The Infusion Center

Saturday afternoon, Barry and I were at the Infusion Center to receive my Nulastin injection to boost my white blood cells. As I sat quietly waiting, I looked around and listened to the conversations around me.

The gentleman sitting to my right was on his second round of chemotherapy for bladder cancer; the lady to the right said hello and dozed back off quickly.

There was a young man in his twenties sitting across, the nurses’ s were hanging blood for. His bloodwork needs boosting to continue his treatments next week.

The gentleman in the chair next to him, had his wife with him. She she speaking to the lady two chairs down from me. The lady down from me, was stating that she was giving up. Her husband could no longer sit with her, he was tearful and upset. He left the room and twenty minutes, a young lady showed up to sit with her mother.

After listening a while longer, she revealed that she was going through her sixth round of chemotherapy for the last time. Years ago, it had started in her breast and just spread around her body, until she now had brain cancer and nothing was helping.

She said she cannot do it anymore and is ready for her seat in heaven. Her daugher started to cry. I started tearing up, Barry pulled the curtain to allow what little privacy that is avaiable.

As I listened, to the hustle and bustle around me, I was hit with the sheer magnitude of the number of people that float though those rooms. The waiting room is always full, and when called back for my turn, I’m taken to the only empty seat in a bay.

It is truly sad to see all of these wonderful peeple going through the agony of chemotherapy. But this is still a statement for how far medical technology has come. All those people in there numerous times surviving, although having to come back for more.

I’ll continue this post after I look up some numbers. They have to be up there. I never thought about it before this date.

Word of the Weekend: resplendent

resplendent\rih-SPLEN-dunt\

adjective: shining brilliantly : characterized by a glowing splendor
 
All eyes were drawn to the beautiful young woman—resplendent in an elegant evening gown—who had just appeared at the top of the stairway.
 
“On a dazzling Saturday afternoon, splashed with resplendent sunshine after too many cool gray days of rain, I slowly picked my way through the hordes of tourists….” — From an article by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie in Artforum, June 8, 2013

Did you know?

“Resplendent” has a lot in common with “splendid” (meaning “shining” or “brilliant”), “splendent” (“shining” or “glossy”), and “splendor” (“brightness” or “luster”). Each of those glowing terms gets its shine from the Latin verb “splendēre” (“to shine”). Etymologists believe “splendēre” might also be related to Middle Irish “lainn,” meaning “bright.” “Splendent,” “splendor,” and “resplendent” first showed their lustrous senses in English during the 15th century, but “splendid” didn’t light up our language until over 175 years later; its earliest known use dates from 1624.

Compliments of:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/

In memory of Ms. Eva Frady Baynes Roper

Barry and I were dating, marriage had not been thought about yet, when he got the news that his mother was sick and his step’father neefed our help. It was the first time his stepfather had ever called with any issue concerning his mother.

He had been taking her to a doctor, home health had been ordered and the things they needed him to do at home, he was unable to accomplish. He was asking for help, unsure of what to do himself. Barry and I made a few phone calls and scheduled a few doctors appointments, then headed to Calhoun to check her health status out for ourselves.

One toe on her left foot had turned totally black. The orders the home health agency had was to soak the foot two times daily and apply an ointment and dressing to the toe. The physician had started her on medications for the problem.

Two days later, Barry and I took the two of them to the doctor ourselves and talked to the doctors ourselves. Her diabetes was out of control and she was about to lose that toe. He tweaked her medications a little and sent us home.

The next day, the home health nurse called my cell phone looking for Barry. She felt her health status had changed drastically and was calling an ambulance to send her to the hospital. I immediately called Barry and we headed to Calhoun.

Her kidney doctor did a test that let us know her kidney’s were failing and it would not be long.

While in the hospital, I was talking to his mom and told her that she had to get better. She asked why? I told her that son of her’s was eventually going to ask me to marry him and she would have a wedding to attend. I had to lean in to hear her, but she said, “Do not worry, I’ll be there”! At our wedding, Barry sat two chairs off to themselves for his parents. It was so sweet!

