Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What the F*&%!

If you have not read this blog, do so - NOW.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now, check this out.

Mother has already started chemo. She's receiving Gemzar once a week for two weeks, with one week off. Before the chemo goes in, they are giving her an antinausea med & steriods. In a couple of weeks, she'll start Xeloda, an oral chemo that she'll take twice a day. I was able to look this drug up on a Canadian pharmacy site and an American site. The drug from Canada, same dosage, is $9.95 cheaper - PER PILL.

Now, I don't know how much exactly all these meds are costing her after insurance. And she is fortunate enough to have insurance. But I do know that there is something drastically wrong with a system that allows for that kind of price difference!

Here's a look at part of the Lily (maker of Gemzar) financials:

Now, I'm not a financial guru, nor do I play one on TV. However, from my understanding, the US sales, including Puerto Rico accounts for 78% of the income for Gemzar yet outside the US is actually buying more of this drug. To me, that shows that the rest of the world is paying a FRACTION of what it's costing Americans to get this drug. I don't know if this is making any sense or not as I type it out. In my head it's clear, so if it's not coming through, or if my math is wrong (and it very well could be) please let me know.

I guess this rambling is about what the drug companies are making off someone's life line. These drugs are great, no doubt. And new drugs do take money to develop. However, I'd really like to know how much their CEO's make. Or how much their sales reps are making. Because something is totally whacked with a system that can charge over double for a pill just because it's sold within the United States of America. And there are people out there that are in desperate need of these drugs, but cannot afford it. They have to choose death over life because they don't have the money to pay for life. And in the mean time, the owners/runners of these drug companies are living the good life. Something is just wrong with this picture.

System Leak...

There’s a leak in my system. You see, it seems every time I turn around lately, these tears just pop up and out of my eyes running down my cheeks to drop on my lap.

Mother and Sister are in Wisconsin to visit with family. They’re staying on the Mississippi River in a cabin my aunt owns. My aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. are getting to spend quite a bit of time with them. They’re getting to go fishing, sit on the dock to dangle their feet in the waters of the mighty Mississippi and sit by the campfire in the evenings to the sound of crickets in the night. They do not have cell phone service, nor can they call out long distance from the cabin phone.

And it is long distance. While I try to be optimistic about her time here on this earth, I know there is not much of that time left. Yes, there may be a year or more, which is a possibility. The only One to know that answer has not sent down His calendar yet, so I should not be worried about that at this point. However, I’m human. I’m a human that cries out about those people getting to be with my mother when she’s still healthy enough to do things. Instead of doing things with me, here, she’s traveled 7 states away to do those things with others. It hurts. Bad.

There were many responsibilities here that have to be tended to. Month-end is in another day, which in the world of small business owner, has to be taken care of on that day. Of course, in my current state of mind, I’d like to say fuck the business; it’s not mine anyway. Screw the bills and deposits and personal responsibilities. Why am I the one to get left behind, the one that you didn’t ask if that would be OK to leave it all with!

Another hard part is knowing that she’s doing what she really wants to do. And doing it with those she really wants to be around. That’s not to say she doesn’t want to be around me, I’m sure she’d love it if I were there. But for me, the one left behind, it’s tough calling and hearing all of them laughing, or getting ready to go do something and knowing that Mother doesn’t have much time to just chat with me.

So, I call, talk a few moments to make sure she’s OK, say bye, then cry as I hang up the phone. And then I go blog. I don’t know how many of you read this, but it does help to get this out. I know too, that I have friends that are helping me get through this, even when I’m not actually speaking to them, I know they’re thinking of me. Thank you.

I have to go support the Kleenex Corporation some more now. I’ll try to post with something not so dismal later.

Take care - Me

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hang on for the ride...

Man, life's been crazy lately. Oh wait, it's been crazy for a couple of months now. Oh, and that's right, it's just gonna keep on being crazy for a while. Sometimes though, I've felt the need to just hang on tight for fear of being thrown off.

So, here's some recap as to what's been going on.

Rokimus lost another tooth. Again, he's not sent any to the tooth fairy for fear of what's done to the teeth when they are turned over for monetary gain. After all, what happens when he gets to be an adult & wants them back?! He's also been a big help at the racetrack the past few Saturday nights. So lovely to see him (age 6) with his dad to pack the track in the race car. Did I mention he's 6? He's also really done great with buddy ball this year.

