Day 34 and 35 of 2017

Going to try real hard to get this post done and keep it coherent.

I feel like I have fallen into a hole and I am just waiting to hit the bottom only it doesn’t seem to be coming. I just keep falling.

Yesterday the surgeon came in and gave us some very tough choices. We could continue with the surgery with the extra risks of the blood clots, say no to the surgery and try ccnu chemo with only a 13% chance of it being helpful. We immediately chose the surgery. There was still a chance that he couldn’t do it. So my wife and I had a hard talk. We talked about the third option. The one where we say enough is enough and do nothing further. It was hard and there were a lot of tears but that became our second choice. Luckily after hematology came by surgery remained an option and that is moving forward on Monday. After surgery she will enter an immunology study and get the one that ends in a 1. Hopefully that goes well because it is the end of the line for her. She can’t handle much more of this. She will probably have to have a transfusion before surgery because her hemoglobin is back down to 8.

So today started out not so good with the 10 min focal seizure. The weakness on her right side is now very noticeable in her face too. Her talking has declined. It took quite a bit for her to tell me she wanted another blanket. She kept telling me “cover all over” and I kept saying “you are covered all over”. It took a bit and a few deep breaths but we got there. I now have to feed her and she has to use a bedpan. The feeding is mainly because she can’t bend her left arm because of the IV, though I think I would still be doing it since she is right handed. This is the stuff that makes me feel like I maybe getting a glimpse into the future when the end is near. She has been putting up with a lot because they only have her left arm for the IV, blood pressure, and to draw all labs from which are happening every six hours.

Today did have a positive though. Her mom and 3 of her sisters came to visit. It was short but nice. Her sisters were visibly upset when they left. It is hard for them to see another sister like this. They lost their baby sister to retinoblastoma at the age of 11, she was born with it.

Tomorrow should be good, daughter and granddaughter are planning on visiting. She will bring me my meds so that will make things better for me.

In all of this it did not help that she had a roommate that would scream for help or the nurse. They finally moved her to a different room last night. She just got another one a bit ago. So far all is quite.

Thank you for taking a walk with me.

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Day 20 of 2017

So yesterday was a very short blog. I could not say much about the day because there were people we had to talk to first. Such is the case when it comes to updating about my wife’s condition. We must first let our kids know before I put it up for friends and relatives to see.

So yesterday was my wife’s appointment with her Neuro Oncologist to get the results of the an MRI she had last week. The MRI shows significant swelling and tumor growth. At this time the growth is small and is on the edge of the original tumor field. Her doctor sent it to the tumor board where the surgeons will decide if surgery is the way to go. There is another treatment option that would use a probe to kill the tumor with a laser and then she would get some medicine afterwards. All of this means that the chemo is not working – which is not a surprise considering the variation of the type of tumor she has. They are also considering putting her on a different type of chemo. We should hear Mon or Tues what has been decided and go from there. So that is where things are right now for us.

Today was a better day all around. We got to see our granddaughter and daughter. Laurie’s best friend also stopped by, bringing us KFC for dinner. The evening was filled with a lot of laughter.

So even amidst a storm you can still sometimes find a little shelter and get a break from it. Don’t stop looking for the positive in the day. May this weekend be a good one for you.

Thank you for taking this walk with me.

 

Day 19 of 2017

About all I can say about today is that it was a rainy, foggy day. I have a lot to talk about with regards to today but it has to wait.

There was a positive – a lady sitting next to us at lunch, paid for our lunch. First time that has ever happened. She told the waitress I was being so sweet to Laurie and wanted to pay for our lunch. It was a nice surprise.

Thank you for taking a walk in the rain with me and stay tuned for more on today.

Day 18 of 2017

Today was a very good day and a short one. We have to be on the road tomorrow at 7 am so I have to head to bed a lot earlier then I usually do. It is Laurie’s 2 month NO (Neuro Oncologist) appointment to find out what last weeks 2 month MRI says.

