Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy week

Hi there everybody

Wow it is almost a week since I have been on, but it has been a busy week. On Sunday we got Joe and Michele off to the Virgin Islands, then went to the 9 AM Forum and stayed for the church service which was dedicated to Odetta. Great service. That afternoon Latte came over with Quinn and Ethan. We had picked up some steaks which Latte grilled while Marian prepared buttered noodles and broccoli.

Monday was a down day for me physically and mentally. I seem to go into a funk when people leave after a visit. Same thing happened after the reunion. By the end of the day I realized that I had to get back on my gratitude mode. Particularly after blowing my stack at the substitute nurse for not bringing my new fiber formula as promised. Felt bad about that and made a quick Tenth Step move. I had expected my new permanent nurse Stacy, but she took the day off, so it was back to a substitute. Had I known all the facts I probably would not have blown my stack. But the action had a payoff for me and Marian. I think we have both learned that people are variable even when they try to be consistent, and we have to accept the fact that they may not always meet the expectations we have developed. Things seem settled now. I have a new high fiber formula that we are gradually introducing into my daily feeding. Right now it is one high fiber to three regular and in a few days we will make it two and two, then three to one fiber and finally all fiber. We are also pleased with Stacy as a nurse.

Still have feeding tube leaks of all types, but we are coping. I think I have to learn to adjust to new levels of equipment failure. Marian has been clever in finding ways to get us through.

Tuesday was MAC day and I walked a mile with Ed. We had a great discussion on the ins and outs of living with cancer and the joy of having the herb to help us through. That afternoon I collected pictures requested by Bob Christopher and got them off via UPS.

Wednesday was truly a busy one. Ed came over at 9 AM and we baked 200 plus Waldorf bites. He is really a great help now that he has the routine down. He stayed until Stacy, my new full-time nurse, arrived around 11:45. Just as Stacy was leaving (after cleaning the tube entrance and checking my vitals) Melanie Mack arrived with some goodies to share with visitors. Around 1:30 Diane Nichols from church came over and took us to see and walk around one of MSU gardens. It was a fun time. The gardens were truly impressive. We are going to go to other gardens next week, weather permitting. At 6:00 PM Marian met with the Pink Ribbon crew at Schulers for an evening of “crew talk”.

Here it is Thursday and we are still at it. I did my morning mile walk at the MAC with Ed while Marian worked out. Margaret, the chaplain from hospice made her weekly visit. We discussed my temper tantrum and then went on to discuss more serious things like planning my memorial service. We have to contact the responsible people at the UU church to find out how we can get the place for the service. Margaret thinks we should work on some pretty detailed plans. She cited the Kennedy funeral as the ultimate in a well planned funeral. I gather that Teddy and his wife planned the whole thing. I will get working on it. While we are checking up on how to get the church Margaret suggested I work on the selection of music. Since Bob Christopher wants a music list also I will try to kill two birds with one stone. I have to admit that it is pretty weird to feel as good as I was feeling today and to sit there talking about things that are going to be going on after I have left this world.

Marian had lunch today with her old friend Ann Wing. Ann has a daughter who is in stage 4 of breast cancer and is undergoing all types of chemo therapy.

So you can see that my days have been filled with activities. Some days are good, some are not so good. There are days that I would just as soon not be alive, then there are days that I am almost jubilant to be alive (like today).

Below is one of the discussion items from Living in the Light of Dying. In particular I like the “experiences of living fully while dying”. That is what I am trying to do. So far so good. The last sentence in this item is also a good one.


Insights, Inspiration & Wisdom

What insights have you found from your own dying process or that of another? For some of us, the biggest inspiration was to see how the

dying process did NOT change or changed in ways that made them seem even more alive and engaged. It is said that dying doesn’t really change anyone; it makes them more who they are.

Are there words, stories or memories that give you hope or comfort? What experiences with living fully while dying have you had that you wish to share with others? Do you have any “bits of wisdom” you have picked up during your life that are helpful to you as you die or care for someone who is dying? Such tidbits may seem insignificant, and may be exactly what someone else needs to year. More often than not, what we need are not the profound insights of a lifetime, rather we need the little inspired bit of insight that helps us through the next five minutes.

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