Friday, December 30, 2005

December 31, 2005

I hear it in the silence,
and in the darkness,
and in the distance.

It bares down upon us
inevitable.
We stand on the shore,
staunch,
steadfast.
We will survive this onslaught.
We will beat nature herself.
We will hold hands
and be stronger.

But in the silence
of the darkness
it roars from the future
moving ever toward the present.

Our tsuami.
Our great wave.
It comes to wash over us,
and to wash away
all we have ever known.


I wrote that last night. I had no idea the storm was so close.
He is gone.
In my mother's words: "He went to sleep and then he just slipped away from me."

She said he asked if I was back in town yet. She told him "No, she'll be here tomorrow." He said, "Okay."
I don't feel as if I missed saying goodbye. I think he said that to me a month ago.
We knew the depth of love between us. That will never be a question in my mind.

My poor sister. She said "I didn't tell him that I loved him last night." Oh baby, he knows. He knows.

I will drive to Houston tomorrow. I don't think I would do well on the road today.
There are moments when this hits me and moments still of disbelief.
I am tired now. I will try to sleep a while.


12-30-05

Error on Re-Entry



Another of my accidental-fractals that brought out some emotion in me.

I'll have to update later...and respond to all of your heartfelt comments.
Yesterday was a "good" day for Dad and a really bad day for me. I've been at work all week and it's really very hard on me just now to wear that mask all day.

But that's just my self pity.
So much love to all of you who keep me in your thoughts. Thank you, as always, for being here and for letting me emote so freely these things that are so confusing to me.

Unfortunately, I'm running late and I'll have to fill you in a bit later.
I've decided that tomorrow will be my "down" day. A day to reflect and decompress a bit. I'll see you all then. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

12-28-2005 Fool me once...

You guys are the most amazing people who ever walked the face of the earth.
How can I be so very lucky and so very unlucky all at once? ;)


I got an e-mail from my baby sister yesterday. It said there would be a "family meeting" with the doctors tomorrow to answer questions. 3:30p.m. and they will conference me in.
This is a good thing, right?
I got home and set about writing down all the questions.

Then my older brother called.
He said the hospital told my mother something new today.
They told her that my father has pneumonia and that the cancer has spread outside his lungs. They said they found this out on 12-13-05.**

I know what it means. We all do.
And we are angry as hell at the hospital. They never told my mother this. They still let him starve. They didn't even start radiation until AFTER 12-13-05 AND even last week they were telling my mother that the cancer is still contained in one lobe of one lung.
And part of me says "That hospital has gotten so much wrong already. Every time they have a shift change they start over at ground zero. Surely they're just WRONG about this."
Denial, I guess.
Obviously the questions are all different now.
Worse yet, no one has told my sister yet. She will find out today - hopefully before the conference call, but maybe not.
I'll be recording the call.

On 12-20-05 I flew to Houston without knowing if my father was alive or not.
When he opened his eyes, the room was full of relatives and he began to cry because he figured we were all there because he was going to die on that day.
He wasn't ready to die.
He isn't ready.
It isn't right.
(**I read every page of his file from 12-10 to 12-20 with a nurse. The last mention of the tumor was Stage III non-small-cell. That is a tumor that isn't moving.
I believe that entry was 12-19-05. It might have been 12-10 - regardless, someone should have documented something on 12-13 but no one did.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

12-27-05



I'm home in Dallas. Dad is "stable".
We all went up to see him on Christmas day. His mind was clear and he knew all of us.
He saw the kids. That was important. He smiled for them and talked to them too.
It was a good day....as days go now.

***
As for taking notes: the cancer is not killing my father. MD Anderson is mostly.
He has been there for three weeks. He is dying of starvation.
Every symptom* he has is a result of malnutrition, not of the tumor. The tumor is not growing and it is being irradiated daily. I'm told it isn't big enough to diminish his breathing and that he would have no less lung capacity if they removed the entire upper lobe of the left lung. They cannot do surgery because he is too weak.
He is too weak because he consumes no more than 100 calories per day - possibly less.
My mother has mentioned to doctors and nurses that he has difficulty eating. My mother has watched him take 3 bites of food and be done with a meal.
He needs a feeding tube.
I know it will be uncomfortable but he is very like an anorexic and should be treated as such.
It is ultimately Mom's decision. She hasn't made that decision yet because she is afraid he will a) suffer or be uncomfortable b) be mad at her.

For the record, codependency is B-A-D. Don't do it. There's way too much guilt involved.

(*symptoms: inability to breathe, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, mood swings, confusion, loss of elasticity of the skin, weakness. Possible results if not treated: liver damage, heart failure, stroke)
***

I want to thank you all so very much for sticking with me. I hate that I am posting such uninspiring and sad things. I know that it is hard to walk into this world every day without being dragged down a bit. I thank you all so much for your comments.
Please know that I read every word of every comment (some two and three times).
Know also that you are all very much a part of my heart and I know that I will never forget you. If I had arms to reach, I would hold you all close.

XOXOXO

Sunday, December 25, 2005

12-25-05 MERRY CHRISTMAS

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
-Edward Teller

We can do no great things --only small things with great love.
-Mother Teresa


Great Love and Blessings to you all.
Aggie

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

12-20-05 Splat!