What made it a good day was spending the afternoon with Laurie’s mother. She made us an awesome roast beef lunch and we stayed till after afternoon coffee/tea. It did Laurie good to be out at the farm with her mom. Laurie gets her awesomeness honestly from her mom. She sent some roast beef home with us.

That is all I have for tonight.

Thank you for taking a short stroll with me.

 

Day 16 of 2017

There were a few positives today. Laurie (my wife) did use the cane instead of the walker for one of her trips to the bedroom. Her oldest called and we had a nice chat.  My head does not feel so cement like tonight. I can actually think without it hurting.

It is a very short stroll tonight. I was lazy today so I have a few things to do before bed. Thank you for joining me.

 

My wife has brain cancer :(

I know it has been a long time since I posted. My art has fallen by the wayside. July 11, 2016 my wife went into the ER because she was having trouble talking. Next thing we know she was having a tumor removed from the left side of her brain (that Thursday). Pathology came back on the tumor – it was a GBM. A grade 4 (incurable) glioblastoma multiforme. The most deadly of the brain tumors. It has been a roller coaster ride since then.

I am on here today to promote my go fund me account set up to help us with Laurie’s treatments and getting her a deck.

Here is the link to the account – help Laurie

Thank you so much for even just looking.

This is not the kind of walk I want to ask anyone to take with me.

Alex

 

Train of Thought

Come ride my train of thought with me. It should prove to be an interesting ride, since my train rarely stays on track. You might say that my thoughts have ADD. They easily get distracted and head off in another direction. My wife will attest to that and how it drives her batty :). Why don’t we begin with my wife.

First off I would like to plug my wife’s blog Mama Bear Laurie’s Den of Writings. She is a wonderful writer. Stop by and take a look, you won’t be disappointed. I met her through an online dating site, Plenty of Fish. Being a fisherman it seemed like a good site to try out. Looking back I have to say that the universe had a hand in bringing us together. I kept going back and looking at her picture. I did this many, many times before I connected with her. I also did not look at her height. This was something that I was doing with every other. I was looking for someone who was shorter then me, or so I thought :). Well lets keep the train moving shall we. We eventually met and my world was changed for the better. When we had our first date I was at the beginning of a nasty divorce, I was living with my step-son, I had no vehicle. I had to borrow my step-son’s car to even be able to go on a date. So we had a second date that took place in our vehicles and was interrupted by the police. No it was NOT that kind of date, we just had nowhere else to go. We kid each other that we are still on our 3rd date. She invited me to come stay at her place for the Labor day weekend and I never left :). We will be married 3 yrs end of June and together 5 years end of Aug. She has been an amazing presence in my life. Aside from my daughter she is the first person that I have felt total and unconditional love from. This is my 3rd marriage and my most successful. We laugh everyday, even on the rare days that we argue. She is the first one that the thought of not having her in my life scares me. I know I would survive, but I would never find what we have again. She has gotten me through some pretty rocky times. The divorce I was going through was the divorce from hell. It ended with my adopted twins living with their biological mother (my stepdaughter) and wanting no further contact with me, two years of federal probation and a felony on my record (my ex is a drug addict and I got caught up in that). Anyway back to my wife and one last thing. I call her mocking bird because she is always mocking me but in a joking way. It is one of our fun times :).

