First, I must apologize for my ramblings in the last blog...that's what happens when I mix my meds with my fatigue!
Had a good day today. Saw some of the special people in my life...Amy, Nancy, Sue and then had dinner with Francine and Nia. The one thing cancer does for you is bring people into your life...and takes others away!
Tomorrow I have my MRI. I hate the thought of it all! I get my port accessed around 10 then off to radiology for about an hour, then back to oncology to get my IV out. FUN!! Then the waiting begins. I am fortunate that I will have the results quickly...sometimes this is a blessing other times...well, we will see!
After testing we are going to see the people at the Imperia to talk about our FIRST GALA! We are going to be looking for HELPERS! People to go out and get donations, help with programs, set up, baskets for the auction. So many things to do...we are hoping to get as many volunteers as possible!
Our next fundraiser is 1 week away! We will be receiving proceeds from the Fireside Grill and Bar for the entire day...11:00am to 2:00am! Thank you to Steve Barclay! Please make sure if you are in the area that you head out and enjoy a meal with us! Every donation counts!
Well, testing mornings come very early and so does my faithful friend Barb...who shows up every morning to give me my injection...thank you Barb...as I said...cancer brings people into your life...some that have really always been there!
So, say a prayer for all the people battling this unfair opponent..some who are alone and in fear everyday. Pray they find their way to us or someone who will reach out a hand of comfort! Help us to carry the burden cancer brings to a family everyday! Thank you to all of you who continue to help my family and all the other families connected to our foundation...we truly appreciate all of you! We will continue to support families battling cancer...day by day!
It's been a few day since my last blog. So where to begin. Was able to see patients Tuesday but just couldn't bring myself to see any on Wednesday...Wednesday was for LOU! For us to have the time to celebrate his life. To remember the laughter, jokes... all that was Lou. Len, Deana and I attended with Nancy. It was nice to spend the time with Cathy, Pete, Donald, Judy and the rest of Amy's family. Tarryn did a great job eulogizing her father as did David and then Amy. It was a day mixed with so many emotions. But Lou is where he feels no more pain...has no more sickness. How can anyone begrudge him that? So, the days that follow death...what are they suppose to be?? You must go on...do what needs to be done...as if..as if...I don't know.... I find it so hard to believe that Lou will never again be here in my home/office. But the days do need to go on!
So, Thursday was parent teacher conferences and as usual Christian is doing well and has made himself proud with making the honor roll again...see life goes on! Friday was a day filled with patients for Len and sunshine for me! Christian and I went outside and began the spring yardwork! I can't tell you how thankful I am to be able to put my hands in the soil this year! We cleaned out the flower bed by the office door and tomorrow we will begin to plant! I am so excited as last year it was impossible for me to do anything outside and was unable to touch any plants for fear it would put me back in the hospital. So, I will enjoy the weather...enjoy my yard...pray that Tuesday will not change any of that for me! But I am trying to put that out of my mind. I have worked on my Easter menu...have our guest list made. Will continue to move forward. Spring time is suppose to be a time of renewal. Renewal of all things...friendships, flowers, love, life. I will enjoy my weekend with my family and prepare for my testing on Tuesday and pray for good results...results that will give me more time with my family, more time to fix my mistakes, more time to do the things that are so important to me....to touch other's lives. Whether it is in our practice or in our foundation....this is what is most important. What have you left behind...not just your carbon footprint...your emotional footprint...the lives you've touched...the lives you've changes. That's why we are here...to make changes...to be loving, caring, understanding...and to ALWAYS pay it forward!
