Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let This Moment Go On Please

I don't wanna get through this hard thing, if it means you'll be leaving me,
so let this moment go on, please.

I don't wanna wake to sunshine, if you're not laying next to me,
so let this moment go on, please.

I don't want a new prayer, or a new day, or a new way, if it isn't with you by my side.
So let this moment go on please. Just let it snow everyday and take my money all away. Let my health grow frail and my sight grow dim. I can't close this book or even turn the page...our story is one worth living.

(Lyrics for my next song)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Day At Lane Auto Body

Today is our last day at Lane Auto Body Techs. While we're sad to shut down our business, we leave feeling proud of every repair we've done.

Thanks to everyone for your patronage, support, and friendship over these past 35+ years. It's always been our pleasure to care for your vehicles and to serve you.



We wish you safe and happy motoring in the years to come!

Living In Disarray

You think it would be easy to lose track of days, but now we are on Hospice schedule. If Monday or Thursday, the home health aide comes to bathe Steven. Sometime during the week the nurse comes to check and see if we have any questions or concerns and to take his vitals. I usually try to keep track of garbage day for obvious reasons.

It's weird not going to the grocery store every other day for things. The last time I got gas was the end of May. It seems the only errands I run are to get a prescription. No more work schedule, or doctor schedule. I have a pile of returns to different places that will wait until whenever.

I find it hard to relax here at home because everything is in disarray. Furniture has been moved in every room to accommodate the wheel chair and medical equipment. There are clothes in stacks that haven't been put away, dishes on the counter washed and not washed. There are strips of trim he sometimes hand sands for the room he was working on and all my folders, laptop and adding machine from work.

Steve is tuckered out right now. He's had breakfast and sent off some emails. So he's taking nap #1 in the recliner. I finally got him there! His feet are swollen but when he raises them in bed the pain in his back becomes intense. I kept insisting the recliner was worth a try and I was right. As always.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hi God, It's Me Again

Hi God, it's me again. You know how the Canaanite woman cried out to you because you were her only hope in saving her daughter? You are my only hope and I cry out to you in desperation. I know you're always with me because you love me like no other. You cherish and claim both of us as son and daughter. This makes me so happy knowing how highly prized I am by the creator of the universe.

You want me free from fear, yet I'm in a precarious position. Steve and I have been brought to our knees in humility so you can draw us slowly and gently into your arms. How grateful I am for those arms.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

When He Hurts, I Hurt

When he hurts, I hurt. It makes me cry seeing he face screwed up in pain. I see his abdomen get bigger and can't imagine what the cancer in his liver is doing. I realized the extent of his frailness when bathing him hurt his skin. I don't know how he could get thinner than he is. Yet, he has decided to tone up his arms and wanted the hand weights. He counts how many times he gets up and walks. This man of mine is not going to lie in bed and take what comes.

When he sleeps, I sleep. We are up several times a night. Sometimes, I move into the spare room to give him the whole bed to try and find a way to ease the pain in his abdomen and his back. Then we cat nap 3-4 times during the day. I'm so blessed with the ability to lay my head anywhere, take 7 breaths and be out. Steve calls me a professional sleeper.

When he dies, I will die. I will go to bed and cover my head and will myself to die. Couples have been known to do that. I know I'm not as elderly as most who accomplish this, but I'll therefore have more brain cells to work with.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness...
Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Childhood Home

We have two of Steve's brothers staying with us. So they took Steve, oxygen, walker and all to visit family. One of the stops will be his parents who live on the Rock River. He'll get to sit by the river where he has fished and boated since his youth. He'll see the yard where he pitched a tent and played ball with his brothers. The garage where he borrowed dad's tools to fix his car and maybe did minor body work for the first time.



I wonder if he thinks, as I do, that it might be his last visit to his childhood home.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Friday, June 21, 2013

Irony

We had a couple messages from a doctors office wanting to give us the results from one of the brocoscopes done. I finally called them back and spoke to the nurse. She said the results were from when he was in the hospital recently. She said the biopsy from the test came back negative for cancer. After a pause I explained he has terminal cancer and is in hospice. She said the doctor wanted us to know that particular tissue had no cancer. I thanked her and hung up.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pain

This has become very hard for me. Steven is trying to deal with pain, so he is angry and frustrated. Neither one of us can imagine what is going on inside him. Our future not only seems bleak but downright scary. My husband is dying. His cancers are fighting to see who wins out in the end. They have taken so much from him, but can't take the important things like faith, hope & love.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Turning The Table

I am losing Steven one day at a time. Where there was muscle, it is now slack dry skin. Where humor governed our relationship, he now hardly smiles. The minutes in his day are taken up with pain and discomfort. Only he can decide what to take for pain and when.

