Happy and Sad

Dear Sweet Friends,

So many of you have responded to the news story highlighting ovarian cancer, me and my family. It was just as special as it seemed, and more. It was a great heart warming and heart wrenching event…just as Jack so aptly described “happy/sad.” You can see the video clip by going to my creative tribute page, and clicking the “blog” option.  Once in blog, select the video link/site.

My health is steady. I am eating some, getting out some, and doing around the house some.  I tend to ebb and flow in waves…living in abundance when I feel good, only to crash and retreat to compensate for my overindulgence.

I most recently received two loving, gracious posts from two dear friends. Each spoke of my giving, sharing, and caring for others over the years. The outpouring of giving and caring that is being given to me at this time is just an example of the meaning of the circle of life..’you reap what you sow,’ what goes around, comes around,’ and so on.  As I read the words, I weep in gratitude, and I mean weep. It means so much to me to hear that I have made a difference, especially in the lives of children.  Yet, here comes the happy/sad part again.

My acceptance of help has really improved over the years.  I have reached a place in my life where I can just say thank you. I rarely struggle with others refusing assistance.  I can even initiate asking for help, and when I am at my all time “best” …even be a little bossy.  The sad part for me is I don’t want to receive, at least not this way. It’s like I have to receive. I am not at choice. I can no longer do and I am in mourning about it.

Yes I am grateful for all the years I was able to help. Yes I am grateful that I can now afford others the same wonderful feelings by being able to help me. Yes I love it when people help me because 1) I am able to REAP the rewards like getting chores done, participating in enjoyable activities, and 2) I am able to get together with folks so intimately, creating new relationships, enriching present relationships and refreshing old relationships…it is priceless. It is still just bitter sweet.  What can I say? I am so very human. Yet I strive.  Just like in the old spiritual folk song…Lord, I want to be a Christian, in my heart, in my heart.  I explained to my mom, that I know how I want to feel about receiving care and help, acceptance of where I am and from where I’ve come and gratitude. But sometimes I just want to say thanks, but no thanks…I would rather keep doing. Thanks anyway. Ok, so I’ve said it.

I am passionate about doing, doing for others. It is my life. My existence. The very essence of my soul. Now I am being asked to change and look at doing and giving in a whole new way. I am having to do and give to me. (I think it is called self-care, haha).

Feelings meet reality.  I can’t do. I can’t will it, force it, fight it, beg for it…nothing.  I am weak, tired, and sometimes have set backs. And because of this, I must relay the following.

I again say thank you for all the cards, texts, emails, and messages.   They mean SO MUCH to me.  At this time, I am needing a lot of rest.  I DO WANT to continue hearing from you!  Yet, I will not be able to return many calls/emails.  I know that none of you EXPECT me to feel like I have to respond.  You even speak it in your message.  This has to do with me… my learning to set healthy boundaries and create balance in my life. I will stay in touch.  Also, I DO want you to still come and visit.  I enjoy visits the BEST!!!  Please note the best times to call/ text when I may be more available are between the hours of 2:30-3:30pm and 8-9pm .  Thank you so much! And I love you, love you, love you!

 

Other ways to help the Thomas Family, please visit the following websites:

http://creativetribute.net/peri/

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F44AEA62CA7FD0-thomas

News flash

Hi guys.

Regarding the tying of ribbons in my neighborhood, the news came to do a story. They got more story and footage than anticipated, so…. Tonight at 10 pm, channel 5 news in Nashville will introduce a story to be aired later.  The person interviewed will be my friend, Kelly McCoy, who launched this effort.  She will speak about the event, and then announce when the longer broadcast story will air.

I  think the story of me and my family will air at 6am on channel 5 Nashville weekday morning edition…which you get see broadcast online.

I will try to tape it and put it on my creative tribute site.

The bigger news…you should seen the friends that showed up in sub degree weather to tie ribbons on my street. Most had very small children, and the wind was bitter. No one cared; especially the children. They just all hung in there and hung multiple ribbons on trees, bushes, poles, and mailboxes. It was awesome and just as “warm and fuzzy” as I knew it would be.

