Today marks the 1st day of chemo for my nephew Rusty. And already changes have been made.
Initially - it was gong to be 5 days a week for three weeks - then a week off. Now it is 5 days one week, then two weeks with one day of treatment each. I am looking at this as a positive sign.
Specific prayer requests in regard to Rusty - and trust me cancer affects the whole family.....
They had a T-shirt fundraiser - and they raised enough to cover one month's of living expenses. I did not buy T-Shirts - we helped in another way. Other fundraisers are being planned and a website for updates - will be up and running soon. Really and truly we just need "living money" at the moment - the doctors have said they will treat Rusty no matter what.
He is/was living with his twin brother - his brother is a single dad - they split the bills down the line - Rusty is not working - no income - so his brother will be hurting a tad.
His truck - he cannot make truck payments or car insurance - no $ coming in. Short term disability has not kicked in yet - and it won't be nearly enough. His dad (no longer married to my sister any more) initially was going to help with this problem - but has decided he doesn't want too - not his responsibility. This is huge! I wish we could say we are surprised by his dad's actions - but we are not. Judy has been married to Charlie - who pretty much raised them - and he is awesome.
Judy & Charlie. Charlie does not work - he is disabled - his heart is below 30%. Judy is main source of income - with Rusty not being married - there are many times she may need to miss work. I am trying to get her approved for a laptop - so she will able to work from the Dr's office and home. I outlined it last night on what she could do - and I think it is a good plan. She is so funny - she refuses to call me her "supervisor" or "boss" - and when I am busy working on something here - she says... "Hellooooooooooo" Working with Judy has been fun.
The younger brother Ryan - he is a worrier - like his momma. They all are close and I am so grateful.
The good I have seen come from this....
Though my sisters may never be close.......they are "talking" now via Facebook - and that is good. They really and truly have never got along - with them being 13 and17 years older than me - I was never around - and by the time I knew bit and pieces - I was grown. Pray God continues to heal their relationship - they actually grew up together! They knew the grandparents I never met. Mom and Dad were 40 when they had me - they knew our parents when they were much younger. They have more in common than they think!
Sam woke me up in the middle of the night - to let me know he got sick! Bluh! I don't do stomach viruses! I did better when they were younger - but now that kids are older - it is harder for me to stomach - but with all mom's doing's my stomach is a little stronger. :)
(And why is folks only get sick at 1:30 in the morning?)
I was Lysoling the whole house this morning.
Bless his heart, he hugged me yesterday - and I said "I am either cold or your are hot." So I guess he had fever. Call me mother of the year.
He has been staying home more that what he used to. I think as he is growing up and his friendships are changing and growing. His best buddy - Ryan - is less social than Sam - and with him being homeschooled - Sam is having a hard time trying to introduce his friends to each other. I told Sam he will find the balance - Ryan and his family have been wonderful to Sam - please pray for Sam - I know it is not a big thing - but it is tugging at his heart.
Tori faced this issue after she started working and started college - high school, work friends and college friends - she refuses to hang out with negative folks or if they are anywhere close to ruining her career in law enforcement - they are out!
This is what my life, or maybe my mind feels like. A boxing match. Feelings fighting each other.
Mom has a new medicine and I am telling you 15 minutes after she takes it - she is sound asleep - so I am careful to give to her only right before bed time - and you know what I feel guilty for enjoying the time - guilty for giving her the medicine. Is that crazy or what?
I can look back and honestly say mom has had Alzheimer's a long time - we just did not put 2 and 2 together.
I do pretty good on not resenting her, I hate Alzheimer's but I love her. My teeth have been knocked out - where she has punched me, jumped on my back from behind and pushing my head into a steering wheel - all these happened 2 years ago - a life time ago. Goodness knows we still have moments. I wish I had the $ to get teeth fixed. (having a pity party at the moment - can you tell?) I am hoping a dental makeover contest is coming up - like it did this time last year. I guess that is selfish. Otherwise - I just don't know what to do we are looking at 1000's of dollars of work. And it is not there.
She doesn't make much sense when she talks - she knows what she is saying, and usually I can decipher -and she can read - so that is good. She plays with her babies, still mops and dusts. She has managed to hide most of her socks -which is really about to drive me insane because I really thought I knew all of them. Unless they have found their way into the trash.
