Last night, I did it. I finally shaved my head. I was getting tired of the longish, thin wisps of hair all over my head. And since I am seriously ready for my hair to grow back, I didn't want the new stuff trying to grow past the old stuff.. That wouldn't have made sense to have short hair amongst longer hair.
It was a little tougher than I thought it would be. I mean my hair was tough. Considering most of it had previously fallen out, there were several strands that were still quite resistant. Who would have thought it?
I remember over the years, hoping that I would never get cancer of any kind, and need chemo, and subsequently lose my hair, because I thought my head was odd-looking. Well, it did happen, and I finally got to see what I would look like bald. It's not so bad and not quite the shock I imagined it would be. I still will not let Lon see me without a wig or sleep cap. It may not be so bad, but, honey, it sure ain't all that good either!
And if it doesn't grow back as quickly as I would like, I will proceed to Plan "C". Can you say (or sing) "CHA CHA CHA CHIA???? i'll just get me a Chia Pet kit and smear it all over my baldy head. Unfortunately, it only comes in green since it is a plant, but who cares? I might look good in a green afro.
HUGE NOTE: My nephew Rob, (sister Sandy's son - say THAT three times!) went into the hospital this last week with a heart issue. His blood pressure was 170/150 and he was retaining a large amount of water. He lost 16 pounds of water-weight. It looks like everything is going to work out fine, but he will have to be on medication the rest of his life, to help one side of his heart.Thank goodness all is turning out for the good. Hopefully, he will be home Sunday or Monday.
Thursday night Jenna, Alec, and I went to Iowa State College at Ames for the night. We stayed in a room at a hotel which looked like it was once a dorm. On Friday Alec was participating in the Special Olympics - swimming with a floatation device. He came home with a gold medal. I hope Jenna will post his picture on this blog. When we first got to the swimming arena, Alec was a little upset . Jenna asked him what was wrong and his answer was "Scared". Aren't we all, if we have to perform in front of hundreds of people? Well, the events went on and on and on. Guess what, Al's event was second to last for the morning session! So we were all just about pooped out. Alec's part-time, after-school nanny, Sam, came from Grinnell to watch him and brought a really neat sign to hold up, to encourage him as he swam his race.
As time went on, he was really getting worn out with anticipation and such. When he got really crabby, Jenna asked him if he wanted to go home. His answer was a definite "NO!" I guess he had come to participate and by golly, he was going to get his turn. In the end, he liked his gold medal, but I don't think it impressed him all that much. I think the important thing to him was that he came to do a job, and he did it! I am so proud of him.
Friday night we went to Kalina McBurney's graduation party. Now, she is niece Tina's daughter, and what did I tell you about the McBurneys putting on a party for their kids' graduations? What a beautiful setting they had in their huge yard, and then inside the old sawmill, decorations, pictures, and wonderful food.They really did a nice job and Kalina was greeting each guest as they arrived. I know Tina worked her butt off, and it hasn't been that long since she had major surgery. Sure hope she didn't overdo herself.
I was so happy to see some friends that I haven't been lucky enough to be around, for a while. Cami M., Mary Sue R., and several others.
Lon and I went out to the Dad's farm yesterday (Saturday) and mowed and trimmed some. If we don't keep right on it, the grounds will get away from us and that will really be a big job to fix. Ken's family has been working on the yard, too., so hopefully we can keep things looking good until we sell the property. Ken has been doing a ton of work out on the farm, and it shows. He's getting some of the buildings cleaned out and has hauled away a bunch of junk. I think Jill and I are going to tackle the house this afternoon.
Lon and I went out last night. When looking in the visor mirror in the truck, I thought I looked a little different. Then I realized I had again, forgotten to draw on eyebrows. I looked like that girl in the movie THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO (minus the nose piercing, black Mohawk hairdo, and of course, the dragon tattoo - just no eyebrows.)
