Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

12-29-2014 Day 1 HBOT

  Today was my first day in HBOT and it has been a few years. I was nervous as all get out last night plus the rain caused my right knee pain to overpower Advil and my Arthritis medicine so I finally fell asleep at 4am, back up at 6am.  Denise took me there and wants to drive me until she has to go back to work, then I get the man that transports people to and from there.

  The staff they have there now is good, doctors seem to be decent. I dove with 3 guys and 2 ladies, but there could have been 4 guys. The 2 ladies both were older and had trachs. Before the dive started I ask if they had throat cancer and both had cancer in their vocal chords. The men from what I found out were diabetes related, sores or injuries that wouldn't heal. I was nervous. I thought back to a friend I had that served in VietNam who was 101st Airborne once said when he talked about para-trooping. I ask if he was scared his first jump and he said yes. I said I bet the second jump went better. He smiled and said the first jump he jumped out, the second jump they tossed him out, difference being, he knew what was coming. :) That was me.

  They fixed my hood while we were pressurizing and I popped my ears at least 100 times. I looked down just in enough time to see my water bottle wasn't loose enough and it was about to burst. They put an old movie on, Moses probably wants it back. The noise is loud and you can feel the pressure, but it doesn't hurt, then claustrophobia sets in as the walls make weird noises. Then the hood goes on and the pure Oxygen starts filling it. I felt kind of sick at my stomach but it soon passed. The doctor wants 60 of these but the insurance says 30, and my part of 30 is 1100.00!!! The ladies both have a lot of trouble, they can't wear hoods so their trach tube is connected in. I felt sorry for them. The black lady had the hardest time but come to find out she has had more treatments than the white lady. They are both very nice and so lady like. This was the black lady's last dive, my prayers are with her that she heals up soon. She was so nice and was strong, kind eyes, and hopeful smile.

  So when the dive is over and we are all dressed back in street clothes I spoke with the 2 ladies. I asked if the trachs are permanent. The both said no but the white lady said, "Shit I hope not", as she caught her teeth. John walked up about the time that came out and laughed and said he could not believe that came out of her mouth and laughed. She said "What the word or my teeth?" and we all had a laugh.

  I can think of better days and better times... but today was a good day. The Bible tells in the last days of trials and tribulations, yet some of us seem to jump the gun on those things. I wish it would be smoother, but then again, I have learned much and grew much. I have learned to be thankful for all God gives me, people, days, time... those things I took for granite most of my life. Funny how when I was strong I never seen me any other way, it was always the other guy this happens to, but now that it is me, I see how weak I really was back then. Having said that, it is not my strength that I rely on, it is His.        

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

  I wish everybody a

Merry Christmas. 

  Though we celebrate without mom or Denise's dad, we are blessed to have lived in their company and thank God for allowing us to be blessed by them. Denise, we have not lost them, they simply went ahead of us and one day we will be with them again knowing this time there will be no farewells. They now reside with the One we celebrate and because of Him we will one day reunite.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

12-19-2014 - The Plan on HBOT

  Well they wanted me to start this week but I talked them into waiting until after Christmas. I start the 29th. The Insurance company would not approve 60 visits, they only approved 30, and partially cover the expense. My out of pocket for 30 will be at least 1100.00. It could be worse, they said Blue Cross Blue Shield has decided that they would not approve the treatment. I still have a hard time knowing that an Insurance company can override a doctor. There is something terrible wrong with that. When Insurance corporation administer a person's treatments, with no experience, no accountability, and no compassion... something is wrong. Apparently Blue Cross/Blue Shield has went the way of Liberty Mutual, straight down. All I can say is dress light because one day you will end up in a very hot place, lets say it will be Hell. While they play with people's lives, God watches and keeps score.

  I put it off until after Christmas. Denise will be off work and we can get some things done around here. It isn't for many reasons but it is for a main reason, that we work together and spend time together. This month made 26 years we've known each other and in 3 months will make 26 years we've been married. Yep, we married the 3rd month and despite obstacles, we're still together. Time, jobs, events, and tribulations have changed us both so I believe it is good that we spend time together. We are different in a lot of ways but the same in the ways that matter, so we enhance and embrace our differences while holding tight to the things we hold similar. I wondered today just how risky a move delaying treatment is when me and Megan went to Hardees and I could hardly swallow. I'm use to stuff getting stuck in my throat. Where once I freaked now it is seldom that I freak out.  This year we celebrate without 2, my mom and Denise's dad, but where they are is perfect. That helps knowing that but we still miss them.

  Sherry went over everything with me. They have people who come and get the patients where once family and friends had to drive them. They do not want people driving after a treatment for a while in case something goes wrong. Two hours is a long time for the drivers to set and wait. One thing I didn't know, we can't wear our dentures inside it, she said it would crush them. I still remember the walls buckling as it pressurizes. There is a TV inside, encased so that it will not be effected by the pressure. You can watch a movie but you can't actually hear it due to the noise. I think we can bring a book too. It will give me a chance to catch up on Rob Skiba's books plus a few more. I'm hoping to get on the first dive and to do this without medicine to relax me. I'm claustrophobic so being in there kind of freaks me out. They have an ENT that dives with the people in case of emergency. They can see and hear everybody on the dive and watch for anything that may possibly go wrong. Any hint of it and they contact the ENT on board to check out the person who looks questionable.

  The last time I was there I done 90 dives and it was what started stopping the damage from the radiation. I saw people who were diabetic and about to lose a limb be healed and get to keep that limb. Radiation does strange stuff to the bones and one lady six years after her radiation had a tooth pulled and lost part of her jaw bone. They done reconstructive surgery which was also going bad until she started the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. She was saved and her jaw bone that she had left was healed plus the transplanted bone grafter well. You have a few possible side effects, but nothing compared to pills.        

Friday, December 12, 2014

12-12-2014 The Meeting

  Me and Denise went to Tennova (formally St Mary's) hospital this morning to meet and be set up for the HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen) Therapy. So now we wait on the Insurance company to approve it. Something is terribly wrong in the country when Insurance corporations can superseded doctors. Then again, our health system is broken... thank you big pharma for that. We did learn that Blue Cross Blue Shield has decided they would not pay for HBOT, thank God I no longer have them. They decided there was no benefit. Perhaps the ones that I saw keep their legs, toes, feet, jaw bones, might disagree with that. That I saw first hand when I done the treatments before.

  So anyway, the new doctor was super nice, down to earth, and extremely smart. Two of the old cast and crew were still there and I met a lady who is one of the new ENTs that "dive" with the team. There is not a lot of possible side effects, blood clots, loss of hearing, loss of eye sight, stoke, and heart attack, sickness from O2. If that seems strange just look at the disclaimer on regular TV medicine ads or read the paper that comes along with a script. Using one's head and following the rules make this pretty safe.

  So my treatment play will be 60 treatments then a revaluation. The goal will be to stop and perhaps reverse the cartridge, vascular, and muscle damage the radiation left behind that is still ongoing. If this works resection of my voice box and throat will be off the table, but as far as I'm concerned it already is. I'm not looking forward to it but something has to give. They even provide transportation to and from, still it is a long trip. They want me to do treatments 6 times a week, said it seemed to work better, so I will comply. I am praying that it also gets my Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma back in line. That is another thing that has to give. It has gone body wide and in the painful stage, like a really bad burn yet at the same time itches like poison oak. I still have my Narrow Band UVB machine (NBUVB), but side effect... cancer. Imagine that, a cancer treatment that causes another cancer, lol. You can't make this stuff up, it is just too weird.     

