Sunday, December 28, 2008
It doesn't make a lot of sense. But again, not many things do.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
This was our first holiday without him. My mom went to my brother's house to visit for a few weeks, so she was not here either. It was very odd. It basically felt like we just invited Cathy over for a meal. The food was good, as was the company, but it felt wrong. We didn't have wine, as my dad would always bring over a bottle. Everything just seemed messed up. We went to our neighbor's house that night, and a sense of normality set in, which was good.
Oh oh. I have to stop for now. Too many emotions swimming around in my mind. Blurry keyboards and such. I may or may not continue this.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Let me set the stage for this event. I was 9 , 8 or maybe 7 years old. Hell, maybe even 6. On TV (not on cable since we never had it when I was growing up) probably on a cartoon, I had numerous times seen a person step on a metal rake, only to have it pop them in the head. I never thought that would actually work, and even if it did, how hard could it actually hit your head? As it turns out, it can hit your head hard enough to make stars appear before your eyes. I have no clue as to why a metal rake was in the yard, or what possessed me to actually try the cartoon maneuver, but I did. And it hurt. A lot. As soon as the stars cleared from my line of vision, I had to look around quick to see if anyone saw me being so dumb. I can imagine one of our neighbors looking out the window.....
"What the heck is that neighbor girl doing walking around the yard? Wait a minute. There's a metal rake, why is she looking at it so hard? No...no way! Don't tell me she is going to do what I think she is going to do! [PAUSE] Hot damn she is!! There she goes with her little feet.......WHOA!!! That looked like it hurt. BWAH HA HA HA HAAAAAA! Idiot."
Maybe now that will explain some things to you.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Dion put our pumpkins at the end of the driveway. Unbeknownst to me, deer really really like pumpkins. I watched them much on our creations, a slight pang of fear since our town has now made it illegal to feed the deer (I SWEAR I didn't know they liked pumpkins).
Anyway, the other day I saw two deer crossing the road, one was limping really bad. As I got closer, I saw that it was missing half of it's back leg! I gasped. Out loud. Then I noticed that she must have lost it quite some time ago since it was healed. And there she was, crossing the street, climbing a hill with her friend. How resilient.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Enough of that crap. I have a headache as it is, we don't need to compound the situation. Did I mention that I changed things around in our house.... again? I re-painted the living room and created a whole new family room set up. I am loving it. The girls can watch their crazy shows in one room, and I can watch Cops in the other room. I am a TruTV addict. I love it! Mostly because I get to see some really not so smart people who, for whatever reason, agreed to let the tape of them acting like fools into our very own living rooms for our own enjoyment. And I do get enjoyment form watching them. En-frickin-joyment!
I was told by a 3rd grade boy last week that I would have made a good girl football player. Take that Favre!
The smitten kitten's wedding is next weekend! You know who you are, little Mr Smitten! I will never forget the day that I met his wife to be. We all went out to eat at the casino. I saw how he looked at her, and she at him and I knew.....one day soon....there would be WEDDING BELLS!!! Ding dong ding dong! It will be a fun wedding. It has to be, the shower was awesome. And that is saying a lot since showers can tend to be, ummmm, not so awesome. I am looking forward to helping them celebrate.
My head still hurts.
I think I will call it a night and bid you adieu. Adieu.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Claire is about one root away from loosing her second tooth. Tonight she wrote the following in her little notebook....
"I see a cat"
My little girl is growing up. It's hard to wrap my brain around.
Nadia is convinced that she too has loose teeth. Or what they call it, "woggly" teeth. She is writing more and more, and I am always amazed as I watch her write left handed. Who would have known I would have a lefty?
I have picked up a second job helping run programs for disabled adults. I don't work all that often, but when I do, I love it. They are such a caring group of people. They love you for who you are. And quite honestly, they make me feel good.
Yesterday i found my dad's collection of matchbooks. There's probably over 300 of them. I sifted through the boxes, picking up ones that caught my eye. It was a very comforting thing, knowing that my dad had touched every one of those matchbooks. I came across many interesting ones, locally and internationally. I found one from the country club where our wedding reception was. I touched them gingerly, almost as if to absorb a part of my dad. And I think I did. Odd, I know, but.....
I go back to Mayo on Monday to do another pulmonary function test and meet with my doctor again just to make sure things are a-ok with my sarcoidosis. My function test is at 9:15 and my doctor appointment is at 2. Could they spread it out a little further?
