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    Life... the beauty, the raw and ever-present determination of it!

    Sunday, January 24, 2010, 2:36 PM [General]

    It has been a long time. Not a year... but almost. About nine months or so I suppose. In the last 9 months or so, I have experienced the following:

    • I lost my mother at age 87 to end-stage Renal Failure. I have mourned and grieved but still have not become accustomed to her not being there on the other end of my telephone. I can't just call her. There is no number where she is. I miss you, mother. My sweet 'little mommy' as I used to call you, because you were shorter than I was even when I was in middle school. You brought to my life a lot of smiles, comfort, warmth and happiness. I wish I could have been where you were before you left this earth. How I wish.


    • I watched my husband recover from chemotherapy, return to full time work, and found out that there was never anything wrong with his heart or lungs. His cancer did return once more in his bladder, but it was removed. Next Friday we will be returning once more for the beloved procedure to 'search and destroy' the invading uglies from his bladder. I always pray that the cancer has not gone somewhere else. The fear and dread and hatred I have for cancer is ever present. I hope for more time... more time.


    • We lost our home and moved into a smaller rental home. It is not the worst thing that could have happened to us, so for that I am thankful. We have learned to be more frugal, more appreciative, and much more happy with less than any of us would have believed. It has been a great blessing in disguise, and even though we lost many 'things' we wish that we could have saved, what we gained in the end was what we needed most: humility. We are so grateful for what we are left with and will never take anything for granted in this life again.


    • I was diagnosed with Bi-polar Depression along with Chronic Fatique. I am being treated for the sleeplessness and mood swings. Many things in my life have changed and so have the way that I see them and react to them, since my diagnosis. My guilt factor is still a big issue. I wish that I could stop feeling worthless and responsible for everyone's problems. I am trying not to see myself as the one that officially must fix everything for everyone. I am having more good days than bad days, thankfully and I thank God for them.


    That is all for now... my daughter is coming to stay with us for about six months before going off to finish with her Master's degree. I am so looking forward to that time with her. She is precious to me and a good, positive influence on me. She always brings me closer to God and she also shows me that I am a strong woman, and no matter what, she helps me believe I can get through anything.

    Wishing you all love...

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    little bits of me

    Saturday, April 18, 2009, 10:51 PM [General]

    Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it. -Jacques Prévert

    I feel as if there are small bits of me everywhere. Like a little tornado or several of them came through my world and left again, leaving in its wake a lot of scattered events and emotions. I can't put them back where they belong because some of them are fleeting with nowhere to belong. They were just reactions to sudden thoughts, realizations, fears, etc.


    My husband had two cancerous lesions removed from his bladder a week ago last Thursday. This was cancer that was not supposed to be there, because the urine cytology report stated that it was 'negative for malignancy.' That goes to show you that every test has a very high probability for being wrong. I am beginning not to trust the people that read tests any longer. My gut told me he had cancer. I trust it more.


    He was hospitalized last Tuesday with, of all things, shortness of breath. We were at his urologist/surgeon's office for the followup checkup following surgery for the aforementioned cancerous lesions removed from his bladder. It was routine. We had been out at the dog park the day before, and my husband noticed he was very weak. I noticed him being short of breath for the past two weeks or so, but he'd just come up a flight of stairs so I figured that was it, after being so anemic from the chemotherapy, which can happen.


    The doctor immediately ordered a wheelchair and sent us to the ER for evaluation. I thought it was a little strange. No one ever told us how serious shortness of breath is, but he explained it's even more when the person just had surgery. Possible pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) is the reason. That is almost certain death if it is not found in time.


    Tests happened, days went by, no cause of the shortness of breath was found, but he DID have a positive d-Dimer result. That is the thing they look for that tells them there might be a blood clot present.


