A Month of Ups And Downs

March has been quite a month for me.

Today is hard. Today marks exactly one month since my silly Bichon, Peanut, crossed the rainbow bridge. I know she isn’t hurting any more. I know she can see perfectly again and she can eat all of the nummy white bits of dog food that she hadn’t been able to eat is years and years. She’s free and playing like she hadn’t played since she was a young pup. I know she’s okay now. She knows she is loved… that she was always loved… that she was the bestest dog there ever was.

I’m hurting.

I miss her so much. I talk to her all the time. Her footfalls haunt the house.

The day she died was the 5k at Disney. The next day I ran the 10k because I could not let her have died alone and far away in vain. The next… 10 half marathon. I talked to her the whole race. I carried her puppy collar. It was an amazingly good and an amazingly hard race. But I did it.

And we came home. We came home to a very lost cat (his best friend was gone) and a very quiet house.

And we went to the SPCA and adopted… Goofy.

We went from a too fat Bichon who topped out at 22 pounds to a Mountain Cur Chocolate Lab mix (Goofy) who might go anywhere from 60 to 90 pounds by the time he is done growing. He’s almost 5 months old. He’s 46 pounds as of two minutes ago. BIG difference. And he has stopped wanting to use the cat as a squeaky toy.

But the house is less quiet.

Early March… elbow surgery. Now my weird bump is gone. I have a snazzy scar. I know it was only ganglion cyst. Life goes on.

It’s been 7 weeks today since my last infusion. I hurt. I’m emotionally flakey. I’m achey and exhausted and I’m very very ready for my infusion. By early next week (just in time for puppy pictures with the Easter Bunny) I will be able to start back to running. I am looking forward to starting to run with my new running buddy. He will need to learn to run with my intervals. I will need to change my intervals to help him learn.

I have started using Goofy as weight training. We put him in his crate at bed time every night. 46 pounds of lifting and carrying. When we do walkies, he pulls, usually pretty hard. I’m doing some funky weight training.

And today is a month to the day. I don’t know if I will ever be able to watch the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom ever again. I was sitting in the lion section in the front row when I got the call. But life goes on. And Peanut taught me so much in both life and in death. She has helped me and taught me and in my heart festooned with paw prints, she lays curled up and sleeping.

Today, I get my infusion. I can stop hurting and being exhausted and on the verge of tears every second. And life can not only go on, but get into a new rhythm of normal.

It’s all… what it is.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
3/22/2019

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Grief Chokes

Greetings and felicitations

This morning, I’m having a huge problem getting through my morning. While we were at Disney World, our beloved Peanut passed and now waits at the rainbow bridge.

It was out of nowhere

it was not completely unexpected

We bought her four incredible years with her emergency Bladder Stone surgeries two consecutive March’s. But she was on special food to keep her functioning the best she could. There were no nummy white bits.

She had arthritis. She took carprofin twice a day every day for the last few years.

She was nearly blind with cataracts.

She was 12.

We made sure that she knew she was loved beyond belief and that she was a good girl. I know she was not alone when she crossed the rainbow bridge. The Vet Tech’s that loved her almost as much as we did were with her from the time that they realized that she was in complete renal failure. They worked hard to keep her body going until we got home from Disney. Six days was going to be a long long time. She fought a good fight. But she died on Feb 22 at 10:56 am. I got the call while we were in the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom.

I will never forget where I was when I got the call from the vet that she was in renal failure. I will never forget where I was when I learned that she died.

I get the lessons (at least part of the lessons) that I’m supposed to be learning here. I’m learning how to cope with grief. I’m learning how to cope with grief so deep that it chokes. I get it… sort of.

This morning is so hard.

I hear her nails click on the kitchen floor. I hear her sigh. I hear the thump of her fat butt coming down the stairs. I look to make sure that I don’t step out of bed and step on her when I get up.

We had her cremated. Her box is sitting on my writing desk. Her urn is beneath my computer. I have ashes in a necklace that I wear.

We rescued a Mountain Cur mix when we got home from Disney. He gives me something to fixate on. He is my early morning walking/running buddy. He will help keep me from gaining the weight back. Goofy is a good boy. He’s an enormous puppy (40 pounds at about 5 months old) and he’s working to learn how to live in this crazy household. He’s a good boy. But the void left by Peanut is massive.

Squirrel worries that Peanut will think we are trying to replace her. I talk to her every day. I know she still knows she is loved. I know that she knows that there is no replacing her in our hearts.

Miss you wiggle pig
love and light
April
March 10, 2019

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Oh for convenience sake

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It’s The FinalStraw!

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Spibelt fits perfectly now

Doing Disney 2019

Five years ago

So… In just a short time, we will be heading out and doing Disney. No, not today, but frighteningly soon (Squirrel and I looked yesterday at the Run Disney page and saw how close the race weekend is). It’s hard to believe it’s here already. It’s hard to believe how much things have changed in such a short time.

Life is short

It’s prompted me to look back at the past year that I’ve been working on getting more healthy, getting more fit, improving my time. It’s been quite a year and I can’t believe that it’s already almost here.

