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We're All Motivators

Saturday, January 07, 2012

I got home from work a little after midnight last night and followed my usual routine of grabbing my computer and turning on King of the Hill. This is my time to wind down after work. Itís quiet in my house because Tommy and Thor are usually already in bed. Catching up with friends on my computer and watching something funny on TV helps me leave behind all the stress of the evening. I logged onto SparkPeople and was so surprised to find that there is now a Spark People Motivator badge on my page. Thank you so much to those who nominated me. It makes me feel good to know I was able to help motivate others in return for all Iíve received from this community.

Hmm! I wondered how this happened. Me, a motivator? But SparkPeople is where Iíve always come to find motivation when I begin to slip a little. This is where I find friends who encourage me, share advice, help me to pick myself back up and get back on track. I also try to encourage others along the way, but I never really thought of myself as a motivator. I would have to think about this a little while.

So finally, after much thought, it came to me. I AM A MOTIVATOR! AND SO ARE ALL OF YOU! Because that is so much of what this community is all about. Friends helping friends. Encouraging and cheering each other on to help us all reach our goals, providing little tips weíve learned along the way, meeting new friends, sharing our common interests, supporting and helping each other through the rough spots in the road, and celebrating in the success of others' achievements.

So thatís it. I have figured it out. Weíre ALL motivators and we all need each other. It is each and every individual that comes together to make this such a special community.

Congratulations to everyone who has achieved their goals and who is now living a new and healthier lifestyle. For those of us still working to reach their goals, itís a new year and a fresh start. TOGETHER, WE CAN ALL DO THIS.

Thanks SparkPeople for this wonderful site, and thanks to you all for helping keep me motivated!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEECHEGIRL4 1/9/2012 9:55PM

  Congratulations to you. Your blogs are so interesting. You are a great motivator.....way to go!!!

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CHUEYSMOM 1/9/2012 8:29AM

    Congrats~ Very deserving of the award! =)

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/9/2012 5:02AM

    YES, INDEED, YOU ARE A MOTIVATOR!!!
AND SPARKPEOPLE IS THE EPITOME OF A GOOD, SUPPORTIVE
BEST FRIEND! I COME HERE TO FOR KNOWLEDGE, SUPPORT, MOTIVATION, INSPIRATION AND TO FEEL I AM NOT ALONE, AND THAT IS JUST WHAT I GET. I AM THRILLED YOU GOT THE HONOR AND THANK YOU FOR TURNING IT INTO A PRAISE FOR ALL OF US...JUST LIKE YOU! AS ALWAYS YOU, TOMMY & THOR ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOLFGMA 1/8/2012 7:50PM

    I think we all feel that you deserve the badge and your blog reminded me of many sermons where we are challenged to love one another in the Lord. If the rest of the world would commit to motivating each other and helping each other along the way we could , at least, fulfill one of our Lord's commands. You are truly an inspiration and looking at your photo site seeing the world around you through your eyes is another motivation. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
and emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 1/8/2012 12:23AM

    Congratulations!

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PONYFARMER 1/7/2012 10:05PM

    No emoticon

because I have never thought of myself as a motivator, don't have a badge on my page that says so, but you know, I bet I have helped others. So thank you for saying that about us all.

emoticon on being MOD, clearly you deserve it.

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HDHAWK 1/7/2012 7:44PM

    emoticon Very motivating, very inspiring, very deserved! emoticon

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JANIEWWJD 1/7/2012 7:25PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU DESERVE THAT AND MORE!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU, MY FRIEND!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_JODI404 1/7/2012 7:24PM

    I love your realization ~ so true!! I emoticon emoticon emoticon SparkPeople, and SparkFriends are the VERY best part of it all!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 1/7/2012 4:51PM

    Can't think of anyone more deserving than you!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYG7 1/7/2012 4:22PM

    I don't know if I'm much of a motivator.......but I know I'm a better person for 'knowing' you, and how you chose to handle life's adversities.

You deserve the best!!

Luv, Libby emoticon

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SOUPY18 1/7/2012 3:22PM

    You, Tommy and Thor are all deserving of the term Motivator. Love to all of you.
Sue

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CHUBRUB3 1/7/2012 2:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You deserve it!
Hugs,
Angela


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JEANNETTE59 1/7/2012 2:54PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

more than just a motivator you are an inspiration emoticon

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DOODIE59 1/7/2012 2:21PM

    I can not say this better than MARTYLYNN1 has said it. You are a motivator in all the things that matter in life. Diet is a very small part of the reason we consider you a cut above. Congratulations!
Deirdre

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FLA-1956 1/7/2012 2:18PM

  emoticon emoticon

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MARTYLYNN1 1/7/2012 1:34PM

    The way you have dealt with the situations in your life & the lives of your love ones make you an inspiration the the rest of us. It comes as no surprise to me that you have been voted a motivator!

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Merry Christmas my Friends

Saturday, December 24, 2011



The presents are wrapped, the goodies are baked, Christmas cards all mailed out, the house is cleaned, and finally at the stroke of midnight itís Christmas Eve and I am off work for two days. Tommy and Thor have both gone to bed leaving me in silence with my own thoughts. As I sit here in the quiet of my living room at 2:30 a.m. I think about how quickly this year is coming to an end and how much has happened in this short twelve months.