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12-10-2014 Follow-Up - Not great

  We went Monday for another follow-up with Dr. Rathfoot. I told him how sorry we were about his wife and mom. He said he knew I had lost mom this year and I told him about Denise's dad. He hugged her and the me and I told him he and his family were in our prayers, and I remember him every night. He is such a good man. I respect him as a man and as a doctor.

  He had a doctor in training following him. He scoped my nose and then let the man in training look in the scope. If that man follows Dr Rathfoot and does as he does he will be a great doctor. The guy seemed to know what he was looking at, either that or just agreed, lol. The last few times haven't went as well as planned, each one a little worse, but I remained optimistic. I know things are falling apart and I could feel it pain and all. Some things I guess we just go into denial with, but eventually though we run we can't hide from what is there. Dr Rathfoot was rather blunt with me, which I do appreciate. Usually Denise hears things that I don't and understands things I don't, and she corrects me on our trip back. This time, she didn't.

  The area on the side opposite where the tumor was has still major damage and my vocal chords and pretty much the rest of the throat is dying. Breathing, sleeping, and swallowing have gotten increasingly harder each week. I am use to food going the wrong way down or even going up my nose, but lately it just gets stuck and it is hard to get unstuck. Many people panic and I use to but slowly over time one learns to remain calm as long as possible. Go figure, somehow I thought it would not be noticeable when he looked, lol. He asked how I was doing and I said good, but looked over at Denise and she was shaking her head.

  He discussed another surgery, which I knew he said I would probably end up having at least one more in the future, so I wasn't shocked. Then the bomb came. He said he could probably do another surgery and buy me some time, but it would not correct it permanently, and was on a temporary patch. That wasn't the bomb yet, it was dropped when he said he wasn't sure that I could have it done without ending up with a Trach. When they operate the put a tube down your throat and a machine breathes for you and as soon as it is done and you appear to be breathing on your own they pull it out. The only other option was to go to HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy). I don't know how many treatments it will take and I dread the drive to Knoxville to do them. I figured maybe like after Christmas it would start, but I go Friday to see the doctor and probably get fitted for the hood and clothes, plus a physical. I got lucky there, I just had a stress test and stuff ran about a month ago. It is moving fast so I guess he must have saw what I have felt.

  I will go to what was St Mary's, now Tennova, where it looks like 1/2 a Submarine is there. I'm claustrophobic so the coffin sized lay down in one is out. It worked before and would have probably worked completely but I quit before I was done. The doctor they had was a nutcase and a complete A hole. They say this new doctor is nice... we will see. I still remember the hateful one getting pissed off and trying to knock everybody in there out adding pressure. 2 of us stayed alert... semi, and we watched the rest go down one by one. One of the guys on the outside made him stop, not sure what would have happened if he had continued. That was the straw that broke the Camel's back though. This is it though, my last resort once again. I think we all draw a line in the sand and mine is having my voice box cut out and breathing through a hole. It is not that I don't want to live but I want to live with some quality and with no burden on those I love. I should fear death but I don't. I figure I will be here as long as God wants, then I will go. My chances increase at night while I sleep so I always make peace with Him every night, just in case. Death comes to us all eventually and after that, life forever, and I'm counting on a lot of Grace for that one. It is well.        

Monday, November 24, 2014

Glenn

  My father-in-law, Glenn Shaver died Thursday. I haven't written any of it most due to not knowing what to say since Denise reads this blog. This blog has acted like my pain medicine for many years now, a place I can say that which I usually don't speak along with that I do speak, and that seems to help lift the pain. Whatever I write I know will cause more pain for Denise, and that I do not want to do. Today is the day for the funeral and the burial is tomorrow. So this is mainly for Denise:

  I am so sorry for you all for Glenn, yet I rejoice for him. Actually his passing hurt me too, nothing on the scale as you, your mom, and sister. You probably noticed that I haven't spoken a word of his death on the blog, but that was mostly because I want to cause you no more pain and strife than you already have. You see, whatever part of me is left, I still feel the need to protect you. This time though I cannot. The worse thing is there are no words nor actions I can do to stop the pain, I can't seem to do that myself now after 9 months since mom, so I know I am powerless, but I do what I can do. It isn't much I know, like throwing a rock in the Grand Canyon and trying to fill it up.

  I have been blessed to have been allowed to be within the company of great people and your dad goes to the top of that list. I have known but only what I would call Godly men and that list I believe him to be at the top. I do not say that because he was a Deacon or Sunday School Teacher and Administrator, I know plenty of fake ones that do exactly what he did... talk. I say that because of what I have seen this 26 years I have known him. There was no false anything to this man, he lived what he taught. There are plenty of people who speak one way yet walk another way but few are they that lead by example. He did. Though I am not Jesus so I cannot judge who goes to Heaven and who does not, I am sure what he is one of God's now, safe in His hands and receiving his rewards.

  In 26 years I do not remember him saying a curse word, never seen his temper, never heard him talk about anybody nor judge anybody... how does one do that, I have no idea. While keeping a realistic perspective, he also both had and taught hope for a person. I never heard him "preach" to anybody nor back away from being asked a question. I never saw pride in his nature yet he took pride in himself, his family, and the world in general giving the glory and source to God rather than accept any praise for himself. For about the last 10 years his body failed him and though his mind remained in tact, his spirit was never compromised. I never heard him complain or ask why, I never seen any anger in his condition. The only person I know that done this was Papa, I think dad did that too. Papa, like your dad, lived his life and became an example. No words were ever needed.

   You may or may not have seen different growing up, but I bet you didn't. I know the 15 years we had Papa I never saw any difference than what everybody saw. Doyle Fox had these same characteristics. None of them actually believed in themselves alone, all believed in what could be done with God. Big or small, they lived what the read and believed what they read. If I had met your dad in the street I would not have had to wonder or question his beliefs, and he would not have had to say a word. Simple observation would have told me he was a Christian. No stickers, no Bible, no preaching... their faith spoke louder than words.

  I also owed your dad for you. He and your mom raised 2 girls to be wonderful women, and I was blessed to get you. You look like your day in many ways and in many ways act a lot like him. He was proud of you and Glenda and loved Iris with all his heart, and she loved him. 59 years is a lifetime to spend with someone you love, longer than some people live, and a blessing. Sometimes it seems like God doesn't care or reward, especially when you see a man like your dad become bed ridden for so many years, yet I think I know why. Few people give true inspiration these days to make someone want to be a better person, and your dad was one of those people. I assume that God knew Glenn's strength in his faith. It does not seem fair until you look at the reward waiting at the end of this world. Your family was blessed by being led by a man who led by example with a kind heart, one that sees the good in people, looking past the outwardly appearance.

  He served his country in Korea yet was like dad, he hated war and saw it as something that should not be. Dad was that way, I think WW2 was way more than he ever wanted to see. That alone tells us he was a Godly man for Godly men are men of peace. I do not make that statement meaning that is what made your dad a Godly man but just to highlight a part of his attributes. I could count the Godly men I have be blessed to be around on one hand and probably still have fingers left. Godly men lead by example and follow Jesus. They follow the Sheppard, not the flock, and do so with humility and while living with this world, stand apart from it's traps. You can see hope and the love in their eyes and smile, hear it in their words, feel it in their touch. They have a peace and contentment that is so great inside them that one can feel it just being around them. They read and study the Bible and not somebody's view on the Bible. Their wants seem to be for a place where moths and rust cannot take away, and are satisfied with what they have. They make people around them want what they have and that makes people want to be a better person.