Ok, I guess that's it for now. Just thought I would update a little and let you know I am still around.
Friday, October 03, 2008
I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and type at my little hearts content. I had to sub a few times this week (3 to be exact) and that seems to wipe me out a bit.
I had no cold diet coke tonight, so I have to drink a beer. It's making me stuffier.
My mom has been sick all week, life has been catching up to all of us I think.
My feet are killing me tonight.
Nadia woke up laughing last night. It woke me up so I laughed too. I asked her what was so funny and she said that she had a dream that Spongebob and Mr Krabs got married. I laughed again.
We have a frost advisory for tonight. Boo.
I drove up and down one road today looking for caterpillars. I found 5 and put them into a little cage for the girls. What we do for our kids....
Claire got a little princess digital camera for her birthday from D's mom and dad. We have a lot of pictures of the dog and her blanket. And her fingers.
I am trying very hard not to pick up another cat at the humane society that is so incredibly cute and lovable. I am doing pretty well so far.
I took the girls to Old McDonalds for dinner one of the nights I had to work late and saw a parent there with her kids from work. She told me how much her son said he liked me. It felt good. I love working with kids.
I wish we had a big whirlpool bathtub. I would be there instead of in front of this computer screen right now.
In a chance to save money I have not ordered my contacts for the year. I have been wearing my glasses. Yuck.
How can I be chilly if I have on a long sleeve shirt, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt? I don't get it.
Last weekend we were hanging out with our neighbor and decided to go to the cemetery where his dad is buried and where my dad's ashes will be. We all had to sneak in because it was closed. I felt like a kid again. It was awesome, in more ways than one.
Have you ever gotten one of those little painful bumps on your tongue? I have one now. It hurts.
A nap sounds really really good right now.
I went to the casino with Kelsey Wednesday night and made $100 off a penny slot. How much does that rock?
I guess that's it for now.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This is a picture of Claire's first day of school. I am a little behind in posting it, and actually I am little behind in pretty much everything.
This is a picture of the day Claire lost her first tooth, which was last week. My how time is flying!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
The memorial service went very well. There were about 70 people who attended, some from town, some from out of town. The flowers were beautiful, the service captured who my dad was, and I am glad that it is done. It was much like planning a wedding in some regards....ordering flowers, figuring out food, all of that stuff, except with a wedding you have time. A funeral, you do not. But everything went as we wanted it to, so that is the important part.
Now that all of that is done, it's time to grieve. You stay so busy with all of the stuff that has to get done that there really isn't a lot of time to deal with your emotions. Now there is.
Anyway, thank you so much to all of the comments I got on my blog from you in blog land. And of course to Brandy and Tricia who made the trip Thursday, I would have been lost without those wonderful friends. All the people who made meals for us this past week, all the people who offered what they could...I am blessed. I will be MIA for a little bit, but never fear.....I will be back.
Monday, August 18, 2008
It will be this Saturday at 11:00am with a visitation at 10:00am. Lunch will follow the ceremony. It will be at:
United Lutheran Church
628 W 5th St Red Wing, MN 55066
In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Fairview Red Wing Hospice and the American Cancer Society.
I think that's it for now. I will keep in touch.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
My dad took his last step, walking into a wondrous place, and I'm sure waiting there for his was his mom. Claire and Nadia said he is playing catch with Spark again. I took them into his room so they could say goodbye to Grandpa. I explained that what we were looking at was a shell. I asked them where the good stuff is in an egg. They said the inside. I told them that Grandpa was like an egg. The good stuff has gone to heaven and all that is left is the shell. They understand so much more than we adults give them credit for.
More to come......
The nurse came back to catheterize him since he is in a semi-comatose state. There will be no more two way conversations with my dad, and I feel good that I have said everything that I wanted to say to him. I asked the nurse, with the condition he is in now, what she thought about a time frame. A week? Days? She thought it would be more like days. What an odd thought. I feel like I am prepared for the final day, but I guess one doesn't know until it actually happens. I picture my grandma there, holding out a hand for my dad to grab. They had such a close relationship, I'm happy for them to continue that in heaven.
I have a wall where I hang angels to represent those who have passed from cancer. I will have to start looking for one for my dad. But like the others, it has to be one that perfectly represents who that person was. I will take my time and find one that just jumps out at me.
