Monday, November 13, 2017

The struggle of being a mom with cancer, from the author of ‘Cancer Hates Kisses’

Ten months after giving birth to her second child, my friend, who was nursing, felt a lump, but assumed it was a clogged milk duct. She was 35, had no family history of breast cancer and had recently had a healthy pregnancy. Then she became short of breath and tests revealed lung cancer, as well as tumors in her eyes, spine, neck and hips.

The Unique Challenges for Younger Caregivers

“This must be your grandmother.” I get that a lot. My mom was 42 when she had me, and although she avoided wrinkles until late in life and colored her gray hair a medium ash brown, she always seemed a little old for her age.

Now that my mom lives in the memory care unit of an assisted living facility, sits in a wheelchair and wears her hair white, our 42-year age gap is even more pronounced. Most people at the facility – residents and workers alike – are amazed when I say, “Actually, I’m her daughter.”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

They offered to pay people to go to the gym. Guess what happened?

Have you ever thought, “You couldn’t pay me enough to go to the gym”? You’re not alone.

When researchers offered new gym members $30, $60 or a gift worth about $30 for going to the gym nine times in six weeks, attendance increased only slightly, according to the “Can Financial Incentives Help People Trying to Establish New Habits?” study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hotels put bigger focus on fitness with in-room equipment

As executive director of Destination DC, which markets the capital to travelers, Elliott Ferguson knows a thing or two about hotels. When he travels, one of the first things he looks for is a good fitness center.

“Before I physically go up to my room, I stop by . . . to assess what they have and figure out what I can do,” Ferguson said. “Some hotels offer yoga and cycling and/or at least access to some of the various companies that do that here in Washington, D.C. That really makes a big difference when people are looking at where they’re going to stay.”

A growing number of hotels are making exercising on the road even more accessible — taking equipment to guest rooms.

At Even Hotel, exercise is the thing

A wall of plants and four coolers of filtered water — two of them flavored — greet Even Hotel Rockville guests, who can wipe away their travel woes with orange-scented towels before retiring to rooms with eucalyptus-infused sheets.

Relaxation matters at Even (1775 Rockville Pike), but fitness makes it stand out among the area’s many hotels. “It’s a wellness concept with a hotel added on,” says John Stowell, Even’s chief wellness officer.

Monday, February 27, 2017

No one wants to think about losing a parent. But not planning for it makes it worse.

I sold my mom’s house in Florida in December. I didn’t discuss it with her, which is weird because we discuss everything. Or we used to, before her Alzheimer’s disease worsened. I’ve learned to edit myself in conversations and to consider what is worth stressing her out (if she remembers what I’ve said).

It’s all part of the guessing game I have been playing since 2012, when, at age 77, she became one of the 5.4 million Americans diagnosed with the cognitive disorder, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. She refused to discuss it with me, insisting that her forgetfulness was just part of the normal aging process. She remained in denial, even when she was ordering pizza every other night because she couldn’t remember to grocery shop, or when her Medicare coverage lapsed because she forgot to renew it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The debate over muni broadband expansion

As communities across the country continue to clamor for high-speed broadband, the number of critics speaking out against municipal broadband is growing.

At the heart of the debate is whether governments or private industry should have jurisdiction over broadband. Those who favor private industry point to the historical success of capitalism, while “broadband populists,” as a new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) calls them, favor government regulation and operation much like other city services.