Thursday, November 25, 2010

Especially Thankful

Really, really thankful for so many things.  It's been a good day.  Lunch with the parents, dessert with them and their pastor & family, hunting, sister's family @ dinner.  Saw an armadillo, squirrels, birds, and the biggest deer track I've ever seen.  Now to find the buck leaving the print!
No early shopping or hunting for me.  
Love to all,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving should be done every day.
A Hospice nurse came by this morning for preliminary meet & greet/answer questions, get us in their system so when we really need them, we're ready to go.  She was incredibly nice and patient with all our questions.  Of course, John made us laugh several times during the dreaded conversation.  He is amazing.  That is the peace that comes from putting your trust solely in God.

This morning, John reminded me again for the millionth time to remember the most important thing is to know what God has done through Jesus; given us redemption, salvation from eternal damnation/separation from God.  Only by accepting Jesus's death and resurrection can we be saved from hell and made with God.  Christ alone.  God's word alone.

About 3 weeks ago we had to put our cat, Smokey, to sleep.  He was at least 14 years old, and the best cat ever.  He never meowed until I actually got out of bed in the mornings, and many mornings I'd wake up with his nose an inch from my face, willing me to wake up.  I could tell when storms were over because he'd come out from under the bed.  Smokey and Spike the chiuaua were great pals.  His 'happy place' was in a kitchen cabinet.  It was 'his' from the day we moved into this house.  When he'd get his shots at the vet, he'd get out of his carrier and head for the cabinet.  If it was shut, he'd paw it open, climb in, and come out occasionally to fuss at me, then go back in for a while.  He hid his favorite toy mouse in the very back corner.  On cold days, he'd hide under the bed covers curled in a ball.  If you touched him, he'd grunt at you. 

Smokey has a large mass in his abdomen that grew quickly in a 3 week period.  He could have gone through surgery and chemo, but I said one man on chemo in this house is enough.  He wasn't eating and had lost 4 pounds; wasn't hopping on the couch with us or even onto his condo to look out the window.

And then there's the time HE hit a car.  Smokey's right eye had been put out in a fight years ago, so he never saw the car coming from the right until he hit its front hubcap.  I saw it happen, shut my eyes, and when I opened them again, he was gone--for good I thought.  I called John all in a panic.  He searched the neighborhood for an hour and couldn't find the cat.  Three days later, while I was on the phone with John, up ran Smokey from under the shed behind the house; his favorite place to hide out. 
We won't even talk about him tearing his ACL and having surgery to fix it............

We miss Smokey a lot.

John's accountant told us about donating bodies to FSU College of Medicine.  I've researched the process, and it's only a little more cost than regular cremation, which John wants in order to keep costs down.  I'd feel better about cremation knowing the use of his body could help someone else down the road. 
All donated bodies go to the Anatomical Board in G'ville.  If you don't specify a particular location for research, it goes to the next open spot.  We'll specify FSU.  The disclaimer says it takes 2 years after donation before you get your loved one's remains.  Two years is a long time.  But if it helps in the research to find a cure for brain tumors, it would be worth it. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the word doesn't even begin to be adaquate.  [Does that statement even make sense????]  But you know what I mean! 

Goofing around T'giving 2009

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First Entry Jitters

Yesterday I bought a digital camera for the first time.  Today I'm blogging for the first time.  Guess I'm finally entering the 21st century. 
It's also been a very long time since I put thoughts into written words on a regular basis. 
My goal is for my entries to not be just about dealing with John's illness, but other aspects of life, too. 

We started dating almost 8 years ago.  August 31, 2009, John had his first seizure, caused, as we found out later, by a brain tumor.  It's glio-blastoma, or "the kind Ted Kennedy had."  The average life-span once it's diagnosed is 18 months.  We're 15 months from the original seizure, but I choose to think of it as a great year.  In February, 2010, they removed the second growth of the tumor, then in March, two incision revisions.  May brought another trip to the hospital because of air leaking into his brain from the incision.  Those stitches are still in his head.

In April, John proposed marriage.  We were married in May and June, and in September, we celebrated our honeymoon by visiting Cumberland Island, GA. 

This is part of an email I sent out Oct. 16th:

I went with John (Dennis) to see the brain surgeon yesterday.  The purpose was
to find out when he could have the incision redone by the plastic surgeon.

When Dr.  looked at the site and found out it rarely leaks, he said we should leave well-enough alone and not fix it. 

I mentioned that in the last 2-3 weeks, there has been a decline in his speech and
ability to process what's said; could this be tumor related or effects from surgery, and
Dr. said it could be either one.  I am very anxious to have an MRI done. 

John and I have talked more about him not having the corrective surgery and he's not
happy with Dr.'s decision.  After the MRI, we're to go back for the results, and at that time, John will tell the Dr. his feelings about not having the surgery.  He can't get that side of his head wet, and hasn't been able to since May.  He has to wear a bandage whenever he goes anywhere, and he's just tired of it.

We are waiting for an MRI appointment.  Chemo week is a little tougher
each time, but Dr. Chemo doesn't want to back off the high dose. 
John's attitude is good, and if you've talked to him, his sense of humor is still intact.  Not to say there aren't down days, but overall, he's a trooper!

Chemo in November went very well.  The MRI found the tumor had returned.  When John pressed the Dr., he gave him 6 months.  This started the conversations about cremation, Hospice, funerals, and everything else you can imagine.  It seems to help John to talk and plan.  Some days it drives me nuts.  Isn't there more to life than liquidation of everything you've lived?  If John wants to go to Burger King, we're going.  If he wants me to keep my hair long, that haircut can wait.  It's pretty much whatever he wants. 

In other postings I'll relay some from the conversations we've had and decisions we've reached.

Hmmmm...........this wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.