Moosie has not lost anymore teeth yet, though she does have one that should release the next apple or so. She has also gained a pet turtle. Her life is complete now that Tuss the Turtle has joined the family. Woe unto you if you dare even touch the cage and don't sanitize your hands. She will hunt you down and force Purell upon you. While I wouldn't exactly say she's excelled in buddy ball, she's really enjoyed it. (The fly ball missed her head by just inches the other night as she was trying to talk to the player next to her.) She does not accompany us to the track on race nights, instead, she gets quality alone time with Grandaddy Chief who takes her to McD's to get whatever she wants. Even if I've already fed her supper.

Speedy has been quite busy at work lately. Work at the hospital & on the race car. He's doing great so far this season. Here's a pic of the car at the track a couple of weeks ago. Yes, that tire is off the ground. No, it's not as high as it is during the feature race. Yes, he sets the car up to run that way. Why, yes, that is a concrete wall behind him. And yes, I do pray every time he goes on the track. Here's why I'm glad that he's switched to the modified class. And did I mention I'm looking for something to cover my gray hair? Seriously though, I'm extremely proud of him and enjoy going to the races to watch him do his thing.

Mother is doing well. She started one of her chemo treatments last Friday & has done great with it. We'll do another week of that one, have a week off, then begin the first & add an oral chemo to the mix. We're all hoping it goes well as we continue this. There's so much more I could post about her, but now is not the time. So, for now, thanks for thinking of her, and please keep the prayers coming.

Yes, my grandmother is still in town. Now, we've actually gotten along better than expected. However, this is more time we've been near each other than we can stand. My sister is actually planning on a road trip for her to make it back home. On a bus. Or a train. Or a plane. BUT GET THAT WOMAN HOME! Needless to say, she's been a help, but our patience is running thin.

And me, you ask. What about me? Well folks, I'm just hanging on for the ride. The list is still running rampant through my head. The Noah's Ark is still being worked on, the laundry is still never ending and in just a few days I'll be dealing with the kiddos full time again. Oh yeah, and I'm still working on the freelance graphics stuff and taking care of Mother's store with Sister. I'm also getting ready for company that'll be coming into town this weekend. YEA!! (I'm very excited that this company is coming & can't wait to see her & do retail therapy!!) Friend, if you're reading - be careful driving down & wear your seatbelt. ;)

So, life moves on whether we want it to or not. My advice for today. Hang on, don't take the ride for granted, recognize and appreciate the blessings of everyday. Even if that blessing is a smile or a held hand. Or a call from your Mom to say she loves you.

Take care - Me

Monday, May 14, 2007


She carries the soul of the newborn in her own for months, then releases it into the world. Sometimes, realizing that she cannot carry out the dreams she has for that child, she gives it up to fate, hoping for a better future for her child. It is then that the child becomes the child of another. Another that will take over the dreams, hopes and fears of being a mother and will do her best to fulfill that fate.

Either way, that person has now taken her own self and pushed it back behind the importance of the child. She will nourish the growing body, but most important, the soul of that child. She will try to teach the child compassion, love and understanding so they might grow up and pass it on to others they encounter. She will apply band aids, ointment and administer medicine along with love. She will hold the child’s hand, brush the hair, clothe them and try to keep them safe.

That soul she carried or accepted will, in turn, become part of her soul and vice versa. There will be mistakes, because there is no instruction book that comes with this. Often, she will worry and wonder if she is making the right decision. Always, always, there is the thought of what actions will be best for the child. Even when that child becomes grown, there is the thought of doing what she can to help the child grow. By making mistakes, the child will learn and understand more of this life.

A mother never stops being a mother. And when death is knocking at the door, should you have the chance to hear the knock, please tell your mother how much her love has touched you. Thank her for the mistakes she made for it has made you wiser without having to make the same mistake yourself. Thank her for brushing your hair with a gentle hand. Thank her for doing her best and putting herself last. And, if you get the chance, hold her hand, for that is one of the sweetest feelings in the world.

