Not even sure how to feel!

Just over two years ago, we found out my husband had terminal brain cancer. During that time in the beginning of him fighting this illness we researched every possible thing to help him beat that disease. During that time we read a lot and some of the stuff seemed promising some did not. We followed strict doctor’s orders and we discussed all of our findings with him regularly.

I know this is controversial, so I don’t always bring it up with everyone I speak with. I don’t share this information with all my friends and family as I know some would agree completely and others would disagree completely. Well a friend of ours insisted that we get the Rick Simpson Oil( it is really concentrated marijuana into an oil) I can be consumed by eating, or smoking and there are many ways you can get it. In our State is is not legal yet medically although it seems to be heading that way. We were never able to get the oil as its is not readily available. We spoke to his doctor about this and they stated I can’t tell you to smoke it but I sure will not tell you not to. If anything it will help your appetite and will be a good distraction from what your body is doing to you.

Our daughter was 20 at the time and her getting her Dad something to smoke was not difficult at all.My husband was a recovering drug addict. Staying clean was one of his biggest priorities and getting him to take pain medicine was just about impossible. I was working part time random shifts outside of our youngest daughter’s dialysis treatments and both of their many appointments. One day while I was working an evening shift my husband and daughter decided to smoke. They went to the back room of the house so the other two kids would not notice and they smoked a little joint( by the way it helped a lot but of course it did not cure him). Out of nowhere his mother showed up(we used to call her PopTart as she always just popped up-that was her way of seeing if our house was dirty or a way to catch us being grown ups)-perhaps if she would have been so concerned when her children were growing up they would not have all had drug and jail problems- but that is for another story) So now she comes  in my daughter says hi and goes to her room as to try to diffuse the uncomfortableness of her grandmother showing up when she is smoking with her Dad. She did not say anything to either of them. She visited for her usual hour and was gone.

The next morning I am in dialysis with my daughter. She calls me. She starts flipping out on me for 45 minutes, how dare my daughter smoke illegal weed with her son when he is sick. I said hold up, he asked for it. He is 48 years old and you really don’t understand the doctor said its ok and it will probably help him. She proceeded to tell me how terrible my daughter is and how she will never forgive her for giving him drugs. I told her that she is being crazy, that stop yelling at me I was not even there and my daughter is 20 years old, stays home all day taking care of her siblings and your son( who would fall down regularly, need constant medication, would need assistance to bathroom and she actually had to bath him as he would not let me do it) My daughter did everything for her Dad like a nurse would do and everything like a daughter would do. Her Dad thought she was the greatest in the world. So after 45 minutes I finally tell her whatever I don’t really care what you think my daughter is a good girl and she is doing that to help her Dad not hurt him. I told her that she should not be so judgemental when her children are no bargain.  She said she was not mad at me only that girl. I got annoyed and hung up. Of course I went to the bathroom and cried and I was so angry.

I did not want to tell my husband as I knew doctors only gave him days to months to live and I did not want him upset with anyone. After 3 days of stewing about it, I could not help but to tell him. He was so angry. He called her and told her that is terrible and that he would choose me and his kids over her anyday and that if she wanted to be part of our lives she needed to apologize. She did not and 3 months passed where we did not speak to her and she did not speak to us. Then the steroid debacle happened and he kind of went crazy. I have written about it on another post if you want more details. Well one day he said I am going to call that crazy lady and tell her every bad thing she ever did. I tried with anything to stop him. He flipped on her and well again I was the bad guy(mind you who did nothing either time). Now the months are passing. His chemo ended his radiation ended and he was on a very manageable dose of steroids. He was no longer acting crazy he was just sad. I thought I can’t let him leave this world without the love of his mother. No matter what an awful person I think she is some part of him really loves her anyway.

I decided to call her, I apologized for things I did not do and kissed her ass so she would go see her son. She made a big deal that she did not want to come to our home and that I should drop him off at her house. I told her I will not do that, he can barely see, he can barely walk with assistance and he can’t get to the bathroom on his own. That he has accidents and its best he is comfortable you should go to the house and visit him. She waited three weeks and finally showed up. She was rude to me and my daughter but she was super nice to him. I was glad she was nice to him as he felt better when she left. He told me see she is not mad at you. I did not tell him what she said outside and the rudeness she showed towards all three of the kids. She decided they were all bad I guess.