Now that's gonna leave a stain!
Oops...lookout...Oh no...I think you got some on you. Ok, a little seltzer water and it will come right out. Really.

So let's have a little fun.
(We freakin need some fun!)
My sister asked me "What do we usually eat for Christmas? I can't think of anything and I need to tell people what to bring."
So I thought of a few things and dinner now looks like this: Turkey (Free. Thank you Kroger!), green bean cassarole, dressing, pears, rolls, deviled eggs and stuffed celery, chocolate pie.

What did we forget? What would you bring?

Monday, December 19, 2005

12-19-05

Something Softer

Oh God, if you're out there can ya hear me?
I know that we've never talked before.
Oh GOD, the man I love is leaving.
Won't you take him when he comes to your door?


But now you're sleeping peaceful,
I lie awake and pray
that you'll be strong tomorrow
and we'll see another day,
and we will praise it,
and love the light
that brings a smile
across your face.


Back to this.
The 5 stages of grief.
-Denial -skipped this.
-Anger/Blame
-done it
-Bargaining
-found out last night that I'm doing this. "Oh God, anything you want! Just give him back to us. Give him back to her."
-Depression -done it
-Acceptance - WILL NOT DO THIS.


Damn, I didn't want a "downer" post this morning.
Sorry 'bout that. It sneaked up on me.
How about laughing at me because I JUST realized there are only 6 days left before Christmas. ACK!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

12-18-05 Wishes and such



From The Amazing, Glorious, Art Diva Christa

IF YOU’VE BEEN SINGLED OUT:Rules: Copy and paste the questions to your site and answer them, then pick five people whom you wish to be Singled Out. Don’t forget to tell them they’ve been Singled Out.

You get one wish of anything, what would you ask for?
A miracle or a hero.

Wish for 6 more wishes.
1. To be standing in the snow next Christmas with my Dad.
2. Time to be there for my Mom.
3. For my brother to face this and help Mom more.
4. For my nephew to never lose that beautiful smile and charm.
5. Magical money enought to keep my family from worry.
6. True love.

What animal would you be?
Someone's most beloved lap-pet.

Something you want to do in your life:
Grow old gracefully.

One song you could listen to over and over again:
One??
"Whatever's Written in Your Heart" Gerry Rafferty

Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke.

Something you currently desire:
To know that prayers and wishes come true.

One good deed you’ve done lately:
Today I was shopping for an odd item. I found it. When I got to the register an old couple was describing what I had. They wanted it too.
I gave them mine.

A funny moment in your life:
There have been zillions. I can't think of one just now.

"Ok…boyz and gals….since this isn’t an option where I can say that you can do this if you want to, I’ve decided to Single Out:"
Tomeh,
Terry,
Autumn,
Tracey and,
Linny

For good measure, I'll wish this on a few others that I couldn't get in the top list:
Becky Who has nothing but time on her hands for such as this. :)
Fribbit Who, I think, may be knee deep in wishes just now.
AbigailWho always seems to wish for everyone but herself.

Wish away all.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

12-17-05 10:00 p.m.



Thank you.

12-17-05 Ribbons

I found where ribbons come from. They come from The Ribbon Galaxy.
Here it is. It has it's own wonderful sun.



I promise I'm not going to start a whole story, the likes of our most talented Trée. I assure you that is not my gift. However, I did find some jewels in the Ribbon Galaxy. They're used to make Ribbon Colors.



Today's quote: (and, boy howdy, it's a good one!)
If you are going through hell...keep going.
-Winston Churchill



Today's post....not so good.


The Problem with Never Agains:
I'm having a problem with "Never Agains". It started with Mickey. It's part of coping. I don't do it very well aparently.

We lit the fireplace for the first time this year. Mick used to LOVE the fireplace. I could hold a lighter near it and he would come running and plop himself in front of it. Ohhh...he loved that intense heat.
I was overwhelmed with the thought that I will "never again sit with him in my lap in front of a fire". Overwhelmed is the right word there.

The dry catfood container finally emptied out from feeding our little cat, Pooh.
I went to refill it and realized that we have a HUGE bag of dry catfood in the cabinet. It wasn't huge before because Mick was so big and he really ate a lot.
I was overwhelmed with the realization that we may NEVER AGAIN run out of dry catfood.
I am overwhelmed that the canned catfood lasts twice as long now. I am overwhelmed that I will never again pick up my baby. I am overwhelmed that I will never again hear his voice.
I could go on like this for hours.
Damned never agains.

But then something horrible happened. The never agains started relating to my father.
Granted, they are now "may never agains" but that sure doesn't change how painful they are.
I may never again have a funny IM chat with my Dad. I may never again share music with him. He may never again be close to his gradson. He may never again take a trip with my mom.
He may never again look at the moon in Houston and know that I'm looking at that same moon in Dallas.
This goes on and on and on. TV, radio, our LIVES. Forever altered by never agains.
Damned evil never agains.