Then we have days she is so sweet and funny. The affectionate mom throws me off - because she never was affectionate when I was growing up. I knew she loved me - but I don't remember hugs, or kisses or even "good job." Thankfully my dad was affectionate.
Yesterday we spent about 10 minutes playing catch with a towel - she just laughed and laughed. So proud of herself for catching and throwing it.
When I tuck her into bed at night, she puts my hand to her cheek, and says "thank you for a lovely day.|" And it hits me, she doesn't remember any bad moments, sad moments, mad moments, she just knows love.
And when it comes down to it - that is what counts. Love.
Thank you God for loving me and allowing me to love.
I am so tired. I am not sleeping. So make that exhausted to the point of sick. I can promise you regardless of the time I go to sleep - I will wake up at 2:30 a.m. and stay awake until 5:00 a.m.
I make the mistake of laying down after Steve and Sam leave each morning - and I have overslept two days in a row.
Rusty finds out results as far as what type of cancer....and such on Thursday. Friday is portacath. Monday begins Chemo. Judy is sick with worry. Is it wrong to ask God to show up, show out more of Judy than Rusty? Does that make sense? Judy needs a strong dose of faith and belief! Is that selfish? I so want Rusty healed - and question hourly why he is going through this.
Steve and I have a vacation scheduled to Gatlinburg in October - time away again. Next year I hope to plan a family vacation.
I long for a day to myself - a whole day. Selfish I guess.
I have much work to do - work was busy and I am way behind!
Mom could have been the energizer bunny yesterday. She kept going and going and going and going. I was absolutely worn out. Worn to a frazzle. Had a lot of extra laundry to do because of an accident. I thought I would never finish with laundry. Geesh.
She played with "Pete the Repeat Parrot" She asked for her bird. So glad she remembered - her new phrase is "Top of the morning to you!" It has been so funny to hear it. Melecia said she is having a good day.
I finally got out to go to store - and I stopped for my Sonic drink. Nothing like Dr. Pepper with Sonic ice! Plus the break away.
Steve and I are taking a trip to Gatlinburg in a few weeks - utilizing respite care and such. This is a much needed break. I have a strong feeling we will be enjoying colors and the view than a lot of the touristy stuff.
I am cooking dinner in the crockpot today - found a roast on sale - so there ya go - threw in some potatoes. My hubby is not a casserole kind of guy. Not a soup/stew guy - and I am. So it always seems to be meat and potatoes. How to compromise??
Much on my mind, Rusty, work, my friend N.S., mom. It is hard to focus.
Mom was soooooooo excited when I arrived home from work today. It was hard for me to get in the door.
She looks pretty - she was showing off her eye makeup and lipstick. Her babies are by her side.....and has told me "shhhhhh."
Maybe we are in for a sweet night.
We have a wheelchair on the way - not because she can't walk - goodness knows she can - but when we go to the mall or on an outing....she turns into Meryl Streep - and tells people around her she is feeble! I have to tell them - she can climb a fence. That being said, I am determined to stop staying in the house on the weekends. Going to have to work around Alzheimer's and not the other way around!.
My nephew will start a new life in the world of cancer tomorrow. He visits his oncologist tomorrow- and I guess there will be a plan. He will have a new vocabulary, and will make new friends - all who will be able to understand things that we cannot.
A plan - funny how we all like a plan. A goal. I remember when a coworker and dear friend finished chemo - at the clinic - they celebrate wrapping up chemo by ringing a bell - she called me and said "I rang the bell, I rang the bell!"
Sam has all A's and 1 B on his mid term progress report. And perfect attendance. I am so proud. He has adapted to high school and it suits him. He enjoys playing football. He told the me the other day - it is goal not to be the most poplar - to just go to school - do his work, play ball , and stay out of trouble. His teachers tell me he participates in class. Saturday - and I joke not - he worked almost four hours doing yard work. Trimming, mowing, weed killer, putting things away in the attic for me.
