Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bringing mom home today

Mom is coming home today after being in the hospital and then rehab since April 6th and I could tell that she was really happy and looking forward to sleeping in her own bed again.

We saw the doctor yesterday and while we haven't gotten a final answer he is calling the neurosurgeon and wants to ask him if he would operate on mom again to remove the regrowth and insert gliadel wafers to release chemo right into the cavity to kill off any remaining microscopic cells that remain. Once we find out if the option is there I hope that mom will be able to help make the decision, I'm not sure if she fully understands what is going on.

More to come....

Monday, April 27, 2009

15 months

It's been 15 months since mom was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a word I had never heard of before we were told she had it. I am amazed at how many people I have come across who have been touched with brain cancer since we have embarked on this journey in our lives.

As I said in a previous post we learned recently that mom's tumor has grown back since it was removed back in October so today we are going to the oncologist to find out what the next step is and what our options are. I am going to be taking mom home from the nursing/rehab facility tomorrow and hopefully we will have at least the first floor of the house somewhat presentable after the chaos of yesterday. It took over 6 hours to unload the truck and put everything somewhere in my house. A couple of furniture pieces didn't make it in because my house just isn't big enough compared to the house that mom had in Florida.

I will post again once I get back from the doctor.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Glad to be home!

It's been a rough few days for me, not the greatest trip to Florida I've ever had that's for sure...thank God I had Robert with me for all the help and to chauffeur me around because I couldn't do much in the way of driving due to the fact that monday morning my blood pressure decided to go through the roof!

Here's the reader's digest version....well for the most part! I posted some of this on my private message board so it's easier to copy and paste.

It sure is good to be home and know that if I have any more health scares I am here and not away...I am grateful to Dr. P (mom's primary care physician, next door neighbor for a few years and friend ) for taking care of me and not charging me a dime even though I plan to send them my insurance information so that they can bill for it and get something. I had mom's BP cuff and decided to check my pressure for the hell of it (it's been fine and I check it at home about once a week) and it was in the 160/95 range so I had Robert check his because I thought maybe the cuff wasn't working right but his came up good so that got me worried. I got about 3 hours of sleep sunday night and the packers were there at 8am on monday morning and I checked my pressure every hour or so and tried to stay calm but by 1pm I was really worried because it was like 200/110 so I called Dr. P's office and they told me to come right in. I got dizzy there so originally she was just going to give me samples of BP meds and send me on my way but she had to check me in and document it when I got dizzy. She gave me meds and had me sit in the office for an hour to monitor me and it was coming down so she called in atenolol to Walmart (thank God for the $4 prescriptions since I didn't have my RX card on me) and told me to come back tuesday for a recheck. I did that and it was still pretty high so she told me to double up on the meds...so I'm taking 100mg daily and not happy about it...in the past I only took 25mg...I am hoping once the stress of the move passes I will relax....I realized I need to take better care of myself or I won't be any good to anyone else! Right now my BP is on my wrist monitor is 131/86 but the arm cuff is reading 149/90...I am wondering if I'm have hypertension for a while now from all the stress of taking care of mom and the wrist cuff wasn't giving me true readings? Either way I am following up with my own doctor tomorrow at 4:15.

It was really hard to say goodbye to that house yesterday and walk away but it had to be done. And now I have a huge ass truck (that thing holds 4 houses worth of stuff on it!!) coming to my house on sunday to unload all of the furniture and over 60 boxes...don't ask me where it's all going...that's Jim's department...I've done my end of it and now I need to relax. I took a few pictures despite the fact that it was sad but I wanted to remember this time in my life because I learned a valuable lesson...all of these things that are in boxes right now...well it's just stuff and I don't want to have that happen to me when it's time to move from here. After a while you just don't need another vase or another picture frame and I have come to realize that we all need to downsize and stop being so attached to things that are just material. Having said that I'm happy that mom will have her pretty things here in my home that is now hers, as well.

I thought this was symbolic for me last night as I sat on the plane watching the sunset and I felt like it was that part of my life is setting, as well...all of the trips that Alex and I made to visit mom and my stepdad and then after he passed just my mom were some of the best times for us and I'm glad that we did it every year and that in 2007 God knew the future for us and we went down there 4 times that year...the 4th trip being Christmas 2007, just one month before we got mom's diagnosis. If you look at the picture of the truck on the street...where you see the red bush on the left side is the exact spot where this happened and that week we spent there was a blessing. When I made the decision to jump on a plane and surprise mom by showing up at her door unannounced I know in my heart that it was GOD putting that thought in my head and nudging me to go spend more time with mom and to have Alex experience those memories with his grandma. Yes, I'll miss that house and all of those wonderful times we had but I'm grateful that I have the 2 scrapbooks I made for mom documenting every single one of those trips going back to 2003. It makes you realize why scrapbooking and keeping those memories on paper is so important...the memories will someday fade but all you need to do is open a scrapbook and it all comes flooding back to you.