On my way to work this afternoon, I saw all the traffic backing up with holiday shoppers trying to get into the stores, people on a desperate mission to find that perfect gift for each and every person on their list.

Just a couple weeks ago I too had been out shopping for gifts, but everything I looked at seemed so trivial. So much has changed in our lives that these gifts just didnít seem as important as in previous years. I finally managed to find gifts for everyone except Tommy. I had asked him many times what he wanted for Christmas, but he would always just look at me, smile and tell me not to buy him anything. I knew what he was thinking. The only thing he wants for Christmas is his health; something I do not have the power to give him, no matter how hard I try.

We finally talked and decided to skip giving gifts between the two of us this year and instead we will give ourselves a trip to the coast in a few weeks, even if just for a few days. Weíll spend a couple days walking on the beach in the off season when there are no crowds. Thatís always been our favorite time to go. The time together will be worth much more to us than anything we could buy each other at this time in our lives.

After posting my last blog about Tommy and Thor, I was amazed at the number of responses I received from this wonderful Spark community, not only posts on my blog, but also on my Spark Page and many private messages. I am so deeply touched by all of the support that Iíve received, and also by the many stories of others who are dealing with illnesses and the loss of loved ones. The messages have been comforting, and sometimes also heartbreaking. Although I simply havenít had the time to respond to all of them, I have certainly read each and every one.

Itís been a busy and tough year between working nights and spending much time at Forsyth Regional Cancer Center. I am not complaining though. I am just thankful that Tommy has access to this wonderful group of professionals who are working as hard as they can for him. Iím also thankful that we found a veterinarian who was willing to operate on Thor to remove all he could of his tumors. While Tommy and Thor are both fighting cancer, we thank God that He has given us another year together. This is Tommyís third Christmas since his diagnosis! He has finished his chemo treatments for this year and will have another scan next week.

There are people all around this marvelous Earth who are facing difficult times for many different reasons. Many are fighting against disease for their lives or know someone who is, many have recently lost a loved one, while others are facing unforeseen financial hardships. There are so very many people who need our prayers, not just at this time of year, but all year long. Itís so easy to take life for granted, until reality hits you and you realize there never was a guarantee for a tomorrow. Each and every life is precious. Thatís why we should live every day to its fullest and cherish all of the time we are given with our loved ones.

I hope that while you are celebrating Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate during this season, you will take just a few minutes and send prayers up for all of those who are not as fortunate this year. It costs nothing but a few minutes of our time. Also, if there is any way possible, please remember there are many of our furry friends who are living in shelters and dog pounds and they truly need a forever home and a family to share their love with. If you can open your heart and home to an animal, you will be greatly rewarded by the unconditional love that you will receive from these wonderful creatures.

Thank you to this awesome Spark community for all of your kind words of support. You are truly an incredible group and a blessing.

My wishes to each and every one of you for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYHENNIG 1/22/2012 6:20PM

  God Bless You!

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DOGSTARDADDY 1/2/2012 11:47AM

    Hope you had a great holiday

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GINIEMIE 1/1/2012 7:59PM

    Your story touched my heart, and this one touched a nerve. You are sooooo right. My husband colapsed 6 years ago on his mother's 75th birthday and died the next morning from a cerebral hemmorage. He was 57. In 2010, our middle child had a terrible motorcycle wreck and is left with a traumatic brain injury. The results of this injury are that he is partially paralyzed on his right side and has aphasia-he cannot always remember the words he needs to express himself in speech, he cannot write except for his signature, because he confuses the letters of the alphabet-but he can copy. I am blessed to have my son living with me, and he at times "saves" me from some of my mistakes.
The miracle of his life is one I treasure, and my gifts to him have been to take him to see his grandmother, and to pay for her to come visit him-more important than anything I could have found for him in the store.
May God continue to sustain you and your family in your journey.
Enjoy the beach!
(((hugs)))
emoticon emoticon

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LISAB45 1/1/2012 10:03AM

  May you, Tommy and Thor have a lot more time together. I hope next weeks scan gives hope and you enjoy all your time.

Thoughts and prayers from Canada
Lisa

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TXGRANDMA 12/30/2011 11:46AM

    May God Bless you and Keep you, and hold you and your husband and all dear to you in the Palm of HIS hand during this holiday season and the days ahead.
Many emoticonto you and yours....... emoticonfor sharing! emoticon

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SHADEMOM 12/27/2011 4:24PM

  Your words have such deep meaning to me as I sit beside my son's hospital bed. We have no idea what tomorrow will bring just the blessing of this day. I wish for you an abundance of days and memorable time together. Thank you for your expression of love and encouragement for those in need whether two legged or four. God bless you and your family.

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GODSCHILD2_2011 12/26/2011 1:27PM

    Well said... emoticon to you and your family.

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GOLFGMA 12/26/2011 11:45AM

    Your blog is beautiful. Your faith shines through your words. Tommy and Thor are blessed to have you in their lives and the love you all share is inspiring. Your trip to the coast seems like a wonderful time also to enjoy your Christmas vacation. Sure hope we can all get together this Spring to meet and walk. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PONYFARMER 12/25/2011 9:49PM

    Y ou shared this blog with a grace of someone who is facing unimaginable times ahead. Yet, you wrote/spoke with so much love in your heart. Thank you for thinking of other dogs/cats who sit unadopted in shelters around the United States. It breaks my heart for you, what you are facing. God bless you, Tommy and Thor!

