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One Month

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Has it only been a month? It seems like so much longer. Itís so hard to believe how much the lives of everyone in my family has changed in one month. One month ago today, September 10th, we learned that Tommy has pancreatic cancer. Since that time, everything in our lives have changed.

Before that day, we were worried about baby Maddie, who sadly passed away on September 6th. We were worried about finding new jobs. Now we worry about saving Tommyís life. The last month has been a roller coaster of emotions. We try to stay positive and focus on the tidbits of good news we get from his doctors, and we try to ignore the negative. Iíve learned more about cancer than I ever wanted to know in my life, but knowledge is power.

I canít know exactly what Tommy is thinking or feeling because Iíve never walked in his shoes. I often look at him and wonder whatís going through his mind. Sometimes I ask, but he usually just avoids the question. I feel like Iím caught in a whirlwind that I canít escape. At times I want to run and get in my car, start driving, and just keep on going. That would be the easiest way; to run away from everything. But then I look at my husband. I still want to grow old with him. I love him more than Iíve ever loved any man in my life. I know I could never walk, or run, away from him. I know he would be there for me if the situation was reversed. I know he needs me now more than heís ever needed me in his life. This is simply our life right now and we have to work with the hand we were dealt.

In a previous blog I said that I had realized that cancer is more a personal thing than a family thing, that I could not fight Tommyís battle for him, but rather only be there to encourage and comfort him. I couldnít have been more wrong. While itís true that this is ultimately Tommyís fight, cancer does affect the entire family. I have to fight also, just in a very different way. Iíve realized that Tommy is not only fighting cancer; he is now also fighting sadness and depression. My husband who has always been easygoing and carefree, happy and positive, now spends much of his time lost in his own thoughts. While I cannot know for sure what those thoughts are, and he doesnít seem ready yet to share many of his thoughts, his facial expressions reveal worry and sadness. My fight to keep my husband alive involves arming myself with as much information as possible, asking questions of his doctors, making sure he has everything he needs to help in his fight, getting him to and from his appointments, making sure he eats to keep his weight from continuing to drop, encouraging him to exercise to maintain muscle mass, and supporting him emotionally as best I can and try to keep his attitude positive.

On the rare occasions when he does open up and talk with me about his thoughts, he reassures me that he is ready to fight for a cure. But then at other times he often seems to have accepted just the opposite fate. He will occasionally start talking to me about being safe when Iím hiking in the future, never including himself. He wants to give mini lessons on the weed eater, leaf blower, riding mower, cleaning the furnace filter, checking the oil in my car, etc. Itís as though he is trying to prepare me for his absence.

Family and friends that we havenít seen in years now stop by to visit with him, but they look at him in a different way. Not sure what to say to him, but wanting to help and encourage him, they try to smile and tell him heís going to get better. But the look in their eyes deceives them and itís obvious they donít truly believe their own words. The first few days after his diagnosis, everyone was telling him he could beat this thing and they reminded him that Patrick Swayze was still alive after being diagnosed with this. Then, the day of Tommyís Whipple procedure, Patrick Swayze passed away. Nobody talks about Patrick Swayze anymore, except Tommy.

The hardest thing about cancer, other than the possibility of losing someone you love, is that it is there every minute of every day. When you go to a fall festival, it is still there. When you go walk through a park, it is still there. When you get together for your grandchildís birthday party, it is still there. No matter what you do or where you are, it is always lurking somewhere in the back of your mind. There is no escape. Two of my sisters and their husbands are coming for Thanksgiving, and I canít help but wonder if weíll all be together again next year. The doctors tell you to go and enjoy your lives together, but truly having fun becomes so much more difficult when youíve been given a 1% chance of survival.

The last month has been incredibly busy with doctor appointments, and still more to come. We spent yesterday visiting his surgeon for a follow-up and then had to go to Forsyth Medical Center for a pre-anesthesia visit. Tommyís surgeon will be putting in a port-a-cath on Monday morning. This is a small device that is placed just under the skin in his chest that is connected to a large vein. This will remain in him and be used by his oncologist to administer his chemo treatments. We expect that will start either the end of this month or early next month. Tommy will have chemo every week for about 8 weeks, then he will begin receiving radiation (along with the chemo) for about a month. After the radiation is finished, he will continue chemo for about another month. It is a very aggressive treatment plan, but then pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive cancer, so this is really his only hope. With two thirds of the lymph nodes they removed having cancerous cells in them, anything less would probably be useless. He will also be having a PET scan of his entire body next week. This will document the changes to his anatomy from the Whipple procedure and reveal the presence of any other cancer in his body. This makes me very nervous, but it is necessary.

