanks!
Mom went through a series of test this morning. They found a blood clot in her leg. Ugh. Thank goodness they did the test.
I’m not going to lie – I’m physically and mentally drained. I’m here, helping dad make life decisions and it’s a lot to process.
I’m supposed to go home on Sunday, but I’m nervous to leave. Not sure what I’ll end up doing.
Again, lots of prayers and good vibes for mom. I’m getting a lot of calls and texts. It’s getting harder for me to respond to them, so please check here for updates. It’s easier for me to write them at my own pace. Mom cannot have visitors right now.
P.S. There is a guy here in the waiting room with me planning a funeral. I can’t even.
I’m sitting on the reclining chair at Riverview Hospital, across from mom, who has more pink in her cheeks and some of pep in her voice. The bottom line: she’s coming back to us.
She started improving yesterday, and continues to, slowly but steadily. Her white blood cell count is moving up, and her blood pressure is getting steadier. She’s seen infectious disease doctors and oncologists and specialists – oh my!
Dad is at home, dealing with a non-functioning heater, so that’s a fun thing to throw into the mix. Not.
We’ve had a few visitors – this morning, a doctor friend of the family was here when I walked in. I think I’ve known her since I was 4! I went to elementary school with her daughters, so it was nice to reconnect.
People keep asking me how I’m doing. I’m tired, numb, and the most important thing right now is to help my folks. My job seems to be understanding.
If you are spiritual, please keep mom in your prayers. We don’t care what religion. We just ask for collective good thoughts sent our way.
The last two days have been a whirlwind, and not in a good way.
Many of you who read my blog speak with my mother regularly, and you know that as of last Friday, she was making plans for the future
What would she do for her 50th anniversary with dad? Should she take a cruise along the Mississippi once her chemo was done? And, how about those theater tickets? Let’s get some!
And in what seemed like an instant – a few hours, when you think about it – she became couch bound – then bed bound. It had been 2 days since she had an appetite so she refused all food. She drank water, hoping it would keep her hydrated. She was going into a chemo slump again.
I’m going to admit something I am not proud of. I couldn’t handle it this time. I had a work retreat scheduled for Monday, so I took the train to NJ to see my folks on Saturday. I knew things weren’t good when I offered to get my own ride to their house from Metropark, and dad accepted. He didn’t want to leave mom alone. The next morning I ran off to get a manicure with my friend Dana. I wasn’t gone long, but came back to help dad with mom. Then I said I’d be gone for an hour or two again – some retail therapy. It was too hard to see mom like this.
Dad called me about 4pm, and said that he needed me to come back and help him bring mom to the toilet. Then he wanted me to go pick up a portable commode to keep by the bed.
I stopped at home (their home) and Dad & I proceeded to carry mom into the bathroom, which was about 10 feet away. She didn’t want to go. We insisted.
And then she went limp. She had no control of her limbs. She passed out and I saw the whites of her eyes. She was breathing heavily. I thought she was having a panic attack, so I kept telling her to “breathe deeply and relax.” I didn’t realize she wasn’t conscious.
Dad and I dragged her back into the bedroom, and we proceeded to lay her down on the floor, next to the bed. Her left leg was bent behind her, so I pulled her down a bit so she wouldn’t break her legs that were like limp jelly in that moment.
I said to dad, “We need to get her to the hospital” and I dialed 911. I explained the situation and within a few minutes, the police were at our door. And soon, there were medics. She came to when the medics were there. Thank goodness. They took her vitals, put her on a seated stretcher, and carried her down the stairs to the ambulance. Dad went with them – I followed in the car.
She was immediately admitted and since then, has been barely coherent.
She has extremely low white blood cells, elevated kidney count, and may have a reoccurrence of Cdiff.
I thought she was stable enough to leave for my work retreat so I went to Jersey City, but when I spoke with dad, he wanted me to come back to support him. I took a Lyft from Jersey City to Red Bank (yikes!) and went right to the hospital. I spoke with mom a little, but she couldn’t really respond. I cried. Then we spoke with the doctor, who thinks this is mostly chemo related, and with luck, she will come through it.
So now we wait. Dad and I are now back home. He’s watching PBS; I’m writing for catharsis. My entire body is numb, sore, and clearly reacting to stress in a physical way. I’ve been texting Ted and my therapist and mom’s friends.
All I want is for mom to come back to us. Mom, if you can hear me, please come back to us. We have a 50th anniversary to celebrate, a cruise to plan, and tickets to buy.
It’s Saturday, February 2, 2019, and I am pleased to say that I had the privilege to sleep in my own bed for two whole nights before leaving town again. In the past 3 weeks, I’ve been to Baltimore and back home, then to Rome and back home, and now I am on the final leg of my monthlong journey to New Jersey for a staff retreat in Jersey City. I am heading to my parent’s place first to see my folks.
With her 2nd to last chemo treatment behind her, mom is very weak these days again. She apparently didn’t eat yesterday and she slept most of the day. I spoke with Dad a few times, who sounded like he was glad I would be coming, even if it was a short period of time. Mom has one more round of chemo this month, and then she is done…hopefully forever, but at least we know it is for now. No one can predict the future, right?
