As my father endured his cancer treatments he often would feel so lousy that he simply couldn't bear company. I understood, but often wept once I was given the rejection call where he would tell me I wouldn't be able to come to visit. I often was all ready showered, dressed and in my car with the GPS set for Daddy's.... when the call would come asking me to retreat and come another day.
In the time since then, Dad fell on Oct. 21st, breaking his hip. It seems so unfair to have to deal with a broken hip on top of lung cancer. How could this have happened. He isn't a frail elderly gentleman who falls often. He is a vital 67 year old who was alert and not clumsy. He simply tripped on the oxygen cord that helps him to breathe. It all just feels so unjust.
Recuperation led to a horrible stay at Healthsouth Rehabilitation in Harmarville. I pray you never need to send someone there...and if you have a choice pick any other place, BUT them. The care he received there was incredulous. They were nasty and rude and insulting. We even nicknamed one of his nurses "Nurse Ratchet". He got out by having such a horrible yelling fit with the worst nurse that he had a breathing attack and was returned to St. Margaret's. We thought they were bad, but Healthsouth made St. Margaret's look like heaven. In this day and age of health care, the only way to be certain to get decent care is to have a healthy member stay in your room round clock to be certain of your care, if not doing it yourself altogether.
Though therapy is incomplete, we have decided it best for Dad to return home and simply remain there for the rest of his care. Nurses come and go and therapists as well who all help in his care. Mondays and Thursdays, Aunt Betty cares for Daddy and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my days.
I have come to love these days. It's a long drive, but it's a peaceful one with beautiful scenery and reminds me of God's beauty that lay in my path daily. The hours that I missed in trying to visit him in the past year are now mine to spend with him as long as I choose. It is a blessing to be with him this much and to be able to help him. I love playing "nurse" and love making my "patient" comfortable and bringing him lunch on a tray. Giving him back rubs that make him cozy and comfortable makes me feel so useful and I love knowing I am doing all I can for him. I love him so much and look at these moments as gifts. Kathy (my stepMom) is always so grateful bringing me meals, allowing me to do my laundry here (which is so helpful!). She has one of those sets of giant front loaders so I can double my laundry. So they are helping me as much as I am helping them... and that is a double blessing for all of us.
We have good days and bad... and I know that's how it's going to be. I am grateful for the good ones and do all I can for him in the bad. It is a blessing that my darling husband Brian also allows me to come here this much because things need taking care of at home, and he must step up to the plate. He also does things here, such as soon he will arrive to install a shower bar so Dad can take a safe shower. He installed a light and he and Shane and Zane even helped set up the hospital bed. I love my own family even more when I can see their compassion showing through for my Dad.
And then there are the friends and family and facebook prayer warriors who continually lift us all in prayer. I am so grateful for all of you who pray for him. Often I post a request on FB and by the next day, things are looking better.
Caring for Daddy is one of the life changing moments I will treasure always. I love every minute we spend together. Kathy tells me to go home before she gets here, but I simply can't... I must wait till she arrives to be certain he is cared for in every minute. I love being a "nurse" and I am so lucky to have these moments with him.
Keep praying! We are all so grateful to all of you who care enough to remember him in your prayers.
Here we are... May 2010 and I looked at the blog and didn't even realize that it's been since August that I have posted.
First my father-- He is still hanging in there and fighting the good fight! He was accepted at the Cancer Treatment Center in Philadelphia. To fly there, a friend from his girlfriend's work allowed them to use their frequent flier miles for 4 trips! What a blessed gift that someone who never met my father was so willing to bestow upon him. I wish I could thank him in person! People truly are good and have wonderful giving hearts. I also acknowledge in gratitude the Angel Flights program for getting my father to his last 2 appointments! He flew in unique little planes with pilots who are gracious and kind. They won't accept a dime. They tell my father they know they are privileged to own a plane and this is their way of giving back. They fly from other areas like NY and NJ and Harrisburg, PA just to pick up my father and Kathy and take him to his appointments! What a glorious blessing for my Dad to get their safely and quickly and return the same way. So please continue to lift my father up in prayer that flights will continue to come and chemo will keep the cancer at bay! We are grateful for any prayers given and the result is 1 1/2 years after diagnosis... he is still with us! He can't wait to walk into the doctor's offices at the 2 year mark and tell them BALONEY to your months diagnosis. God has final say, not man! PRAISE GOD!
Life's priorities took precedence over any card making activities for sure. Though I miss my hobby greatly, my illness only allows me the time to finish my calligraphy work. I understand that, but hope to be able to visit my beloved card making hobby once again as well as jewelry making and watercolor artwork. I got a fabulous card spinner (FOR FREE!) from an old friend and bought a bunch of dog rubber stamps on ebay. While I have so many fun ideas in my head for cards, I never seem to have time to do them. So while this started out as a blog about card making, it's life we discuss now. Life around here is NEVER DULL!
