Monday, February 28, 2011

Diamonds are a girls best friend!

Another hectic weekend has passed.  Everyone has picked up the last of the estate sale items.  We are finishing moving Ron's personal items to my house.  We must have made 6 trips to the local Goodwill donation center this weekend.  Some of it Ron's stuff and some of it mine.  I'm moving out things from my house to make room for Ron's things.  It was a whirlwind of activity!  In the midst of all this activity we also managed to purchase our wedding rings.  That was fun!  I love my simple antique band with diamonds and he loves his as well.  I tried to take a picture of my ring but it didn't turn out.......I'll try again.  

Ron is in a good place right now.  He's upbeat and positive and that is wonderful!  We will set a date soon but we are just waiting for the oncology appointment and some idea of what comes next.  He would like for his daughter and her family to be here and we need to give them enough notice since they live so far away.  Otherwise we would just set a date.  I just want to do it before the chemo starts taking its toll.  If his daughter can't come for the wedding I want to be able to take a trip to see her but I want Ron feeling well enough to go and enjoy himself.  I've never been to Durham, NC so I am looking forward to going.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Twos Company

I always thought I liked living alone.  Maybe I was just resigned to the fact and made the best of it.  But I'm here to tell you I love having someone to come home to after a late night meeting or to wake up to in the morning.  I'm even having fun just getting used to all our little quirks.  For instance, I'm notorious for picking up empty glasses and washing them and putting them away.  Ron on the other hand likes to keep one glass to refill as he gets the fancy.  Poor guy, he sets his glass down and before he can blink I've snatched it, washed it, dried it and back in the cabinet it goes.

So, the other night, after surveying the living room for empty glasses and not finding any I went on to the kitchen where something caught my eye.  Way up on top of the refrigerator sat an empty water glass.  I really got tickled and then called Ron into the kitchen.  Pointing up to the glass I asked, "Did you really think THAT would stop me?"  He replied, "I didn't think you could reach it."    I then reached behind him and got my folding stool.......I said, "I maybe short but I have tools."

I'm not without flexibility, I went to Walmart and got him a huge water jug he can keep filled up and leave in the refrigerator.

This morning I had to be at work early for a meeting.  I was in the kitchen trying to fix my brother's breakfast and having a heck of a time.  I couldn't see out of my glasses for some reason.  I was muttering about needing new glasses when Ron came in looking quite fashionable in MY glasses.  Seems we made a swtich.  We were both quite amused at ourselves.  I told him that sort of thing never happened when I was living alone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow Days

This was taken on our recent snow day.   I hadn't been sledding since I was 10 years old!   What fun!

Gorgeous day today.  I went with Mike to see his psychiatrist.  He's doing really well right now.  The change in medication has turned out to be a blessing.  His anxiety is much better and we are going to move to the next step and hire some in-home care.  It's going to be expensive but not as expensive as a nursing home and a lot less restrictive for Mike.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Ron and I are adjusting to living together.  It is different from when I married at the age of 20 and everything was so new.  We are old hands at compromise, we have the wisdom of age to help up know where our priorities are.  Maybe we are so thankful now for every second we can have together that we have been freed from the petty things that tear at relationships.  

Last night Ron woke me up as he tossed and turned, crying out once in his sleep.  I immediately began to gently stroke his back as he settled back to sleep.  I however was unable to return to sleep and simply kept my hand resting on his arm.  I tried to memorize the feel of him and couldn't imagine the time when I would never be able to touch him again.  It still is not in my comprehension which is probably a good thing.  I'm continually amazed by how normal things seem at times.  The fact that Ron is not that sick keeps life going as usual and I'm so afraid that chemotherapy and radiation are like monsters waiting around the corner ready to pounce and steal the "normal" moments from us.

It is imperative that I keep my emotions under control so I don't let cancer win.  It may take Ron's life but it will not rob of us this time to say good-bye.  I told him how lucky I am to have had him in my life these past 10 years.  He changed my life in more ways than he will ever know.  I wish everyone in the world could know what a kind, gentle person he is and what a gentleman.  He doesn't just talk-the-talk, as they say, he walks the walk.  I love him with all my heart!  I'll always love him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The House Is Empty

Everything sold at the estate sale and I mean everything.  There isn't even a nic-nac left, just the dust bunnies where the furniture used to sit.  I was absolutely astonished!  There were over 500 Nascar replicas and everyone one of them is gone.  These people did a fantastic job with the sale and they were so nice and sensitive to the situation.  They treated all of Ron's parent's things with such respect and I was so appreciative.  All we have left to do is have the house cleaned and move the rest of Ron's personal things (clothes and pictures) to my house.  We are moving his bedroom suite to Mike's house but I'm not even sure why now.  Since Mike's future is uncertain.  We'll get a final total on the sale by the end of the week.