Friday, December 16, 2005

12-16-05 More Ribbons

Weeee....still playing with the ribbon thing.
It's 7a.m., I've been piddling about this morning and I just realized....today I'm supposed to be at work early. How do you like that? I'm not even there yet and I'm already late.
Rush rush rush. Love to all. Have a blessed Friday.
Next Post: The Problem With Never Agains

Thursday, December 15, 2005

12-15-05 Ribbons



Pretty holiday ribbons for all.

Thoughts for the day:
Lady Luck generally woos those who earnestly, enthusiastically, unremittingly woo her. -B.C. Forbes

Enlightenment--that magnificent escape from anguish and ignorance--never happens by accident. It results from the brave and sometimes lonely battle of one person against his own weaknesses.
-Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano, "Landscapes of Wonder"

I like to walk alone on country paths, rice plants and wild grasses on both sides, putting each foot down on the earth in mindfulness, knowing that I walk on the wondrous earth. In such moments, existence is a miraculous and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child--our own two eyes. All is a miracle.

-Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness"



For brave souls, there is a very rambling Dad Update here>>
Dad Update
Comments are not required. I'm just keeping notes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

12-14-05 Merry Ho Ho ('n' stuff)

I received this a few years ago in an e-mail. I wish the artist had signed it. He/She deserves credit.

So, to all of you; Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Channukah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Easter, Happy Valentines Day, Independence Day, Birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, Haloween, and Happy NEXT Thanksgiving.
I love you guys!!!

Seasons Greetings

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

12-13-05 Part Deux

And the thick plottens......
(A tragedy - act two)

This is funny - but you've really got to wait for the laugh:

I got an e-mail from Mom yesterday. It was full of anger and foul words. This is not like Mom at all.
The text is as follows:
"Answered the phone this morning at 10am and some woman ask for YOU. I told her you had not lived here for years. I ask to take a message since "I knew her parents still lived nearby". " no, no message" The number on the ID was 763-684-1405- Go-More financial, in Buffalo MN website is gmfcollect.com. It's probably about your Dr bill. I've got money, how much is that bill? Just pay it off and tell that old woman to screw herself.
I got a bill yesterday from March! That company had sent the bill to the wrong address and finally got paid, but now I owe $40. These people are stupid. Put it on your credit card. It's easier that having to deal with Bitchy people . And it's not worth the upset stomach. Then tell them your MOM said to go to hell!
love ya,
MOM"


Ok - understand that my Mom, although very realistic and practical, is NEVER this mean. She is a very proper Southern Lady.
Of course, we're cutting her a lot of slack because, for pete's sake, look what she's going through on a daily basis! And now she thinks I'm having financial problems. Yeah, she needs something new to worry about. Her life is so danged carefree afterall.

SO - I call this company because I'm thinking "I don't owe anyone any money. All my credit is fine. Everything's in good standing."
They say "We received this loan from JP Morgan Chase Bank/Bank One. Would you like to overnight a check or mail it to our P.O. Box." I say, "Who the hell are you. Where did you get this information? What information do you think you have and what is this debt for??!!" They tell me they don't have ANY details and want my phone number so they can call me back. YEAH RIGHT!
I ask them to give me every reference number they have and I'll call them back when/if I get good and ready.
They proceed to give me an "account" number, which turns out to be my Social Security number. I immediately start thinking this is fraud.
They tell me to call Chase to verify it. (I'm currently a customer of Chase and Bank One.)
I call.
I speak to a very pleasant woman who cannot help me. She transfers me to an even nicer person in the loan department who thinks we're talking about a car loan that I have currently but can't understand why anyone would call because my loan is in great standing.
He refers me to the Collections Department.
The Collections Department cannot find any outstanding loan in my name with my social.
They do a check and tell me that they do not do business with Gomore Financial.

I call Gomore back.
I tell them I want the name and phone number of the person who gave them my name and "information".
They tell me they can't give out the names of their vendors.
I said "Lady, you didn't have any problem wrongfully calling me. Now hand it over or I'll hang up and call an attorney and sue you for harassment and fraud. YOU have the burden of proof here and you haven't proven anything so far!"
She gets all huffy. Tells me I can't sue. Tells me I need to speak to "a credit manager at Chase Bank."
I'm pissed. It's 9p.m. I give up for the night.

8a.m. this morning. I call Chase at the 4th phone number I've been given.
Ask to speak to a Credit Manager and I'm informed that they do not have a credit manager. (wtf is that??)
I hang up. I'm not doing this again.
I call Gomore. I talk to Donna AGAIN.
Donna's in a better mood this morning and I say, almost politely "Look. I don't know who you are. You could be a woman sitting in your living room taking names for all I know. I do not owe anyone any money. I want the name of the person who gave you my information."
She says "I really can't do that, but it is odd because your credit really does look good otherwise you wouldn't have a loan at 8% interest."
I'm thinking WTF ARE YOU LOOKING AT??!!
I say, almost politely again, "This is MY LIFE. I do not care who told you you can't hand out their number. THEY owe me an explanation and one of you is going to give me one RIGHT NOW!"

She says (get this) "Ok, his name is Bill Donner and his number is 414-977-7933 and you didn't get it from me."
And I think YEAH...I"M DOING YOU A FAVOR. PSHAW!
(Please note that I have no problem giving out his number. Give him a call. Tell him he's a very bad man. - Ok, he's not. He's just doing a job...badly!)

