Chronicles of a Pseudo Stylist

Fashion and Style combined with Polyvore sets

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…to the Blog for 2017

I have officially returned from my semi-yearlong hiatus from working on this blog, a self-imposed one brought on by my mother’s hospitalization last February. She had been admitted after a high level of blood calcium that, had she not been at the local hospital for shortness of breath and lethargic-like weakness only to be transferred to Christiana Hospital in Delaware for treatment immediately after testing showed said blood calcium level at an alarmingly high rate, would’ve killed her in a matter of days. While her blood calcium levels were going down to normal, more testing was done to get to the root of this. Medical tests were nothing new for my mother, as she had been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly 30 years now; it was routine for her given the medications she was put on to help slow the progression of it. The one drug she had recently tried, which was Xeljanz, had a side effect that increased the likelihood of a person getting lymphoma.

However, when you factor in the risk people with RA have of getting lymphoma, one can imagine that the risk would go up further after being put on Xeljanz. When the medical tests were done, it had been determined that my mother had Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Immediately after the diagnosis, she was immediately put on chemo. She had improved after each chemo treatment that she was put on, her chances of survival had gone up to the point that we had been looking forward to the day she would be transferred into a rehab center to strengthen her up as of last May. Regrettably, it wasn’t meant to be.

Last Father’s Day; we were told that the cancer ended up reappearing as a metastasis in her brain. It was inoperable, unfortunately, and our options were either radiation treatment that would shrink the tumor or start making arrangements for palliative care. I personally wanted my mother to do the radiation, however, upon learning that the side effects would’ve involved the risk of brain damage along with the possibility that it wouldn’t even work, I had realized that it would’ve prolonged her suffering. I came to that realization after I had talked it over with my father that day after he returned from the hospital once visitation hours were done for the day. I had been praying for a miracle to take place, as they have occurred in cases like my mother’s, even when the odds aren’t in their favor.

In the end, it was decided that my mother would be transferred to palliative care for until her body shuts down and she died. She would remain at the hospital for the rest of June, sadly, and she would be transferred to Heartland Hospice Center that wasn’t too far from Christiana Hospital. I can’t praise the staff at the location my mother was transferred to enough; they took excellent care of her as she transitioned from life to death. She would hold on for until July 7, 2016, only 3 days after Independence Day and 4 days before her 64th birthday. She died that morning at 6:12 am after a long and well fought battle with Large Diffuse B-Cell Lymphoma that ultimately claimed her life.

My maternal grandmother was beside herself since she had heard my mother wasn’t going to make it. Like former VP Biden, my grandmother had experienced the loss of a child twice in her lifetime. The first one was 2-day-old infant who was born 2 months prematurely, and the second one turned out to be my mother. Again, much like former VP Biden, the second child she lost would be the first born, who was my own mother as an adult, and that the death would be from cancer. Both Beau and my mother were firstborns, died within 13 months of each other from cancer, and both got diagnosed after being sent to the ER at Christiana Hospital.

Another interesting parallel would be that my mother died 17 years and about 1 week after her cousin, Lenora (“Norie”) LaSpada-Hale, lost her battle with cancer. Once again, both Norie and my mother were first-born children, along with being first-born daughters, born only 3 months apart in the same year (1952). Both had died of cancer that had either metastasized or reappeared to an inoperable form. My mother’s memorial service was held a few weeks later, and it was a touching service. I had never realized just how many lives she touched just with her presence, both in her career as a teacher in the Salem City Public School system and outside of her job.

I miss her each and every day and look forward to the day that I’m reunited with her. After my mother’s service, and with the year progressing, my life would change in a way that I have never, ever thought possible. Financially we couldn’t afford to remain in the house that I called home for 27 out of the 33/34 years of my life, alas it was with a heavy heart that we had to sell the house and move. Fortunately, we chose to move to a rental home in Elsinboro, NJ, right on Oakwood Beach. My sister had told me that my mother had had a conversation with my cousin Karen where she had expressed her desire to someday move back to Elsinboro within the next year.

Obviously this conversation had taken place before my mother had even fallen ill, but knowing this, had made it slightly easier to deal with moving. Elsinboro, well Oakwood Beach, was familiar to me since I lived there for the first 6/7 years of my life. My parents made their home together two doors down from where I currently live, said home was where she and my father brought both my sister and I home from the hospital to. Of course, a lot has changed since I last lived there, from the color to the first house I lived in to the entire layout of the area I lived in as I had last remembered it as being.

From the time my mother had died, I had rushed to save as much of her stuff she saved from when she was growing up as I possibly could without being found out by both my father and sister. I also rushed to save as much stuff that belonged to my father when he was growing up as I possibly could, in addition to the stuff that was saved from when my sister and I were little. Sadly, I couldn’t save as much as I had wanted to save (I am an actual hoarder after all, I had come to this revelation after watching episodes of both “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and “Hoarders” online and on demand; seeing the people who were featured in the episodes of each season made me realize that my old bedroom had been similar to the rooms of the hoarders, stuff covering the floor, save for a cleared trail from the door to my bed, but piles upon piles of stuff were everywhere. The last summer my mother was alive, I had told her that I was a hoarder one morning while I was talking to her about the shows I was watching. She said that she wasn’t surprised; after all she knew it long before I was willing to admit it to myself. Poor impulse control and overall lack of self control, along with depression all factor into my hoarding [if I’m not drinking alcohol, staying up all hours of the night, or eating emotionally, then I’m hoarding]; I had determined that I was in between a Level 2-Level 3 hoarder, which isn’t that bad, but I also knew that I was very capable of going up to a Level 5 depending on the circumstances. Either way, I needed to get it under control and keep it that way, so I had decided to start getting rid of some things I kept, but never wore/used in years. I wasn’t consistent in my effort that year, but by the time my mother died, my luck had run out and I couldn’t avoid it. I had started the very week my mother had died, saving and tossing things, continuing throughout the rest of the Summer and most of Fall.) The ultimate downsizing began around early November when my cousin Karen was helping us move out to the house. By that time, I had slowed down a bit because I thought we weren’t going to actually move out for until after Thanksgiving and we had all the time in the world.

