Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cades Cove, TN

On my visit to TN last weekend I went to Cades Cove. This is by far my favorite picture!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Road Trip!

When my sisters fiance went in the hospital a month ago I had no idea how much life was about to change.
I am not complaining at all , please don't get me wrong. I would do anything for her .

When he passed away I was there but more importantly I have been there since. While he was still hanging on she made a comment to me that it was nice to have so many people around but she was worried that once he was gone where would they be. I have tried to fill her days with things to do so that she didn't ever feel alone. I realize that is not realistic. Her life partner of the last 9 years is suddenly gone. The man that filled her car with gas, bought the groceries, paid the bills, ran the house...was no longer going to be there for her.

She has good days and bad days. It's the unexpected triggers that sneak up on her that throw her off. For example we were working on paying bills yesterday and writing down things on the calendar when she realized that after this year is up and she gets a new calendar she will no longer have his handwriting on the calendar. It hit her hard. What can you say? Nothing.

She has gotten over moving his urn into whatever room she is in. For a while it sat in his chair, and then moved to the bed when she went to sleep. She is going to get a vile so she can wear some in a necklace or something.  I've often joked with Vic that I want to be put in a big pink urn that lights up and is kind of obnoxious so the next girlfriend will always be reminded me of me...not very nice is it? LOL

This weekend I am going to go to TN to visit my dad with my sister. We are taking a nice long road trip to get away for a few days. It will be nice to have a change of scenery. I hope to come back with lots of pictures and happy things to blog about.

This past month I have written many blogs but have not published them. I dont want my blog to be about me venting on how much cancer and doctors suck or how some of my family really disappointed me or anything negitive...I don't want to look back later and see a series of depressing blogs. Until I can blog happy things again I will be MIA. I hope this trip to TN cures me :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Birthday

I have had the best birthday week this year! I have hated birthdays for a while now (40 just killed me!) But this year was different.
Last year Vic and I started the tradition to go somewhere on our b'days (hers is a week before mine) We went to Tampa for the weekend and enjoyed a day at Busch Gardens and then went back at night for Hallo- scream!
This year we could not decide where to go and leaving the four dogs and cat behind was harder on us than we thought it would be. Plus the added fact that my sisters fiance had just died and she would be needing us. So we ordered ourselves a treadmill as a birthday gift for both of us. The gift that would keep on giving (or hopefully subtracting....pounds!)
My birthday started out on a somber note with me taking my sister to get her fiances ashes. It really made me think twice of how I think about my birthday , I will not complain about getting older ever again!
I was happy that we planned a big birthday celebration at my favorite Mexican restaurant that night. The whole family could use a reason to laugh and have some fun after a week or two of such sadness. And we did! The flowing margaritas helped.

Today we are going to relax around the house and put together the treadmill. The huge box has been taunting us all week. I wanted to wait until after all of the birthday cake before I started my new workout plan.
Hopefully by my  next birthday I will have a few less chins!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet me On Monday


1. What is the best dish you can make?
Is Cake a dish?

2. How often do you change your sheets?
At least once a week, more if the furchildren have jumped in bed with sand between their toes!

3. What is the longest car trip you have ever taken?
Family trips from Missouri to Florida in the car, but have traveled to Europe in high school on planes,trains and buses

4. What is your favorite fruit?
I love most fruit, favorite would probably be strawberries

5. Would you rather have breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?
 breakfast for dinner! I love breakfast food

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sister Wives on TLC

I finally got around to watching the new show "Sister Wives" last night. I've only seen the first episode but enjoyed it enough that I will watch more.

It is a reality show about a family that practices polygamy. The man in this show has three wives and 12 (soon to be 13) children. He is courting a fourth wife. It was not your typical poly family that we have seen on the news where the women and girls all wear dresses and have long braided hair. The Brown family has wives that work, children that go to school and a more "modern" feel to it.

Even though I could not see myself living this lifestyle I totally could see it working for others. The sister wives made some very good points in the first episode, such as they have the security of knowing if anything happened to them the other sister wives would take care of their children. The third wife said she married more for the other sister wives than the actual husband. I could get that. What a great support system.

The children were all born AFTER the three marriages took place. So all the kids have grown up together as sisters and brothers. They all share a huge house but it is divided into three very separate spaces with three kitchens, three living rooms and lots of bedrooms.

I read this morning that the family is being investigated by police because polygamy is illegal. I wondered about that as I watched the show last night. It was a pretty big risk to put it on TV. The family said they knew the risks and thought it was worth it. I can't say I would agree. I'm sure the local authorities know it goes on but look the other way , it's kind of hard to do that when you're rubbing it in their face on a tv program.

Did you watch it? What did you think? Could you live that way?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It's been a while since I posted. Actually the last time I wrote anything was a Friday Flip Off regarding cancer. Since then I have spent a week that felt more like a month in Venice Hospital watching my sisters boyfriend of 9 years die.

I had been going to the doctor appointments with them so I could take notes. Tuesday we were suppose to find out the results of the last PET Scan. We ended up calling 911 that day because he was burning up with fever and was more than we could handle. He wasn't making sense and was too big for us to get into the car by ourselves. They would later tell us he was septic, the infection had poisioned his blood.

While he was being taken to the hospital we called the doctors office to find out what the test results were going to be today. His cancer had spread. Chemo had not helped. He had a new tumor at the head of the pancreas. There wasn't much more they could do for him.

In the week we were in the hospital we had some very good doctors and nurses but we also had some real shockers. I wonder if they ever had compassion or if they were so burnt out that they had forgotten why they were there. I think since the first doctor visit a few months ago , that has been my biggest surprise - the lack of compassion. When the Doctor first told us it was stage 4 pancreatic cancer they sent us home without ever explaining what that meant or what to expect. I of course got online and read up on it, which is probably NEVER a good idea because it all sounds just horrible and worse case scenarios. My sister and her boyfriend kind of buried their heads in the sand and went the route of denial. When the family would talk about wills and getting prepared for when my sisters boyfriend would pass they got angry and didn't want to hear about it, they would deal with all of that later. When he would try and show my sister how to work the pool, or pay the bills she would put him off saying she would pay attention later. Later would never come.

It's now been three days since he passed. We have spoken with his lawyer, visited the cremation place, placed obituaries,notified all the family out of state and taken a breath. One thing about being in that hospital for a week is that it gave us all time to come to terms with the fact that he would not be coming home again. We were able to slowly prepare, and to say our goodbyes. I think if he would have died that first day it would have been much harder on the family and loved ones. I used to think that I wanted to go fast but after seeing the process the way I did I think it's kinder on the family to have a little more time.

Life is precious.

Something no one wants to think about but should is pre-planning. Luckily about five years ago my sisters boyfriend paid for and made all his cremation arrangements and saw a lawyer. He had his will in order, had put his accounts in a trust so there will be no problems with probate and all of that. I also learned that this year (2010) there are no inheritance taxes, so my sister won't have to worry about taxes on top of  everything else. If he had not set up his will and put his accounts in a trust it would have cost around $900 just to file probate.  I plan on getting this stuff done myself soon so my family does not have to go through any added expense or stress if I were to die. It was the ultimate thing he could have done to make this easier on my sister.