Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
I have a husband who has loved me and supported me, no matter what, for almost fifteen years. That's a rare thing, and I'm blessed.
I have friends, good friends, who pick me up when I'm feeling down. And offer to kick someone's ass for upsetting me.
I have a son who doesn't care if his clothes match or if his hair is sticking out all over, but he's too self-conscious to ask a girl to a dance, saying being embarrassed is his worst thing ever. He's a boy-man who acts like a teenager but will still hug his mom.
I have a daughter who alternately frustrates me and melts my heart. She makes me proud to be the mom of a little girl.
I have a dad who is improving little by little every day, and wonderful people surrounding him, cheering him on.
Just this morning I was chatting via Facebook with a friend who made me laugh, and then I received a text from another friend and one of her comments made me laugh. You can't underestimate the power of laughing out loud. More people need to laugh. Life is too short.
Happy Monday everyone!
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I'm so proud of the Lady Diamonds. They played five games yesterday and three today, and only lost to one team. They made it all the way to the championship game and ended up in second place. These girls continue to steal my heart, one game at a time.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Needless to say, unless I'm having a hot flash, I'm usually always cold - at work AND at home. I'm the person you see bringing a sweatshirt to the movies in July. Why is it that the hot flashes only come when I'm already hot? Why not when I'm having to turn my little heater on in the office or stealing the covers from Hubby at night?
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
It really did my heart good to spend time with Dad, and yesterday was a really, really good day for him. God is good!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Today I did NOT have a fun travel day.
I should have known it was going to be bad when we couldn't even board in Abilene because of a "slight maintenance issue". That was resolved and we got on the plane, only to sit there waiting for more fuel because we were being "re-routed" and needed more fuel. Last I checked the route from Abilene to Dallas was pretty much straight west to east, but whatever. Then we had to wait to take off because there was too much air traffic at DFW. My flight finally left Abilene five minutes after I was supposed to land in Dallas.
I knew I had already missed my connecting flight to Philly, so I hopped on Skylink to the next terminal to get to customer assistance. She issued me new boarding passes (through DC now) and I had an hour until boarding. I had to get back on Skylink to go from terminal D back to Terminal C for my flight. Or so I thought. After sitting at that gate for a while, they announced that my flight to DC would actually be leaving from gate D40. Are you kidding me? I just left there!!!! Back on Skylink yet again (J would have been in his glory) to Terminal D, only to find out that our aircraft came in from Mexico and needed a thorough security inspection before we could begin boarding. Nice. I'm all for security, but I'd already missed one connection and had been traveling for five hours and hadn't even made it out of Texas yet!!
We ended up leaving 40 minutes late, which didn't bode well for my connection in DC. We were scheduled to arrive at 8:06 and my next flight was at 8:25. Thankfully the pilot announced that five of us were trying to make tight (understatement) connections so he asked everyone to remain seated until we exited the plane. Then the fun really began. If you know me, you know I hate to run. Like hate it with a passion and only do it if something is chasing me. So after two flights, lugging a tote bag and suitcase and running (literally) on an empty stomach, hoofing it to the next terminal was not enjoyable at all. To make matters worse, you have to go through security all over again. WTH???? Here I am, running through the airport praying my flight didn't leave, and I have to take my shoes off and present my liquids all over again????? I took off without even tying my shoes and was so incredibly relieved when I saw the jetway door open at gate C39.
Someone must have called ahead because they were very obviously holding the plane. I felt like royalty.
So after all that, with my change of itinerary, I ended up landing in Albany 30 minutes earlier than I would have originally. Here's where you say "All's well that ends well", but man, what a day!
Tomorrow I get to see my dad, and hopefully make some headway on his paperwork. No rest for the weary!
Friday, September 19, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
I just walked by my refrigerator where a picture of Allyson hangs. I hate that she had to have even one night like this, but man, I sure miss reading her Insomniac Blogging posts.
Do you ever feel lonely, even though you're rarely alone? I'm a solitary person. I'm better with just a few people than in a group. I hate being the center of attention. I'm a watcher, not a doer. I have a husband I love, children I adore. I have friends, good friends, who like me. I am surrounded by people who care about me. And yet here I sit, at the computer in the wee hours of the morning, because I can't sleep, and all I can think about is how alone I feel.