I was really, really starting to hoard intensely, now that I look back on it, because I was starting to resent the fact that my sister wasn’t letting me determine what VHS tapes to keep so I could transfer them to DVD. Unfortunately, the tapes I wanted to keep are now somewhere at a Landfill in Salem County, close to Alloway or a little outside Alloway near Elmer or Bridgeton. They are Mickey’s Christmas Carol/The Great Muppet Caper (on the same tape, both recorded in 1986 from KYW/NBC3 and WCAU/CBS10, Kodak or a Fuji tape), How the Grinch Stole Christmas/Frosty the Snowman/Miracle on 34th St./Live Aid (all are on the same tape, all done in 1985, WCAU/CBS10, WTAF/TV29, and WABC/CH6 a TDK tape, just look for the label if it’s still legible), A re-creation of a typical Friday night TV lineup shown on an ABC affiliated channel back in 1972 or 1971, complete with retromercials(Nickelodeon, preview of Nick-at-Nite’s TV Land Channel back in ’97, just look for the label that states that.), TV Land Christmas marathon from past TV shows, complete with retromercials (done in the early 2000s). If anybody’s willing to look for them and return them to me, send me an email and I’ll give you more deets on some other things to look out for while you’re there. Ultimately, Karen had to step in since neither my sister nor my father was getting through to me effectively. I’m actually glad she did, because both my father and sister were beginning to sound like broken records, but she told me that any memories I have of my mother aren’t in her belongings she left behind, but they’re in my heart. After that, I managed to get rid of clothes that I was hell bent on keeping since I had planned to get back into them after I lost the weight that I had gained. Most of them donated, but also tossed.

Some things I wasn’t willing to toss, but in the end, they were gone. It was easier from then on, but the road was bumpy, sensing that my being present when we were still clearing out the house wasn’t going to do much more than stall any and all efforts because I’d see something that I overlooked or forgot that I had and demand that they stop so I could go through what I wanted to keep as opposed to what they wanted to toss. I just didn’t see the point in doing that if it was going to boil down to me stalling any progress that my father, sister, and cousin had made. I ended up tossing a lot more than I expected to, so it worked out. I am grateful I got to hold on to some; in the end it’s better than nothing at all. I threw out some things since I moved in on my own; I’m still in the process of doing so.

So far, my room resembles that of a recovering hoarder. It’s not bad, but it’s not good also; I’m figuring out ways to organize and store some of the things I have such as DVDs, books (there’s no more room on the bookcase, so I’m tossing some paperbacks out.), clothes, and stuffed animals. Hopefully I can do that while I’m living in the house still and I will get that done.

For the record, I decided to extend my hiatus from blogging for until the New Year the same day my mother had died because I knew that I wouldn’t be focused on it as much as I should be for the rest of the year. As a result of this hiatus, changes will be made to the blog as far as what I’m posting and when, some new categories will be added, Polyvore sets will still be created and added to the blog, and whether or not I can truly refer to my reviews from here on in as digital coverage from both a logical and a chronologically logistical standpoint. While there will be an addition to new categories, there may be some that I’ll get rid of. However, I may not get rid of some categories and just add new ones.

To be specific, as far as what and when I’m posting, I cannot guarantee that every review will be posted immediately after the show or even by 11:59 pm that day. What I can promise you is that it will get done the first thing the following day at the earliest and by the end of the month at the latest. Any runway shows that I haven’t even completely reviewed dating back to Fall/Winter 2013-14 and ending at Spring/Summer 2017 will be added, but they won’t be on the date the runway show took place. To remedy that, I will put those shows under either a Toss back Tuesday, Wayback Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, or a Flashback Friday category. I’m still debating as to whether or not add on more worldwide fashion shows such as Dubai, Baku, Kiev, Ukraine, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Mexico, etc. For until I get things back on track as far as posting reviews goes, I will refrain from adding on to the shows I want to review from the above listed. That could change in the future.

As a result of those changes, I will only call the reviews that I type and post immediately as being digital coverage since I’m practically posting them as I’m watching the runway show as it happens. If I have a blank blog post with just the title of the post entered in the exact same day as the runway show took place, I will not change the title. If the post is brand new, as in typed and posted today or any other day, the title will change. I will become more consistent in posting links to either photos of the runway looks or to YT videos from Fashion TV, Milano Fashion Channel, or other channels dedicated to runway shows. If I cannot obtain links to any of the runway shows from those channels, then I’ll link the runway video provided by the designer’s YT channel instead.

In addition to the above changes, I will still post schedules of the shows, but I will only post the shows mentioned both scheduled by the venue city the runway show takes place in itself and through Vogue’s website used to have a calendar during each Fashion Week whether it’s ready to wear or haute couture, but since the layout has changed recently, I can no longer list the scheduled shows from there since there is no longer a calendar. I’ll still use Vogue as a go to reference site for pictures of the looks on any runway show I review, however. I hope to hear from you all again, as I promise to be more consistent in updating the blog than I have been in recent years.


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This entry was posted on February 10, 2017 by in Blog Announcements, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .

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