This year, I’m making a concerted effort at capturing the entire trip (good, bad, indifferent, scary, ugly, whatever) because… well… because.

This year we will be doing Disney differently in a few ways.

  1. Bear is handicapped. He’s renting a scooter instead of trying to fly his scooter to Florida. I’m INCREDIBLY happy that he’s made this decision. It’s going to make the airports a little less elegant, but it’s going to be less stress making sure the scooter is safe. We ordered Oxygen to be delivered to the hotel. So he’s not going to have to carry his big blue monster with us. He will have his portable and with the scooter, that should be good. He never thought he would make it to Disney when we booked this trip 11 months ago. I am glad he was wrong.
  2. I’m doing this trip as Lifetime on Weight Watchers (WW). This is going to be most interesting. I sucked it up this morning and bought a travel scale. It fits in a backpack and weighs very little. I’m determined that, when I get back from vacation, I’m not going to have gained much if any weight. Given that my next infusion is my last infusion for at least two months, I really really can’t afford to gain much while we are away. I will gain enough from not having my infusion for that long. I really hope the surgery on my weird elbow lump is worth it.
  3. Three races in three days.

So, I’m planning on chronicling everything as we go. I’ve spent so much time digging and digging for information, I want to be able to pull together what I’ve discovered with what I learn so I have one place for it to be.

Spent yesterday (most of it) packing. I will spend a good chunk of today packing and repacking as well. I want to travel with the least amount of stuff as I can. We always take too much and I know that I already have too much packed. I’m so used to packing for any eventuality and there are so many unknowns and eventualities this time. I need to pare it all down so I know we are good… and still don’t have to pay a billion dollars on overweight bag fees.

I will probably repack ten times. sigh…

I’m up for this (kinda)

I know we can do this (sorta)

Love and Light
April
1/27/2019

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Thirty Something Days Until Vacation

It’s January.

It’s snowing very lightly. It’s 26 degrees Fahrenheit .

Sorcerer Radio is on my my Echo (I really really want to thank my boss for not getting me a gift card this year. I’m in love with Alexa).

Coffee is… well… everywhere…

Gym is done for the day yesterday (I clocked 7 miles on my “I need 4 miles today” training schedule… today is 11.5… yay). If I follow my Google Pedometer plan, I’ll hit 13.3. Next Sunday the high is supposed to be 18. I’m really really really glad it’s not supposed to be a training day and that we will likely ‘only’ end up at the gym.

In 30 something days we fly to Disney. I think I honestly have to say that for once I’m actually ready for a race (or three). I’ve been watching people post on their races from this weekend (WDW marathon weekend) and I’m so jealous. I never in my life thought I would be looking at a marathon racer and thinking… maybe…

It’s hard to believe that just about a year ago I was watching people run a RAGNAR on From Fat To The Finish Line thinking that I would love to be able to maybe possibly some day do that… but that I would never ever be able to get to the fitness level that they were able to do. I don’t know if I will ever be able to quite get THERE… but… maybe… But here I am, at goal weight (still… I weigh myself almost every morning just to make sure… and I need to lose at least 5 pounds before Disney to give myself a little buffer) and actually hitting a little better than the goal I set for myself for my races, time wise. Maybe I’m okay.

It’s been really stressful lately and I can tell that it’s been playing havoc with my body. A week out from my last infusion and I’m feeling way way more human (otherwise I wouldn’t even be considering a half marathon distance today) but my body feels off. I know that the stress is poking me in the ribs (literally). I have this interesting bump on my elbow. Six months ago my PCP told me it was just a little cyst and it would be fine. Except it’s gotten bigger… and it’s where I rest my elbow on my chair arms or my desk so it’s kind of problematic. So I engaged my Rheumy… who sent me for X-rays (nothing… duh… it soft tissue) who sent me to ortho… who said huh… PCP? Oh wait… I guess we can do an ultrasound and make you an appointment with our ortho-rheumy-surgeon…. it’s probably a cyst.

It’s not a cyst. It’s, apparently, a subcutaneous thickening without a discrete cyst. Not a cyst. Not an RA nodule. MAYBE this could be the result of irritation to the tissue… maybe… or maybe this pea sized lump in my elbow could be my imagination or something… who knows. I almost don’t want to go see the surgeon on Wednesday. I’m terrified at this point. There are things it could be. Surgery would mean 4 weeks no infusion, then surgery then two weeks more no infusion. It would be 6 – 8 weeks without orencia. I don’t know if maybe I just don’t want to keep the bump. The devil you have and all that… but I’m scared.

So yeah, stress.

And I have three races in about 6 weeks from today (half is 6 weeks from today, 10k from yesterday and 5k from Friday). Surgery doesn’t fit into my plans right now.

If something is really wrong, how will I take care of Bear? How will I hold my world together?

Just keep swimming

One day at a time

one breath at a time

For now, it will be daylight soon. Time to work, a little, on my playlists for my races… and pull together a backpack for my ‘run’… I need to get my Starbucks free for January coffee while I’m out… and take some water and some Milk Duds along for the walk. Wish me luck…

Love and Light
April
1/13/2019

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