Is this what cancer does to a person? The physical scars and emotional trauma aren't enough... now I can add this to the mix? I'm not depressed. Stressed and exhausted? Yes. Sad or anxious? No. And even if I was, I take a happy pill for that.
Why can't I sleep? Is it the stress I've been under lately because of my dad? Is it because my body was surgically thrown into menopause? Can I blame it on one of the medications I take? Or is it just bad luck?
Why do I feel so alone? I know being a cancer patient is isolating: nobody "gets it" unless they actually walk in your shoes. But my best friend has walked in my shoes. I have two wonderful support groups full of women who have walked in my shoes. It's not that I don't have anyone in my life who can relate to all of this. Is it because being the focus of everyone's attention for a year has made me self-centered? Do I miss the attention that I never wanted in the first place?
I think day 386 is a weird place to be. D-day was over a year ago. I finished active treatment months ago, so technically I've come out on the other side of this mess. Everything is still so new to me, though, that I don't feel past it. I may not spend every other day at the cancer center or drive to Dallas every week for appointments, but having cancer still pretty much consumes me sometimes. I'm guessing there will come a day when it doesn't. I hope.
What would Allyson Hendrickson say?
Well, friend....cancer sucks. That's all there is to it! It sucks! You will sleep again. Maybe not tonight, but you will. And you are NOT alone.
Just because I miss her, I can't sleep and I need a smile at 1am, here's a Throwback Thursday picture...my girl and her BFF - the epitome of togetherness:
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
We are now all completely exhausted and fighting to keep our eyes open while we watch the Dallas Cowboys. game. Looks like we'll have another busy week with two softball games, a 7th grade football game and then the high school football game on Friday.
Have I mentioned that I love sports?!?!
Friday, September 12, 2014
I could search for a hundred years and never find adequate words to describe what you are to me. As a couple we have faced huge obstacles and tribulations in the last fourteen years, and together we still stand strong. We don't always agree, and sometimes we can't even find a way to agree to disagree, but you are and always will be the most important person in my life. We are blessed.
When I am at my lowest, you hold me up. When I am at my breaking point, you ease my burden. When I am hanging on by a thread, you talk me down from the ledge. I know I have laid (and keep laying) incredibly heavy burdens on your shoulders, and probably take for granted that you can carry them. You haven't let me down even once.
In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, you stand beside me and that means more than you could ever know. I love you.
To my readers...yes, I realize I should save this post for another month when Hubby and I will celebrate our anniversary, but sometimes the words just have to come out.
Also, there is a story behind the couple in that picture.
A month ago, Hubby was in the waiting room while I had my surgery and a man sat down next to Hubby and started talking to him. Hubby told him a little about me & what we were there for. A while later, that man came up and handed Hubby a gift bag for me. In it was this Willow Tree Angel couple. I love Willow Tree angels, and I love Hubby, so this was a perfect gift. Why from a perfect stranger? I don't know.
(I secretly think Hubby made up the whole story and bought it for me himself, but he denies that.)
Hubby had to go down to get something out of the car and this same man was in the parking lot next to his vehicle, which was sporting a tire with something really wrong with it. Hubby came back in our room to get his wallet, saying he had to "go buy a man a tire". Is it any wonder why I love him???
Thursday, September 11, 2014
They transported my dad this afternoon and he is settled in at a wonderful place. He has his own room with a big window he can see out from his bed. He will go to the dining room to eat every meal and the doctor and therapists all took a lot of time to meet with him and go over what he can expect and to talk about how much progress he has made since his stroke.
We now have the daunting task of trying to apply for Medicaid so his long-term care will be covered financially, which will require tons of paperwork and a lot of luck. We need years of tax returns and income statements, military discharge papers and documentation of any transfers of assets. We don't even know where his birth certificate is! One step at a time... one day at a time. The important thing is that Dad is where we want him to be to get the best care. I hope and pray he has a restful night in his new home away from home.
Tonight my family spent the evening at the fair. I love the fair. It's dirty and expensive and the rides are scarily unstable and the food is horrible for you.... but it's so much fun. We ate, the kids rode rides and played some games and we finished the evening off sharing a funnel cake. Good times after a stressful few days.