    Okay... some personal history: Here is a wiry by nature but now a bit chunky 58 year old man that smoked for 43 years, got cancer in his kidney out of the blue (and it was a goofy place for this cancer because it was technically bladder cancer, not kidney cancer - urothelioma) who is very healthy otherwise - no heart problems we know of, low blood pressure, fair cholesterol - a tad high but nothing serious - and he doesn't smoke or drink (expect on our anniversary or holidays when we splurge and share some cognac with friends). Now he is short of breath.


    Okay, they did an echocardiogram on his very healthy heart and found something odd. A mass of unknown origin. It does not appear to be doing anything, or causing trouble, but now he has a new doctor to add to his group - a very smart lady cardiologist. He has to go regularly and have these little tests done to watch 'the mass' and decide if he needs surgery to have it removed. Even if he did, he couldn't right now due to the chemo, which has destroyed his bone marrow. He isn't strong enough. However, I'm wondering, and so is the cardiologist, if this could be a cancerous tumor. Possibly spread from the kidney? The chemo is supposed to be targeting any growths of cancer from the original site, and if it has worked, the tumor should be destroyed, and shrink to nothing. In a perfect world, that is.


    We will see.


    He got two pints of blood, and is so much better now. Not so pale and no more shortness of breath. He has two more rounds of chemo to go in this series, though, so it could come back. He has surgery to remove the atypical cells and any of their wicked siblings in the kidney early next month. We are optimistic, but then we have not talked to his nephrologist (kidney specialist) yet. He may freak. Still... without the cancer removed, he can't safely live. Without the kidney, he can live on dialysis, but what kind of quality of life is that? We have relatives (and wonderful, beautiful neighbors and friends) that are standing in line to offer him a kidney. I would offer him one of mine too if it was a match. I am just wondering about that mass in the heart.


    Worry. Dread, Fear. I feel so many things. I am waiting for things to come back together in our life. There was a time when all we needed was a cup of coffee and a back porch and the sunrise to watch together in the morning, after making love all night long. Such a beautiful life we have known. I am NOT ready to see it end.


    God in heaven, I pray for this man, for his doctors, and for our future. Right now, we really do need a miracle, in so many ways.


    Thank you for reading, and for caring.


    Be blessed.

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    spring is stormy and so am I

    Saturday, April 11, 2009, 9:13 PM [General]

    And Spring arose on the garden fair,
    Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
    And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
    rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.

    - Percy Bysshe Shelley


    Spring time is heaven.

    I usually adore this time of year. It was this time of year - in fact, two weeks from this day, 18 years ago - I met my husband and soulmate. God knows I love him. I have so much hope for us to remain together into old age. I have no idea what I would do without him in my life. I often shake my head at his silly side, and his humor is so dry and strange at times I wonder I laugh, but I can't ever help it. Those are the good times. They aren't all that great. Sometimes our lives together since the cancer diagnosis are dark and dreary, and forlorn. Those are the time when I feel blue, like I am tonight.

    For some reason, when things are bothering him, he turns to friends, music, TV, and often just plain solitude rather than turning to me. I automatically imagine that this is because I am not listening to him enough, or reaching out to him, so I try that, and it fails. He still seems to push me away. I believe it is because he doesn't like me to see him weak.

    We found out last Thursday, April 8, that there was more cancer. They removed it where they found it, which was two small areas in his bladder. They are doing some cultures on the urine taken from his only remaning kidney to see if there are suspicious or obviously positive cancer cells there, too. Of course, that would be the worst thing. Just hearing that there is cancer in his bladder fills me with terror though. I haven't let him know that. I can't tell him that.

    Life is so fragile. I look at him and see how pale he is from chemotherapy, and see his peach fuzz growing in on the top of his bald head and wonder how we could have gotten from where we were so many years ago to this. I never wanted to believe he had cancer, even when the doctor faced me with that news immediately after finding it. Part of me kept wanting to believe it was a mistake. Even the cytology on his urine back in Feb of this year told us he had cancer in his bladder, and then the repeat second test said it was a false positive. Well, it wasn't false. He did have cancer. These cancer tests don't seem to be so foolproof. The only way to actually find it is to get your face down there and look for it. Well, we did that and the results aren't pleasant.