I'm so torn about my brother.  He is so scared and anxious about a nursing home that it gets me to thinking maybe there is another way.  The only way I could take care of both Ron and Mike is if I were retired and I'm just not old enough yet.  I really need to work another 4 1/2 years.  However I will be 62 in July and I may have to seriously think about retiring then.  Caregiving is a full time job and I seem to have 3 full time jobs at the moment.

The moment Ron moved into the house everything started falling apart.  The dishwasher quit working, there is a crack in the tile around the bathtub, I need an electrician and some major sheetrock repair.  Good grief.  That's what comes with an old house I guess.  I'll tackle one thing at a time.

I am going to spend every day just loving Ron and supporting him the best way I can.  However he needs to go through this journey I will take my cue from him.  If he remains optimistic and hopeful to the end I will be careful not to put doubt in his mind and I'll be right there to cheer him on.  There are so  many lessons to learn and I will do my best.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

                                                                  Peek a boo
                                                                     "you talkin to me"

I'm dog sitting for my daughter.  Her mother-in-law's funeral is tomorrow in Amarillo.  One of her friends flew her there in his private plane to meet her husband.  I'm dog grandma for a few days~
The great thing about having so many things going on at once is that I can't dwell on any one of them for long.  As I deal with my brother I forget what is happening to Ron.  When I'm focused on Ron I forget for a moment about my brother.  Unfortunately the person who gets lost completely is me.  No time to think about myself and though I try to be an unselfish person as much as I can I miss "me".  I miss my own daydreams and wishes, I miss my daughters.  I haven't had time to spend with them for almost 2 years.   But enough of that self-pity......

I got a chance to talk to my boss this morning.  She called and I was able to catch her up to speed on what is going on with me.  I'm going to go ahead and take President's day off tomorrow and hopefully get out to visit a nursing home or two. 

Mike fluctuates from being agreeable to argumentative.  He's scared and I wish I could help him feel better.  He thinks it will be like the mental hospital and he will have no freedom.  He's afraid he will be abandoned.  He said he is fighting feeling resentment toward Ron because I am going to take care of Ron and not him.  I wish I could do everything but I can't.

I write about these things because I've always journaled my thoughts.  I've done it for over 50 years.  I don't know if this is an appropriate format for doing so but it has meant so much to hear from people and to receive the encouragement of others.  I feel like I need to somehow be giving something back.  I hope that somehow sharing my experience would somehow benefit someone else but for the life of me I can't see how.  Sometimes I feel that this is nothing but another form of whining.  If this weren't actually happening to me I'm not sure I'd even read my own miserable babble.  I do appreciate all the kind words and encouragement I have received from everyone and just want to say thank you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

OK..where to begin.  Ron's PET scan results were not what I hoped.  The lung cancer has been confirmed.  It had grown but only slightly and the cancer at the original site had grown also.  The doctor was very vague and only said he was referring Ron to an oncologist.  He said he couldn't give him any prognosis but that would come from the oncologist.  Ron was actually very upbeat and said it was better news than he expected.  They didn't see any cancer anywhere else.  Soooo next week we will get the referral.

On the subject of my brother, well, no hospital would admit him.  We did see the psychiatrist at community mental health and he again changed Mike's medictions.  He put him on Thorazine (which doesn't thrill me) there are many side effects, Prozac, and he's still on Resperidone.  The doctor said if Butch or I can't take care of him he needs to be in a nursing home.  Then we were warned that a nursing home may be hesitant to take him because of the "gun" purchasing issue.  I don't plan to volunteer that information myself.  So....we are back to square one. 

I brought Mike home with me because my sister-in-law won't allow him to stay at their house.  I was lucky to get some help for 2 days.  Butch stayed with Mike at his house but he was done as of today.  So, I guess I'm going to take care of 2 sick men.   I now have to find time to start searching for a nursing home.  The psychiatrist did say that after 12 to 18 months if Mike were stablized he would be able to go back home.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or bad.

I'm just numb.  I realize that Ron's cancer is terminal but he isn't ready to accept that and that's OK.  I'm glad he is still feeling positive.  I just wonder if any doctor is going to be honest with him.  If he gets a terminal diagnosis he could file for disability and receive Medicare.  That would help financially but I'm not going to say anything about it to Ron.  I'll just wait to see what the oncologist says.

I also worry that they may put him through hell for nothing.  Chemotherapy and radiation treatments that will offer no hope for recovery.  I want them to be honest with Ron so he can make an informed decision for himself. 