Once he passed away our relationship with his mother ended. She did not come to his memorial she did not help in anyway with his final expense and she did not offer to do any of this. She simply was rude to her other son and said I don’t know why she is doing the memorial at your home she is this and that. I did not do it at my home for my kids, for myself. His family has many thieves, many people who will not care that is my kids home and try to take things that were his. I can’t guarantee that is how it would happen but my instincts told me this was not a great idea and his brother was more than understanding. I paid for everything, I took the burden of telling all friends and family and of course I had to deal with my own emotions as well as my childrens.

Now it is almost two years later. I have my feelings about her. My family does not understand how deep rooted these emotions are. My Dad says I should not even think about her. Sadly I can’t help it. She was wrong the whole time and all of her kids did hard drugs. Two of them still do hard drugs but she said terrible things about my baby who did everything for her son. She gave up her late teens to care for him when a lot of kids her age would have said hire a nurse. She never took that into consideration she just bad mouthed us.

Yesterday my youngest daughter is talking to her cousin and we invited them over. He is 14 years old and they are living in her house. They have come across their own hardships and they basically had a choice live with her or be homeless. They chose her. So when my nephew walks in the house he is wearing a tank top with Pot Leaves all over it. I said Um nice shirt. He said Grandma got it for me. I said does she know its weed. He said yes she knows. So I said to his parents um nice shirt, they said yeah my mother got it she liked it for him. So now my 20 year old who is now almost 23 and had the worst feelings behind all that was the worst devil ever but she buys this shirt for a young teen who was born addicted to heroin but she pretends like we are terrible people when we don’t drink or smoke or do anything. It was a time he was sick and we were trying to help him. I changed the subject and tried to enjoy their company but I was hurt by seeing this.

When they went home I tried to forget but it was bothering me all night. I have so much more important things to worry and concern myself with that I won’t let this consume me, but I know for sure forgiving her ever again is not in the cards. I think if my husband could know this he would be crushed that she said all those awful things about us and now she is promoting it. I will add that she is a Jehovah’s Witness and is always judging someone for not being like her. I almost want to call her and tell her hey they are fighting for medical marijuana I hope you go out and vote as I know their religion does not allow them to vote, they can collect from the government but they won’t contribute. I guess that is for another story as well. I will do my best to let this thought leave me this morning and I will remember that she kept telling me I know I will see my son whole and well again. Jehovah tells me this, so if she is right(which my religion does not tell me this) she is not going to be to happy because if he is whole and well he already knows how crappy this all turned out.

Cancer! You Suck!

Again, I have to accept the fact the cancer has reared it’s ugly head to someone else I love dearly. This person is probably the person I love the most in the entire world, My Dad. I have so much love for my other family members, but my Dad has always been the one to I wanted to hang out with.

When I was a child I was the youngest. I was the one that was different. I lived among a family who believed very much that love is something you don’t need to talk about. Showy love is for some but not everyone. I was told by my Mom, Lisa do you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food in your house, is it cold in here? Is there any time you have gone with out by necessity? I would of course say no. She would then tell me that is love. Why in the world we would work hard to make sure you are all ok, do things we think will teach you about life, culture and a little of everything in between. That is love. Love is not something you can describe in a word. Love is a action. It is something that you do always when you really love. So I did know and understand but I still wanted to be told and I still wanted to be the huggy kissy one, as my sisters would say. I would kiss the relatives and hug them when they would come and go. Typically they probably thought I was annoying. I guess I was.

My Uncle , he never cared though he would say get off me you little monkey and pat me on the head. When I got older I realized that I was the one who liked to do these things. They did not so what. Why should I stop being me because someone else is them. I never did and still do not. Now that I am older I realize that love for family is not something that you have to do. It is something that should simply come naturally. If it does not come naturally then it should not be. I have relatives that I don’t really think give a crap about any of my family, only their extensions of it. That is ok. I used to be offended now I could care less. I wish them the best and I am sure that if we found ourselves together we would enjoy one another’s company. Life just gets in the way, likely it is not personal.