I haven't posted any pictures of the shuffle this year. I didn't take any. I had my camera there, but I just didn't do it. But I did buy a DVD that does a great representation of what the shuffle is all about. I will post it on here when I figure out how to do it (nevermind. Our computer can't play DVDs). I am even in the video! It was filmed a few years back and you'll have to wait for a bunch of people wearing yellow shirts. That was my first walk after being diagnosed, so I am wearing a bandanna. I walk right past the camera. I am a movie star.
But I do want to say thank you to:
Jeff & Heidi, my Mom, Robin, Brandy, Rosanna, Gemini, and Susan
for donating to me for the Shuffle. I was able to raise $470 for our team, and overall our team raised $4178. I believe the total raised at the shuffle was $129,000 give or take. It was a pretty good night, not counting the little rain that we got. We can tell however, that we are getting older. It took a little more to recover than it has in the past, but it is so worth it.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My brother Paul, his wife Cindy and their daughters came up yesterday and spent the night at my parents. All things considered, we had a very nice visit, and of course the girls had a blast together. They made a lot of pictures for Grandpa and Grandma, and laughed louder than I could even attempt to imitate.
My dad mentioned today to me that he has been having so many dreams. I asked if he remembered what they were and he said no. He seems to be talking more in his sleep too. This has been a long long path.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
13 years ago I met Tricia (AKA: Poopyhead). We have been close friends ever since. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly. She has lived in Ohio for quite some years now, so we don't get to see each other as much as we would like. Not nearly as much. Anyway, about 2 years ago her dad died of the same thing my dad is dying of. I was talking to her last night, and asked her if 13 years ago, she would ever had imagined that our dads would die from the same exact thing. Isn't that odd? I told her that I believe that was a big reason that God brought her into my life. And it was totally by chance. We worked at camp together, but that first year she wanted to be at another site but it was full. So she ended up at Pine Lake, where I was. What a blessing it has been that the other site was full. We have been able to talk about this cancer crap and know exactly what the other is going through.
I certainly am blessed to have the friend network that I have. And the funny thing is some of them I have never met, just people I have become connected through the web, through blogging, and such.
On that note, I am going to go check in for the "yelling" appointment (see previous post for an explanation). Maybe I can get this done and over with early.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
For my dad it has come down to me lifting him up so he can use the commode. His legs are so weak that there's no way he can get himself up. He also needs help getting into a sitting up position. He has sores in his mouth which are bleeding, his feet have swelled immensely, and he has taken on the look of someone in the midst of starvation. I rubbed lotion on his back and it was like rubbing my hand down a washboard. I just wish this would end. This is not a way to live a life, it's not a way to watch someone live their life. It's inhumane. I was holding his hand last night and he said my hands were so warm. The truth of the matter is his hands are so cold. They believe he has pneumonia on top of everything else, which explains the old blood he coughs up. Sorry this is so detailed and not so pleasant, but that is how death is in this case.
The past few week I have said that I believed it would be his last week. I have been wrong every time so I have said that I won't say that anymore. But, after seeing him last night........
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Sunday, August 03, 2008
He lost his footing again the next morning, but my mom was behind him and able to stabilize him. He is starting to say things that make no sense to us, but I'm sure in his mind make perfect sense. He is very active in his dreams, twitching, using his hands doing something in the air (it looks like his is picking stuff out of the air), or using his hands to turn what would look like a facet.
Today I am taking Nadia to the parade for River City Days, and then I think we will go over to my parents house. Our time is limited.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
This coming weekend is River City Days. I am hoping to get the girls out there for the parade and such. We'll see.
The next weekend is the cancer walk. It was bank night last night and we got our t-shirts for the event. This coming week at work I am asking parents if they want to donate and let their child create the luminarias. I am hoping to get a little more money that way. I only turned in $205 this year in donations. I would say that I am disappointed in myself, but this year it has been difficult so I am going to give myself a break on that one.
The Monday after the cancer walk (the 11th) is my 6 month check at Mayo. I am so excited to add to the debt that we already have at Mayo. Woo hoo. It will be an all day adventure, like usual, but I am hoping to swing back into the chemo rooms to say hi to some of the nurses and such.
The 13th I have Fall Registration for my work. I have to get the rest of the Kindergarten letters out there. Yikes.
Then the last week of summer my daycare is closed again. Dion and I are toying with the idea of going on a vacation by ourselves to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It isn't actually until Sept, but it falls on Claire's birthday and we always try to keep it separate. We'll see.
And now, the random thoughts.....
