Monday, June 29, 2020

Country Roads...Take Me Home...

to the place...I belong:

Yes, I am home! Thank you for all of your kind thoughts, comments, and prayers. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch. The last 6 weeks have been a bit overwhelming and I'm still expecting to hit a wall at some point. But I am home. For now.

Quick update. Mom had surgery to remove the Sarcoma on the 17th. She was in the hospital until 22nd, when she was discharged and moved to a rehabilitation facility of our choosing. She has a 24" surgical incision that will take some time to heal, but she is well taken care of and as I am not able to visit due to the Covid restrictions, I had wrapped things up and headed home on Thursday. Before I left, I had her car serviced, cleaned out her refrigerator, ordered her a new cell phone and delivered it to her, and paid any bills that had come in. 

Now I am recuperating. I was in the hospital with mom every day for 12-30 hours at a time. We never turned on the tv, but I had reading material and friends made sure I was fortified with homemade cookies:

Such a different view from what I am used to:

And during the day, I was fascinated for hours by the construction 10 floors below. They are building a Women and Children's hospital and my inner 3 yr-old was so interested in the comings and goings throughout the days. It looked like a tiny tot construction site:

When she slept, I walked laps around the 10th floor and made good use of the rooftop garden:

I was very grateful for this space:

My mom's case manager is calling each day and updating me on her progress. I will go back a few days before she is discharged, but until then, I am soaking in home.

DH was a gem and he spent an hour each evening tending to my chores after tending to his. My Cosmos are out of control:

And my garden is flourishing:

The chickens decimated my jalapenos as soon as I left, but DH built a cage and they are coming back:

I'll probably pick up a few more next time I'm in town, but truth be told, I'm in no hurry to be in town.

I came home late Thursday night, but was up bright and early to greet the day. I've missed this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

This old John Denver song keeps playing in my head

Friday, June 12, 2020

Moving Forward

Yes, I'm still in Texas. We met with the Orthopedic Oncologist a week ago, Friday, in Austin and Mom was given her options. Surgery or no treatment. The soft tissue Sarcoma she has will not react to chemo or radiation.  Radiation would slow it down and the 1 chemo medication that is on the table for Sarcoma cancers would have to be given at such a low level that it wouldn't be very effective. No treatment means 6 hard months ahead. The surgeon is highly respected and sought out, even nationally. However, they would need to amputate her leg so she sought out a second opinion.

That appointment was this past Thursday. A third option was given. Surgery, with an attempt to keep the leg. 3-5 days in the hospital. 2-4 weeks in a rehab facility. 30 radiation treatments in 30 days.

Lots of hard choices, but I told her I would support her either way. It is her decision to make. After a few sleepless nights and some waffling back and forth, advice from well-meaning friends, more consultations, she has chosen option 3, with the surgeon here in town.

Mom is weak and the medications are making her drowsy so she sleeps a lot. The tumor is 6"x8" and squeezing the sciatic nerve. She also has a completely torn hamstring  and partially torn tendons. No wonder the poor thing is in pain! I am working to keep her nourished and hydrated and thinking of applying as a Presidential Social Secretary. Her tribe is large and fierce and loyal and between mail and texting and phone calls and social distanced visits, I have my hands full. This is the mail yesterday:

I am finding things to do to occupy my time. I bought some pretty spiffy running / walking shoes as I packed hastily when I came down, thinking I'd only be here for 4 or 5 days. I don't even own regular tennis shoes. Do they still even call them that? At home I walk in hikers, but I plan to chalk up some miles while she is recuperating. The Fleet Feet store is just 2 miles away so I popped in there when I went to pick up some of her medical records while she had visitors. I had to laugh because 'Fleet' is NOT an adjective that I could ever apply to my feet...or any other part of me! They were very helpful, but probably laughed themselves silly after I left. Doubt they get too many chubby, old ladies, in dire need of a haircut walking through their doors.  I WILL say that I left the store feeling like I could tackle a marathon... but that too was fleeting. 😂😂


But I started running! What's up with that?! Well, running may be a bit of a stretch. It's more like a shuffle-trot. But my mom lives in a beautiful cul-de-sac and I can make a loop, pop in and check in on her, make another loop...etc. I'm sure I am entertaining the neighbors. My first encounter began with, "I didn't know you were a runner." Me: Neither did I. 😊

And now that I finished binding that quilt I brought, I have nothing to stitch. I don't do well with idle hands. I have only picked up knitting needles  and a crochet hook once in my life. Time to pick up some yarn. I picked up both hastily when I bought my shoes. Hobby Lobby is just a few stores down.  I'm thinking I'll start with crochet because mom is a very light sleeper and clacking knitting needles will be bothersome to her. I bought this soft earth toned yarn because I knew Mom would like it, watched a video or two and went to town:


Two puzzles down:


One to go:

I can hear ya'll now, "Well of course she's going to find a chicken puzzle!" 😄

I also brought good reading material and have my Kindle and a Fire tablet. 

I guess I'm like a little kid. I need to pack a 'busy bag'. Surely all of that will keep me out of trouble. It has thus far. I'll have to assure the hospital staff that I am not really moving in. It just looks like it. 😉 Oh, and I'm bringing chocolate (and Jesus!) and I'm bringing enough to share.

