Thursday, July 30, 2009

First Chemo

Yesterday was rough. They had trouble with the port and could not get the needle in. I will spare you the detail, because I don't want to think about it. They decided to put the needle in his arm. Then they had to poke dad a few times before the nurse could find the right vain. All the poking and prodding was very painful. It was hard to watch. My dad received his first treatment.

It was hard to see so many surfing and sick people.I have been told I have the "gift of mercy." I am still not convinced that is such a good thing.

I came home and cried for a long time and went to bed.

The good news is Dad had a good night last night. No nausea. No fever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Storm

Have you ever felt as if your in a big storm? The earth quakes, the Tsunami waves are blasting you. You feel like your drowning? To many problem, to much stress.
Everything is out of control. Everything is going wrong. You start to get panicky. Here is something someone reminded me of, it was very helpful.
Jesus Calms the Storm
Matthew 8

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!

Yes, me of little faith.

I just just see me as one of the disciples. I would of been the first to be screaming and jumping up and down. I would of been shaking Jesus, and thinking WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM. HOW CAN HE SLEEP IN A TIME LIKE THIS. I might of even used a few expletives.

Yes, I believe Jesus can calm any storm, or if we (I) cling on to him, we (I) can feel calmer (safer) when we are in the storm.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update 7/29

Dad has his first Chemo today if all goes as planned. I am bringing food and water because it seems like every time we go to Kaiser we end up staying for a long time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Photos of Garden Blog

Japanese Fern

Orange's on Orange Tree

Grapes and Crazy Grape Vine

Lovely tomatoes

Baby Mini Pumpkin

Baby Jumbo Pumpkin 2
Baby Jumbo Pumpkin 1

Lemon on crew cut lemon tree

My Garden

Every year my dad and I have a tomato growing contest. I have to concede he has kicked my butt this year. My dad bought me a imitation "topsie tubrie" tomato container. I would not recommend it. I think he wanted to win this year. That is ok with me. Usually I have at least 6 tomato plants. This year I only bought two. I have a total of 4 tomatoes that are still green. I decided to give the soil a rest from the tomatoes. I planted pumpkins there. My pumpkins look great. I told you a few blogs ago about the tomato worm that was looking for a tomato but could only find pumpkin. I don't need to use pesticides, I use confusion as a tool to get rid of the bugs.

Our grapes are growing like crazy this year. They are small little green gems. They are small because they are not pumped full of hormones like the grapes in the store.

The lemon tree is recovering well after Mr. F gave it a crew cut. (God bless him) I see I have lemons on the tree again. They are still green. Our orange tree has oranges. They are SOOOO sour. Our lemons are SOOO sweet. Our lemons make the best lemonade! The plum tree still has plums on it.

Does anyone know how to get your oranges to sweeten up? :)

I also have Dahlias. I love Dahlias! I had yellow and pink. This year I bought red. They are red with a bit of yellow around the outside petals. They are beautiful. Dahlias and orchids are my favorite flowers.

I really don't have to many flowers. I have a few some roses. I have plants that flower like Star Jasmine. When you walk in the evening by they smell heavenly.

I just finished watering the Dahlias and pumpkins. Our house is shady. We have ferns from all over the world. The one from Japan (I forget its name) and and the elk-horn fern are my favorite. Did you know that elk-horn ferns like to eat bananas? All of our ferns insist on being watered every day in the summer.

My husband and I have a dialog almost ever day about what plants not to water. We cannot come up with a good plant to kill. You know we are having a drought. We are allotted so many gallons per day of water. My plants are all water junkies. I may need an intervention because I will have to work 3 jobs to support our plants water addiction.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update 7/23

Dad and I went to the dermatologist today. When dad said he had pancreatic cancer, I could see the Dr. demeanor changed. He was much less "aggressive" since dad already has "enough going on." Dad does have a spot that might have to have biopsy if it does not go away in two weeks.

