Friday, January 30, 2009

I won an award!

Lea gave me an award! It's my first!! Thanks Lea.

Proximidade is described as:'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites.

I'm pretty new to blogging, but I have a few favorites.

1) My Husbands Cancer
2) My Cancer Hat
3)A journey of another kind
4)The Muncks Quiver
5) Kayleigh's Story
6) Life With My Special K's
7) RCC Win The Fight
8) My Semblance Of Sanity


I'm truly amazed !! We went to bed on Monday with a storm warning. Major Ice Storm headed our way! We've had so many watches and warnings like this, that we really didn't pay much attention to it. Tuesday morning we woke up to this!

We were housebound for 2 days. No power, no heat, no internet!!!! We gathered up our children and grandchildren...made sure the rest of our family was safe, and for a while wished that we were Amish! lol It has been tough to say the least. Kristy had trees and power lines down all over their house and yard. They STILL have no power.

Yesterday, it was safe enough for me to venture out to work. I work in a small community about 25 miles from my house. I couldn't believe what I saw on the trip there. This is what I saw after just 10 minutes on the road!

I couldn't believe my eyes! So much damage and destruction just 10 miles to our west. The further I drove, the worse it got! Luckily, my store suffered no major damage. We had a few roof leaks, and alot of branches to clean up, but that's it.

When we opened the doors, the people started flocking in. Not to buy furniture, but because we have a Radio Shack satelite store in our building. I could not believe the stories being told by some of these people! Some had driven up to 100 miles to buy batteries, generators, and gasoline. There is no power north of us, and the destruction is so bad that they are being told it could be up to a month before it can be restored.
I am so grateful to live and work in a community that still really cares about one another. Cadiz (where I work) is ofter refered to as "Mayberry". A handshake is still as good as a notorized signature there. People still say "please and thank you", and everyone knows everyone!
What I saw is a true testament to Southern Hospitality!
Travelers were welcomed with a warm cup of coffee, and listening ears. Compassion was shown to everyone! I saw hurting people yield their place in line to others with small children so they could quiet a crying baby. I saw an older gentleman hand off the last package of batteries to a mother with 2 babies that had no power in her house. One man with a chain saw cut up downed tree limbs and stacked them on Main Street for free fire wood to anyone who needed it. When a boil water advisory was issued, another man drove his truck 40 miles to haul water into town. He was giving it away to people 2 gallons at a time.

Then there is Mindy. She works with my daughter Kristy. Mindy had been listening to Kristy and I talk all day about the situation in Cadiz, as well as the fact that Kristy had no power or water in her house. She got busy, as she always does, and rounded up a kerosene heater for Kristy and Phillip. Then she called around and found out who actually had kerosene ! After I got home last night, Mindy called and asked if she could stop by my house for a bit. She showed up with cases of water for me to take back to Cadiz this morning! She said she didn't think it was much, but she knew my staff was in need of water, and should not have to spend their evenings looking for it! She heard that a local grocery store was giving it away to people in need, so she made a trip to help us out. All this, despite the fact that Mindy's husband is a local policeman, and she had his safety and her own family to worry about. She is truly a hero in my book! Thank you Mindy!
I feel that insted of just broadcasting all of the the bad that goes on in our society, the news media should focus on stories like these!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I follow another blog for kidney cancer caregivers. I get so much information, as well as inspiration there. Debbie Andrews, the web host, posted this poem she wrote. I thought it was beautiful! Can*er has touched each one of us in a different way, and often the caregivers go unnoticed. Thanks Deb, for your words of encouragement!

Voice for Caregivers
I am a voice, though only small for all who hold the reins
As they watch their loved ones battle with the stresses and the strains
of a plague that lends no favors to gender or to race
That silently invades the sacred body without grace
Cancer" is that dreaded curse that changes lives forever
For not only the affected, but also their caregiver.