Tuesday Lon and I were almost to PCI for my appointment (which had already been rescheduled two times) with the plastic surgeon, when they called me on my cell phone and said the doctor was still tied up in surgery and couldn't make the appointment. The next available time was in two weeks!! Krikey!! Then the lady proceeded to tell me that the reconstructive surgery was going to be JULY 18TH!! I WANT THIS OVER with NOW - NOW- NOW!!! I have a busy summer schedule (watching Alec and maybe the girls, plus Lon is going on his annual fishing trip,and we are all going to have a big job getting things around for the farm auction. I guess I should be happy that the auction for Dad's farm stuff is falling on July 12th, so I can be there. And Lon's trip will be over with, so he will be able to help me with those darn drains again. Oh, by the way, I asked the nurse how long to expect wearing the drains this time, and she cheerfully told me that it could (again) last as long as FOUR WEEKS!!! I refuse to have to have them for four weeks again. Been there, done that, no fun!
Seems like you get through the tougher stuff, and then the wind-up is going to take forever. Whatever.
I am going to reprint the poem I posted back in December. I was talking to my neighbor lady and her son. He is the one who had breast cancer a while back and had a tough time dealing with it because of the area of the body concerned. Max has always been a big, strong, quiet guy, but he came up to me and told me he owed me two big hugs - one for Dad, and the other because I had breast cancer, just like him! He lifted his shirt and showed me his scar and it is a doozey. (Of course, I didn't lift my shirt and show him mine :) I told him that back in December I was thinking about his situation and that this crazy little rhyme kept running through my head until I had to put in down on paper. I gave him a copy, but there are others who wanted to reread that little ditty but I don't want them to have to search way back when. Also, I have reworked it just a bit. Hope you don't mind seeing it again.
THE BEAR IS BARE - BUT WE DON'T CARE
ONCE THERE WAS A GROWN UP BEAR.
HIS NAME WAS JOBEY JAY.
HE WENT TO SEE HIS DOCTOR AND
HERE'S WHAT DOC HAD TO SAY.
I'M VERY SORRY, JOBEY JAY,
BUT YOU ARE VERY SICK.
IT'S SOMETHING CALLED BREAST CANCER,
BUT I'LL TRY TO FIX YOU - QUICK!
JOBEY SHOOK HIS HEAD AND CRIED,
"IT CAN'T BE - I'M A MAN!
HEY, ONLY WOMEN CAN GET THAT!
IT'S JUST NOT IN MY PLAN!"
"ANYONE CAN GET IT, SON.
I KNOW IT'S HARD TO SEE.
I'LL LET YOU IN ON SOMETHING, SON.
IT HAPPENED, YES, TO ME!"
WHEN DOCTOR PATTED JOBEY'S BACK
THE BEAR BEGAN TO SOB.
DOC SAID, "I'LL START YOUR TREATMENT NOW.
LET'S GET ON WITH THIS JOB."
SO, DOC PUT IN A POWER PORT
TUCKED UNDER JOBEY'S SKIN.
IT CAME IN VERY HANDY
WHEN THE CHEMO WAS PUT IN.
THE TREATMENT WAS NOT VERY HARD.
THE NURSES HELPED HIM THROUGH IT.
BUT SOON HIS HAIR BEGAN TO FALL.
HE HADN'T THOUGHT IT'D DO IT!
BUT FALL IT DID - IT'S JUST A FACT.
POOR JOBEY - WHAT A SCARE!
IT'S REALLY TERRIFYING WHEN
YOU'RE MOSTLY MADE OF HAIR.
JOBEY'S WIFE SOON HAD A THOUGHT!
"I'LL SEW SOME CLOTHES OF HAIR.
THAT WAY YOU CAN PUT ON A SUIT
AND YOU WON'T LOOK SO BARE!"
SHE MADE A HAT, SHE MADE A COAT,
SHE MADE A PAIR OF PANTS.
SHE EVEN MADE A PAIR OF BOOTS
AND GLOVES FOR BOTH HIS HANDS.
JOBEY JAY LOOKED PRETTY GOOD.
HIS FRIENDS WERE ALL SO HAPPY
THAT HE WAS FEELING BETTER NOW
AND LOOKING KINDA SNAPPY!
SOME ROUNDS OF CHEMO, HE HAD FIRST.
THEN SURGERY AND HEALING.
THEN CHEMO DONE A FEW MORE TIMES,
AND, FINALLY, BETTER FEELING!
DAYS AND WEEKS AND MONTHS WENT BY.
(IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME)
DAY AFTER DAY, OUR JOBEY JAY
BEGAN TO FEEL JUST FINE.
HIS HAIR GREW BACK,SO LONG AND LUSH,
HE NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.
HIS HEALTH IS GREAT - AND HE'S ALIVE.
