I Needed That!

“stress makes myeloma cells proliferate”
 
I read these words in Margaret’s post this morning. Boy, am I thankful that Mike has MM and not me….I wouldn’t last long. JThank goodness that he is a calm, never-let- anything-bother-him kind of person. That gives me hope. 
 
Me on the other hand…..
 
 
I’ve been lax in writing on the blog lately. I have thought about it many times, but just haven’t taken the time to do it. What wisdom do I really have anyway? But reading Lori’s post comment from “newcomer” Karen, who by the way is NOT a newcomer but just hasn’t posted before, reminded me that “us” sharing our thoughts, concerns, fears, joys, hopes, anger not only helps us, but may also help others. And Lori’s post & Karen’s response helped me!
 
Things have been “rocking along” pretty “normally” (if that exists in the MM world) lately. Mike’s energy is still low, his WBC and platelet counts are up some but they are still very low. He hasn’t been the best lately, mentally or physically. Saturday I finally woke him up at 3:00 p.m. to see if he wanted to get out for awhile.  I couldn’t talk him into going out with me on errands or out to eat when I got back from the errands (normally….he WILL do that). So it was a stay at home day for him.
 
But without him knowing…I contacted our daughter-in-law to see about us getting to see our grandson, Griffin, sometime this past weekend. They stay busy and live about an hour and 15 minutes away but we hadn’t seen them since early March at a family wedding. They didn’t have any plans on Sunday afternoon. So I planned on us going. I didn’t tell Mike until Saturday night but I told him that if he didn’t feel like it, we wouldn’t go.
 
I let him sleep until about 1:00 on Sunday afternoon and woke him up. I’m not really sure if he felt like going but he said “yes”. He may have done it for me more than for himself….since I was already up, dressed & ready and had his clothes ironed too. J But I knew he NEEDED it.
 
And I was right! J He enjoyed himself and he was laughing and smiling. He even played ball with Griffin (inside throwing and kicking) and played golf on Wii with our two sons. It made me feel so good seeing him having fun. It’s been too long. Now…today he may not be able to move….but he NEEDED it.
 
 
You know what….when it comes down to it….I NEEDED it.
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Posted in Coping, Joy, Kids | 8 Comments

SPRING

S  Showers, Sunshine, Sandals

  Parties, Pink-Lemonade, Pansies

    R  Roses, Rainbows, Rabbits

       I   Irises, Ice-cream, Imagination

          Nests, Naps, Nature

            G  Grandchildren, Games, God

 

Saw a new foal on my way home today….made me smile and grateful for SPRING.

I needed it! 🙂 

May you be blessed with things that make you smile & feel grateful!

Posted in Blessings, Happiness, Hope, Joy | 1 Comment

Definition of Humble

hum·ble adj
\ˈhəm-bəl also chiefly Southernˈəm-\

Definition of HUMBLE

1
: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive
2
: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission <a humble apology>
3
a : ranking low in a hierarchy or scale : insignificant, unpretentious b : not costly or luxurious <a humble contraption>
hum·ble·ness \-bəl-nəs\ noun
hum·bly \-blē\ adverb

Synonyms: demure, down-to-earth, lowly, meek, modest, unassuming, unpretentious

 
I “caught up” in my Daily Planner last night. This month’s chapter is on Humility. And then, strangely, I have seen something on tv and in an email about it since last night! I’m thinking God is speaking to me. Me?   🙂  
 
I have never considered myself “arrogant” or “conceited”. Now “self-asserting”, yes, on occasions. I have never been one to just sit quietly if I have an “opinion”. And I use to have opinions on most everything.
 
Then enters…..the “C” word. My how your life changes with that one single word. It has been one year and one month since we found out that Mike has Multiple Myeloma. The first 3 weeks we were in the hospital…so there was not much time for even “thinking” much less “comprehending” what was going on. But slowly, through all the doctor’s appointments, lab work, being out-of-town, time away from “normal” people….you understand….you will never be the same. Is that good? I don’t know….but it is true.
 
I find myself unhappy in my life. Not because of the cancer. But because I am away from Mike during the day while I am at work. Luckily, I was able to take leave from work the majority of last year and spend every day with him. All of my efforts were dedicated to him and his treatment. We were in “our world” and strangely, I miss that. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am thankful to be back at home and enjoying the last half of Ian’s senior year with him and being closer to all the family….but I feel pulled in all sorts of direction and sometimes I’m not even sure what is most important and often…..nothing gets done!
 