- This past Tuesday the pastor came out to my parents house to meet with my dad. It went well.
- I have been staying up way too late this week and I have a feeling next week will be an adjustment.
- As of today, I have passed my infatuation of Snow Caps on to my daughters.
- American Idol is next month!!!
- I miss my friends.
- I look at my dad, and he is not the man I grew up with.
- Our cats are so awesome.
- I can't wait for school to start.
- Swish swish swish.....sometimes the sound my brain makes when I think too much.
Ok, better run. Cabin fever is already setting in.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Last night it was my turn to bring Nadia to bed, which means we read stories together and snuggle and talk about how our day has been. We had finished reading and I decided to bring up my dad. I asked her how she felt about grandpa being sick. Tears formed in her little eyes, her brow furrowed, and she said, "I will miss grandpa when he dies. I love my grandpa." There we were in her bed, both of us consoling each other as we cried for at least a half an hour. She is going to have a very hard time with this. She has always been close to my dad, snuggling whenever she could, eating food off of his plate, falling asleep in his lap. I mourn for her and her upcoming loss.
I added to my tree of life this week. I have the star for baby Casey that we lost going on 7 years ago. I can't believe it has been that long! I had the artist add the green ribbon for my dad, along with the quote above the tree which is taken from a Robert Frost quote....
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
I absolutely am thrilled with how it turned out and how significant it is to me.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
One thing I wanted to write about was.....I don't even know how to describe it, which is odd. How do I write about it if I can't describe it? Let's give it a try....
Going back 4 years ago when I was diagnosed. So many times I was told how brave I was, what a good attitude I had, how positive I was about everything. I fooled you all. Except for a few people, I didn't let on to how scared I was, or sad I was, or pissed I was. If that weren't the case people would not have been telling me how positive I was. But here's the thing. I did that for you (ok, not specifically you reading this at this exact moment, but "you" meaning the public, those around me etc). Do you think that if I were all mopey that you would want to be around me? Do you think that maybe it might be just a little uncomfortable to hang around me while I sobbed (although that I usually did that in the shower, so I guess in more ways than one that would have been uncomfortable for all involved)? That's right. Sobbed. Heaving, uncontrollable sobbing. Those of us directly dealing with cancer have to keep our emotions under control around everyone else. We have to keep our fears, anger, depression in check so that those around us do not feel uncomfortable. Now, 4 years later, I find myself doing the same thing. If you were to see my mom and I around town, most likely you would have no clue as to the turmoil rumbling around on the inside of both of us. We don't walk around saying poor me, poor me, unless we are safe with you. Then we will unload a little at a time. And THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I would not dream of telling someone how they should appear as they grieve. Only because I know. I would not think to even THINK someone does not appear to care or be worried or sad simply because they are not walking around crying. Ok....off the soapbox I go....most likely onto another one.
We are all exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally. And there are so many other factors in play here along with the impending death of my father. The past few weeks have been a stress I have never felt and hope I never have to again. I won't go into many details, but I cannot understand the thought process of some people. For the first time in my life, I have been treated horribly by someone and guess what? I don't care. At all. I got so sick of wondering what the hell this person was thinking, and saying over and over that I don't get it. And of course wondering what I did that was so horrible that I was treated the way I was. Now I know why I don't get it. Because I wouldn't treat others the way that I was treated. I have wasted so much time worrying about what was going to happen next or what hurtful thing was going to be said next, stress just a flowin' through me. Done. It's done, and I am done. I wash my hands of it all, and now I can actually focus on what lies ahead. I can spend my energy on my parents like I should have been. So many times I wanted to say something to this person, but the nastiness, sarcasm, in your face response.....well....to be honest, I couldn't do it. I am not strong enough, especially right now. I am embarrassed to say that. I wish I had it in me, but I don't. Maybe this is an area I need to work on, but really it's only with a few people. But now that I think about it, I really only have a few people in my life who are like that. Thank God for that! Yikes! Couldn't handle much more.