HE WON! (I KNEW HE WOULD).
I finally planted some annuals and some sunflower seeds. I had two packets of the 32inch variety to put in the front row, but I think I got gyped. One packet held nine seeds and the other had only 5. I also noticed that a few packets bought at a florist/garden center cost twice as much as buying them at Wal-Mart - and both were Burpee Seeds Brand. Hmmmm.
Lon took a quick picture of me holding my seeds, but I had to laugh at the pink shirt I was wearing. It says "FIGHT LIKE A GIRL" on the front and shows pink boxing gloves. I'd say that is good advice for women AND men, right, Max?
NOTE: YOU CAN SEE MY CELL PHONE IN MY RIGHT PANTS POCKET. NO MORE WEARING IT IN MY BRA!
THAT'S THE BIGGEST GIFT I CAN GIVE ANYBODY - - - WAKE UP, BE AWARE OF WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT YOURSELF FROM BECOMING ILL.
Yes, it's that time when everyone is planting things ---SPRING!! Yay! I am still flip-flopping on where to put all of the hostas that I brought from the farm, and where to plant a hydrangea plant. But it sounds like some of my peeps have their sunflowers started already. I gotta get going, right?
Whenever I plant something, I always remember the year I thought I would grow pumpkins.
I wanted a big patch for the grandkids to enjoy and to be able to carve as many jack-o-lanterns as they wanted. When most pumpkins sell for three or four bucks apiece in town, I figured I would raise a bunch for the price of a packet of seeds. However, I planted a little late in the season. And sometimes I would forget to water the plants. And they were behind our big building, which meant that they spent half the day in the shade. Talk about a "purple" thumb instead of "green".
Well, my patch struggled to grow. The vines were scraggly, but I eventually got some tiny pumpkins.They kinda looked like the miniature gourds that are sold in the fall, mostly to decorate tables. Everyday, I would check my patch in hopes that a miracle would occur and my pumpkins had taken an unbelievable growth spurt. Then something strange happened.
My Dan had stopped over at the house for something, and was out in the backyard. He came into the house and told me that he had looked over at the vines and saw one huge pumpkin growing in my patch. I was shocked since I had checked out the vines the day before. I rushed out to see for myself, and, by golly, there sat the most beautiful, big, orange pumpkin. I couldn't believe my eyes. I kept trying to take it all in - how had this happened overnight????
As I circled my gift from heaven, I took a closer look. Not only was the pumpkin perfectly clean, the stem was neatly cut! Someone had planted a "ringer" in my garden!! Dan denied it. Lon denied it. Jenna denied it. That only left one culprit - - - LITTLE MA. Yup, she had purchased this honking big pumpkin, dragged it out behind our big building, and nestled into the vines for me to find. She said she felt sorry that my big plans for the kids wasn't turning out, so she wanted to give me a little bit of hope. That was one of the most special, sweetest gifts that anyone has ever given me!
So get out there and plant something. Add a little something special to your yard. Get a hanging basket for a splash of color. Plant some pumpkin seeds, for goodness sake.
We are still getting some lovely (and loving) cards concerning Dad. Thanks again for your kind thoughts.
I had such a fabulous day yesterday. Danielle R. and her little girl came to visit from Georgia. They are my friend, Sandy R.'s daughter and granddaughter. We had such a good visit and I got to see Grace for the first time since she was really tiny. What a beautiful little gal - not cute, not pretty, down-right beautiful. And so smart! Danielle took a picture of Grace and me and texted it to her mother. I am sure Sandy was wishing she was here holding Grace herself. Jenna and Danielle are about the same age, and it's neat to see them all grown-up and being such good mothers. Love you both.
The quote for today is true. Let's all take better care of ourselves. I went for a walk this morning and what a beautiful morning it was! Yeah, gotta love that Maya Angelou.
Here's a picture from last year, of Alec. Yes, we had to to go to Bart's Pumpkin Farm to get our stuff. I guess I'll leave that kind of business to the experts. GOD BLESS YOU ALL
FILL IN AN INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE HERE (I'M FRESH OUT TODAY :)
Wow! last few days have been really busy, probably the same with you all. It's that time of year that everyone wants to get outside and plant something - anything - as long as it makes you feel like Spring is really here. I guess the THREE KINGS (last three days of really cold weather before it is truly safe to plant things) is almost done.
