Thursday, June 28, 2007

Note to Self No.421...

When store manager offers to let your children come over to shoot fire works, make sure he's talking about the store bought kind. You know, just in case he's talking instead of the ones made of medicine bottles, wicks, smokeless gunpowder and tissue. Um, yeah, maybe a rain check?

Surgery Day - Part One

I was reading another blog today where her husband was diagnosed with some form of rare cancer and will have a bone marrow transplant to prolong life hopefully. I read where they have young children, she has health issues, and now this. Reading her posts took me back a couple of months in our cancer journey.

I don’t think I’ve blogged about this yet, and really don’t know why I am now, but here it goes.

Part One

When Mother had her surgery in Big City, my sister, two aunts, my grandmother, my dad, my husband and I were all there. The family waiting room was not too big and there were these large flat screen televisions on a couple of the walls. The nurse had given me a number that would correspond to the number on the screen showing us what stage of the surgery Mother was in. This nurse also stayed with Mother during the surgery and called me every 30 minutes to an hour to let us know how she was doing. I remember sitting near the phone, knitting and looking up at the end of every row to check the progress on the screen. I remember having to step out after one of the calls from the nurse to call the store and call the lawyer about a guy that was trying to sue the store. I remember the relief I felt when he told me the case had been thrown out and that the store was doing good. I remember going back into the waiting room to tell Hubby and Sister the good news and I remember getting the next phone call. The nurse said that they were closing Mother up and that she’d be going into recovery soon. She also said that the doctor would be up shortly to talk to us. Something nagged the back of my brain at that time, but I didn’t listen until later. I had a moment, albeit a false one, of feeling relieved that she wouldn’t be going into ICU but a private room after recovery.

I remember the doctor coming into the waiting room. We were the only ones left with the exception of the waiting room attendant. I remember he still had his cap on his head and was carrying a small wooden box in his hands. He sat down across from me on one of the end tables and my sister came and sat next to him on the floor. I remember his clear blue eyes looking directly into mine after a long, deep breath. I remember the lines around his eyes and the weary look on his face. I don’t remember everything he said. In fact, I remember very little of the next half hour. I remember looking over at my sister desperately writing in her notebook. I remember feeling Hubby’s pants leg under my tightening fingers when I grabbed his knee. I remember hearing Stage IV, B and it being inoperable. I remember him saying 3 nodules in the liver. I remember it being beyond worrying about the lymph system and a time frame of 4-6 months without treatment, possible 11 months with, but there were no guarantees on any of that. I do remember thinking he really hated having to tell us this and that I needed to keep it together while he was still there. I remember standing up to hug him and thank him. My head resting briefly on his upper chest as I said God bless you. I remember him limping out the door and seeing him go down the hall past the windows with his head hung down.

I don’t know how I made it back to the chair, but the next thing I remember is sobbing uncontrollably into Hubby’s shirt. I remember darkness shrouding my soul, as cancer seemed to suck the hope out. I remember trying to catch a breath and pain radiating throughout my being. I don’t know how long we all were in that state of sorrow. I know the waiting room attendant said she would put us on her prayer list. I remember her handing me the room number that Mother would be taken to. I remember trying to take deep, slow breaths. We all gathered our things and ourselves and walked out of that room. Some were going to eat while my sister and one aunt would go up to the room to wait on Mother. The doctor had said that she would probably be out of it for the rest of the night, or at least a couple more hours. Our group headed down one of the elevators while the other two went up. As we stepped out of the elevator my phone rang and it was Sister, panic in her voice as she told me Mother was awake.

I can't continue the rest of this story yet. I'm not ready. I think I've done good to get this part out, but the rest just is not ready to be put out for the world to see. Even though I know it's just a few folks that read this. A few folks that I talked to within hours of finding out. Folks that helped me gather myself back together and help keep me together to this day. Part 2 is coming, just not right now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

206 miles+Sand and Salt Water=Many Great Memories

So, it's been awhile since my last update and this one will probably be pretty short.

