1 week

My surgery is in one week! To commemorate the occasion, I packed two bags of clothing and shoes to donate.

Mom is slowly gaining some energy. Dad ordered Italian tonight. No news on returning to chemo. One day at a time, as everyone keeps saying.

Mr T made me a lovely “linner” yesterday before I drove to Hartford for work. Landed another donation – the donor doubled her gift and said it was because I convinced her to give more. Fundraising IS fun!

I’m watching The Sinner now on Netflix. Anyone else watched it? It’s very compelling. Jessica Biel is excellent in it! She’s come a long way since 7th Heaven.

A big thank you to my cousin KS for sending me a necklace with the word “breathe” on it. Lovely thing to get in the mail on a rainy Monday. I will wear it and look at it as a reminder to focus on my breathing.

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Small Miracles

Mom is home and slowly acclimating back to her regular environment after a 1-week hospital stay, which we all believe was crucial to her well being. She has her appetite back, thanks to a happy little pill that gives her the munchies. She’s had pizza, chocolate, even a hamburger! Dad’s working on a plan for the next stage, which will include some physical therapy and nursing care at home to help her out. He’s got a lot on his plate and he’s handling it like a champ. But he’s exhausted. So if you call or text him, don’t keep him on the phone too long. Ken is visiting this weekend.

I spent the morning at the hospital getting my pre-surgical tests – blood, EKG, and chest x-ray. Tomorrow, I have a mammogram to make sure all is good there before I have surgery. My PCP insisted on it. And that’s it. I’ve fulfilled all of the pre-surgical requirements so the next step is my pre-hospital stay diet, and then a week from Monday, I will have 75% of my stomach surgically removed. And my life will be forever changed.

My review yesterday, overall, went well. My boss said I have far surpassed their expectations for me, and with the 7-figure gift I’m finalizing, I have met my FY19 goals within 11 days of the fiscal year! So that’s pretty fucking fantastic, pardon my French. It can only go up from here with work. My boss said he’d like to put together a promotion plan for me so that by next year, I will gain a “senior” title.

And, Mr Ted came over last night for dinner. He gave me – seriously – the best massage I’ve ever had. He eliminated knots in my shoulders, legs and back that I’ve been carrying around with me for years. Seriously, I told him I felt like I should give him a tip! My body feels better today that it has felt in years. He’s a keeper.

19 days

It’s amazing how pjs and a cozy bed can help one’s mood.

I went to the Mt Auburn group tonight and while the session wasn’t super helpful, I did get some great advice:

“This surgery is the best thing I ever did.” — said a woman who had the surgery 6 years ago.

“I was driving again 8 days post-surgery.” –said a woman I met at the last group who was pre-surgery and is now post.

I told them all I care about is getting back in the car to see my mom as quickly as possible.

Optimism.

10/2/18

It’s almost 10pm on October 2. Just home from spending 4 days at my parent’s place. It was very hard to leave this time. Mom is quite weak and having trouble eating, likely from the reconstruction of her GI tract during her surgery in June.

She’s had 2 weeks off from chemo, but I think she’ll be ready to get a dose next Monday. She may need TPN, which is basically IV nutrition. She’d have to go to the hospital to get the right dosage, and then she could get the rest at home.

We made the decision for her to start sleeping in the downstairs den so she doesn’t have to do the stairs to her room. Her weakness plus arthritic knees equal a stair climbing nightmare. She’s moving tomorrow.

We also discussed getting a home health aide to help her which ultimately helps my dad. I believe it will improve both’s quality of life.

It is so hard to do this from Boston. I wish I could be there longer but I have to get back to work.

Last night, I tucked mom in and she said, “You are the best daughter in the world.” I told her she was the best mother. I doubt I’ll ever forget that moment. This came after a visit from our rabbi friend, who offered us her wisdom and sang a prayer for us. Mom & I cried. It was beautiful.

My surgery is in 20 days! I’m starting to go through my clothes, looking for smaller sizes, and preparing to donate the larger ones. It’s surreal but so exciting! I can’t wait to feel better and be able to move more.

As always, thank you to all of you who have reached out to me & my folks. It means a lot!

High highs & low lows

Talk about a day of ups & downs!

Today was mom’s birthday, and she spent it weak & in bed. She wasn’t up to taking calls so I caught up with a few people who reached out to me to check up on her.

One was a close family friend who is also a rabbi. We had a deep, meaningful conversation about dealing with parental mortality. We laughed, I cried. It pushed me towards the direction that I need to have some difficult conversations with my mom. I’ll leave it at that.

I realized that both my parents need support ASAP so instead of leaving Saturday, I’m heading to NJ tomorrow after a few morning meetings.

In the middle of everything, I secured my first 7-figure gift (bequest, actually) for my job. Guess I work best under pressure?

And, later, Mr T came over. I cried as I told him about my day, and he just came & put his arm around me. It was all I needed. #keeper

Now, I know you’re all wondering with baited breath: did I buy the makeup brushes? No, but I did pick up a few cupcakes with sprinkles for me & Mr T. Cost less than 10 bucks. They were delish. I did, however, finally purchase the Alex Woo necklace I’ve been eyeing for years. I gave up this week’s house cleaning so instead, I invested in new jewelry.

Rainbow Sprinkles

I spoke with mom today and she sounded much peppier. So that’s a good thing. Her friend was visiting & she enjoyed her company. Dad is happy I’m coming to visit this weekend.

Tomorrow is mom’s 76th….ahem, I mean, 39th birthday. So if you read this, please text her or send her a lovely message on Facebook. We gave her a warm & cozy blanket, and then I picked up a few more things for her today at TJ Maxx.

The excitement of my week is that I finally had the plumber come & stop my toilet from randomly running. It would just start out of the blue. And it would scare the crap out of me because it’s so quiet at my condo! Seriously, I’m such a light sleeper that it would wake me up in the middle of the night. I have no clue why I’m writing about this other than to say: adulting is hard.

On the contrary, Sephora is selling this make up brush set for about $70 that looks like it’s filled with candy sprinkles. And I’m dying to buy it. Do I need it? Nope. But I feel compelled to own this brightly-colored set of trinket. It’s even sitting in my online cart.

Aren’t they cute?

Good night, all!

9/25/18

Insurance approved my surgery for October 22. Yay! Today I shopped for cute kitchen wares to make my protein shakes a bit more fun to drink. I think my fave purchase is my Wonder Woman shaker bottle.

I worked out with my trainer again today. I lifted weights and pumped iron. All good.

Mom didn’t get out of bed today. I would be surprised if she took any calls besides me or Ken. Dad is his wonderful self. I decided to go see them this weekend since I have a 4-day weekend. It means I’ll have to miss my cousin’s wedding but I know he’ll understand. His mom passed away from cancer so he gets it, I’m sure.

It’s a little after 11pm now and I’m listening to the rain that has been coming down all day. It’s actually peaceful. I’m hunkered down under 2 blankets, listening to podcasts, and hoping for a good night’s sleep.

Thank you to those of you have been reaching out. It means a lot. Please know that between work & mom/dad & my relationship & home ownership that I’m sometimes out of steam when it comes to anything else. I try to fit taking care of myself in there too. I know folks are reading this and I understand the updates on mom are helpful. This is also a place of catharsis for me. Sometimes I write a thought here & then let it go.

If it’s raining near you right now, go take a listen. It’s soothing. Ciao!