 You have temporarily lost much, yet you have not actually lost, just merely postponed. One day you will meet again, not as father daughter but as brother sister, with no pain, no goody-byes, no wants or needs, in a love and peace that I cannot accurately express. That is where he is now. People like your dad are already rare, and that makes me fear the world today and it's hopes. God only knows how many people have been changed just by your dad's presence, people he sought not to change by words but rather by example. Through his life he has been an inspiration. Maybe he knew this, maybe he didn't, but he was a true inspiration to many of us. I know this does not stop the pain just as I know you know where he is. His concerns, wants, and needs are all taken care of now... just like mom and dad. We haven't really lost him for he was never really ours to begin with, Glenn belonged to God and He loaned him to us. I believe that we all have a mission to carry out and we have just enough time to complete it, then we go home. It is said we receive rewards for doing well and I would think your dad got top honors. Jesus said to pick up your cross and follow Him... and so your dad did in an excellent fashion. He lived his life in Truth, Love, Peace, and Honor. An old Cherokee Proverb goes, " When you were born your cried and the whole world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die the whole world cries and you rejoice." Your dad did that.

   I know that was your daddy and I know it hurts. I wish I could stop your pain, heal your heart, but only God can do that. If I can ease you suffering just tell me how and I will do it. I love you. Anthony                     

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Josh

Big 14 years old. 

  Ya know kid, you are growing up too fast. Now that you are a big city boy, I don't get to see you as much. That means that I don't get to tell you just how proud I am of you and the man you are growing into. Then again, you have always been a good kid.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

10-26-2014

Happy Birthday Little Man
6
Love Ya Buddy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10-21-2014 Rathfoot Follow-Up

  Today I had a follow-up with Dr Rathfoot, just a regular one, yet different. He explained from the Radiation damage is the throat was suppose to be one inch in diameter, the scar tissue makes it about a half an inch, or roughly 1/2 the size opening it should be. He wants me to double the dosage of Prednisone until we get back to where we were before the surgery then surgery will have to be done again. How long is anybody's guess. He said the main goal was to not open my throat up with a Trach. I said that sounded good. I set limits as to what I would and would not do and that is beyond what I am willing to do, but I remained silent. Meanwhile Roxie, our house dog undergoes surgery for cancer. 

  Call it weird or whatever, I seldom actually look into someone's eyes, though I will appear to. I think in part why I seldom go into crowds. I feel whatever they feel, maybe not to a exact extent, but close. Rathfoot's nurse had told us not to mention his wife's passing, that it caused him great pain and that someone did and he went to pieces. I got use to looking in his eyes, such kindness, compassion, and hope, so I mistakenly looked as he entered. All the good qualities are still there, but there is so very much pain. He has a necklace on that had a cross and what looked to be his wife's wedding ban on. We knew about his wife but not that his mom had passed just 2 weeks prior. I know I still miss mom after months, I could not imagine missing her and Denise. I talk a lot and I talk even more when I am trying not to say something, so I had diarrhea of the mouth. Looking over Denise 's eyes were teared up and she talked more than usual too. Neither she nor I wanted to cause any more pain for him. Those who read this please keep him and their children in your prayers.

  I know at one time he read some of these posts, in time this is just for you:

  We didn't know your wife but we do, in a way know you. I looked into your eyes from the very beginning and saw nothing but good, and that would not be so without you were with someone good. My heart has broken for you and your family, yet I have no idea what words would make it better. All I can say is in time it will be better, never completely healed, but better. No, it isn't fair for those who have been left behind to heal, but to the one taken it is a blessing. It doesn't seem fair that good people die while other good people suffer. I use to wonder why we called it death yet Jesus called it life. The body dies but with that body all pain and suffering does too. All the trials and tribulations are dead. It is then when real life starts, life free of those afflictions be they physical, mental, emotional that holds these spirits in bondage. Here up can seem like down and down up, yet there all things are known, all things are clear, protected from all harm. We are free.

  We are here just as long as need be to accomplish what we were created for, and then return home. I do not believe that those of faith ever leave without accomplishing God's purpose. We may take upon ourselves other purposes that may or may not be accomplished, yet His purpose is. That we leave and are missed, shows we have fulfilled what Jesus said to do, live in truth and love. That we have lived it well and complete, and knowing there are no good-byes. If we have those people 100 years it would still not be enough. It always hurts to see those go before us, and that in our sufferings they might be lifted up to those who knew them not. That in our sufferings we can make His Light shine out of our darkest days so others may see and wish to know Whom it is we serve, and how to they can find what we have. Anybody can be happy when all goes well and all is well. This is what I believe.

  Where she is now no bad can ever approach her, no harm can befall her. No questions are left unanswered. Imagine your best day, you best moment of that day, and it would be only a drop in the ocean to what it is like there. Nothing hidden and all in the light for all to see. Nothing negative period. No sadness, no sorrow, no guilt. No hunger, no thirst, no needs, no wants. No blemishes, no sins, no fatigue, no wars, no sense of time. A place where you know everybody and everybody knows you, and you welcome and are welcomed by all. Everything is perfect, everything. This is what I know.

  If I can ever help you or your family in any way just ask. In the meanwhile you all are still in our prayers each night.         

Thursday, October 16, 2014

10-23-2014

   We have someone wanting to rent the Office. Denise asked me all kinds of questions last night that I had not asked. I could tell her he had a 4 year old girl, as sweet as could be. I could tell her his wife's mom had cancer removed. I could tell her he was young and done record recording and singing for a living. I could tell her he was nice and his wife was nice, but I couldn't answer the main questions I should have asked. Funny thing, after meeting with them tonight I still can't. When I told her he wanted the first two months rent free, she wasn't impressed. She says I am a bad judge of character, and I am. Denise is usually spot on. I try and see the good in people and give them the benefit of a doubt. I talked with Misty since it will be hers when I die, kind of makes us partners in this thing. Misty has a good heart and she said she would agree with whatever I do. So tonight Denise met them.

   As we were leaving I asked what she thought. Now one has to know my wife, she is firm and strict, cut and dry as we call it here in the country. She is more a realist than I am. She said she thought we should take the chance. I even asked Tina, who is strongly opposed. They couldn't install their Charter boxes so I went and installed them for them, especially since Tina just had a heart attack. I had planned on moving and hooking up Denise's new Washer, didn't happen. I once heard if you want to make God laugh, plan. So here I set, 1:30 in the morning. I wouldn't be asleep anyway. This time of year I hurt, some say the chemo sped up the arthritis, and some say the radiation. Be that as it may I sleep in the floor these days. But what to do?

  His proposal was no rent until January, then he would start paying 950 a month to make it us for the first year, but he pays for the renovations. Some of the furniture and stuff he asked if I was going to take it. I asked if he could use it and he could, so I will leave that there as part of the rent. But the Denise throws me for a loop and says. not the 950, when he starts to pay the rent it is 800. That would pay the payment, insurance, and taxes, with a little left over to set aside to fix anything that might tear up. We don't have a lot of extra money, so if we do this it ain't because we are rich. My head and business sense says no, but my heart says yes. The fact that Denise says yes is enough for me to know my heart may be right.

  At 54, I have had enough medical problems that my chart looks more like a thick novel. I always wanted to make a good difference in my life, but I got side tracked, thats when we had money, LOL. Now, I look around sometimes and I see no big difference I have made that is positive. I'm too old to be good, so I just don't want to do no harm. I have to wonder, is this that chance. Like Denise said, we've prayed for someone decent to rent or buy the building, so maybe this is His answer. If it is I find it strange that if we go through with this deal, it will rely on faith. Oh I'll draw up a contract, but it will be written a bit funny. If we go for a 1 year lease and he sees he can't afford it, I will release him with no penalties.  If he is late there are no late fees, and if something bad happens that he will be extremely late, we will work with him. I would want that if I were him. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not the best business thing, not the best way to get money, but the best way to sleep at night. I have been where they are now, and truth be told we're not far from that, but far enough away to maybe help out. As for now tomorrow I plan to take down the sign.       