I posted a link that my niece Jodi had posted on the foundation's FB page and it is so real. Cancer brings many things to the fore front of your life... One of those things are the people in your life...the one's that "will love you through it"! Hopefully we all have them...the ones that don't run away...that stay and "love you through it". If you don't then that is a job for this foundation...to "love you through it"...to pay it forward...to be there to relieve the burden of cancer on families...day by day. The only way possible! Help us help others...and pay it forward...we never know what life has in store for us. "love someone through it" and pray that someone will always be there to "love you through it"! Thank you Jodi for posting this...and thank you to my support...My husband Len, daughter Deana, who tended to my needs..and there are and were many, sons Christian, who grew up quickly and had to learn more about sickness then I ever wanted & Rob, my daily call...is it time to come out there mom...are you okay... my friends/patients, Francine,who loved me through it all, Sue, who always had a meal for my family and company for me, Carol, who knew how important my flowers were to me that she planted in the rain, Debbie, sending meals, calling just to check in, my my SIL Mar who cooked meals and brought them to us, SIL Sue calling and coming from Ct to cook for us...my niece Jodi who NEVER stopped "loving me through it" My brother...my late brother who called every week to be my cheering section and my protector...even though he couldn't really protect me from cancer! I was lucky...there were many more who were there for me...some are not so lucky. That's why we are here..."We will love you through it" anyway we can...day by day. Nancy, Aunt Jackie and I will awaken tomorrow and get to live another day...we will be "loved through it" Make sure you find some one or someway to help someone less fortunate...and "love them through it". Believe me every donation helps us to do just that...day by day!
As I sit here...hoping sleep will come I think of the past few days and wonder... wonder why people come in to our lives when they do. It certainly seems as if it is with reason. I remember the day like it was yesterday that Amy called my office to make Lou's first appointment with us.... the rest is history. Our new patient and his family became OUR family.
Now Wednesday we will say our good byes as we begin our lives with out the friend, the husband, the father, the son, the brother...the man that was Lou!
I went to OUR oncologist today for my regular appointment and shared my thoughts of Lou with Bruno and made sure I saw his favorite nurses and told them the news of Lou. They all had wonderful memories of Lou to share...from his humor to his love of Renissance Fairs! We will all have our memories and the way Lou touched our hearts and lives.
Then I had my appointment. Disussions of MRIs of my Brain to rule out Metastatic disease in my brain. Len asked if I was worried...I don't know...some how you never think this can REALLY happen to you! So part of me worries but the other part of me is sure this can never happen to me! I know Lou did this battle too. Never believing it could REALLY happen.
So I put my MRI off till next week and then we will know...for now...it is alway just for now...
So tomorrow I move forward, I see my patients, I do my paperwork, I plan events for our fundraisers. Able to forget for a time that I, too am a cancer patient. It is so sureal at times..like a dream or a nightmare. Losing Lou brings it to the forefront for a lot us doing the battle...I hear it in Nancy and I hear it in my own head.
But we will stand strong, do what we have to do...welcome the people that become like family because we share a disease...and there are many! We will make this foundation STRONG and capable so it can help the many...That will join our group against their own will...for this is a group no one REALLY wants to join. We will embrace them and help ease their burdens the way our foundation is designed to....day by day!
Day after day I'm more confused
But I look for the light through the pouring
You know that's a game that I hate to lose
Now I'm feeling the
Aint it a shame?
Oh, give me the beat boys and free
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll
And drift away....
My friend is gone...Lou drifted away Saturday night around 6:30 with his family by his side and the music he loved playing. I was priviledge to be with him Friday and Saturday before he passed and then again after he passed.
Day after day I will remain more confused...why this loss had to come...why Lou... but why any of us?? Why can't they fix this thing...this cancer that degrades our bodies...disjoints our families...leaves us tired, hurting, deperate...and then....gone from those families that have fought so hard to keep us even when they know it isn't fair to try and hang on.
Lou fought a fight like no other...he lived the time he had left on his terms. He enjoyed his days with Amy and his family...he tried to tie up his loose ends...he tried to say the things he needed to say. He did the things he dreamed of doing. He did it all on his terms.... However, this cancer...it leaves families and loved ones in its wake. All of us missing the times we will never have again...missing the love Lou shared so freely.