Unfortunately Ron's lack of communication has caused hurt feelings with his daughter.  She saw the website for the estate sale and was hurt because she wanted some of her grandad's WWII items.  I thought Ron had talked to her and asked her what she wanted but he didn't.  I think he is embarassed about the financial problems he is having.  Now we have to pay the estate company their commission on those items in order to get them back.  I don't think we are supposed to be going backwards but seems we are. 

On the saddest note of all my other son-in-law lost his sweet mother today.  She died this morning after a very short battle with leukemia.  I'm going to be dog sitting for a few days so my daughter can get to Amarillo.  Larry's father was a minister for 48 years and passed away 2 years ago and his mother was a dear sweet woman.  Larry said today that they are back together as it should be.

Do you think there is a light at the end of this tunnel????????  Somebody wave a candle or something!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The estate sale is just about ready.  I hope it is a success!

I've been sick with some kind of bug.  Mike is going back to the hospital.  Found out he bought a gun.  (Our gun laws evidently aren't worth a hoot) He was having suicidal thoughts again so we are getting him back into the hospital. 

Tomorrow we get the results of Ron's PET scan.  His appointment is at 9:45 and I'm terrified.  I hope I can be strong for Ron.  Sometimes I feel like I'm standing outside myself watching events unfold around me.  Sometimes I feel like I've lost myself and I have no idea who I am anymore.  There are so many things in my life that I have absolutely no control over.  I'm just a passenger along for the ride, nothing more than a spectator.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

These were taken from my back door last week.  The falling snow is beautiful to watch.  Friday I actually went sledding with the staff and kids at the hospital.  I haven't done that in 50 years!  So much fun but soooo cold!  The kids were having a ball.  I think we actually demolished about 4 sleds.

The estate sale items are now being set up for display.  It's hard to see so many beautiful things having to be sold but we just don't have enough room for everything.  Ron's a little down but I think he'll be OK.  Yesterday was his birthday and we are all going out tonight to eat.  Hopepfully that will cheer him up a little bit.  The contract has been signed on the house and it closes on the 14th of March.  So much happening so fast...I'm hanging in there.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cajun Fishing

A Louisiana Cajun was stopped by a game warden because he had two ice chests full of fish. He was leavin' a bayou, well-known for its fishing.
The game warden asked the man, 'Do you have a license to catch those fish?'
'Naw, sir', replied the cajun. 'I ain't got none of dem there licenses. You gotta unnerstan', dese here are my pet fish.'
'Pet fish?'
'Yeah. Evry night, I take dese here fish down to de lake and let 'em swim 'round for 'while. Den, when I whistle, dey jump right back into dis here ice chests and I take 'em home..'
'That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that.'
The cajun looked at the warden for a moment and then said, 'It's de truth Mr. Government Man. I'll show ya. It really works.'
'O. K.', said the warden... 'I've got to see this!'
The cajun poured the fish into the lake and stood and waited.
After several minutes, the warden says, 'Well?'
'Well, what?', says the cajun..
The warden says, 'When are you going to call them back?'
'Call who back?'
'The FISH', replied the warden!
'What fish?', replied the cajun.


Moral of the story:
  • We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we ain't as dumb as some government employees.
  • You can say what you want about the South, but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving north.

    An oldie but goodie!
    A farmer stopped by the local mechanics shop to have his truck fixed. They couldn't do it while he waited, so he said he didn't live far and would just walk home.

    On the way home he stopped at the hardware store and bought a bucket and a gallon of paint. He then stopped by the feed store and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. However, struggling outside the store he now had a problem - how to carry his entire purchases home.

    While he was scratching his head, he was approached by a little old lady who told him she was lost. She asked, 'Can you tell me how to get to 1603 Mockingbird Lane ?'

    The farmer said, 'Well, as a matter of fact, my farm is very close to that house. I would walk you there but I can't carry this lot.'

    The old lady suggested, 'Why don't you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm and carry the goose in your other hand?'

    'Why thank you very much,' he said and proceeded to walk the old girl home..

    On the way he says 'Let's take my short cut and go down this alley. We'll be there in no time.'

    The little old lady looked him over cautiously then said, 'I am a lonely widow without a husband to defend me.. How do I know that when we get in the alley you won't hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt, and have your way with me?'

    The farmer said, 'Holy smokes lady! I'm carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up against the wall and do that?'