    I read somewhere that out of 60,000+ people, 12,000+ died from this type of cancer in the bladder. Do you know how scared that makes me? I just saw where one of my contacts on another site lost her husband. He was a five year cancer 'survivor' and it came back 'with a vengeance' she said. Took him away. Just like that. He lived his life normally after he went into remission. I don't know whether that meant that he wasn't monitored frequently like my husband has to be, but I have to wonder. Do doctors do enough?

    My husband's original cancer surgery was in October, and here it is April and the cancer was found again. New cancer. Not from the original site at all. (If it were, he would be terminal). Because the cancer that was originally found in his kidney was technically Bladder Cancer, there was a 40% chance of recurrence of that type of cancer IN THE BLADDER, which is just what happened. The fact that he had it in his kidney was extremely rare (approximately 7% of all cancers are this type of cancer in the kidney first).

    The doc did not seem surprised that there was new cancer in the bladder. He seemed concerned about that remaining kidney, but not surprised, as the odds said it may happen. Well, it did. It was removed, but when will it rear its ugly head again? I just know somehow, that it will.

    Cancer sucks. It makes people sad. It sucks joy from our hearts. It takes away soulmates. It makes strong women like me just crumble into little babies (behind closed doors, that is). I can't even tell him how scared I am or how I don't want to live without him. I do tell him how much I love him and what he means to me, every day. I just feel like sometimes he doesn't even hear me. Maybe it's because he needs me so much right now he forgets that at one time he just plain wanted me, too. Does that make sense?

    Oh we are silly, romantic goofs sometimes. We still hold hands when we sleep at night. He laid beside me the other night and rubbed my back because he knew it was hurting me. He rubbed it for a long time... until I fell asleep. This man that had cancer and is in chemotherapy, running to the toilet to throw up and full of ill feelings most of the time right now, laid there and RUBBED MY BACK. He just didn't know that tears were flowing from my eyes as he did that, it touched me so much.

    What am I going to do if I lose him?

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    my plate just isn't big enough these days...

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 1:51 PM [General]

    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. - Carl Sandburg


    I am the youngest of a large family, so there are many relatives, both distant and closer. None of my biological family live in the state I do. That is my doing though, not theirs. Because I don't live in the same state they do, my family don't talk to me... except for a few, and only now and then. Updates on my mother (who is in a care facility now at nearly age 90 with end-stage kidney failure) come from only one or two sources and sometimes a little later than I would like. But I do the best I can. Due to my life being so busy and I am sure my relatives' lives being that way as well, communication is not always top priority.


    My mother recently had a difficult spell. She was hospitalized because she wasn't eating, which is not good as she has diabetes. Everything is under control though, and she is back in her room at the care facility, doing much better. I had tried calling her more than once while she was in the hospital, and there was no answer, and no answering machine, so she never knew I tried to called. Relatives had just heard that I did not call, not that I had tried to call unsuccessfully, because of course they didn't know that. So, of course, I am labeled as the one that 'doesn't call mother.' Okay. I'll accept that. The funny thing is, the very ones that sat around saying, "I wonder why she doesn't call mother?" have not called me to find out what's going on with me. Because I am not there, where they are, they are out of touch with me and I with them unless one of us initiates contact. For reasons I would prefer to keep private, I'm happier when I don't talk to them. If they cared what was going on with me they would call me and ask, knowing that my husband went through cancer and that the journey he is on is a very time consuming one, and that he needs me almost constantly. If they don't know that, it is not my concern, nor do I have a driving desire to let them know. I simply have things to do.


