Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fasten your belt & BRACE yourself for Impact.....

….. OUCH......
this one is gonna hurt.

About two weeks ago now, I found out (along with the whole family) that Grandma, has pancreatic cancer.

When I was in “relapse prevention therapy” for a year,
They have you write up the THREE biggest reasons you could see yourself having a relapse.

I talked about this just in my post on January 1st this year.
this last past year or so, I have  somehow managed to repair or build; a healthy relationship with my Mom. 
But, up until then,,,
I had always been much closer to my Grandmother, for a variety of reasons, some I can name and some I just don't know how to explain. It has been a great gift, to finally have a relationship with my Mom, and feel safe to be honest with her, which makes me feel closer to her.

That being said,
one big reason I name as a "relapse trigger" is my Grandmother falling ill and/or her death.
I wrote a good amount about how I learned in therapy the only way to "prepare" for someone's passing is to make sure you spend time with them, making memories while they are HERE...
it's not something you can accomplish, last minute, or from a hospital room. Yes, of course you can try and make amends, in those situations but that's certainly not the time to "work on relationships"

In finding out this "news" from the doctor/hospital/etc,
My family of course remains very hopeful,
of course I do , too. But, when I spoke with my primary Dr. about it last week,
he told me, it's always great to have hope, but someone in my special circumstances, also needs to keep the reality of the situation close.
He read right out of his medical journal papers,
the "five year survival rate for pancreatic cancer, across all age groups is LESS than 20% and more likely closer to 10% because it almost always comes back"

can you hear my heart break???
because it is.

the next day or so, after grandma found out, I asked her what she thought about everything......
She started reading from a cancer magazine, about how the best survival rates are from those that find it early, and so on. I sorta cut her off, and grabbed her hand and said,
how do YOU FEEL about it, I don't care what any book says.
HOW do YOU feel about it?
her voice cracked,
she looked me in the eyes, and the following paragraphs may not be word for word what she said next, but it's DAMN CLOSE,

"you know Am..........
when I look back on my lifetime, I know that I've lived a good long life, I've had more  years than most people get, I have been to all the places on this earth I ever wanted to go, I've done just about everything I ever wanted to, and I've spent the majority of my years with my family and friends who love me, 
and that's all anybody could ever ask for isn't it?
but, if I'm being honest with you, which is what you deserve,
I have to admit to you,
I'm tired, too.
I'm tired of not feeling good enough to do things myself anymore, I'm tired of watching people I've spent my life with, pass away, I'm tired of being without your grandpa, and I just don't know how much fight I have left in me. 
I know this is going to be hard on you,,, I know you will be mad and hurt and go thru all kinds of feelings you don't understand. But I need you  to know, to KNOW in your heart, I've got so many people waiting for me on the other side.......... I cannot wait for grampa to hold me in his arms again, or walk with David (her son that died of cancer) both of our feet in the sand, to laugh with my brothers and sisters again....... there's so much love waiting for me , and I can leave all the pain behind. 
I don't want to be hooked up to a bunch of machines, or pumped full of drugs to merely keep my body breathing.
when it's time for me to go,,,, Just let me go, please. Because being sick in a hospital bed, or kept alive by machines, isn't LIVING, at all.
just let me go, I know you'll cry, but don't cry too long for me kiddo"

Now, HOW... just how the hell can I argue with that???
We should ALL be so lucky...
To be so at peace with our past, and the life we've LIVED..... 
I can ONLY HOPE to have so much peace, and live to be 77.

She's absolutely right, as usual..... 
I know it's going to be hard, I know it's gonna HURT,,, and I know it's not something I'm going to just "get over" quickly.
but you know something??
Having heard her say those words, the way she did,
certainly makes the coming months (hopefully years) EASIER to digest.
it all makes sense, when you look at things from her point of view. And you just can't argue with SENSE.............

The surgery, to remove the tumor is a dangerous one. the "odds" of survival are fair, but the odds of complications are very high.
We won't know if they are going to do surgery or not, until she gets the latest scan results back.
her blood sugar levels have been really outta control the last couple months, one reason they started doing all these tests... that's one thing the surgeon wants better controlled before surgery is even an option, as well. 
When I talked to my Mom today ,,,,
she said the doctor told her, he would estimate about a year without any treatment/surgery , and maybe 2.5/3 years with surgery and treatment.
I know that's only a guess,,, and things happen all the time, on the other hand, MIRACLES happen every day, too.

I've grown up a whole lot, the last 36 months, and thank God I have. I'm just at the conclusion that, whatever GRAMA WANTS to do,,, is what I will support.....
if she wants to go without any treatment,,
I will cherish every moment, every smile I share with her.
If she wants to fight,
I will do anything and everything I can to help her, to make things easier, whatever it takes, I'm right there.