Dad comes from the time of - you do what the doctor says. You don't ask questions and you try to hold your head up no matter what. Everyone tells him he is a trooper. He is a trooper. Even the doctor today said he hopes he is as "troopie" as my dad.

Dad's blood sugar has been high, today over 300.

My dear friend thinks I need to be blunt with dad. Let him know things are not going to get better. I can not do that. In some countries they would never tell you, you are at the end of your life. Even though logically that maybe true. You mind can kill you as fast or faster then the cancer itself. If you give up , that's it. My doctor says denial is a good thing sometimes. I have to agree with her on this case.

I still hope and pray for a miracle for my dad. I do not know what Gods plans are. I am glad I cannot see into the future. I think that is a blessing from God. I did remind my dad he can refuse to have any treatment or doctors appointment. It is up to him.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This and That

I am so happy when the fog rolls in! That means it will be nice and cool here!

Today was a good day. Yesterday Dad had only one Dr. appointment. I think I mentioned that on Sunday we spent around 10 hours in the ER again. They put him on anticoagulants . This has got him stress out. I don't blame him for feeling stressed and overwhelmed. His blood sugar has been high (over 200.) Tomorrow we go to the dermatologist.

Ok are you sitting down? I put on a dress. Yes I did. My dear friend bought the same dress the other day. I liked it so much I bought one too. It came to my attention that I needed some new shoes to go with my dress, so I bought some wedge shoes. (You must be asking how did I where those shoes with my knee? I just had the pain and I was ok with it. ) I looked at my toenails, it was clear that I needed a pedicure. So I stopped at the beauty college. They had an $8.00 pedicure. Let me just say it was indeed an $8.00 pedicure. That was ok, I was doing things for me all day.

Mrs. F turned 21 today. Last night we took Mr. & Mrs. F out to dinner. I had my dress and a $8.00 pedicure. I was ready to go. Of course there was an epic amount of drama before we left. Mr. & Mrs. F were fighting as usual. Mr. F came up to my side of the car window and said he did not want to go to dinner. I told him I was staying out of it. Somehow a mutual agreement was worked out between them and we made it to dinner on time. Dinner was delicious! We had tomato chicken soup, a Caesar salad with real anchovy dressing, Mrs. F & I had steak with mashed potatoes, Mr. F and my husband had veal (they both got the veal lecture)I told them at least I wait until my cow is full grown before I eat it! We had 3 desserts. Lemon tart, chocolate cake and cream brulee. We are bankrupt now, but the dinner was worth it. Mrs. F was very happy. She said it was the best restaurant she had ever been to.

My husband is getting some work !!!!

I started a new quilt. I am just sewing strips together at this point.

Sadie threw her hip out. But she is ok now.

I realize now how much I like the old crooners type music.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


My dad has some swelling, I am not sure what from. Maybe more compilations from Wednesday.

Dad came over for dinner tonight. I was so happy that he came over. It used to be he would come over about once a week. We had low carb pasta with salmon. I made a homemade Italian dressing type sauce. My dad and husband loved it. I also found low carb ice cream from Safeway. Dad had that for dessert. I had permanganate frozen ice thing. Yummy! My husband had 3 different kinds of chocolate ice cream. He liked the double fudge chocolate brownie the best.

I just got a call from my sister in law that Dad's blood sugar was down in the 50's. He drank a coke classic and now it is up to 88. He is still swelling around his ankles and hands. The Dr. is suppose to call in the am. I am so happy that my sister in law was able to be there for my dad. I wonder if he tried called me. I was outside giving the dogs a bath and watering my pumpkins.

Speaking of pumpkins, I saw a tomato worm in a boom on my jumbo pumpkin plant. This is the first year I have not planted tomatoes in that spot in a long time. The worm was trying to chew the flower. It must of been very disappointed. I watched in crawl back into the bloom looking for a tomato. The tomato patch is not going to be a happy place for the tomato worms this year, all they will get is a mouth full of pumpkin.