And I call the Bill. And the answering machine says Chase Home Loans. (I've never had a mortgage in this life.)
And I say "Sir! You and I have to talk. I don't know who you are and I don't know who Gomore Financial is but you'd better start ponying up about WHY they have my social security number and what they think I owe them money for."
And he doesn't know. (faint!)
He puts me through to Tammy.
Tammy knows.

(Here it is - hold your sides - this is a doozie)
Tammy very nicely says, "Oh, I see that you owe $67.52 from a student loan back in....let's see...um...nineteen...eighty....six."

The silence was deafening.

I said, "You're nuts right?"
She politely, and quite meekly, said "I'll have it closed out for you."
I said, "I'll be wanting that in writing!"

*******
From: tammy.j.zellner@chase.com
To: AGNES999@AOL.COM
Sent: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 08:39:52 -0600
Subject: CBR UPDATE

-----,
Per our conversation I have sent the request to have account ***-**-**** removed from all credit bureaus. Gomore Financial has also been asked to close the account and to stop all collection activity. If you have any further questions please call me at 1-800-821-9868 ext 77926
Thank you,
Tammy Zellner
Recovery Chase Home Finance
direct 1-414-977-7926
1-800-821-9868 ext. 77926
fax# 414-977-7949
*******
Thank me???
Did you see an apology? I didn't see an apology.
This is SO not over. The letter that I' about to write to the CEO of Chase Bank (cc: The Better Business Bureau and every credit agency I can contact) will go down in history as the most classically well written scathing that ever existed.

12-13-05 Spamalot?

And now for something completely different....

There is a good possibility that the mind can only accept so much grief...and then it...um...splits off.
And when this happens, suddenly everything is funny. That's a good thing. Right?

"The Story of the Pants" -(A tragedy in one act)

So, I'm at work on Monday after the third weekend of insanity. (see fractal to the left)
I'm wearing my typical Monday attire; a pair of black velvet slacks that I love because they're not tight but they look sleek, and a nice red and black sweater.
The pants zip up one side. Men do not understand why side zippers are a bad thing....thus we must accept that men created them.
The point of a side zipper is to make the front of the pants look smooth. No lines. No button or stitching. Furthermore, in a right-handed society, this zipper is on the left. Another not-well-thought-out engineering flaw.
Regardless, I love these pants. I've never had an issue with them. Until yesterday when they went astray. They turned to the dark side. The pants became criminally evil.

I drink a lot of coffee in the mornings. 2-4 cups. (foreshadowing)
Of course, this means that my bladder will likely begin seeking relief about an hour into my work day. This is quite normal in my routine. I sauntered off down the hall to our pretty, marble-floored, four-stall sanctuary.
And then it happened. The zipper stuck. It went down about 1/2 inch and then stopped.
It would not go up. It would not go down. I tugged. I pulled. I begged. My fingers hurt. The zipper key broke off in my hands.
My pants were holding me hostage.

Worse yet, I could not SEE the zipper because of the silly, contortionists angle one must attempt in order to work this left-side zipper. I could not see it because my left boob was in the way!

Now I was going insane.
What would be the solution? Could I break the zipper? Did I have a safety pin with which to fasten it back? Would my sweater cover the open fly??

Eventually I found that I was wholly defeated. I had no choice. I sulked back to my office, eyes floating in my head, resigned to an entire day of amazing bladder control.
I found that I get very angry and anxious when my bladder us full.
At about 3pm, after two sodas and lunch, I could take no more. I had tried three other times that day to coax that sadistic zipper down. Yet, it held.

I could not let it beat me.
I hid in the farthest stall. I summoned up all of my strength. I broke the zipper.
I broke it with finess though. I broke it slooooowwwwly.
I broke it only enough to schrug out of them for the necessary time.
Once my world had righted itself once again, I eased the evil slacks back over my hips where they HUNG. They hung a good 4 inches lower than they had before. I was stepping on the backs of them. The inseams was somewhere near my knees. And yet, I had won. I was free.

I went back to my desk and STAPLED the waistline back together.
I did not stand up for the remainder of the day.

Upon arriving home, I removed the pants. I did this by tearing that zipper entirely off. I then tore the pants at every seam. They lay now, inan unrecognizable heap in their final resting place. My garbage can.

So much for my favorite pants.
What the hell will I wear next Monday?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Shattered



I have no words today.
Suffice it to say that I did NOT have a pleasant weekend without drama. I am full of self-pity and anger and hurt....and it's starting to piss me off.
I really should know by now, when things look bleak they can still get much much worse.

However, in blessings, my father is (once again) home. He seems to be doing "better". He is no longer on oxygen and he promises to exercise every day to build his strength. My mother is motivating him with the threat of re-hospitalization if he doesn't do as he's told.

I have really got to start clawing my way to the brighter side of life. That's possible, right? It's all perspective isn't it?

Friday, December 09, 2005

12-9-05 Something Pretty



Isn't that nice? It doesn't look like anything in particular. I just thought it was pretty in Apophysis so I rendered it. :)
We need some pretty every now and then. (Oh, wait...I'm Texan so it's actually "purdy")

I'm so glad it's Friday. I need a weekend with no road trips or drama. I need to sleep in and catch up on blogs.
We'll do the xmas shopping (only have two gifts so far) on Sunday. Get that over with. Other than that...let's all cross our fingers that it's just a "purdy" weekend.