We spent the next three nights sharing a cot by his mother’s hospital bed. We decided to head home to shower and change clothes. Home was a two hour ride. Of course, the minute we walked in the door, the phone was ringing. She had passed away a few minutes prior to the call.

We let James know, we would be back early in the morning, showered and headed to bed. We were exhausted. We had plans to make.

The next day, we called to see about checking Frank out of school to get to the funeral. He took the news hard. His mother was unable to pick him up, but my dad was kind enough to drive me down to pick him up. It was a two day trip, we stayed the night in a hotel and headed back to Calhoun the next morning. Frank’s school was on the Georgia coast and Calhoun almost in Tennessee.

The funeral viewing had begun when we arrived. I have to admit I was a little angry with Barry’s ex-wife when we arrived. She could not make the trip to pick her son up for the funeral, but she could rent a hotel room and head to his mother’s house to start picking out what she wanted and driving poor Barry into a nervous frenzy. My aging father took the time to help me accomplish that task and she never said as much as a “thank you”.

I calmed Barry and got serious about circulating. Ignoring the cause os his nerve overload. Ms. Eva had a wonderful turnout. The mortician had done a beautiful job. The church service was well-done. Frank’s tearful memories were my undoing.

At the graveside service, the flowers were beautiful. As everyone was leaving the service to head back for lunch at the church. Barry, Frank, and I stayed back to take a few photos and take time for our good-byes.

Just as I said, “Ms. Eva, don’t worry, I’ll take care of your boys!” At that very moment, a rose fell off the casket in front of Barry and Frank and landed at their feet. We all froze and looked at one another. We still have those roses in a bible today!

Writing through Cancer: For the Week of July 21, 2013: Returning “Home”

Barry and I do lot of traveling, unfortunately we haven’t had time for a trip just “for us”. Most of our traveling has been to doctors, labs, coumadin clinics, nuerology clinic’s, oncology clinics, breast specislist, and infusion centers. Those are just for Barry and I, we also handle mom’s doctor’s trips.

Eventually we have plans for ourselves, but I think we will save that for the end of the year. Somewhere quiet that feels like home. Just the two of us, always alone. Loving time together, spoiling each other. After the few years we have been through, we deserve it.

We are discussing some where to spend Christmas away from home. Might take to puppy dog with us. Who knows! Anything is possible.

Returning “home” is the project, so let me stop babbling and get to it. Although our traveling has not been for pleasure, coming home still feels like heaven.

A trip to the grocery store feels like a 10K roadrace at time. So walking back into our meager abode from any trip away from it, is a pleasure.  I love the sight of my fuzzy, velour blanket draped over the arm of my favorite chair in the living room.

Waiting by my chair is Barry’s favorite rocker/recliner. He loves to rock, it relaxes him. His favorite blanket over the arm of his chair, also. His is fuzzy, plaid. But he is so cute asleep, with it cuddled under his chin.

Waiting at home for us, usually, is our sweet little Maggie with her Boxer waggle. Walk into the house and she makes you feel like you have been gone for weeks. She loves you to pieces whether you have been gone five minutes or a week. She loves you no matter what. Unconditional love, what you give your family on a daily basis. Did the Good Lord bless man’s best friend eith such a wonderful quality?

The feeling of brings warmth and comfort over you. Relaxation sets in and the comfy clothes come out. The clothes you would not be seen in public in, along with your favorite slippers. No matter how ratty. In “The Wizard of Oz”, Dorothy could have not said it better with “there is no place like home, there is no place like home”. There is truly, no place like home. Even without ruby red slippers to get you there.

Sad: Personal Prayer Request

Barry and I are doing something today that neither of us are ready to do. Barry’s father passed away in the early 90’s. My dad may turn this thing around and come out healthy as a horse, but according to the physicians, it is not going to happen.

His heart is giving up, his kidney’s are failing and he is starting to show signs of liver failure.  He has lost his appetite, along with hi will to live.

Sandy, Kristie and myself got that strong-will, along with a few other traits rrom Pop. I think I inherited Pop’s cool, calm and collected demeanor.  At least, until I had brain surgery. Now I have my moments when I feel like a totally different person. If I get a headache, I have to get into a dark room and pull out the pain killers. I do not care for the person I become when my head hurts. Sandy and Kristie lookmoike Pop. I am my mother made over.

