Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No Endings But a New Adventure

Hi this is Marty and I am writing Janet's final blog.  Janet passed peacefully into  the afterlife to meet her God Monday at 10 am.  She is now proudly sitting by His side.  She has so many friends to see  there too: Gary, Joe, Greg, Anna, Ryan, Coz, and many more.  Knowing her she will organize a reunion for everyone.  And you can bet it will involve Southern cooking with a California flair. 

We are planning a memorial for Saturday, February 13, 2 pm at The First Christian Church, 3039 Willow Pass Road, Concord, CA 94519.  Memorials will  be accepted to the church and please designate it for the Capital Improvement Project.  Online giving can also be used by selecting: 
www.concordfcc.net/wideningourwelcome

We will also have a memorial reception in Louisville at her brother's home 1349 So Fourth St, Louisville, KY 40208.  It will be Sunday, May 8, 2016, 2 pm - 5 pm.

Thank you for following her blog.  She was so intent to share her experiences with everyone.  She loved your comments and prayers.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

So Much for Same Oh - NOT

Well so much for it all being the same.  Maybe I need to change my blog title to I am beginning to see endings.  I have become extremely weak and cannot stand without Marty helping me.  In fact that's been a problem too.  As he was helping me from bed to chair last weekend I got noodle legs and started falling.  Marty could not hold me up so we both went to the floor.  I landed on my knee and ankle and twisted them both.  I have been in much pain with that this week.  It has been more and more difficult to move.  Plus my torso has been aching terribly.  Mr. Morphine has been my savior as I have had more and more to alleviate the pain.  I get nauseous smelling food too.  My nausea medications help a little but I am not eating much at all.  Fast forward to Wednesday and Marty decides that the bed will become my permanent home.  Even going to the bathroom is an effort.  I am declining fast.  Marty notified all of our friends and family that my days were numbered.  The hospice nurse came over last night and put a catheter in.  That has relived some of the pain in my back and abdomen.  When we notified family, my niece Lisa Kay Nichols wrote one of the most beautiful blog posts about our life together.  For the rest of you here is a link to her blog:  http://normalnichols.blogspot.com/2016/01/this-blogs-for-you.html  Lisa I love you so much and appreciate you sharing.  My brother and his wife, Henry and Ann, came to see me Friday. Nurse Ann has taken over duties helping me.  Marty is so pleased to have the help from both of them.  They will be here a week.  I also appreciate my friends coming to sit with me again giving Marty some free time.  Again thanks for all of the well wishes, prayers, texts and calls.  Love all of you.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Everything is Same Oh Same Oh

Everyday we do pretty much the same thing.  Mornings is bathroom run, vitals recorded, meds taken and then breakfast.  Most things for breakfast taste  good.  I usually have Honey Nut Cheerios but a couple of times a week Marty fixes eggs and bacon with toast. 

Then its back to the recliner to either rest or take a nap if I have had a bad night.  When I wake up its bathroom run and lunch.  Boost Plus is my usual lunch.  Then a little idiot TV and then dinner time.  I am still a little nauseous at times and take a back-up nausea medication for that.

Marty and I are addicted to Jeopardy so that is our entertainment through dinner.  I am still a very picky eater but I am trying to eat.  Marty still keeps trying to find the magic recipe but it seems like each day my tastes change.  Then during clean up time we watch Wheel of Fortune.  Then its back to the recliner.  I have my meds again and vitals check about 9.  Then its bed-time about 11:30. Sleep has changed in the last week.  I was not sleeping well because all of the bloating around the ribs causes pain at night.  To help this they put me back on small doses of Morphine.  That seems to work because I am sleeping during the night now. 

So you see unless I have visitors, every day is about the same as the next day.  Overall the nurse says I am doing really well.  So I am still hanging in there.  We really appreciate the cards, Facebook, out of state phone calls, Skype, texts and email from everyone.  Thanks again for your prayers too.  Strength comes from all of you. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Color Me Yellow

As far as my health I am hanging in there with same o same o.  I have been told that I look like I got caught in a cheap spray tanning booth.  I am leaning to a shade of orange.  This is just a malfunction of the liver. 

On a happy note I have peach fuzz hair, eyebrows and eye lashes. WOW does that means that I do not have the terminator look anymore.  May be able to get a haircut soon.  :-). 

As far as food I am still pretty picky but pasta dishes seem to be more appealing than others.  