No matter how ill Lou became he never stop worrying about everyone else. He was a care taker to the the very end. On Friday he asked Len to take care of me and asked me to take care of Amy. He told Amy to be sure I knew that this did not effect me...this did not have any thing to do with my diagnosis...that I would be fine. That he would be watching and if the time comes that I ever have to GIVE in to this unwelcomed visitor I know Lou will be there to welcome me no matter how reluctantly!
Seems like only yesterday Lou began his fight, then Nancy started hers, then me and then Aunt Jackie...now there are three!
I know that I will continue my fight the way Lou did...on my terms...I will remember to share the moments with the ones I love, remember to tell them I love them, show forgiveness freely and live each day like it may be the last!
Please say a pray for Amy and the rest of Lou's family and friends as we say good bye to a wonderful man...a man who has touch my life in ways I can not begin to explain...I will continue to think of him every day and be sorry for the tomorrows we will miss but I am thankful that his pain is over. I will do what he asked of me...I will support Amy and their children through what will prove to be some of the toughest times they can ever imagine.
I will continue to fight my fight and build this foundation for Lou, Nancy, Aunt jackie and all the others just like us that need the help fighting this fight against this VERY unfair opponent...the only way I know how....day by day!
Good night Lou, sleep well, out of pain...know that we all love you and will miss you always...
Well, had a great day yesterday...was able to make a big pot of soup (for Lou) and pot of gravy (sauce for you americans) because Christian wanted cavatelli with ricotta and mozzarella. Got it all done!! Felt great about it! Then kind of colapsed! But I did get through it and even got to see Amy and her daughter. Makes me thankful everyday but also makes me wonder how SO much can happen SO fast to one family! I see Lou failing and it hurts so badly. To know that now Amy's father is in the same position...they operated for pancreatic cancer (like Lou) opened him up and closed him...it had spread too far! How does a women handle knowing she is losing her husband, her father and still be strong enough to support her children through it all?? No one could make this stuff up! It has to make you all thankful, thankful for everyday you have with your families, to take care of them and yourself. Enjoy your days no matter how nice or nasty the weather maybe. Call those people most important in your life, tell them you love them and share what they mean to you...in your life. Make ammends because one day you may not be able to.
It took me a bit when I became ill to come to terms with it all. I slowly came around to the fact that cancer is a gift. It is a gift to remind us to live our lives they way we REALLY want to..not the way we end up living it. To be sure to say what we need to say and give the forgivenss we may have been holding back on. I know as a mother it is my job to make sure my family is whole before I breathe my last breath. This was SO reinforced for me with the loss of my beloved but stubborn brother. He held his emotions so tightly in him he forgot to actually say the words...you just had to know how he felt. He left unfinished business because he didn't expect to die...how can I do him a disservice by not taking advantage of my GIFT...my gift of cancer? So I tell you all...we all know it...we NEVER know. We may receive the gift of cancer or some other thing that gives us the time to fix our error...but we never know...Live each day like you are dying. Laugh, enjoy, don't clean the house instead of doing what you love...the mess will still be there. Do what you must but never miss a chance to love your life, your family, your friends the things that give you joy!
We all think we can do it tomorrow....make your time now...live your days as if they are your last. Take it from Lou's family...the time can come when you run out of days. Everyday is important...it doesn't have to be monumental..it can be that phone call or visit you keep putting off...do it...do it everyday...one more thing...everyday...day by day!
I must take the last moment to thank all of you who have been there for us...I Love you all!!
So it has been over a year since my diagnoses. I have been through 4 months of Chemo...some of the worst they make...3 surgeries in 6 weeks, 2 months of DAILY radiation...finished on Sept. 28th...started oral meds on Oct 6th only to be awakened at 2 am to find my brother had just died!
I sit and I wonder when is it going to get any better...they tell me I have to give it TIME! How much more time does it take to get over ALL of that!! And when/if I do get over it...when will it all start again??? I know being positive is the most important thing...but anyone who as had cancer always wonders.
I spent the day in, mostly because I have been too sick to really do much. I try to eat then get nausea...tried to grocery shop and ended up sitting down because I was short of breath, had pain in my chest..WHY?? No one knows! Then there is the sharp needle type pain straight through my breast all the way to my chest wall. Excruciating...this they say can happen after radiation! Such is the day in the life of a recovering cancer patient.
