Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Take a little Trip...

Take a little trip with me...

I decided to take a trip to the beach.

It was a trip HeMan Hubby and I had planned to take...
It was the trip that was supposed to have us house hunting...
making plans to move there...
to our happy place

The beginning of the start of our future life together.

So...
I went...
without him...
because I promised him I would not stop dreaming...
That I would carry on with our plans ...
That I would live that future we had laid out in front of us

I thought it would be hard.

I was wrong...
It was more than hard...
It was some word that has not even been invented yet because...
it's so much more than anyone can imagine.


And yet...
It was good.
And I reached a place in my heart...
A place that knows he is gone...
but also knows that he is here





Our plans are now my plans...
Our future is now my future...
Our life is now my life...

And I am okay with that.

Not " Hey the world is wonderful and I'm on top of it" kind of okay...

But Okay enough to take a little trip...
enough to start dreaming...
and planning...
and living...

Maybe even at the beach!





Thursday, August 23, 2018

Happy Birthday Baby Girl...

You may have called this one...

Image result for happy birthday strawberry shortcake
Happy Birthday !
Yep, it's my baby girl's birthday...

Ahhh, but which baby girl?

I do have 3 to choose from...

But Today is my first born's birthday...

Today GoodMom is 30-something that is much closer to 40 than not...
(but don't mention that to her... 
she's trying to NOT be almost 40)

I remember the day she was born...
It was very early in the morning...
And she was very big...

And she was scrunched looking...
And she had a bit of a cone head...
And she had bruises on her face and little arms...

And she was beautiful...

She still is beautiful...
And intelligent...
And everything I ever hoped she would grow up to be!

Happy Birthday and I love you GoodMom


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Time... Won't Give Me Time

This could be the best place yet
    But you must overcome your fears
In time we could have been so much more
    But Time is Precious I know


If you were a teen in the 80s you might just recognize these words...

I loved this song in high school...
I loved Boy George...
He was different and wasn't afraid to be that way...
He made a career out of being who he was ...
Or she? I'm still not really sure where the persona and the person diverge...

But this 50-something year old woman listens to these words
And understands the bigger message...
the life lesson contained within the catchy tune and flamboyance ...

Image result for despairKnows that time is nothing ...
That it slips through our fingers and leaves us with nothing...
Just empty hands and lost dreams

Just as I have this gained in sight ...
the kind that only Time could give me...

I have learned that Fear ...
Yes, Fear...
Can do so much more to destroy us than Time can

Fear can make us stop dreaming...
Stop caring...
Stop living...

And no amount of Time can take back what Fear has taken from us

Fear... 
Is a Liar...
A Cheater...
A Thief...

Image result for faith
The last year and 3 months has taught me so much about Time...
About Fear...
About Loss...
About Hurt...
About Love...
About Faith...
About Hope...
About Grace...

It is well with my soul...

Words from a song that has brought me comfort in these months...
a peace and strength that I didn't even know I had

And this grown-up woman...
This mother of 6 children...
This Widow of 3 months...

Image result for faithKnows and believes that TIME is not the enemy...
That TIME is what God is giving me...
Time to grieve...
Time to cry...
Time to heal...
Time to DREAM...

And I get this Time because I have Faith and Hope and Grace...


Because I believe in...
The Overwhelming, never-ending reckless Love of God...
And more importantly...

HE believes in ME


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Super Heros have Birthdays Too!

Dear HeMan Hubby,
Today is 2 months and 9 days since you left.
Today is your birthday... the 1st one without you here to tease me about still being older than you even though today makes , or made, us the same age...
A lot has changed. A lot is changing.
When I think of how we spent Valentine's day this year talking about our plans to move to Florida when you were well...and how a week later everything started to unravel...
You you went from having 15 to 20 years to maybe 5 years to 6 maybe 9 months... and then you were gone... just 3 months and 8 days after we made those plans to move... when you were well.
You are well now. Not here with me like we planned... but you are well and whole and no longer in pain... which is what I prayed for every day since your diagnosis.
It just came in the one way I didn't want it to come.
But my birthday wish for you came true... you are well.
I know you are with me.
I feel you in my heart and see your smile in our children's smiles, and when I am alone in our room I feel you beside me, holding me and hear you telling me it will all be okay... I miss you more then I thought could be possible but I am okay, because you are with me.
I love you.
HAPPY 52nd Birthday to the love of my life, the one who made me whole and made me feel loved every minute of every day.
I miss you John LeeRoye Bassford and dream of the day when we will be together again...
You are...
And will always be...
My Super Hero
Link to BratChild's facebook tribute to her SuperHero Dad! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

The best laid plans of Doctors and men...