I look forward to sharing this beautiful experience with all of you very soon.

Love, Peri

Other ways to help the Thomas Family, please visit the following websites:

http://creativetribute.net/peri/

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F44AEA62CA7FD0-thomas

The Heavens have opened and God’s Gifts Shower Us Like Rain

529045754db9216e09fab417Side Talking
**Cecilia M. You are the best….”site” unseen!
**Karen K.  35 days and counting.  I’m just saying’
**Patty M. I still am and will always be sassier and bossier. Na na na nah boo boo
**Tina C.  To my EO extraordinaire and expert foot masseuse
**Joan B. Wins “Top Therapy Ideas” award!!
**Beth L. Hurrah for corn dogs.
**Debbie H. The word is..try La Michoacana on Summer Ave for awesome ice cream, drinks and more!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dearest friends,

Sometimes I truly feel that God is shining His light so intensely on our family, that people cannot help but be drawn to us…drawn to the beautiful and perfect light.  ”…guide us to thy perfect light.”

This week, thanks to the efforts of Ang, Heidi, and so many others…I was blessed with a multitude of volunteers to be with me each and every hour. I had expressed fear and concern about being alone.  It would mark the first time that I would be without friends and family to help me with my basic daily needs.  The miraculous part of this story is that I did not know a single volunteer.  Each day, for two hour intervals, a bright smiling soul would walk in, up the stairs to my room and say, ” Hi! I’m your volunteer for today. I am so honored and privileged to meet you. How can I be of service today.” WHAT!?!? Am I dreaming this apparition?  These women would then listen so intently to me. Sometimes we would jump right into work mode…laundry, organizing, cleaning.  Some even said, “I love to clean,” or “Organizing is my thing.” Other times we would run errands. One sweet gal took me to get my hair cut, assisted my gimpy self up the steps with my walker, and waited patiently. When I was finished, I met her in the waiting room only to discover that she had taken care of the bill. Then she complimented me repeatedly, remarking how cute I looked with my new sassy hairdo. DID I MENTION THAT THIS WAS MY FIRST OCCASION TO MEET THESE FINE FOLKS.  Others would come to help, discover an item was needed, go get it on their own time, and deliver it to our door step. “It’s no problem. I am so grateful to be able to help you.”

And there were more perks this week: I was able to attend a school function for Emma Kate and read a Thanksgiving story to George’s class. Blessed days indeed! With the physical help and moral support of my volunteers, and the incredible loving faculty at Nolensville Elementary.

But here’s the climax; and I would like to acknowledge my new friend Kelly M….for getting this dream started.  Kelly is on the board of our neighborhood association.  She introduced an idea and became the visionary to see the dream become a reality.  Please read below:

At Thursday night’s board meeting, the Bent Creek HOA was presented with the opportunity to support fellow Bent Creek Resident, Mrs. Peri Thomas who is suffering with terminal ovarian cancer. On the weekend of November 23-24, Mrs. Thomas’ neighbors will be tying teal ribbons on all the trees in the neighborhood. The ribbons will support and honor her family as well as all families in the community who have been affected by cancer. The ribbons have been paid for by the developer out of non-HOA funds.

 

So tomorrow, our family and so many others will commence at 4pm to begin tying teal ribbons throughout the entire neighborhood. What a sight. I will try to have some sort of video clip I can share on my blog site.

I will close for now.  May you and yours have the best of Thanksgiving holidays.  I, for one,  have so much to be grateful for, and I am thrilled to be here to share it with my family and friends.

Love to all.  Peri

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.   Romans 12:1-2

Praise be to The Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.  Psalm 28: 6-7

Ready to take a Chance Again

528913564db92193494b3214“…been living with nothing to show for it. You get what you get when you go for it.”

THREE HAPPY EVENTS (Let’s call them miracles.)

