Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dreaming about Blogging?

I woke up this morning and was remembering the dream I had during the night. The images so vivid it was like it really happened. I was rich and famous and living the life of a rock star. I was flying, no, I was JETTING, to and fro on someones private jet. Can I remember why I was so rich and famous and living the life of a rock star? No. That detail escapes me. And can I remember what exactly I was doing that was so fabulous in this dream? NO. No idea.

The whole point of this dream, and for me writing about it this morning, was at the end of the dream, my last thought was how I was going to BLOG all about my adventures that I had that summer. (Did I mention it was a whole summer of fun that I dreamt about?) I was actually dreaming about blogging! I've dreamt about the pain in my life. I've dreamt about my family. I've dreamt about work too many times to count. I've dreamt about FOOD (don't get me started on those dreams! Food is a very important part of my life unfortunately and those dreams I can remember in fine detail lol). I've dreamt about my cat and my dog. I've dreamt about my brother who was killed a few years back. I've dreamt about the cops who took his life that night. I've dreamt about the pain my mother endured after that night and still to this day. I've dreamt about laundry and house cleaning and mopping floors. But dreaming about blogging? Do any of you dream about blogging? Guess my dreams have finally caught up to this century huh?

In my dream I was so excited that so many fun and amazing things had happened that summer, and that I would have things to blog about for weeks! So what exactly was the point of that dream? I'm guessing with all the things going on in my life right now, with my MIL being so sick and on her last leg, and everything that is going along with that, that maybe my mind is wishing and hoping that I had fun things to blog about instead of the sad stories I've been telling lately. I see all these other blogs being humorous and funny and telling great stories that make me laugh and I think about all the sadness in my life and how my blog just isn't comparing to them.

So, I've made a decision!

I will continue to blog but try to keep it more upbeat! I will still have to talk about my MIL so I will always remember these last days with her and what we're going through, but I will NOT let it be the focus of everything. I don't want to lose the 6 of you who actually read my blog lol. (Yes, there are now 6 of you! You guys rock!) OK, I get a lot of traffic to my site that indicates there's more then 6 of you but whatever, it still feels like I'm talking to a small crowd!

So there's my decision for the moment! I'l try to keep the 6 of you entertained so you'll come back for more. Or at least until something better comes along right? lol
I'll blog more later. Have tons of house cleaning and laundry to catch up on!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanksgiving is racing towards me...

I have always loved Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday of the year. It's all about family and food and friends and memories. Being thankful for everything that we have while spending time with the ones I love. I see so many movies and shows and hear about people who dread going home for the holidays. Not me. I adore my family, flaws and all. Yes, for the past 10 years or so, either one or both of my brothers (when both were alive) were usually in jail and missed the holidays. And yes, there's always some sort of drama about who is coming and who is not, and who showed up 2 hours late. But to me the day is full of hope and dreams and everything that matters the most, my family.

We have a huge family. Our family reunions are humongous and take 2 years to plan in advance. And no, we're not polygamists. There are hundreds of us but we're spread out all over the country so holidays are usually small gatherings for us. Here in Utah is my mother and all of us kids and our kids. Then my Aunt and her husband live here and so do 4 of their kids and all of their children. My mom and my aunt and her husband are all Jehovahs Witnesses so they don't celebrate holidays so it's up to the rest of us "kids" to pull the holidays together. My aunts kids usually do their own thing and I head up the holidays for my family. A couple of times we've tried to mash the 2 together but we've been doing it separately for so long that it normally ends up that way. For my little family I'm the chef, the baker, the planner for everything for the holidays. So pretty much everything that needs to be done on Thanksgiving is done by me.

Since me and hubby have been together, the day is usually spent shuffling back and forth between my house, my sisters house, and hubby's families house. Before me and hubby got into a house, I'd usually have to wake up really early and we'd load my entire kitchen into hubby's truck and drive it all over to my sisters house since we didn't have room at our apartment to have everyone over to our house. While my sister is am amazing person, very giving, very sweet, funny, loving and all of that, she does not enjoy cooking. Or baking. Or anything domestic like that. It's not that she CAN'T cook or bake. She just WON'T. And since she's not domestic at all, her kitchen ware is pretty sparse. She has plates, cups, bowls and silverware but not much else. To cook at her house means trying to be MacGyver and using a pen and a shoelace jimmied together to roll out a pie crust. Kind of like camping but with running water. And less wild animals, unless you count the kids! She does make a mean breakfast though! lol

So we'd get to my sisters house, start the turkey and spend a few hours there while I got the dinner ready to a point where I could leave it in my sisters hands for awhile. (Meaning, all she needs to do while I'm gone is remember to baste the turkey for me!) We'd then head over to my inlaws to have dinner at their house and spend a few hours with them. Then it was back to my sisters house to finish up dinner and get it all to the table and have dinner with my family. Yes, it's a really full day for all of us and me and hubby are so stuffed that we're waddling home at the end of it. But it's worth it! Now that me and hubs are in a house, there won't be so much packing to do and I'll be able to start dinner in my own oven and use my own stuff to prepare the feast. And since we live across the street from my in-laws, running over there for a few hours will be very simple since I can run home and baste the turkey myself if I need to.