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JADE0757 12/25/2011 12:42AM

  Beautiful and thoughtful post and great pic Thor! Merry Christmas to you and your guys. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,

RoseR>
emoticon emoticon

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CONNIER64 12/24/2011 11:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_JODI404 12/24/2011 4:51PM

    Merry Christmas to you, Tommy, and Thor!!!

I think your trip to the beach sounds magnificent, I hope you will relax, and enjoy and soak up lots of precious memories!

I'm so glad you have your boys with you another holiday, what a blessing!

Thoughts and prayers are always with you!! And also with others in hardship, and in need ~ thank you for that reminder. emoticon

I hope you have a very blessed Christmas and enjoy your time off from work!

Love & hugs! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/24/2011 4:52:34 PM

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WORLDSERIES11 12/24/2011 3:32PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. May you have a blessed Christmas together with the important men in your life:)

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/24/2011 2:51PM

    What a beautiful blog! I try each night when I get in bed to remember anyone not as fortunate, as I have a bed to sleep in, a house, food, and family and friends. We really must remember how rich this makes us and wish it for others!
Thanks for your comment on animals needing homes! If you get a chance, go to thegentlebarn.com and check out the amazing work they do!
My very best to you, your husband & Thor...you will be in my thoughts and prayers!
Love,
Mary emoticon

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DETERMINED_SOUL 12/24/2011 2:11PM

    cute pic!!

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JEANNETTE59 12/24/2011 1:16PM

  Love is the greatest gift you can give or receive and this you have in abundance. My God Bless and Keep You and Your Family emoticon

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MARTYLYNN1 12/24/2011 12:14PM

    Wishing you many blessings at Christmas & in the coming year!

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DOODIE59 12/24/2011 11:46AM

    May you have the most beautiful Christmas ever, the three of you:)
Deirdre
Love the pic:)

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CHUBRUB3 12/24/2011 11:39AM

    Hugs and love my Friend.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Blessings to you all.
Hugs,
Angela


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LIBBYG7 12/24/2011 10:00AM

    "Cherish each day, and be grateful for what you have......." Easy to say, harder to do for some.

While I don't know you very well, I've read your blogs and I can feel your heartfelt love in every word. I'm so very sorry you are dealing with your problems......but the way you are dealing with them, with dignity and grace, is an example for us all. You have my prayers, and most assuredly, the prayers of many others, for Tommy and Thor.

As I cancer survivor myself....I know the drill, and how it consumes your life. But if the treatments are working and giving you both more precious time, it's worth it! And I too, love the beach on off-season. Look forward to that.

And Thor....what a story. I love animals with a passion. I'm owned by a feisty little 10 year old dachshund, Lucy, and she can do with me what she will ---- I'm her slave! Bless you for not giving up on Thor.....and how beautiful that he and Tommy bonded in such a special way.

I wish you a peaceful, loving Christmas. Enjoy each other; hold each other - - and make the most of every minute. Be assured my thoughts and prayers will be with you from here on.

Big hugs,
Libby (&Lucy) emoticon emoticon

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FREE2BMEINVA 12/24/2011 7:33AM

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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BON500 12/24/2011 6:24AM

    things to think about this christmas. Be thankful for loved ones more than gifts given or received.Have fun on your time away.

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SHERRIE59 12/24/2011 4:38AM

    Thanks so much for sharing Tommy and Thor with us. I hope that, given the wonderful care that both are receiving, they will be able to stay with us and share the love and hope which the future brings.

Thor does look like a handsome dude with his reindeer costume..... emoticon Love it!!!

I wish for all of you, Tommy and Thor a wonderful Christmas!!!

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Best Friends

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Tommy and Thor on their golf cart.


Most people have a lot of friends, all of which are an important part of our lives. Friends come in many forms including different races, religions, nationalities, gender, and so on. And sometimes theyíre even a different species. There is a lot to be said for the old saying about a dog being a manís (or womanís) best friend.

My husband, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2009, was never what I considered an animal lover. It wasnít that he didnít like animals, rather he just didnít care about them one way or the other. His parents never allowed animals in their home when he was a child, unlike the home I grew up in where we always had dogs, birds, hamsters, turtles and fish. Our pets were an important part of our lives and were greatly loved and cared for. So it made me both mad and sad when Tommy and I married and he then proclaimed that he would ďnever live in a dog house.Ē It was really the only thing we ever argued over, and because our marriage was otherwise happy and strong, I gave up my idea of having a dog deciding it really wasnít worth the fight.

Then in March 2007 my 20 year old son, who had been living in an apartment, decided he wanted to come back home and go back to school (yes, reality had set in for him). All was fine until he informed us that he had just that week acquired a sickly, three-legged, red Doberman pinscher. He wanted to bring ďThorĒ home with him. After a lot of ďdiscussingĒ this with Tommy, he finally agreed that Jeremy could bring the dog home, but he would have to build him a lot out back because the dog was not living in our house. So, Jeremy came home with all of his belongings and a skinny, sick dog. He built him a dog lot and bought him a dog house his first day home. We immediately took the dog to the vet and they treated him for a severe case of hookworms and he got all of his shots and a full check-up.