    My mother, however, is another matter. I want to talk to her. I want her to talk to me. I want to know everything about her. I love and miss that woman so much it causes me intense sadness at times, and knowing that she is nearly 90 and in poor health scares me for obvious reasons. I tried to call her today. No answer. Another relative (one of the kinder ones) let me know that she was probably having her hair done today and to try again, or leave a message so she would know I did TRY TO CALL. I did. My point is, my family is toxic to my sense of self. I see myself through their judgmental eyes and don't like myself. They have always made me feel like everything good that I do in life is needed to make up for the fact that I am such a sorry person in every other aspect. I was never praised growing up for anything I did. Because I was always a happy person, it never appeared as though I properly suffered, if that makes sense? I honestly think my family is a group of very cruel hearted people that believe that making me feel badly about myself is their calling in life. I live with a legacy of being the youngest child in a larger family with a tyranical father that abused them. Each of us was abused in our own ways and subsequently, we each have adapted or chose to whine about it. I am the former. My personality and coping skills is my own, not anyone else's, so judging me by the way that I now live my life after the introduction to it that I had is quite unfair and absurd. Yet, my family members are big on that, too.


    Yes, today seems to be Pity Pot Day. My family love to cast punitive shame on me when they get an opportunity. They are not all prime examples of Godliness or any of that, yet they certainly like to make me think I should be. The sad part of that is, I do feel guilty for what I am not able to do. I cannot visit my mother. I cannot bring her gifts, or do her hair for her or her nails. I can't spend time talking to her and reading to her. All I can do is just carry on my life and think of her and smile during my life's events that take up so much of my time. I am where I am, doing what I must do. Should I feel apologetic to someone for that? Being a caregiver is hard work even when things are easy. I know what my oldest sister has had to deal with, as she was the only one that was able to care for my mother before she was put into the care center. I have often told her what a beautiful job she did.


    I'm helping my husband right now. He has chemo tomorrow (a double whammy) and his mother has a doctor's appointment before that, and I'll take her to that. My sister in law had a mental breakdown recently that is one of many after the loss of her husband last May. One thing at a time, I am slowly being chipped away it seems by needs of others. Not to say I am not happy to help when I can, but it is just difficult to be needed so much. I really did forget what it's like to be able to get up in the morning and decide what I would like to do with my day myself.


    It will get easier, though.


    Have a beautiful day. Please, if you can, decide what you want to do with it.

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    a much better day!

    Thursday, March 26, 2009, 7:17 AM [General]

    My spirits are up, and my body is healing. I can't believe I am so much better so quickly. It just occurred to me this morning that I was in the mood to cook something. That is how I know I'm feeling better. I got up at 5 am and made my husband's lunch. Then, I found out he is not going to be able to make it to work today. He's had a rough week, even though this was his 'off' week for the actual double dose of chemo that runs him down to zero on energy. He has simply been working THAT hard, and he can't sustain that energy level for long. The chemo is a necessary evil though. I have always said that chemo (and surviving cancer) is not for wimps. That is not to say that those that do not survive it are wimps. Cancer is simply the hardest thing I have ever watched a human being deal with. Still, everything he goes through convinces me more and more that he can make it through this and survive it.


    Depression is a part of what we have both been going through. The ups and downs of life are compounded when there is a serious illness in the family. Doctors are not Gods. They make mistakes in judgement, diagnosis, treatment, and even interpretation. People have to be perfect in their delivery of what the do for others, it seems, and that is never, ever possible. It's not true in the case of my own caregiving either. I have fallen down on the job a time or two. I have told my husband, "I can't get it for you right now. Can you get it yourself?" I have felt guilty about that. Usually I reconsider and apologize when I feel selfish and get up and get it anyway. My back pain level being what it is means I am grumpy sometimes, and hesitant to do anything at all. Moist heat works wonders.


    One thing that a person with cancer (or any other illness) needs is the one thing I tend to forget (or have, occasionally because I'm so doggone tired) and that is HUGS. If you are caregiving, please don't forget the hugs. Even my good friend Judy who has Fibromyalgia likes her hugs even though she says they are sometimes painful. The love outweighs the pain. When Tom is getting his chemo sometimes we sit there and hold hands and 'nap out' together. I'm sure it looks romantic. It's just that I look around that room at times and see others sitting with their spouse, friend, relative, and they look 'concerned' but not 'loving.' I try my best to let him know that even when he is going through something that is anything but cute, dignified or any of the attractive things people would like to be, I love him. I adore him. I would rather hold his hand than sit there and worry about how he's doing, because he's in good hands anyway.


