Thursday, December 30, 2010

thriving thursday

tears, tears, and more tears
Selling the business finally hit John last night and he cried for a long time after we went to bed.  Once he finished, we both slept well.  He got up before me this morning [duh] and made coffee.  I could hear him sniffling.  He told me he had already had cereal, so I made myself a couple of fried eggs and sat at the table with him.  It was obvious he had been crying for a while. 
He admitted selling the business was getting him down, along with other regrets; not saving more money, not doing more to tell people about Jesus; etc.  It took another hour or so of talking and crying before he could stop.  But when the tears ended, John was himself.  He worked through it remarkably well.  I told him again how proud I am that he started a business and had it 20 years and worked it until he absolutely couldn't. 
We went outside to look at his equipment and what we were keeping and what was to be sold.  It probably helped to see everything, touch it, tell what pieces go with what.  I was surprised at how much I actually knew about the equipment.

Fun, fun, fun!  The Hospice music therapist came today.  She plays guitar and sings.  She played "Country Roads" by John Denver.  John recognized it.  She also did "One Day At A Time" which should be my theme song, except it's been so overdone I almost can't enjoy it.  I'm jealous because she has the "AFI Top 100 Songs" and it was amazing!  [I choked up when I saw "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge.]  Anyway....we ended up with me at piano and she on guitar, mostly instruments only.  Occasionally I'd sing.  Piano/guitar is an excellent blend.  John loved it.  She sightread over my shoulder from my repertoire of choruses.  At the end we did a horrible rendition of "Singing In the Rain."  When we finished, she asked him if he recognized it and he said, "No."  We busted out laughing because it's his favorite show tune from childhood.  "That bad, huh?" I asked. 
She'll come again in 2 weeks.

Then came the time to sell the business.  The buyer had everything in order; 3 copies of all the documents.  John had to sign his name a bunch of times, and he did pretty well.  Grabbed one of the neighbors to witness the signatures.  We had a long visit with the family who bought the business once the papers were signed.  Their daughter, and the mom, loved all my nesting dolls, so I gave them one I brought from Kyiv. 
Lots of people have asked me how I'm doing.  I say OK because I'm so busy in the middle of it all.  I'll fall apart later, I'm sure.  Don't have time now.

Emailed Pastor Bob's secretary and he wants to come over next week.  I asked if he'd do the memorial service and could we have it at Wildwood.  The secretary sent info on what the bereavement committee helps with, facilities, and program printing.  That's what I love about that church.  It's organized but with heart. 

Made an appointment for someone to look under the house and make sure we're not slipping away.  funkiness goin' on

It's been a stress-relieving day. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

wasting wednesday

We slept fairly well last night.  John was awake a lot but stayed quiet in bed, not tossing and turning like usual.  He got up ahead of me and made coffee, and when I got up, I knew something wasn't right.  His language took a dive in the night.  He seemed disoriented, kind of like he was after the seizures.  He hardly talked at b'fast and couldn't focus well, was really slow with eating.  After pancakes, John said he knew he was acting weird and didn't know why.  As the day went on, he slowly got better and perked up some.  I ran errands for almost 3 hours.  It felt good to be out and about.  Didn't feel guilty about leaving John home.  He rested and even nuked lunch.  I brought him Whataburger, which he ate later. 

The electric blanket I got him for Christmas [actually Sharon picked it up for me] didn't have the controls in the box.  I went to Walmart and they gave me the controls out of another box so we could keep the sage green one. 

Spent more time being with John today.  He wasn't very talkative until 8 tonight, and we talked mostly about God and what people believe and is he getting the message out about what Christ has done for us.  He is very concerned that more people don't know.

I emailed Pastor Bob today to see if he'd do the memorial service at Wildwood.  The lady buying the business is coming over with her husband tomorrow to check out the equipment and sign the agreement.  John is now stressing about every aspect of this.  Who will the check be made to?  Is he asking too much or too little?  Why can't she take the stuff tomorrow?  Will he have enough to pay taxes, his bills, and live on?  I can't imagine what it's like to be him right now.  He's really dragging his right foot today, especially when he gets tired.

The Hospice music therapist is coming tomorrow.  This will probably do me more good than John. 

When I asked if we could have everybody over Saturday to celebrate Mama's b'day, he gave me a thumbs-up. 

Trying to go to bed earlier in preparation for the sad day I have to go back to work. 
The last of the pretty leaves are falling off.  We're on a warming trend now, thank goodness.  Enough of temps in the 20's!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

doing or being?

John made me stop today and lay with him on the couch.  It was nice.  Sometimes I get so busy doing things I forget to be with him.  I think since we're in the house together and I'm putzing around, I'm with him.  But he doesn't think so.  Since he can't read or write anymore, and tv is hard to follow, he's terribly bored.  So much so, he's called several of his friends to talk on the phone as best he can.  He enjoys it when his niece calls especially.  And speaking of the kids...............