Thor was one of the friendliest and sweetest dogs Iíd ever met and I immediately fell in love with him. He then began to work his magic on Tommy also, something I had previously thought was an impossible task. Yes, I began to see Thor breaking down that tough exterior of Tommyís and working his way right into his heart. Then one afternoon, within one week of Thorís arrival, Tommy brought him inside the house making sure to tell us it was only for a few hours because the weather was so bad outside. His new outdoor dog house was quickly replaced by two indoor dog beds. Thor never slept outside again.

After Tommyís diagnosis of cancer, it became more important than ever for him to get some exercise every day. He began taking Thor on daily walks that they both seemed to really enjoy. On the occasional days when he felt too tired to walk very far, he would ride his golf cart around the property and eventually taught Thor how to sit on the cart and ride with him (this has become one of Thorís favorite things). The bond between the two of them was growing. They were becoming best buds. When I would go to work in the evenings, Tommy would always have his buddy with him for company. I watched the transformation of my husband from the tough guy ďheís just a dumb dogĒ attitude to a much gentler person that would often cater to Thorís desires. WOW, I was in awe. Thor was able to do what I was not.

Then about six weeks ago, I noticed two lumps on Thor, one on each of his back legs, that were quickly increasing in size. I showed them to my daughter-in-law, who is a vet tech, and she immediately loaded me and Thor into her vehicle and took him in for a biopsy. We received the bad news that they were cancerous tumors. Because he was already missing a front leg, amputation was not an option. He was scheduled for surgery and the lumps were removed two weeks ago (his stitches were removed this morning). He has healed well, but one of the lumps was in a bad spot and they were unable to get clean margins on it, so it will surely return. The vet hopes that the removal of the tumors will give Thor a couple more good years.

I now wonder if this is the reason Thor was brought into our lives. Thor was able to win Tommy over, become his best buddy, keep him exercising, and now they are both fighting for their lives against the same disease. Could this really be a coincidence? I donít think so.

Tommy's pancreatic cancer has now spread to his lungs and his doctor has told him she cannot cure it, only try to slow it down. Just a few nights ago Tommy was laying on the couch watching TV and Thor was in his bed. He began to talk to me about how great our last 17 years together have been and how he wished we could have 17 more together. Thor immediately got up off his bed, walked over and laid down on the hard wood floor in front of Tommy as if he was coming to comfort him. Tommy reached down and began petting him and saying, ď Youíre such a good boy, and youíre not just a dog, youíre part of our family. Youíre just like every other family member.Ē I watched in awe, knowing that this was a moment between the two of them and I was just a spectator. They were two best friends facing the same challenges and uncertain futures and I was not a part of that. Even though Thor doesnít understand his illness as we do, he seems to be very connected to Tommyís emotions and they have brought much happiness to each otherís lives.

I sat on my front porch the next morning and watched Tommy and Thor walk away from our yard and down the road, a man and his dog, his best friend. I was happy that they had become best friends, but I was also suddenly struck with a harsh reality. I knew that on this morning they would come walking back to me shortly, but sometime in the not so distant future, they will both almost certainly leave me forever. I felt a little wave of panic knowing that I cannot hold onto them forever. Only God knows how long I have left with them, so I will try to make sure we all enjoy whatever time we have left together.

I believe our pets are a gift from God and they bring so much happiness into our lives. What Thor has done for Tommy, and all of our family, is living proof of that. Love your pets and care for them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADARKARA 9/7/2012 6:04PM

    I recently lost my dad to a heart attack. What brought me the most comfort was knowing I had told him how much I really loved him at his last birthday. Not that I needed to tell him, because he knew. But when he died I had no regrets because I had told him. Tell Tommy and Thor every day how much you love them and hopefully you'll have no regrets either.

I almost cried reading this. I am such a dog person I never could have married someone who wasn't. I'm so glad Thor is there to show Tommy the way. =)

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AMOMENTSNOTICE 9/7/2012 5:03PM

    How can anyone read this & not cry! Comfort to you all.

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MYGOLDENBOYS 8/20/2012 8:01AM

  Amazing blog. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, thinking about your husband and Thor. Dogs truly are gifts from GOD and they give us so much. My 14 yo boy, Tango, is one of the best friends I have ever had. He has been there for me through many adventures. My prayers are with you through your journey. Thanks for touching my life!

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SUNSHINE31797 8/6/2012 5:44AM

    Wow..this is such an amazing story!!

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IFEOMA4 7/19/2012 7:05PM

  hold on to them while you have them and live in the moment. thinking about a time in the future when they may not be around may not allow you enjoy the present.

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GENKIDESU 7/10/2012 4:25AM

    Love to all of you. I lost a young dog to cancer in 2010, just about a year to the day before you posted this. Dogs are family members, and they give us so much. They do not understand the illness, but they know when we are ill and suffering, and their compassion and love is so great.