So here we are, one month later. When we were making our plans for the future, this was definitely not part of them. Nevertheless, this is what we have to deal with. We will continue to take it one day at a time and pray for the best outcome possible.

Thanks so much for all the kind words of support.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEILAS 12/7/2009 1:56AM

    My Dear Friend,

I missed this blog along the line somewhere.

Your words re-echo my experience of 2007.

My DH would not take chemo but relied on the Budwig Diet which cause him to become majorly depressed. Keep depression at bay at all cost.

I a praying for you and DH and re-iterate the power of positive thought. You can move mountains if your are positive in every way.

About Patrick Swayze, I always used to call my DH my Patrick Swayze as they looked a lot alike in their younger years. I am still rocked by his passing. I was convinced he had the secret but the mind is the most powerful tool we have and I know of men that have survived the worst types of cancer purely by their own positivity.

Keep up the good work.

God Bless You.

Heila emoticon

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CZSWAN 10/22/2009 12:02PM

  My thoughts and prayers are with you. Our family has been through cancer both with my younger brother and my father so I understand what you are going through. Just don't have the words to make you feel better.

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TIZHR48 10/16/2009 8:54PM

    I am so glad you could write all this down, not only for us but for yourself. As someone else mentioned, I don't have the words for you that I would like so much to have, but do know dear SF, that my prayers and thoughts are often with you both.
What has been on my mind lately is Aunty's Frog. We both have frogs, mine is to remind me to "never give up". Hers is to remind her to Fully Rely On God. F.R.O.G. I pray for God to bless you with both of these traits. Hugs, Elsie emoticon

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LIZZYP609 10/15/2009 8:36AM

    I had stopped by your page to ask how you and Tommy were doing. I missed the blog post on the 10th. Keep reading and asking questions. This Chemo and Radiation bring on a whole new set of obstacles. I have to agree with LEEP, encourage him to write down how he feels. I would suggest you do the same, well you are here posting sot that is a start but a note book in your purse for those off handed thoughts through the day could be a great help.
I will keep praying for you and Tommy.

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RAVON27 10/10/2009 5:19PM

    I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you. It's usually hard for men to talk about how they feel! That journal idea sounds good. I just want you to know that I'm listening even though I really have no words that would truly help you. Please take care of yourself emoticon

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RONDARC 10/10/2009 2:41PM

    It's good that Tommy's doctors are going after this aggressively. It sounds very necessary and will give him the best chance. Tommy sounds like a strong man, I'm sure he will be able to fight through this. You're doing a great job too.

My thoughts & prayers to you & Tommy. Wishing you both the best with the PET scan.


Just a thought, when I was going through my thing, I found a support group online through John Hopkins and it really helped me to deal with the unknown and to know I wasn't the only one going through this, even though it sure felt like it at times. Don't know if Tommy would be into that or not, but just a thought.

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LEEPFROG95 10/10/2009 8:48AM

    ditto to the Matthew 14:35-36 verse!!!!!
thoughts and prayers for you, and Tommy, and his DRs.

your blog brought the thought of me caring for my dad flooding back....

I sat by my dads bedside for 3 months.... I was his main caregiver my mom was not able to be both wife and end of life caregiver....I was WAS a CNA for 5 years I worked at the nursing home about 23 years ago.... 7 years ago my dad past away.....and I watched him change...he was always happy and up beat and joking with the dr and nurses but when my mom would come in the room things changed...I think he felt guilty for getting CANCER....he called me and told me he was "handling this on his terms" ...and I honestly think my mom was hurt by those words....she wasnt included in his handling "IT" ....Tommy may not want to burden you with his thoughts...I was the one who my dad opened up to......my parents were high school sweet hearts married 3 months after high school they were best friends .....I saw them argue a handful of times in their40 years marriage.....