As always, I want to take time to reflect back on this day thirteen years ago. I was pregnant with my first child and was awakened by a phone call from my mom, telling me to turn on my tv. She said a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. I sat glued to my tv the rest of the day, watching in horror as our nation was brutally attacked and precious lives were lost. God bless America.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
J had his first football game last night as a 7th grade Wylie Bulldog. He played offense most of the first half and some defense in the second half, and he got a tackle. It was a miserable 100 degrees and I was melting in the stands - I can't imagine how those boys actually put forth any effort. Go Bulldogs!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
*J was feeling better today after coming home sick yesterday, so he was able to attend his first pep rally and 7th grade football game (they won!).
*J seems to have shared his stomach bug with me. I have been feeling so queasy all day and even resorted to taking some of my chemo nausea meds.
*My dad is only approved to stay at the hospital through tomorrow. The place we want to transfer him to hasn't accepted his application. There is so much red tape everywhere in this process that I don't know if we'll ever get it figured out. I am stressed to the max.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
I'm still on exercise restrictions from surgery, but I think I might have to start riding my exercise bike a little bit each day in hopes on combating the restless legs.
In other news, please keep my dad in your prayers. Medically he's stable, but mentally he's having a really difficult time. Insurance is requiring him to be moved from the acute rehab (hospital) he's at to a sub-acute nursing facility. The place we want him to go to has a bed available, but there's some red tape and paperwork we have to get through first. I hope to get through it all tomorrow so he can get settled where he needs to be. He's had a couple of falls lately, too, so we're all worried about keeping him safe while trying to get him well. His stroke was very severe, so there is a lot of work to do, and a lot of the time he doesn't want to cooperate.
Pray for his health, pray for his safety, pray that his transfer goes through, pray for improvement in his motivation, his cooperation and the ability of his therapists to work with him.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
Football Friday night in Texas.
I missed this last year... I think I only made it to one game all season. Tonight we started the game with a thirty minute lightning delay two minutes into the first quarter, but went on to win - Bulldogs vs Bulldogs.
Monday night is K's first fall softball game and Tuesday is J's first 7th grade football game.
I'm a sports mama and I love every minute!
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when Hubby and J were at train club. This same reporter showed up and began an interview with J and took pictures of him there. She talked to Hubby and asked if it would be ok to for her to come to our house and talk to Jared in his own environment and see what he's working on with his own trains, etc. She came this evening and spent an hour talking with J, taking some video, asked him a ton of questions and even walked out to see the shed in progress where J will eventually build his own train layout.
I could tell J was nervous, but he did SO GREAT. Better than I would have. He was calm and answered her questions in complete sentences and really made model trains sound so interesting!
My favorite part was when she asked him how he knows so much about trains.
His answer? "Years of experience!"
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I also graduated to six month visits with Dr K. That's two doctors down, three to go!
Monday, September 1, 2014
He still has inpatient status at a rehab center at a hospital. He does occupational, speech and physical therapy six days a week (when he cooperates, which sometimes he doesn't). He spends quite a bit of time sitting up in the chair, can pull himself up to stand holding the parallel bars, feeds himself (with his left hand) and recognizes my voice and my kids' voices from messages we leave for him. All of that is GREAT.
Some is not so great, though. He's very frustrated and down. I'm not an expert on stroke patients, but I would think that is fairly normal as they begin to realize how limited they really are, and how much of their former selves they've lost. Sometimes he's very testy and doesn't always want to do what they ask him to. He's also very confused sometimes. Marion goes sometimes for his therapy sessions and he does very well with her. I told her she needs to add physical therapist to her resume! His right leg is essentially paralyzed, and most of the time he has a catheter because the stroke caused him to lose bladder control/feeling.
Now on to the scary stuff. A doctor from the hospital called me yesterday. They had done another CT scan on my dad because they want to start him on blood thinners to avoid him getting any blood clots in his right leg since he can't move it. The CT scan showed two "worrisome" lesions, but the doctor said at this point explaining it in any way would be pure speculation. He wants a better look at them, so he asked for my consent for a brain MRI with contrast. So that's next on Dad's agenda sometime this week, and hopefully it will show the doctors what they need to see.
Please keep Dad in your prayers. We know his recovery is going to be long, and maybe even limited, but with help and prayers, I have faith that we can get some of the old Opa back! He listened to the voice mail that J & K left for him yesterday, and Marion said afterward he smiled and said, "Nice". I'm glad we can bring even a little sunshine to his days.