Rome was a blast, despite the blustery, rainy weather. I arrived to Rome via London on Sunday, January 27 and went to my hotel called Hotel Artemide, which is located at 22 Via Nazionale. I mention that because it was excellent and I highly recommend it! Very clean, comfortable, and excellent staff. The best parts were threefold: 1) location, 2) spa and 3) free minibar. I didn’t use the spa, but it looked really nice! It would have been great to have brought a bathing suit and taken advantage of the sauna, pools, salt room, etc. I will have to go back – I told Ted we need to stay there together!
On Monday, I booked a trip through Viator (owned by Trip Advisor) via Greenline Tours to Orvieto and Assisi. It was a great day trip. We ultimately traveled about 12 hours, but it was worth it. I had a lovely experience getting to know a Japanese-American couple from San Francisco and a Mormon couple from Salt Lake City, who were visiting Rome for the dedication of a new Mormon Temple (near Ikea, they told me). When they learned I worked for a university in Israel, they said I was doing “God’s work” and the husband said that I “must be a supporter of walls since I work for an Israeli university.” When I told him I was, in fact, not a believer in walls, he said, “Well, then you think people should be able to roam freely.” Um, look at the name of this blog?? The answer is YES! I politely told him that one of the best things about the university that I work for is “apolitical” and that they make a point of focusing on technology & science rather than politics. In fact, I told them, 22% of the student population are Arab. That seemed to shut him up.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday “wandering” around Rome. When I calculated how much I walked between Sunday and Thursday (when I flew home), I realized I had walked nearly 20 miles. I told my dad that apparently the key to me moving more is to be in Rome. Clearly, it motivates me to walk and see the city. My friend asked me if I’d ever move back there. The answer is likely yes, but only if Ted comes with me (big smile).
For those of you keeping track, I have now lost 54 pounds. A few posts ago, I talked about the joy I felt sitting on a plane, and having room between my legs and the seat rest is bliss. Traveling to Boston—->London—>Rome, and then the reverse was cake. I wasn’t stuck in the seat the way I have been in the past. I was more comfortable and didn’t feel as self conscious. This is one metric that I can check off – flying gets a thumbs up! And now, as I write this post, I am sitting on am Amtrak train, again comfortably.
That’s about all for now. See you all again soon!
Sitting here in the Rome airport reading a book (well, a kindle book) and waiting for my flight to London, then Boston.
I will write a more extensive post later but I had a great time though I’m ready to go home. I miss Ted.
I woke up this weekend with a face full of pimples. My chin and forehead looked like they belonged in a John Water’s movie. I looked at my face – in horror – in the mirror and tried to think about why I was so broken out. I hadn’t used any new face products, my pillowcases were fine, and I didn’t think I was touching my face that much. So, what happened?
Cue Dr. Google.
I found this study that basically says that vitamin deficiencies can contribute to derma-logical changes, and get this – that because people tend to be constipated after surgery, the toxins in their body back up and can come out as blemishes.
I said to my mom, “Apparently I exchanged one bad thing for another!” Listen, I’m not happy about the acne. But I am hopeful that it will clear up.
On a positive note, I traveled on my first post-surgery airplane today and I actually had extra legroom in the seat. I even took a photo to document the occasion. This is coming from the girl who had to ask for a seat extender last year. I was even able to put down the armrest without it hitting my thigh. Score!
One of the wonderful side effects of my weight change is that I can now shop in many more stores – the ones that sell “straight” sizes versus “womens” or “extended” or “plus.” Pick your favorite euphemism.
I have been dipping my toe in some size L/XL items from TJ Maxx, but today, I jumped into the pool & journeyed to the world of Assembly Row in Somerville. For those of you who aren’t local to Boston, it’s a newish outdoor outlet mall with shops, restaurants, AMC theater, LEGOland, and more. I have only been there once years ago to see a movie. I hadn’t ventured there because they had few stores I could shop in besides accessories, etc.
Today I hit up Loft Outlet and got some cute things that were not expensive. Last week I got a few more tailored work items at Ann Taylor Outlet. These are definitely part of my comfort zone – “inside-the-box” kinda clothes. I look forward to branching out, back to BCBG and Nordstrom and Saks outlet for some edgier things. I’m still wearing my plus size Avenue jeans – again, comfort zone, but I’m almost sized out of them.I will miss Torrid and Lane Bryant, but I will not miss the frumpy and sequined tops that scream “I’m fat so I must shine in sunlight!”
I can’t deny it – walking around in my new puffer coat – 2 sizes smaller than my last purchase – feels good! I’ll try to post some photos soon. Ciao!
These are photos documenting my journey. I took a pre-surgery selfie (above) and then took the photo on Saturday when I was able to wear mom’s Medium petite shirt.
As I said to my dad yesterday, “I feeling f’ing fantastic!” Yes, it’s fun to see a thinner face in the mirror, but more importantly, I feel better physically. I have more energy and soon, since I’m going back to my trainer tomorrow, I will be stronger.
