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Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Back

Today is a new beginning. I have been gone from the blogosphere for quite awhile, but it is time to get back into the swing of things. The past 11 months have been filled with changes and turmoil.

Where to begin? Well first of all, a year ago at this time my truck driver husband came home from a trip feeling very ill. He had a bad cough, no energy at all, and looked horrible. I finally got the very stubborn guy to go to the doctor. A blood test revealed his liver enzymes were elevated and a chest x-ray showed a spot on his lung. After that he was sent for a CT scan, which showed that his body was filled with cancer. He was quickly sent to a pulmonologist, subsequently underwent further testing, and the prognosis was grim. He had lung cancer with metastases to his liver, pancreas, bones, and lymph nodes. Though he had been a heavy smoker since age 18, a chest x-ray just 3 months earlier had been clear. He was referred to an oncologist, but before we could keep the appointment, he developed severe chest pain and difficulty breathing at home and I had to call 911. He was taken to the ER and subsequently admitted to the hospital. The oncologist consulted with us there and told us that the cancer was so advanced that treatment with chemo and radiation would likely kill him. Every day he was there he rapidly got worse, and 3 days after he was admitted he was not eating and was barely responsive. Because we had spoken with numerous doctors and hospice workers, we knew it was his wish to go home. So with the aid of hospice, we brought him home on Thursday, August 16. Only 2 days later, on August 18, 2012, he passed away, only 3 weeks after his diagnosis.

Everything happened so fast, it was surreal. I went through the first months after his passing feeling pretty numb and shell shocked. It took me quite awhile to gather my thoughts together. During that time I made feeble attempts at keeping up my Etsy shop, but the lack of sales pushed me deeper into depression until I gave up on it all together for some time. I donated most of my stock to charity and cleaned out my stash of supplies, I had lost my creative spark. But this spring I started to rally around and realized that I need to figure out what I am going to do with the rest of my life.

 I am only 62 years young, and in good health, so I need to start a new chapter, and that is exactly what I am in the midst of doing now. My first wake-up call happened in February. At that time I had been going to Curves for a little over a year (with a couple of months off after my husband's passing), and when I stepped on the scale then and saw how my weight was more than I had ever weighed in my life, I decided it was time to do something about it. I immediately signed up for the Curves Complete program which consists not only of workouts but a diet plan and one-on-one counseling as well. I knew it was time to take care of myself. I have been a yo-yo dieter so many times before, but I knew this time would be different, and it has been. The program is great, easy to follow, and the results have been beyond my wildest expectations. Since then, I have lost 30 pounds and 16+ inches. My cholesterol and blood sugar are normal, and I feel great. I only have 10 more pounds to go to reach my goal, and this time I know I will keep it off for good. So that was step one in my transformation, taking care of myself.

Along the way, I have regained my creative urge. I have been busy making new items and starting to build up my Etsy shop again. Here is a sampling of my latest items. This past week my passion has been working with polymer clay, as you can see from the above photos. However, next week it might be sewing, as I plan to start making more handbags and totes. You never know what I might decide to work on next. Check my Etsy shop often to see what I have been working on lately.

 A new blog will be coming out every Monday from now on, so please come back again. Next time I want to tell you all about my completely new lifestyle adventure that I am embarking won't believe it!