Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Hello Everyone,

It's hard to believe it's been a couple of weeks since I've brought this up to date. I'm sitting here watching Reaper, about a boy whose soul was sold to the devil by his parents. Seems realistic. Dancing with the Stars tonight was way better.

Deb is doing fairly well. Unless you count the rash on her legs and face, the loss of her sense of taste, and the feeling that this has gone on too long already. On the positive side, we are approaching surgery and then rehab, so we're pleased that we are making inroads into the timetable. We know God is in control.

No much going on in our lives right now. Deb usually has a good day on Friday, with a lot of energy, but needs frequent naps on the weekends. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are good, and even her taste buds come back by Tuesday, but gone again on Thursday. Deb sees the surgeon on Wednesday and the oncologist on Thursday, so we should know more then.

We have committed to attending Deb's 30 year class reunion and the 50Th Wedding Anniversary party for her Aunt and Uncle in October.

We had some sad news, that Danny has new cancer and will need more treatment. Apparently it is chronic so he will always have to be aware of changes that signal new outbreaks of cancer. Please remember him and Marge in your prayers.

I talked to my mom tonight. After the last few e mails and conversations with my sister, I'm amazed we can still talk. My mom's body is a wreck, but she continues to baffle all the health care providers by staying alive. It is no exaggeration to say that she should have died many times over the last two years and that she has set some kind of record for being in hospice so long. Her organs fail, she has ulcerated sores, her blood pressure sinks and she is on enough morphine to knock out an elephant every day and yet through some miracle she lives on.

I talked to her, and I said "I love you Mom" and she replied, "I love you son". It's is so hard to think that she will die and I won't hear that again. A parent's love. Nothing here to suggest we had a perfect relationship, or that I was a wonderful son, but I've had her for 62 plus years. The only mother I'll ever have, and for all her faults, and for all of mine, she loved me with the forgiving love only a mother can have.

A man never sees all that his mother has been to him until it's too late to let her know he sees it.
William Dean Howells 1837-1920, American Novelist, Critic

I have tried to accept and understand all that is going on in my life. My hearing is at a point where I need help, so I'll have that tested. My vision is OK, according to the doctor, but I have cataracts forming in both eyes. I had good test results today with my PSA and blood sugar, so I should be counting my blessings, but I can't escape the constant reminders of Deb's life and death battle and my mom slipping ever closer to the abyss. I know this too shall pass, but some days I just want to kick the can. How did I get this Yugo body instead of the Cadillac I ordered?

Deb is going hat less now, and she feels good about it. She continues to get great support from friends and family, and of course from our little church. We pray constantly for strength and patience.

Thanks to everyone who reads this and prays for us. Please remember to hug each other and let people know you love them. The ones, like me, who need extra grace are more difficult to love but need it the most.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

We have hair !!

We have the beginnings of hair, really.

In the midst of everything else, this is good news. We don't know why, or how it will develop, but any nudge toward normalcy is a good thing. We also had some great news that Masha, our Russian exchange student from 2005/6 is planning a visit to America to visit us. How wonderful!

Deb continues to battle fatigue, but she still has spurts of activity that allows her to get a lot done.

Last Friday we drove to Cedarberg Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee. It is a lovely old town with lots of shopping and good places to eat. We ate in the renovated woolen mill at the Cream and Crepe. There are lots of old preserved buildings downtown and due to the time of day and being a week day, we didn't have much competition for parking or floor space in the shops.

Saturday we had a wedding and a surprise 40Th birthday party. Both were very enjoyable. Sunday we met with Linda, another breast cancer survivor, who was here from Iowa to visit her son and his family. Deb works with her daughter in law. Monday we went to the movies and had dinner at Culvers.

It is remarkable how much fun it is to do these things. Years ago I recall that most of our activities involved much more energy and endurance, such as spending the day walking around Chicago or a frenzied approach to yard maintenance. But it seems with age also comes a reluctance to do too much, to perhaps have something in reserve. I remember when my mom and dad started being content with staying home and reading or watching TV, and how I was amused that they could ignore all the many activities that were available. Perhaps with age does come wisdom.

Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short; youth is nimble, age is lame; Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold; Youth is wild, and age is tame.

William Shakespeare

It is notable, the number of people who have come forward to share their cancer stories with us. I must admit that I have shared this blog with many people, some who are casual acquaintances, but the response has been terrific. We have shared so many stories of both victory and loss.

I would stress that we are stressed by this, and it takes considerable effort to keep our focus, probably more for me than Deb. I would not paint this journey as a sonnet or a picnic, as sometimes things seem to crowd us into corners.

Adversity is a great teacher, but this teacher makes us pay dearly for its instruction; and often the profit we derive, is not worth the price we paid.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Now at the half way of chemo we look forward to a decision on surgery.

October will be busy with Deb's 30th high school class reunion and the 50th Wedding Aniversary celebration for her Aunt Joyce and Uncle Dick.

Thanks to all for reading this and remembering both of us in your prayers. We praise God for His Mercy and Grace, and we are grateful for all of your support.