#1.   Thursday, I attended a function at Clayton’s school.  Clayton’s class was performing a skit during morning assembly, and Clayton had a small role.  I was able to transport in a wheelchair and make it in the back door of the gym. Several teachers met me to help, and had made a recession in the bleachers for my wheelchair. As the assembly was called to order, the vice principal began.
“Good morning children,” she said.
“Good morning Ms. Robertson,” they resound with great volume.
Then unexpectedly, Ms. Robertson shares that there is a special guest who has worked really hard to get here. She asks the entire school to give a warm welcome to Mrs. Thomas, Clayton’s mom. The entire student body (700 kids) turn and in their loudest voices shout “Good morning Mrs. Thomas!!!” I of course am beside myself, and bite my lip not to cry in gratitude. It would be a freak show…be/c most kids don’t know who I am…to turn and see this weeping frail spectacle. So I held it together, gave my quick wave, and enjoyed the show. Clayton was perfect and so was my outing.

#2.  I was so inspired and lifted up by my Thursday outing, I asked to go to Target to buy some kids winter clothes. My cousins from Alabama (Tina),  and my sister in law (Cecilia) agreed to help me. So on Saturday morning, Cecilia, Tina, Brittney (Tina’s oldest daughter) and Jack took me to Target to shop, and out to eat! I was able to tolerate a sandwich from Subway, Jack’s and my favorite fast food restaurant. I even added banana peppers!!! I could only eat a “3 inch, but I saved my other three inches for later.
At home, my cousin Matt helped Gordon clean up our garage and mount his fishing gear. Braden, their youngest child, kept the little ones duly entertained. Great family. Great help. Let the good times roll.

#3.    I went to church today with Gordon and the children. Praise God. He is truly so good to a most undeserving me, if I only remember to give myself to Him!!! How great is His mercy for us all!

Stinkin’ Thinking and a few Pearls of Wisdom

5287f1a0ab28b95a0f844527A friend of mine, Rosemary, passed away recently. She had cancer. I met Rosemary at church. She was a long-time member, and heavily involved in many aspects of the church. I simply knew her as an education guru, who soon became my primary mentor. Upon joining the church, I was asked early to teach Sunday school, something with which I was not in the least comfortable.  I agreed to “serve” to the best of my ability. Rosemary never doubted me. She provided me with countless resources, assisted me in leading/teaching education workshops, and encouraged me every step along the way. Over the years, as our relationship grew, Rosemary became more of a friend, than mentor and ”teaching colleague.”

In spring 2011, my husband took a new job, which meant our family would need to relocate to middle Tennessee. It would take a while to sell our house which meant I was flying solo with the kids. Also, struggling with a cancer recurrence, there were times I felt pushed beyond my capabilities. Rosemary stayed in close contact with me, expressing first hand that she understood the challenges of parenting “alone.” She now was mentoring me from a place of personal experience, and was reassuring me that this season was ok, and that it too would pass. I had the wonderful pleasure of spending hours talking over coffee and breakfast, as Rosemary shared her life story with me. I was so intrigued and mesmerized by her wisdom, courage, and faith. A friend, sharing her story. What an invaluable gift! I treasure so deeply what she spoke, her ability to weather the years of woes, and celebrate the joys and successes….and not only she, but revealing the gifts she had received over the years from her sweet husband Tom, her beautiful children, and extended members. She was vulnerable and honest, listing both successes and then, those matters she could have/would have handled differently in present day. I will truly miss my friend Rosemary. I hear her speak to me as I write.