Trée, this is what my eyes look like when my mind is blown. LMAO

Thursday, December 08, 2005

12-8-05 Percentage



This is my rambling, nonsensical response to your comments on the previous post:

Tracey, I had no idea at all that you were an RN. Thank you so much for responding with so much insight. I must say, I think that is exactly what I was looking for. I keep asking questions to no one and hoping for some sanity.

When he was sent home, he didn't seem "unhealthy". I suspect the doctors didn't expect him to weaken so badly or so quickly. I feel he should have gone back the first day he couldn't walk on his own. My poor Mom. She wasn't raised to express emotion and she is just not making the best decisions. She gives off the impression that she can though. I have told her again and again that she must demand responses. She keeps saying "you catch more flies with honey" and I keep saying "You haven't caught a fly yet. Use flypaper." I wish I could be THERE 24/7. I have no qualms about putting everyone on the spot constantly.

As for second opinions: This is the third hospital. MD Anderson a is top cancer treatment center. Isn't it a shame that we can't get insurance companies to buy off on CONSTANT second opinions?

This blog is my best log of the events. And it's a pretty good timeline. I'm keeping it because I want to remember everything. The idea of sueing never crossed my mind. I don't think it would be "profitable" in any way at this point. And Christa, you are absolutely right that no monetary gain would ease the suffering. Besides, no one has time or energy now to be bothered with recapping the events.

Autumn, You and I have the same perspective. I believe doctors are human and we put them in godlike positions. They simply do not have all of the answers. They learn and adapt and modify for each patient and they cannot constantly assess everyone. I told both my mother and my father that no one at that hospital knows what the situation is until they are told, and they must be told often.

UPDATE: PERCENTAGES
Today's story comes from the surgeon who finally visited them today. My father is weak but getting stronger because of fluids and blood transfusions. He can eat anything he likes (no diet restrictions). He now has a physical therapist who will be doing "agressive" physical therapy to prepare my father for.....
The Surgery.
We are expecting and hoping that the surgery will take place before the new year. (to avoid the $5000 deductible that starts 1-1-06). Also, the doctor said this: "This cancer is NOT killing you. You have a 70% chance of full recovery if we can get you physically strong and perform the surgery."
70%
What is that? Better than 50% but with plenty of CYA room for error? The fractal above...that's about 70% of the original. But you couldn't recognize the original from it.

They also have him on meds to regulate his heart rate. Why didn't they do that before? Instead they shocked his heart to stop it and then shocked it back. Frightening!
I don't know if they have test results to back this yet. I get the info third hand at best.

Thank you all for your words and your information and your caring souls.
We'll change the mood tomorrow. :)
Love

Apophysis-Weathered Wall



Weathered Wall.
That's what I feel like some days.

Someone said I should write down everything that is happening with my father...in case I need an attorney later. Is that an awful thing to think?? It gives me shivers.
Dad went home the day before Thanksgiving. He was...um...moderate at best. He could still fend for himself anyway.
More tests were scheduled for 12-8-05 (today). Bloodwork, catscans, etc.
Until then he'd be home with oxygen pumping up his nose all day.
Eating has been hard for him. He feels like he takes two bites and he's full or he's nauseated.
He started getting weaker.
He's supposed to walk every day. Even just a little.
When I saw him last weekend his skin had no color. Grey would be the closest. (And he is generally tanned so that was pretty frightening.)
He could not stand on his own. He could not walk on his own.
I told Mom "something isn't right". I told her to take him back to the hospital.
I told her that the hospital doesn't KNOW he's getting weaker unless someone tells them. She's so exhausted that she doesn't know what's right and what's not now.

She took him back on 12/6. He's dehydrated and his red blood count was nearly half what it should be. They gave him fluids and two pints of blood. They have put off any surgery because he is too weak. He has been admitted and will have a physical therapist to help him build strength. (I'm very glad of that. That is a burden my mother shouldn't shoulder.)
He never should have gone home. He's very depressed.

I am so very appalled at how LONG any kind of action takes. Is this normal? Is there such a thing as "normal"?
This has been going on since mid-October. And he had the fever for 6 weeks before that. He has had only treatment for symptoms so far. There has been no treatment for the cancer...and we know it is growing. What if it starts moving? What if it already is?

Ok, is that enough for the attorneys? Why would I sue the people who are saving his life? Are they? Are they doing all they know to do?

Sorry all. Didn't really mean to dump or to be sad. I'm not sad today. Frustrated is a better word.
Love and hugs and health to you and to yours.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

12-7-05 Time limits


Apophysis doesn't render well unless you do the big 2hr render thing. Unfortunately, that's not really an option for me as the hubby and I share the one PC.
Eh what the heck. We get what we get and it ain't so bad, all things considered.

Also, my blogging, for the most part consists of one hour in the early morning. That's the time after my hubby leaves for his job until I have to shower for work. (Eww, I blog unshowered. Did you know this? Is that TMI?)