So I'll be sitting at the foot of the cross as I support and help my mom through this challenging time and I'll just remember to bloom where I am planted. 😉

Monday, June 8, 2020

My Kitchen

Our sweet girl went home to spend a few days with her Daddy this weekend. She sent me a picture of my kitchen. It does not have a dishwasher, nor a disposal, and the big hot water heater sits in the corner. Yes, it is outdated. In an old ranch house with slanted floors that have holes in it where our girl attempted to drill holes in the lid of her hamster bin with the power drill when she was 11. 😄 The drawers stick. It is tiny. But it is often filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread. It has enabled us to cook many a nourishing meal; bake endless desserts, pies, and cookies; and build treasured memories. It has seen endless prayer, much laughter, a few tears, and even a cross word now and then. And always, it is filled with love. Yes, it has served us well through the years.

She sent it with the caption, "Look how cute and clean your kitchen is!"

My reply, "What? No before picture?" 😄 Her Daddy has been batching for 3 weeks while I am with my mom.

He told her she didn't need to clean, he "has a system".

She said, "Your system is flawed, Sir." 😄

They are good for each other. She said she didn't make the trip for him. She made it for me, but I know it does his heart good to have her there and I'm pretty sure it does her heart good to be home.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Stars and Bars Quilt

I don't even remember when I started this quilt, but when I saw the pattern, I knew I would make it in patriotic colors as a QOV for a veteran. I don't even remember what it was called...maybe Star and Bars. This is the pattern cover:

I don't have many in-process photos as I'm not home and don't have access to my pictures. I found this one on an earlier blog post from 2017 so it's been a while. The backing is this great eagle print from probably 5 or 6 years ago, but I always thought it would be perfect as a background or backing and I have used it for both on other quilts:


So most of these are finished shots. It took me 2 weeks to hand stitch the binding on this one. I worked on it a little each evening as I sat and visited with mom. I didn't have any navy thread at mom's so I just used what I had which was gray, but in the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter a hoot.

I changed up the pattern a little, removing a star and moving one - I think. I'm just like a fish out of water when I'm away from home so forgive me my memory lapses. This one finishes at 58 x 68:

I used the same fabric for all of the stars. It's an older print from Connecting Threads. And then I just pulled fabrics from my stash for the strips.

 Jackie quilted a loose serpentine pattern that I suggested across it. I rarely request a particular pattern, but this one popped into my head and I like the way it turned out:

And I actually have trees to pretty up my quilt photos here!

If you HAVE to live in town, this is a pretty good spot to do so:

You'd never know that Hobby Lobby (and just about anything else you'd ever need) is just 2 miles away:


This one may stay here in Texas. This is a military town and all of mom and daddy's friend are retired military and I think every veteran ought to have a QOV. I think I just added a whole lot of quilts to my list.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Taking the Next Step

O.K. I promise not to bog all of ya'll down with a lot of details about my mom's health, but this has always been my online journal and this is what my world presently looks like. And it's not about me. It's never been about me. It's not even about my mom. It's about Jesus. And as long as I keep my eye on Him, we'll be fine.

Thank you for sharing your journeys, thoughts, prayers, and very kind comments. I cannot tell you how much your words and stories mean to me. Please know that it warms my heart when you comment and I promise to get back to replying soon.

To answer a few questions: Yes, I am an only child and my mom is an only child. She was born in Vienna, Austria and all of her family was over there. My Daddy (born in Ulm, Germany) had one brother and one sister, neither of whom married. All of his family stayed over there as well.There are some step-cousins in Germany, but I am the end of the line.

So I am it. There is no one else to help navigate these waters, but those of you that have been friends here for some time know that my faith is an integral part of who I am so I really am not alone in this. And that's a very good thing because Mom's results came back and yes, it is a malignant Sarcoma. We did go in to see her regular doctor, whom she has been seeing for over 25 years. They have a close relationship. If you know my mom you would know that she kind of adopts people that come into her life. You also ought to know that you're not going to get away with anything when she does so and being a Dr. does not exclude you from that. 😄

I was a really, REALLY good kid!

I towed the line now. I'd rather get in trouble with the law than my mother, but if that happened, I'd be in trouble with her too. I think the only thing I ever did against her wishes was marry my dear husband, but it all worked out...she loves him now too. 😄

So we are now in waiting mode and I think we'll be here for a while. Waiting for the next call, the next result, the next appointment...

In the meantime, we are getting all of our ducks in a row which they really already are because, well, if you're a duck around here, you're going to have to stay in line. 😄 And Daddy was just really so intelligent and he left everything in pristine order for mom and me, making it easier for all of the ducks, past, present, and future.

I am fielding at least a dozen phone calls a day. Mom's friends have my cell number so I am really texting my little fingers off trying to keep everyone happy and informed. At one point I was on my phone with my boss, a text came in, mom's house phone rang, and someone was at the door all at the same time. 😄 My mom does not use a cell phone or text. Yes, we've tried. She is not having it. She and Daddy have lived in this house for over 25 years and I don't think I've ever known of a neighborhood like this one. The neighbors are as close to family as you can get without actually being family. They have traveled all over the world together and have practically worn paths between each other's homes carrying food and gifts and wine and the margarita machine back and forth. So how is it that I am a hermit? 😄 But I love Mom and daddy's friends too. They even stop in at the ranch and stay with us at times so we've got a good support system here.

I know I need to be here and I want to be here. I'd never leave mom alone, but I am missing DH and Skeet and my dirt road. I never thought I'd want to be cloned, but right now it would be pretty handy. Are they cloning ducks?

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