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AMOTTLEY 5/21/2012 2:35AM

  Oh my gosh I want to just cry...It's like a movie (this blog) So Amazing yet sad- I feel for you especially when you say you get a wave of panic just thinking about the future reality- This blog has really touched me- May you too have peace when your husband and pet are granted it- Matter of fact May you have peace now

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MACNOE 4/19/2012 12:55PM

  What a fantastic story...I had always longed for a dog but my family never liked them when I was growing up. Last year at the age of 45 I got my first puppy, a shih-zhu named Coco..She has brought so much love to my and my two boys lives. I had no idea you could fall in love with an animal so hard. God bless them and your family !!

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GINGER1OF16 3/1/2012 5:35PM

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. Miracles come in many forms.
God bless you and your family.

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FARMERGIRL63 2/28/2012 9:05PM

  This is a very inspiring story here and it has touched
my heart and probably the hearts of many others as well.

While reading this story, I began to think that all of
us have friends of all sorts, nationalities, religions,
and whatever else may come to mind and be involved.

As I look at it also, I feel the same way when it comes
to an animal whether its a cat, dog, fish, or bird they
need the same care and attention just as well as a hu-
man being does because animals have their own way of
sensing things to feel loved and cared for just like all
of us do.

So just keep in mind that they need the same care and
attention just as well as we do.

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GETRESULTSMDMEE 2/24/2012 5:42PM

    Just beautiful I pray for your family that God with lengthen both of their lives and give you many happy days together:}

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BALLERINA2009 2/20/2012 2:39PM

    Thank-you for writing this. Your post made me cry but it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.

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MELLY3183 2/18/2012 5:02PM

    thank you for this blog. it touched me. I lost my cat Ms. Josie in 2009 and it was hard. I became very depressed and didn't really push myself to make my commitments (even work was hard). I then was blessed with 2 kitty brothers a few months later and have since loved them unconditionally. They are my best friends and they bring me great joy. Good luck with everything. I am happy that Tommy was finally able to open up to animal love. It is one of the greatest things of all.

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CYBERCITYSHELL 2/12/2012 7:03AM

    What a touching story. Pets sure do enrich our lives, and we are so lucky to have them. People who don't understand how special pets are, are missing out for sure. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOOBEE2 2/11/2012 12:43PM

  Thank you for sharing this blog...I'm still crying..I love animals and I'm sure they know more than we give them credit for...I'm so happy they found each other and that they are there for each other..... emoticon

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REENSKI 2/10/2012 9:39AM

    Beautiful story-best wishes to you & your family.

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SMALLERMELORIE 2/10/2012 9:17AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, pets are so important.

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NOCALORIES 2/7/2012 8:59PM

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am struggling today because my beautiful husky passed away Sunday with no fanfare just went quickly. Enjoy your moments with your love ones. You are given a present everyday they are with you.

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PROUDGRAMMA 2/6/2012 4:59PM

  Wow, what a beautiful and heart wrenching story at the same time. I am a dog lover and it sounds like Thor was brought into your life for your husband. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

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145HEALTHY 1/29/2012 4:19AM

    I just came across your beautifully written story. Thank you for sharing. Know that my thoughts, prayers, and love go out to you and your family.

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SASSYJAERAE 1/27/2012 1:05PM

    WOW!! I am in awe! I love dogs, I have two Papillions myself, but grew up with Dobbies. My heart goes out to you. I cannot imagine what that must have felt like to see them disappear on their walk, but I think you have already started to take comfort in the fact that neither one of them is alone. They have each other now and in the afterlife. Big hugs to you for having the courage to share your story and your life with us!! emoticon

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FLGIRL1234 1/25/2012 4:16PM

    What a beautiful story. I had tears in my eyes. I will be thinking of you long after this......

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SALLY_MANDER 1/25/2012 4:04PM

    Like Tommy, I liked animals, but was never given the chance as a child to develop a love for them. My husband had a dog when we started dating, but he was always most certainly, my husband's friend. We lost him about four years ago to old age, and my husband and son were devestated.

I'm happy to say that now, after many years of deliberation, and begging from our children, we are completing the adoption of a GoldenDoodle puppy; we pick her up on Saturday. I am looking forward to many good years with our new family member, but am alread dreading the day we must part ways with her. That little panic does not, and will never, compare to what you are facing.

My heart is breaking for you, but I'm also so inspired by your strength. My thoughts are with you and your family.

emoticon

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DENISEFULLER 1/22/2012 12:08AM

    I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. It's good that your son came back home. You will need each other as you lose both these loved ones. I will say a prayer for you.

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ILOVEROSES 1/21/2012 11:16PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. emoticon

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DIABETESFEAR 1/20/2012 9:29PM

  Thank you for this touching sharing. I have had my mikey for 7 years and he has gotten me going again after a car accident that stopped me from walking. Now he and our husky are back to walking 2.5 miles. But , mikey now has an enlarged heart. the treatment and follow up are expensive but, His is like the child I never had. He follows me every and gets very upset when I have to leave him. He is avery special dog too. Thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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QUAIL75 1/20/2012 2:12PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes. All the best to you and your family.

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KRISTA48439 1/17/2012 7:02PM

  Thank you for your story, which reminds us all of what really matters in life. I am so glad your husband has gotten to experience the wonders of loving a pet.