We are headed to visit and get Pop signed up for Hospice Care. We’d also like to give Kristie a litttle break if we can. A Deacon from our church is coming out to meet and talk to dad about his Salvation. We know he is saved and was baptised when he was younger. We just want to make sure he yws asked for forgiveness of his sins. I think we will all feel better knowing.

It breaks my heart to see him in such pain and it breaks my heart to see Kristie run ragged. I think the move we are making today will make things easier on everyone. I hope we are making the right choice, but how do you know? Let’s take it one day at a time.

Please keep my dad and our family in your prayers. Have great day, everyone!

My Sisters, Wonder Woman in disguise…..Bet you never knew there were three

I am the middle child of three girls. We grew up in a small-town called Winder, Georgia, in the late seventies into the eighties. We are quite a mix, but we make it work. We all have excessively busy lives. We live within 30 minutes of each other and hardly ever see one another.

I’ll start with the oldest, Sandy, Wonder Women number one. She is hardworking, smart,detail oriented, sweet, loving, caring, kind-hearted, meticulous, adores her children and grandchidren, keeps an emmaculate home, takes incredible care of her husband, whom is wheelchair-bound from a spinal cord tumor. Dennis gets around and takes care of himdelf during the day, he even drives. He manages several household chores and always makes sure Sandy has a hot meal ready at night. She is the secretary at her church and drives a school bus for the county they live in.

She likes things done her way or no way; she doesn’t care to see things go wrong; she believes it is ok to plan gatherings the day before she wants to have it; she tells you what time something will start or what time she will arrive, but is always on average two hours late; but on the other hand. She has my love and respect, but I have to admit, I do not know how she does it. I would have packedup and run away a long time ago. She is one tired, incredible woman and I love her dearly. 

Our relationship has changed since I got sick. I miss the relationship Sandy and I had. We will probably never get it back. I had enough trouble accepting the “new me”, how can I expect others to understand and accept the changes I deal with daily. I just want to be included. If I am able, I’ll be there!

Brain injuries make a person vulnerable to infections and other things that could be deadly. That fact has kept me closer to home in the past few years. I’m a great aunt, now. I’d love to be able to play and have fun with them, just as I did her kids growing up. We had some great times.

Enough of that. Let’s get to Wonder Women number two, my younger sister, Kristie. Kristie is sweet, kind-hearted, loving, caring, smart, adores her dhildren and husband, focused, detail-oriented, hard-working, and is currently using her super powers to take care of father, who is gravely ill. Sandy snd I have helped when we could, but it hasn’t been close to enough to give her a break.

Kristie surprised me after I had brain surgery, she visited daily for a few weeks and cooked several meals, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it. She helped get me to rehab when Barry had a conflict. This was so sweet. Not that she hasn’t been sweet in the past,  Barry and I just were not expecting it. Thank you, Kris!

Kristie has a quick temper and let you know when she thinks you are wrong. I did not witness this, but she took a 6’6″ man to the ground and beat him up. Mom called her a “lightening bolt” when getting her up for school in our younger days. She still carries a bolt in her back pocket.

I love both my sisters with all my heart and will do anything in the world for both of them. Thank you both for being there when I have needed you! I could not have gotten better sisters if I had ordered them from a catalog. God truly blessed me in the sister department! Thank you, Dear Lord for my sisters!

My “EEeeeerrrrrry” Phone Call: God works in mysterious ways

Spring

A few years back, just before Barry and I married, I was enjoying my peaceful ride to work. I loved my time alone driving to work. I could crank the radio up or just have peace and quiet. Once I walked in the door at work, chaos always ensued.

I was sitting at a stop-light when my cell phone started ringing. It was a resident at the home I worked for. She wanted me to know that God had just spoken to her and said he was coming for her shortly. She requested that I call her family and get them to the home quickly, she wasn’t sure how much time she had and wanted to say good-bye. She requested I call the Hospice to get them to her bedside.  She then told me to be quick and careful getting to the office, but she needed to hug my neck one last time.