I have an idea....get Tommy a notebook , lap top for him to keep all his feelings locked up in a journal ...I just wish I could remember all the things and stories my dad shared with me on those late nights my mother and I slept by his side in the hospital....all the funny stories and things he did as a kid some things I never heard.....

Knowing that you know that Tommy is locking things up he needs a vent, you have this and you should give him a vent...... just an idea...
hope you have a wonderful day...

Comment edited on: 10/10/2009 8:49:41 AM

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PANDA131 10/10/2009 8:06AM

    I set here and ready this words and thought if only I could ease your dispire and it came too me.

The Healing Power of Touch
When the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the him of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. Matthew 14:35-36 NKJV

I may not be able to cure blindess or leprosy, or raise someone from the dead. But my touch can still heal. It is the touch of friendship and pray I give too you today. And the touch of knowing that taking it too the one that can cure all in his way will help. Lean on him for God is always with you. My prayers are with you this day. If you need to call out for a friend who will just listen give me a shout.
Susan in Tn. emoticon

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SparkPeople is More Than Just a Weight Loss Program

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As many of you already know, the last few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions for my family. We thought things were as bad as they could be when I was laid off from my job and then my husband was told he would also be losing his job in October. Then came the death of my niece's 20 month old baby, Maddie. That was heartbreaking for the entire family. When my husband was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on September 10th, we were devastated. Suddenly, our jobs were the very least of our worries. I have written several blogs about this, and so many of you reached out to me with encouraging words of support of caring.

When I joined SparkPeople over a year ago, I was just looking to lose some weight and get back into shape. I was very encouraged when I saw all the wonderful resources offered by SparkPeople and immediately began taking advantage of all that was offered. I was thrilled with how successful the program was and how I started getting back into shape and losing the extra pounds. I knew SparkPeople would continue to be a part of my life. What I didn't immediately realize was that SparkPeople is much more than just a weight loss program; it's a community of people coming together to support each other in all areas of life.

In the last couple of weeks I have received so much support from so many of you. Your words of encouragement have meant more than most of you will ever know. Tommy and I are truly blessed with all of our family and friends, and the SparkPeople community has been a very real part of my support and strength. I have found a certain amount of comfort in being able to write about my feelings in these blogs and not have to burden Tommy with them with all he is going through. There have been times when I wasn't sure if I would have the strength to deal with all of this, but the support we've received and Tommy's determination have helped me to stay positive and keep encouraging him in his fight.

Tommy was discharged from the hospital yesterday. It was my birthday and that was the best birthday present I could have received. Even better is that he was able to come home without any tubes. Dr. Marterre originally said he would be on a feeding tube for about 3 weeks and that most patients who have the Whipple Procedure that Tommy had would spend 8 to 14 days in the hospital. Then of course the emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding further complicated his situation. Even so, Tommy's determination to get better and go home was amazing. By day 7 he was back on a normal diet and his feeding tube, along with his surgical drain tubes, was removed yesterday before he was discharged. He still has to have daily injections of a blood thinner to prevent any clots, so I was taught how to do that and successfully gave him his first injection at home this morning, something I was very afraid to do, but it went well.

The road ahead is a long one, but we'll get through it with the help of our family and friends. I am so thankful that I am a part of the SparkPeople community with all of the caring members who have reached out to support us during this time in our lives. I only hope that I will have the opportunity to offer words of support to others as I have been supported during this time.

SparkPeople has been such a positive influence in my life. I am so thankful for the founder of this site and for all the awesome members. I plan to be a part of this community for a long time to come. SparkPeople is indeed about much, much more than just weight loss. Thank you all so much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RONDARC 10/8/2009 5:32PM

    I know I'm late, but Happy Birthday to you!! and I'm so glad to hear Tommy has come home and is doing good. Great news all around!!
Hugs to you and Tommy,
emoticon emoticon

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RAVON27 9/24/2009 4:34PM

    First off I am so happy that Tommy has come home. Secondly Happy Belated Birthday! I can imagine how much better you both feel being able to be home together. You are most definitely right about Sparks being more than a weight loss site.

