Sunday, March 30, 2008


This past ten days have been so hectic. My father had an intestinal blockage and ended up in the hospital for surgery. We know he is in congestive heart failure and he seems to be weaker, little by little. They did an ultrasound and found that a spot on his liver observed a year ago was bigger. During the surgery the surgeon removed it stating it was "bigger than a golf ball and very ugly." We learned on Thursday that it was malignant and an oncologist was brought in. I was surprised at how hard my mother seemed to take that news. One day when we were discussing his heart she said "When he goes I will lose my fighting partner." They have always disagreed and fought over the years. When my father did try to be affectionate she pushed him away.
It seems strange now to see her being caring. He comments that she is too old to be caring for him.

My job has me working at least 42 hours a week. My work schedule coincides with hospital visiting hours. We were at the hospital several times last weekend but I didn't seem him during the week. He finally came home after spending several days in ICU, a few on the ventilator.
He is very weak and has a visiting nurse and a walker. The end seems to be in sight. I told my mother that he has had a long and good life. She says life is never long enough. I just keep thinking about my sister-in-law who died leaving a young child. My father has seen his children grown and their children, even the youngest grandchild just got his driver's license. He now has three great grandchildren. My mother seems frustrated when I point out to her that we all have to die one day. I don't know how she will handle it when the time comes.

I was trying to think of good things about my father and the one thing that came to mind was a pearl of wisdom he once gave me. We were discussing my ex husband. My father felt that he could provide me with financial security and that should be enough. I told him that just wouldn't cut it for me. During our conversation I told him that it was odd that supposedly the opposite of love was hate. I don't hate my ex or anyone else. My father pointed out the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. I then pointed out that my ex had never showed up in court for our divorce hearing. He had never once asked me NOT to divorce him. My father then admitted that he finally agreed that the ex no longer loved me. From then on he never tried to tell me I made the wrong decision. There was another bit of wisdom he gave me too.

This year it felt like we didnt have Easter. We were all on pins and needles and my father was in ICU on a respirator and not doing well. We went to church and there was no family gathering or dinner. Instead Rob and I went to a diner. For the first time ever there were no Easter decorations or baskets. I did manage to pick up a chocolate rabbit for my son. He just got that today. I think it was so hard telling him today that the tumor was cancer. When my son was diagnosed with leukemia my father promised him he would be alright. He went on a fast for seven days, a real fast and prayed during that time for his grandson. He promised him that he would live and he did. He told him that one day he would look back at the chemo and think of it as an inconvenience but a lesson in life. That came true.

So tonight I try to keep all things in perspective. The glass is not half empty or half full. It is what it is....four onces of water. I am a realist. I know far more about cancer than I wish I did.
I don't force the knowledge on other family members, I let them think whatever they want to be comforted. I know that time is limited and in the meantime I have to go through the days doing the best that I can. On Saturday I made my father's favorite dish that I make and took it over and had dinner. First real meal he had in about ten days. He was appreciative. The little things are what matter now. I have to do everything I want to NOW.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

There's a lot of noise in my head.......

I have been so tired the past few weeks. I got the flu and it knocked my socks off. It started in my head and then after about a week when I felt the end was in sight moved into my chest where it is remained a thief of sleep and energy. I missed three days of work two weeks ago then managed to go in for two. My coworkers were not happy to see me. I felt somewhat guilty being there but the previous days were unpaid except for one. I got looks as I coughed. I assured them I was on antibiotics for over 72 hours and had no fever. I can be fired for missing too much work and my boss has been very understanding. The following week after coughing most of Sunday night I went back to the doctor and missed work last Monday. A prescription for cough syrup was about all I got...and reassurance that the flu could linger on another week or more. This was not what I hoped to hear. The cough syrup could only be taken when I did not need to be alert.
That meant at bedtime. I had to drag myself to work each day and endured asthmatic bronchitis while trying to asssist customers on the phone and devouring Halls and emptying box after box of tissues. Today I am still dragging a bit and yet I have so much to do. My taxes have not fully been assembled and I don't even know who will be doing them. I have a pile of clothes for the cleaners and errands to run tomorrow on my day off....after I attend mass at 9 a.m. I pray for healing. There are many things I want to do and it's hard to do any of them when I am still fatigued and actually sore from coughing. It does seem better today and I might try to run a few errands I was unable to do last weekend.
I hope none of you have caught this terrible bug. In the Northeast doctors say it has been a terrible flu season. To think I HAD the shot! Well, much to do including seeing that my cotton sweaters get properly laundered today.
Happy Sunday!

IF you want to see me performing the River Dance I'm the one with the longer black hair.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's almost here.................

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!!!

Voted Best Joke in Ireland 2008

John O'Reilly hoisted his beer and said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, between the legs of me wife!" That won him the top prize at the pub for the best toast of the night!
He went home and told his wife, Mary, "I won the prize for the Best toast of the night." She said, "Aye, did ye now. And what was your toast?" John said, "Here's to spending the rest of me life, sitting in church beside me wife." "Oh, that is very nice indeed, John!" Mary said.
The next day, Mary ran into one of John's drinking buddies on the street corner. The man chuckled leeringly and said, "John won the prize the other night at the pub with a toast about you, Mary."
She said, "Aye, he told me, and I was a bit surprised myself. You know, he's only been there twice in the last four years. Once he fell asleep, and the other time I had to pull him by the ears to make him come."

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

I was so looking forward to March......last weekend I woke up very sick. I was out of work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday seeing a doctor on Tuesday as well as last Saturday. Despite the fact that I had my flu shot I got the flu and a sinus infection. It has now moved into my chest and I have the nagging cough that makes people give you "the look". Yesterday I finally made it into the grocery store for just essentials and that wore me out. Today we went out for lunch and then planned to go to get Rob jeans and then candles. Got the jeans and I rushed him out of the store and back home where I could curl up in the comfy chair and finish reading Eat, Pray, Love.
Very good book and I know I will reread it when my head is clearer. We had planned an elaborate dinner but I couldn't handle that either. I need a good week of chicken soup and foot massages and pampering. I am working full time though and that is not to be. We were supposed to get a raise that has not yet come through. I was relieved to learn that I will be working 8 hour Mondays instead of the ten hour Mondays I had been working for a few months. That will help.
I got my significant other sick....I warned him to retreat to the guest room but he wouldn't. Luckily for him it didn't hit him nearly as hard and he seems pretty much back to normal.
I am weary and ready to take my cough syrup and call it a night.
I am hoping to wake up tomorrow feeling better and I am getting bitten by the travel bug.
Once I get my bills paid off...............................
my last visit to the emergency room left me owing about $400 and that is WITH insurance.
Fortunately my own insurance has kicked in since then and no ER visit can cost me more than $100. I can rest a bit easier knowing that. Good night. Sleep tight.