Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What do you know about death?

Last night my aunt called me and said "you can't live without your pancreas, your dad is going to die." I explained what the Dr. said. Some people CAN live without a pancreas. They have be to on insulin injections and take oral enzymes. She repeated "you cannot live without your pancreas."I went to work this morning my boss said "your dad is going to die you know." What are people thinking when they say this kind of stuff? Do they think I am a complete idiot? Here is some things I want to tell them.

1. I worked for a hospital and hospice for 15 years. I've seen many people who I did not know very well die.
2. I watched my mother die.
3. My grandmother was living in my house when she died.
4. I said good bye and took care my stepmother before the coroner came to get her.

We never know when we are going to die. I could die before my dad. The place and time we die is up to God in my opinion. I don't know what my boss and my aunt are trying to prove or tell me. Maybe my aunt is trying to work out her own feelings??? As far as my boss, it is hard to tell what he is thinking.

I also want to say to everyone, I have a chance to spend as much time as possible with my dad NOW, while he is still here. I want to tell him I love him and that he has been a good dad. I want him to know how much I appreciate all the things he has done for me over my life time. So far, I think I have done a pretty good job of letting him know.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Broccoli Salad Recipe

Here is a great recipe for broccoli salad.

Broccoli Salad

3 - 4 broccoli stalks (chop fine without stocks)

1 medium onion (chopped fine)

1 cup of raisins

1 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

8 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped)

Put all the above in a big bowl and mix. (salt and pepper as needed)


3 Tbs. red wine vinegar

3/4 cup of mayonnaise (or more depending on your taste )

1/2 - 3/4 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Mix all three together then mix with other ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate over night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What the Surgeon said

The surgeon said they are going to remove dad's
  1. pancreas
  2. gall bladder
  3. part of his small intestine
and maybe his spleen. This surgery is called a Whipple. In my dad's case it is called "Whipple -Plus" because of the possibility of the removal of the spleen.. They are going to bypass one duct to another. Usually in a Whipple they do 3 duct bypasses. In my dad's case they will only do two. The total removal of his pancreas will cause my dad to become and instant diabetic. He will have to stay in ICU for 3 days until they can get him stable. He will be the hospital (provided he makes it though the surgery) for 7 - 10 days.

He said this was also going to be exploratory surgery. The surgeon said if he has stage 4 cancer (in the liver) they are going to just sew him back up again because there is nothing they can do.

The surgery will be in 2 - 3 weeks. My dad was not upset about them taking most of his major organs, he was very upset about becoming a diabetic.

It is so hard to watch my dad cry. I told dad that he had been there for me all my life, I will be there for him.

They say that he should go to a convalescent hospital for 2 weeks. When he gets out of the hospital. I am not so sure about that. My dearest friend says it might be a good idea. She says convalescent hospitals are not like they used to be. I said I can take care of him. I don't know. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19 Rambling

Today was productive. I went to church came home and continued to move junk from one room to the other. It was hot about 88. After dinner I went over to my dad's and asked him if he wanted to go on a sunday drive. He said yes to Walmart. Ok, so we went to Walmart. He did pretty good. I think it was good for him to get out. He looks a little ashy and he is still itchy. I was hoping after the stint he would stop itching. I am going to have to look that up. He bought bird seed. I drove the long way home so he could see the rolling hills. The hills are still green. Not for long at this heat.
I took my sewing machine over to my dad's. I plan to make another quilt while he is recovering from surgery. We will find out more on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Good Day

I had a good day today. My dear friend took me to get a pedicure. I picked a beautiful sparkly rose color for my toes. They looked great. My dear friend picked pink.

When we got in my car my dear friend bumped her perfect pink toes into the door and messed them up. Oh well. So she wanted to stop at the book store. We were looking at cook books and I dropped a big heavy book on my shiny toes. Why is it I always have to copy my dear friend? She messed up her toes, so I had too? I wish this would stop. She just got a knee replacement I don't want one.

I came home and Mr. & Mrs. F where here. We are working on moving junk from one room to another. Mrs. F is taking some of her stuff now that she is an old married woman. Mr F was working on my husbands work "truck" van.

Some of the family met up at dad's for dinner. It was really an enjoyable evening. Mr. and Mrs F. made their debut as a married couple. My dad seemed to have a good time with family around him.

It was a good day.

Eye on the Sparrow

Today my very dear friend is taking me to get a pedicure. She is very sweet to offer a girls day out. I am really looking forward to it!

From the hymn "His Eye is on the Sparrow"

"Let not your heart be troubled, his tender word I hear, and resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path he leadeth, one step I may see, His yes is on the sparrow and I know he watches me."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thank you - put me in the psycho ward

I want to thank everyone for their prayers. They hold me up and I know they help heal my dad.

I have been so stressed. First my dad's diagnosis of cancer, Mrs. F got married to Mr. F , Mr. F swore into the Army, back to the Dr. with my dad, then my dad had the procedure yesterday. Oh have I mentioned my husband had 7 teeth pulled and has been having many more problems then usual. Did I tell you I got a second job? All this in a week and a half.

Someone needs to put me in the psycho ward. At least I could rest, not cook and let someone else wait on me. I could talk about my feelings. I would tell the shrink that I am angry and sad and tired. How I am feeling a huge amount of loss. I want to cry much of the day. My head and heart hurt.

The doggies are so sweet. They have been clinging to me. ( I have not been home much) If I do cry the doggies and the kitty all huddle around me as if to give me a great big hug.