A while back he had asked me to be happy. He said if this was all the time we had together then I need to be happy. Now I want to turn that back at him, but hesitate in any way to nag. I take his silence, and grimness as he holds his stomach, his lack of acknowledgement if I ask a question, as my due. After all I'm not going through what he is experiencing. Nothing I'm going through even comes close to comparing. I should have to suffer too...and I am.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

No Time

There doesn't seem to be time for this or anything else anymore. No workouts or sit down devotions. There are no meal plans or productive grocery shopping. No chatty phone calls to friends and family, or even books on CD.

While posting on the blog is not my top priority, I know a few people who rely on this for how we are both doing.

Steven is in pain. His stomach seems distended, or maybe the rest of him is too thin. I don't understand why he would endure the pain and not take the meds to relieve it. I've asked and received no answer. But his face reflects the pain he is in.

I struggle to see him like this and want to stomp my foot and tell him to take the damn morphine. There will come a time when I will have to let him know I'm okay for him to go. Maybe he knows that once he begins on the pain meds we are one more step closer to...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hope

Calamity is an uncontrolled disaster. If I believe in God, I have to believe he is in control, even of this. He has plans for both of us, that give us hope. And hope, means not giving up. There are no hoops to jump through with God, no prayer with special words. We just have to believe, what at this point, we cannot see. How good to know nothing is coincidence. How reassuring there is a wisdom behind all this. And someday when I finally have the chance to ask, it will matter so little I won't even think of it.

At this time, I may think how, short of a miracle, we will never camp again. The closest we get, is to loan it out to visiting family. We may never get further than the deck. But, I'd rather sit on the deck with my best friend Steven, than travel to anothers favorite vacation spot with a mediocre husband.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Question Is Why

I feel like I need to be careful what emotions I show Steve. If I'm tired or exasperated, he may think it is because I'm taking care of him and not me. If I go to counseling, he may think it's because of him, if I get someone to come and stay here with him so I can get away for awhile, what does that say to him? If I talk about it (the cancer), he shuts down. If he is shut down and I stay cheerful regardless, I'm insensitive. Not that he says any of this. He is just in pain and angry. When Steve doesn't feel good he doesn't complain, he shuts down.

I remember BC (before cancer) when a bad day would be a dentist appointment in the morning and I had to grocery shop on the way home. Dear God, I will never complain again about these two things. Or when we would be planning to camp and then find out it is suppose to rain. Please God, let it rain.

Being in this spot for 1 year, when 1 year was the prognosis given, is scary. Now we have stopped seeking medical treatment and have called hospice and it's hard to wrap your mind around what is going to happen in the next few weeks. Will I be the best wife I can be? What is best? Cool and calm because I prayed that morning? Then why am I crying? Why can't he catch a break? I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but I see Steven's face as he tries to endure this and I think it is too much. Why can't all this bad stuff he has dealt with be split between several people? Did we have a big red X on the roof of our house that said strike here?

In these hard life areas, I have learned to look for blessings. It may be the wording of a card sent in the mail, or the meal delivered to the door. Life sucks for us right now, but someone is taking our laundry and bringing it back clean. Family and friends have cleaned my house. Several have offering to do my shopping or whatever we needed. So far, no offers to go to the dentist for me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Anger Issues

I'm becoming easily aggitated. I hate it, but what am I to do? Sometimes anger can motivate us to change things. My hands are tied on watching this cancer eat away at my husband. To put it in a nut shell, his tumors must grow to the point of killing him and all that can be done is to medicate him until that happens. My goodness, that statement makes me want to break things. His back and stomach hurt terribly. This is probably the tumor in his liver growing and pushing against something. So give him morphine and dull the pain but then he is constipated. Give him something for that and it has the opposite effect.