Evenings are spent between phone calls, tv shows, hubby's internet time and the nightly bedtime routine (which keeps getting longer as we get older, huh?)
I've kicked my insomnia thanks to some wonderful coping prescriptions. Otherwise I'd blog all night. :)

So anyway, I'm not saying that you guys are the least bit inconvenient. I'm saying that I am. :)
Did y'all know that I go in every morning and respond to your comments from yesterday? We are getting a routine going. :)

On average, how much time do you guys spend blogging each day? (Maybe I'm doing it wrong. LOL)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

12-6-05 Surfing



I'll be spending the next few days surfing all of your blogs instead of lengthy posts on my own.
Of course, I'll share any news...but as long as things remain par...I'll just drop a fractal here and go visit you. :)
I miss your blogs!!! I need to know that there's life outside of my own little box.

Ok, that's your challenge to entertain me. LOL
Love and hugs to you all. Open the door. Here I come.

Monday, December 05, 2005

12-5-05 I have returned...

Back from my visit. My heart is heavy.
I'll try to keep the mood light though.

Look what I found on my trip. Magic Hynerian Wish Plants. I thought I'd bring them back and share them.



Hmmm...I wish...I wish....
I wish I had photoshop so I could do something more interesting with the plants.

Friday, December 02, 2005

12-1-05 Visitor - Pay it Forward



Last night there was a knock at our door. This makes us anxious now. It fills our heads with excited "maybe"s that we're afraid to believe.
It wasn't Mickey.

It was a neighbor that we've never met. We opened the door and she said "Hi. I brought you some donuts. I heard about your kitty. I was hoping you'd found him.
I just wanted to come by and check and see how you're doing."

A stranger. Can you believe the beauty of that? The depth of heart?
We shook hands and introduced and talked an thanked. When she left, my husband and I just kept repeating into the silence of our space "That was the nicest thing. She was so nice."

I have to give back more. I'm taking too much and not giving back enough.
I must continue the circle.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Friends



"True friends are those who lift you up when your heart's wings forget how to fly."

"A friend is someone who helps you up when you're down, and if they can't, they lay down beside you and listen."

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."


This is a post for all of you. It is because you remind me that there are kind hearts all over this world. It is because my life has forever changed for just talking with you. It is because you opened your hearts and your worlds to me and took the time to look at my world....and care.
That's some kind of miracle. A beautiful miracle that I will remember all of my life.

Thank you all so very much for being the beautiful, good, loving people that you are.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

11-30-05 Dad Update

Dad had the procedure yesterday to put a stint in his artery. The doctors put in the catheter (through his leg and up to his heart - in case you didn't know this - yikes!!). They went in with the camera to see where the blockage was so they could put in the stint.
Guess what. No blockage.
None.
His heart is fine.

I'm thrilled, elated, joyous and aggrivated. As is my entire family.
Ok, better safe than sorry in a BIG way there...but here we are...right back at square one.

Now, back to MD Anderson to decide what happens next. Likely the original surgery to remove the tumor and the entire upper lobe of his left lung. More prayers. More patience.

I love you Daddy. I'm so glad you've been here for me this past week. I know that you understand how I feel and I needed to hear your voice to make it better.

Goodbye My Love


Fly on angels wings. Your old pal Moochie waits for you there. Tumble and have fun.
I'll come looking for you when my time comes. I hope, in whatever place you are, that the time between now and then seems no more than a minute long.

So I won't forget:
- -Mickey's favorite things were warm towels and tuna fish. We had a bunch of towels we would cycle through so he could have a fresh, clean, warm one - especially when the weather got cold. I would lay half of it on the floor, he would step on and I would fold the other half over him. Then he would twist and lay down so he was wrapped in a tight bundle....I used to say "like a papoose". I would tuck in all the corners and he would purr so gleefully.
- -Every moring he would meet me at the foot of the stairs. I would say "mornin" and he would say "meo-eon" - I think he was repeating back to me. It always had two syllables.
- -He loved to play under the sheets when I would make the bed. Sheets floating down on air were fascinating fun. He would come running any time he heard them.
-Every night before sleep, I would brush him. He loved to be brushed. He would purr just to see me with the brush. I would coo and he would bend and stretch into the brush. I would repeat "Momma loves Mickey." "Loves" was a big word between he and I.
- -He made eye contact with me. Always. We could lock eyes and he would purr. If I winked, he would wink too. If I closed my eyes, he would close his and then peek to see if mine were still closed.
- -He was never really mischevious. He bonded so closely with me that his only real need seemed to be to know where I was at all times. We could go for walks anywhere and he would follow right along. People thought that was crazy.
- -Mickey was so big. He was 20 inches long from his nose to his bum and at least 12 inches tall - if not taller. The most he weighed was 30lbs but he lost weight in the last year and he was very sleek. Everyone who saw him, vets included, had to stop and look in amazement. He was a beautiful thing - and I told people he was part doberman. Funny though, Mickey was a complete passifist.
- -As big as he was, he thought he could fit in a shoebox.
-He loved to be inside or under. He learned young how to open cabinet doors on his own and always wanted to sleep in the cabinets. He hated storms and would hide from them.
- -If I layed down next to him he would stroke and chew on my hair. I think he was petting me back.
-Sometimes he would get so happy he would drool.