A friend of mine Amy passed away this week. She wasn’t a friend that I took out to the movies or out to dinner. We had friends in common, and treated each other with kindness and respect.  Perhaps some of you know, our oldest Taylor has two half sisters from her father John’s side of the family. This blended family arrangement posed some stress and chaos in the beginning. John had an ex wife, Amy, who was mother to the older girls.  Then John and I divorced. I soon remarried. The children were here and there, back and forth. But after a few years, we all seemed to get the hang of things. Was it always pretty? neat and tidy? Not by a long shot. Yet, the cool thing to me was that even though there surely was chaos, we all remained in relationship. Taylor most commonly referred to Amy as Aunt Amy, and they adored each other. By the time Taylor was 6 yo, Miranda (middle sis) was 15 yo, and Heavenney was 24. Amy loved having a little one to dote over. Her girls were on the way “out.” She kept Taylor often when John had to work, and they had all sorts of adventures. Amy also bought lavish gifts for Taylor…a very fun, special aunt indeed. When Gordon and I had Jack, Amy would even keep Jack for me if he were sick and couldn’t go to daycare. Gordon and I were both working. This past year, Amy was diagnosed with cancer. It didn’t look good but Amy was a fighter. On Sunday, the cancer won. At this season in our lives, Amy and I had become distant. Her children and Taylor are grown, and Amy and I parted traveling different paths. Now all in Memphis, Taylor remained with her sisters through the weeks while Amy battled severe symptoms while under hospice care. It was rough on everyone, and rough on Taylor.Taylor called me two times Amy’s last week. The first call was to inform me that she did not want to see Amy, that it would be too hard. We talked about the importance of showing up for others, and doing the “right thing” even when it is hard. The second call was to report that she did indeed go visit and that it WAS really hard. She was glad she showed up for her sisters, but to witness the state of Amy was horrific. A third call later came, and the flood of tears released. “I never want YOU to go through that, to ever have to live that way on this earth, but at the same time I don’t want to lose you. We spoke frankly about my passing in the future, and we decided to live in the present.These recent events have surely left me reeling.  This is some mirerda to deal with.

Each time in my guestbook responses, I receive countless returns. I hear from all kinds of folks from “then and was” to “here and now.” It really helps me to journal my life and recount all of the precious times and memories I have made with so many.  Even the dangerous, and not  so healthy choices bring back a time that I cherish…it having been mine to share with someone else…to grow, learn, etch and shape from the experience - the time then having helped mold the person I have become.  I find myself wanting more and more to spend time in precious relationships. I am wanting to spend time with old friends and rekindle old relationships. I want to nurture present relationships so that they do not become lost in my past. I want to foster new relationships. I feel that I am meeting the most wonderful people here in Nolensville, and everyone has such an incredible life story to share. Many folks are naturally drawn to me, and in sitting and talking…one of us ends up telling our story, or reliving the”good ol’ days.  When folks have to leave, I am overcome with a feeling of abandonment. I am sad to see people go, and don’t want to be “left alone.”From here I can get sideways, or even worse, go down hill.  What starts as a fun and rewarding experience of sharing time with friends and loved ones, can downward spiral to an array of feelings that come in a variety of orders.  Many of you are probably familiar with the five stages of dying, or the five stages of grief:  Denial, anger, bargaining  depression, acceptance.  We could throw fear in there, remorse, and maybe even more denial….but you’ve got the gist. Remember when I most recently wrote, “Now then, I feel better.  Even though I do get mad at times, I just can’t stay mad.  Why?  Because I just can’t get over how good I have it.  My blessings are so numerous I cannot even name them all.  I have such a wonderful incredible life, and despite this set back, I love the rest of my life so much.” I get this picture of my comparing the stages of death stages to the old 50′s pop, ‘Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows.’  Let me share of verse so I can reveal just how beautiful and nauseating ( and I don’t use this word lightly) it can be at the same time.

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows everything that’s wonderfulIs what I feel a-when we’re together, brighter than a lucky penny. When you’re near the rain cloud disappears, dear. And I feel so fine just to know that you are mine. My life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. That’s how this refrain goes, so come on join in everybody. Give me a break….and I like Leslie Gore stuff. All of the time and energy invested in relationship building and maintaining can be overwhelming and exhausting. Is it avoidvance? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I can suddenly have this major lust for life. I want to experience it all.  There is such beauty in the world in people and places. I don’t want it to be taken away.  What I will miss?  I want go to the beach, camping, take the kids swimming to the zoo. Ok, yes I can’t drive, so someone can take me/us. I get so caught up in doing, and being, and living life to the fullest…I forget. And this is when hard reality sets in. In addition to this newly found ferver in friends, I also set out to re-stake my claim in performing mothering and home management responsibilities…from bed, of course, since I cannot get up and stay up.

