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Friday, August 29, 2008

Back






My MIA is over. Dion and I went to Duluth MN to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It's actually about a month early, but Claire's birthday falls on the same day so we try to keep it separated. We walked and walked and walked through that town, probably about 15-20 miles in total. It was a nice break from reality, a nice time to remember who we are not only as parents, but as a couple. Our room was awesome, the view even better. And now we are back. Both of us don't have to work until next Wednesday, so we will have a little time to recover.


Things here are ok. I thought I would be starting the whole grieving process, but I think that's a little off still. I look at pictures of my dad and can hardly believe that he is gone. I feel my mom's sadness of the loss of her partner, bringing me sadness that there's nothing I can really do for her. I was at her house tonight, and looked up at her from the bottom of the steps, finding it very hard to leave her alone. Not that she cannot live on her own ok, but just hating that she is alone. I am afraid this whole journey is just beginning.


Claire starts kindergarten next week. That whole thought just blows me away. I am nervous for her, but at the same time excited for her too. I wish I could be a fly on the wall.


Anyway, I'm sure I could go on, but I want to post some pictures and it's almost time for the girls to go to bed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

With Gratitude

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

The Funeral

Just a little information on the funeral.....

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

The Last Step

I called my mom at 10:48am.....my dad died at :10:43am. He died peacefully in his sleep. I hung up the phone and said a prayer of thanks to God for taking away his pain. Hospice has been here and now we are waiting for the crematory people to come.

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......

A Step Closer

My dad's hospice nurse came back for the second time on Friday. The hospital bed was delivered and we are hoping it will help with the open sores on his back from when he fell earlier in the month. It has a mattress that rolls back and forth very very slowly to ease the pressure off of his back. I had to pick my dad up and turn him to move him from his bed to the hospital bed. It was a challenge, but between my mom and I, we got it done.

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

Really Really Quick

We dodged another bullet. All of my tests came back fine. Thank you to everyone who has been saying prayers and keeping us in your thoughts.

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

Just Bored

I really have nothing to report. I am just waiting for my next appointment at Mayo, and still have 23 minutes to go. We are supposed to get the results tomorrow, which I hope actually happens. It seems like testing always happens close to a weekend then you have to suffer through Saturday and Sunday....waiting....wondering...hoping....praying.

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

An Odd Day

Well, after my blood work and the bone density test I had my appointment with my oncologist. I found out that I had lost 10 pounds, I had cut my triglycerides in almost half, and I have healthy bones. The physical exam showed no sign of the cancer returning, which is good. But, I have to go back tomorrow for more testing for the Sarcoidosis. If you remember, I had said that my sarcoid had returned but as lesions on my skin. My oncologist said he usually doesn't see lesions, so he is a little concerned that there may be more happening on the inside. So tomorrow I will have more blood work, a chest x-ray, and a pulmonary function test done. I hate that test. They yell at you quite a bit.....BLOW BLOW BLOW BLOW!!!! Then you find out after exhaling what you thought was all you could exhale, that it didn't work because it wasn't enough and you have to do it all over again. Did I say that I hated that test?

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

Mayo Tomorrow

Sometimes with all that is going on with my dad I forget about my own cancer crap. I go to Mayo tomorrow for my 6 month check. There's more to say, but I am not in the mood to say it.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Closer and Closer

Things have gone downhill quite a bit this week for my dad. I got a call on my cell on Friday from my mom. My dad had fallen and she needed help getting him up. With her multiple hernias, there is no way that she should lift him. Kelsey was with the girls and I tooling around town looking for garage sales, so we were able to get over there pretty fast. I walked into the bedroom to find my dad sitting on the floor. Kelsey and I got him into a standing position and eased him back onto the bed. I checked his back since he had fallen backwards against the nightstand, and there was an impressive scrape about 5 inches long.

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.