I talked to Sandy R. from Georgia a few days ago and as usual, we just pick up the conversation from where we left off the last time. It made my day.
The blog title today describes me. I can't decide if it is from old age, stupidness, lack of concentration, or what . . . but I can't see very clearly and I finally found out the reason why. I had mentioned that chemo was affecting my eyesight.
Well. Not really.
We are the type of people to have a dozen of those "cheaters", you know the Dollar Store magnifying glasses, laying around at every telephone, desk, or even in every room. It helps to have a pair handy when us oldsters need to read fine print on something. Most of the glasses come in gold metal rimmed frames. My prescription glasses happen to have gold metal rimmed frames. Somewhere in all the hub-bub, I mixed my prescription glasses in with the magnifying ones, and I evidently have been wearing a pair of cheaters! Now I can't find the good glasses.
No wonder I haven't been able to see things clearly!
So, Friday was spent getting my eyes checked and then ordering new glasses and even prescription sunglasses. We had a bunch more errands to run so that took up all of Friday. then Lon and I took some time off and went out of town for the night and then got back early last evening.
Amazingly enough, the details to settling Dad's affairs seem to be going smoothly. Everyone is sharing their thoughts and ideas, and amongst the six of us, we seem to have everything under control and moving forward. I think of Dad every day and imagine him with Mother and the rest of the clan, and finally being very happy. But it still seems surreal. Things can change so quickly. Sometimes it's hard to mentally digest what is going on. You know?
Have to mention another aspect of my husband and my lives. We are totally on the same page about the fact that we are complete opposites and can't agree on the same thing (except for the fact that we think about everything completely opposite - get it?) Well, I really enjoy watching The Pioneer Woman, Rhee Drummond on the Food Channel. I hate to cook, can't taste much of anything, and what I can, it tastes like crap, but it's fun to watch someone slap together all kinds of food and come up with a tasty meal. Anyhoo, Rhee has really deep dimples and she smiles all the time! He thinks her dimples must hurt her face so he can't stand to watch her.
Tuesday I go back to the plastic surgeon to find out when my appointment is for reconstructive surgery. I have so much packing and sorting at the farm for the farm auction we are having, that I am almost afraid to have the operation too soon, because I will be kinda incapacitated for a while, as far as using my arms. Remember, I have to have the dreaded DRAIN TUBES again. Hopefully, it will only be for a few days this time. Wait, didn't I say that the last time and I went the whole stinking four weeks!? It will feel different having perky, 21-year old ta tas on a 61-year old granny. I'm sure that is making a mental picture for all of you, and when you do run into me later, everyone's eyes will be on the chest. Whatever. I'm just glad there will be something left to stare at. I'll keep you in the loop as far as those plans go. (Dr. said this last piece of surgery will be a piece o' cake compared to what we have already gone through).
SPRING IS OFFICIALLY HERE, BUT IT SURE DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!!!!
Yup, all is kinda calm lately, which is definitely something that I can handle.Yesterday, Lon and I went out to the farm and dug up some hostas to replant in our yard. I remember last year, when Dad stood by while I chopped and hacked and dug the rock-hard ground. I was thinning his beds out and taking some plants home. Last year he had to stand back and watch, because even at that time, he was too frail to help. Well, yesterday, the ground was black and rich and moist and we didn't have much trouble. We even got a rhubarb plant to give to Jenna to plant in her yard. She likes to make strawberry-rhubarb pie.
Mr. Alec wasn't feeling well yesterday morning, so I picked him up from school and took him to my house. His head was hurting (possibly sinus trouble) and hadn't slept well the night before. When Lon and I left for the farm, Little Ma and Aunt Donna came up and stayed with him. It really does take a village to raise a child.
I was lying in bed this morning, counting the number of side-effects that are really bugging me. It seems like the first thing I have to do every morning, is peel my tongue from the roof of my mouth. I had been told that chemo would cause drymouth, but SERIOUSLY? It's kinda like pulling a bandaid off your skin. The next thing I do is get up, wash my face, and then proceed to draw on details with my makeup. The other day, I noticed that I didn't look quite right, and then realized I had forgotten to draw on the eyebrows (Jodi and Betty C., we are all in the "Thin Brows Club" now). Scary! Remember, presentation is everything. It's interesting to think that I could draw on a big Bozo the Clown smile if I wanted to. Anything is possible. Next comes breakfast. UGH! This morning I tried eating a doughnut and a banana. The doughnut was awful (lardy and leaves a film in my mouth), but the banana worked out okay.