Last week my sister, the kids & I took Mother to the beach at Perdido Key, FL. While we had a couple of days of thunderstorms, the beach was fantastic. Not too crowded, clear water and light breezes. I don't feel like talking about this trip much at this point, but maybe in the near future I'll be able to put down what all this trip meant to us. I will say that back in April, when we were sitting in the hospital after her surgery, one of the first things Mother wanted was to go to the beach. I do think that was one of the things that got her out of that hospital so quick. Knowing that if it was within our power, we would get her to the beach. We did, and I am so thankful that the time spent there was as good as it was. I am also thankful for the MarLo house for coming down to help me do the family portraits. I don't think any of us had dry eyes after viewing them.

I'm posting some of the shots I took with my digital camera for now. I might post some of the portrait shots later.

Looking Ahead

Ring of Light, Love and Toes

Take care - Me

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2 Lives, 8 Years and Countless Blessings...

Eight years ago today Speedy and I got married.

I had actually told my friends a year earlier that they were to "rescue" me should I become involved with a Mississippi man. Thank you friends for not intervening.

This man has stood by my side through the rich & poor times, the sick and health times and all the times in between. Within a year of marriage, we both graduated from college, me with twins on the way. He helped me be myself when I was unsure who I was after becoming a mom. A couple of years later, we found out about my inner-ear disorder and he got me through some pretty massive migraines, including a rushed trip to the doc for a shot when he came home for lunch and found me laying on the couch with ice-packs on my head. He held me when my parent's marriage broke up after 40 years together. And he held me again when we found out about my mother's cancer.

It seems he's had to do a lot of holding on these past eight years. He's shown me what a real relationship can be. I love that he's shown me the potential of love. Love that laughs, gets scared, has bumps, tears and lots of holding. He's been there for me and I do not doubt for one moment that he'll be there for me again. That's what this is all about after all. Being there for each other. No matter what.

Thank you hubby. For the love eight years ago, for the love today and for the potential of tomorrow.

I love you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hello, my name is Busy...

Hey ya'll.

I'm sorry that I've not posted lately, so I'll try to catch you up a bit.

The kids are out of school & running around crazy. Happy crazy, but crazy nonetheless. They enjoyed a recent birthday party at a water park and are already making plans to visit said water park again. With or without parents if they can just figure out how to drive the Kawasaki Mule there. They've also been helping Grandaddy Chief work on the tractors and helping me run the tire store. We make 'em work for food around these parts. :)

Speedy is doing pretty good. Not much racing this season yet. I try to tell him that racing is much easier if parts don't fall off the car or just plain tear up mid lap. I think that mumbling I hear when I tell him that is him agreeing with me. I'm just sure he's uttering his love & devotion to me, his adoring wifey.

My dad is doing well also. I realized lately that I haven't really blogged any about Daddy & that needs to be rectified. I'll post more soon about this incredible man, I promise. For now, he's been a great help at the store & with the kids.

Mother and Sister are back from Wisconsin. They had a great trip, though I do believe that they are also glad to be home. They were unable to call out where they were, no cell phone service & no long distance. Mother got to visit with many relatives she'd not seen in quite a while and she got to enjoy the early summer/late spring weather of Wisconsin on the Mississippi River. Sister got to enjoy long, deep breaths while Mother was visiting with many relatives. However, they are home now. And did I mention they're back? And that I can call them & they can call me now? And that it is such a relief to know that it's less than 18 hours to get to them in case of an emergency?

And me? Well, I'm doing pretty good too. I've got incredible friends. I had a great time with Memphis friend during our much-needed retail therapy! I've gotten to see Fairhope friends recently, and hope to see them again soon. Possibly even at their house. (yes, this is your warning, so you better hope you actually read this long, lengthy blog.) One of those friends told me once that it's amazing how I can go through some really shitty things & come out fine. Well, I don't know about how fine I've made it so far, but I must say, I would not have made it out of some past experiences without them helping me. I know I'll make it through this too, but it will not be without the Grace of God, family & friends. So, if I've not told you enough lately, to all my friends who've called, written and/or prayed and thought of me - Thank you. I humbly thank you from the bottom of my soul. May God Bless you & keep you.

Take care - Me