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GOLDFISHLIZ 1/17/2012 6:29AM

    We should all value every day, for ourselves and our loved ones, as we never know just what is round the corner.
May God bless and keep you all in His great love, and strengthen you day by day to deal with what must be.
Love and prayers
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7WORSHIPS 1/16/2012 9:08AM

  Like your husband, Tommy, we never had pets in our home when I was a child. Consequently, I am not a dog lover. I don't dislike them. I just don't especially care for them. Nevertheless, I found your story to be very touching and inspirational. I pray that God will grant you, your husband, Thor, and the rest of your family many more good times together!

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MSLADYBUG3 1/14/2012 11:34AM

    Such a beautiful testimony, my prayers are with you and your family....love them both every second of everyday.

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EVWINGS 1/13/2012 1:41PM

    What a wonderful tribute to a man and his dog!

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ROXYHON 1/12/2012 9:12PM

    You are so right about our pets being gifts from God. They give so very much in so many ways! My prayers are with you, for as much time as possible with your two special guys.

We had a painful 2011, sharing a similar situation with our best friend, and then our 12 year old Alaskan Malamute. It's getting a little easier, though.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Love is eternal...

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YSIENKIEW 1/12/2012 5:05PM

    Thank you for sharing! I just loved this story! I currently have 2 dogs and they are like my children. We adopted our son and our dogs have really helped him overcome some of his own issues. Dogs have such power to comfort! I thank God every day for the time I have with our loved ones! Take care and God bless you and your family!

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MAGGIE645 1/12/2012 10:06AM

  What an inspiring story! God bless you and your family.

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MARJORIEWRIGHT 1/10/2012 9:48AM

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is very touching. Thank you and God bless you and your family with your fight.

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CHARTER3 1/8/2012 6:31PM

  A wonderful story. Enjoy your time with them, and remember they will always be in your heart.

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CHARTER3 1/8/2012 6:30PM

  Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. Enjoy your time with Tommy and Thor. They will be in your heart forever. I believe whomever goes first will wait for his buddy to catch up so they can continue their walks together...

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4_MY_GIRLZ_N_ME 1/7/2012 2:41PM

    Prayers for you and your family as you walk through this part of your Earthly journey. May you have many more happy days with both of them.

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MITCHARVEY 1/5/2012 10:51PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you. emoticon

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KIEFHL10 1/5/2012 12:55PM

    This is one of the saddest and most touching story I have read. I have four dogs and they are most definitely family members. They help me get through the tough times and are there to help celebrate the good ones.

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HEALTHYSLIM2 1/4/2012 1:06PM

    God bless you and Tommy and Thor!
May He grant you all much joy in the time you have together and much peace if and when it comes time to say good-bye. Praying for you and thank you for sharing this wonderful story! emoticon

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DANIROSA1 1/1/2012 9:14PM

    This made me cry...I hope that a year later your two boys are still coming home to you every night.

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HEATHERGOSS 1/1/2012 8:42PM

  Thank you for sharing your story. It is most certainly not a coincidence. I know that you are a believer, so please allow me to comfort you with this - often we pray for a healing. Remember, if a miracle happens, it's a healing, but even if they go home, it's still a healing. There is healing either way, so take comfort! You are in my prayers.

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GINIEMIE 1/1/2012 7:48PM

    Prayers for strength for you and your son. God brought him and his dog home just when you needed them. I will add you and your family to my prayers.
Hugs.
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TONIA8866 1/1/2012 5:35PM

  Well god bless u and your journey
I to have a similar story I had always had a cat.. And my last cat had died on me so I vowed never to have another animal... But 8 months ago we (me and my husband) had to move in order to bring my disabled father to live with us, not knowing about the area and because I'm hearing impaired (and would be unable to hear if something happened to my dad like if he fell or something) my husband suggested that we get a dog, but after having my cat die in my arms I was hesitant. Wanting to make my husband happy and listening and agreeing to his reasoning I set out to find a dog after looking in the ASPCA shelters (online) I found a puppy, I called and they told me I could have the dog to pick her up at twelve noon the next day. So I went to the pet store bought all the necessities to have a dog. Then twelve noon came I loaded all my nieces and nephews in the car 7 of them and we set out for the shelter,when we got there they informed me that there had been a mistake and the puppy I chose was already gone. So I was really upset... And at that time was no longer interested in a dog and my nephew says auntie can we just play with some of the dogs to get them out of those cages for a while, I said sure so we were all playing in the big cage with some puppy's when my niece noticed one of the workers walking this puppy she asked the worker if she could play with that puppy the worker said no its a sick dog and he's going to be euthanized . Not knowing what that meant I asked the employee in the cage what that meant she told all of us.and out of nowhere I screamed no it's just a puppy. I want that dog, the lady said go tell them in the front, I said hold it I told my nephew to watch the dog and if they move call me on the cell phone they all agreed I ran to the front could barley breath and I told him the situation and that I wanted the dog the lady standing next to him said you don't want that dog he's sick and he'll probably die in a few days... Why don't u pick another one a healthier one. I said lady the doctors said the same thing to me a year ago and here I stand, I would much rather spend a few days with that puppy and him having the best last days then to not have had him at all. Besides we will leave the date of dying up to god. So can I pay for this dog and take him home.. She says you'll have to come tomorrow at twelve I said no way not again I'll take him today then I got a little louder andsaid maybe you don't understand me I am not leaving without this dog... So she called the police officer that worked inside the shelter (who knew they had sherriff's that worked in those places) anyways after telling him the whole story, he agreed to let me have the dog as long as I signed papers stating that they were not responsible for the dog or for providing me with another dog when this one dies. So I signed. By the way a normal price for a dog is 100.00 but because of his not expecting to make it I paid 80.00 with taxes included needless to say we took the dog to the V.C.A animal hospital got him all kinds of meds and shots and I laid with him and comforted him and prayed for him, and told him I loved him at least 500 times a day.... AND GOD HEARD ... Today HARLEY is the best blessing to happen to our family... And has already saved dad once. Dad fell in the tub and couldn't get up and the dog heard him calling for help. (my dad told me he kept screaming for help) and Harley kept running back and forth to the bathroom door. So I busted the door in and found dad....thank god for our newest family member by the way dads doing better and Harley just celebrated his first birthday December 24thof 2011 and is in great health,we even went back to visit the sherriff's office inside the ASPCA shelter and they were all amazed yet happy. So yes animals are blessings for people and people are blessings for animals and may u find peace and comfort during these times till your all reunited again in heaven..