It's rough being a Mom to two boys who make me feel like I have 8. Their exciting activities including dirt bike riding, BMX riding and skateboarding have kept me in the ER 3 times in one month! Zane broke his ankle skateboarding and is still healing. Shane had a painful abdomen attack and his BP dropped to 42 bottom number, scaring the crap out of me! Then Shane fell riding BMX with no helmet on and his new bike handlebars hit him in the lip knocking him unconscious. He then did a free fall 4 ft. to the concrete below and his head received the most damage. We spent hours in the ER of St. Clair Hospital and then an ambulance took us to Children's for better pediatric care. He was diagnosed with a severe concussion. He had no memory of how he did it, where he was, what color his bike was, who the president is. It was the most frightening thing in the world to hear my child continually repeat the questions over and over "What happened?" "Where am I?" "How did I do this?" "Where are we going?". He didn't know the color of his new bike or what kind it was (after weeks of searching for the perfect bike). He must have asked me 100 times or more. I knew then he had brain damage and I will never forget that day as long as I live.The next morning he became more cohesive as his memories came back to him. He remembered the bike and the president, and I sighed a huge sigh of relief to see him come back to his normal self.
After several tests at the concussion clinic of UPMC, we have discovered that he is still having learning issues 3 weeks later and all school work had to be cut in half as well as teachers needing to give him more time to complete all work.
I am grateful that he is going to be OK. I know it could have been so much worse and that he is very lucky. No chipped teeth (handlebars hit him in the lip and nose) no teeth damage at the dentist yesterday, the lip healed, all bloody places on his face quickly healed. His shoulder popped out for about a week or so. No broken bones were found. No bleeding was found under the skull. I never felt so much relief as the moments they told me all that Shane would be OK with time.
I will never again lose the battle over the helmet. I share his picture today so that if you know any children who don't wear them, may they see this photo and never end up like my sweet Shane did on that day.
Many people prayed for Shane that day and beyond and I will always be grateful for your care, concern and your thoughts sent to God on Shane's behalf. I believe you helped to make him well and will continue to do so as I ask you to pray for him still. Please lift my father too as he continues his battle with cancer. Life can be tough, but it's friends like you who help us all to make it through. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Dad had lost his voice over the last few months. After going to the doctors they discovered a new tumor pressing on a nerve, causing him pain and difficulty while speaking. They are treating it with radiation and that is now over, and the next steps are the chemo. The chemo is new and goes quicker with less hair loss and best of all less nausea. He finds he is still extremely lethargic so I pray that his energy would rise up and let him be more of his old self once again.
I thank all of you who continue to pray and lift up my father.
I please ask you
to also pray for my very dear friends who are all three battling breast cancers (in various stages and forms) Cheryl Weber, Sammie Murphy (Sammie's hubby Paul is also suffering from lung & bone cancer) & Missy Brownfield (our pastor's wife). All 3 women are undergoing treatments right now for breast cancer. Having been down this road with Shelly, I am of course extremely fearful for them... but have faith that the outcomes will be different than what happened with Shelly. We must remain faithful and be in continual talking with God. It's all that will get us through.
I love all 3 of these women dearly. I have known Sammie, since I was about 12 years old. She is a longtime friend of my Mom and her and I have also been close friends as I grew into my adulthood...my having a very close relationship with her daughter Jamie from birth. Sammie lives in Florida, so I will need to support her from afar in any way I can. I recently helped her with a letter trying to get her proper health care that she is fighting for under the CHAMPSVA, her husband has. I hope she gets what she is entitled to.
Cheryl Weber is my darling friend who brought me to Christ by inviting me to North Way Christian Community when I was grieving the loss of my third son Tanner. Cheryl has been there for me through his loss, as well as my speech at TCF to speak about his loss, along with bringing me meals when I had my surgery. We have grown together in the Lord and I was always happy to help her paint scenery for Vacation Bible School when her family decorated NWCC in the summers. Her family is very dear to me as well. She is such a loving, sweet person and I will be there for her in whatever way she needs me to.
And last, but certainly not least is the Pastor's wife Missy Brownfield. She is one of the kindest people you would ever meet. The way they welcomed us to Dorseyville Alliance Church as the family of the Pastor was so warm. I have never had a welcome like that! They even invited us to their home for a lovely luncheon to talk and get to know them better. We were sold on the friendliness of this great church and have been there ever since. Missy is sure to find you if you attend, and offer up a huge smile and a big hug every Sunday! Her joyous spirit is surely something that will come in handy during this battle. The good news for Missy is they got everything out with her surgery, there was no expansion into the lymph nodes and after radiation we are aiming for complete recovery!