I have a self-help book that gives advice to bariatric patients, and they talk about the strangeness you can feel being thin after a relatively short period of time. It helps because I have a distorted view of my physique. I don’t want people commenting on my body because it’s weird but I’m also proud of the work I’ve done.
That’s all for now!
It’s Friday, thank goodness! This week felt like it had 2 Mondays because we had off on Jan 1 (Tuesday) from work. 1 Monday is plenty!
So, there is a dirty secret that the bariatric team doesn’t tell you that happens post-surgery when you eat too much. They talk about the pain you’ll feel in your chest but they don’t mention that you’ll often throw up as well. I’ve thrown up twice this week. I know, gross, but I think it is important to be transparent about post-sleeve surgery. I threw up carrots and string cheese.
Why? Simply because I ate too fast.
Imagine this. You spend a large majority of your adult life having meals in your office while working or being rushed by waitstaff at a busy restaurant because they’re trying to fill the table again or mindlessly snacking in front of the tv. We are trained in the US to eat fast and furiously. And then suddenly, you can no longer do it. Your stomach is 25% of the size it used to be, and if you eat fast, you instantly feel full and that heartburn feeling in your chest. Sometimes you can feel the food stuck somewhere between your esophagus and stomach. I had no idea when my nutritionist told me to practice eating slow before my surgery what was going to happen if I didn’t.
It is a learning process.
P.S. Happy Birthday, Ted!
It was time I gave my blog a makeover so testing out this new look. The photo is a placeholder until I find something that hits me. Stay tuned!
Earlier today I received an email from my health insurance that reads, “Healthy you! Get fitter and slimmer in 2019.” Is it wrong that my first reaction was “f you!”? In any case, happy new year! It’s now 2019, the year that mom and I refer to as “the one where we kick cancer’s ass.”
Life is going smoothly. I’m at 45 pounds lost and have moved down a clothing size, so I am now wearing XL tops so I am moving out of the plus sizes. My therapist asked me how long it has been since I wore this size, and I think it has been at least 10 years. It feels (wait for it…) surreal, but also good. I’m eating more now and getting some energy back. I even planned a short trip to Italy at the end of the month so I can get a break for a bit. I booked two excursions today: 1) a tour of the Vatican Gardens and access to the museum and 2) a day trip to Assisi and Orvieto. I’ll then have 2 days in Rome and be back in time for our Winter Skill Building Retreat for work.
I spent NYE with Ted and his kids. It was a lot of fun! I also met his friends and will be meeting his parents next week. Progress! He still remains one of the kindest people I know.
Mom returned to chemo today and her doctor said she should be done with it by Valentine’s Day, which is a great way to celebrate love!
“What was that giggling I heard from downstairs?” Dad asked me the other morning.
“Mom and I were watching ‘Nailed It’ on Netflix,” I responded.
So the following night the three of us sat and laughed through 2 or 3 more episodes of the opposite bake-off, where terrible bakers try to recreate fancy cakes and cake pops. It’s an amazing train wreck that we can all relate to.
Mom, Dad, and I spent our few days together talking, giggling, and napping. I ran out and did their errands. More napping. I even squeezed in some work.
It didn’t really matter what we did – we were together, enjoying each other’s company.
I’ve been in NJ visiting my folks since late Saturday (it’s now Wed). I’m sitting in Panera, responding to work emails and trying to secure some last minute gifts before the year’s end.
So Panera isn’t very bariatric friendly. I grabbed a Greek yogurt, and it has strawberries, honey, and granola (sweetened) on it. So much sugar! Yes, it is natural sugar but it is still so incredibly sweet and makes me queasy!
Last night, after almost losing a few limbs in the great Chinese food debacle of Christmas 2018, I ate Chinese food for the first time since my surgery. My body was very unhappy with me! As delicious as it tasted, it immediately made me feel incredibly sick. So, I am putting that on the back burner for a while.
Tomorrow I am driving to NY and working out of our national office. On Friday, I’ll stop at Hartford to meet with a donor, and then arrive home, and likely pass out on my couch! I will see Ted on Saturday, which is a good thing.
I’ve had some good quality time with mom and dad this week. Mom is physically weak but mentally strong. I think she is improving a bit each day, which is encouraging. We had some serious talks this week about wills, living wills, and the like. I believe these are important conversations to have with aging parents, as difficult as it may be.
That’s all for now!
The last few days were icky. Mom woke up with a high fever and chills, and spent Dad’s birthday in the hospital. She just emailed me and said she’s going home tomorrow (on my birthday). Best birthday gift.
My depression reared its ugly head last Thursday and is only now calming down (It’s Tuesday). I tried to fight against it but it’s hard. I’m back at work and feeling better. It’s such a terrible illness – often comes out of nowhere, but usually I can figure out now what triggers it. Work triggered it this time and then mom’s illness clearly kept it around.
A distant cousin passed away last week from addiction and mental illness. The more I talk about my depression with my family, the more people I realize also suffer from anxiety and depression in my distant relatives. It kinda helps me not blame myself, but usually I blame myself anyway. I wonder if that will ever stop.
The good news? I’m on the upward trajectory now!