I know all the clich├ęs likes " life is hard, that, that does not kill us makes us stronger, I am building character, every cloud has a silver lining". Bla Bla Bla. They don't help.

My last thought for this post is that I am very thankful for my family and friends.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

My dad symptoms started when he would feel full even after he ate a little tiny bit. In my family we all know there is something wrong if we fill full after eating a very small meal. He also was a little nauseous. He had a hard time doing his usual walking. Did he tell any of the family NO. It became apparent that dad was not feeling well. There was something wrong. My dad thought he had the flu. He started to become itchy. The bad / good thing about pancreatic cancer is you don't know you have it because you don't have much pain with it.

Last week the Dr. M did blood work. She said the "indicators" were high so she order a CT scan. The scan found the mass in his pancreas. The tumor is about the size of a ping pong ball. It is pressing on the bile duct leading his liver. This is making my dad itch. He started to turn yellow with jaundice. This was quite a shock to everyone. The Dr. told us it was going to be a "rough road." Dr. M said she would set up a meeting with Dr. D to do a "ERCP". We met with Dr. D and he told us he was going to put a stint in the duct to relive the itching and some of the jaundice. He was also going to take photos and get biopsy's. The procedure is called Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

Yesterday my Dad had an (ERCP) He did very well. When we got home there was a message on the answering machine. It was an appointment with the surgeon. That will be Tuesday. He will discuss the surgery and set a date. Apparently this surgery is going to be a hard one.

My big brother spent the night with my dad. The rest of us went home and to bed.

I will write some of my thoughts about Kaiser later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad-Sad News

Life has been overwhelming lately. I just found out my dad has cancer. Tomorrow he has to go get more tests. The cancer is in his pancreas. I can only hope and pray he beats the odds. My dad and I are very close. Everyone is shocked. I will write more later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Breaking News

Last night after Easter dinner, my lil love (who is 20) and her boyfriend informed us that they were leaving to get married. Her dad and I pulled them apart and talk to them about the realities of being married. You could see by the twinkle in their eyes and the smile on their faces, mentally it was already a done deal. My husband was very sad that he was not going to get to walk his baby girl down the aisle.

My lil love called me at 12:00 last night to tell me they were leaving, heading for Tahoe. At about 7:00 this morning my lil love called to inform her father and I she is now Mrs. F.
WOW. Our lil love is now Mrs. F. She had that happy new bride sound in her voice. That everything was going to be perfect from here on out.

Mr. F is joining the Army. He gets sworn in tomorrow morning. He is not going to boot camp until Aug 10th. Mr. F is a very kind and sweet young man. He was raised in a Christian home, so they both have the same basic values. I know he loves Mrs. F truly. They are both so young.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Winchester House / Walls

Sarah Winchester had some interesting wall covering. Here is a couple of examples.

Winchester House / Quilt Floor

Sarah Winchester had a floor that looked like a quilt. It was made out of cork. I wanted to stop everyone to tell them about the floor and how it looked like rail fence quilt pattern. The tour guide did not want to hear about the joys of quilting and he had no interest in the floor. By the time I took the photo he was long gone.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Winchester House / Tiffany glass windows

A few weeks ago, my cousin was here from out of state. He wanted to go to the Winchester Mystery House. These beautiful Tiffany stain glass windows are from the house. Our tour guide look like he was about 15 years old. He was just over 5 foot tall. He talked very fast, he admitted he had to much coffee that morning. He was rushing us around the house, it was hard to take photos. Some of the people on the tour were getting a little irritated because it cost $26.00 per person to get in. When someone asked a question he did not know the answer. Mr. Speedy tour guide was off and running. I almost got lost because I was lagging behind trying to take pictures.

Legend has it that Sarah Winchester bought a farm house in San Jose CA on the advise of a psychic. The story goes Sarah Winchester was being haunted by the ghosts of people who had been killed by a Winchester gun. The psychic told her to keep building on the little farm house to keep the sprits at bay.

The little farm house became a mansion with 106 rooms and 47 fireplaces. The house is full of "easy riser" stairs because Sarah Winchester in her later years had arthritis. The easy riser stairs were hard for most of us on the tour to walk on. We kept tripping because the lift of the stair was very short and our leader was flying over them at a whirlwind pace.

The tour guide failed to show us the "spooky" things like the staircases that lead to nowhere, stairs that went to the ceiling, doors that you open to a wall or doors that lead to drop-offs. Sarah Winchester seemed to like the number 13. Legend says that's why she liked daisies. They have thirteen petals. Another design she like to use was spider webs.

My cousin was very disappointed that the tour guide did not talk much about Sarah Winchester being haunted by the sprits of those who had died using Winchester guns. My cousin thought the the tour guide was being PC by not talking about ghosts and Sarah Winchester.

None of the furniture was original in the house. I kept waiting to see a beautiful quilt on a bed. I was disappointed by the fact I only saw one and it was ugly at that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Quilt For My Brother

This is the quilt I gave to my brother for his birthday. The colors remind me of the rolling hills where he lives. You can't see it but some of the squares along with the binding has deer on it. The binding fabric comes from an old trunk that a elderly woman gave to my brother when he was working for her. The trunk had all kinds of things in it including the fabric. The fabric looks like it came from the late 50's. A few of the fabric pieces had deer on it. My brother gave the fabric to me. So I put it on his birthday quilt.

My next door neighbor says when you make labels for your quilt you should put the city and the state besides your name and the date. Her theory is someday your quilt might end up in New York or some other state. So it is good to identify where you made it.