    The old lady replied, 'Set the goose down, cover him with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I'll hold the chickens.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

House Offer

Ron has an offer on his house!  Now comes the negotiating but I think they are really close to an agreement.  The estate sale is scheduled for a week from Friday and it seems to be going well.  There are so many beautiful things being sold.  Ron's mother took immaculate care of her things and they look as new today as the day she purchased them.  It should be a good sale.

Ron's PET scan has been scheduled for Valentines Day.  The doctor's appointment has been rescheduled but we don't know the date yet.  Things are moving quickly.  Of course I'm hoping surgery will be on the horizon which means I could be the one finishing the sale of the house and the move.  Oh well......I'm used to this stuff by now.

I'm in the process of clearing out clutter from my house.  I figure if it is in a closet and I haven't looked at it in 2 years out it goes.  I'm not much of a clutter bug anyway so it shouldn't take long to make more space in the house.  

This is going to be quite the adventure.....combining two lives.  Where to hang his family pictures, his car collection, etc?  I really wish we had been able to move to a neutral that was new for both of us but it just isn't in the financial cards at this time.  We have too many unknowns looming ahead of us.  I'm way too practical to even consider it.  

We are bracing ourselves for the next snow storm but I have a feeling it won't be as bad as last week or at least it won't last as long.  We are expecting above freezing temperatures this weekend so whatever snow we get will probably melt quickly.  I hope so anyway. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Oh my goodness!  Here we go again.  The snowplows cleared my street on Saturday (of course blocking my driveway completely) and now we are gearing up for another storm starting tomorrow night.  Ron and I went to Walmart Saturday night and the shelves were empty!  I mean empty!  There was no meat, no bread, no fresh vegetables....I sure hope they get a truck or two in before tomorrow!

Friday, February 4, 2011

OK, snow flurries today and then more snow by Sunday night.  Just when I got my car dug out here we go again.  I was wanting to make an offer on the car I found but I probably won't get to it until next week.  

Ron is waiting for the doctor to schedule his PET Scan.  His appointment with the doctor to get the results has already been scheduled for Feb. 11 (Ron's birthday no less).  I'm really worried because Ron has suddenly started losing weight and it is very noticeable.  It just started falling off him. He's still getting sick every time he eats anything and it lasts for about an hour.  

It's weird.....I'm ready to face whatever is coming but then I wish we could just wait awhile longer without knowing.  Pretend that everything is normal and that we have all the time in the world.  Ron has been expressing his feelings more and more.  When he tells me he loves me it is with an intensity that I've never heard before.  I've always known he loves me but he is expressing it with such intense emotion.  He is also letting go of things.  He doesn't want to keep anything from his house he just wants all of it to be sold.  It is like he is unburdening himself of the past.  It's hard to describe.  As always his spirits are good.  He's either the best actor I've ever seen or he really is at peace with everything.  Of course we have yet to hear what the doctor will say but I feel right now that Ron is ready to face whatever he has to say.

When I pray I still ask for a miracle but I also ask that Ron's needs be met as God knows what his needs are.  I pray that he be spared pain and suffering and for the strength to help him through what is to come.  Last night I thanked God for everything he has given me in my life.  I had wonderful parents who gave me such unconditional love.  I was blessed with two beautiful daughters at once after losing a child.  God helped me through the pain of divorce and comforted me when I was lonely.  I prayed that some day I would know what it felt like to be loved and though it took more than 30 years God sent Ron into my life again.  The boy I knew as a child who grew up to be the kindest man I've ever known.  I'm so grateful for the past ten years.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Car Shopping

Ugh.....I hate car shopping!  I'm no good at it!  I'm not a haggler in fact when I was looking for a used double stroller I saw one in the paper and went to see it.  After determining it was a good one I asked the young lady how much she wanted for it.  She said, "$10 to $20.00." By which I immediately replied, "Will $20.00 be alright?"  I guess I didn't want to offend her..........anyway......who knows!  Of course I was only 20 at the time.  I wish I could say I've learned something since then but honestly.....nahhh

I think I've found a car to replace my poor tired little Nissan Sentra.  Now it is time to negotiate.  Unfortunately, Ron isn't any better at this than I am.  In fact he may be worse.   If I can get to the dealership on the ice I may try to see if  Snowmagedon 2011 has made them desperate to sell a car.  Never know! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Bound

Oklahomans are descendants of some tough pioneers but they weren't Eskimos.  We have no idea what to do with snow except to make snow icecream or the occasional snowman.  Here we are with 9 inches of snow and we are virtually prisoners in our homes.  I'm not complaining since I have no intention of getting out in this mess anyway.  I do feel for those people who have no choice but to venture out.  Thank goodness the weather changes as fast as a woman's mind.  Things should be getting back to normal in a few days.