Thursday, 28 March 2013

Update #2

The year was 1991.
It was a Friday.
My Opa had developed some sort of strange blood disorder and was hospitalized.
The family all came.
He pulled through and we were celebrating with pizza; the BC folk were preparing to return home the next day.
The phone rang.
He'd had a massive stroke and would not survive.
Fast forward 22 years and roughly a month.
Yesterday my Oma had surgery where part of her stomach was removed due to cancer.
Her vitals remained stable throughout the entire surgery and the Dr. is happy with how it went.  She came out of the anesthetic considerably well.  Oma is completely aware and aside from being understandably sleepy she is ok.  She is doing well enough that ICU is not necessary; she gets to recover in a regular room.
We are relieved and thankful but not yet relaxed.  That Friday from 22 years ago is rearing it's ugly head rather vividly for some of us.   Yes, the situation is completely different but one can never really be too confident.  
I haven't slept well in nearly three weeks.  I thought, as of Sunday, that I was okay, but alas - my subconscious obviously is not.  Maybe if all still looks good with Oma in a week I'll be able to.  It doesn't help that my in-laws are arriving today and preparing for them and having them always stresses me out.  It doesn't help that I'm singing in a small choir for Easter and the music is challenging.   It also doesn't help that I volunteered to host Easter dinner on Sunday and there will be fourteen people here.  Going through a whole bunch of crap at work doesn't help either.  Lastly, it doesn't help that I have two young kids would don't give a moment.
I feel like my head has accepted what's all going on but my heart isn't dealing with it well.  I have yet to experience a sense of peace.  When my dad had heart bypass surgery in the fall of 1997 I distinctly remember feeling that peace settle on me.  Now - not at all.  We have trusted and relied on God throughout all this, and I believe mostly accepted the situation.  God is definitely with us, that much I've felt, I just can't relax.

I know we'll all come through this stronger people and despite my anxiety and lack of sleep I'm not too much of an emotional basket case.  Just extremely tired.  I'm ready for the old cheery me back.

Friday, 15 March 2013


My Oma's test results came yesterday and thankfully the news is as good as it can be!
Her cancer is localized and she is scheduled for surgery in two weeks.
The relief is immense.  
She certainly isn't anywhere near out of the woods yet, so to speak, but had the cancer already spread she would have had a prognosis of 3-6months.  Oma has a 1/25 chance in not making it through the surgery, mostly because of her age.  But as we all have said, she would be better off dying on the operating table than stomach cancer.  Stomach cancer eventually fills one's entire stomach and she would either starve to death or the cancer would spread to the surrounding organs and she would bleed internally to death.  Shudder.  I think the possibility of having to watch that is what was messing me up.
Oma is so alive and living.  She booked a hair appointment this week, made soup and buns, planned to make what's called Paska (Easter bread) with my mom on Saturday....and the list goes on.  
I know she won't live forever, and that surgery is by no means any kind of guarantee but at least she has a chance!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


The past bunch of weeks are beating on me and, sadly, the end does not appear to be near.  It started with Sawyer getting sick and has pounded relentlessly since then.  There has been the odd reprieve - like our weekend away and a fun evening randomly plopped in but for the most part the attack is on-going. 

We all got sick over the span of two weeks.  That was fun.  And long.  
Trevor's RA is only in remission because of his meds.  That became apparent within days of reducing one of his med dosages.  
We had to miss out on a fun weekend with friends due to my working and poor scheduling on their part.
  We had a kick-ass blizzard.  Now it's stinking windy again. 
My kids have been awful.
The icing on the cake - my dear sweet Oma has been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

I am weary.  I am in a complete emotional funk.  I have trouble sleeping.
  I wish I could bury my head in some sand and have it all go away.

Cancer is such a horrible affliction.  The tumor is large.  If it hasn't spread she can have surgery where they will remove part of her stomach.  If it has spread......
The CT scan was today and we'll get the results tomorrow.  I'm praying for surgery.  