Lost Your Breath

Have you ever literary lost your breath when someone told you something? I have twice now.

1. W hen the Dr. told us Dad had cancer
2. When I was told I would not have a job this summer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Yesterday was a complete nightmare. The simple procedure to put dad's chemo port in turned into a 15 hour stay at the hospital. There was complications. don't feel like going into the details at this point. He never did get his chemo treatment yesterday.
It amazes me that he can did so well with the major surgery (whipple.) This little surgery was a big problem.
Poor dad. It was rough.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Update 7/15

Dad has to get a port installed this morning so he can start chemo this afternoon. I think it is going to be a long day at Kaiser.

Mr. F put in a new shower for me. I used it this am. OH man was it nice to take a shower in my own bathroom again. He did a great job.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Yesterday I took my dad up to the foothills where my dad has a vacation home. One of my brothers lives down the hill from my dad. It was a great day. It was the first time he had really gone anywhere since his surgery.

On our way up to the foot hills my dad and I saw 5 hot air balloons. They were so magnificent with their bright colors, floating gracefully over the green crops. I realized how much I would love to go on a ride. Maybe someday,

My two brothers and nephew were putting up a new digital antenna at my dad's place. It was
HUDGE. We where all laughing because we think it should get tv stations from around the world. It started raining and so we joked that the antenna was going to become a lightning poll. My dad was the "go fer" he would get the tools when they asked. That made him happy.

I mostly stayed with my sister in law, we cooked and talked about her trip to a gold mining town where she stayed in a hunted bed and breakfast. She did not see any ghosts.

On the way home my dad told me how happy he was that he went.

I was zipping along at a good clip on the freeway until we got to the bridge. It came to a complete stop. I am not a big fan of driving over that bridge anyways. I keep looking down and seeing how choppy the water was. It was very windy. I wondered how many cars can the bridge hold before it crumbles and breaks. I was thinking of the bridge that broke in half during the last big earth quake. It took us 30 minuets just get get over the bridge. I did fine. No problem no cold sweats. We got home about 8:30. It was a great day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Welcome to Chemo

Today I went with my dad & sister to the Introduction to Chemotherapy class at the hospital. There was an overwhelming amount of information. I learned some facts and ideas about Chemotherapy. Here is a fact, the hospital gets an average of 200 new chemo patients per month. If you have a temperature over 100.5 you need to call them right away. If it is after hours, weekend or a holiday you must go to the ER. You are not suppose to eat anything "organic." Organic food has more bacteria on it. You must wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat them. (Don't most people do that anyways?) Ginger is good for the nausea. But not ginger snaps. Ginger tea is good as long as it is decaffeinated. If you are constipated "smooth move tea" is a good choice. It is better to get you hair cut then to have it fall out when your trying to eat dinner. Always have your guests wash their hands when they come in. We learned about red and white blood cells. We learned about platelets and blood draws and scans. We also learned that Chemo can kill some peoples reproductive ability. We learned that some people will lose their life and others will not. Of corse the teacher-RN was not that blunt.
It is time for me to go, I am tired.

The Latest Quilt

Here are some photos of Mrs. F's new quilt. I am very happy with it. I know the Quilting Taliban (QT's ) will not approve that I did not do the handwork and quilting myself. My friend Diane did the hand quilting and fancy stitching. Anyways I am so happy with how it turned out. It has a flannel back on it. I blocked out the personal information on the label. Mrs. F love's the quilt. I hope you like it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

7 Happy Things

Yes, I know you will all be in shock. I have actually had some very good things happening.
1. I was lucky enough to spend time with my great niece and nephew. They are 8 1/2 and 16. We went to a 4th of July celebration in a park put on by a local church. My husband, Mr. & Mrs. F. joined us at the park. They have a big stage where they do family friendly skits, they sing and dance. It is good clean fun. When it gets dark the have a pretty good fireworks display. I was a little worried about the 16 year old, but I caught him more then once having a good time. He took very good care of his little sister. He watched her like a hawk. I was very proud of him. They where both very well behaved and polite.