Goodbye Olde Bailey Lane...I will never forget the fun times we all had there, that's for sure!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday update

Since I'll be gone for a few days I figured I better get to posting before I am away. I hadn't really had a chance to upload recent pictures from my camera to my laptop but thought I'd get a little of that done tonight. Since this would be our last visit from Nancy until after she gives birth Alex was very excited to see her this past weekend and of course to give his future new baby cousin a kiss until he meets him in person! I think Alex is going to be an awesome cousin to the new addition to our family and I for one can't wait to see him for the first time!! Hurry up and be born little guy...we want to see what you look like and of course find out what your name is going to be.

Yesterday mom had a haircut and today they did her nails so she was very happy, who doesn't like to be pampered?

And of course, what better way to end your day than to have a visit from your grandson, Jesse, who manages to make himself right at home no matter where he is. Jesse spent 2 hours with grandma tonight and I know she adores him and loves his company...he sure knows how to make a person laugh. Last night Robert and Alex got to visit with grandma which was great, too! I am very blessed that I have sons who love and cherish their family.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Mom is doing well with her physical therapy and she seems to be in good spirits at the nursing facility. She said that everyone is really nice to her and she has a great room mate which makes a huge difference in her moral.

Today she got her hair washed and trimmed and she enjoyed that, I will put her down for another hair appointment next wednesday since I won't be back until late wednesday night....leaving for my quick trip to Florida on sunday afternoon to take care of some business at mom's house since it sold after only 2 weeks of being on the market! Sure glad I have a strong and big boy to take with me for support, company and of course to lift heavy stuff.

Here's another layout I put together at my weekend crop.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday....has come around again......

...and today I managed to go to work, visit mom twice, meet with her case worker, schedule her for an appointment for a wash and trim in the beauty salon at the nursing home as well as getting her nails done on thursday, picked up something from the party store, get an ice cream sundae to bring to mom on my evening visit, do 2 loads of laundry and now I feel pretty ready to collapse.

The physical therapy was pretty taxing on mom today but she did her best and she is walking much better now which is a great thing. She said that everyone at the facility is really nice and treating her well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Hello to all and Happy Easter.

Mom spent Easter in a nursing/rehab facility having been transferred there on friday afternoon. Spending 5 days in the hospital in bed will weaken even the strongest person...but having a cancer patient flat on their back for that long means they will need to get some PT and OT to get back to where they were before. Looks like 1-2 weeks of therapy and mom will be able to come home again.

The bad news is that the cancer has grown back so we will be seeing the oncologist when she gets out and he has assured me that there are more treatments available now and that this isn't something to be overly upset about and I trust him...still there is that nagging worry always.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mom in the hospital

I just wanted to post because I know a lot of friends and family read my blog for updates on mom. This morning I knew something was going on with her and she became unresponsive to me at some point so I knew she was having some seizure activity which is not uncommon for brain cancer patients. I eventually called for an ambulance and she is in the hospital right now, we will have an MRI tomorrow and know more but for now please keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

What did you do friday night???

I went out for the rest of my birthday present, a great concert! It's funny because if you would have told me a few years ago that I'd be attending my 6th Rick Springfield concert I would have said you were crazy but that's just what happened last night and what a great time I had with a super special friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while.

We're on spring break which is great for me since we don't have to get up super early, there is no homework and life can just be more relaxing in general. The big boys are heading to Atlantic City for a few days so let's hope they don't come home broke! I still can't believe it sometimes when I look at them and realize that I have 2 sons in their 20's!!

Here's a page I did at my weekend crop.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

364 more days until I turn 50!

Yeah, I'm nuts!

So last night Jim and I had a great dinner together and then went to walk around a bit at a shopping center near the Applebee's that we ate at...I do love my Applebee's and you can't beat their 2 for $20 with the appetizer and 2 entrees! We talked about lots of stuff but we both agreed that we are going to try to do this more often, we used to go out one night a week without fail but that has fallen to the wayside lately and we are going to make an effort to at least try every other week. I had gotten a Fashion Bug catalog in the mail and saw a cute top in there that I liked but when I went online they were sold out of it so Jim went into Fashion Bug with me and I found the exact top in there and in my size! Wooo! I was so happy and I wasn't sure if it was because I found the top I wanted or that my husband was willing to go into a woman's clothing store with me. LOL!!

I have been a little behind lately because I was prepping for my crop, among other things, so I hadn't posted some pictures in a while. Here is Robert's new 'ride' that he picked up...sadly she is a little scratched up due to him hitting into a patch of sand last week and he had to 'ditch the bike' so that he wouldn't get badly hurt. It's all cosmetic stuff and it will get fixed soon, I'm sure.

I so love the fact that all my boys are back together again and it was funny that the older ones were sitting on Alex's bed watching TV and hanging out and they were posed almost the same so I told Alex to get in the act so I could take a photo of them.

And I can't resist sharing this layout that I did last week, I had to take a current photo of me with all 3 of my sons in order to finish the layout and I think it turned out really nice.