Sunday, December 31, 2017

Closing out 2017

In preparation for doing my end-of-year post I went back to read last year's post which you can find hereSo as I close out 2017 I might just have to review and meditate on how I closed out 2016.

So 2017...

My mother turned 94.  Her health was really very much better this year than last year. They were finally able to help her terrible sciatic pain. She has slowed down significantly, as one would expect. But she is still so very healthy and strong, and her mind is still as sharp as ever. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago she was doing one of those health surveys over the phone, I assume in connection with her insurance or some other health-related plan she belongs to, and my sister, Lois, sitting next to her, was helping her, making sure she heard the questions and was giving the answer she wanted to give. She was on speaker phone. My sister, P.J., who was there at the time, said that after several questions they asked her "How would you describe your overall health?" And P.J. said that Mom chirped brightly, "Excellent!!"  And that is what she is -- Excellent! I hope we have her with us many more years. :)

My brother, on the other hand... has had a significant change in his health for the worse. I have written before about his situation and that my sister Barbara is his main caregiver.  I will write more about this later, in more detail, but for now I will say that we had a scare very recently during which time it was discovered that he has an aneurysm and a pseudo-aneurysm in his groin area. They are both very large, and surgery is not an option because of the state of his veins. He could continue as he is for years, with his health deteriorating at the rate it has been doing so, or faster, or he could throw a blood clot or have an aneurysm rupture at any time. So we have made plans, arrangements, had family meetings, made sure that Barbara still feels able to handle his care at home. (She said, "I long ago resigned myself to the fact that Brother could die on my watch. I can handle it if that happens."  And that is what we needed to hear from her.) So, as I said, I'll write more about that later.

Thomas had treatment for prostate cancer.  That was a bucket of ice water to the face. He is doing very, very well.  The radiation treatments brought his PSA numbers down to better than normal. He will continue to take the hormone shots for a while, and they will continue to monitor his health, of course. I saw him tired this year in a way I have never, ever seen him, and that was a bit scary for me. But he is back to being his strong and happy self.  Last year I wrote about us, "There are, supposedly, landmark years where things change for people as individuals biologically and mentally, aren't there?...Well, anyway, I found that this year Thomas and I reached a new "plane" in our marriage, and it's a very good plane.  It seems like in areas where we might have been prone to disagree or make a big deal out of something, we are now more relaxed and accommodating toward one another. THIS YEAR I have seen a lot of little things solidify or bend, as the need may be, and I have felt more contentment as an individual and as a couple and a family."    In 2017 we celebrated our 30th anniversary. We had so very much to celebrate!

Andrew and Alexandria got married! We were so happy to welcome Alexandria officially as our daughter. We love and admire her so much, and they are so good for one another. Andrew is happier than I have seen him in years, content in a way I don't know if I've ever seen before.

Eler Beth and Anthony got engaged! I won't go on and on about that, because I have already written so many posts about them! Ha Ha!  But last year I wrote about Eler Beth, "She has great friends she can depend on, and is still intent on staying single until the perfect man for her comes along." Well, Anthony was one of those friends, and he came along.  He is the perfect match, the perfect complement for her and she for him.

I wrote last year that I had more trouble with depression and anxiety than I had had for many years and figured I was peri-menopausal.  I am still not IN menopause, but I guess I am in peri-menopause. I haven't actually asked my doctor about that. It wasn't any worse this year, and might perhaps have been a bit better, despite the cancer scare. Or maybe I just found that I can still call on reserves of strength when I need to be there for my husband while his hormones are out of whack, and he is overly tired from the radiation, and he is uncharacteristically having trouble concentrating and remembering things. And maybe one child marrying his best friend and the other child getting engaged to her best friend buoyed me up significantly. Anyway, I'm well. I'm enjoying planning Eler Beth's wedding and enjoying spending time with her and Anthony and Andrew and Alexandria.

I will end this post the way I ended last year's --  I hope anyone reading this has a very nice 2018. I hope I do too.

~~ Lori


Margaret said...

It sounds like you are in a good place with your children and your relationship. Stress can sometimes bring out the best in us and focus us on what is important, like the people we love. No more sweating the small stuff. It was that way when my late husband got cancer. Suddenly, every moment was to be cherished and the irritations melted away, not completely, but mostly. My older daughter just got engaged on December 29th. I adore her fiancé, and more importantly, so does she! A very happy 2018 to you and yours!


HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours.