Friday, November 26, 2010


Yesterday, SWMBO and I spent a quiet day together at her home.

Her oldest sister (of four), Vivian, was in town, visiting the second-oldest sister, Bonnie. Vivian had visited SWMBO on Wednesday, and knowing that I like her sisters we intended to invite her to visit again on Turkey Day.

Unfortunately, SWMBO had a very uncomfortable Thanksgiving Day, and so we decided not to invite visitors. In fact, when SWMBO's son called, I asked him to keep the conversation short. She doesn't have much strength left, and would prefer that her friends and family not learn first-hand how debilitated she is this week.

It made me think about those things for which I am grateful.

Last year at this time, SWMBO was in the hospital because the chemotherapy which she was then enduring was hurting her more than helping here. The same situation occurred at Christmas, when she finally decided that she would never again suffer through another round of chemotherapy. She would rather allow the tumor to run its course, and take whatever good days were available to her.

She had originally been diagnosed as having only six months to live. It has been an incredible 29 months so far, and we have been blessed with with all of this time for our love to mature beyond our expectations.

We have an entire coffee table full of medications which have been prescribed, and then left behind when they ceased to be effective in making her more comfortable. FED-EX comes by weekly with new prescriptions ... few are refills, most are new, and she takes pills for nausea, anxiety, pain (ALWAYS with pain) and a variety of maladies which are usually a side-effect of the other medication. She and her many caretakers work together to insure that the medications are taken on schedule. Sometimes the medications must be taken in the middle of the night, which means that a caretaker must always be with her -- not only to insure that the medications are taken, but also to give her such comfort as she needs from moment to moment.

Still, once in a while the old Sandie comes out. Her sense of humor abides, her keen attention to detail insures that we fallible family members will not give her the wrong medication at the wrong time, and she is ever willing to reassure us of her love.

I'm going to stop focusing on Sandie so much, because we are aware that her friends and loved ones are often distraught when I write about her suffering.

Instead, please accept that she is in charge of her own personal care. We .. friends, family, and the Benton County Hospice Center ... understand that she is still the boss, and we give her what she decides she needs. It's not always easy for her, given the powerful medications she takes several times a day. Still, SHE prevails.

And her friends and family are still there for her, even given that she needs personal attention 24 hours a day, every day.

As for me, I treasure every moment I am privileged to be with her. She is more focused on her care than she would prefer, I know, but under the most difficult circumstances one can imagine, she remains ...

She! Who Must Be Obeyed

I thank God that I am privileged to be a part of such a magnificent personality

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sandie is in a bad way.

She's not strong physically, but she's as strong and as brave as she can be.

Her family is helping me take care of here. I still have to work, so they take care of her during the day and I'm there at nights. Her youngest sister has been spending weekends with her, so I have some time 'off' then. And I appreciate it. I need some time "away", if only so I can regain my strength for the next day.

Sandie doesn't get any days off.

She can't walk unaided. She always feels crappy. The best thing she knows is, however bad she feels, it's the best day of the week.

It's not fair, but it is ... what it is. That's all any of us has, but it's not fair.

She's too good a person, and she doesn't deserve this.

I'll try to keep our friends informed, but I've already re-written this because you don't need to know all the details.

It's just bad. I wish I could be more positive.