30 August 2014

A birthday and an anniversary

I'm asking that y'all keep our family in prayer this weekend.

Today (Aug. 30) would have been my husband's birthday. He would have turned 60 today. The last birthday we got to celebrate with him he turned 46.

Tomorrow (Aug. 31) is the anniversary of The Caregiver's wife, Lea's, death. She died in 2000.

We've been experiencing these days without them for 14 years now.
That's a painfully long time.

We "do death" differently in our house. We have pictures of Mike and Lea everywhere. We talk about them freely and frequently. They are very much a part of our lives and a part of our family.
Birthdays and death anniversaries and wedding anniversaries are celebrated. Over the past 14 years we have done all sorts of things to celebrate and remember Mike and Lea.
Things like:

  • release balloons
  • share a favorite dessert (Twinkies for Mike, blonde brownies for Lea)
  • share a favorite meal 
  • go to a favorite restaurant
  • go to a favorite place
  • do a favorite activity
  • share stories
  • watch home movies
  • look through photo albums

It's difficult to explain and, I'm sure, difficult for others to understand, how so very much The Caregiver and I lean on each other and hold each other up. We held each other and cried early this morning. We still love, miss and ache for Mike and Lea.
If you are told, "time heals all wounds" or "you'll get over it," you've been told wrong. That's a lie. And I wouldn't want it any other way. In my mind "getting over it" equates to "forgotten."
Time passes and children grow and we continue to live.
Fourteen years later, it still hurts. Our spouses are still gone. Our children's parents are still not ever coming back. We all still cry.

Kiss your family this weekend and hold them close. XO

14 August 2014

An itty bitty cut

I have CML.
I like to pretend I don't.  Which is silly, really. But it's the truth.
Some days, pretending I don't have cancer, blood cancer, pumping through me constantly and continually is the only way I can keep going.
Then something will happen and the CML monster will smack me in the face.
This time it was an itty bitty cut.
I don't even remember when or how it happened. It didn't bleed. There is no scab. There is no scar. But it must be there because it resulted in a nasty staph cellulitis infection in my inner forearm.
My inner forearm began to swell. Looked kind of like a bruise, really. My bracelets were suddenly tight. And it started to hurt to use my hand. Then it got very swollen. And red. And hot. And getting bigger. And hurt lots.

Hmm. That's odd, I remember thinking.
The Caregiver insisted we call the oncologist, which I knew was the right thing to do. I was so hoping it would simply go away. But, as I was reminded this week, I am immune suppressed. Things don't simply go away anymore.
One week and 28 hefty antibiotic doses later ... it's better. Not completely, but getting there.
So far, so good.
As long as I keep improving, it's a wait and see game. I'm praying the antibiotics did the trick. They interacted with my Super Dangerous but Absolutely Necessary chemotherapy pills something awful. Horrible nausea, dizzy, headache. Yuck.
It's surprising how something so small could have been the gateway to something that has been so painful and hard on my leukemic body.
We have to be ever mindful to stay guarded against the things (however itty bitty they seem) that can grow and eventually cause us so much pain.
Left untreated, they can swell and continue to try to destroy us.
Left untreated, they can ruin our very being.