Tori is doing wonderful in college. She has a special lunch tomorrow recognizing her as part of Student Government, her studies in Criminal justice and the scholarships she has won. I am so thankful she is still debt free in college. She plans to take as many classes at Community College and online - McDonalds will pay for all of those - before moving on. She works about 30 hours a week, interns and goes to school. There are times she is exhausted and will crash - but I am so proud.
I so love them - I know they are not perfect - none of us are - but I am blessed to have two great kids.
Last night Steve and I ate at Chili's - he received a gift card for his birthday and grocery shopped (such party animals). He was pretty tired - he had worked yesterday - boarding up closed apartments.
This morning we went to church. Well, Sam and I did. Steve was on call. And he was so tired and sore from yesterday. I so enjoyed Sunday School and the worship service. Seeing friends.....family. I just love all of them.
Mom has not been a good girl today - she has actually "showed" out - acted downright ugly around 4:00 - thinking she started sundowning. Right now she is so antsy - nothing is calming her down. Geesh. My patience is stretched beyond thin.
At Lowes last night we saw a door we want to get for Sam's room - and another set. I don't think that room will ever be a "dining" room - I think I will keep it a sitting room with a sleeper sofa, etc. We have too many folks in our family who seem to need a place to rest. I know that time is a away off - but I just kind of made that decision.
Steve installed an automatic light sensor in bathroom - set to turn on when you enter, and off after five minutes when you leave. We plan to put a few more in the house - mom turns on lights and leaves them on. We also installed a dishwasher lock and doorknob covers instead of locking - she hasn't figured them out - and it is so much easier to open instead of trying to unlock.
I just took mom to Dollar General - bought some Flashcards for her and some lip stick. I had her read labels and signs - trying to keep some verbal skills going. I really would like to find some wooden puzzles - the kind you find in preschool class rooms - just a couple of them - I may look on Amazon here in a second.
I need to do some work in preparation for tomorrow. For the week. We are still slammed with phone calls and emails.
The other night I heard mom up, she had not felt good all day... I got up to check on her...came up to her from behind...(major no no!) startled her...she didn't know me and before I knew it I was punched in the face hard several times.
I saw stars!
Here is a picture of my lovely face.....
Now, I have been asked how I handle it, why I put up with it. My strength comes from God. Daily, hourly, minute by minute. I am not perfect, I lose my patience, I cry and just want to give up.
Mom is mom. This is a hard season! No doubt. But mom is the mom I remember buying me an electric typewriter when the one we had went out. She is the mom when I had bronchitis as a very young bride came over to my little house as if she was charging hell with a water pistol.with an electric blanket, Vicks, a vaporizer, potato soup and cleaned my house. And my dad check the whole house out. Ha!
Mom is the mom who made sure in his last days daddy was dressed in a flannel shirt, wranglers, 49er hat and Old Spice.
Mom is the daughter of Pearl and gHomer, the sister to Evie, Bobbie, Imogene, Robert and Milburn. Wife to Charles, mother to Pam, Judy and Becky. Grandmother to many with greats and great greats!
Steve celebrated his 50th birthday this weekend. I had a party Saturday for him, it was one of the best gatherings we've had with his family. Very relaxing. Of course we just had hotdogs and chips. Plus cake.
Mom had a good weekend - she kept me in her sight at all times...followed me everywhere. She has spread her baby dolls over the whole couch...she has moved herself to the chair... So if you visiting have no clue where you will sit. Ha ha.
At Steve's party his son Brandon shared with us a slideshow from his wedding in Vietnam. And in one picture he said..."this is the first time we ever kissed." Very sweet! Here are a couple of beautiful pics of Brandon and his bride...
I am still feeling tired and achey. Please pray for my great nephew.
I feel like a new mom - I have yet to be able to take a bath today! Mom keeping me busy. She is not misbehaving - or anything of the sort - she is just into everything, Other than that - I have been lazy - snoozing off an on. :)
She has this new thing about untying her shoes - don't know what that is about. Alzheimer's continues to baffle me.
Steve's oldest has found a room to rent - I don't know details - but there is so much going on in his mind and heart. He has been working - he came over last night to get his clothes - and he was so different than what he has been all week - it hurt my heart. I can't even explain it. Please pray for him. He needs something we cannot give him - we can just be here for him.
Grateful for the day off tomorrow. I hope to get some housework done. But I am appreciating the time off.