HeMan Hubby began his Immunotherapy treatment trial on July 13th.

Related image
He had an infusion every 3rd Thursday thru the month of August.

Mid-August there was a scan that showed no change in the original lung tumor...

Side effects of the medications were minimal...
Slight fatigue on Saturday and Sunday following the infusions...
minor aches and swelling in many of his joints...

Surgery to remove the lung tumor and a small lymph node next to it was scheduled for August 30th.

Pre-op was great. Saw the rheumatologist who said the joint pain was arthritis triggered by the immunotherapy drugs... 
not uncommon at all.

Surgery day came and the plan was for the lower lobe of the left lung to be removed...

2 hours into the surgery the doc came out to see me...
This is not good when the surgery should have been 6 hours long...

The look on his face said it all...
When he had taken the lung out and turned it over to visualize where the cut should be...
a small area of 6-8 tiny pin-point sized spots was visible in his peripheral vision on the chest wall behind the lung...

Biopsies were done and they were positive for cancer cells.

Oh crap! 

So, he made the decision to put the lung- un-cut and in it's original state- back into HeMan HUbby's chest ...

The post-op meeting with Cancer Doc was not great...
but then, it was not bad either.
The tiny area was still in the left chest so the cancer hadn't gone far...
the areas appeared to not be active...
meaning they were very likely dead ,like the original tumor appeared to be...

The immunotherapy seemed to be killing the cancer as predicted so it made sense to continue the immunotherapy protocol ...

Okey Dokey then! 

More scans and labs and samples were done, taken, collected for the research trial...
Everything was wonderful...
no other signs of anything...
ANYWHERE! 
Yay!

Every 3rd Thursday HeMan Hubby had infusions...
and bloodwork, and stool samples and urine samples and spit samples taken...
for DNA, for research, for health monitoring...

HeMan Hubby was so healthy it was insane.
Cumberland Island,GA wild horses and ruins on kayaking trip
So much so that we went to Florida in mid-October for a week of hiking, biking and an all day kayaking and hiking trip to Cumberland Island.
He felt great...
a little stiffness in his shoulder from the surgery and a little pain in his knees and shoulder on occasion from the arthritis...
But he looked wonderful.
He felt like a million bucks.
He was living his life and enjoying every minute of it.

The scans in November showed some inflammation in the shoulders and knees from the arthritis..
no cancer anywhere but that pesky little lung thing...

December was the same so it was decided that immunotherapy would end and that a few rounds of chemo would start in January ...
'Just to make sure it's all really dead' 

HeMan Hubby cleaning off  the van to head to chemo
January 11th... my 52nd birthday...
Chemo started.
A low-level drug regimen given every 3 weeks...





February 22nd... 
routine scans before the final chemo dose ...


And the plans of Doctors and men came to a screeching halt!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Worst Words You'll Ever Hear...

You would think that hearing the words, " You have cancer", would be the worst thing you could ever hear...
But you would be wrong...
Very wrong.

How do I know this, you may ask.

I know because 1 year and and 68 days ago the doctor told us that my husband, HeMan Hubby, my personal SuperHero had lung cancer.

The very next words were very positive and reassuring that this was treatable, even curable.
I mean, a 50 year old man with one small tumor in the bottom of his lung and no other health issues was the ideal candidate for cancer, if there is such a thing.

Treatments could be aggressive, because, hey, his body was SuperHero healthy, except for the pesky little cancer thing.

And, with the new immunotherapy regimens, and the newer DNA- targeted chemo drugs, 95-98% of lung cancer patients are, if not cured, then put into a state of cancer inactivity...
a dormancy, if you like, that meant HeMan Hubby had a projected outcome of 15 or 20 more years..
possibly even longer with the new treatments and screenings coming out every year.

Image result for John hopkins kimmel centerSo, we sat in the office of the cancer doctor and learned about the newest treatment protocol trials about to start.

We heard how HeMan Hubby was an ideal patient because his cancer was not advanced and he was so young and healthy and that the 2 immunotherapy drugs on their own had 75-95% cure rates so...
when given together the rate could only be improved upon...