2. I can't wait to show you the new quilt I made for Mrs.F. I am so happy the way it turned out.

3. I went out t0 lunch with my sweet sister- friend. We went to Indian food. It was so good. I had the tiffins with curry beef and lamb YUMMY! She and I have similar taste in food and the people who we pick to be in our lives. This can be a good thing or sometimes not. She can make me laugh. She always makes me laugh.

4. Church was really good today. I am glad I went. Sometimes its a battle to get myself going, but now I am glad I did. I feel at home at my church. I love my pastor because he is not the usual run of the mill preacher! When he came to the church about 15 years ago, he was young and cocky. That's why I liked him. He has mellowed with age, but he still makes you think about God and us and how we treat each other. I felt encouraged today by his message.

5. Today I went out with my dear sister- friend. We drove out to a growing delta town. It was peaceful to look at the boats out in the water. I enjoyed chatting with the fishermen on the shore. It is a cool and breezy day. Perfect. We caught up on each others families news. We stopped at a fruit stand, I bought an apricot pie, white corn on the cob and tomatoes. We stopped at In & Out. It was a great a diversion from the stresses of my daily life.

I love spending time with my sister- friends. I am so blessed to have them in my life.

6. Mr. F is putting in my new shower. He is doing a good job. I am so excited to have my own bathroom again! It is a tiny bathroom. Most people get claustrophobic in it. Not me. I can't wait to go pick out the fixtures and the shower door. I am also going to paint my little bathroom "robins nest." It is light blue with brown speckles.

7. Mrs. F cooked dinner tonight for my husband and Mr. F. She made angel hair pasta and meat sauce. I will have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow at work.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Update 7/3 and rambling depressing thoughts

My dad went to the radiologist. My sister in law said the Dr. was cold and factual. He told them my dad is NOT a candidate for radiology. The area is to big and deep. But he will have the chemo.

I guess it boils down to how miserable do you want to be before you die?

I keep having nightmares about my dad calling for help. I can't help him. Or another dream is my family keeps calling on the phone and they are screaming for me to help my dad. The phone gets disconnected and I cannot reconnect with them or my dad.
I can see how out of control I feel. There is nothing I can do to make the cancer stop its path of destruction.

I pray all the time for the healing of my dad. I also pray for others I know who have cancer. I know God does not want my dad or others to suffer. We live in a fallen world where pain and suffering are common. I can honestly say that is why heaven looks so good to so many people. No more tears, no more pain, no more suffering.

I have to say I made a mistake sometime ago when I said that it was harder when family or someone close to you dies all of a sudden. My thinking was that you never have a chance to say I love you or I am sorry to them. Nope, this is definitely harder.

I wonder will I have to die alone? Who will be there for me? Have you ever thought about that? I have a friend who wonders the same thing. Maybe people really don't think about death to much.

My family has had lot of death in it (according to my grandmother when I was little) We talk openly about it. On our way home from my honeymoon, I asked my husband about buying burial plots. I have to say this caught him off guard. He kind of freaked out a little. His family had not talked openly about death, even though they had major horrific losses.

I have a plot now. I am glad I have had it for about 4 years. It has room for up to 4 depending on burial or cremation. It is all paid for. I don't care who I am with, when I drive by ( it's over by the bay) I say LOOK there is my property! My family jokes about me having pink flamingos on my plot. Yes, my mother, grandparents, my step mother and many others in my family are already there. I will be close to my family when they lay me to "rest."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yesterday's Outcome

They did not get all the cancer. It is in the back of his abdomen wall. They are recommending chemo / radiation .

I had a bad day yesterday. I hit a car in the parking lot of my job. All my co-worker watched me do it. All the news at my dad's and Mr & Mrs F were fighting at our house.

I am glad I am going swimming today.