But what I am noticing more often than not….is I have no patience for “normal” people. Now that isn’t ALL….there are some very kind, caring, concerned, loving, Godly people in my life and I am very grateful for each one of them. But it is the people who have their life focused on “unimportant things”. The ones that talk negatively about others and just life in general. The ones with no compassion for others and think that now that I am back at work….I should be “over” IT. I don’t think that will ever happen again.
 
I find myself often alone. Staying by myself and not participating in gossip, small-talk and sometimes fun and laughter. Now I do miss the laughter. But I feel so “different”. And I lose my patience often and find myself judging them even though I really don’t mean to. I think this may be what God is targeting me about. I need to learn to be humble in my thoughts & beliefs and understand that I am now in a “different world” than others but I can not condemn them for not understanding “my world” nor for them enjoying “their world”.
 
Life has a different meaning and purpose for me and I need to accept this without being arrogant and thinking that I know best. I pray that God helps me with this…SOON. Oops….there is some of that “self-asserting” that I was talking about earlier……
 
Humble…..I’m going to be thinking on this more……
Posted in Coping, Multiple Myeloma, Self-Help | 5 Comments

$58 Therapy

Gardening has always been “Mike’s territory”. He has a green thumb and has always enjoyed designing, creating & maintaining the yard and flowerbeds. Now that I look back, that might have been one of the first signs of MM and his fatigue. He quit wanting to do anything in the yard! He use to always move plants, divide plants and create new beds. My mom swore that every time she visited, he had moved plants! For the last year or two at our old house (with a huge yard!), not much had gotten done. When the beds got weeded….I did it. And, unfortunately, the beds weren’t the prettiest when we moved.

Anyway…..I looked at a sales paper earlier this week and saw that Home Depot was having a sale on perennials. This much I have learned from Mike….invest in perennials….they will last forever! So I had decided that if our ballgames got cancelled for today….that’s what I wanted to do…get some plants and work on the flower beds. I was hoping it would make Mike happy too!

We slept late today (woohoo!) but when Mike woke up, I asked him if he wanted to go with me. He orginally said “no” much to my surprise. We use to spend HOURS in home/garden stores. So knowing that it would be good for him to get out of the house and go there….I gave him the saddest face I could. It worked! He said he would go.

I got him a shopping cart….that gives him a little stability and we looked around. He really didn’t appear too interested but I tried to encourage him to help me pick out some plants. We picked up a few hostas…those are his favorites. Go to fullsize image

I’m not even sure those got his interest. He told me to pick out whatever would make me feel good when I drove up at home.  So after a few minutes of shopping….and $58 later….we were finished. With 20 new plants and two bags of soil, we headed home.

I went in the back yard to look for things that I would need. Of course, what I was looking for was in the back of the storage room. So…..after starting to pull some things out. I asked Mike if he felt like sitting outside with me and tell me what could/could not be thrown away. So….hours later….we had done a great job of cleaning it out.

To help you understand….Mike was in the hospital last March (for 3 weeks) when his kidneys failed and it was determined that he had MM. During that time….we were moving!!!!! Actually, most of the furniture had already been moved but we still had a lot of sorting of things at our old house and a yard sale to hold. Thank goodness for my wonderful friends and sister and brother-in-law that stepped in to help! But all of Mike’s tools had basically been thrown in boxes. Let me say….he had a LOT of tools and things! So going through them was difficult for Mike and we had been putting it off. But today, he was able to do it and probably pulled out 80% to be given to a friend. It is hard to go through things that you love but that you know you probably will never be able to use again. I felt bad for him but was very proud of him.

By this time, my son had gotten home….so I got him started on the “first” job for the flower bed. Digging up 3 bushes. Well…there were really 4….but the last one….we decided to wait on because the roots were huge on it and he wanted to go to a movie. It was really outside of the bed anyway. So…..I spent the next couple of hours getting the plants in the ground and enjoying being outside. The bed isn’t finished….but it looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

This past week has been a hard week. I can’t say exactly why but just one negative thing after another kept happening. And I had been really stressed out. Plus, this was the last week of high school baseball for us. And for those that know us….it is our passion! But this time with nature and having an accomplishment sure made me feel better.

