Tuesday, October 30, 2007

trials, tribulations, and enduring to the end...

Well, I haven't posted in so very long. I just haven't known where to start. My dad and Sandy (my stepmom who isn't stepish at all but more like a 2nd mom) have been here to visit several times and my mom, who is living with us for a year or so, has been serving my family like some sort of an indentured servant, dear, dear people from our new ward (church) have been bringing us meals and lending us things to make life easier. My Nana and Ken have been here for nearly 2 weeks, they have been doing all sorts of odds and ends to help out and my Nana even sewed me the most beautiful curtains for the front door. We have again learned so much from the examples of others and it humbles us and warms us at the same time. We are also so appreciative that people are willing to share their time and talents with us.

I had been responding pretty well to the chemotherapy and went on Oct. 5th for an MRI and a CT to check on the tumors. They didn't show much positive on the bone tumors, but they showed a significant decrease in the size of the tumors in my liver and in my lymph nodes. This was just such a miracle. The doctors were esctatic - the purpose of the chemo is to stop or slow down the growth of the tumors but they don't really expect them to get smaller!! We just felt so thrilled and blessed.

However, around the 3rd of Oct, I started having a strange and very uncomfortable pain in my left leg, thigh and hip. It hurt quite a bit. In the evening of Sat 13th, I was coming up to the top of the stairs and I heard a terrible SNAP in my leg-- followed by excruciating PAIN. I screamed and screamed at the top of my lungs and all my children/dogs/mom/Robert gathered around me but I couldn't catch my breath, nor even explain what had happened. It was so awful. My mom called the ambulance (again) and off I went. Leaving, my poor children on the porch behind me, waving and crying and saying good-bye. I don't want to be melodramatic, but what a sad moment in my life. You never want your children to have to be worried or scared about you...you are supposed to keep them safe from harm and fear; right?

Anyway, I fractured my hip. On Sunday I had surgery, something they call pinning. I found out later that it wasn't really the right procedure for me to have. Pinning is placing long, metal pins into the bones and depends upon the bones healing so the Pins can support the bones and actually take some of the weight of the bones. Well, my surgeon wasn't an oncologist so he didn't realize that my poor tumor riddled bones are not going to heal. So, it turns out this is only going to be a temporary measure.

We got some more pictures taken of my innards and it looks like the right hip could crack at any time, so they are going to ahead and PIN that one together too. After the left leg gives out, they will go ahead and do a total hip replacement surgery. Don't ask me why they do it this way, but I figure they (these specialist surgeon types) get paged huge, enormous amounts of money to figure this stuff out so it must be right.....right?

On top of all this mental and physical pain, we had another passing that has left us sad and empty. My dearest Hercules; cuddlemate, confidant, protector, and greatest listener and most patient friend - my Hercules who never judged me and loved me no matter what I did or how I looked--My Hercules, my dog....has left into the night. He had some sort of a stroke on Sunday, October 28th. I haven't told anyone about this yet because it is too painful to speak about--I didn't even tell Nana and Ken about it though they were here till Monday morning--I just didn't want to bring it up. We have all been affected by his passing and there has been a sadness in the house that can only be lessened by time and the filling in of good memories. Shasta (dog number 2, aged 3 yrs) is having a hard time and spends a lot of time just lying next to me, depressed and lythargic. The first night, Max woke up several times during the night saying that he couldn't sleep without Hercules. It wrenches at my guts for my children to be in so much pain, especially because I feel like concentrating on my pain! But, together we will get through this and find a special place in our hearts for Hercules. My Dad and Sandy bought a memorial rock for us to put in the back yard- it is a hunk of black and white granite, unfinished, which we put in the little hole in the backyard which was Hercule's favorite place to lie down. How we all love him.

Better times are surely ahead!