Friday, April 27, 2012

The More Things Change

I know that I must sound like the most miserable sad person... and I'm really not. I just struggle with the burdens sometimes.

There's so much positive in my life. For every "burden" or "negative" - there's also something wonderful and good.

Even though my sons sometimes struggle and make mistakes, the love I feel for them and they feel for me is unending and without hesitation. For all the times I feel alone in this world because of the family and loved ones I've lost, I have friends who have become the best family anyone could ever wish for.  I have loved without reservation.  I have two of the most beautiful grandchildren in the world and simply looking upon their faces fills my heart with happiness.  I have much to be grateful for.

No matter what tomorrow brings, I've had a depth of love in my life that many people in this world will never experience.

My world was knocked off it's axis and any level of stability was taken away from me and I've been on a path that's gone in circles for a few years now.  Like a merry go round... you think you're making progress and you look up and you're back where you started.  I've seen what I need to do and have tried to change directions... incorporate more people and options into my world... to find another purpose and reason for my life... It's just hard... sometimes....

Ah, is it just me or does anybody see
The new improved tomorrow isn't what it used to be
Yesterday keeps comin' 'round, it's just reality
It's the same damn song with a different melody...

The more things change the more they stay the same

You know the more things change the more they stay the same
The same sunrise, it's just another day
If you hang in long enough they say you're comin' back
Just take a look, we're living proof and baby that's a fact
You know the more things change the more they stay the same
Never and forever just keep comin' back again
Don't hold out for tomorrow or hold onto yesterday
The more things change the more they stay the same...

Jon Bon Jovi-Richard Sambora

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Got a Little Bit Stronger

Tanner had his MRI last Wednesday and now we just wait to talk to the doctor and see what they have to say.  His next appointment in Dallas is May 2nd.

He, Cearra, and Trevor stayed with me Thursday and Friday night and we had quiet family time.  Those days are few and far between these days so I enjoy them when I can. When I had those boys I had no idea what was in front of me. The type of person I am, the worry I feel can be overwhelming. You never ever consider when you have those sweet babies that they are going to have to face their own demons, and you will be right there beside them - facing your own demons.... but this weekend was a good weekend with my boys. One that can sustain me for a while...

I continue to search for a "life" for myself as my boys move on with their own lives... I went to my friend Sandy and James' house for dinner Saturday night. They've been my close friends for around thirty five years now... We had dinner, a walk to the park, and wine on the patio. What a beautiful night...

Today I went to church, came home and worked in my flower bed (with the butterflies all around me), and then dinner in Burleson with my friends Donna (another best friend for nearly 35 years now) and Paul.

Isn't it amazing how when others walk away, it's the family of your heart, those that you chose & that chose you, that's always there no matter what? 

I thought it was going to be a bad weekend... I had bad moments Friday... Sometimes, it's more than I can stand and I don't know how I'm going to make it to the next day... but I always do... I always make it to tomorrow.  All in all it was a good weekend. I think I'm going to be okay.

Woke up late today and I still feel the sting of pain.
But I brushed my teeth anyway.
I got dressed through the mess and put a smile on my face.
I got a little bit stronger.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Life is Hard, You Have to Change

The pain in Tanner's back continues... and now he's having numbness in his fingers.  Three years of chemo, I'm sure, is beginning to catch up with my boy.  We head to Dallas tomorrow for an MRI of his spine and I guess we'll see what they say.

When you feel your life ain't worth living
you've got to stand up and
take a look around you then a look way up to the sky.
And when your deepest thoughts are broken,
keep on dreaming boy, cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die.

And as we all play parts of tomorrow,
some ways will work and other ways we'll play.
But I know we all can't stay here forever,
so I want to write my words on the face of today.
and then they'll paint it

And oh as I fade away,
they'll all look at me and they'll say,
Hey look at him and where he is these days.
When life is hard, you have to change.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Milestone Approaches

Tanner is going to be twenty this Saturday.  It's hard to believe... Twenty years old...

It's also hard to believe that it's been nearly three years since we discovered he has Multiple Myeloma. On one hand the time has flown and on the other, it's seems like forever.

So much has happened. Good and bad - for him and I both.  He's gotten a girlfriend, moved out, gotten engaged... and I still have to hear from him every day.  At least a text, if not a call.  If I don't hear from him by 1 - 2 p.m., I send a text, "Are you okay today?"  He was telling the doctor about that daily text just the other day.