I am a voice, who through my words will bless you with some hope
For caregivers putting lives on hold and thinking they can't cope
Please take a moment now as I relay what I've been through
And at the end you'll soon find out that it's not only you
Who feels your life is overwhelmed, altered and distressed
As emotions overtake you through a phase of utmost tests.

I am a voice, to tell you, I know exactly how you feel
The constant aching in your heart is oh, so very real.
Sure, you've heard of others out there, maybe friends who've walked this path
But now it's you and this time you directly feel it's wrath.
Every person has suggestions, and you're burdened from the bulk
Heck, at times you even hate them, but you know it's not their fault!

I am a voice, who's traveled through the stages cancer brings
Although I'm not the patient, the diagnosis gave me things
Like emotions that I'd never think were possible for me
To have in my entire life, but continue on and see
That cancer changes everyone, right from the very start
It affects your disposition, your temperament and heart.

I am a voice, who knows that "disbelief" is the first wave
Of emotions that sweep over you when diagnosis has been made.
How could this be? What did we do? There must be some mistake
For surely it cannot be us, who now are tempting fate.
Then follows "fear" for us as well, as we feel we've lost control
The panic, sleepless nights ahead, no one will ever know.

I am a voice, I know first hand when "anger" takes it's toll
It's a devastating feeling of 'why me,' emotions roll
I'm enraged, bitter, exhausted, at the situation that I'm in
I can strike out at a stranger as my temper's wearing thin.
I trust that those around me will forgive me for my acts
I pray that they will never carry what I'm faced with on their backs!

I am a voice, though sometimes haunted by the things I've felt inside
When that telephone starts ringing, I just want to run and hide.
Or maybe someone's come to visit, ooohhhhhh, why don't they stay away
Can't they understand I'm busy, I don't have time for tea or play.
Their suggestions drive me crazy, constant questions and advice
You'll just have to take the lead dear, tell them "back off," but be nice.

I am a voice, who knows our friends and families always there
They really only mean well, they intrude because they care.
But they need to take a step back if they venture on our sod
For only we can understand, they need to walk where we have trod.
We are the ones who anxiously await each doctor's visit, scans and tests
While our loved ones look for courage, we still must smile and do our best.

I am a voice, "frustration" haunts me more and more each day
I slash out at my loved ones and I know that's not the way.
I took my freedom once for granted, now life's different for I feel
Constant waves of guilt, resentment, my life's not mine, it's all too real.
You need time for YOU, so make it, ask someone to take your place
Don't feel like you've abandoned those you love, that's not the case!

I am a voice, as mother, father, sister, brother, kin or friend
As caregiver I am challenged to do my best right to the end.
Even though I've never learned this, the way to care under such stress
And I'm sure to have misgivings, but I know I'll do my best.
For in life we all are challenged, faced with unknowns as we grow
My position as caregiver, is a treasure this I know.

For I've been given talents that I never would have guessed
That will serve to do God's bidding and I know I'm truly blessed.
For He's given me the honor to help my loved ones in their need
And to bring them hope and courage and for me to plant a seed
That will grow a field of memories, I could have run, I had the choice
We're all revered to be CAREGIVERs, now pass the torch and be a voice!

©Debbie Andrews

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Weekend Is Here!

I'm so excited! Lyric is coming to visit for the weekend! We get to say our prayers.........
Watch Yo Gabba Gabba....

Have Tea With PawPaw......

And Play Dress Up......

What a great weekend it will be!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Needing Suggestions

Ok, so I've been blogging less than a week now, and all ready I find myself asking the bloggy community for some suggestions! After lurking around on your blogs for a while now, I know I can count on you!

I have a brother, Michael, that I love dearly!
Mike is in late stage 4 kidney cancer with multiple bone mets, and I am his primary caregiver.

We also have a sister, Patti, as well as our children. They help me beyond belief!

Mike had surgery to remove the diseased kidney last September, and is doing quite well physically. He is still taking chemo every day at home in pill form. That being said, here is our problem....