My MIL is one of those women who does everything from start to finish. Don't ask to bring anything because she will only tell you no, that it's all covered. Yes, I still ask every year and every year she tells me she has it all covered. Not once in the 7 years hubby and I have been together has she let me bring anything. If I had tried to anyways, like I did the first year, it would be met with a frown and disdain so there was no point. Not doing as she wanted actually put a cramp on the dinner together so I've learned to just do as she asks. (And yes, to answer what you're probably wondering right now, I also do everything from start to finish too so it sounds like my MIL and I are a lot alike in that aspect, but I do all of it out of *necessity* and not beause I *want* to do it all. For me, there's no other help really. And yes, my MIL and I are a lot alike in a lot of aspects which I think is why we butted heads so often and why our relationship was usually very strained. But that's a whole other post for a whole other day.

Thanksgiving this year is going to be really hard. My mother in-law is officially dying. It's now in black and white on her medical records. She's dying. The first oncologist she saw last week told her he could recommend chemo but she has less then a 25% chance of getting any better, even with treatment. The surgeon she saw Friday told her there was no point in chemo AT ALL and that she would be lucky to live another 2 months.

When she was in the hospital and we found out it was cancer and that it was every where, my new sister in law, my MIL's friend who's like a daughter to her, and myself all decided we would be handling everything at Thanksgiving. So I need to figure out a way to do my family's dinner as well as a huge part of my inlaws. I'm excited for it though. She's never much eaten my cooking and she's just recently realized that I am a great cook so this will be good. And since the dinner will still be at my inlaws, just with us cooking it, and we live across the street from my inlaws house, I'm sure I'll need to be doing the things that may not travel well like the turkey.

Anyone have any suggestions for me? This will be interesting and I need to start planning for it now! lol Last year I did a bunch of stuff ahead of the big day and froze it, like the mashed potatoes and pie crusts. I think I even made up the apple pie filling in advance, mixing the apples, cinnamon, sugar, butter, flour and all of that and froze it ahead of time so I could just pull it out and put it together and bake it. I didn't want it to be all reheated like it was leftovers so I put things together to ease some of the prep work but it was still freshly baked. Well, other then the mashed potatoes which I did just reheat. Anyone have any other suggestions though?

Well I better sign off. It's almost midnight and I have to be up for work tomorrow bright and early. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Is it Too Early For Eggnog and Carolling?

I've always loved Christmas. I adore the Christmas lights, the snow, the coziness of our houses all buttoned up tight, the scent of Christmas trees, the scent of wood burning into the neighbors fireplaces drifting through the air. The way that we are usually wrapping my sisters gifts until the wee hours of Christmas morning because she's a worse procrastinator then even I am. How her, DH and I are up most of the night laughing and drinking coffee to stay awake to finish the wrapping. How we're all so slap happy that none of us are making any sense at all. How we barely crawl into bed and shut our eyes when the kids are up wanting to open gifts. The way my sister and her kids spend the night at our house so all of us can wake up together. The way that my sister buys the kids matching pajamas so that every morning the kids all match. How we spend a very lazy day enjoying our new gifts, the kids playing with their new toys, and the adults going back down for a nap. I even love the shopping part, trying to find the right gift for someone I love. It all seems to fly by so quickly and I'm always trying to find a way to slow it down, make it last, stretch it out as far as I can before it's gone and the New Year starts. My only irritation with it is when stores start putting out decorations October 1st. It's like we can't even enjoy Halloween or Thanksgiving before Christmas is right there in front of us.

Our little family ritual is to put up our Christmas tree and house decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving every year. For some reason this year is different. I've been dying to put it all up NOW. In fact I begged DH to pull it all out 2 weeks ago and he thought I was crazy. Well first, he REFUSED, then said I was freakin nuts!

