let’s go celebrate

One year ago, today we left.

One year ago, today was his ‘big’ day.

But the leaving overshadowed his ‘big’ day.

20160709_075939

One year ago, today I published a post ‘Yes, today is the day we celebrate.‘, in which I wrote the following words –

You know what today is?  How could you forget, I have written about it for weeks and months now.

Yes, today is the day the new owners sign papers to buy our home.

Yes, today is the day we leave our home for the last time.

Yes, today is the day we make our way to Pensacola, Florida.

Pensacola_1

Yes, today is the day we celebrate.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

One year ago, today we left Dallas immediately after signing papers of the sale of our house.

One year ago, today was his ‘big’ day; it was Gary’s 60th birthday.

But the leaving overshadowed his ‘big’ day; there was no cake or ice cream.

Today let’s celebrate Gary’s 61st birthday!

20160810_181735

Happy Birthday Gary.  You my husband and partner, my caretaker and friend, my rock of support.  You bring meaning to my life, my heart and soul.

For this I adore you and love you.

Happy 61th Birthday!

Now let’s go celebrate.

The assault on my body

From my post ‘lymphedema‘, I received the following comment from fellow blogger and friend Osyth from Half Baked In Paradise. –

Image1

Image Provided by: Pinterest

Reading your posts I feel I am looking on helplessly watching an unrelenting assault. I cannot imagine what it must be like for Gary and for your close family and friends. And for you …. for you enduring ALL these painful conditions and each time you turn to walk away feeling a little less racked with pain BANG – there’s another thing to start ratcheting it up and remind you. Helpless I am but I have a strong heart and I send you all the strength I have to help you battle on. And soft hugs. As many as you can stand.

My response –

Osyth, I will admit – some days I find difficulty in living. As you indicated in your comment there is an unrelenting assault taking place on my body. The emotional toll it is taking on Gary is evident as he sees me everyday and experiences what I am going through on a daily basis. It is tough on both him and I. I appreciate your strength in helping me battle on and the soft hugs are always welcomed. Hope your day is beautiful and full of sunshine.

At times, there seems to be an unrelenting assault taking place.  Each day I wake, I know what to expect; I am very tired and drowsy and weak.

Image2

Image Provided by: quotesgram.com

The unrelenting assault is coming from cancer waging a war on my body along with the immunotherapy weakening my immune system and the many drugs my body is having to take that help with pain management and other needed reasons, but also come with side effects that negatively affect me.  Then there is the lymphedema that is currently taking place.  The lymphedema causing pain, and causes inconveniences with walking, standing and sleeping.

The assaults on my body some days are difficult to deal with and very time consuming.  It takes me much longer to do daily tasks and much of that requires help from Gary.  Besides needing help with daily tasks, Gary takes on many other responsibilities including picking up my prescriptions, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and this list continues.

Image3The most important item on the list is his never-ending determination to make my life easier.  He is always available for me when I need help.  Some days he struggles watching me as I deal with pain, discomfort and the relentless assaults taking place on my body every day.  Some days he struggles with the idea I may not be here much longer.

Months not Years

In my post ‘something changes direction‘, I wrote these words –

The results of the CT Scan and MRI came back with additional bad news.

My cancer has now spread into my bones and spine as well as additional Lymph Nodes.  It was only one month ago I had scans performed and these areas were clear and displayed nothing out of the ordinary.  The doctors are amazed at how quickly my cancer has spread.

So, what comes next?

image3

Image Provided by: WallpapersCraft

In today’s post, I write the following –

It was about 3 weeks ago, I received the news my cancer had spread into my bones, spinal cord and additional Lymph Nodes.

Following my hospital stay, I had a visit with my Oncologist Dr. L. to discuss my options.  One option was to do nothing and the other option was Immunotherapy.  Concerning Immunotherapy; any type of positive results is only about 15% – meaning 15% of participants will receive some type of response.  The response would be the slowing down of the progression of cancer to other parts of the body and/or stopping or slowing down the growth of the cancer cells.

Image2

Image Provided by: flickr.com

So, I asked Dr. L. the question; how many years would my life be extended, if there were a positive result?  His response was that we are talking about months, not years.

It is mid-July and sometime in late August scans will take place to compare to previous ones.  What will they reveal?  Any changes?  We will find out soon enough and further decisions will be made.

Whatever those results and decisions, my time is limited to months not years.  I know this and Gary knows this as does my family.

20170416_194313

I will continue to write and publish posts until it comes a time I am unable to do so.

Failed

In last Friday’s post ‘for as long as possible‘, I wrote the following –

It is Friday and today is the day I am looking for pain relief – today is the day I receive my Superior Hypogastric Nerve Block procedure.  I certainly will update you next week with how I feel and the results of this procedure.