Great plan hunh? Since I am unable, we hired a nanny. This woman could not be better. Her name is Pattie, and although she is no Velma :) , she is very high in the ranks. She cares for the children 6-9 am and 3-7pm.  She cooks, cleans, does laundry and runs errands. She attends school events and takes me in my wheelchair. She makes my meals, and keeps me abreast of everything. She is a gem, a saint, a dream come true. And……I still want to be this person…the mom who is everywhere and in everything. Not the mom in bed. ( No offense Pattie :) . I am very, very sick. I have been told by more than one person that this disease will kill me…sooner than later. Realistically most of my efforts each day should focus on basic self care because that is what I have the strength and energy for.  If not, my basic needs go unattended, and I find myself in need and despair.  Without proper sleep, food, water, clothing, bed/blankets, medical care, love, support, nurturing, stimulation and engagement…I can get out of whack.  The key I am missing is balance. For those of you who know me well, I live large! Do a lot in a big way – meaning giving everything I’ve got, sometimes to the point of depletion and exhaustion.  Then I become too tired for anything and can’t do. So i rest and go again. It’s cyclical. It has worked for me over the years, and with time and trial and error …I have improved greatly in my ability to keep it all a little more even keel. In my present medical, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state, this could be no further from the truth. I have never done the dying thing before. What do I do? I am out of order, out of sync, and don’t know how to do this.  I want people to tell me the answers. It seems the information and options are now of dire importance. What is the issue? Problem? Why am I tired, weak, nauseous, in pain, unable to eat certain food, can only eat 1/2 cup portions, can mainly have bland soft food. Why can’t I drink during meals? Why does my ilieostomy bag randomly leak and other times not? When will I get stronger? Why is none of my medication addressing my nausea symptoms? How long and to what severity will they last? Why is my body weighted with kryptonite? The answer? If only it were that easy. My professional team has been providing me with options, and asking that I make choices. An otherwise healthy approach. Empowering the patient to be a part of the team, making choices. No thank you. Tell me what to do and make it better.The tired depleted me has an ugly side a venemous spewing side, and I am capable of lashing out at anyone in my path, a vicious wounding poison that shows no mercy. Who gets hit here? Well of course, the folks nearest and dearest.  I see others as the reason for my woes and unattended needs.  I feel sorry for myself, and I lose touch. I yet again find myself in an ugly state of anger and resentment. You say, just ask for help? I don’t want your help. I want to do it by myself.  Do you realize how small my life has become? I have a very small life comprised of eating, dressing, self care, resting, meds, too much screen time on my iPad and phone, etc. and I can’t even do those things for myself. Oh acceptance and gratitude you say?  Accepting what? Life, death, defeat, needing help, limitations?  I am sick of settling for candy land and helping with homework in the bed. And even though I want more, I am too tired for anything anyway. I am dying right? I need to be making some memories. I have got to be writing letters, making scrap book albums, shooting video. I need to be leaving my legacy? I need to be making precious memories with my children!! I love them so so so so much. I want to spend precious quality time with my sweet Gordon, and tell him over and over again how much I love him.  I want to bath, feed, walk, and play with the dogs. I now have employed the volunteer efforts of my sweet neighbor Heidi N. who walks my dogs daily for free. Also, my husband and children pitch in. I can barely tolerate being in the dogs presence now because they get too hyper to see me.  And then of course there is me. Where is my miracle network? Where is my slice of pie? I am done with this. Ok, literally I am done with this.

Here’s the good news, at least it is for me.  All of these crazy feelings culminated into a fit throwing, crying, hysterical heap of tears…probably a much needed release now that I look back.  I was helpless, hopeless, and very scared and alone.  Where was God in all of this? I didn’t know because I surely hadn’t called upon His love, assistance, guidance, mercy or healing. Wow. wasn’t it me who said God is my everything, and if I just keep Him close and hold on tight, I am never in need and never alone.  How quickly I forget, and go off on some personal tangent only to result in my demise.  Uuuuggghhh. Why can’t I just remember and stay the course? Luckily i called a friend without doing too much collateral damage.  She listened, calmed me, and suggested that I talk to my nurse about strategies and solutions.  The present day resolve I have selected is to transfer my care to Hospice care. As my nurse described all that could be afforded to me through Hospice, the weight began to ease.  I found hope and faith. Ok, so I know there are folks out there with the misconception that hospice is the last step..the end.  It is where the nurses come to your house to help you die ( kind of my thought as well). Not so!!!  If you are really interested, I can email you a list of services I will receive through hospice, and the best news…I am ecstatic and alive again.  I can now return to my newly found purpose…to,be a beacon of hope and a stream of light to all I meet.