It's not easy to be a mother... but the love, more than anything, is so overwhelming.

He and I both leaned on each other so heavily while we were in Arkansas those first six months after his diagnosis.  Then we came home back to Texas, only to find that the lives of those we counted on had progressed on without us...  The girl he had started dating right before his diagnosis, loved ones, family, friends... Things change... Life continues...

We are all finding our way.  I'm ready to be happy... I'm tired of being sad... So very tired...

The manner in which one endures is more important than the thing that must be endured... Dean Acheson

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I'm listening to the sound of rain outside my window and am going to try and sit down and write for a few minutes, though I'm still not much in the mood right now...  My Aunt Onvie told me when I was last in Paris that I needed to post more often, so here goes.

I took Tanner to Dallas last Wednesday and we saw Dr. Berryman, Tanner's main Oncologist. Tanner was the last patient of the day and the doctor spent over an hour and a half just sitting and talking with us.  He told Tanner that he knows he's had "issues" in the past and he told him that he didn't care, and then he backtracked and said that wasn't true, he cares - but he's not going to judge.  He went on to explain that on the other hand he wants to have an honest open relationship based on truth and trust.

What Tanner has run into is the fact that he has exhibited addiction to the pain medications in the past few years so everyone is hesitant to "go there" with him at this point in time.

I explained to Dr. Berryman that I might be the "gullible mother" but that I've been watching Tanner for months now and I see things when Tan isn't even aware that I'm watching and that I truly believe there is something going on with my son's back.  He gives in to the pain and I hear him groan when he gets up and down from a sitting position.  When he's at my house he's gotten cushions off the couch for support when he's sitting at the kitchen table, and he went out and bought a support pillow to put behind his back when he's watching television - or is just sitting around the house.  I've seen him cry - and Cearra has told me about him being reduced to tears from the pain in his back when they've been out shopping and they've had to come home.

I just don't think Tanner could carry on such a long standing act simply to seek pain medications - and Dr. Berryman said that he agreed with me... that he could tell simply by Tanner's body language that he was in discomfort. 

He had Tanner stand and he ran his hand up his back and Tanner flinched and told him that where the doctor was touching was where the majority of the pain is originating from.  Dr. Berryman told him it could be from the ongoing Velcade treatment he's been undergoing for three years that's now causing the pain - or it could be "something" in the bones caused by the Multiple Myeloma.  He explained to us that where Tanner seems to be experiencing the pain is along the spinal column and if "something" is going on, it could cause paralysis and he's going to schedule an MRI so that he can see exactly what is happening in the bones.

In the meantime, he's going to take over the "pain management" for Tanner himself until he can find a real pain management doctor who is familiar with pain, multiple myeloma, and young patients - and we are going to have to start going to Dallas once a month to see Dr. Berryman himself instead of seeing a regular Oncologist in Fort Worth.

He prescribed Fentanyl patches again that Tanner is to wear for three days at a time.  I am keeping the patches in my posession and am giving them to Tanner when it's time to change them out - and we are putting the used patches in a bag to be taken back to Dr. Berryman in Dallas when we go back to see him once a month. In this way, Dr. Berryman hopes to build a relationship of trust and can give Tanner the relief that he needs from the ongoing pain he seems to be experiencing.

Tanner put the first patch on Wednesday night after the doctor's appointment and I saw him again on Friday when I took him to his weekly chemo appointment and the difference was like night and day from the way he has been for weeks now.  He was in a good mood and said the pain was down to a "dull ache".

So... at this point we are waiting to hear when the MRI is scheduled and Tanner seems to be more comfortable... 

We were also told that Trevor is NOT a stem cell match so, if Tanner ever relapses, a sibling donation will not be an option.  Tanner cried when he was given that information and I had to remind him that he has thousands of his own "clean" stem cells stored in Arkansas at UAMS.

It's been an emotional week seeking the help that Tanner seems to need for the pain - while on the other hand dealing with the issues caused from the fact that he has become addicted to pain medications over the last few years.  We just have to have faith that it will all work out in the long run.

I went to the lakehouse this weekend for a few days of rest, relaxation, and contemplation.  It was a much needed break.  Happy Easter.

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope... Barbara Kingsolver