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10-16-2014 Just a note

  For some reason I just feel like writing. This has become my outlet since the book is done. It's not published, Amazon sent a reminder but I'm just not sure. So... what all is new.

  Last Sunday Tina (biological mother) had a heart attack. Tonight she is home. She first insisted on Ft Sanders where she worked and after they left her BP was almost gone, one of the guys in the vehicle told her she would not make the trip to Knoxville. She had never liked Dr Rama or Morristown Hamblen but that is where she ended up. She now has a lot of respect for Rama and the crew that handles cardiac at the hospital, plus the Ambulance crew. I'm not sure if she has experienced Rama's bedside manner, or lack thereof, but she now sees that he knows his stuff. Most doctors that skilled go to large cities, but he remains here. She is impressed.  Now she knows why I have always went to him, except I usually go when Deb is filling in, lol. He busted his butt that night working on me and I very much remember that. When we visited her she also saw the respect that Denise gets when she walks through. I would put her up against the best of nurses just as I would Rama against the best Cardiac doctors, but I may be a little prejudice.

  Our little inside dog has developed cancer. I do believe it is the food just as much as the chemicals. Roxie is 8 years old now. She has slowed down quite a lot. It always worries me when I get cut that if a dog licks the cut it will get the NHL in their system, but hers isn't NHL. 

  The Will is almost done now, I signed more papers today. I done as mom wished and the Lawyer didn't argue with the cars. Instead of the cars being titled to me I gave Misty mom's Mountaineer as she requested and Megan the Mustang. I kept the Cadillac, the least material worth of the three with the most memorable worth of the three. That one she said I could do with as I wanted. I remember dad loving that car. When he would drive it he was so short all you could see was knuckles, lol, and his smile. This was a man who had a 50 Ford F1 truck until he traded it for a 70 Ford F100, until 1990 when he sold that truck to me and bought the F150. I eventually bought his 90 and he bought the GMC. He would have 2 more trucks in his life, a GMC 4x4 and his 01 Ranger. I have 3 of them still. The Ranger he loved. I remember the 90 F150 overheating in the field while pulling a wagon of hay up. He wanted me to hook his Ranger to it. I didn't, there were eight 1,000lb rolls on a 20 foot trailer, way too much for it to pull.

  Signing those papers today was kind of sad. All the deeds are being done now, all mom's labors are now mine, which are bitter sweet. I thought back all day about the eight people that raised me, and my biological parents who were there if I needed them. All of them are gone, save one. All were pretty much workaholics, all pretty much poor except mom and dad in the later years, plus the one remaining one. Dad never got caught up in the snares of the material world but mom did, as did I until my heart attack. In the end mom came back to her roots though. We had several good talks and though I am not smart, I did learn a few things from that event. I've several friends now that have had an NDE and we all share one thing in common, a question for why we had to come back. I talked with dad the day he died and I think it helped him not to be scared. I talked with mom and answered her questions the best I could about what happens after we die, and how God is. Each time I would tell her not yet, you have to fight, but I could see the fight leaving her.

 Some who have followed my blog have read my faith, but I am not religious, yet I am. I looked at different religions for a time, and before the heart attack none. I hated to read yet these days for the last several years I read a lot, yet I have never read the whole Bible. I think it would take one a lifetime to actually read it and know what it is about. Even then, words fail to explain the glory of God. We all worry about going to Heaven yet I think Heaven is wherever God is, and if it's not, that is more than I could ever ask for, just to be near. Denise was present for mom's last breath and I missed being there by a couple of minutes, yet I believe mom was ready. I wasn't ready, Denise wasn't ready, but mom was and so was God- that is all that really counts.

  I showed the Office today to a couple that wants to put a Recording Studio in it. I looked around and saw what we haven't moved yet, and thought for a moment what mom had accomplished. Having said that though, this was not reflective of mom's worth. So what is the worth of a person? I believe the worth of a person is not what one owns, bank account, possessions... it is what one does. If we measure the worth of a person by their actions we find the true worth, and by this measurement we are all of worth. In God's eyes we are priceless. Truth, love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness... these are the marks of worth. Those are the things we take with us when we leave this world, not the things we can touch or hold. We come in naked, empty handed, and helpless and we go out the same way. Mom asked about us in the eyes of God one time and I could only explain as this. "When I was young I would sneak out and drink and smoke pot, had hair to my belt and a long unkept beard. I cussed a lot and cared for little. Sometimes my choices were disappointing to you and down right disrespectful. Yet you still loved me." Mom said "Of course I did. You weren't that bad". "I wasn't that good either, but you still loved me and wanted me. The things I did right you still were proud of me, and when I said I'm sorry you still forgave me. I could call you day of night and you still would help me. I am the same with my kids. Even if they hated me I still loved them. Me and you... we ain't perfect. So just think for a moment, if we, being imperfect can love, forgive, be proud of, there for our kids... then how much more can a perfect God be to His kids. You loved me even when I hated myself. He loves us even when we hate ourselves."

   Thinking back on the conversation it reminded me that our worth is priceless. Maybe that is why Jesus said an unpardonable sin is calling your brother "Raca", which in English means useless. He sees nobody as worthless or useless. I miss mom but I rejoice for her.   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10-01-2014

  I had my Stress Test done today, first time ever for a chemical one. I don't think I could do the treadmill with the neuropathy, so I went this way. A friend of mine had me a bit concerned, said when he had his done he thought he was having a heart attack. He needed someone to take him and pick up his truck he has at a shop being fixed, so I took him afterward. I told him that was not bad at all, and it wasn't. Some shortness of breath, some pressure, but the key words are some.... a far cry from a heart attack. Unofficially it turned out ok, but I go Friday for the follow-up visit after the doctor sees it. Denise said maybe a heart cath, so I am prepared. They do those though the arm these days and that beats the groin and being naked hands down.

  My friend Sally gave us some bad news the other night. Dr Rathfoot's wife died suddenly at 50 years old. We never met her but he is probably hands down the best doctor I've ever met, and one of the nicest people too. They have two kids. Not a night has went by that I haven't prayed for him and his family. I stand at a loss for words, I know, unusual for me. How does one say their heart break fir those left behind, yet rejoices for the one gone home. For his wife Tammy, her trials are over and now she is perfect. In a perfect place, with a perfect God. Yet for those who have not seen and experienced that, they are just words. Sometimes that can come across wrong as I cannot find words to do justice to where she is. Even then, it still hurts. Knowing there are no good-byes, it still hurts. I think it is suppose to be like that, bitter/sweet. I am reminded of an old Cherokee Proverb: "When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die you rejoice and the world cries." It would appear that is the case here.

 I have heard that two more friends I have have cancer, different in where they are and type. I pray for them too. Win or lose the battle one suddenly finds themselves in the reality of this world is temporary at best, a side track at worst. They will see that most of the stuff we think important isn't, and what we never thought much about is. Success will no longer be measured by things and possessions, nor bank accounts and dress- but by the very act of what a man (or woman) does, is, says, and feels. Success will be measured by love, truth, and peace; and with these comes kindness, compassion, and caring. The things of God and what He offers us. Things we need to be still for and know that God is God. Things that seem a curse that becomes a blessing. There is far more to saving someone than physical and knowing that one can be saved and yet physically die. If they live through it, and I pray they do, all they know will have changed.

  Then comes the hard part, remembering the lesson each and every day. Then another hard part will be speaking to others. Some will be pleased while many will not understand, even think you have lost your mind. That added to a near death experience leaves one looking and sounding odd to many. The more the world drifts from the truth, the stranger the truth will appear. The stranger the world will appear. I saw a lady today who stressed over tedious things, so much so nobody wanted to be around her. To her she makes sense, to the rest she makes mountains from mole hills, yet one dares not say that. People that seek self gratification are never happy. It is the carrot before the mule thing. I know that from experience. I was searching for the wrong things for the wrong reasons, though they seemed right at the time. Those days have ended now and so when I get told they can;t fix this or that, I'm good with it. This world is not what life is about.  Live your life so that you win either way.