I'm so very thankful,
that I have straightened my life up,,,, that I've spent a lot of time with her, Sam and I both have, the last few years.
We've had a lot of good memories, a ton of laughs, and even a few good "cries" together. . . . . I don't know how I would handle things if I'd only gotten things right six months ago or so.... it would be so much harder right now. She's told me how proud she is of me, and she continues to tell me that she knows, she can see I'm doing the best I can. that's all I ever wished, is to make her PROUD OF ME, once again. I'm so happy that she doesn't have this look of disappointment she  once did whenever she looked at me, or saw me walking up the driveway. Lately,,,, she has this sparkle instead........ Maybe I'm the only one that sees it--that's just fine. 

Every single one of us, deserves  a "cheerleader" in this sometimes very unfair circle of life. 
 Grandma, has always been mine. . . . I know even when she does let go once and for all, she will continue to be in my corner, rooting for me, louder than anyone else. 

Certainly now,
my questions are answered of why this baby is coming..... My Dr. asked the other day,,,,, "do you think you'd be handling things differently, if you weren't pregnant?"

I do know, I have something positive to look forward to this summer... I do know I have one BIG HUGE, GIANT REASON to NOT screw up, right now.... I'm not saying that I would use, if I wasn't pregnant right now, but I will say it makes it easier to say no, right now.
Because,,, it's not "just me" , it's not just MY body, right now. And I already know how it feels to harbor guilt from not being clean during my first pregnancy,,,, something I really promised myself to not repeat. 

I have two names picked out for BABY BOY, number two.
after my uncle that passed away in 2004 , I believe  at 39/40 years old, after battling prostate cancer for three years. 
SLATER....... because it's my grandma's maiden name, and I just happen to think it's really cute ,,,, especially if his big brother is named SAMUEL.... 

So,,,,, some may want to ask me, "how are you" how are you doing, dealing with all this

Well my answer is......
I'm taking every moment, I can with Grama, and holding it close in my heart.... I'm asking her questions I have always wanted to, about other family members, and things that have gone on in the past..... and I'm cherishing every moment that I can share a smile or a laugh with her. I vow to absolutely, whole heartily support her in whatever she decides, in a treatment plan,
and do whatever I can to help her, in whatever THAT plan, is.

I cry when I feel like I need to.... 
although that's NEVER really been "my style" .......  one thing I've learned is not to SUPPRESS MY FEELINGS...
so I'm really trying not to.... I share with people closest to me, how I really honestly feel at any moment  I FEEL the need to share.
Jeez,,,,,,,,,,,, does that make any sense at all?
it makes sense when i say it in my head? but I don't know if it makes sense reading it. 

I'm not afraid to reach out to someone anymore. I'm not afraid to say I'M SAD.... or I'm  a little depressed.... or whatever it is that's going on at the time... I used to be scared/embarrassed of what that person's reaction would be towards me......  but I've learned that the people that LOVE ME,,,,, won't laugh at my feelings.... they will listen, they will hug me, they will do SOMETHING to let me know, they are there for me...... and that the LAST thing I need to think about is a relapse.

Easter weekend, was a good one.
My brother came from Portland, and so the whole family basically was together. Sam had four different "egg hunts" between grama's house and ours, my Mom and I did dinner so grandma didn't have to do a THING besides just show up. Mike got approved for extended visitation over the weekend, so we all colored eggs together at grandma's,  and it didn't feel like we were running out of "time" as we usually do. 

that's about it; on that subject....... I really wanted to get that TOUGH part out there,,,, and as always I'll keep things updated, as I feel I am able to share, and when I'm able to do so. 

In other news..........

Mike has court this week, for 2 probation violations..... I can't remember if I wrote about it previously or not?
Violation 1~~~
the PO turned in paperwork just  3 days prior to his FIRST paycheck after months of UNPAID training.  February 11th, the papers were turned in, and his first check was the 13th.... He didn't even get the paperwork in the mail, saying he had a violation for not paying fees until almost the end of February,,, at which  time he'd already paid almost A THOUSAND DOLLARS, just from his regular paycheck... and yes he's got receipts/copies made for the Judge, prosecutor, PO, etc.... 

Violation 2~~~ failure to complete community service by Feb 1st.
Well let me explain that it COSTS $40 to REGISTER to do your community service in the first place... and his PO "reminded" him in AUGUST of last year , he needed to pay the $$$ and register, before he could begin.... and he was under the impression he had the length of probation to complete it... I'm not saying that's an excuse, but he checks in to probation WEEKLY..... and only got ONE REMINDER..... not to mention he was turned in for this violation at the same time,,, FEB 11th, just THREE DAYS SHY OF HIS FIRST PAY DATE.
he tried to PAY, REGISTER, and START community service hours, the Monday after he got paid,,,, and the PO SAID NO.. NOT TIL AFTER COURT NOW... his idea was to try and get done as many hours as possible before court.... but NO,  the probation officer DENIED him able to do so..... so,, how is that NOT setting him up for failure??? Im not sure.