I am also having a lot of trouble with my fingernails. Last week they were breaking down below the quick. Also the skin on my fingers is all deeply cracked and sore. I am having quite a time using my hands, because it is so painful. Dizziness is still a problem, and my eyesight stinks. It's difficult reading the paper or a book. And OMG, the hair supply is down to about 2%. I must have a really tough scalp, because it keeps resisting going totally, smooth-bald like everyone else. It might be best if it did, because I do look like a deranged crazy lady when I take off my wig or sleep cap.
Yes, I know I am fussing and crabbing repeatedly about the little problems I am having. But don't you see? I have to do it while I can, because soon all this crap will be gone, and then I won't have an excuse for being Wendy Whiner. This too shall pass.
My first Herceptin infusion is this afternoon. It's supposed to last about 90 minutes, but shouldn't cause nausea. Whatever.
Betty M., sorry about your mom having to be in a care center. What a gal! She baked my wedding cake 43 years ago, bless her heart.
Thanks again, everyone, for the sympathy cards for Dad. They are all appreciated.
KEEP YOU FACE ALWAYS TOWARD THE SUNSHINE - - - AND SHADOWS WILL FALL BEHIND YOU.
I cannot believe how fast the days are going. It's been a little while since I had a chance to sit down and peck out a few lines for the blog. sorry
As you all know so well, I am done with my last official chemo treatment and now it onward and upward! Frankly, the ickiest part is going through the "awful food-taste" period, but that should go away in a few weeks. Unfortunately, this is the time of year for family meals together, since Lon's birthday was yesterday, and his mom always takes us all out for a nice dinner. And then today (Mother's Day) we all gathered after church at Little Ma's house for a surprise meal of pizza, chicken, salad, and desserts (that Nina and Zonna brought). I could taste some of it, but I'm still missing some of the actual flavors. Remember, almost everything tastes like lard, cardboard, or burnt chemicals. Tasty! Oh, well. I'm also having a few problems with Virtigo and even some double vision (which actually is kinda freaky). I found myself a bit tired today (I fell asleep in church four times this morning - ooops). I start the Herceptin treatment next Wednesday, which is the official beginning of post-cancer treatments. YIPPEE!! We're gettin' there, people.
Yesterday was super busy. Bro Ken, Jill, Lon and I went out to the farm to mow and start clearing out the farmhouse. Jill and I got the yard done in less than two hours, since we were both riding mowers. Lon and Ken loaded a bunch of old stuff and garbage onto the dump truck. Let me tell you, a lot got done. Sis Judy came out too, and cleared out the fridge. Everything is falling into place. It's amazing how a person's whole lifetime can be reduced to a pile of STUFF. That's it, folks, all the things we think are so important and that we accumulate throughout our lives is nothing but stuff. And once we are gone, it really holds no importance to us anymore.. So it gets passed on to someone else to care for until it's their time to leave it behind.
UPDATE: Our Tina is doing pretty good since her operation and is in the hellish flurry of getting ready for her daughter's high school graduation. Tina and Kale put on quite a neat party for their kids at this time of their lives, and it takes a bunch of hard work to get it done.
My friend from high school, Linda Jennings Binning has a daughter that just went through some surgery, so I am hoping for the best for their family. It's especially hard when you are worrying about one of your kids, right?
Another friend from high school recently lost a family member in an awful way. Sandy Slauson's younger brother Lon Slauson, was one of the victims of the mudslides out in Washington State. He was 46.
I am gearing up with all my ideas, on what I want to plant in my yard. Of course, sunflowers are going to be my priority. I found one package of the 18 inch variety, which I am anxious to try. I think it would make a cute little flower bed. I also bought the seven foot-high kind, too. I'm not too fussy. I'll just be tickled pink if I can get anything to grow. School will be out in a few short weeks, and perhaps the grandkids would like to help me do some gardening. It is kind of a pain to try to talk to my hubby about planting stuff, because he calls anything I put in the ground -WEEDS! He gives his mother and sisters grief about all their plantings, too. But we just keep on keeping on, regardless.