Who would think that digging in the dirt, enjoying the sunshine and improving the looks of the yard would be such great therapy. But it was….and it was only $58. Lots cheaper than a therapist. 🙂

View Image

Posted in Happiness, Self-Help | 5 Comments

Good or Bad?

Some days are just tougher than others. I don’t know why! But I am thankful that it has been almost a week since my last “down” day….so that’s improvement! These days….I’m happy for that! 🙂

Mike picked me up from work and as we are sitting at the drive-through at the bank….I ask him how he is….his standard answer “the same” was his response. Then the dreaded words….”I’m tired of this”. I didn’t really have a response….what is he tired of? Being tired? Having sinus infection? Having cancer? Me?

My big, strong, always active husband is struggling with his “new life” of heavy breathing after short walks, not being able to stand for more than a few minutes, unable to cook a meal without sitting down often, sleeping late, napping often, and generally, feeling like crap. I’m struggling because he is struggling and it breaks my heart.

But yet….we move on….and we tell people things are “good” and he is feeling “good”. And trying to convince ourselves that things ARE good! 

       

Note: Not looking for sympathy….but when I started this blog….it was for me to express my negative feelings….because I do not do that on Mike’s carepage…..and hopefully, by me doing this….they will help me get it “out” and I will feel better and ready to be the positive person I need to be for Mike, for the boys, for me and for everyone! A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂

Posted in Depression, Fear, Sadness | 11 Comments

B~L~O~O~D

Who would think a little prick on your finger could bring such fear????? Well…that is what this caregiver experienced tonight.

Maybe because Mike’s blood test results were so bad today (WBC 2.9, Platelets 25) and they still gave him his chemo treatment….maybe because he still takes Lovenox shots every day to thin his blood….maybe because I was reading on the internet today about low blood counts and how dangerous cuts can be….

But when I looked over at Mike tonight at the ballgame (thank God for Dex days or there is no way he could have been there!) and saw his finger bleeding….I almost freaked out. He had some little “thing” on his finger and he picked it off. Gee Whiz! I couldn’t help but keep asking….”has it stopped bleeding?” (think I read somewhere today that if it didn’t stop within an hour or two….go immediately to the hospital). I know he probably thought I was crazy! Of course, by then….I’m thinking horrible thoughts….enough that I couldn’t even enjoy the ballgame. But our loss WAS difficult to enjoy anyway! 😦

Things that seem so simple….that normally would mean nothing….strikes fear in the heart of caregivers.

God….please bless us all.

Posted in Fear, Multiple Myeloma | 3 Comments

Blessed always

Well…the old saying…it has to get worse before it gets better….I HOPE is what today was. I woke up to Mike coughing his head off and sounding really congested. I honestly thought I would be taking him to the doctor/hospital. I finally got him settled down to realize how terrible I felt. Worse than yesterday as far as energy. I let them know at work that I wouldn’t be in this morning.

I did make it to work right after lunch. My friend, Amy, the school nurse called me into her office and she checked my BP. It was down a little more (still high). She assures me that is why I feel so bad. That medicine is bringing my BP down….but along with that….it sort of shocks the body. So although the doctor told me I wouldn’t feel good for a couple of weeks…Amy explained why and that it is “normal”.

Two people sick is just TOO much. 😦

Mike was able to run an errand that we needed doing and then he was able to go and watch the boys practice a little. He waited to pick me up when I left work. He wanted to go to the grocery store (I sat in the car….man is that role-reversal) but he was breathing heavy by the time he got back and he only bought 2 bags worth. I normally would have pushed myself to go in rather than him….but today…I just decided to go with my tiredness and stayed still. (Now if only I could figure out how not to feel guilty!)

Enough on that….I really just wanted to write how grateful I am for several blessings. One, those who are following my blog….THANK YOU. Two, the person who left a beautiful card in my work mailbox today with my “replacement $100 bill”. (She wanted it to be “anonymous” but since I have given very few my blog information….I kind of knew who it was! :-)) Three, my friend who sent me a card this week and has offered (again) her “services” to come over and help me clean/organize. Four, my true friends who call, email, text and REALLY care how I am doing! Five, my sister who just left today after spending 5 days with us….I already miss her.  

I am trying to remember to count my blessings….some days are just harder than others. But I am blessed ALWAYS….and I know that.

Posted in Blessings, Hope | 2 Comments