***
We have been spared a few things by all this. He will never be tortured by another vet. His hips don't hurt him anymore. I will never have to decide when it's time to put him down.
***

My love, we had 15 years and that's a lot. I didn't know, when you were a kitten, that we would have so much time to share. I'm so lucky to have known you and to have loved you. I loved you every day of your life, just like I said. I will love you for the rest of mine.
You were MY first pet. My first baby. Thank you for letting me know how wonderful that could be.
I miss you my love.
I saw a glimpse of you walking into the house two days ago. You weren't really there...or were you? Maybe you are still here right now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2005

11-27-05

I have walked every inch of the woods and the creek. I had no idea they went so deep. Must be five miles of brush and trees.
No sign. Nothing. No fur. No struggle. No nothing anywhere.

We put up flyers on the poles and put them in every mailbox. We dropped flyers at every vet in 10 miles and every shelter too.
Maybe. Just maybe.....

My husband returns home tomorrow night. I've already told him the situation. He feels sad and helpless too. I miss him terribly right now and need him here so we can comfort one another. Our two kitties are our only children.

You are all so kind to check back with me. It seems like half my life is sad right now. I hope I don't wear out my welcome.
Thank you all a hundred times over for every little prayer you say. Thank you for keeping us in your hearts.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

11-26-2005 Mickey

My heart is broken.
My dear, gentle, 15yr old cat has vanished. He went outside at 6:30a.m. this morning, as is our dialy routine, and he just never returned. I've been looking for him since 8:00a.m. I've walked miles calling his name, shaking bags of food. It isn't like him to stay gone more than an hour, and never that long in the morning. He hadn't even finished his breakfast.

I've lost my very best friend. My baby.
When he was a kitten I promised him I would love him every day of his life....and of mine.
I have nursed him back from the brink of death so many times. I have watched every morsel he has eaten and suffered his pains with him.
I hope, wherever he is, he is not in pain now.

I just wish he would come home. I know he would if he could.



I will spend this night staring out the window of the back door...praying...begging...crying.
I love you baby. Come home to me.
Phoenix




In ancient Greek and Egyptian mythology, the phoenix is a mythical bird and associated with the Egyptian sun-god Re and the Greek Phoibos (Apollo). According to the Greeks the bird lives in Arabia, nearby a cool well. Each morning at dawn, it would bathe in the water and sing such a beautiful song, that the sun-god stops his chariot to listen. There exists only one phoenix at the time.

When it felt its death approaching (every 500 or 1461 years), it would build a nest of aromatic wood and set it on fire, and was consumed by the flames. When it was burned, a new phoenix sprang forth from the pyre. It then embalmed the ashes of its predecessor in an egg of myrrh and flew with it to Heliopolis ("city of the sun"). There it would deposit the egg on the altar of the sun god.

The phoenix symbolizes rebirth of the spirit, immortality, resurrection, and life after death.

The Encylopedia Mythica

Friday, November 25, 2005


This happened entirely by accident and I giggled like a schoolgirl when I rendered it.
Guess what it is.

Life, The Universe and Everything

A hole had just appeared in the Galaxy. It was exactly a nothingth of a second long, a nothingth of an inch wide, and quite a lot of millions of light-years from end to end.

As it closed up, lots of paper hats and party balloons fell out of it and drifted off through the Universe. A team of seven three-foot-high market analysts fell out of it and died, partly of asphyxiation, partly of surprise.

Two hundred and thirty-nine thousand lightly fried eggs fell out of it too, materializing in a large wobbly heap on the famine-struck land of Poghril in the Pansel system.

The whole Poghril tribe had died out from famine except for one last man who died of cholesterol poisoning some weeks later.

The nothingth of a second for which the hole existed reverberated backward and forward through time in a most improbable fashion. Somewhere in the deeply remote past it seriously traumatized a small random group of atoms drifting through the empty sterility of space and made them cling together in the most extraordinarily unlikely patterns. These patterns quickly learned to copy themselves (this was part of what was so extraordinary about the patterns) and went on to cause massive trouble on every planet they drifted on to. That was how life began in the Universe.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Christmas Tree

Christmas Snow
Time to decorate the house. I'll be hanging garland and plugging in lights all day.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving



This is how we were. Family. Together. The grownup table and the kid's table. Turkey, ham, corn, potatoes, cranberry sauce, warm rolls and a hundred desserts.

I send this beautiful memory and warm feeling to each of you and to each of my family members. This Thanksgiving will not be like the past but that changes nothing in our hearts. I give thanks today for so many things.

Be sure to take a few moments and revel in the tradition of it all. Watch 5 minutes of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Then watch the game. Spoil yourself with food. And do not forget...The Grinch Who Stole Christmas comes on TV tonight. You must watch that. The original cartoon version. ;)

Have a wonderful day - each and every one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Withdrawals

It dawns on me that I have two cats who have lived in a smokers environment their whole lives. They are 15 and 16 yrs old. Suddenly, there is no second-hand smoke.
I wonder if they'll go through withdrawals?? What if they get all stressed out and bitchy?