I had planned on meeting Jill out at the farm today, to dig up some hostas to transplant, but the rain took care of that. No sense in digging in the mud. The plants I did get over the last two years, are doing so well. It's nice to have something of Mom and Dad's that is a beautiful, green, living thing and can be passed on to my children. We have such a big yard, I can handle putting things here and there, without it looking too full. Besides, you can never have too many hostas!!!!
Thanks, friends, for all your nice thoughts about Dad's funeral service. It did go well, and I think he would have been pleased about how it went.
I DON'T QUIT WHEN I GET TIRED - -- I QUIT WHEN I GET DONE!
(I saw this on a ladies sweatshirt yesterday and thought it was inspiring)
Hey, everybody, it was a WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER kind of a day on Wednesday.. The last chemo is done. I tried using the frozen Diet Pepsi cubes, but ended up going in a different direction. Namely, Butter Pecan Haagen-Dazs ice cream! It worked like a charm, so worrying about getting sick was just a waste of time. All the while I was getting the special push, I was eating ice cream and the in-house masseuse was giving me a leg massage, so all that helped me keep my mind off what was going on. When I think about it, I realize that I DO drink cold drinks, but don't use ice. I guess it is a textural thing that bugs me (like Alec,who hates to wear a shirt - especially one with a tag at the neck, and he always takes off his shoes and socks as soon as he gets home. He even was doing that at school until they let him wear slippers for a while. I don't know whether they segued back into his regular shoes yet, or not. And Jenne buys him tagless shirts or just cuts them out.)
Right after I got done WITH MY LAST CHEMO TREAMENT, the techs brought out a cow bell and everyone gathered around while I rang the beejeebers out of that bell. It was kinda an emotional moment. I will still have to have the reconstructive surgery in a few weeks, and there is still 14 sessions (every three weeks) of Herceptin infusion, each of which lasts 90 minutes. When that is all done, I will have to have the Power Port surgically removed. Then, hopefully I will done for the most part.
I was so glad Jenna did a piece on our blog. Sometimes her writing gives her away and I find out some things that she is thinking that she just doesn't say outloud. Everyone, please listen to her advice about getting your legal matters under control while you are still young enough to handle this crap. Her advice to us several years ago made our affairs much simpler, and I can't say enough about the way Dad's affairs are going. He really had his stuff lined up well, so it eliminates a lot of headaches. Thankfully, all of us kids are on the same page as far as what is before us, which is going to make it so simpler.
I have to run into the Ghosh Center in a little bit and get my day-after shot, and then I think I will take a quick trip up neice Tina's drive-way and ring the cow bell that I have. She was the one who told me about that ritual and I said I would share it with her.
Everybody get up and do a happy dance, tomorrow is Mom's last chemo!!! WoOoOo HoOoOooO!! I'm so happy for her!
When all this started, it felt like this process was going to take forever, because it all just seemed so huge... but my gosh it seems to have gone by fast. I can't believe that Mom has already been through her first cycle of chemo, had surgery, and is now finishing her last chemo tomorrow. And it's been 6+ months. Thank goodness that in these types of situations the time seems to go by quickly. That's also from MY viewpoint. All I've had to do is be a cheerleader on the sidelines. But Mom seems to agree that it's gone by quickly too, for the most part. Thank goodness for that.
So, the funeral on Saturday was really nice (as nice as funerals go, you know). Mom gave the eulogy, and did a great job. There was chuckling at the "Ger" story, and some crying from somewhere towards the front (I sat in the back - I'm not good with the whole death situation). The flowers and tractors around the funeral home were really nice, and the pictures. Wow. I hadn't seen Ted much in the last...15 years maybe? And every time I did see him, he was just arriving at Mom and Dad's house as I was leaving, or I was arriving as he was leaving. But seeing all of those pictures affected me. There were lots of Grandma, and even though I have pictures of her, seeing that many of her and Ted, and old family photos from Christmases or get-togethers that I remembered watching those very pictures be taken at or that I remembered attending, affected me. And just seeing how everyone had changed...wowza. Pictures are great things, and I think I need to take more as I've sort of slacked off.
I'm hoping with the majority of the chaos over that Mom will be able to slow down a little and relax. She's been on the go nonstop since trying to get things arranged for Ted to enter the "Club," getting him in the Club, the breakout from the Club, visiting Ted in the Club and taking him out and about, and then arranging the funeral. And the woman just hasn't stopped! Time to slow down a bit Madre... :) Breeeeaaaathe. Ohhhmmmmm - haha just kidding.