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MAGGIE101857 12/31/2011 10:28AM

    Thank you for sharing these precious memories of your life; animals somehow make their way into our hearts when we most need them (and we think it is the other way around!) I believe we are able to let our guards down with them in ways we cannot with the people we love, and I am so glad that Thor came into your lives when he was most needed! Many blessings and prayers for you and your family in 2012.

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CHANGINGHORSES 12/31/2011 5:56AM

    Thank you for sharing this, both blessing and curse. I am sending out my prayers for you and your family. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Sometimes I need that reminder.
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SHUNTER225 12/30/2011 5:23PM

    emoticon
This story has brought tears to my eyes. I was not always a dog person myself but I love our boxer Elwray. Thank you for sharing this story and God Bless your family.

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OOIKEESOO 12/30/2011 2:35AM

  Thanks for your touching story. I pray that you three have many more years together.

ooi

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One Day at a Time

Friday, June 03, 2011

Most days I feel like I'm sitting in a car racing down the highway at 100 miles per hour with nobody at the wheel. My life is spinning wildly out of control and that is something that's difficult for me to deal with. I've always been, or at least felt like I was, in complete control of my life. But for the last two years, I have felt helpless; I mainly stand on the sideline now and watch as everything progresses beyond my control. In the last two years both Tommy and I lost our jobs when our employers shut down, I watched my sister lose her 18 month old granddaughter, Maddie, to Leigh's Disease, and Tommy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the day Maddie was being buried.

And now, I feel more helpless and more afraid than I've ever felt in my life. Tommy's latest needle biopsy on his lung confirmed what he has been saying all along. His pancreatic cancer has metastasized to both lungs. His oncologist is a wonderful doctor, but also very honest. Surgery is not an option. She is offering him a new regimen of three chemo drugs, one that is sure to have numerous side effects. She made it clear that this is not a cure but rather palliative care that will hopefully slow the progression giving him more time and a better quality of life. I'm not sure how you get a better quality of life with all the side effects they talked about, but hopefully his will be minimal so he can still go and do some of the things he loves. He begins this treatment on June 20.

Since the day he was first diagnosed in 2009, everything in our lives has changed. Weíve learned to live one day at a time and to try and find some happiness every day. We now plan all activities, vacations, lunch with friends or family, everything, around his appointments. As hard as we try to put it out of our minds, PC is ALWAYS there. When you go on vacation, for a walk in the park, to visit friends, or anywhere, this PC is always there in the back of your mind. I see it in the eyes of friends and family every time they look at Tommy. There is a sadness just below the surface that they can't hide.

Tommy has opened up more to share his fears with me. His biggest fear is not the possibility of losing this battle, but the possibility that his young grandchildren wonít remember him. He also says he worries about leaving me alone, worries about what this is doing to his parentsí health, and worries about finances. This in turn causes me additional worry because I donít want him under more stress. Yet, Iíve also seen a strength in my husband that I never knew he had. He is a true fighter and refused to give up when he was initially told he had 6 to 12 months. He has bounced back from every obstacle thrown at him thus far and never complained. He has vowed to fight until he can't fight anymore and I have promised to be there with him.

We're going on vacation next week and will spend 10 days in the southwest. He's always loved watching the rafters going down the Rio Grande; this time, we've made arrangements to be in a raft. We're taking him to all of his favorite places and we'll do our very best to put PC out of our minds during vacation; it won't be easy.

If there is any good to be found in all of this, it would be that our already wonderful marriage has become even stronger. Weíve learned to lean on each other and share of fears, concerns, and joys every day. We've learned that it's okay to laugh and to cry. Weíve learned that life is too short to take even one single day for granted. Weíve learned to say I love you more than ever, not only to each other, but to all our family members and friends. Weíve learned there are no guarantees in life for anyone. Our priorities have completely changed. We no longer worry about the material things in life; instead we work on happy memories.

