Complain or Praise?

Today was “dex day” (which I will honestly say I do NOT look forward to).🙂

Mike & I had gone out to eat and brought home a milkshake for Ian (who had his wisdom teeth out on Wednesday). It was a good trip….because Mike didn’t blow the horn at anyone (while I’m driving) or yell at anyone.🙂 You have to count those blessings on “D” Days.

Anyway, when we got home….Mike had me several things to do….he wanted me to cut his toenails (fun, fun) and Ian was texting me wanting food & drink & ice packs & medicine. I was running back & forth between the two floors and was a little frustrated…..

Then….it occurred to me….I am a lucky girl…..I have both a husband and a son….at home with me….that needs…..and wants me.🙂 So….I’m deciding to PRAISE rather than complain!

Here’s hoping that you have someone wanting/needing you today……

Posted in Blessings, Coping | 5 Comments

Lacking for Words

Okay….okay….with a little “push” from Lori (my hero) today….here I am. She reminded me that it has been almost 60 days. What can I say? I have been lacking in words. So much has happened…..it is hard to even remember what has! I’m still “worn out” from it all….so instead of paragraph form….I may do bullets. :-)  I’ll try to remember everything…..but no promises…hopefully I’ll remember the highlights at least. And I can’t promise they will be in order.😦

Last time I left you….we were using “tough love” and had called Ian’s PO to say that he had returned home. He had left to be taken to the juvenille detention center (again).

* We saw Ian on Friday (he was picked up on Wednesday) at the courthouse. Okay, I didn’t see him in handcuffs. But with foot-shackles wasn’t much easier.😦 It went fine. Judge appeared tough (but because we have the great PO that Ian was blessed to have – we knew most everything that was coming). He was found “guilty” and was to stay in JD for a week and half before “sentencing”.

* We saw him again on Sunday….but through glass and phone. It is about as heart-breaking as it seems on tv. He was “okay”.

* We visited again with him on the following Sunday, which happened to be Father’s Day. That was bittersweet. But we did get to spend time with both of the other boys that week-end…so we were grateful for that.

* That visit….it was a different child. Almost OUR child again.🙂 He was happy, laughing, could see some sparkle in his eyes again. He also told us that he IS going to Berry college and playing baseball. He also wants to play baseball this summer. (We had mentioned that at the last meeting but he didn’t seem interested at all). He was so looking forward to getting out on Wednesday.

* The following Tuesday, his new PO brought him to see a psychologist (that was another story with trying to get that set up….but I’ll refrain). I met them there. Again, foot-shackles. It was very sad to see him out in public with them.

* His court date was the following day. He was expecting to get out that day. We knew that he wasn’t (based on conversations with his PO) but we did not tell him that. He needed to experience that himself and understand that he (nor us) were “in control” anymore. He would have to face his consequences. Oh….Mike woke up that morning sick with stomach cramps….so I went to court alone. I did get to visit with Ian a little before he went back. The judge told him that he had to stay in detention until Sunday. He also required him to stay in our care and to attend the Berry College orientation (which we were leaving for on Sunday). He was sad because he wanted so badly to go home….but he was learning a lesson.

* We picked up Ian that Sunday at noon and headed to Rome, Ga. He seemed more like himself and we were thrilled. It was a great two days at Berry and he seemed to have lots of fun and met lots of nice people. Of course, worry was present too. (Still is for that matter).

* Basically….that is an update on Ian. Sure, we’ve had a few run-ins since then….but NO DRUGS! He still makes me smile 99% of them time and I’m glad he is my son. In summary, if you know of anyone that has a child with drug problems…..please encourage “tough love” and also know that it takes a LONG time for those drugs to get out of their body. I think with the 2 weeks at Bradford and then 2.5 weeks in detention…..with only one use of the drug during that time….was what helped his mind clear enough to see what was happening. I also seeing the type of kids at the DC….he was finally clear enough to see who they were as well….and that he didn’t belong there.

Update on Mike:

* His numbers have been good. No real problems to discuss. But I do know that he worries more than he admits.

* His energy level has been up some. He & Ian went to a baseball tournament without me….so he basically had to do everything without me for 7 days. I think it was a good start for him to realize that he can do more than he was doing. Of course, he didn’t have much of a choice. But since that time, he has been doing more and I have been letting him.

* He is on his last week of the oral chemo (every other month) so his energy level is real low now. But I would say only for the past 4 days or so…..and two months ago….it was for about 2 weeks. So I would call that progress.🙂

* We go to Little Rock the end of August. So grateful not to have to worry about work (see below) and know that I will be with him.