I've talked about this over the years with many people, and with Ted's passing, I feel it is appropriate to bring it up again. When I first started working in a law firm, I worked in all aspects of law. Divorces, custody, child support issues, small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, real estate, business, contracts, estate planning (and if you don't have a Will or Powers of Attorney, GET THEM. Please!), and yes, probate. And boy did my eyes get an opening with probate matters. That's a true education, folks. I remember telling Mom and Dad to please get their estate planning in place and to have Grandma get hers in order too (they did, and so did I :) ). What I was seeing in these families, between family members after the death of a loved one, was pretty darn hard to stomach. I just couldn't believe that people would act like this. Over money. Possessions. Real Estate. Over THINGS. And totally ruining their relationships with their surviving loved ones in the process. So sad.
Bickering over insignificant possessions for months; fighting over the fact that one person received more than the others (and I'm talking like $100 here, not a significant amount); dirty laundry about family secrets, ongoing loans that were never paid back; "gifts" that had been made, sometimes repeatedly, to some family members when others received nothing; seeing the financial aspect of an elderly parent/sibling being taken advantage of by the people who were supposed to be protecting them and their interests; some parties trying to leverage themselves to receive more than the others because they "helped" toward the end. Seriously? You need to be paid to help your loved one? Who may already be leaving you a pretty hefty lump of cash (and even if they didn't - really?)? You need MORE? Is it really worth it?? You really get to see a person's true self in matters like these. And many times, it ain't purty. Greed is an ugly, ugly thing and a true measure of character...or lack thereof.
Seeing all that in other families made me swear that that would never happen in my family if I could help it. Hence my urging to everyone to get things in order, now, while you know what you want. It's never too early, and you never know when it might be too late...because you'll be gone, of course. Don't put that burden on your family if you can help it - there will be more than enough on their plate. And if they find themselves in the situation I described above, no documentation of your wishes or intentions only makes that situation harder to resolve. Even Powers of Attorney are a huge step in the right direction. At the very least have a conversation with your loved ones about what you want and what you don't want, if you can't afford to put it on paper with an attorney. Or write it down on your own and give a copy to those who will be making decisions for you in the event that you can't for yourself. Something is better than nothing.
Okay, off my soapbox about that. Sorry. That's the "legal beagle" in me coming out :)
Anywho, I'm hoping that since Ted was a wise man and seemed to have his affairs in order, that wrapping the paperwork side of things up will go easily for the family. That way, Mom can have more time to focus on the things she enjoys, like mowing, or the new "crop" she's going to be trying to cultivate...on her head. (hey, her words, not mine). Or that she will find time to grow her sunflowers (I'm trying at my house, and not sure how they are coming along yet...where's Little Ma's green thumb when I need it???)
If Mom has her last chemo tomorrow, then hopefully by June-ish she will start to feel the chemo effects starting to dissipate, even if just a little. It might be her sense of tasting comes back a little bit, or the vertigo stopping, or that her eyes aren't so blurry. Or that she is just a littttttttle less tired than she has been. I know it's going to take quite some time for her to start feeling close to the level she was at before starting chemo, but even just a little sign of things returning to normal would be welcome, at least from this cheerleader's point of view. :)
So, I really didn't have a direction for this post. Just sat down and started rambling. Sorry that it's not as fluid as Mom's usual writing, but trying to offer her a break. She feels the need to write every day, and asked me to help as she's so busy lately. No problemo, Madre. I've got this. Might be boring as <BLEEP!>, but I've got this :)
Remember to do a happy dance tomorrow for Mom's last chemo. I don't dance, but even I will be doing a little happy dance of my own in celebration tomorrow. (and get your estate planning in place!)
Have a great week y'all! And THANK YOU for supporting my mom!
Madre out doing one of the things she enjoys - mowing!
... was diagnosed with breast cancer on November 11, 2013. This is a place for all of the people who love and care about her to get the information about her treatment and her personal experience of kicking cancer's ass, (sometimes from her daughter's perspective). It's hard to stand by and not be able to do anything to help. Writing gives my mom an outlet and allows both of us to share information during this time. Therefore, we blog :)