anyway,,,, the PO "recommends" on the violation paperwork~~~~~
to extend the due date for community service,
explain why he's not making payments (well that's fixed now, because with the tax refund going on fines/fees/etc the total is now OVER SIX THOUSAND<<<about 4K from refund>>> paid on all his accounts )
a 14 day 'sanction'........... states directly afterwards, and I quote
"alternatives available such as Electronic Monitor so  Mr. Cowan is able to retain his employment"

wow... yeah let's HOPE SO, eh??    (retain his employment)
I mean, I know he brought ALL THIS ON HIMSELF.... I'm not saying otherwise..... It's just been a REAL EYE OPENING EXPERIENCE to me,,,, of WHY SO MANY PEOPLE CANNOT MAKE IT OFF PROBATION......... before this happened, I used to think they just weren't trying, or something..... but now...... well NOW I see a whole other side of things....

so registration is Thursday NIGHT, of all things... I wish they would have made it earlier in the day, but I totally understand with the working parents, that may be the ONLY time they can attend.... So I will just do the BEST I possibly can. 
I sure hope Mr. Sam MAKES IT to kindergarten.... he's all "on path" to get there,,, YES.... but whether he can SIT AND PAY ATTENTION,,,, is yet to be determined....
he's still having a ROUGH GO OF THINGS,,,,, still getting sent home very often...
I'll tell you how MY DAY was with him, YESTERDAY....

.... I went to the dr. office  to get my new RX,
and they went ahead and sat me  in back, SAM CAME WITH ME,
he broke that lil light they have they have, for exams or whatever, 
you know inside the office that moves around on a  pole/extension thing.. SNAPPED the light part, CLEAN OFF THE POLE PART...
THEN he was tearing down the privacy curtain while the dr was IN there, and turning the light on n off and all kinds of SHIT LIKE THAT.

Next stop, the pharmacy,,, 
I actually swatted his BUTT three different times, and placed him in one of the waiting area chairs, for different INTOLERABLE behaviors.
~~~tearing up the water cooler deal, like throwing the cups everywhere and making the water just POUR ONTO THE FLOOR... 
~~~grabbing canes off the shelf thing, and using one as a weapon in the aisle. 
~~~trying to climb over the pharmacy gate/half door, and get INTO THE BACK you know,,,, where it says, "pharmacy staff only"

then I take him to head start.... and I go ahead and warn them it's been a ROUGH MORNING..
he makes it AN HOUR....
they call me an hour after I leave him...
and say he's tipping over tables and throwing wooden blocks at the teacher/students.
I get there, and  he's actually playing nicely,
but the teacher says he has to leave because of his UNSAFE behavior earlier.
so Im like LETS GO DUDE.
he runs from me, of course, straight out into the parking lot, but gets right in the car.
we get home,
and I tell him NO TV NO PLAYING OUTSIDE AND NO PLAYING WITH TOYS till  after 430, when he would NORMALLY be out of school.
he went BALISTIC....... 
took his shoes off, threw them AT ME,,,, told me he hated me, and he wanted a new momma.
I  removed him to his room after repeatedly telling him he was GOING TO HIS ROOM TO CALM HIMSELF DOWN....
he threw a fit in there, so badly that  the neighbor came over the "check on us" ,,,,,,,, ,, I was sitting in the living room crying.....  are you okay?
I said,,, 
I just..... don't know WHAT TO DO anymore man.
I love him SO MUCH.... and I just want him to be happy.
and I just................. don't know WHAT TO DO .
he  tried talking to him, too.... telling him I was the BEST momma he was ever gonna find, and so on...
Then the next 2 hours plus,
we just fought because he kept wanting to watch tv or be on the laptop,
and I said, 
and I stuck to it.
So,,, NOW,, hopefully he won't think getting sent home, means he gets to go home and HAVE FUN TIME.... hopefully he KNOWS whatever happens it will NOT be something he WANTS to do, or something FUN....
That's why I stuck to my guns, anyway...
because before I would give in after an hour or so,,
I'd just get tired of fighting with him...
I know I absolutely have to get a handle on this crap, NOW,, though.
and his medication appoinment is FAST approaching,
may 8th.... FINALLY .... hopefully will be some light at the end of the tunnel..... I know it's not going to be a "cure all" I just HOPE it will help, at least a little bit...
I'm going to ask about Strattera, at first because that's the one that's HELPED ME MOST,,, especially with impulse/slowing thoughts down enough to process them... And I was just recently told they DO have it availible for kids now.... Where as before, I didn't think they did, since the dr. made me go off of it, during pregnancy...
ANYWAY,,,,, looking forward to that.... will keep everyone posted on that, too.... in the meantime... PRAY FOR US....
apparently,,, it's absolutely HILARIOUS when I shout the F BOMB, too.... because when I did yesterday.... Sam just laughed...
shows how terrified he IS OF ME, huh?

Oh well.... I'm doing my VERY BEST.... I really am.

Thanks,,, in advance, to all the upcoming support... not to mention all the support in the last THIRTY SIX MONTHS......
it's been quite the journey...




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