Ok, anyway - I've got to get to work early today so we can leave early for the holiday. So, I have no time for fun. If you do, I suggest you go play with the Subservient Chicken for a while. He's a hoot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program..



Wow, what a nutso, busy day. I've been to work, to the bank, to McDonalds, back home, dropped the hubby at the airport, Blockbuster (5 movies yahoo), grocery store and finally home again.
I'm fairly certain I will be napping soon.

For all of you well-wishers, the latest theory is that my father will require a stint because of a blood clot in his leg. They have not yet proven the blood clot, so it's still a theory. We're all pretty bored of theories. Oh well. Another day.

Tonight is my first night of peace and quiet. Oh how I shall revel in it. Mmmmmm.
I miss you my dear hubby and I hope you have fun, but a little "me time" is just what the doctor ordered.

I promise, promise, promise to catch up on all of my delinquent blog surfing, so if you haven't seen me on your site, please know I'm thinking of you and hoping you're doing well.

Great big hugs and happy Turkey Day if you're travelling.
Aggie

Monday, November 21, 2005

Foggy Brained



Well, I think I've actually used this one before. Does it look familiar?
It does a very nice representation of my thought processes at the moment.

On that note, please pardon me while I post a few good quotes I've been saving up.
They're likely to make more sense than I. Maybe....

The days are too short even for love; how can there be enough time for quarreling?
-Margaret Gatty

Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away. (so very true!!)
-Sir Arthur Helps

Just as material things are made of dust, so too are our perceptions and thoughts mere dust. Just as it takes only a moment to wipe the dust from the surface of a mirror, so it takes only a moment to become enlightened, the moment all defiled intentions are cleared from our consciousness, we will see ourselves in the mirror of perfect truth.
-Master Hsing Yun, "Describing the Indescribable"

And most importantly:
You can't keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.
-Homer Simpson



Good day all. May peace and love walk with you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

11-20-05 I am a non-smoker



Two weeks ago I sat across from my father in our family living room. I told him of my plan to quit smoking. Two weeks of one med, then stop, then the other med, then freedom. This is the way he quit and so my confidence came across in my words.

His eyes welled with tears and rimmed with red. I can't recall ever seeing my father cry.
His voice cracked and he said "Nothing you could say to me would make me happier."

In that moment I saw his mother, his father, his uncles and grandfather. All of them showed though him as he fought his own pain. Three generations of cancer. Five slow, painful deaths. The burden in his mind at this very moment 35 years strong.

Today is my "quit date". I have been working toward it for more than a month. I am medicated and prepped. It is very very hard regardless.
I am listing things that I can do instead. I am trying to stay busy. I am emptying all ashtrays behind my husband so I am not tempted to inhale a half smoked opportunity.
Today is a hard day but I have my father in my heart and he is helping me. I even called him up to hear his voice and told him about my struggle. He understands and he encourages.
I will endure.
I hope he will as well.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Peace and hope


You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!
Sai Baba

Friday, November 18, 2005

Things change every day

We do not know, from day to day, what we will feel or see or believe. Our lifes hang entirely on the next phone call.
I have a nagging fear that I have seen my father for the last time in this life.
I hope that is a truly irrational fear.

In July, my father was a strong man. He mowed the lawn, did the laundry, ran errands, worked 7am to 5pm each day. I do not see these thing happening in his future.

It hangs in the balance like a bad Lifetime movie. Every day we wait to hear that he survived the night. Each day the news seems worse than the day before. None of us understand why.

Could we rewind please?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Neverland Part Two

Oh my, I stayed too long in Neverland and look what happened.

Sing with me, won't you?

"If growing up means

It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,

I'll never grow up, never grow up,

never grow up

Not me!

Not I,

Not me!

Not me!

I won't grow up,

I don't want to wear a tie.

And a serious expression

In the middle of July.

And if it means I must prepare

To shoulder burdens with a worried air,

I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Linny's Wish

"Where are you from?" asked Wendy.
"It's called Neverland, turn right at the second star and on till the morning."
"Wow," said Wendy, "how do you get there?"
"Why, of course, I fly!" said Peter Pan.
"Fly? You can fly?" asked Wendy.
Peter Pan said nothing and just flew around the room a couple of times.
"You can come with me if you want to." He said temptingly.
"Where? To Neverland? That would be so great! Teach me to fly!" she begged him.
"Ok." And he blew a little fairy powder on Wendy. "Now think of beautiful things and they will make you fly."
At this time, John and Michael woke up as well.
"Teach us to fly too!" they shouted.


All you need is a happy thought.
Here's mine:


Tell me yours.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

WISHING STAR
In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.
-John Churton Collins


Close your eyes and make a wish on my wishing star. Maybe if we wish hard enough our wishes will come true.

Monday, November 14, 2005

11-13-05


My brother arrived, unannounced, at my parents house on Sunday. It was great to see him. We all hugged and complimented. We got around to fixing everyone a soda or tea. Finally we ended up, like we always do, sitting around the living room telling stories and making each other laugh. This is the best of us. This is who we are.

I had a sudden revelation - there we were, father, mother, brother, sister and me. Our family. Like we used to be. Together in that house. Home.

I took a moment to let it wash over me; this spontaneous homecoming....accidental...unplanned....perfect...priceless.