Update on me:

* Besides the above, my big announcement is that I quit work.🙂 No….I’m not sure it is the right thing to do. It seems to be the “least logical” thing to do….and I am normally a “logical” person….so I’m struggling a little with it.

* I was very unhappy at work. I did not enjoy some of the unprofessional behavior that I worked around and my stress level was high. After the stress with Mike, then Ian….I just couldn’t handle much more. I did some deep soul searching and some deep financial planning and we determined that I could do it. There are numerous people there that I will miss….but I hope that our friendship will continue no matter what. And I’ll try to make the effort to ensure that happens.

* We will, of course, keep the insurance….using Cobra for 18 months….then Mike can switch to Medicare. I will be working way before that….so I will be able to have insurance for me.

* We don’t have any “definite” plans. We just got back from 11 days away….visiting family & the beach. It was wonderful! We are home for a few days (Ian gets his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow) but we plan on leaving again Saturday to head to the mountains to visit my parents for 5 days. Then we’ll just have 5 days at home before taking Ian to college.

* I’ve had a little guilt about college too. I’m not one of the “sad” moms. I’m looking forward to Ian going. Maybe it is because I was so concerned that this day would never come….so I was no longer taking it for granted. Or maybe it is because I think it will be less stressful and that I won’t worry all the time, like I do now…..where he is, with who, doing what. I guess I’m thinking the new change….new people….new environment….he will make the wise choices that he has failed to make in the past year. And that I know he has been raised to make!

So….there you go…..the Madness of the Murrays.

On a different note (but one of stress as well)….I have three MM friends that have been going through a rough time. One whose husband is in the hospital and who has gone through a rough few months, one whose husband had to return from a trip due to pain (but he is feeling better) and one whose husband just found out that the MM has returned.

I constantly think of them and worry for them….and then (as they understand) I worry about Mike. But that is just part of the MM journey I guess. But I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met throughout this journey and my prayers continue for each of the MM friends that I have made.

Guess that is why I am throwing “logic” to the wind…..and flying by the seat of my pants. And I plan to figure out how to let this “stress” go…..and enjoy the ride!!!!!

Okay…..Lacking for Words…..is the title….because I thought that is why I haven’t written….but I think I had the words….I was just too busy to express them. Thanks to each of you for keeping up with me and worrying and praying and caring.

Yes, life is hard….but I’m counting my blessings!

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Struggling Still…

It has been a tough day….emotionally. But I still held on physically and others didn’t know it. Ian did come home today and was here for probably an hour before he was picked up by the police. I am SO grateful that I wasn’t here to see him handcuffed. I’m not sure my heart could take that.

I’m grateful for a friend that suggested something for me to look in to that may help Ian. Gives me a little hope for the day.

Tonight I am meeting a friend for dinner and we are going to a “caregivers” meeting at a local church tonight. We are both looking forward to it. Her husband has MS and I have always admired her courage and strength. Praying that we are both blessed by the meeting. It also will get my mind off of things.

I so appreciate the kind words today on my comments, through email and facebook. I am blessed!

This has really helped me….and I love the second portion of it…..

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Posted in Coping, Hope, Sadness | 3 Comments

Sadness but Grateful

I haven’t written in a long time….but the past 3 weeks have basically been a blur….and my thoughts have not been very coherent. Well….I’m not sure they are now….but I NEEDED to share….to try and help ME.

Mike has been fine. His platelet count is low again (appears that occurs with the month of Revlimid) but he has been able to continue his chemo treatments. This Thursday will be the “test” since it is the last one before the Melphalin IVs (with Velcade) start next week.

Our issue has been our youngest son. He has always been nearly “perfect” and maybe that was too much stress….I’m not sure. But since his Dad’s diagnosis last year….he has become another person. :-(  He use to be one of the happiest people I know….low stress….always smiling…very self-confident. I was always proud of his good attitude and his good choices.

He graduated two weeks ago with lots of honors….including Valedictorian. It should have been a joyous occassion….and it was….but it wasn’t what we “planned”. We had to place him in a “treatment center” the Friday before….and just with the Grace of God….and a wonderful man in his life….he was able to get out and participate in his high school graduation!

Mike and I went for a “family session” at the treatment center last week for 3 days. But we knew when we got to spend time with him on the 3rd day….he still wasn’t “our Ian”. It broke our hearts.