Cardinal Newman developed this prayer for Mother Teresa and the other sisters. I am memorizing it and praying it often.  It really speaks to me and my believed purpose at this season in my life.

Dear Lord,
Help me speak your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up, and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way that you love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you.
Amen

Arisen at last

5279e5faab28b97759af043aHidee ho. I am alive, and before I journal, a few quick shout outs.

To Janet Z., who has never known me to be brief, and still loves me with a vengeance.
To Cecilia, the “Kween” of Kefir and maker of shakes.
To Debbie H., who has traveled to the moon and back more than anyone I know. May she find the courage and fortitude to travel to me, so I can look into her eyes, hold her tight and say “I love you. You did it babe.”
To Saralene, who cooks to order, changes my ice before I ask, keeps the clothes washed before we have time to barely dirty more, keeps the “big boys” in French onion dip and Milos famous sweet tea, and loves our little ones and everyone else’s in the neighborhood like grandmother of the year.
To a sea of family and friends, who carry me through the torrent of this rageful and relentless disease…whose love, faith, strength, and hope help calm the waters and ease the journey.

As you read, it was a not so good experience…the chemo treatment.  I discerned and deliberated a while before choosing to continue with the chemo, and I still feel I was right to try. But circumstances as they are, I believe the effects of the chemo will bring me down faster than the progression of the cancer. At my initial consult October 25, I weighed in at 99lbs. Home for a week, I tried to increase the amount and frequency of my foods. Yet, my stomach was/is still so hypersensitive. I reflected and remembered this feeling of complete exhaustion…depletion. I recalled the week I came home from the hospital after my hysterectomy in 2010. I weighed 106, and was a bare skeleton of fear, pain, and hopelessness. I could remember being doubled over my bed in anguish, not knowing how I could continue.  So what was different? I did it then. I can do it again now.

For the week, I made  progress. My eating increased and I felt better. Then for whatever reason the night before treatment, I became very ill to my stomach.  I checked in for treatment the next morning weak and tearful and nauseous. I weighed in at 93 lbs. the nurses were so kind, and within the next hour, they had me feeling like a million bucks. Nothing like a couple of iv anti-nausea meds and iv fluids. I was almost deliriously thanking them for “saving” me. I was elated to feel relief and didn’t at all mind getting chemo.  On the ride home, I felt ok. Then everything went downhill.

On Thursday, Gordon hit the scene wanting so badly to make things right.  He offered to take me to the hospital for iv meds and fluids.  I didn’t think I could even make the ride.  By Friday, I wished I were dead…with nothing to live for and no hope in sight.  This is where my hero steps in.  For the entire weekend, Gordon did his best to attend to my needs as well as show the kids a perfect holiday weekend.  He rallied the troops in scary wear, and trekked out for a Halloween adventure.  On Saturday, he took Jack to Fairview to meet his friends from Memphis who were in town for a track meet. Then he gathered the two younger ones for a day hike at Natchez Trace with our neighbor friends.  He retrieved Jack, and returned to spend precious quality time with Clayton on a scooter race through the neighborhood.  On Sunday, he was back in action, cooking a buffet breakfast for the entire family.  Then spent the afternoon playing with all the kids in the common area for a fun filled fall family day.  Amazing.  The kids are used to my being in bed from time to time.  They would come see me briefly, and wish their condolences that I could not play too…but really they were so busy…they didn’t miss a beat.  As it should be.

Luckily by Sunday, I was starting to ”arise.”  I had spent the past three days begging for mercy, asking God to deliver me from the hell hole I was in.  I considered others who have had to undergo pain and suffering for much longer.  Not that I am a comparer of pain and suffering and who deserves mercy, etc.  I have spoken to this before.  But I did find myself grateful that I was able to emerge in the typical 3/4 days. What was different?  Why did I feel so badly this time?