My dad now has a walker, but really he only gets up a few times a day to use the bathroom. I am still fortunate enough to be able to lay next to him in his bed and talk. Nothing really specific, but things that I will treasure. His hospice nurse is going there today so I will be there for that in the afternoon. He had some friends visit last Friday. They took time to drive up here, pay for a hotel room, dinner, gas, etc and my dad was so grateful for that. I thanked them for that, and they said..."There's no way we wouldn't have come." See that? For every dink we have to deal with, there are lots of more angels walking on this earth willing to make things easier for us. I have some friends who gave my mom so many frozen meals which have been priceless, a real estate agent who lives up the road stopped in with chocolate covered strawberries the other day. My cousins stop in to visit and help with things, my sister cuts the grass for my parents, they get cards upon cards sent from not only their friends, but some of my friends too. My dad's niece sent a phone card for my parents to use. Do you see? I wasted all of that time and energy above focusing on the negative of ONE person, when all of these other wonderful people are around me. That confirms my "doneness" I stated before. I just need to keep these angels on earth around me. THEY make me feel good. THEY are truly out to help in any way they can. THEY are going to help us through this. THEY are cherished. Thank you Angels. Over and over, thank you.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Yesterday was a rough day for my dad. He finally gave in to using the liquid medication which is supposed to bring instant relief to really bad pain. It didn't. It took a couple of doses to get his pain down to a 4. He is spending more and more time in bed, getting up mostly just to use the bathroom. Eating is almost non-existent. We are still able to have good discussions though, and I find that every time I talk with him I learn more about him. I find out more about his thoughts. Thoughts that I didn't know he had going through his head, or things I didn't think that he really pondered. I am not going to list some of the things we have talked about because I feel they are private and something that only I can hold on to. Maybe that is a little selfish, but it is what it is.
Slowly but surely I have had some money trickle in for the Relay for Life. I feel so bad that I have put this off for so long. I think mostly it is because I wonder if he will be around for it. It is a month away, and while there is a possibility he will, there's a pretty good chance he won't also.
I guess that's it for now. Sorry it has taken so long to update, but in all honesty, I have been dragging my feet on writing too. Sigh................
Friday, June 27, 2008
My dad's brother and his wife visited from California. They got here on the 25th and left today. What a great visit! Don & Karen & my mom and I went out to eat one night. We grilled another night, and I treasured the time not only for me, but also for Don and my dad. There was one point at dinner when I looked over at Don and saw my grandma's eyes in his. It was so comforting.....
***I am putting this section in because last night, when I first started this post, the power went out. I am happy that good old Blogger saved it as a draft so that I can continue tonight. A tree branch (a large tree branch) fell off of a tree and landed on wires and knocked a lot of us out of power. It was like out of a movie. The power went out and all of a sudden, everyone is coming out of their homes, looking at each other. It was a good time for a beer run, and we stayed up until after 2am, hanging out on our front step with our neighbor. I laughed. A lot. To me, that was a little sign that I was not ready to complete the post last night. That I needed a little bit of a break, even if it was a few hours, from all that is unfolding around me. So, with that, here's the rest of the post.***
My grandma passed away almost 6 years ago. I felt blessed to see her again through Don.
I am about a month behind in asking for donations for the Mississippi Shuffle this year. As most of you know, we do the Relay for Life each summer. We have been involved for the last 6 years. The summer after my diagnosis was an emotional walk. I don't know how I am feeling this year. We all know that it is for a great cause as most of us have been touched by cancer one way or another. I don't know if it is part of my bitterness or what, but as I said, I am behind. How behind? I have nothing. No money raised. Nada. Zip. I have to get my act together. So this is me getting my act together.......
There are many reasons to donate to the American Cancer Society. I am one. With funds from organizations like this, more and more people, like me, can get into studies, more research can be done to pinpoint cancers, the causes and hopefully the cures. Here's another reason. I would not wish on anyone what our family is going through. I can only hope and pray that you don't watch your dad (or mom, or brother, or sister, etc) waste away to nothing. I hope and pray that through the American Cancer Society and the money raised, that you won't have to watch what I am watching. each dollar raised gets us that closer to finding a cure for this beast that takes so many lives each year, and effects so many others. If you are interested in donating, let me know. I will get the info to you that you will need. In the meantime, have a peek here or here (after scrolling down a bit), or even here.
So let's see....what else? One of my brother's is flying (literally flying the plane) here with his daughter to see my dad tomorrow. He'll stay for a few hours and then fly back home. My other brother will be coming up on the train on Monday night. He has broken his leg so this might get interesting. I have no clue how he is going to get up and down stairs as he can't put any weight on it. Blah blah blaaaahhhhh....oogie boogie. That's all I've got on that stuff.
There's more, but I need to stop for now. Breaks are good. Tree branches falling on power lines are good. Too much thinking? Not so much.