Friday, March 25, 2011

How we cope

Hello to friends and family,

Deb sent this recently, and I think it summarizes how she feels going into her last chemo infusion.

Well, if you’ve been following the blog, you pretty much know what’s been going on. I had chemo last Thursday and have been coming into work the Monday after with the days after chemo pretty much being lost. I just lie around, watch TV and sleep. Of course that is what my body needs, but I hate it. It looks like the chemo is having some positive impact; I’m going to be really happy when I complete my final treatment in 3 weeks. I’ll feel like I can start moving forward even though surgery and radiation are not something I’m particularly looking forward to other than a means to an “end”.

I’m thankful to still have a job here. I think having to get up and have a place to go each day helps me get through. And, of course, it’s been year-end, so it’s been busy. Also a good thing, except when I feel like I’m not pulling my weight because of the time I have to take off. Everybody has been good about it though.
My step-daughter Krista and her family visited March 3 – 6. Fortunately it was the weekend before my next chemo, so I felt pretty good. Mostly we talked, ate and watched movies, so it was pretty low key. They had been to the water parks at the Wisconsin Dells earlier in the week, which was non-stop action, so I think they were ready to just relax. It worked out well for all.

This time of year I start craving corned beef and cabbage. We are going to friends on Saturday for dinner and I can’t wait. I won’t enjoy it as much as I’d like because of my sense of taste being off, but I know what it’s supposed to taste like! That will be good enough for me.

Deb’s attitude and patience is legendary, as you can imagine being married to me for almost 21 years. In spite of all that goes on she manages to keep up at work and at home and still have time for Strider and me.

Next Thursday is her final chemotherapy. We will learn then about a surgery schedule.

Thank you all for your prayers. We appreciate all the words of encouragement and love. We’ve had some great notes from our two exchange students, Masha in Russia and Sebastian in Augsburg Germany, assuring us that they pray for us and love us too!

God Bless Everyone

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Some good news

Good Afternoon,

The ultra sound of the liver shows that the chemotherapy has reduced the size of the liver cancer. Also, the lymph nodes are much better. The breast MRI was inconclusive, but her oncologist suggested completing the last two chemo treatments.

So, we put everything on hold for now and revisit after 3/31, the last chemotherapy treatment.

Obviously the prayers are working. Thank you!!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Just a Ramblin' thought or two.

Happy Monday Morning.

It’s the little things of course that makes the picture whole. A random hug or kiss, an unexpected compliment, or someone calling to say hello. A get well or thinking of you card that brings a smile or a tear.

Deb has a special ability to do life without complaint. She enters each day with all the side effects of chemotherapy, especially just after an infusion. She is tired, and unable to taste food for a couple of weeks, but each day she goes to work, does her best, and comes home to rest. And the stress of not knowing the outcome or how much sickness and pain is yet to come. The disruption of normal life due to treatments and I can imagine how easy it is to dwell on the negatives, because there are many.

She is one example of so many people who do the same thing each day. Men and women who don’t shut down their life because of a terrible disease, but continue to be productive husbands, wives, fathers and mothers for as long as they can. Breast cancer isn’t the only catastrophic disease, of course. HIV, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and so on. The list is very long.

But I’m hoping that each of us today will take a moment to reach out to someone who is battling a terrible disease with a phone call, a card or if possible, a hug. Tell them they are not alone, that no matter what happens next, you will continue to pray for them. They need to know they are still special to you. Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing. They know they are sick, and more than likely, the finish line is not in sight. Just to hear a friendly voice means so much to them. Your voice!

If you are their caregiver, you need to take some quiet time and remember you are God’s caring hands here on earth. That you have all the gifts you need from God and he will help you use them. Don’t be discouraged, because you will be given strength to finish the job.

My sister and her husband cared for my bedridden mother for two years. Day and night, 365 days a year until she died. Sure they had some outside help, but they had the responsibility every day, rain or shine. I can’t fathom being that strong.

Deb gets the results of her tests this week, so I’ll have something to share later.

Thanks for the wonderful comments you add to this. They make us smile.

God Bless,