The wonderful cancer doc then asked if HeMan Hubby would be interested in this trial...

HeMan Hubby, in perfect SuperHero form, responded...
" Well, I gotta get some sort of treatment, right? And this trial may help find a way to cure more people, right?... so, what's there to think about, sign me up."

And that people, as they say, was that.

The doc went over the how's and when's and why's and where's of the treatment plan...
then he sat back and in his lovely Irish accent asked if HeMan Hubby had any questions for him...

And well, you KNOW he did...

"1- So Game of Thrones starts July 16th... and my treatments on July 13th... will I be feeling well enough to be able to watch the season premier?"
Image result for game of thrones
Ok... Cancer Doc, did I mention he is Irish? - was a bit taken aback by this very non-clinical question...
and not knowing HeMan Hubby's sense of humor, answered very seriously...
"Yes, you may be a bit fatigued, but you should be feeling well enough for television"

Cancer Doc then says...
"Ah, you had 2 questions?"

Then, he leaned forward, elbows on his knees, a very serious look on his face, hands steepled together in a very doctorly manner, and looked HeMan Hubby in the eye...

And then question #2...
"So, after the trial... Ummm, what super power will I have? Because I'm thinking I want to be Deadpool... "

At this the doc sat back in his chair, looked to the Research Nurse, the Lovely Ms. S, and shook his head ever so slightly, with a more than slight look of bewilderment on his face.

But, never fear ,the Lovely Ms. S took control and with a smile said...

"Unfortunately, none...
these are not new drugs being used in the trial, but rather drugs currently being used that successfully treat your kind of cancer...
the trial is basically seeing how they do when used concurrently, er, together...
And, sadly, no one to date has reported any Super Hero powers from the use of either of these drugs, but , hey... ?"

And that is how we began our journey into the world of cancer.

Image result for deadpool



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Midlife Crisis... or a LIFE Crisis?

I have been away from my blogging for far too long.
Not that I think anyone aside from myself actually reads it but...

I have been dealing with STUFF for 3 nearly years now that has brought me to a place in my life where...

I feel like I have no direction.
Or purpose.
Or.... well, I don't know what.

In a man of a certain age this feeling of being at loose ends would be called a 'Midlife Crisis'.

In a woman of this same certain age it is called... what?

My children are grown.
Some not quite all the way, like SIX who is a college freshman, still need me.
Others, like BratChild, believe that they are grown enough to live their own lives, and those lives do not really have room for me any more.

I had a job that I loved.
Then I couldn't do it any more.

I ended up in a position that I did not seek out and I thought I was doing a good job of it but...
suddenly I guess I wasn't.

I worked hard to get back my strength and the ability to do the things my job required so that I could resume doing what I loved.

So, back to my "REAL" job...
and then...
that was gone... again.

I watch TV and get great ideas for crafts and home improvements.
I read book after book... love those freebies on Kobo and Kindle...
and think about the book I will write.

I surf the net looking for a job...
I did freelance SEO content writing for several years so I thought I would look there...
If I do not know what the abbreviations and slang words mean...
I would guess that means I am no longer in that loop, right?

I think of things I would like to do with my life.
I think of things that I am passionate about.
I think of what I have to offer to others living their lives in turmoil and uncertainty and...

I sit, rooted to one spot...
Day after day...
Wondering how to make my LIFE CRISIS go away...
How to turn it into something positive that others will benefit from...
That I will be proud of...
That will give me a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

I have ideas.
But no idea how to make them work.
I had dreams...
and now... not so much.

My LIFE CRISIS is because I have forgotten how to dream...
how to have dreams for myself.

Yes, a man of a certain age goes out and gets a younger woman, a sexy car, a new wardrobe...
It's expected.
They have earned it they would say.

A woman gets grey hair, wrinkles and worry lines...
Sleepless nights wondering if her children are safe and happy...
Jobs are not readily available...
No one seems to want to listen to what they have learned over the years...
They are Old.
They are Obsolete.
They are made to feel as if their lives do not matter.

Forget the Midlife and focus on the LIFE...
Living each day as if what you do matters...
Taking the bad and making something good from it...

Those are my goals.
Not sure how to make them happen...
YET.

I am a work in progress and this Life Crisis is but one more in the long stream of them through the years...
I'll figure it out... I always do.

But seriously...
Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to be a man right about now.