I mention my family ties and a little about me for a couple of reasons. One I am easily distracted. I can go from one topic to another, well almost accidentally. Other reasons are ,I want it to be known that I feel, and always felt that I have a small family. My Mother’s side was small to me. Many of my Aunt’s passed a away before I ever got to know them. Cancer. These ladies were my mother’s cousins but they grew up in the same household so they were sister’s, sort of. The older relatives, grandparents and their siblings passed over the years. I will admit I am fortunate in saying three of my four grandparents lived to pretty old ages. By standard at least. Grandparents on Dad’s side- Cancer. Not really sure was my grandfather on my Mom’s side. He passed before me and my sisters were born and I am not really sure from what. He was sick and for a long time and he likely had -Cancer but I really don’t know. My Mom always said he was really sick. I don’t know. The only grandparent who did not die of cancer was my Mom’s Mom. She lived to the ripe old age of 93. She did have Alzheimer’s and  she did suffer a few strokes and the effects of that, but she was not a cancer victim. My Dad is like the main important person in our family. For me, for my sisters, for our kids.  My husband also another victim of cancer used to say, I met you Lisa so your Dad could be my Dad. He is the greatest guy ever. He would say I make my self a better person because I see how much a better person gets loved by his family. He thought he was great, because he is and that is the other reasons I wanted to mention a little of our back story.

My Mom passed 15 years ago, she had heart disease. It could easily be argued that her smoking habit caused this heart disease. I believe she would agree to that statement. I know she was being checked on for cancer but the heart disease became the precedence.

I have seen cancer and the outcomes of it many many times. Seems to me this damn disease has no boundaries. I have seen skin cancer on at least 5 people I know. My Dad included, my sister included. My husbands sister and a few other people I have known. I have seen stomach and lung cancer, I have seen brain cancer I have seen lung cancer spread to brain cancer and breast cancer and well I could just go on and on. Now my own father, my top dog, my superhero dad who always knows the answer and always as a joke to go with your issues, now has this threat hanging over his head. I will add my Dad is approaching 80. He is about to get a pacemaker but his actual heart muscle’s are quite strong, says a very trusted cardiology group so I will believe that the pacemaker, will help him to feel better. But prostate cancer. Docs are saying in beginning and very very good chance as long as it has not spread. Now the days will feel very long until he has those tests and awaits those answers.

It has been only one years since my husband’ s passing, but it has been going on my entire life. I am always grieving the loss of someone. Just recently it has been the loss of the ones I have been closer too. It seems that my little family only gets littler. I wish there was a way for me to be the hero. I could find a way to save my Dad from any ill affects of this disease. I truly believed my husband, could fight brain cancer. I believed he was this guy who could fight his way out of anything, and win. He could win an argument that he is wrong, He can win a fight with a guy, who is bigger and stronger and well he is just Ray. Glioblastoma,  a stage 4 brain cancer is a monster of all monsters. It has tentacle like appendages that grow into the brain, not out like a typical tumor. This disease was found far to late. From every bit of research I did I could not find a way to save him of this horrible disease. If there was a way me and my oldest daughter would have found it . We believed in knowledge is power and we tried. We are naive, obviously but truth is we just loved him. Now I find myself reading everything I can about a disease I know very little about. During all my research it was specific to the disease he had or my daughters medical conditions, as she is special needs. Now I have to learn about this one. I realize that this is different. This has several different treatment options. My sister was with my Dad at this appointment and she said the doctors are very hopeful. They were urology not oncology so again we wait. I have played this waiting game before and I don’t like it. I have no choice though.

My poor Dad, He had to live life after losing his wife. She died right when they were supposed to start really having fun. They raised their family. They had grand kids. Retirement was heading in the right directions and then Bang, No more wife. Enter the widower’s club. A crappy place to be but like anything else , you learn to live again. My Dad was pretty fortunate in that area. He is handsome, friendly, funny and can fend for himself. As a matter of fact my father does not want to be catered to does not expect it and would probably be put off by it.I am glad he lived. He traveled some places my mother was not interested in, that he was. He spent time learning how to be a single guy and I think he did a great job. I continued to be Dad, Grandpa, and brother to his remaining close family and he is an Uncle to many who are well, not so close. He is also a friend. My Dad, has more friends than I could count and I am always so sad for him when he tells me that one is no more. The older you get the more often you will experience that type of loss as death is the only outcome for life. I am pretty sure my Dad has more life to live. His doctors have not led him to believe otherwise. I do not believe any medical professional gives false hope. I believe they base your prognosis on the facts presented to them.