Friday, September 26, 2014

09-26-2014

  Since the throat surgery it has done better, then again I haven't went out in the heat like I usually do, then again I haven't done a lot of things like I usually do.

  We got a letter in from Dr Bushkell at UT who talked with Dr Zic at Vanderbilt and updated us on what went on. As long as my Non Hodgkins isn't causing tumors, painful plaques, or hits an organ, we continue with the meds he has done. I'm good with what we're doing and what we're not. I know that eventually things will change but until they do we will not cross that bridge. It is one of those inevitable things where you know what is coming, see it coming, but are powerless to stop it, and I'm good with that. A lot of things may beat it here, including old age.

  I broke down and finally got Denise to get me an appointment with Deb to have my heart checked. I usually try and avoid doing that but perhaps I should have done that a long time ago. For that matter probably should have done my check-ups, lol. I've started carrying my nitro with me, something I usually don't do. Denise worked me up and honestly I probably haven't been completely honest with her on all my symptoms, but today I got close. So I went for what seemed to be a check-up that begot more tests.

  My BP was just a tad off, nothing to be concerned with. They done an EKG, which I have no idea how that went. Deb checked me then said I needed a heart cath. I talked her down to a stress test, and all looked good except she wanted a thing done, like the do pregnant women, of my heart. My injection/fraction or whatever thats called was good. I had resolved myself to it being the extra weight I've put on, then it kind of went ploop. Some be name thing so I asked Denise to clarify it. It seems my heart is missing beats every now and then or something with the beats. So we do a stress test next week and she said that will probably lead to a heart cath. Seems Rama had come in and looked at the results and talked with Deb and they see something that needs looked into a bit more. I'd like to say I'm shocked, but that would be a lie. Lately seems more familiar than I'd like, seems like I had these symptoms in 2004 leading up to my heart attack in 2005.

I think the longest intense pain I ever experienced was the cancer treatments, but the most pain at any given time would go to the heart attack. I actually don't want to experience either of those again. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

08-12-2014

Happy 22nd Birthday

Megan Kimmae`.

Monday, July 14, 2014

07-14-2014

  I had a follow-up with Dr. Rathfoot today, he was back this week and the doctor last week thought he would want to see me. It went really well I thought. I lost 2 lbs in a week, probably gained that back eating at Cheddars. Me, Denise, and Megan all went down but Megan stayed in the waiting area, she don't like watching the scope go in my nose, lol.

  He said I would probably always have swelling on those whatever they're called things and the left side is scared from the Tumor and the Radiation, but no evidence of cancer... thank you God. I'll have to probably have to have those injections and maybe even stretching every 6 months to a year, but they are still working on getting a machine where I won't have to be put to sleep. I'll always have to watch small things like small pills or rice, but also things that are larger, things too liquidity or things too dry. It has to be just right. This is the first time he said I have my whole throat to swallow. Now for the great news, I get to come down to 5mg of Prednisone a day!!! Tonight I started that right away.

  The yeast infections will continue it appears, am at the tail end of one right now. With the lower dose though it looks as if they won't be as frequent. Now I am going to drop some weight and try and get this sugar back in line. I know I will never be what I once was but perhaps I can be a little more than I am now. He said the muscle spasms in my neck were getting older. Strange they start now and I've never know anybody to have them.

  We had fun today. We stopped at McCays Books in Knoxville where Denise found several books she had been wanting for a while. Megan even found her some, or at least one book. It is on the Great Depression and I think I know why she wanted it. Mom had talked with Megan about growing up in the depression and she would always break down in tears. That may have been what drove mom to work as she did, they grew up with practically nothing, what little they had was taken from them when the TVA Dam project took their farm. For quite a few years mom and dad were middle to even upper six figures, yet she died with little. She couldn't enjoy without those around her had, her last doctor's visit even making me stop by the roadside to give her last 10.00 to a man holding a sign saying he and his family were hungry. I wasn't surprised, I'd seen her doing stuff like that all my life. I didn't find any books but then again what I read or use as something to reference is seldom found in a used book store, or even a new one. 

  We ate at Cheddars, well, most of it. We were full so we brought back the fish the batter wasn't cooked on and gave it to the cats. What they did cook all the way was good though. Then we hit Costco up and then went to Sams, we have membership to both but if ever Costco gets the dog food and dog bones we feed in, we will only keep Costco. Then finally back home. We've thunder and lightening all around, but no rain yet. That would make it a perfect in to a good day. 



  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

07-08-2014

   This is the first time I have celebrated my birthday without mom, Misty, Annie, Matt, and the grand-kids. It was kind of strange, actually sad in many ways. Of the original crew here only me and Mark remain now, all the others have gone home. So this evening me, Denise, and Megan had the cake. I am thankful and blessed to have them here with me. Tina and Charlie stopped in and brought me a present and cards, but they had to get back home, a storm was coming.

  They told me of Charlie's check-up, it has been 3 years since his throat cancer was treated. This one didn't go so well, they have found a spot that don't look good. They will treat him with antibiotics for 3 weeks then recheck, but they think it may be back. I know he is worried, the eyes cannot hide what the truth is, despite what the voice says.

  But tonight, as I lay down and as I do each night I make my peace with God, thanking Him for the blessing He has given me. I have 3 excellent girls that are now excellent women, except I still see them as my little girls. The have excellent guys or men now to partner with, all except Megan. I have 4 excellent grand-kids, each of them are smart and good kids. They say you reap what you sow, thank God I didn't for I never was as good a kid as they were. I thank God for Denise, who has taught me that there is such a thing as a better half. I certainly didn't deserve her either.

  Most people wonder why I smile and I tell you I smile no matter the pain. I have seen Hell on earth at times, days that never end, yet eventually they did. I lay down many nights and I'm not sure if I will awake. That has become a way of life now, the new normal. But I smile. I smile because if it all ends today, I have been blessed to have lived in the company of great people. I smile because I awake each morning and thank Him for another good day, just as I thank Him for a good day each night. Often during the day I have to take time to say thank you. Though storms may come and linger, do damage sometimes, they do pass. One way or the other they pass, for nothing is forever here on earth, neither good nor bad. Each day though something good can be found in even the worse of days. Sometimes it is hard to find, yet something is there. Meanwhile one need only to look and one will see, that He has surrounded us with the cream of the crop of ones around us. I smile because I am thankful for sharing this world with great people, and have memories of ones great that I have been allowed in the company of.

  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

07-01-2014

Happy Birthday Misty   

 

I won't mention 35. Oooppps 

Monday, June 23, 2014

06-23-2014 Update

  Still sore but I think mostly it is from the yeast infection in my throat again. I hope this surgery will do away with the Prednisone, at least until I need it done again. I stayed in again today, it was hot and I'm still a bit down, maybe by tomorrow it will be better. I got the stuff filled for the yeast to be worked on too, well, actually Denise got it.

  I called Dr Bushkell and got the meds he prescribed refilled for the Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma to give me some peace at night. It actually seems to work and help a lot. I then debated all day if I should call Rathfoot's office, I know he is off this week, and ask about the pain med. The nurse was nice and I explained that I couldn't do the liquid stuff, it has ate my mouth and gums out. I'm not sure why, I used that when the throat cancer first started in 09 with no problem, but I guess things change. I made it this long though with very little for pain so I almost didn't call. I'm glad I did, took a pill and that was the first relief I've had since the surgery. I explained that if they thought it best not to prescribe a pill it was ok too, no big deal. I've seen and lived through much worse pain.