Yes she is 90, yes she has had a reasonably good life.  But cancer aside Oma is in such good health and so alive.  She still wants to live.  I can't wrap my mind around this.  I am a mess.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


On Friday the most expensive bottle of wine we've ever purchased was opened.
It was a 2009 Meyer Micro Cuvee Chardonnay.  $63 - yes I know not really that much in the world of wine but the most we've ever spent!  (oh but it was the direct from the winery price so it would probably be more in a wine store ?) Anyway, we've been saving it for a special occasion and that occasion arose yesterday.  

Trevor went to see his rheumatologist on Friday and she declared his rheumatoid arthritis to be in remission!!!!  To quote his facebook status "This brings to an end (at least for a long time hopefully) to a painful process that began 2 1/2 years ago.  We are thankful that God has seen fit to bless us in this way."
When Trevor phoned me with the news I was completely shocked because it was something I simply was not anticipating. Our whole family was afflicted with some version of sickness over the last two weeks and we are still in recovery mode, and we're dealing with some unsettling health news regarding my Oma.  Good news was a very welcomed distraction
Remission does not mean cure, it means inactive. Upon doing the little survey prior to the appointment Trevor realized that he hasn't been experiencing any pain lately, and then the specialist found absolutely no swelling in any of Trevor's joints.  He will very gradually be taken off of his med (like over 2yrs) because they don't know if the remission is due to the meds or 'just because'. 

Whatever the reason we are celebrating!  It's been a long haul and for now we get reprieve.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Light Bulb Moment

I have had a pretty awesome light bulb moment and by gosh does it feel enlightening!

I have been struggling greatly with my feelings towards my relationships with my friends and my attitude regarding 'serving' for a number of months now.  Some of my closest friends make it their mission in life to help out and be there for those in a difficult situation(s).  While I think it's admirable I simply don't understand that mindset and as a result do not join in.  This has resulted in my feeling left out and down on myself at times.   I was actually starting to think that I was not as nice a person because I  didn't feel the same level of compassion they were displaying.  I seriously believed that there was something wrong with me.
 In my women's Bible study Wednesay morning we were discussing the verse "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. " (Romans 12:15).  The study book commented that most people find it it easier to commiserate with others than to join in their joys.  One of the leaders said that she is, in fact, the opposite.  She has a far easier time genuinely celebrating and sharing in peoples joys than in their struggles.  Not that she doesn't feel bad or empathize but it is not her stronger inclination.
That.  Is.   Me.  !

I'm not alone!  I'm not a bad person!  There is nothing wrong with me!
Then two of my friends said that they identify more with those experiencing hardship than those who experience good.

No wonder I am having a hard time with relating to my friends in some areas.  (i.e. helping those that are struggling)  The two that spoke up also admitted to having feelings of envy and jealousy at others' successes or happiness.  It's hard to explain but, you know, it all makes sense now.  I've had thoughts before regarding certain people in my life and how they seem to gravitate to those in difficult situations.   If you're miserable than they appear to like you more.  

I on the other hand, avoid negativity.  I really don't like being around people who always have something wrong.  I work with one of those and it is tiring and trying.   That being said, if a friend is experiencing hardship I'm not going to abandon them.  I'll help when and how I can and for sure sympathize/empathize with them.  There are many situations in this world that are beyond a person's control and not fair and deserve help.   I think what I have trouble with are the day to day challenges that some people can't seem to deal with.  

  I realized that perhaps when I thought my friends don't/didn't like me or want to be around me as much it was more just a personality gravitation type thing than personal.  I tend not to display being in great 'need'; I simply do it all on my own and try keep it all together.  I rarely ask for help.  Perhaps this stems from my being at least five years older, not having too many options if I need help, and being left to fend for myself at times when I really could have used it.  Perhaps it's my personality.

All in all, I have a new understanding and it feels good.