I am kind of overwhelmed by this information though. I think wow why does Cancer just keep on affecting people. My people. I know I am not the only one. I sound selfish, but truly I am not. I am just sad by the fact that my has to feel pain. He has to endure treatments. He has to put up with peoples personalities and after experiencing the amazing radiation tech’s my husband had to the horrible infusion techs he had I know it will be only wishful thinking to expect something totally different, although I will hope for it anyway.

Damn Cancer- You suck Go away already!!!!

Perspective means everything

Some days are easier than others. Sometimes you wake up for the day and an amazing good mood and nothing can draw you from that. Other days are like a nightmare from the first moment you wake. Of course there are the mixed up days that can be good and bad combinations. Today was one of those for me and its only 4:30 in the afternoon.

I know that I would really like to just moan and groan in this post and complain about the day I have had but I won’t. However I will tell you its been rough,

As I was driving to the store with my 15 year old son complaining about the world, and mostly complaining about my oldest daughter who is the light of my life and the extra prickly thrones to my roses. She is my combo life we go from very happy to very much want to punch each other out. She is 22 years old and knows very well how to push my buttons and knows exactly how to get me to cave to her every whim. This is not good for either of us.

While I was talking with my son, we got were we where going. The reason he rode with me this time was so he could wait in the car so I did not have to turn it off. My battery in my car died and when I got it jumped the guy told me that my battery should be fine just needs to recharge so leave the car running for 40-70 minutes either driving or running and it should be fine. I really did not like this idea but figured he knew more than me. So when I left him I am sure he was glad I went into the store. He does not like stress. Anything that stresses him out makes him very stressed so I usually don’t use him to let out my emotions. Today, sadly I was not able to control it. So while I was in the store I started thinking about my day and a tear rolled out of my eyes. Then it dawned on me. This is all a matter of perspective. I could look at it as a very annoying day. I could look at it as my daughter always taking advantage and causing me more hassle than needed. I could look at it as a pity party wow what else could go wrong or I could look at it as well hey if I did not have three kids I would not have grief of three kids. I believe their good is better than their bad. I could look at it as well my car broke down but it only broke down because I do own a car. I could be really upset that my knee is killing me and I did not have a cane or I could be thankful that my surgery is over and the pain I am feeling is part of the healing process and had I not done that I would have never been able to forget my cane.

So the funniest thing is that I went out to apply for a job, that will require me to stand,(with bad knees) will pay me minimum wage and I will probably struggle to work that job, so why do I apply well because I am determined to get better, determined to figure out a way to pay my own way, and determined to not let all the things that I swear stress me out not stress me out.

I recently went through a lot of life changing events. I am sure I will share bits and pieces along the way. Life is a roller coaster sometimes you are at the top of the hill coming down sometimes you are heading up and for a very short time once in a while you actually sit at the top and then again you also sit at the bottom. I may have been at my going down and bottom the last few years but a lot of positive self worth has come from it. I did not fall off the wagon and start drinking, I did not allow myself to get hooked on pain pills even though I do need them and my doctors agree I do need them. They give me 90 for 30 days I have 60 for 120 days. I take them sparingly knowing I am a mother, a single(widowed) mother and I need to show my children that no matter what, no matter how hard it seems, even when everything is against you, some how some way you need to find you way through it. Even if some days you yell and scream, and some days are rough you find a way to get through and hope that the next day is better or at least more tolerable.

It would be nice if I were able to find a way to put aside the bad days for a while and head into better days. It seems that is a dream and not reality but if you know me, you will know that aside from me moaning and groaning sometimes I really do try to think about perspective and remind myself that hey I struggle paying my bills( I have bills which means I have things so my kids are not with out) I struggle walking(I am still walking and not in a wheelchair) I have bad days (I am still alive)

So with that said I will say it one more time Perspective means everything.

Today I will look past the bad part of the day and look forward to a better evening and if for some reason life does not want me to have a better evening then hey there is always tomorrow.