  I expect maybe one more day, course I always say that, just one more day, lol. I learned that a long time ago, never look at how far you have to go, take it in sections, one piece at a time. Baby steps are still steps and steps are still moving forward. As the Bible says, deal with today, live in today and let tomorrow worry for itself, plenty of things today.

  Meanwhile, man have I ever went nuts. I could have watched TV... nope. I could have written some more on the book.... nope. Instead I ordered 2 new type of Bamboo, 2 types of Banana plants, and Denise a Palm and bush. They're all small and cheap but now I wonder what I was thinking, or even if I was thinking, lol. I fried us some Potatoes and Onions tonight, seasoned with herbs. I done ok, Denise loved it. Normally I'm restricted to cooking outside, except when I bake us some bread. I need to get back doing that, having baked any since I almost cut my fingers off.

  So tonight, I'm up and feeling good, or at least not much pain. I should sleep well, especially since I got to go back taking the Relaflen (Arthritis Meds). Denise wouldn't let me take Celebrex, which is what I was taking when I had my heart attack in 2005. They sent me a check from their "settlement", but I didn't cash it. I knew the risks. Once again I get to say thank you in my prayers, but that is every night.      

Saturday, June 21, 2014

06-21-2014 The Day After

   Surgery went well, Dr Rathfoot and St Mary's on Broadway done excellent, but we knew they would. I was kind of out of it for a while, a little painful but nothing major. Last night though I got no sleep at all, upset stomach and acid reflux, so I ended up staying up all night long. I'm not sure if it was the anesthesia or pain medicine. A very long night. Probably going in the garden and picking Cucumbers wasn't real smart, I get tough and stupid confused sometimes, lol.

   I had set my sights on a Lodge Cast Iron WOK and after Denise took Megan to work, I pestered her to take me to Sevierville. I'm not suppose to drive for a few days, actually suppose to do what I ended op doing... nothing. My mouth and gums are extremely sore, inside my lips are too. I guess they must have had a chock to hold my mouth open. Throat is raw and tender. My first time taking all my meds again ended up with 1 pill went up the flap in my nose and the other stuck right where it don't need to be, but I got them both back up and swallowed, thats all that counts.

  I took my teeth out early, too painful to leave them in and I hate the pain meds. only used it twice so far today, thats 2 times more than I thought. My breathing is so much better but my swallowing is worse, but that will change in time. He got his first look into the deep and saw no cancer. Rathfoot injected those things and I guess wherever I needed it the Kenna-log (spelling ?). Then he done what he talked about doing, stretched my throat.

  I passed on this surgery last year, averting it until winter but then mom got sick, so it had to wait. With Denise working it was mostly me and Megan caring for her. I still hold to my belief that I should be the last person on my list I think of, it seems to give life meaning. He said that this should last for 6 months to a year before we do this again. Sometimes there ain't no easy fix, and sometimes there ain't not actual fix. I have learned that time and time again, and I say amen, I will work with what I am given as long as I am given. God is great, He has surrounded me with great people and at the same time never left me. I am thankful.

Now for a picture Denise snapped of me chilling out with a Coke, yea I know, Coke is bad. :) I still smile, even though I was stoned and fresh out of surgery.
   

  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

06-19-2014 The Day Of Surgery.

   We left at 4:15am, got there before 5:30am, and all was well. Got checked in and headed upstairs where we got signed in, and all was still well. I met the Anesthesiologist, nice guy, seemed to be completely with everything, very methodical. The 2 RNs, extremely nice and knowledgeable. So we have an EKG ran, they let Denise see it and she saw it looked good to her too, still that marker that you always have compliments of a past heart attack. All was well.

   They brought the Peace Pipe through, actually something that you take a breathing treatment with to open you up or something, I have COPD and Emphysema (thank God I also have spell check). It opens but then leaves me sort of nervous and agitated, not to worry though, they have more. Then came an injection of Prednisone in my IV, guess I forgot to mention that part. They took samples of my blood then left the thing in, think it was hooked to a bag of IV fluids, that is also what they inject in. Then they said they had something to relax me. The Peace Pipe or extra Prednisone or something had me agitated and restless, sounded like a plan to me. That was about all the memory I had that stayed in tact, lol.  All was better than well, because I had no clue.

   I remember the ladies telling us I was about to head for surgery, took my belongings to the recovery room. We were waiting on Dr Rathfoot to come in, they said he would speak to us before I left for surgery. He came in and for the first time ever I saw him in a not so good mood. Most doctors can have attitudes, but not him or Dr Schindler for that matter, these are great guys who seem to have no button to push. Seems Tennova 2 had forgotten to get the tool he needed to do the surgery! How does one forget that? I remember bits and pieces of Rathfoot and Denise talking, and caught the main parts of his anger, which by the way was very much a gentlemen, but once again it confirmed that I had the best doctor there was. His anger was to me an outpouring of his compassion and care.

  Soooo, tomorrow we do it all again, except at the old Tennova, (aka old St Mary's) in Knoxville. I've had the other throat surgeries done there along with a shoulder surgery. I slept coming home, fell asleep and slept most of the day. Denise said I wasn't allowed to drive for 2 days and that kinda comes under the duh category. That "relaxing stuff" is more a knock out stuff for me, which ain't bad I guess since I'm headed for surgery. It was the 1st time since leaving off the arthritis medication that I actually don't hurt, and as great as that is, I'll deal with some pain as opposed to feeling like that. Still, it was and still is like a vacation.

  Tomorrow we try this again. I don't think I'll have to do anther EKG or blood work, and know I'm not paying another copay. We were all ready, all that is except the hospital person who orders the equipment. Denise said it is a tool that is about 1 1/2 feet long, I could have probably been fine without that added bit of information, lol. I got a little more with it this evening and grilled us steak, onions, potatoes, and squash. Now it is bedtime again, try this one more time.       

      

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

06-19-2014 Here We Go Again

   Everything looks a go for today, everything in place. Hopefully this will come off as smooth as the other surgeries have went, Rathfoot is an excellent Doctor. As long as I don't wake up with an extra hole I'll be happy, well, that and good news. I am at peace with this tonight, nothing will happen that isn't allowed to happen by God. Hopefully it will go well and if not then I trust He has His reasons, either way, I'm good to go.

  They were very accommodating getting me scheduled early. The little bit my saliva glands work isn't enough to stop the pain of the dryness. I do an EKG, Blood Work, then off we go. If all goes well I should be back home within a few hours. It takes a day or two for the stuff to wear off, maybe down time a week, give or take. During that time I will write more on the book, so if they're reading this at Amazon, I'm slow but I'll get there... eventually. I should be able to come off, or at least down, on the Prednisone. Maybe then I will loose some of this extra weight, then again late night cookies and milk will probably have to be ceased too, lol.

  A part of me can't wait. If this brings the pain threshold down that will be great. If it helps my breathing and swallowing that will be great too. Less Swish & Swallow. One thing I miss though that I will get to go back on is the arthritis meds. No sleep last night at all, my built in Doppler kicked in again.   

Monday, June 9, 2014

06-09-2014 Proceeding

  Step 1, get Dr Rama to approve me for surgery and today that is complete. It could have been scheduled this week, except I haven't enough time to double up on the Prednisone to lessen the chances of a temporary trach, that and there is already a nurse off where Denise works. Now we look at his schedule and another date looked at soon. I won't publish it prior though just to be on the safe side.