    Sometimes it's good to pass that job onto the nurses at the cancer center for a while. Then I drive him home, tuck him into bed and fix him a meal and relax myself a bit. It's a rough thing to do repeatedly but it's necessary. It's necessary too, to listen to your patient. He needs to vent sometimes. He needs to 'wimp out' when things get tiresome and he just wants it all to stop. God knows I can relate to that feeling on a smaller level. Caregiving gets tiresome too. You go through so much guilt as well, because not wanting to take care of someone that is sick all the time is a normal emotion. It's hard to look him in the eyes and tell him, "I'm tired of taking care of you right now and I just want to be left alone." I've actually never done that. I don't think I could. There is no one else to care for him anyway. (Even if there was, I wouldn't let them do it.)


    I know that he can't often listen to me vent, because frankly he has much more on his plate than I do on mine. I have to go elsewhere for that kind of support. He can only do so much in the way of supporting me for supporting him. I just forget that at times and start talking to him about my own feelings. Sometimes it's good to let him know how tired I am, and sometimes it's really not. I have to pick the times just right. When he's well rested. Full and happy and warm. After he's taken his pain meds and he's sitting there with the westies curled up in his lap. Those are good times for a talk. Of course, complaining isn't positive so I try not to do that. At least not about him. Our daughters are still not as helpful as I'd like them to be and that is one of the things I vent about the most. I think I could devote an entire blog to the excitement of mothering teenaged girls. ;-)


    Tom's going to stay at home today and rest, so that means I won't be able to rest as much as I wanted but that's okay. Sometimes it's better that he's home because I can usually get him to snuggle for a while and those are good times. I am a firm believer in every happily married couple doing some wonderful snuggling. It strengthens something that gets depleted, especially during illness and exhaustion. I am hoping that the recovery from the flu isn't just my immune system making a last stand until the virus wins, as often happens with me. I do feel better today. We'll see what happens.


    I am going to go and fix breakfast for my daughter. Maybe I'll make some tea and visit with her before she leaves for school.



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    the flu

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 12:59 PM [General]

    I am a mother, wife, and family caregiver on many levels. Because of that, I do NOT do illness well when it pertains to my own health. I dislike being laid up in bed. I always seem to think I need to rise and meet the challenge, walk it off, drink more water and act like nothing's wrong. Yesterday I started to come down with the flu. I learned the difference between a mild generic virus and that actual flu bug many years ago. If you move your eyes side to side, it hurts very much if it's the flu. That's because the virus attaches itself to your retinal nerve. Fun, huh? Um... yeah.


    Well, I'm here alone with no one to 'care' for me, but I'm okay with that. My daughter in the medical field is 3,000 miles from me at the medical office where she lives. My immediate family are off to work and school. My husband's niece is a nurse and she is hard at work.


    Me... I am here in my bed with two little white dogs laying beside me. Sometimes I think they were sent to me by God for just such moments. They bring me such warmth, comfort, love and attention, without any 'guff.' They are the perfect companions when you don't necessarily want human companionship. It never ceases to amaze me how anxious and excited these little dogs are to 'lay around and do absolutely nothing' considering how high energy they are. For that reason, I am succumbing to that need myself... for them. Not for me. *insert wry wink here*




    I hope you get your flu shot, or the flu avoids you. Here in our area, near Atlanta, Georgia, it is widespread. I thought I'd already had it, but now that I think back on it, I realize I had a very bad cold. The eyes weren't affected. I'm doing my best not to look back and forth rapidly.


    Blessings. Be well.