Nothing big and exciting  We have had visitors and we are running on the same schedule everyday.  Hospice continues to take good care of me and Marty.  Please continue with your wonderful prayers.  I enjoy the cards and phone calls that I get.  Makes my spirits lift me up. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

It was brought to our attention through a phone call and Facebook that we have been slow in posting.  It seems time has passed so fast.  We had a quiet Christmas and Skyped friends and family from California to Germany.  We had phone calls from Florida, Texas and Kentucky.  It was great to talk to everyone. 

New Year's Eve was exciting. Our friend Mark brought Chinese dinner for us.  I took a nap and Marty woke me as they were dropping the ball in Time's Square. 

As far how I am feeling, There is no pain except for old lady aching joints.  There is always a slight feeling of nausea that we have been able to control.  There were a couple of days that I had to have some Mr. Morphine but that has gone away for a while.  The neuropathy is continuing to be an issue.  I cannot pull off the cap from the hypodermic syringe to give  me my daily shots.  I have an overall feeling of helplessness.  If I am just in the recliner I feel like I could get up and do most anything.  But, when it comes to  getting out of the recliner it takes a major effort to stand up by myself and grab the walker.  The farthest I walk is about 8 feet to my decorative potty chair that we have added to our living room décor.  I have the smallest bladder in the world and I make this trip often.   This can only be done with help from Marty or friends who are sitting with me.  You cannot pull up a gown, lower your underpants and hold onto a walker at the same time.  And then I make the long trek back to the recliner. 

I haven't used oxygen much but sometimes I have some shortness of breath and this relieves that.  I am stronger in that I can get out of the recliner by myself, when I walk I am much steadier and Marty does not have to walk behind me to keep me steady.  At night I can sorta rearrange myself in the bed without help. 

They do not want me to walk much because of the blood clot even though it has been greatly reduced.  To get to the kitchen for meals I ride in my fancy red and black wheelchair.  Speaking of meals, taste buds are still fickle and I am not thrilled at eating anything.  I make myself eat.

Happy New Year to everyone.  Thank you for all of your support and prayers.  May 2016 be a good year.  Love to everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Visions of Sugarplums

Christmas is in two days and we are trying to be festive in spite of living with Hospice.  The tree is decorated and we have a few things out and the stockings are hung over the fireplace.  Our friends still spend time with me while Marty runs errands.  In spite of their busy holiday schedules they still come by to help.  There is even a prediction we will have some snow around us on Christmas Day.  Its great to see the rain and snow in the mountains.  Very festive. 

The clot in my leg seems to have improved and is smaller and no longer painful. No morphine for four days.  I feel stronger today and able to turn myself in bed with no help.  I have a wonderful personal health aide who comes twice a week to bathe me and change my bed.  She is so caring and gentle. She came today and that makes me feel so good after she is finished.  With the help of our son Erik, he brightens my day and has made some of our work easier.

With my fickle taste buds and the light nausea I am hoping to be able to eat the seafood dinner Marty  is preparing for Christmas Day.  He is planning our traditional shrimp cocktail salad (Mother's recipe) and sautéed scallops.  Sounds yummy. 

This is not the Christmas either of us would have wished for but with the love of friends, family and even strangers, it will be  Merry Christmas.  I wish for all of you the best for you and your family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like??

Well its been about 10 days since my last blog and much has happened.  Marty has been decorating for Christmas and preparing for the season.  It's not easy decorating around all of the equipment needed for me.  We've cut back on how we usually decorate.  Most of the stuff is still in boxes.  Christmas is a season of giving and our friends certainly have.  Chef Ben came over last Friday and prepared many meals for us to last a week or so.  He spent about 4 hours here cooking and putting the great food in serving containers so all Marty has to do is microwave it and serve it.  Hank and Thom brought a wonderful raspberry torte.  Mark brought us a Christmas tree and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Nancy and Lew brought us soups and lasagna.  Janet R sent candy canes and chocolate.  We are set for a few days.  Faithful Kirstin and Pat sat with me while Marty ran some errands.  We have received phone calls from friends across the country which filled our hearts with warmth and love.  Our church friends have been in high gear supporting us with communion and visits. We are in a pretty set routine with hospice and take care of Janet. 

Mr. Morphine has come out of the cabinet.  I have a blood clot in my leg that is extremely painful.  Walking is almost impossible.  I have done a fair share of crying and moaning.  Poor Marty is the one who has to listen to the bitching and moaning.  I know I need to move as much as possible to keep my muscles working. 

There is some humor in our life.  When Kirsten was sitting she drew bathroom duty.  As she was helping me get my underwear up it was not going well and she said "you've got your knickers in a twist".  Neither of us had used that word in a long time and we laughed and laughed.  Laughter is good. 