  I'm not sure on how it will go this time, I have some reservations on the outcome. One thing is for sure, doing nothing is not working though. One of the few times though I have a bad feeling about this. At best, this should buy me 6 months to a year, if I understood correctly, before we look again for a solution. The continued yeast infections in my throat though make it hard to swallow and even harder to breathe. That is also cutting back on sleep time and rest and creating more of the Narcoleptic type episodes. Plus I'm fat and borderline diabetic, which ain't helping none. The Prednisone even makes me not like myself these days.



    

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

06-03-2014 Dr. Rathfoot Follow-up

  Well it has been a while since I put the last up, I waited until this visit to do so. Me and Denise went to Dr Rathfoot for my June follow-up visit, it went about as expected, so it went well. He scoped me, as he usually does, and sees no evidence of the cancer. He did see quite a lot of swelling of the things that swell, don't remember what they are called, but so much so they are impeding swallowing and breathing. He also saw yeast along with diminished flexibility of my vocal chords. The Prednisone is causing the yeast in my throat but the radiation damage is responsible for the rest, which is why I use Prednisone.

  So next we have to get an ok from Dr Ramaphasad (Rama) to do the surgery that needs to be done. Hopefully he will just sign off on it instead of a check up, EKG, or Stress Test. He is my Cardiologist and the one who worked on me the night I had my heart attack, plus Denise works for him. In preparation to the surgery once it is cleared and scheduled I will have to take a double dose of Prednisone for a few days prior to reduce the swelling so the tube that will breathe for me can be inserted and retracted with less swelling. That will lessen the chances of getting a Trach. I'll also have to stop the Arthritis meds a few days prior to reduce the bleeding. He thinks this will get me by for 6 months at least, maybe more. More sounds good to me. It has become laborious lately to breathe and swallow, so I'm all for that.

  I also heard that a high school friend had died last night from a long, hard fought battle with cancer. Timmy Nash was and is a good man and will be sorely missed. Why some beat this stuff while others don't is a mystery to me, I guess God just wants them home.

  I started on a book, something I said I would not do, and may not finish, lol. I had turned down offers and never really entertained the thought until recently, after a lot of prayer I decided to do it. Hopefully it will be written better than I talk and normally write. Misty said she would proof read it along with Denise. I think too Amazon has some that will too. This one they picked the title and subject and the next ones I get to pick... I think.

  Meanwhile I weighed in heavier than I have ever weighed, 244lbs!!! Prednisone he said would do that, so I let it go at that. I didn't bother to tell him the Mt Dews I've been drinking, cause that has to stop. I also forgot to mention the 2am cookies and milk, but I have stopped that, now I just have to stop the bowl of cereal and milk I used to replace the cookies, lol. We went back to Gluten too, so that also will stop. I'm still fighting the Potato chip thing, lol.

  A small garden but none the less a garden that we have out this year. I'm not able to keep it up myself but Denise and Megan are helping. I think it done Dr Rathfoot good to see dirt under my fingertips again, I know I've enjoyed it. The garden has taken my mind off from a lot of things I need a break from, like probating mom's estate. I never knew it was that much stuff that must be done in order to probate and estate. I done a lot in real estate but not that.

  I know I will be down if all goes well from the surgery a few days but afterwards I hope that I will be better than I am now. I realize it will probably be a temporary fix, but a reprieve from the same old.     

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Denise

Happy Birthday Denise. 


I love you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

05-13-2014

  My blood work came back a while ago, I kinda forgot about posting again, should have already done that. I am at the top of normal, right on the borderline of being Diabetic. Prednisone is one of those things that sometimes has the side effect of becoming Diabetic, probably this weight I've gained has a lot to do with it too. :)  I gotta lose some weight. I constantly have to have fluid with the burnt up Saliva Glands (but one works a little), but I need to do something besides Mt Dew. I'm hoping that this summer I can tolerate some garden time and start back taking water again. My Thyroid levels are good, so that medicine is the correct amount. Dr Rathfoot done an excellent job on dosage when it finally gave out. Next month I will start again the follow-ups and I guess we will discuss surgery at that point.

  I still am struggling with mom's affairs. I hired Kelly Hinsley to probate the estate and his secretary Kerri does an excellent job. I am a fish out of water and at times I get a little urked at the way things are done legally, but I do them. So far I have stood my ground on a few things like her cars. The Will says they all come to me but she asked that I give Misty her Mountaineer and Megan her Mustang, and that is exactly what I intend on doing. Her bills far exceed her insurance but I intend on seeing they are paid and not by selling the cars like some have suggested. The stuff she asked that someone get I have followed her wishes. It is still so hard to go inside for any length of time. I gave away the food she had and the equipment that Hospice left, and some things the family asked for. I know all things material here are moth and rust, that is, falls prey to one of the other... but they meant something to them.

 I have found a way to sleep a little. In the change of seasons, especially before a rain, I hurt. Shoulders, knees, and neck, sometimes just all my joints. Some due to a mild arthritis left behind years ago from the Lymes Disease, mostly though from the injuries. I take 2 Advil or Tylenol PM pills, a blow dryer, 2 pillows, and a body pillow. I head for the floor and sleep there. I don't know what, how, or why, but it helps. If I can get 5 hours sleep that helps a lot. I have a long tubing for the O2 machine and take that to where I am. If I had known I was going to last this long I'd taken better care of myself, lol.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

05-07-2014

   I haven't published in quite a while, well, actually haven't written much lately. I've spent some time on Pintrest, making some pins and browsing. I've actually watched more TV than I usually do. I don't want to make that a habit but it kind of takes my mind off things somewhat, but that is what TV does. Usually when I hurt of think I work, only these days that don't work either. This last yeast infection has went on for weeks and I stay tired from the sleep apnea, or who knows, maybe the weight gain.

  We put a garden out this year, but a small one, still bigger than last years which were just a few peppers and garlic. It got in the high 80s today and already that closed my throat off, so we shall see how this small one goes. With Misty and the kids gone, Annie gone, mom and dad gone... well there just isn't reason to put out a lot. Some of it may be depression, I catch myself starting to call mom at night and through the day, even catch myself heading up there. It all seems, well, strange and empty. Already I have people asking to buy this or that, God forgive me but I resent it. None of that stuff means nothing and yet I can't yet bring myself to touch it, save for the stuff the kids want and the stuff that could be needed by others that I gave to the Senior Center. I went by the Lawyer who is probating the estate today. I hired him for his honesty and intelligence, hopefully he will listen to what I intend on doing though. I get that sometimes, people mistake my niceness for weakness, by the time they figure out the two are very different it usually is a bit late.

  So I went yesterday to get blood work ran, the blood work that I was suppose to have done before mom went down hill. I took Megan to have her blood work run for her Thyroid levels to be checked and Kim at Dr Schindler's office remembered and reminded me about it. Megan's had to be increased but mine aren't back in yet. Next month starts the follow-up visits and possible surgery. I will not turn the surgery down this time if it will get me off the Prednisone. I always fear getting another hole added in my throat when I awake, I do not fear not awakening.

  Megan did get a job and she loves it. Gordon hired her to make sandwiches and stock at his store at Easy In Market. They have been good to her. Gordon talked with me before he hired her to make sure what I thought. He knew full on that Megan's hearing isn't good but he said he thought she could do the job, and I agreed. Megan has worked out great they said, she works hard, friendly, and learns fast. She now sees that the world isn't the same as it was in high school, where she was told what she couldn't do. She has discovered that out here she is no longer treated as an outcast or teased about her hearing. Megan finally sees what I always told her, nobody notices someone's deficits because we all have something we're lacking on. Most people are just trying to get from one day to the next as best they can.           

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

03-18-2014

Happy 25th Anniversary Denise


I love you.



