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Old 12-27-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
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Hi all. I've been somewhat active in 3 Fat Chicks (mostly as a lurker) for several years now and was well on my way to a healthy happy and much thinner me. My fiance and I went to the gym 3 times a week plus I completed C25k and ran a 5k on 9/11/10. Things were going great and I was quickly approaching my wedding day and it looked like my fiance and I were going to keep our pact of getting hot for our wedding.

Well, then life blindsided us. On 9/15/10, 5 weeks before our wedding date, my fiance was diagnosed with a diffuse pontine glyoma. This is an inoperable brain tumor in his brain stem. His first symptoms were loss of balance/coordination and overwhelming fatigue. As you can imagine, we immediately dropped our gym memberships. With the expected medical expenses and his inability to lift weights due to his condition, it was a waste of money to continue.

He very quickly deteriorated. We started Radiation and Chemotherapy late September and were fortunate in that he felt good enough to go through with the wedding. But since, he's gone downhill quickly. He cannot exercise at all, and I don't want to leave him several times a week to go to the gym, but working out had been a major stress reliever for me, and I can tell you, I'm under more stress than I ever thought possible, now.

I work full time outside of the home and his company has allowed him to work from home on a reduced schedule, but we don't know that he will be able to continue to work much longer. DH can no longer drive, his balance is terrible and he has difficulty walking and monthly chemo treatments that make him feel awful.

I really need support, ideas and encouragement to get me back to exercising. I was thinking about getting up early and doing videos in my living room before work, so that when I get off work, I can worry about dinner, clean up, and then spend quality time with DH. Can anyone recommend good videos? I'd prefer to alternate days and do cardio one day, then strength the next. Equipment wise, I have 3,5 & 8 pound dumbbells, and an adjustable resistance cord that has the easy, medium and hard cords, a "fanny lifter" box, and a swiss ball.

Are there any other caregivers out there that need help too? I'd love to know there are others going through something similar so that we can support each other.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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Hopefully, others will have helpful advice. I just wanted to give you a big hug! You're DH is lucky to have such a wonderful wife. Remember that taking good care of yourself helps you take better care of him, so it's important to take that time for yourself to relieve stress and remain healthy.

Like I said, hopefully others will have practical advice and suggestions.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Thank you for your kind words, Amber.

I'm trying to take care of myself, including seeing a therapist once a week. I know that I need to stay strong to take care of him and am so thankful for all the help we have including the love and support we're receiving from our families.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:01 PM   #4
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Hey Colebear,

Your thread spoke to me! It is good to see someone else who is dealing w/stress, but still moving forward with exercise/health goals. I was doing fairly well w/exercise when my mom was hit w/a severe headache on Mother's Day in May. After every test under the sun including a brain biopsy, we found out she has primary cns lymphoma of the brain. Summer was IV Chemo, Fall was radiation, and now she is on oral chemo. She struggles w/fatigue and balance issues. I am trying to get used to the role reversal of caring for a parent while still taking care of my kids and dh, and I am stress eating my way into a really bad place. Exercise is the area I would like to get under control. I have thought about 20 minute incline treadmill walking in the morning, but I am not a good morning person, though it would probably give my day a good start. It would also make it so I wouldn't have any excuses in the evening...wk. meetings, kid activities, etc. Are you following a specific food plan? Sugar/Carbs are my downfall, coupled w/emotional eating. I am going to try to be more deliberate about what goes in my mouth. Baby steps for me I guess...
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
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Hi Sukierd!

I'm struggling in many of the same areas. Meal plan wise, my husband has put himself, with the blessing of his doctors, on a low carb diet because his research shows that sugar feeds tumors.

My dinners and breakfasts are healthy, as a result, but I've been struggling with getting healthy lunches packed since my mornings are more full getting DH's medicine and other neccesities organized. With no healthy lunch packed, I can't seem to resist all the conveniently located fast food restaurants.

I'm also struggling to wake early to exercise because we're having difficult nights and I'm not getting enough sleep - and I'm not a morning person either. I did go so far as to put exercise clothes in the living room and I'm still setting my alarm an hour early, but I haven't yet gotten up when that alarm goes off.

Please let me know if you have any tips for orginazation that could help me with pack and walk out the door with healthy lunches.

How are you doing with getting up early and walking?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:58 PM   #6
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Hey Colebear, Hope today is going well for you. I'm not ready to get that morning thing going, so I just today made a calendar of times with a work/neighbor buddy. We are committing to 3x a week for 20 minutes right after work, trying the C25K plan. We tried a couple of different times this week, but think maybe right after work when we don't have extra meetings and such might do the trick. I am terrible about eating out lunches, so that is another area I am trying to improve. I am packing a little of what's leftover from supper(main course) for next days lunch and then adding some additional sides that I wouldn't have had at supper, such as nuts, clementines, baby cukes, no sugar applesauce, etc. That way I can clean up supper and pack right at the same time, no excuse. Could you walk after work, or even part of your lunch hour? This morning I walked the halls at work just a bit before time. You probably need your sleep more than you need to get up early and exercise. Everyone says lack of sleep can make you gain weight.

Best to you this week.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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hugs!!! I know how you feel about trying balance weight loss and caregiving. My daughter has cerebral palsy due to negligence and I really struggle with her care and my own anger and sense of loss.
My mother bought me a treadmill and that has been a God send. I can get on it anytime I want and squeeze in a run when I can't get out of the house for yoga. Just have really good music and go at it! I don't even push myself to run if I don't have the energy. I walk about an hour at 3.8mph and its still a good workout!
Hope that helps.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:22 AM   #8
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Hi everyone! Thought I'd pop in this thread and share the lovin'. I look after my mum who has multiple sclerosis. It gets sooo hard sometimes, especially when she's relapsing, but the worst is when she's perfectly fine (for her), and she still expects me to do everything I do for her when she's at her worst (which is pretty much everything that I could possibly do for her). It gets frustrating beyond belief, sometimes. Stressful, too. I worry about her a lot, and it affects my sleep, and has definitely made me more jumpier. But, as there's always a little good to everything, she's been taking a new MS medication for the last 3 months, and hasn't had a relapse since (on her previous meds she was having one once every two months almost).

Colebear - I love the turbofire work outs I don't really follow the plan because I suck at commitment, but when I'm in the mood to exercise the videos and short n' sweet, but intense which is great! mebbe look into those? I'm not sure how much they cost/if they're in your budget, but if you're resourceful with the internet, you might be able to find it for a lot cheaper than the RRP, or even free!
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
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Hello colebear,

While I wasn't eating healthy and exercising when I was a caregiver I was one for a long time. My Mom first became sick seven months after I was born. The last ten years were really difficult and the last two she practically lived at the hospital. She had several illnesses including a mystery illness (it wasn't leprosy but it was a lot like it, skin decomposing, etc). At the same time I was caring at night for a lady who was a post-polio paralyzed person.

After my Mom died I moved to NC where my really good friend Dexter was, where his Mom was sick. Now he and I live in a place away from her, so I'm no longer a caregiver. But I know how difficult it can be so if you ever need an ear or shoulder I will definantly be here for you. (((HUGS)))
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #10
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Well, I never did get back into exercise while I was taking care of DH. He passed away 10 days ago and in an effort to avoid drinking myself in to oblivion every day, I started C25K this week. I just finished day W1D3. Going back to work tomorrow. Plan to run mornings 3 days a week and take yoga in the evenings.

My diet has gone down the toilet, but I don't really care. I'm only eating 2 meals a day and I binge on cookie dough ice cream every night. That's better than tequila, right?
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