Monday, April 23, 2007

Road Bumps...

Note: This was written a few days ago. I'll try to update tonight or tomorrow.

I'm sitting by my mother's bedside listening to the drip provide her undernourished body with much needed fluids. I'm looking out of a sixth floor window over the Big City area. Our journey has started and we've hit some bumps. I'll give you the bumps and the views if you'll give us prayers.

The surgery went well. There were no complications and she did not even have to go into ICU, as was expected. The surgeon was able to do a bypass so that her food will digest & process through her system much more effectively now. She's had a fairly good day today and has even been for two walks! She's also been attempting to set my sister up with the cute single doctors, but I'm unsure if that's views or bumps at this point. :)

The surgery was shorter than we'd expected. Because it was shorter, she did not have to go to ICU. She's been attempting to set my sister up with the cute single doctors. What's that you said? Those bumps don't seem so bad when put like that, do they? Well then, let me explain a bit. You see, she should have had what's "commonly" referred to as a whipple surgery. I use that "commonly" loosely here due to the fact that pancreatic cancer is just rare. It's not common at all. Add to that fact, that of this rare pancreatic cancer, her type of cancer is in only 5% of that. Also add in that the tumor is in her bile duct, sitting on top of a nerve plexus, close to an artery. Also, please note that said cancer has now spread to her liver. The whipple was unable to be performed due to the spread of this monster and the location of this monster. When Mother gets out of this hospital and regains some strength, we're hoping to start chemo. There's a type of chemo that has shown promising results with this cancer. Good news, huh?! Yes, it is. And I don't want you to be sitting there thinking I'm being sarcastic. I'm not. I'm very grateful that there is a chance I will have my mother around another possible 6 months or longer. You read that right. Without treatment, we're hoping for 5-6 months. With treatment, the average is 11 months. Mother doesn't really care about chemo. In fact, just last week she was saying absolutely not to it. Amazing what really knowing what you have can change perspective. She's now willing to try chemo. If it diminishes quality of life then it's a no go.

Here's what I know. I know my mother will live life on her terms, not cancer's. I know that she is not afraid of death, or what comes after. I know that Faith has seen us this far, and Faith will see us through to our very own ends. I know that I love her, and she loves me. I know that I will be here for her as long as she needs me. I know that I am hoping and praying that she will need me for years from now.

I also know that I want to go home to my children and husband. I want to tell them to take a shower they don't want to take, brush the teeth they don't want brushed. I want to hold them and read them a bedtime story. I want to fall asleep and wake up knowing this has all been a horrible dream. I also know that there are some things I just cannot have.

Take care - me

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Under two weeks ago, I drove to Looney to check on my Mother. The morning is etched in my head now. The sun had a beautiful golden cast as it filtered through the tall pines and landed on hill sides where the cows and horses grazed. The clouds were wispy and almost rose tinted. The dew was making the grass seem translucent and the creeks I passed over were running smooth.

That day started the journey that I've been on for the past couple of weeks. My mother has cancer. When I arrived at her house I saw the yellow in her eyes and skin. I saw a woman who is usually so strong weakened by a monster that has invaded her body. By invading her body, it has invaded our family. My sister & I took her to the doctor and he did the blood work. When the results came back they were not good. We've been through CT scans, ultrasounds, X-Rays and scopes. She was in the hospital for a few days while they got the toxins down, hydration up and did the scope. They let her go home for the weekend and we took her to the main city Monday to see the cancer surgeon. He was not supposed to be in town this week. He should have been in Wisconsin. Due to acts of God, he had to cancel his trip. He normally does not accept cases such as Mother's. He has accepted hers & we will continue this journey today as we go to Main City to meet up with family from Wisconsin that has come down to lend support.

Tomorrow we will take the woman who gave us birth, made our clothes, cleaned our boo-boos, held our hands, hugged us and let us go when needed, runs her own tire business, and loves us more than anything, to have this monster removed from her. We all will be in surgery tomorrow. For this monster doesn't just invade one body, it invades the very soul of all of us. It is attempting to suck hope, faith and love out of each of us. I will not let it. God will not let it. Beyond all things, I know that there is God, and that the prayers that are being said are lifting our hearts and giving us strength. I know that this woman will fight. For fighting is in her blood, and that fight is stronger than any cancer could be.