Monday, March 10, 2014

03-10-2014

Well I missed Friday's telling of that appointment with Dr Bushkell at UT. It went well. He hasn't had time to speak with Dr Zic at Vanderbilt on my case yet, but he said he wants me back in 6 months and by then he will examine me and he and Zic will have something figured out. I told him Dr Zic probably wouldn't remember me but he said he bet he does. I like Zic but he is just too far away, and also I like Dr Bushkell. His staff is nice just like him. His treatment was to drive 3 times to Knoxville for treatments on a machine I hadn't heard of. After we told him how far he asked if we could get to a NBUVB Machine and do treatments easier. I have one the insurance company years ago along with us went in and bought. He briefly mentioned Targetin and I briefly ignored that, lol. Same goes with Interferon. I even was able to keep the stitch(s) in my leg and they got to take it out, didn't tear that one out, lol.

So today we went for a follow-up with Dr Rathfoot who was quite impressed with the swelling in my throat. He had a hard time getting the scope through my nasal passage and into my throat, and that was all me, I just couldn't seem to swallow and breathe at the right time. But we got there, lol. I just came off 30mg of Prednisone so the swelling is lower. I go back in 3 months and he said he wants to to consider surgery to do injections again. I will do it this time, no excuses.

  We discussed the Sleep Apnea problem which we are at a stand still, nothing else can be done. The pills he prescribed for the Narcoleptic events didn't work, and I apologized for not calling him in 30 days. He understood when I told him about mom. The next step would be a stronger medicine like Riddlen and he doesn't think my heart would take that, given the past Cardiac problems. So we hit a wall there too. Maybe something will come out eventually.

   Meanwhile the stress still builds, I wish I had have left mom discuss her final business with me. I'm dog paddling and it feels like over a massive waterfall. Real Estate I know, Estate handling I don't. I got so use to saying I'll ask mom. That doesn't work these days, neither does getting the phone to call her at night like I use to. I wrote a piece on the last week she was alive, one night's conversation we had and put in on the My Musing Blog. For now that is how I will have to release stress, remain strong in appearance.        

Sunday, March 2, 2014

03-02-2014

  It has been a few days since mom's funeral, which was Friday. Mom is in Heaven now but it still hurts, especially at night when I would call. The day I can keep busy but even then it isn't without pain since it involves going through mom's stuff to try and find her Insurance papers, and make sure the food is gone. We gave the items that Hospice left behind to the Senior Center, got some Ensure too. In this world it leaves no time for grief, and that is sad. Mom made millions in her life yet died with debt where she gave most of it away, actually all of it. Bills have to be paid, which we can do for a while, but not forever. Mom looked at me the day before she died and asked why we worked all the time. Why did we buy all this stuff. Why didn't we slow down and enjoy each other more and appreciate what we had rather than working all the time to buy more. I don't know is about all I could come up with, well that, and we seemed to enjoy working all the time. I came to that realization the night I felt my heart beating out of my chest while I smothered and grew cold. I again went through that for almost a year while I fought once again for my life from the throat cancer and the medicine (aka Poison).

  At night I called her... every night. We would talk throughout the day on and off but at night at least once, usually more. I miss though brief calls. I remains strong so that the rest will and when I break I go off alone to do it. Megan has really taken it hard, she worked so hard to take care of mom. Funny, mom didn't have a lot to do with Megan when she was small, I guess she just didn't know how or was afraid of her with her hearing loss. She clung to Annie yet stayed at a distance to Megan, but dad didn't. Yet in the end it wasn't Annie who took care of mom it was Megan, Annie helped twice but Megan would not leave her side. Megan stayed the nights and the last week she wouldn't leave during the days either, and barely slept. Needless to say, she is sick physically too. I swear she sounds like she has Pneumonia too.

  Tomorrow I go for my blood work, a week late but the doctor should have it in time for Friday's appointment, he will just have to look it over a bit quicker. The creams seems to be helping with the patches of CTCL, the shampoo and stuff for the stress related infection on my scalp... not so much. I go soon to Rathfoot too for a follow-up.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

02-23-2014 Mom's death



I’m kind of numb tonight, more wounded than numb, broken hearted. Mom had an episode last night about 4am when I got up there, stayed until she rested and went to sleep, about 5:30am, the walked home. She was talking normal after I gave her something for pain and something to calm her nerves. It only took a little of each, mush less than normal. We adjusted her pillows and fluffed them, repositioned her in the bed, covered her up. Mom ask me to stay so I did until she went to sleep. Megan stood watch the rest of the night and said she slept well. She had a very rough night until then, after that she had a good night. Denise went up there right before 7am and sent Megan to bed. 

  I had come back home and went back to bed, mom’s BP was good and her heart was beating about 72, all was great. At 10:15 Denise called and woke me up, she was saying to come up there, mom was breathing funny. She called a second time before I could get out the door, I could hear the panic in her voice which is unusual for Denise. I put my teeth in, pants and shirt on and was up there by 10:30. Denise was standing there in a panic, she was crying and saying she couldn’t find a pulse. Mom had died right before I got there, just minutes before. She looked peaceful on my face, still warm, she had sweated in her sleep. Denise said it came on suddenly, no strained or laboring, she just breathed shallow for a few minutes, then stopped.

   I didn’t take it with the strength I thought I would, neither did she or Megan. I am lost. I don’t remember crying this hard, ever. Mom is out of pain, yet that doesn’t ease the pain of her passing. I know there are no goodbyes but this certainly feels like one. I called the Hospice nurse, then Tina, Misty, and Annie... by then I was pretty much all to pieces. Denise called and talked on the phone after that. The Hospice nurse came down and talked with us, she called the Funeral Home for us and hugged us. So thank you goes out to Jean Knight of UT Hospice for being so helpful and kind today and throughout this. Johnny from Farrar Funeral Home came to get mom's body, he offered to wait until we left the room to take her from the bed to the board for transport. I stayed. 

  We went to the Funeral home at 4pm to start getting everything arranged, but mom had told Johnny most of what she wanted already. I told him whatever mom said is what mom gets. Johnny was helpful and nice, mom loved him. I managed to hold it together until all that went by, even when the preacher came by, thought I unraveled a bit then. 3 other people from the church came by, didn't know them, but they were nice. After everybody had left and Denise was inside, Megan was home, I went on the back porch and went to pieces. Denise was inside in pieces while Megan was home, so we all hid. Everything changes now... 

  Mom was born and lived in the Great Depression as a child, born in 1928. She was upbeat and smart, remained that way the whole time through. Like JFK, she lived her life under something that still stands out today to me. "Some see things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask why not." She got her GED in her 50s, then went to Vocational School to train for office work, then onto Real Estate school to be a Realtor. In her 70s she went after her Broker License, then onto opening her own company, American Homes & Realty Inc. I worked there with her after I left UPS until the Throat Cancer. Mom had planned on me taking it over one day, I already had paid to study for my Broker when the throat cancer hit. I ended up not being able to go back into the business. Imagine at her age those accomplishments. Some said mom was greedy since she kept on working, but she wasn't. Mom made tons of money yet died in debt, not from bad anything, but from giving it out. She could not enjoy having anything if she saw someone who didn't have but needed. 

  Mom took me in at 6 months old and her and dad raised me as their own, yet my biological parents still had a part in my life. Technically my grandmother, but completely my mother. She never practiced tough love but rather unconditional love. She believed in me even when I didn't. She saw the good in everybody and held no grudges. I was made better not by her words but by her and dad's examples. I am broken right now yet I know I have been blessed by God allowing me to be in the company of such great people, and still am, my wife and kids. Mom lived her life like dad, to an old Cherokee proverb without probably even knowing it. "When you were born the world rejoiced and you cried. Live your life so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice." I know mom is with dad now and everything is great. Surely Heaven is brighter by her addition, while the world is a bit darker by her passing.