The train of thought that started this whole blog actually has to do with compromise and trade offs. My wife and I have made some compromises and trade offs over the past year. Family is super important to my wife and don’t get me wrong it is important to me too, just not to the extent as my wife. Her life revolved around her 5 kids (she was a stay at home mom) and that is something that has not changed now that they are all adults. Her mom was a stay at home mom and I think she gets that devotion from her. My mother was a manic depressive alcoholic and not always there for us and I think that is where I get my let them be adults attitude from. So to get back on track, three years ago we bought an acreage that was a 2 1/2 hour drive from Laurie’s (my wife) kids (my daughter lives in Canada and the twins are in MN). It was just under 5 acres and the house needed to be renovated. We lived there a year and a half. During that time we did quite a bit of renovating in the house and a lot of work fixing up the property. We had chickens and enjoyed fresh eggs every morning. It was so quiet and peaceful. I actually had started blogging about the renovations. It was the perfect place for us considering we are both introverts and really don’t like to be around people that much. At least it was perfect until the kids didn’t start visiting and empty next syndrome hit Laurie real hard. You need to understand that my wife would be perfectly happy with all the kids living with us all the time. At least she feels this way until they do live with us and then she starts needing that time away – it is a viscous cycle. So after giving it a try for a year and half we decided to sell and move back to where the kids are. We sold the house (fairly quickly) and bought a mobile home and moved it into a park in Washington (MO). So now comes the compromises and trade offs. They come in the form of giving up the peace and quiet we so dearly love in exchange for having the kids around. When I say around I mean the youngest, her boyfriend, and new baby (our granddaughter) living with us while they get back on their feet. Child number 4 visits regularly to do laundry, pick up packages, and just visit. We are now watching our grandson (he will be 7 next week) after school several days a week, which means we also get to see his dad, child number 2. Our two oldest both live a distance away so we don’t see them as often. The second oldest we see mainly at family gatherings at my mother-in-law’s. So we went from having neighbors that were half an acre away on either side to neighbors a mere 10 feet away. They are so close we can hear their kids running up and down the hall, with ours and their windows shut. What makes all of this a little harder is my wife’s battle with major depression and anxiety.

So, I have been carrying this train of thought around with me for several days. I am not even sure if I have put it down the way it was rattling around in my head. All I know is that it had to do with the compromises and trade off’s we make in life and especially for those we love. Laurie talks about moving when we have the finances. I know that is something that may not happen for a long time if ever because right now having the family around is far more important then peace and quiet.

Thank you for taking this train ride with me and I hope we didn’t go too far off the track.

Alex

Beagle Puppy

beaglepupvia .

I did this pencil drawing back in the early 90’s. I believe I used a picture from a book  of dogs. I no longer have the drawing, but I wish I did. I would do some touch up work on it.

I am very critical of my work. What artist isn’t :). I find it very hard to walk away from a piece I am working on and say okay it is done.

I have a real love of animals and truly enjoy drawing them. It is my goal to improve on my drawing skills in regards to animals. When I was in 8 or 9th grade I did a color pencil drawing of a scene from The Incredible Journey. It is the one where the old dog is coming out of the water with a duck in his mouth. I think the hunter may have been there too (can’t totally remember). It was my first pencil crayon drawing and I did it without doing a pencil drawing first. There were no dark edges. It got destroyed when a water heater leaked. Unfortunately I don’t have anything from my past, but that is another story for another post.

Thank you for taking this walk down the art trail with me.

Alex

The Hen House

The first drawing I am going to post about is one I just finished for my wife. I did this drawing for her birthday (back in Dec) and just finished the trees and grass today.

The drawing is of the old hen house on her grandparents/uncle’s farm. The farm was sold 3 years ago. This is a place that has great meaning for my wife.

I hope you enjoy the drawing.

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Thank you for taking this walk down the art trail with me. I look forward to any comments you may have.

Alex

Art

Today I am starting a new thread. I am an artist and have been my entire life. I have been doing art since first grade. I took art class through all 12 grades. In 5th grade we moved to Whitehorse, Yukon in the middle of the school year. One of the art projects we had to do was of an under water scene. What I did not know was that my teacher had entered my painting in a contest. I, along with another kid, won the contest. My painting was displayed in the Children’s World Art Museum in Japan. It was quite the honor back then, I even got my picture in the local paper. I entered an art show in 9th grade. I only received an honorable mention even though I deserved to win. They actually thought I had traced my drawing and since I did not have the original with me to prove otherwise they only gave me an honorable mention. They did that to all my entries because of the one. In my adult life I belonged to an artist guild. While in that guild I was able to put some art in to an art sale. None of it sold, except to family, but I was OK with that.

I will post a picture of my art and the story that goes with it. I hope you find the thread enjoyable.

Thank you for taking this walk with me.

Alex