Mike's blood counts tend to fall rapidly, as they do with most chemo patients. When this happens, he becomes pretty much housebound. He is stubborn (to put it mildly), and could go out in public if he wears a mask. Pride gets in his way there...he won't do it! I'm not going to fault him for that. I have no idea how I'd react in his situation! Lately he has started locking himself in his apartment and just watching trash tv all day! I'm talking things like "Jerry Springer" reruns or "Lock Up" for hours at a time.
We are dealing with some real issues with boredom here. Not to mention the depression that goes along with it.

Recently, Mike has had some MAJOR personality changes, and has become quite the "Drama King" ! He calls me complaining over the smallest things (like a girl auditioning on American Idol whose voice made his bones hurt). I know this sounds petty.....but really it's not! I work full time and he has been known to call me up to 20...yep 20..times a day over things like "did you see Obama get out of the limo and walk in the parade" or "Kentucky is ahead by 2 points" ! I do understand that he needs someone to talk to, but sheesh! I am leaving customers to answer the phone for fear he's really sick or something has happened! When he really is sick....he won't call until late at night. That means a trip to the ER insted of clinic.
I've told him that he is welcome to call me at work when he needs me, but this has to stop!

He doesn't listen! He does the same thing to other family members and friends as well. I actually had to double my cell phone minutes because he used 2700 minutes in 2 weeks along with all of my rollover minutes! We had a home phone installed for him, and luckily the bill has been less than $200.00 a month since! He lives on disability alone, so I pay the bill for him. I'm going broke!

Mike is quite the graphic artist, as well as a poet, and a master gardener! He has been published several times, and until a few months ago, was working with a friend of his that owns a screen print shop. He also facilitates a Celebrate Recovery group, and has been active in our church. All of that has changed. He's just quit everything he normally did. He says he's bored with it all. We are trying to find him a new hobby or something to keep him occupied. He still lives by himself, and is not allowed pets in his apartment(we thought a kitty may help). I know alot of his depression is the weather, and I have no doubt that the cold makes his bones hurt more. Once spring gets here, this should all change. For now, I'm really worried!

He has started doubling his pain meds so he can "sleep the day away" and not worry about anything. He's also developing alot of paranoia. I've talked to his doctors about this, and they tell me it's very common! They called it "chemo brain". I didn't know there was such a thing!
The doctors suggested an anti-depressant. Mike shot that down quickly. He does not want the world to think he's a "crazy chemo patient", or take another pill!

I truly beleive that Mike does not realize everything that he is doing, and it scares me!

The other day, he had to go to clinic to get a shot of Procrit. They called him back 4 times for his shot, but he was busy talking to the people in the waiting room and wouldn't go! So they let him talk and took other patients in. When he finally realized how long he'd been waiting for his shot....he threw a fit in the waiting room. The nurse told him that she had given someone else his "slot" because he wouldn't stop talking. Mike heard that as "she gave someone else his shot" !!

Now he's convinced that the nurse just gave him a saline injection, and gave his Procrit to another patient! AAARRRRRRGH! He told me that I'd see he was right when his counts didn't come up the next week.
Well......being that this was his first injection of Procrit, he didn't see much improvement in his red cell count! You can only imagine how that went!

I had a meeting with his oncologist this week. He said that medically, Mike is stable and there is no reason for him to behave like he is. I'm at my wits end! I could handle this if I was dealing with a child, but it's getting harder and harder to explain to adults who have known him for a long time, why he's acting like this. He says he doesn't care! He's a cancer victim, and people need to just let him do what he wants to do!

Has anyone ever experienced this? Any suggestions?? He shoots down every idea or suggestion we give him! :0(

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Help The Garcia's Bring Kellsey Home!

My friends, The Garcias, (I won this blog from Rennee, remember) are in the process of adopting a little girl from Eastern Europe. Renee has started a fundraiser to bring Kellsey Home.

She is making beaded necklaces for kids. They are great for children with special needs (as ID) or just for that princess in your life! Have a look, and please consider ordering one to help them out!