Today's post may sound down and whiny, but I am not that way very often.  Continued thanks and hugs to my prayer warriors.  We have been in this a long time. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Settling Into a Routine

After a little more than a week since I came home with Hospice, we have settled into a routine.  We have four days that Hospice comes in to help and the other days its Erik and Marty help.  You would not believe the equipment that we have set up in our living room,  Hospital bed, walker, compressed oxygen machine, tray table, etc. 

So how am I doing?  My torso is so swollen that if you stuck a pin in it I would fly around the room like a deflating balloon.  I am able to stand with a walker steadier than last week.  The further I get from chemo the more I can eat.  I am getting some of my appetite back.  My voice is still a little raspy but is a little better.  When I sit in a chair I feel pretty good but when I get on the walker I  feel so tired.  I have no pain just this bloated discomfort.  If I have pain, Mr. Morphine is in the cabinet. 

Healthy visitors are welcome for brief visits.  I enjoy them so much but talking wears me out.  I am rarely posting on Facebook or email.  Marty reads me the comments that I get.  So prayer warriors continue praying for Marty and me through this tough time.  GO WARRIORS!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Home Again

My last post had me in the hospital with the beautiful caring people at Kaiser's San Leandro hospital.  On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we decided coming home would be best for me.  No further chemo would help me and my oncologist Dr. Kuan told us home would be best.  We talked to Patti the social worker and she told us about the care we could get from Hospice. 

Our next thought was how we could maneuver the 26 steps into our apartment.  Gurneys would be too big and bulky to work.  I figured I would have two studly good looking men carry me up.  No, in fact two beautiful petite young women showed up.  They were strong as an ox.  We arrived at home and we waited for a handsome man to bring a special gurney chair.  They carried me upstairs backwards.  It was a wild ride.

After settling in I was transferred from Kaiser to Hospice.  Hospice came later in the day to make an assessment and go over procedures they would use.  4 days a week someone from Hospice will be here for about an hour to go over what has transpired from their last visit, bathe me and help with light housework.  The next two days we spent rearranging the apartment to accommodate a bed for me and other equipment.  Our son Erik helped with moving things around too.  On Saturday they delivered my bed.  The bed is electric and my brother and Marty bought rich red sheets to cheer me up.  Red matched other furnishings in the room that are red.

Every day my legs are stronger but  I am still very weak.  I'm trying not to be cranky but seems like everything upsets me.  Then I am  mean and feel like a bitch.  I am eating more day by day as I get further away from my last chemo treatment.  Little brother Hank and his wonderful wife nurse Ann have been a godsend to us.  They have taken care of me and helped us cook, wash dishes and clean the apartment.  When they leave it is going to really get hard.

Posts will be more irregular because we are overwhelmed with this change in our lives.  We want you to be informed about my condition but just check Facebook and my blog because it is difficult to keep up with all of the phone calls and texts.  If you are healthy and will wear a mask you are welcome to visit for a very very short period because my energy level will not let me be sociable for very long.  My voice is also very weak.

To all of the prayer warriors to pray for calmness bravery and acceptance.  Pray for Marty as my caregiver He has also been writing this as I tell him what to say.  God bless each and every one of you with much love.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Things Just Got REAL!!!

This is Marty and I am taking orders as usual. J Taking dictation.

Since I came home  from the hospital a week ago I just got weaker and weaker.  Noodle legs kept me from walking and my recliner became my best friend.  It’s a good thing it is electric so I could get in and out of it.  Marty had fun giving me a ride to each room of our apartment in the wheelchair.

Thanks to my friends Janet, Kirsten, Lourdes, Sue and Vallery for coming to sit with me while Marty could do some of his work.  I also had our Elders from church, Lonnie and Roy bring communion and a visit from my minister Russ.

This past Saturday my blood pressure was 70 over 60 and I was too light headed to do anything so it was back to the ER in the early afternoon.  They started hydrating me and giving me antibiotics.  Got moved to my new suite at the hospital later in the day.  From the CT scan the week before my Oncologist confirmed this damn cancer had spread to my liver.  It’s been a week of crying, bitching and trying to be brave.  It’s easier to be positive because I am using less energy.  

Even though I am weak I am stronger than when I came in and can walk short distances.  I am getting better each day and hoping to go home soon.  Every day they come up with a new test that I have never heard of.  I am getting tired of being probed, prodded, poked, stuck and bled.  I know all of this helps in my treatment but it can be annoying.

My brother Henry and his wife Ann flew here from Kentucky Monday to be with us for Thanksgiving.  We may have turkey day in the hospital.  They have been great support to both of us.

Marty and I have to make a lot of major decisions in the time I have left and I am asking my prayer warriors to continue praying that Marty and I can get through this new time in our life together.