Should she lose her life, now or down the road, she will have won. She is fighting, we are fighting and should she go, it will be because she has realized that nothing in this world can beat what's waiting for her there. It will not be because the monster cannot be fought - it can and is being fought.

I will not be posting much for the next few weeks. Her recovery will have us in Main City for a while. I know that those few who read this know of this journey already. I felt the need to put it into words today. If you are just stumbling onto this blog and do not really know me, I ask for your prayers. I don't care what religion you are, I don't even care if you're not sure if there's a God. I know there is, and I ask for you to pray for us. We need them.

Take care - Me

Monday, April 9, 2007

Only 5 Mintues...

When: Saturday Afternoon
Where: My kitchen
Background: Mother's not feeling well, so I had to go to Looney to run the tire shop. Speedy took kids to ball practice in freezing weather. I got home & started laundry, dyeing eggs, making fake blood for the local church's Easter contata.

Phone rings, I answer

Dude: blah blahbla marketing survey, blah blah... 5 minutes of your time.

Me: Um, this really is not a good time for me.

Dude: 5 minutes, blah blah blah

Me: I don't think you understand. I have to bag the blood for the local Baptist church, gather my daughter's eggs, find my 6 year old son who is probably either welding or roping a steerhead, get the laundry out of the dryer and transfer load from washer to dryer, get up to the church to paint the never-ending Noah's ark and make sure my husband has everything needed for his powerpoint presentation of dead Jesus. So, sir, unless you can come to my house and help me with all this crap, I REALLY don't have five minutes for a survey.

Dude: Uh, m'am thank you for your time. Click.

Hope your weekend was good.

Take care - Me

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Just In Case No.131...

Just in case you ever need to know how to make blood, scabs or flesh for your local Baptist Church, may I recommend this lovely site.

Because, really, you never know what they'll ask of you.

Take care - Me

Monday, April 2, 2007

Crack Pipe...

So, as you may or may not know, Friday night is hubby & my "alone" time. This is the night for me to cook up something special, or for us to go out to eat. This is our A&E CSI Miami marathon evening & then "quality" time. Of course, there are times when things don't work quite as planned, such as snakes invading our homestead, but generally, the night is ours.

Well, this past Friday as I was cleaning the kitchen while waiting for Speedy to arrive so that we could go the the local fish camp, I happened to notice that under our sink was a bit of moisture. Huh. Upon further evaluation, there was quite a bit of moisture. Huh? And an awful stench! And gooey stuff on the bottom of the cabinet. So, I go in search of the flashlight to investigate. There is a large crack with daylight shinning through where the sink drain is supposed to meet pipe.

I immediately call Speedy to warn him of impending doomdom before he gets home. He, of course, is running behind and not all that concerned about the situation. I, of course, while talking to him and not paying attention, proceed to wash my hands to get them clean. (one of my slight OCD behaviors) You can imagine the creative speech that occurred, and I'm accepting all prayers for my soul.

Speedy finally got home after I had finished cleaning out the cabinet and gotten clean hands in the bathroom. :) He wanted to see where the crack was, so I graciously pointed out to him how loose the pipe was. It was at this point, with my demonstrative abilities, that water shot out of the other end of the pipe! That's right folks, more water coming out of a rusted hole in the other pipe. At this point, we left the facilities to have supper.

Saturday saw Moosie & me going to Lowe's and Speedy & Rokimus going to get racing fuel. (priorities, don't you know) Luckily there was a very helpful young man there to help me configure the correct pipe pieces. (I had brought along the old, rusted, cracked pipe with me for reference.)

To make an extremely long story short, I had water running through my kitchen sink without leaks by Saturday evening. :) Enjoy the pics.

Take care - Me

This is the whole pipe configuration that had to be replaced. I am not a plumber, and I do not play one on TV.

This is the piece that had the audacity to crack after 35 years of life.

This is the canyon that has slowly been forming under extreme pressure from rust formations.

Note the shiny newness. The bright white. The tag still attached. Note, there are no escaping droplets. Just pure pipeage allowing me to wash my dirty hands once more. Please do not note the rust formations on the rear pipes - a not-so-distant project.