Bringing Kellsey Home

The Joys Of Being Nana

Kristy is the oldest of my 2 children, and mother to my most perfect grandson Jacob.
There were days when I wondered if Kristy would ever grow up, or if I'd survive motherhood!

Needless to say, things worked out just fine, and we're best friends now.


Now Kristy wonders if he will ever grow up, or if she's going to survive motherhood!

The phone rings, and the conversation goes something like this:
Me: Hello
Kristy: I'm Sorry Mommy!
Me: What did Jacob do now? lol

Jacob is a typical 13 year old boy. He loves girls, money, his church, and especially skateboarding! He's a stinkpot, to say the least, but a great source of joy to me!

Kristy swears that when she was young, I put the "Mothers Curse" on her!

You know the one that we yell when we've had enough...." I Hope When You Grow Up, You Have A Child That Acts Just Like You" !!
I'm here to tell works!
It really works!

I love being on this side of motherhood! Life is ever changing with adult children. Now with grandkids in the picture, it's oh so much more enjoyable! I love knowing that things are really going to work out, and that my children will not loose their sanity raising my grandchildren!

That there really is time for a teaparty,or to watch Brobie dance on Yo Gabba Gabba.

That "kickflips" and "grinding" are really cool!

I love knowing that as a grandparent, we get to enjoy the smallest things our grandchildren have to offer. As a parent, it's easy to get so "busy" with everyday life that the little things get taken for granted!

I guess the Good Lord knew what he was doing in giving us grandparents.

With that being said....Kristy just called. Her vet gave them some tranqulizers to sedate their dog, Petey, so they can cut his toe nails! He tried to get up and get a drink of water from the bathtub, and got stuck half way in! lol
Ain't life grand?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Please join me today in praying for this man and our nation.
Whatever your political stance or opinions are, this man was chosen to lead our nation through the next four years of unrest, financial hardship, and change.
With our prayers, we can again become "One Nation Under God" !

Monday, January 19, 2009

An Introduction

New Year....New Me!
Wow, how do I start?
First off, I have to say a special thanks to my friends Renee and Rebecca!
I've followed Renee's blog for about a year and a half now. I LOVE the concept of blogging, and when she told me that I'd won her New Year, New You blog makeover (or in my case "creation") I thought now is the time for me to jump in here and try this on my own!

Rebecca emailed me, and with just a few questions, she created this awesome design for me!
I hope I can make them proud. So bear with me as I learn the art of blogging.

I hope to share with you my "Abundant Blessings" and the things that I'm passionate about.
God has blessed me and my family in so many ways, and with so many great people. Goodness knows I should never run out of things to talk about! lol
Those that know me, know that isn't a problem anyway.

There are many, many things I'll ramble about here. The things that fill me up, and break my church, my husband of 27 years, my work with the "Celebrate Recovery" program and especially my grandchildren!
You will come to know my brother Mike. He is a hero in my book! You see, Mike was separated from our family for 18 years (more about that in later posts). Two years ago this Feb. the Lord brought us back together. After only 11 months, we learned that Mike was in late stage 4 Kidney Can*er.
He was given a 6 week survival rate at diagnosis. Mike is a STRONG Christian man, and decided he was going to give that last 6 weeks totally to the Lord and his work.
Two years later, he's STILL working!

It is through that journey that I've met so many
Heroes! The caregivers, parents, and victims of this monster that is Cancer. To quote Renee....Cancer Sucks!

Please join me on this wonderful, whacky, sometimes heartbreaking journey that is my life! Help me Count My Abundant Blessings!

With that being said, this past weekend there was a Bluegrass Gospel Benefit held to support Mike. My second Mom (June) works with me, and sings in a Gospel group called
"The Ridge Runners". They hosted the benefit. Thanks guys for all of your love and support!
They preformed a song I had never heard, but touched me so deeply! It made me think of so many of the Carepage, Caringbridge, and Vandy folks I've come to love.
So Renee, Tricia, Angela, Kim and all of you other Heroes....this is for you !

Feeling So Blessed,