When she hung up, I immediately called the home to get someone to lay eyes on her. After contacting my supervisor, I did everything she asked. I decided to contact her pastor, since he was local.

Everyone made it to the home for a wonderful good-bye. When I arrived, I headed straight for her room. I walked in, sat on the bed next to her. She sat up, wrapped her arms around me and kissed my cheek. She whispered, “Thank you” in my ear and fell back on her pillow. She was gone. Our Heavenly Father had her at His side.

 

Letting Things Go

Our natural instinct, when confronted with an uncomfortable situation, is to fight to defend yourself or someone else’s honor.

One of the hardest things on earth to do is admit when you are wrong. There are times when our judgement is impaired by medical, personal, financial or other issues beyond our control.

There are times in life when our mouths speak before it connects with our brains. Unnecessary hurtful things can come out at times like these. God wants us to be kind to one another, do good things for each other, he doesn’t want people arguing over childish, petty behavior.

Our televisions and radios are packed full of garbage. This gives our kids open reign over what is right and wrong. Unless, we as parents, have teach our children the difference, how are they supposed to know the difference?

As an adult, I’m doing my best to adopt a new policy. I do have  medical issues, that can make me sound upset when I am not. I cannot control it. Barry and I work weekly on helping each other manage our learn to manage our new policy.

When I come across a difficult situation, I let it go! If I somone doesn’t understand what I am saying, I take a step back and say “Hold on a sec, I think that was taken the wrong way, let me repeat that”.

I have too many stressors in my life to let childish behavior get to me, I let it go and get on with my life. Having a medical condition does not give you an excuse to do ugly things and disrespect other people, just “LET IT GO!” Do what is right for you. Take care of yourself and let the little stuff go. You will feel a lot better.

Writing through Cancer: For the Week of July 14, 2013: Music is Good Medicine by Jill Baynes

After my brain surgery, I longed for the ability to sing. The side effects caused from the unremovable portion of the tumor, took my voice away. The tumor left in my head is pressing into cranial nerves, causing many of numerous parts of my body to malfunction from the shoulders up. The one thing I miss the most, continued to be the ability to sing.

I sang in chior as a child at church and continued into adult choir. As a middle-schooler, they offered chorus. I tried out and made the chorus in middle-school, then continued through high school. Apparently, I was blessed with a high soprano voice. At one point, I could actually hit a high C.

I loved to sing in the car. Especially when I was all by myself. I’d crank the radio up and sing my head off! I loved it. I miss it!

Barry and I found a church home locally last year. Since singing at church, I have been able to at least put words together that comes out like singing. It is not pretty, but the words come in a gersion of song. Thanks to our weekly worship, the good Lord is helping me find my voice again. I pray to thank Him for his blessings daily and sing my heart out weekly. Hopefully, my voice will continue to strengthen. In my case, music has definitely been good medicine.

Word of the Weekend for July 14, 2013: Fungible

Word of the Day
 
 
fungible\FUN-juh-bul\
 
adjective
 
1 :
being of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in the satisfaction of an obligation
 
2 :
interchangeable
 
3 :
flexible
 

 

Examples:
 
Since fruits and vegetables are regarded as fungible in this diet, you are allowed a total of five servings of either or both.
 
“Oil is a fungible commodity and its prices are determined in the global market.” — From an article by Gal Luft in The Wichita Eagle (Kansas), May 30, 2013
 
“Fungible”—which derives from the Latin verb “fungi,” meaning “to perform” (no relation to the noun “fungus” and its plural “fungi”)—is a word that often shows up in legal and political contexts. Something fungible can be exchanged for something else of the same kind. For example, when we say “oil is a fungible commodity,” we mean that when a purchaser is expecting a delivery of oil, any oil of the stipulated quantity and quality will usually do. Another example of something fungible is cash. It doesn’t matter what twenty dollar bill you get — it’s still worth the same amount as any other twenty dollar bill. In contrast, something like a painting isn’t fungible; a purchaser would expect a specific, identifiable item to be delivered. In broader use, “fungible” can mean “interchangeable” or sometimes “changeable, fluid, or malleable.”

Compliments of Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/