Tim, Jennifer, and the kids sent us a 'junk and love box' for Christmas.  It arrived today and John absolutely wore himself out having fun with the contents.  They sent us toilet paper, shampoo, lotion, razors, shave cream, napkins, books from Idaho, maps, coffee filters, hot chocolate, a blanket, moose poop; all kinds of things.  For years, John has sent them a junk box for Christmas filled with items he finds during the summer cleaning rush, along with new things.  They also included a sweet letter about them being sad this is his last Christmas, and they wanted to send a box to him.  The kids also put in their Christmas stockings filled with stuff they chose; mugs from their town, post cards, hand drawn pictures/notes, and I got a picture ornament from a kids' meal.  
John said it was perfect; the bestest Christmas they could ever give him.  He called Tim and later Georgia called John.  He is slap wore out.  We took pictures of him/us with the loot, and also of him in front of the stockings hanging on our mantle.  
He now has a headache.  Back to reality unfortunately.  But it was an excellent break from it.
John's parents are coming Sunday for a week.  I'm so glad because I'll be able to work another week without taking days.  I'm not afraid to leave him by himself yet.  Mornings are a challenge though because he's slow waking up and getting going, but once he does, he's good.  Bored but good.  And he's taken rests when he feels tired, which he used to fight.  He can't wash dishes anymore.  His right hand is not trusty.  I've enjoyed our carefree days this holiday.  If we had someone to be here when he gets up in the mornings after I go to work, it would be perfect.  I'm going to try to line up some of his friends to come during the day, the week after his parents leave, just to visit and chat and maybe bring lunch. 
Taking it one week at a time, one day at a time.  Trying for more being and less doing. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

snowy sunday, mellow monday

Christmas was great fun as always at my parents'.  Sharon, Bobby, and Marshall beat us out there because John wanted to be clean and not gross to everyone.  We washed his hair, bathed, shaved, packed.  Got a thoughtful call from one of our high school classmates checking on us.  Marshall called while we were loading the car to see where we were.  When we got there, we let him go ahead and open his presents so we could eat in peace.  The adults opened theirs after lunch.  Only John and I spent the night.

In the night, John woke up with a headache.  He went into the next room and sat in a chair for a while.  Being the tough dude he is, he wouldn't take any pain meds.  It got so bad, he finally broke down and took 1/4 of a pain pill.  Half an hour later he took another quarter pill.  Nothing was helping.  After a while, 1/2 a tablet, accompanied by vomiting.  Morning came, along with snow.  The flakes were large and swirled in the wind.  Mama and I went out for something and Fluffy had snowflakes on her fur.  It snowed for over an hour.  During that time, I had called hospice and the nurse was on her way.  She ended up in Georgia because GPS sends you there on an incorrect route through the woods on a imaginary road to my parents' neighborhood.  When she finally found us, with Mama meeting her at the main road, John had fallen asleep thankfully.  While the nurse was there, we changed his bandage.  The tumor had grown and the bulge was touching the back of his ear.  This was new.  There was tons of yellow drainage.  I've noticed that when he has headaches, the next time we change his bandage, there's more yellow than usual. 
The nurse thinks it's puss and not brain fluid.  The stitch bled more than usual also, and made a mess.  She taught me how to give him liquid morphine and what pills to give him for nausea.  He took one and it helped for a while.  He didn't want morphine and chose to keep taking the pain med Dr. Chemo had given us.  I think John has a mental block against the 'comfort kit' of meds because those are for 'end of life' and he knows he's not there yet.  He wants to be, but every nurse that sees him says he's 'not there.' 
Daddy went to our house and plugged in the heater in the van so the tubes wouldn't freeze, and dripped faucets inside the house because it was cold and getting colder.  John wanted deperately to go home.  I figured out the reason was because we knew it was going to be in the 20's at night and the heater needed to be turned on.  When I told him Daddy had already plugged it in, John said, "I guess we can stay another night then." 
He slept better, got up at 3:30 to eat cereal and take more pain meds.  Got up around 9 this a.m.  Ate, laid back down, then got up and started getting dressed.  He was READY to get home.  We had a quiet day, back to 'normal.'
Our main Hospice nurse came.  John hasn't lost weight, had his usual sense of humor, and when we changed the bandage, the tumor didn't look as large.  Now 2 stitches are bleeding.  She gave me a 'spill' kit in case the tumor ruptures, but not using those exact words.  Don't know if having the kit gives me comfort or fear. 
Tonight, our preacher and Sunday School teacher came by for over an hour.  It was a great visit.  Very real.  John again told them all that matters is knowing Christ and what he did, and trusting him because we have nothing to offer God to redeem ourselves.  He is still eloquent when it comes to God.  very inspiring

Got a call from my dr's nurse and the osteo has spread in my body.  They want me to go to my endocrinologist [thyroid dr] because my thyroid issue is probably feeding the osteo problem.  I already have an appt to see her this summer.  In the mean time....I HAVE to start exercising again.  My hip always feels better when I'm moving regularly.  AND, the biggie..........drink less coffee.  Eat more dairy foods and dark greens.  I know what to do.  Just do it!!!!!