And thank God for giving your soul a place to rest. For watching over you both and allowing you both to know each other, even if it was for a short time. There is something that carries over from a mother to a child, even if the child was only with the mother for a few minutes. The mother carried that soul, giving it nourishment and a chance at life, and sometimes, freedom to find a better future. God alone knows how much time we have here on earth, so take today, right now, to thank those that have cared for you, have loved you, and have put you ahead of themselves so that you might be more.

Take care – Me

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Time and Sand...

I'm having a moment this morning.

I feel as though my hands are full of sand, their tan grains slipping through my fingers. I can feel the roughness as I try to tighten my grip, trying to hold onto them and not let them escape. They push through anyway. And though I know that they do not pass through any quicker than they did a few months ago, it feels like they are rushing through. And all I can do is watch. I cannot stop the flow of sand.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Things that make me want to scream...

Well, yesterday was Fantabulous! Mother felt great, she got released from the surgeon in Jackson, we ate lunch at Macaroni Grill, bought hats at TJ Maxx, and generally just enjoyed life.

Did I mention that was yesterday? Let me give you my list of today's not so greatness:

1. Daughter with ear infections. That's right, both ears infected and with perforated eardrums. Daughter who had a shot, antibiotic ear drops, oral antibiotics and drops for pain. Said daughter will now be known as Velcro.

2. Son who was picked up from school today as he has fever, cough and snotty nose and the desire to torture his sister in the form of not doing what she wants when she wants how she wants. (Did I mention that Velcro is a bit bossy today?) Also, said son just got a 5 minute time out in his room for throwing a fit when I told him no to going up to the shop to weld.

3. Grandmother & Aunt #3 in town to visit Mother. Aunt #3 is a pancreatic cancer survivor. While this is a wonderful and rare occurrence, this does not give her the right to make medical decisions for Mother. It also does not give her the right to tell Mother she should go to the beach when Mother is feeling tired & worn out. Grandmother is fine though.

4. Organic Buying Club Lady (hereafter known as OBCL) telling me that coffee & sugar are the causes of pancreatic cancer and that I should take Mother to local doctor for alternative healing through foods & biofeedback meridian line machine. Only $400 to start, including some initial herbal medications. Also, chemo should not be administered due to the harshness to the system. Um yeah, it's harsh - cancer is harsher.

5. Last, but not least - FREAKING CRAYONS IN LAUNDRY! Now, please understand, this is the 3rd load, yes 3RD FREAKING LOAD, of laundry this school year that has gotten the waxy shit all over a WHITE load. White freaking load, brown freaking crayon. Thanks be to whomever is responsible for Tide Coldwater & Shout. Thank you. And to the powers that be at the local school system who said to not buy washable crayons? Kiss my ass! Next year, if you want me to buy regular vs. washable crayons, you can by my year's supply of Coldwater Tide & Shout.

To those of you with sensitive eyes. I'm somewhat sorry for the language of this post, but not enough to remove it. If it offends that much, just move on to the next blog 'cause I really don't need you reading this one.

Take care - Me

Friday, May 4, 2007



After thinking about my previous post, I have come to the realization that I'm jealous. I'm jealous of the people that are able to be with my Mother whenever they want. The ones that get to be with her at the times when she's feeling better and more alert. Not just early in the mornings when she's so tired and weary, or in the evenings when she's so worn out from all the visitors and just the day itself. A part of me feels that I'm only getting the leftovers, not the full-hot out of the oven parts. I realize that this is not anyone's fault, and that if they could change things, they would. They are not intentionally keeping me away from her. This is just the way it is right now.

It's very hard to balance my personal family of the kids and husband with my mother's needs, running her business, keeping my business going and just life in general. I know that the balance will come, it's just the transitional phase that seems to be kicking my ass at times.

I'm very happy that my sister and mother have become closer. They used to be so close that at times I would feel left out, as a third person often does. This doesn't mean they loved me any less. I cannot tell you how I thank God now that they have "found" each other again. For both their sakes. They need each other, and we all need one another to make it through this. Sister, if you have read this blog, I'm sorry that I came across so harsh. There are times when I need to vent, even if that vent seems irrational and angry.

So, today is a new day. The sun has risen again and I can hear the birds outside my window. Last night's rain has given way to filtered sunlight sparkling off the cedar branches. This is a new day for hope.