I'm angry at my stupid body giving out when he needs me the most. His feet fall asleep and so they have to be 'woke up' before he can stand. It kills me to squat in front of him and do this. It kills me thinking of doing this. I wish it would kill me. I could be waiting for him in heaven with some one liner about beating him there.

It makes me angry that I can't make this go away with a mouse click like so many others. I know I'm right where I'm suppose to be, I just don't know how long this can go on and yet I can't say I want it to end. Good thing I have a counseling session today!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hi God, It's Me Again

Hi God, it's me again. I was wondering if you are getting a home ready for Steve? I know you know him better than even I, but thought I'd pass along a few tips.

He likes his coffee strong, his fish big and his beer ice cold. And I'm not going to worry about all those angels flinting around him. He deserves some happiness so let them flint and whatever else angels do.

God, thank you so much for giving me more time. I feel like we had a near brush with death and our thoughts all cross that line. But now he is home and I can love on him, and if I think of this as a gift I can't complain when his time does come. So I won't complain...but let's don't rule out begging.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday, June 10

Steve continues to surprise me. He is walking with a walker and practices 5 or 6 times a day pushing himself. He inspires me and makes me think about my views of life. I also can't help compare to those who disregard life as not fair and thinking they have more due to them. While some live on the edge, daring society to catch them, my husband struggles with each step, his oxygen tube in place.

Maybe there was a time Steve lived on the edge. Maybe things caught up with him, like smoking too long. But he worked hard for what he has and was fair and honest about how he got it. And when it comes to tenasicty, drive and ambition, he takes the cake. And I love cake.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday June 8th

Steven has decided he will walk again. I'm not sure what happened during his week on the ventilator but he lost the ability to use his legs. When asked to lift them straight up while laying in bed, he was able to raise them about 2 inches. Now, after much practice of just standing and balancing, he is walking a few steps. We are both encouraged. This man is not going to just lay in bed and take what comes his way. We have the pain meds ordered by hospice but so far he has not wanted them. He will take Aleve. His back has been hurting him with shooting pains and his feet and ankles are swollen. It's hard for him to get comfortable.



For me, while it is overwhelmingly demanding when you have to do so much for another person, I wouldn't have it any other way. We're getting a routine going, which involves being up at 3 a.m. for coffee. Not sure how we do it, but we manage to fall asleep after an hour or so. Still worried about my body holding up for the physical part of moving and transferring him.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

No Idea What Day

Steven and I are hanging in there. No major problems. We don't have a routine yet but maybe we won't. Maybe we will be up all night and sleep all day, who cares. I told him I'm on vacation so lets enjoy.

Our nurse brother went home. He was indispensable to me when he was here. Pic line flushing, catheters, oxygen and muscle when I needed it. Plus, he got thru my 'to hard for me to do' list. We have Missouri here now and Chicago next week. I have a friend picking up baskets of dirty laundry to wash and bring back all clean, and we had dinner delivered. God is good providing. My prayer is that my body holds up to continue moving Steve from bed to chair, and that we have many more moments of laughter on this day.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

Home. Sleeping with my baby tonight, getting up and getting his breakfast tray, toast on the right (no pooled butter) fruit on the left. New box of Lucky Charms, I'm not sure where the last bowl disappeared to. Our own private nurse who also is a brother and very strong.

There was the man who brought oxygen and another guy dropped off the IV stand and supplies. Hospice came and did an assessment. I'm learning so much about catheters and pain meds, oxygen and where to place pillows for the most comfort.

A nurse told me she had never encountered anyone excited to go home and have hospice come. I told her I didn't think I'd have another chance to hear him talk, let alone go home, after last week. God has given us more time. And every time Steve smiles at me or caresses my hand, I thank Him.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Getting Oxygen The Hard Way

We had a meeting with the doctor and a social worker to discuss hospice. Steve wants to go home today. Thank God he agreed to wait until tomorrow.

So I had a friend call a friend and we now have a walker, wheelchair and commode waiting at our home. We also called for some family to help, one of them a nurse. I've got furniture moved to accommodate a wheelchair. We will take the IV with the antibiotic and the oxygen home with us. I can't wait.

Hard to believe its been two weeks since we went to the doctor to get oxygen. Some people have to do things the hard way.