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Sometimes it's a good idea to look backwards and reflect on the good things that have happened, or that you've accomplished or overcome. To put the dead grass outside the windows and the dust inside the house in perspective. To stop the agony of brokenness or worrying about the inevitable future. I cannot call it self pity, but rather accepting what is.

This is easier said or written than done. As for myself, I lost about fifteen pounds, working out three to five times per week, approximately two hours each time, charting my progress since I joined the YMCA almost a year ago. Exercise seems to lift my spirits as well as cope with daily stress.

My husband is back to five days a week at The Adult Day Center. The cost is about $500 per month and I have no idea how it's not breaking our budget. He still calls it "work", as in it's his job. He no longer can tell what day of the week it is, nor if it's day or night, so he asks numerous times and every night fears that he won't wake up on time. The neurologist has tried five different meds, none of which worked.

His emphysema has worsened, with two appointments for pulmonary function. His shortness of breath so far has not responded to a Spiriva inhaler, nor to two nebulizer medications. Frustrating for both of us. After taking him to two specialists, we tried to see if his internist had any ideas. He didn't.

I consider it a major victory that with the help of a tax volunteer, our taxes are done. There is a battle going on between Medicare, our secondary insurance and our dental insurance as to who pays what for the oral surgery he had in November. My instinct was to be part of the fight until I realized how draining it was. I have a year to appeal.

I submitted two poems for an anthology; the book about breast cancer survivors in which I wrote about my experience was finally published and I received one free copy.

We try to visit my mother once a week at her new digs, an assisted living facility. It's sad, but I give her a manicure as we talk, adding a top coat of glitter.

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