Take care - me

Thursday, May 3, 2007

We interrupt our previously scheduled tearfest...

I'm in a better place now. I appreciate the ability to unload what's rambling through my inner system on here & I even more appreciate that someone is reading it. (Thanks Lo!)

So, in appreciation, I give you absolute sweetness! Of course, this sweetness came after last night's nightmare called putting the kids to bed. They were very reluctant to end their day, to say the least. In fact, I do believe at one point I was telling them they would be locked away in their room until the age of 40 if they were to appear in the hall one more time. Less than 2 minutes after that, this is what I beheld when guilt got the better of me. I wanted to apologize and tell them not until they were 40, just 20. ;)

Yes, they are asleep. Finally.

Yes, they are holding hands and yes, the close up is something to be treasured.

30 miles, 25 minutes and 1,000 tears...

I am tired of people asking if I’m OK. No, I’m not. At this moment, I’m really NOT OK. I have a mother that’s dying. I have a mother that is suffering. I have a mother with cancer – how can I be OK?!

I am very tired of not having time with my Mother. I am tired of sharing her with other people. Where the hell were they for the past 2 years as she went through her divorce? Where were they when her boyfriend didn’t treat her right & she was scared? Where were they when she just needed someone to listen for a few moments? Yes, she’s made some mistakes. I’d love to meet the person that hasn’t. Would you please step forward?! ‘Cause you know what? Love is love. And love continues no matter what actions took place and besides that – it’s HER life, not yours to dictate. We all have to face the choices we make. We all have to answer for our own lives. And you don’t get to pick and choose the parts of life that you want to take and leave. If you love the person, you have to be there for the whole person, not just the parts you like. You don’t have to agree with the decisions made, but you do need to be there for them.

You know what else? I know she’s going to die. I know that in all probability she will not live to see my children turn 8 years old. I know that she will probably not see my daughter get married or even graduate from school. She will not be there to rub my shoulders and neck when I get migraines. She will not be there for me to pour my heart out to when I need her advice on my kids as they grow up. She will not be able to drive to my house and look at some new artwork, photo, project that I’ve done & tell me what she thinks. And that SUCKS. It really pisses me off.

For the most part, I’m a very upbeat type of person. I tend to look at the bright side of life. But for this moment I am losing my Mother. At this moment I realize she will probably not be able to teach me to French braid my daughter’s hair. I am hurting. The kind of hurt that knocks the breath from your lungs from the grief of not having her hand to hold when I have a bad day or the hug of congratulations when something good happens. The grief of knowing when I call she will not answer. The grief of knowing in the somewhat near future I will forget what her voice sounds like. I hate that. I really hate that and this sucks.

Take care - me

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Mother, Balls and Teeth...

Well, we've gotten Mother home from the hospital. We brought her back last Friday. She's doing great, considering. Her attitude is positive, she's slowly gaining strength and she's still making plans to head to the beach soon! :) We take her back to the Main City next Monday for a follow-up appointment with the surgeon and we should find out more about the chemo treatments then. Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for keeping us in their thoughts & prayers. It is a physical presence that we feel.

Now, enough of that for this moment. The kids have started buddy ball this year. This is the step up from t-ball, where their coach pitches to them. Last night, the coach decided that Moosie should try to play the position of catcher. Now, please understand that she doesn't really care about catching the ball. Her interest lies more in talking to whomever is closest, be it coach, teammate, or player from the opposing team. She's even been known to talk to the umpires when the mood strikes. I honestly believe that she said yes to the catching position for the continuous change of talking partner in the form of batter. Bless her heart, I don't think she kept her eyes open at all the whole time. She just sat on her knees, held the glove out in front of her & kept her head turned away from the pitcher's throw. Of course, after that inning, she quickly informed her coach that catcher's position was not for her & I do think he fully agreed! :) He placed her out by 3rd base. Quite the delightful position for someone who likes to chat with anyone.

Rokimus got to play 1st baseman and did quite well there. He was able to get several outs, though at times he got so excited about getting them out that he forgot to throw the ball to the pitcher to keep the other couple of kids from making runs. :)

And last, but not least - Moosie has finally caught up with her brother in the toothlessness department! I give you the glorious lack of teeth!