Compassion from Afar

I recently learned from multiple individuals that someone I was once close to had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Like me, she is 45 years old. Like me, she is a mother of two. Like me, she has a son born on June 12, 2010. We have birthday twins.

One of my best friends let me know, and shortly after that, my ex-husband let me know. Finally, this past weekend another friend let me know.

I get it. These people wanted me to know that someone I was previously close to, someone I had a history with, was very sick. She is very ill, but the cancer spread to her brain and the reality that she will not survive this cancer.

My heart hurts for her and her family. To her husband and children. To her parents and in-laws. To her friends.

I, however, have chosen not to reach out to her. I struggled with this, but I did run this by my Alanon sponsor, and she reminded me how our friendship ended. After my heart attack, I tried to provide an olive branch and was told she was glad I was OK but never reach out to her again. With this devastating news, I thought to reach out to her. Still, I know now, through work in Alanon, that I set boundaries and that when others do, I respect their boundaries as well.

I believe this doesn’t make me a bad person. I remember that she has a support group of people who are there for her. If I am, to be honest, she probably does not have much of herself to give to others outside her family. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I knew that I would be leaving my children forever. I would want to spend as much time with them as I could.

I have chosen to donate to the families go fund me to have what time they have left together mean something to them all. An anonymous donation because I want her and her family to have the most memorable time together. My heart hurts for her. I think of her often, but we grew apart. It happens, and sometimes broken friendships can’t be fixed, but it doesn’t mean we can’t think good thoughts for these people, have compassion for them and want them to be surrounded by love and light.

It is hard not to reach out, but I know that I would not reach out to her if she did not have cancer if she were not dying. I know we have different lives, and I am glad that she does have those around her who love her so much. When it is all of our time to go, I hope that we, too, have those around us who love us deeply.

IBS C/D OH MY!

Something I’ve kept to me because, let me be honest, admitting that you have IBS isn’t the kind of thing that people just discuss.

I have grown accustom to planning my medications based on what I am doing that day.

For instance, today, I knew I would be out with my daughter and my mother. I skipped my Linzess. I wanted to be sure that I did not get an upset stomach when I was out because it is never fun to be sick when you are out. Especially if you are unsure that there is a restroom available and one that is private.

Like a gift that keeps on giving, my IBS D decided to visit anyhow. I hate that I need to rush to a restroom, and I’m embarrassed when I leave the bathroom because I’m sure that they know I’ve just been sick.

I realized today how debilitating IBS can be. I don’t take the Linzess, and IBS C happens, and with the Linzess, my body goes to the opposite, and IBS D becomes a problem.

Things I’ve avoided the past couple of years due to this gift that keeps on giving:

  • Hikes through the Hollywood Hills
  • The beach for day trips
  • Long car rides through the desert or up the coast
  • Dance classes

I felt it was time to share this. The point of my blog is to show others they aren’t alone with conditions that they may feel uncomfortable with. I hope that sharing this helps others to know they’re not alone. I do hope that over time these issues will not stop me from living the life I want to live.

Summer fun with the NOT so Littles…On a Budget…

It is a summer fact that we head to the movies for family movie day on Tuesdays once the younger little is done with school. Interestingly, the boy chose Tuesday as the day to have me take off the rest of my workday after 12pm, and it is the same day AMC gives discount movie tickets before 5pm.

This is a great outing when you are on a budget because, for all three of us, two adults and one child, the most I have paid so far for our tickets was $21.50. I have also spent as little as $15.00 on the three tickets. The not-so-budget-friendly part of the adventure lies in the cost of the food at AMC. Still, with my stubs membership, it does help a little.

I found this summer, if I plan ahead, then we can do little adventures like this. We are also going to the fair this weekend. I only paid $10.00 for parking as the tickets were free. Yes, costs will be incurred at the fair, but I plan to go in with a budget and stick to it. I have got good at bringing snacks and water with us. Fair food can make me sick, so I prepare for numerous reasons.

Would I like to have taken my kids on a grand adventure away from home? Yes, but right now, with a mom in school full time and working part-time, they understand that we need to stay local. Will it always be this way? No, and I’m grateful that my two understand and know I’m doing the best that I can for them both.

Any other parents on a budget? What are some things you do to make summer vacation enjoyable by all?

Until next time…