So, as I say...Does it EVER get any better??
So much for being positive...being thankful...seeing how much better off I am then others!! Sometimes PAIN is just that...PAIN! Doesn't matter that I LOOK better....I know most days are definitly better then THOSE days of chemo...however, PAIN is PAIN!! Feeling like CRAP is still feeling like CRAP...and there never seems to be an end to it!
Well I guess this is my day to bitch! Tomorrow will come and today will be behind me...tomorrow will be better...all the tomorrows will get better! I hope for a better tomorrow for Lou, Nancy and Aunt Jackie...I know their road is much harder then mine. I pray for their tomorrow to be pain free...that's all we can ask for...one day at a time...day by day!
So another day of working on flyers and trying to mend this now only wounded body! Finally was able to eat a little and feeling a little better. Still makes no sense to me why i am not bouncing back more quickly. They keep telling me I need to give it time...time...at least I can believe I have more of that now. I think of some of the others in my life that are in this seemingly unending battle...and they don't seem to be faring as well as I...so I can't complain however complain I DO!!
I think of where I was just a few short months ago and know that I am leaps and bounds from there. Last year at this time I was in the hospital for a second time, unsure I was going to survive the blood clots that had formed, traveled to my lung and made me unable to stop coughing and vomitting. At the same time I think about where Lou was this time last year and, while I am sure we are all thankful for the good times he has had, I cry for where he is now! Then I think of Aunt Jackie last year at this time just beginning chemo for bilateral lung cancer and a tumor in her stomach and see where she is now...restarting chemo yet again with lung tumors stable, stomach stable but bilateral kidney tumors growing. So how can I complain...
So once again I pray for sleep, I pray for the others in my life to have the strength to fight the fight another day...and I pray this foundation can grow as fast as the needs grow. Don't see that as possible at the moment...this cancer...it grows faster then any weed I have ever seen. But with the help of all the people whose lives we touch, we will take this foundation to the next level and help those who need it the most...and we will try our best to ease their burden the only way we know how...day by day!
Last night had minimal sleep and knew upon arising that, once again, I was dehydrating. I know it is happening and can't seem to stop it! Now is the time I should be feeling better and that is just not the case! Finished with morning patients and then headed to oncology for IV fluids and Zofran for the nausea...Thank God for ports!! Spent a couple of hours there, met the new Nurse Practioner at Central Jersey Oncology. Her name is Dr. Susan Doyle, I beleive. I must say...she was great! Came back to the house/office and began to see patients! Saw our FAVORITE patient, Lou, who as many of you know has been in a battle with Pancreatic cancer for going on 2 years. Getting around is getting more difficult for Lou and we all need to put our prayers out there for him! When I see Lou I feel guilty for not feeling stronger. He keeps fighting each day. I cry when he leaves...knowing that our days together may not be long. We have all become so close with the family that they now feel like our family! Lou and I went through chemo and our cancer battles together...I know I have a better chance of winning the battle then Lou does but he still takes a moment to worry about me...to thank us, to tell me he loves me. Don't know what I am going to do when we can't have those moments!
So the thing I do for Lou, for Nancy, for Aunt Jackie, for all the people like us that are battling this horrible disease, to make it livable for me...I push this foundation. I push it with all that I am. I work late into the night making flyers, searching for ideas for fundraisers, searching for ways to reach the people who need this the most!
I have to believe that everyday gets a little better and that I will be here for a very long time for my family, friends and for this foundation that has grown to be a part of me.
When I see Lou, Nancy and Aunt Jackie struggling it just makes it more necessary that we all PUSH forward and make this foundation THE FOUNDATION that everyone knows and talks about and donates to!! We have the ability to help those that need it the most, when they need it the most....day by day!
I will try to sleep now...pray for sleep...Pray that Lou feels a little better tomorrow so he can have more quality time with his family....Love you Lou!!