Next Monday I start my radiation treatments; another potential for pain relief.  I have no expectations concerning the radiation, except I want something good to come from it.

image2

Image Provided by: paulbarford-heritage-the-ruth.blogspot.com

In today’s post, I write the following –

Friday as I am being prepared for the procedure upon taking with the doctor, I find out this procedure will not be a simulation.  The simulation would only last a couple of days and if it worked, then I would go back and have the actual procedure for the long term relief.  This procedure should provide long term relief which may be a couple of weeks or a couple of months.

The procedure takes place and immediately I do not feel any difference.  Considering they gave me pain medication during the procedure, I thought I would be feeling no pain at all.  The pain was just as significant as before the procedure; Gary and I felt very disappointed.  Gary sees what I go through each day and he is frustrated the doctors cannot find the source of the pain.  He asks the doctor who performed the procedure to contact my Oncologist Dr. L. to see if there are any other tests that can be performed – there must be something they have missed for me to be feeling this amount of pain.  Dr. L indicates there are no other tests and the radiation treatment that starts on Monday should help with reducing the pain.

It is Friday evening and as usual my pain is great and I am feeling little to no difference in my pain level several hours after the procedure was done.  I take my usual amount of evening pills and prepare myself for another rough night.  The nightly routine is Gary sleeps in the bed and I sleep on the recliner.  I am unable to lie flat in the bed without feeling significate pain.  The recliner provides me some relief because I can position myself lightly upright, which takes pressure off my lower back pain.

image1

I am sitting in the recliner preparing myself for another night’s sleep and Gary is sitting in a chair next to me and I begin to cry.  He places his hand on mine and I tell him, I feel like I am dying and my body is starting to shut down and I will not be around much longer.

I say to him ‘I have failed you.’

It was no accident

His name is mentioned here in many of my posts, and there are many words to describe him.

His name of course is Gary.

His role is friend, spouse, and most recently caregiver.

Several months ago, a fellow blogger and friend Laurel, published a post about caregivers.  In that post titled ‘For Gary ’, she ended with these words –

Gary and other people in the same role are “unsung heroes.”  That’s a phrase that most of the time represents a person who doesn’t get recognition or notoriety but plays an important, supportive role…”behind the scenes.”

They should be remembered.

Thank you again Laurel for the touching post; reading it again brings tears to my eyes.  Please if you have not read Laurel’s post, please do so – there is an important message there.

As many of you know, a little over 3 weeks ago, I had a major surgery.  Before being wheeled off to the operating room, Gary was holding my hand and we kissed.  He assured me everything would go well and he would be waiting for me.

I woke after surgery feeling I had been hit by a truck and there he was waiting.

I am grateful for Gary my caregiver and my unsung hero; who is strong, supportive, kind, understanding and extremely patient.  The past couple of weeks have been an adjustment for me and Gary.  My body has changed, both inside and outside.

He is still here today, waiting on me hand and foot and I at times feel I do not deserve him.  I am fortunate in that someone else thinks I do deserve him – I am grateful.

I believe everything happens for a reason both good and bad.  Gary and I met for a reason; our relationship developed for a reason; we became married for a reason.

Yep, everything happens for a reason, and Gary is in my life for a reason – one reason is certainly as caregiver and unsung hero.

There is a country song I like by Tracy Bird titled ‘The Keeper of the Stars’, with the song beginning with these lyrics –

It was no accident me finding you

Someone had a hand in it

Long before we ever knew

Now I just can’t believe you’re in my life

Heaven’s smilin’ down on me

Yes, everything happens for a reason; it was no accident me finding you.

Thank you Gary for being in my life, for taking care of me and for loving me.

I do not deserve you, not at all, but I am thankful and grateful you are in my life.

Love you,

Terry

Caregiver

In my post ‘Stars of Life‘, I wrote the following –

Interesting, many stars in the sky; we wish upon them, we watch them and dream – we dream about stars – the stars in the sky.

But stars are not just in the sky.

I have stars in my life – not just the ones in the skies – no, I have other stars in my life.

In my life, the stars are my mom & my spouse.  You know how important my mom is to me; I have written many posts about her.  My spouse, Gary is important also and I have written posts about him.

In today’s post, I write the following –

image1

Gary and I were married December of last year by a judge in a courtroom of a county government office.  No witness except the judge, no guests, no cake and a just a couple of pictures.  During our ceremony, our vows that were exchanged to one another were similar to the traditional Roman Catholic vows –

I, Gary, take you, Terry, to be my husband,

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.

I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Terry, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

These words I was taking very seriously, while Gary on the other hand was giggling!  Really Gary, you are giggling during the vows?

Okay, so this star in my life, unknown to him that day we were married, is now a caregiver.  I might add he is an excellent caregiver.

Those vows spoken “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.”

The bad times are here, the sickness is here, and those words spoken back in December, between the giggles, they were taken very seriously.