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    a new day

    Sunday, March 22, 2009, 11:34 PM [General]

    Last night I was up late just letting my thoughts wander. My daughter, 17, noticed that I was down. She knows a lot of what's happening in our lives and reads between the lines very well. She brought her bible into the living room, and unasked, began to read scriptures to me that brought her hope. What an enlightening thing that was to see and hear those words coming from her mouth, and yes, it helped, and I am proud to say that this young woman is my daughter. I need to make a note to myself to properly let her know how much that meant to me.


    My husband and I had a long talk this morning while the house was quiet and we were alone. It helped, too. We will be fine. Going through extreme stresses is unimaginably difficult even to the strongest relationships. We have both failed to realize that none of what we are feeling right now is permanent. A lot of what we are acting out now is unreal as far as feelings go. It is a huge venting of emotion that has been built up over time. We've had a lot of stress. We're still in the middle of it. Because of that stress we've been living with since June of last year, we tend to overreact on an emotional level.


    We have always been romantics, who see the world through heart shaped, rose colored glasses. When that world is threatened, we instinctively lash out at whatever did it, and in this case, it was each other, wrongly. Neither of us ever really learned good coping skills growing up in dysfunctional houses. We learned to simply scatter and cover. Unfortunately, our reaction to stress is seen by our girls, who will probably have the same dysfunction later if we can't get a handle on it. My daughter surely did show signs of having a good ability to see through the cobwebs, though. Bless her. It is so hard for me knowing that she sees me reacting innappropriately to stress. I'm so glad she thought to bring me to God to fix that, and ultimately, He brought her to me to do just that.


    Thank you, my loving father. You are THE BEST.


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    overwhelming weekends

    Saturday, March 21, 2009, 9:45 PM [General]

    I know it's supposed to be easygoing and fun, the whole weekend thing. I, however, dislike weekends with a passion. I have for a while now... about a year. I'm not going into details, but let me just say on the weekends I used to look forward to time with my husband as a couple to do things together. To go out and maybe see a movie, or just stay in and see one. Out for a bite alone, no kids, no mother in law, no nobody.

    With time, events, added stress in our life, our 'coupleness' has vanished. There is no more closeness like we had when we were younger. Being together going on 19 years now has taken its toll. We're both high energy people and we both tend to go and go until we collapse. I seem to stay down there lately though.


    I know I am fighting a deep, dark depression. It's not all related to my husband's cancer. It's related to the ways that he has changed and the way I react to those changes. Maybe I have changed too - that's entirely possible - it's just easier to see change in others. I KNOW he's changed. Instead of getting more mellow with age he seems to be getting grouchier. He has lost the passion in our lives together and he's more into other interests than putting effort into the softer side of our life together. That hurts. It not only seems hopeless at times but almost goofy to try.


    I have been more aware since my husband's vulnerabilities have become more apparent that we are different people at our ages than we were when we met - and we did not meet young in our lives. I was 34 and he was 41. We had already experienced other relationships that were dismall failures and at this point in our life I am beginning to ask ourselves if we aren't doomed to repeat that.


    I am very depressed and sad tonight. I feel like a wilted flower. This has not been a good day. :(


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    better but still difficult

    Thursday, March 19, 2009, 6:18 PM [General]

    I am feeling so confused still, and am still either close to tears or shedding them a lot of the time. Sometimes that feeling just leaves of its own free will and here I am, me again. I am sure because of some symptoms I'm feeling today, that a lot of it is hormonal, at least now. I can usually tell the difference but menopause is rearing its head and I now am left wondering what's going on.


    Anyone else out there been through it?


    Is that what makes me wake up in the middle of the night wanting to kick my husband and our dog off the bed, rip my clothes off, turn on the ceiling fan and then run to the bathroom to throw up? It's so weird. Then, I am exhausted and just want to lay naked under the fan for a half hour or so. That's not so bad in the summer but during the cold of winter...? Not appreciated by my husband, who is and has not been feeling so hot himself.