I wish I could spend more time on SP, but right now I spend most of my days off work with Tommy. There is so much we want to do and so little time.

I love all of you for the amazing words of support you've given me over the last few years. Thank you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFETYSUE 12/23/2011 2:26AM

    I read your blog about Thor first, then this one gave me more insight into what Tommy and you are facing.

God holds you in his care and I hold you in my prayers.
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KATE45871 12/22/2011 3:15PM

  I'll be happy to add Tommy and Thor to my prayer list. While dealing with breast cancer treatment 14 yrs ago, my Golden Retriever was also diagnosed with cancer. Boone had to have 3 surgeries to remove recurring tumors but he never complained and was always at my side, especially when I felt rotten. It broke my heart to have to put Boone down when the cancer spread to his liver. I think of him daily and miss him so.
I'm still going strong. Quite healthy and cancer free but I know my faithful companions, Boone and Katie Beth, my Siamese helped me through everything. Oh yes, my husband Paul was a big support also.
My advice for Tom is be strong and stay as optimistic as possible. Kisses to Thor.

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WILSON425 12/22/2011 11:14AM

    Enjoy you trip and take lots of pictures. Take lots of pictures of him and the grandkids so they will have them to remember him when they are older. emoticon

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VANKS40 12/22/2011 6:03AM

  So KEWL that you've been given time/opportunity to realize all this! I don't think most people understand how important their spouse/family/friends are until they're gone.

GO FOR IT!! Laugh as much as you can, make as many memories (and pictures) as possible and share the love you've been given. And may God bless and keep you through all of them.

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CHLOE453 11/18/2011 7:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 6/3/2011 10:23AM

    I am so sorry that you and your husband have to deal with this.

You have my prayers for a good trip together rafting on the river,
and for continued strength and courage in the days ahead.

May your loving support - and his fighting attitude - carry you through this journey together.

My thoughts are with you both.

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CARLA-216 6/3/2011 10:17AM

    Cindy,
I've been thinking of you and Tommy and wondered how you're both doing. [I should be better about checking in on people.] My heart aches for you that his prognosis is what it is. I don't blame you for spending your spare time with him...I know I'd be doing the same. Enjoy your trip to the southwest. Enjoy being in that raft. Enjoy each other every single second.
Please know that you are in my best thoughts!

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Results not what we wanted.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Life has been pretty good lately; busy, but good. But it seems like every time we begin to get comfortable, life throws us a curve. Yesterday was one of those days.

Tommy has been feeling so well lately that we were pretty convinced that the three small nodules in his lungs must be something benign and not metastatic cancer. He went for his PET scan on Monday and yesterday we went back to his oncologist. The results were definitely not what we wanted to hear.

The largest nodule (the one they tried unsuccessfully to biopsy in December) has now doubled in size (about 2cm), has now taken on an oblong shape and now appears "mildly hot" on the scan. In addition, Dr. Shearer said that more tiny nodules have now developed in his lungs. None of these are good signs.

He had such a bad experience when they attempted to do a needle biopsy of the largest nodule in December (extremely painful and lung collapsed) that he swore they would never do that to him again. Dr. Shearer, however, was able to convince him that this was much to important to ignore and that she had to be sure what it was before she could decide how to proceed. So, he goes back to the hospital next Tuesday so they can try again to biopsy the large nodule. We'll then go back to see Dr. Shearer next Friday to find out the results.

We are nervous. It looks like the chain of events with this pancreatic cancer is unfolding exactly as his surgeon said they would in September 2009. I'm so afraid that this will come back as adenocarcinoma and that will immediately put him in Stage IV pancreatic cancer. We've already been told that if it is metastasis, that surgery is not an option at this point.

Just trying to stay busy for now and hoping and praying for good results.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FELICIA1963 12/28/2011 5:34AM

  Amen - thank you for sharing and a blessed Christmas and New Year to you!

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PENNYAN45 4/4/2011 1:22AM

    You and your husband have my prayers.

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JIBBIE49 3/22/2011 7:47PM

    I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I belong to the Cancer Family Team since my son, Nathan had Testicular Cancer, but he is doing well now.

There is a Sparker, MIDNITE_LADY who is sitting with her DD at a Hospice, since the DD has had breast cancer that has spread. I thought you might like to visit her Sparkpage and give her support.

http://www.sparkpeo
ple.com/mypage.asp?id=MIDNITE_LADY

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 3/21/2011 1:32AM

    Thank you for letting us all know, Cindy, just so you can have as many people as possible sending out their best thoughts out to you and Tommy. I know I am and will continue to do so. I pray it's only the best news.
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RONDARC 3/19/2011 3:18PM

    Cindy, I'm am so sorry to read this. You and Tommy are both in my thoughts & prayers.
Hugs,
Ronda emoticon

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EMPTYNESTER60 3/18/2011 9:00PM

    Will keep happy thoughts & prayers going for both of you. Be sure to keep us posted emoticon emoticon

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BECCAJ98 3/18/2011 3:19PM

    Will pray for both of you. I know how hard it is. emoticon Hope the results are better news.

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CARLA-216 3/18/2011 3:05PM

    Please know you and Tommy will be in my very best thoughts and prayers for the biopsy procedure and results.
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