I dove into my past, and had the pleasure of reading my past journal entries.  Wow, what a great life I have had :) and still do. As I read, I realized what it was. When I was first diagnosed, I was told that I could reach a curative state…remission for an extended period of time.  Now I am told that I could MAYBE extend my life or reduce the adverse effects for the every progressing tumors, that now cover my entire abdomen like a sheath of gauze.  Who knows? The doctors don’t.  What I know is that this weekend was not living.  It was barely subsisting.  And the plan was to continue treatment 1x/week for three weeks, one week off, and then repeat if my blood work held up.  At that rate, losing roughly 3-5lbs per week…I would slowly wither to nothingness.  No.

One entry in my journal reminded me that my purpose on this earth is to allow the love of God to shine through me like a beacon of light, and to share this love with those on my path.  I feel called to continue to be a beacon, and can only do this if I am truly living, engaging, and in relationship with others.  Actually it is kind of cool.  Being “really sick,” people who like to serve and help others are drawn to me.  I am amazed at how many wonderful, giving, loving, generous, nurturing, caring, and on and on folks there are that I have had the pleasure of meeting.  Plus all of my friends and family, old and new are very motivated to see me and spend time with me and help me in any way they can.  I know it sounds weird, but in some ways…some days…my life just keeps getting better.

Another entry reminded me that in order to live, I have to get up.  Yes, out of bed.  Since this past round of chemo, I have been limited to walking the distance of my bedroom (with assist!).  I have chairs positioned to take rests from the bed, to the sink, to the commode.  Today, I met with a PT who started me on my own “insanity” work out.  It combines a warm up of 10 arm circles, and leg swings; followed by an intense 3 sets of 3 sit to stands/3 wall push ups/3 ab resistant holds. And he won’t even let me sit down between reps.  It really is sad, but I am motivated to be able to walk down my stairs and out of this house!!!!  He told me, “Do not be a prisoner to the fatigue,” my new mantra….not to out shadow my ever present mantra of “God is my everything!”

I know that this entry is probably most self indulgent, but I have reached a new place in my life.  This mortality thing is staring me in the face hard and firm.  I am not scared, but I am keenly aware and observant.  It helps me so much to be able to write my feelings out, and with my deconditioned body, these thoughts have been swirling around for days.  I literally was unable to sit up long enough to get them online.  For those of you who have moments where you are TOO MUCH in your head…this is really a curse for me now.  I have this body that won’t do much of anything, but a mind that is non stop.

Ok, I am tired of writing now.  I am sure you are tired of reading if you have even gotten this far.

I say it every time and will continue to do so.  Please keep writing, calling, texting, visiting, posting, etc.  Your words, prayers and thoughts mean more to me now than every before.

Love forever and always,

Peri

11/4/13

Just a very quick blurb.  We feel your prayers!  The chemo funk has been lifted!!!  Peri is not nearly as sickly as she has been for the last couple of days.  She is still weak, but the nausea has subsided.  I just wanted to give this quick shout out to say thanks for the prayer energy.  I will keep you informed.  Gordon

11/3/13

This is Gordon this time.  I want to give everyone a quick update.  I apologize for the extended period of time between posts.  Peri is not well.  She became ill on Wednesday of last week.  She was sick at her stomach and just felt nauseous and crappy.  She went for chemo on Thursday the 31st.  They gave her meds to calm down the nausea and then gave her chemo.  She has decided that chemo was not the right thing to do.  I believe this will be her last dose of that.  She has lost more weight and is miserable.  I wish she had not taken the chemo.  I feel that at this stage of the game, that crap just makes things worse.  I hate this!!  I can’t stand to see her suffer like she is.  I just hold her hand and wish that there was something, anything that I could do to ease her pain and comfort.  There is nothing I can do…..  We will consult with palliative care tomorrow and see about what we can do from home with some IV fluids or something.
I have some nice pics of the kids from Halloween and a recent hike.  I will share those on the next post.  Please pray for Peri’s comfort!  Thank you.