    I'm looking forward to menopause. I want it. I beg and pray for it to be done. I feel I have been tormented enough... since I was barely age 12! Enough. I was blessed with five beautiful little girls and the odd thing is, the last two and I are usually always going through that at the same time! I've heard this is common. My poor husband.


    I asked him to do me a favor this morning, and he said what's that? I said, "please, no matter what your mood is, please don't jump on me if you are not happy or if you don't feel well. please make an effort not to instigate an argument and I will do the same." It was a wonderful day. Neither of us felt good today, and off and on that's been the case all through this cancer adventure that started on Father's Day of last year.


    During the chemo we have spent almost as much time together (due to him not being able to work from the side effects) as we did when he was actually going through the cancer biopsies and then post surgery, and it's not as easy as one would think to just co-exist peacefully during stressful times. We have been cranky for a few days. I have felt like I was coming down with something, and that scares me because I'm obsessed with him not getting sick right now due to his compromised immune system.


    As I mentioned in my first blog, the girls have not been helping out so I have been overburdened with laundry, chores, tasks I really don't feel up to doing. I am torn between wanting to cuddle in the bed with my two little white dogs or going outside and playing. I want to do yard work and work with the flowers that I have planted here in our home we've had for three years. That is another reason for my sadness lately...


    We are in a bad situation right now because of his not being able to work much through the chemo, and we don't even know if we are going to be able to keep our home. We are waiting to hear from the mortgage company, who refused to work with us previously and said we would be foreclosed on by April 1 if we didn't come up with some ridiculously high sum of money that we don't really even owe... but after contacting HUD and FHA to determine whether we can have a mortgage modification done, we are optimistic. Guardedly so. We just can't pay the house payments right now, and with the new Govt. program for modifications, we are hoping that we are able to qualify, which it seems we are. 


    PLEASE keep us in your prayers that if it is God's will, he will allow us to stay here just 'til my husband is through with the chemo which is really my only concern. He will NOT be able to help us if we must move and I think the girls and I could do most of it together except for the furniture, and all, but I'm concerned that my husband will try to help anyway. He is really very weak with little reserve right now... and very stubborn. I don't want to see him collapse from exhaustion.


    Well, that is it for now. We are hanging in there. He is having an okay day today following chemo yesterday but tomorrow will probably be much worse. It usually is, after the steroids wear off.


    (His photo after having his head shaved yesterday.)





    Thank you everyone that has visited and encouraged me and shared hope.


    Blessings to all.


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    Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 1:53 PM [General]

    Today is sunshiny, almost-spring chemo day, and on the way to breakfast this morning, my husband decided to take the plunge and have his hair all shaved off since it was falling out in patches that were making him very uncomfortable with the itching and just feeling 'gross' as he put it. I was actually surprised to learn that the barber shop's policy is to do that free of charge for cancer patients. What a sweet thing to do. I tipped her very well however. He looks great. I would upload a picture but I haven't time to get the pictures off my memory card right now before we have to be out the door and to the cancer center. I'll do that next time.


    I am thankful for this place. I did not know if I would like writing a journal, which is odd because I always kept journals all through my first marriage. When my marriage ended, I burned all but one, and never looked back. This journal has a purpose to me that a general journal doesn't. This time in my life has been more difficult than anything I have ever encountered because I am such a different person myself, facing things I never had dreamt I would face. Also, it's happening to my husband, who is the one in my life I can't see myself living happily without. Lots of emotions flying through my head and heart. Need to put them out there and see what to do with them.


    Thanks to the ones that have taken the time to stop by and share thoughts with me. Whether you are here to assist me in my journey or hold hands while we go together in our own, you're welcome here. I will stop by and visit your place soon.


    Right now I must go and become the chemo patient's buddy. We hang out in there and watch TV, snooze, share snacks and read and talk. It's not so bad. Afterward is when things get tough. He's brave and strong most of the time. I help him through it when he's not.


    Thanks again for your support and just letting me know I am not alone.


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