I'm not sure why I've been wanting to start the Christmas season yet. Is it because my MIL is so ill that maybe this will be her last Christmas with us? Maybe I'm wanting the familiar, the rituals, something that makes sense in our lives again. Christmas happens every year without fail. You can count on it. Life has been so crazy around here and so unpredictable. We don't know how long MIL has left with us. We don't know when she'll be gone. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. What I do know is that we need to make Thanksgiving and Christmas the best ones yet. So that all of us can remember these times when we're having to celebrate without her with us. I can't imagine a time when she won't be here. My brain can't wrap itself around that thought.

So for now, I want to make this the best holiday season we've ever had!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Where I've been lately....

Hey everyone! I know all 3 of my readers have probably been wondering where I've been lately. Some of you belong to other groups I've given updates to and some of you follow me on Twitter where I've also been letting people know what's been happening. If you've already heard this, bear with me since there's a new update at the end. If you haven't seen any updates from me, read on...

Due to my FMS (fibro) I have a horrible short term memory and am really bad at remembering details of any kind so I'm going through my sent messages to paste them here.

Very late on 10/17/08 and/or early morning on 10/18/08:

Currently sittin at hospital waiting for my MIL to come out of emergency surgery. She went in for horrible stomach pains this morning and they took her in for surgery tonite.

They found cancer. A LOT of cancer. Enough to where they couldn't remove any of it because it was all over inside. They aren't sure where it originated but they did remove a tiny spot to have tests run on it but those won't be back for 3 or 4 days. The doctor said she needs to stay here at hospital at least until the test results are back.

She's only 55. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!

she has been having so much stomach pain for about 18 months. They said at first they thought it was CDEF (CDF? sp?) and she got worse and worse as months went by. The doctor just kept throwing antibiotics at her and not doing much for her. She has literally been wasting away
this year. She hasn't been able to eat anything solid for the last 3 weeks.

The extremely bad part of all of this is she has no insurance!!! My FIL is a building inspector but is basically considered self employed so they don't have any sort of coverage. This could ultimately bankrupt them if this turns out to be really bad.

I'll let you know more when I know more.



Good morning all! I wanted to send an update on my poor MIL while I was thinking about it.
She's not doing well at all. She's still in the hospital and seems to be getting worse each day. She was in such great spirits Saturday morning and then again on Sunday afternoon she seemed to be feeling much better. She started having horrible pains in her stomach again late Sunday, which is what brought her to the ER on Friday in the first place. She says it feels like horrible gas pains but since the cancer is in her stomach and intestines it might just be the pain from the cancer being in there. Doctors are still waiting for the biopsy they sent off late Friday night from the sample they took during surgery to come back from the lab. They thought it would be back by Monday or Tuesday at the latest but it still isn't back yet?!?!
Here's what I do know for sure so far:
The reason they took her in for the surgery Friday night was because one of the tests they ran while she was in the ER showed a very large blockage in her smaller intestine. They told her they were going in laperoscoply (if that's how you spell that?!?!?) to try and repair the smaller intestine and fix the blockage. The plan was to cut out the part that was all blocked up and then reconnect her smaller intestine back together, removing the blocked part. They told her that due to what the tests they'd run had already shown them, they WERE NOT going to open her up because there was so much cancer. They told her to open her up would "be a death sentence" due to the amount of cancer that they could already see. (something about how cancer grows faster or speeds up or something of that nature when it's met with open air or outside air or something like that). They couldn't repair the intestine so they OPENED HER UP!
Report from her surgery stated the cancer was pretty much everywhere and on everything in her stomach, intestines, organs etc. While there were tumors inside the intestine, the rest of the cancer is the "sticky adhesion" kind that is not possible to remove. The blockage turned out to be a bunch of cancerous tumors inside her smaller intestine which they were unable to remove due to the way it'd grown attached to something else in there. I'm not a doctor so I have no idea what exactly that entails. It was so bad that they weren't even able to reattach the smaller intestine back together. They rigged it so that her large and smaller intestine were hooked together somehow.