My caregiver is strong, smart, detailed and always ahead of the game.  He keeps me motivated and keeps me taking my medications when I should be taking them.  He prepares my meals, he cleans the 5th wheel, he takes me to my appointments, he makes sure I stay on track.

What more could I ask for?  Nothing, this star of mine, my caregiver, is everything to me.

My husband by law, my partner for life, my star, my caregiver – I respond with the following –

I know I am a horrible patient and I complain and lose my temper and throw tantrums.  I am often grumpy and want to be left alone to soak in my uncertainties.

But remember, I took those vows also –

I will love you all the days of my life.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, sickness and in health.

I am thankful for you my caregiver; I am grateful for you Gary.

Image2.png

Stars of Life

science.nasa.gov has the following –

Stars are the most widely recognized astronomical objects, and represent the most fundamental building blocks of galaxies. The age, distribution, and composition of the stars in a galaxy trace the history, dynamics, and evolution of that galaxy. Moreover, stars are responsible for the manufacture and distribution of heavy elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, and their characteristics are intimately tied to the characteristics of the planetary systems that may coalesce about them. Consequently, the study of the birth, life, and death of stars is central to the field of astronomy.

4

Interesting, many stars in the sky; we wish upon them, we watch them and dream – we dream about stars – the stars in the sky.

But stars are not just in the sky.

I have stars in my life – not just the ones in the skies – no, I have other stars in my life.

In my life, the stars are my mom & my spouse.  You know how important my mom is to me; I have written many posts about her.  My spouse, Gary is important also and I have written posts about him.

Sure, there are other important people in my life; my dad, my siblings, my sons and others.  They all have significant roles and relationships that make me whole and bring completeness to me and my life.  But the stars in my life, mom and Gary – they are my building blocks, my source of strength, reasons to move forward and better myself.

I think of my life as a galaxy, and those stars of mine, in my galaxy, they brighten my darkest nights and when I think about them, the twinkle of hope resonates.

Image2

Image Provided by: http://www.reference.com

In my post ‘Thanks Mom!‘, I concluded with the following –

My mom may not have always understood me and my actions; but she has always supported me.  She has never questioned my choices in life even when those choices were bad ones and she has always been there to help pick me up so I can continue to move forward.  Today a man in his middle 50s, I call mom often to check in and we catch up on our lives.  She is always there listening to me when I talk about me and my life and still supports me and still comforts me and still keeps me on track.  Thanks Mom!

Men are what their mothers made them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my post ‘My Life Partner Does!‘, I concluded with the following –

So, my hopes are for people who have a life partner in their life, they have more than just the Wikipedia definition of a life partner.  My hope is your life partner rescues you, advices you, encourages and motivates you – My hope is your life partner brings pleasure and fun in your life.  My Life Partner Does!

Image3

Image Provided by: fliart.club

In today’s post, I conclude with the following –

These people, these stars in my galaxy, they are part of the history, dynamics and evolution of my life my galaxy.  These people are the stars of my life.

He makes me want to be the best I can be.

He makes me want to be a better person.  He makes me want to be the best I can be.

20150420_183112_001

Image Provided by: spearfruit.com

Why is this?

There is an article on the thoughtcatalog.com website that lists signs your relationship is making you a better person and includes the following –

You find yourself making more and more tiny compromises—about which type of movie to watch, or what time to eat dinner—without feeling at all bitter.

Your main need might just be to meet their needs. And why not? You’ve spent enough years focused entirely on number one.

Overwhelmed by gratitude, you catch yourself saying “thank you” with more enthusiasm than necessary—to people who hold open doors, compliment you, or look friendly in general. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You want to return the Universe’s favor, so you act kindly towards everyone, even not-so-nice strangers. It takes way more than an annoying street performer who gets in your face on the subway or a rude waiter to make you angry.

You’re drunk on Love Kool-Aid and you know it, but you’re not embarrassed. You’re desperate to share the joy running through your veins.

You’re more motivated than ever to exercise and eat healthy because you have more reason than ever to live longer.

Your general outlook is incredibly positive. Bad things definitely happen, but there’s so much good in the world, too. You know this because it led you to your lover.

Really?  That was not quite what I had in mind when writing this post.  For me my relationship is making me a better person because I want to be a better person for him.  He deserves a better person to be in his life to be his partner in life and to be his spouse, his support and his love.  This is why he makes me want to be the best I can be – to be a better person.  I know relationships are about 2 people and yes, I am a control freak at times and make it all about me.  I am working on this, because it is not always about me or should not always be about me.  I am working on this, because I want to be a better person for him.

He makes me want to be the best I can be.

Why is this?

Could it be love, devotion, dedication or commitment?  Well it may be a little of all – whatever the reason, it is good for me.  It is good for me because I want to be good for him.  I want to be the best for him, a better person; the best I can be.

20150606_100038

Image Provided by: spearfruit.com

He makes me want to be the best I can be and I am a better person because of him.