He came home on Sunday and we had a little hope. He seemed some happier and he told us he was going to stay at home with us. That made us very happy. But in less than 12 hours….he had gotten the drug, used it, got caught by us, and run away.

It is so sad….that is the only word I can use. My heart is breaking for so many people….his two brothers who are so upset with him and who worry that he is hurting their Dad’s health….his Dad….who I hate to see him being so quiet, worried and hurt….all the family who we have yet to tell what is going on….and me….I have never felt this sad before in my life. But yet….I go on….going into work each day…sending upbeat emails to family….pretending everything is fine. And I almost hate myself for “faking through life”. Of course, I expressed some of my sadness on facebook yesterday and people immediately started writing out of concern. Shocked me so….I know it IS important to pretend everything is fine. Of course, some of those “friends” who I thought I have….didn’t even respond to anything. Another sadness, I guess.

Thank goodness that there are a close friends that I have been able to share some of my thoughts & concerns with….and they have helped. But I’m never honest with everyone. Another reason for sadness. I just feel all alone. 

But just when I am at a new “low”….I get reminded by some of my MM friends….that I have so much to be grateful for. One friend has just found out her daughter has been diagnosed with cancer….so now, not only does she have to worry about her husband, but her daughter too. My heart breaks for her. Another friend, whose husband is in a very critical time in his MM treatment, reached out to me, offering her full support and prayers. How amazing. I can only say that I am blessed to know such wonderful, strong, caring, loving women….and I am grateful that they (YOU) are part of my life.

    So to you…..know that I am grateful! You give me strength to go on and believe that things will get better and the sun will shine again.

Posted in Coping, Sadness | 7 Comments

Dancing is Love

Life is so busy….with end of school year (I work in the office and my busy time is starting!)…a friend’s daughter getting married….Ian’s graduation….planning for college….doing some volunteering….plus the “normal” stuff.

But I just had to share my latest BLESSING…..

We attended the wedding of our dear friend’s beautiful daughter. We have known her since she was a little girl (and always wished she was a little younger (for Ian)). It was a beautiful night and the most special thing was that I got to DANCE with my hubby. First….he doesn’t really like dancing…..but especially because it has been a really LONG time since he has felt good enough to do it. It made my night….week….month….

So I just wanted to share the joy with my friends. Small blessings are the best!

As my friend Lori would say…

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to Dance in the rain.”

Posted in Blessings, Hope, Joy | 7 Comments

Thankfulness

I have SO much to be thankful for…..

Thanks to those who were concerned about the tornados in our area. We were not in the area of harm and were very lucky that none of our family members were harmed either, though we had many that were very close to the damage. I plan to write more about this later….I was blessed to go and work out in the damaged areas last Saturday and Sunday and it was unbelievable. I just have not had a chance to sit down and write out my thoughts.

Thanks to the neighborhood boy who rang my bell earlier today and asked if he could cut my grass (of course for money)….but hey $10….and it needed it bad….and it was a young man that cared enough to try and earn some money….I was grateful. Do you think it is asking to much to dream of someone ringing my doorbell and asking if they can clean my house for $10?🙂

But my biggest thanks today is for Mike’s “still in remission” confirmation that he received today in Little Rock. I know he was dreading the possibility of it not being, though he would never say so. But I knew. He just doesn’t understand the continuing of exhaustion. I am hoping that based on other’s comments, that it will get better eventually. But the doctor’s explanation today was “You are between a rock and a hard place. With high-risk, we have to keep hitting you hard with chemo. So you may not get your energy back.”.

I was on speaker phone while he was in the doctor’s office so that I could hear since I was unable to go due to work. But he called after they were on the road. I asked him how he was….his response….”Great, I’m headed home!”.  So I’ll add this to my “thankfulness” list….it’s not just that he hates LR that much….but that he wants to come home to me!🙂

Posted in Blessings, Happiness, Joy, Remission | 5 Comments

Gee Whiz….

Okay….FINALLY got to talk to my doctor’s office today….we had been passing messages back and forth. I don’t have to go back in…..but does this tell you anything????

 Image:Lose weight now.jpg

Alright….time to be a caregiver to ME too.

They said all my blood work was good but there were signs of potential diabetes so she wants me on a low-fat diet. The good news is when I researched it some, it appears that if I lose 5-7% current weight….and exercise 30 minutes a day….I can turn things around.

So….here we go……..say a little prayer for me

 to “stay strong” and “motivated”.

Now my question to you…..are YOU taking care of YOU?????

Let’s all be STRONG together……

Posted in Coping, Exercise, Me Time, Self-Help | 5 Comments