As of last night, the biopsy they'd sent off from the surgery was still not back. They're waiting on those results to try and find out what kind of cancer it is, where it originated from, etc.. Her pain levels have sky rocketed and they're not able to keep her pain under control even with her still having the epidural in from when they did the surgery and giving her pain meds through her IV on top of that. They said for her to get out of the hospital, she would have to be able to have her bowels working again and be able to eat and drink small amounts of things, her pain levels had to be under control somewhat, and of course, it all hinges on what the report says. Her bowels have started to wake up and yesterday she was trying to sip on a little bit of water but it only caused more pain. You can just hear the pain in her voice when she talks. She's having a hard time breathing now as well. We spoke to her late last night and she said she was hurting so much and couldn't breathe so they were going to come up and take her down for an ultrasound to see if they could see what the problem is. It sounds like it might have spread to her lungs and that could be why she's having such a hard time breathing. If it is in her lungs then she'll start having problems with fluid building up in there and having to get her lungs drained on a regular basis.
We are all so worried at this point. She's not doing well and her spirits are really low right now, reasonably so, but she was trying to be optimistic this past weekend and that seems to be gone now as well. I'm trying to be the "glue" that holds the whole family together over here which is causing my own health problems to flare up with the stress and exhaustion of trying to do it all on my own but there isn't any other option right now. Luckily we live across the street from my MIL and FIL so I'm able to keep a close eye on J's dad. I've been cooking for him and taking dinner to him everyday. Trying to keep his house going while mine seems to be falling apart! There's laundry for days and clutter here and there and since J and I both work full time, there isn't enough hours in the day to do it all but I'm trying. J's brother and his wife live over 2 hours away from us and J's brother is in school to become a nurse. Right now he's doing his clinicals which he can't miss so it's hard on them being so far away and not being able to help out or just sit with someone for awhile to keep them company. Luckily they'll be down on weekends so they'll be here tomorrow to help me out a little bit. J's no help right now because he's just beside himself with worry and grief that he's going to lose his mother soon. I just don't know what else to do for them all then what I'm doing. It just doesn't seem like enough though!
Well, i better end this novel I've been writing. Sorry to be so long winded. Thank you to everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers and good wishes you've been sending out way. Please keep them going. We'll need all the help we can get from the big man upstairs.


That was the last update I'd sent to my groups. She was let go from the hospital last Saturday & was home all of 5 days when she got up one morning and walked to the bathroom and felt stuff running down her legs. She looked down and this gross brown/green/yellow crap was gushing down her stomach and legs. She hollered for my FIL to come to the bathroom and he rushed her to the ER again. It seems the doctors and nurses who discharged her last weekend neglected to send her home with antibiotics (oops!) and her huge incision on her stomach was completely infected. The infection was so bad that the infection ATE THROUGH her inner AND outer stitches so she was completely wide open! They had to put her back in the hospital to get the infection under control. The doctors told her they couldn't close her back up until all the infection was completely gone and that she'd need to be there for at least 3-4 days for treatment before they'd allow her to go home again. The ER nurse told her the docs should never have let her go home that first time without some sort of antibiotic to take as a precaution so that no infection would set in. They completed screwed up! But get this... They realized they really screwed up and that first night she was there at the hospital, after all of us had gone home, a nurse and 4 doctors came in late that night to give her morphine for the pain before she went to sleep. After they had doped her up pretty good, all of them started in on my MIL trying to get her to admit that they HAD sent her home with antibiotics and that she just forgot to take them! They were trying to get her on record saying it was HER fault she was all infected so she couldn't sue them for what happened. Can you believe that? She wouldn't admit it and they kind of kept brow beating her for about 30 minutes until they realized she wasn't going to say what they wanted her to say, even with her being all drugged up. She called us the next morning in a panic and wanting to leave the hospital because she didn't trust being alone there with them. Poor lady!

Now the docs said she would have to stay for at least 3-4 days to get the infection under control since it was so bad but yet they released her the next day! Her incision is 4 inches long and wide and is still wide open until the infection is gone. They have it packed with guaze right now and it has to be changed at least 3 times a day. They set her up with a home health care person who is supposed to come over 3 times a day to change the bandages and so far the lady has flaked out on her both times she was supposed to show up. We've tried calling the emergency number to get someone else and they aren't answering either. This morning my FIL ended up having to take her back to the ER to change the dressing since no one was there to help! It's been a complete mess.

Please keep her in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever it is that you believe in. She's going to need all of us rooting for her to stay strong and beat this. The sad part is that my FIL has pushed me and J away saying that he wants to take care of my MIL the way he needs to and wants to. It's been hard. On the one hand, I understand he needs to deal with this in his own way. But on the other hand, I also think he's not realizing that he's also taking away precious time that my MIL has left in this world that we'd like to spend with her as well. I'm not sure if there's denial about how bad off my MIL is right now or what. But I do think he thinks there will be plenty of time for us to spend with MIL when she's "better" but I don't think he understands she may not get any better. It's been really hard on all of us and we're all trying to stay strong.

So if you guys have been wondering where I've been and why I just stopped blogging for a few weeks, that's what's been happening in my side of the world. Hopefully now that she's home, and just across the street, I'll have a bit more time to keep in touch again.

Thanks for reading the novel I've written today lol.

Have a great one!

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