The past 6 years have been rough on and off. The past couple years have been extremely rough on and off. I was fortunate enough to have helped take care of my grandma for most of the past handful of years prior to her death. After her death, my dad fell at work. My dad is the most independent person you’ll ever meet and used to always be on the go. Now he is disabled. He used to do so much for me. He still does, but just can’t physically. Breaks my heart. Now I help him if he needs it. I know he’d rather do it himself. He never complains though.
After 6 years of struggling on and off, I think my bad times are behind me. They caught my melanoma early and removed it, I am a car owner again, and start my new job on Monday! I’m going to try to stay healthy physically and mentally. I’m going to pray that my struggles are behind me at least for awhile!!
Here are some more things to keep in mind as you travel.
Hats and sunscreen
I never leave home without at least one hat. Many of them are packable, so take a couple. You can always look chic wherever you go. Don't forget that we are more vulnerable to Melanoma and other skin cancers. Take a good sunscreen with you so you don't have to look for it while you are traveling. My dermatologist recommends Elta MD Broad Spectrum 46 and I have been very happy with it.
From Carol Clupny, author of The Ribbon of Road Ahead, who just returned from a 67 day trip to Europe:
Using a walking stick to navigate the cobblestone sidewalks. Oh those cobblestones! I have great stories about wheelchair assistance. And because of the wheelchairs, I did not have any trouble carrying my trekking poles on the plane. I found disability assistance to be very good in Europe. There are even programs that an individual could access on trains. I was boosted up to a back door of a plane on a lift in Latvia and had a personal assistant who took us through the entire airport and even showed us how to buy train tickets in Munich. A small suction cup shower bar. I used it a lot! (note that many come in pairs. You probably need to take just one with you.) Pack light. Plan clothes to layer. We had only carryon-size roller bags and a backpack each. A drain cover to stop the sink when you are rinsing clothes. (a great idea for those sinks that won't hold water). Piece of shower line. We were able to buy Sinemet in a pharmacy by only showing the bottle. (and it was very inexpensive) Be aware of discounts for seniors, disabilities, and care partners in museums and attractions. We usually spent less than 50%We happened upon a 9 euro train ticket that allowed us to ride any type of public transportation in Germany (EXCEPT the intercity fast trains) we traveled for two weeks on 9 euros!!!
More travel tips from Parky Boy from his March blog post.
Choose luggage that you can cope with – this may have changed Aim to go at the pace that you need, especially when navigating transport hubs – because only you know Control anxiety and stress as much as you can by having everything you need very accessible. This may include Covid pass and locator form, which we’re not used to carrying. Take a few days more medication with you than you need – just in case If you’re flying, take a few days medication in your hand luggage (with, of course, toothbrush and knickers) – just in case. Carry on enjoying enjoying traveling
Just when you think your chronic pain can’t get any worse, it does! A few months back, I began to notice both of my shoulders were becoming very painful. As someone with chronic pain, I tend to ignore pain in my body, chalking it up to “just more pain” that will eventually even out or subside, as pain flares do. Well, this one hasn’t….it’s gotten worse. I now can’t lift my arms and the pain is excruciating. A friend of mine had frozen shoulder and I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on in both shoulders. I’ve been putting off dealing with this because I’m having surgery next week to have my melanoma removed, and they are also removing lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread. I can only deal with so much right now! I didn’t want to get started with PT only to have to stop right in the middle because of my surgery, which will affect my left shoulder. I am miserable, not sleeping, completely stressed because of pain and the stress over the cancer, and my depression and anxiety are really messing with my head. I feel very alone right now, but I know people here understand what I’m going through. I’m 54 and have lived with intense pain for over 7 years. Anybody else ever feel like they just can’t take it anymore? I’m so worn out…
#ChronicPain #ChronicDepression #CPTSD
That woman looks so different from the one 4 years ago. There is a light in her eyes that wasn't there before. She's gained 40 pounds with the help of MANY care team members and a boatload of support. She got off medications and although the diagnosis was treacherous, she persisted until she was well enough to not talk to a dietician. She lifted, walked, loved and got outside in the sun nearly every day. She dreamed. She cried, laughed, loved and failed a lot. She is not done. She is still being made.
That woman is me. I look at my photos and some days I cannot believe who I see looking back at me. I weep with gratitude for pushing myself so much and weep for the losses that it took for me to find her.
I lost my lifelong dream of being a mother with melanoma and a overtly small cervix but gained an entire family of friends by starting an in home daycare.
Somewhere I lost the ability to digest foods and gained an appreciation for yoga, gardening and knowledge of natural foods to heal the body.
I lost foods when I was diagnosed with MCAS and food allergens and I gained a purpose in life, a drive to mentor and educate and I've gained 40 pounds in 4 years. My BMI was 12.9, I fought hard to recover and now I fight hard to educate others on the importance of nutrition.
... I lost a husband and gained freedom, personal commitment and deep love if self...
For every loss, there is a win. I may not always SEE the wins, may get stuck in the brain foggy histamine storms yet always there comes the win. Some come at a cost that still brings me to my knees with soul wrenching cries heretofore I know happened for reasons that may not have unfolded to me.
To all those suffering from loss and with unbearable chronic conditions, in my moments of clarity, let me remind you life brings sadness and gratitude.
Well after the past few weeks of stressing and overthinking, today I go in for another 3 biopsy surgeries !!Just getting ready to leave and my anxiety is through the roof,I know they're going to be bigger this time and more awkward, also because of where they are will be difficult to heal so have to rest!!
Hopefully won't be in too long and will be able to get home to my bed and then just relax.
Hate this part 😭🙈
#MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #loveyourself #GeneralParenting #Parenting #Anxiety #Depression #Bekind #Toxic #Abuse #youmatter #beyou #PTSD #Cancer #HeyEmma
I've been getting Biopsy surgeries for over 5 years now due to the previous skin cancer.Ive had over 30 Biopsy surgeries, I usually just get any done there and then at my check ups ,but my last appointment few weeks ago was told have to have another 3 done and this time I've had to wait .I go in on Monday morning. This has really made my anxiety million times worse because I've had the time to worry, overthink, stress about the procedure , pain,stitches, recovery and then the wait on results.
This time I'm really worried as one of the areas they're going to remove has gotten so much worse over past few weeks which isn't a great sign ,but also I could just be well overthinking it due to being so anxious.
I know I'm really lucky as I've only ever needed the surgeries for my Melanoma which is alot luckier than some people.
I purchased a diffuser today with lavender oil and it has a colour changing effect ,I am using this tonight to try and reduce my anxiety.
The overthinking, worrying, feeling guilty as kids are away till next week now so I can rest for few days after the surgery without them seeing me struggle for first few days, yet I feel bad not going to see them for a bit .While also anxious because my 8yo is starting to question it all and has been worrying so I'm really wanting it to not effect them or make them struggle.
Everything is really overwhelming justnow ....
Just wish I could make my head stop or even slow down for a bit and be able to relax
#MentalHealth #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #loveyourself #GeneralParenting #Parenting #PTSD #Cancer #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #Toxic #Abuse #youmatter #beyou #HeyEmma