TOBAC FAMILY SUMMER
I personally have been so busy WRITING, WRITING, WRITING... with the busiest season ever for my calligraphy. While it's great for the money, it's hard on my RSD and my carpal tunnel syndrome. I am grateful for the many orders from wonderful brides. It's been hard getting used to working at this level with RSD. I sometimes cry and wish I didn't have a business...but when I am feeling better, I start advertising on sites like Wedding Bee and such looking for more work. I have had orders from brides all over the country! I am grateful and honored to be a part of these many weddings. It is an honor to be trusted with such important work. It's become a full time job for me though, and I am not sure if I can handle it at times. Some mistakes were made, some unhappy brides, but anyone who operates a business can't operate at 100% perfection. NO one could... even someone who is healthy. So I had to try my best to make up for it by offering gifts to the unhappy brides and also to forgive myself. I hate when things like that happen and I truly hate when folks are mad at me. It is frustrating to work like this. My husband put it to me this way, this week... and he's absolutely right. He said, "You have a few days where you feel good and you think you are normal and you take on the world and try to do everything for everyone. Then the RSD kicks in and you remember that you can't do it." It's true and I need to remember that I have RSD and learn to ask for more time from clients, as well as not take on so many jobs, that I am unable to do them. Lessons learned the hard way eh?
As for our family... we have been camping in our new camper, a 2009 Grey Wolf. WE LOVE IT!!! We are so excited about camping and having fun in that thing. We try to go as much as possible, aiming for every other weekend as Brian works a lot in the summer and with my being busy as well, it's all we could fit in. Things have worked out for us to keep our home (HOORAY!) and we were even able to manage to purchase a new camper! I have been so extremely busy with calligraphy that I was able to help Brian come up with a down payment. Plus they give you 12 years to pay them off so the payment is extremely low (1/2 price of my car payment!). My car payments on my van "Myrna" (we call the minivan Myrna, after all she can't have a cool name, being a Dodge Grand Caravan and all ....LOL... the Queen of all minivans!) are soon over, so we can do this for sure. We are excited to take the boys camping, where they happily play and pick up girls. LOL They can now bring friends since it's way bigger than the old one! The old one was 16ft. and this one is 29 ft.! So I am grateful for my business taking off that it brought us our new fun camper!
Here is a picture of it... it's amazing and we are so thankful that things have worked out so that we are able to keep our home and were even able to purchase this! God is great and works things out if we wait patiently. I know, I know, I wasn't very patient! But He knows I am still ever thankful for all that we have.
This is the bedroom for me and Bri and the TV swivels into our side. Very cool! Came with a 20" flat screen.
The boys have a bunkhouse room at the other end, so they can bring friends.
And here is just the bumpout side where we eat and sit.
We are going to love this for years to come! Maybe we will see you at a campground! I am hoping to do a camping retreat for our bible study girls one weekend using my camper and some of the other girls' campers. It would be SO FUN!
As I suspected in my previous post, it is my father's cancer that is causing his loss of speech. There is a new tumor pressing on a nerve that has to do with speech. It actually hurts him to try to talk, so it's very difficult for him. The good news is he will be having surgery on the 8th that will hopefully correct this and give him back his speech! Let's pray that it works, so he can get about the business of going back to chemo for healing the rest of that cancer! We must address this problem first as it certainly affects his every day! Thanks again for praying and keep them coming! I love you all.
I just felt the need to update you all on my Dad and his condition. Though he was administered antibiotics for his lack of voice, he still continues to be unable to speak and mentioned that it actually hurts to talk. He still feels very lethargic and is just plain tired of being sick. He has an appointment on Thursday to follow up, but I wish he had called earlier as it has been over 2 weeks without being able to speak. I surely hope it's not the cancer, and just the flu. Though with the horrible types of flu that have been going around, they certainly aren't easy to overcome either, because poor Shane was never so sick in his life. He is perfectly fine now and back to normal! Praise God and you for your kind prayers!
I just wish to ask you to pray a bit more for my father and for a bit longer and I will be ever so grateful. And while you are whispering in the ear of our God, could you say another couple of prayers for my dear friend Jeff Hoover who has been waiting forever for a kidney transplant! This boy has been through so much, I can't even begin to tell you. Just lift him in both spirit and health. And even more that the kidney he has waited for, for almost 2 years, will finally come through.
My bible study friend Robin's father recently passed away, and I attended the funeral last Friday. He sounded like a lovely wonderful man who touched many lives! Pray a blessing of peace and comfort over their family. Her Mom had to endure surgery this week for a cancer removal! This poor family is enduring so much right now. Please lift them all up as well.
We know there is power in prayers! So I come to you now once again for those wonderful prayers. And I thank you and remind you that should you need me ever to be there for you and kneel before the throne on your behalf, I am there!
More Recent Articles