I am glad that you are able to blog your feelings. It's a great way to let it out so you are able to get on with the healing process of all that you and your family have been through.

SparksPeople may be helping you to be stronger, but you are definitely helping Tommy to also be stronger!

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TIZHR48 9/24/2009 2:04PM

    To start with....HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing so well. It is so much better when both people in a team are willing to fight a dreaded disease or anything for that matter. Even though I am fairly new to SP I knew right away that it was so much more than a weight loss site. I join in with you in thanking everyone and specially the founder of this remarkable site. God bless you on this journey. hugs, Elsie emoticon

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CJROMB 9/23/2009 6:46PM

    I have goose bumps reading this blog because this is EXACTLY how I feel about Sparkpeople! You know what I've been dealing with recently, because you've been one of my friends who, even though YOU'RE having a hard time, have reached out and lifted my spirits when I needed it. I never needed to lean on anyone here the whole time I lost the 50 pounds for anything to do with losing that 50 pounds.

Instead, the thing I ended up needing my SparkBuddies for was all the recent struggles I've been facing. It's things I've never dealt with, and I'm more challenged than I've ever been in too many ways.

And my friends were and are THERE! And interestingly enough, some of the people who have been the most there? Were going through equally bad or even worse stuff. How do they have energy left to give to another troubled friend? PSEUDOBRITCHICK, whose Dad has terminal lung cancer, moved in with her parents and has been living in absolute hell. We're texting like mad women. She reached out to make sure *I* was okay.

So I'm with you. I wrote a blog on the 19th for my 2 year Spark Anniversary, that cool enough coincided with me reaching my weight loss goal of 50 pounds off. (It almost has 50 comments, too, so that would be fun to reach, eh?) Anyway, the blog is a BIG thank you to SparkPeople. I have another one almost done that's a big thank you to my SparkBuddies. In the blog I wrote this past weekend, right in the middle of it, I admit that....I thought people who hung out on these kinds of sites were, well, dysfunctional. Boy did I learn that wasn't the case. In fact, these friends out here who touch my life at different times in different ways have been the most amazing gift I could have possibly asked for.

Anyway, I've hogged enough of your space here to say I really loved this blog, and I'm right there with you.

I was thinking about you earlier today and wondering how it was going. It was odd because then I looked at my email, and you'd written. I'm glad it mattered that I was here for you, if even a little. You were here for me when I needed it, too.

I'm glad your husband is doing some better. I love his willingness to fight, to get after the business of healing. You do have a long road ahead of you, and I'm sorry you're both on it. But I'm glad you have each other and if there's anything I can do for you? Lemme know. I'm here.


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SALEE100 9/23/2009 4:42PM

    I'm glad to know that you and Tommy are fighting strong and keeping your spirits up. Also thank you for stopping by my spark page. I'll be checking on you from time to time. In the mean time, have a lot of good times, ok?


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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 9/23/2009 1:32PM

    Oh, that was a wonderful present! I'm so glad things have been going in a more positive direction than had been predicted. You all remain in my thoughts daily, and I'm so glad you've been able to share some of the burden of thoughts as you go through so much. We are definitely a community of support, for whatever is happening. You know you always have some extra people to lean on! emoticon emoticon

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LIZZYP609 9/23/2009 1:06PM

    Happy Birthday! I wish you and Tommy the best! I am so glad he is doing so well!
One day at a time, you are right! Babysteps. You both will get there.
Still praying for you & your family!

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HIONLIFE93 9/23/2009 12:51PM

    Keeping you and your family lifted in prayer --- God knows what you need and HE will provide....praying that blessings pour out of the windows of Heaven and rain down on you and your family. Abundantly, exceedingly amazing, mirackes, things that can only come from God, may His healing power be upon your husband and yourself.

You are so right about Spark, it's MUCH MORE than a weight loss site. It's a lifeline in this battle we have ---- is't it great to know we aren't going it all alone. :)


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One Week Later

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The last couple of days have been so busy. On Wednesday they moved Tommy from the ICU to a regular room. This made him very happy because now I can sleep in the room with him at night. Actually, I donít really sleep in his room because nobody sleeps in hospitals. I actually do several back massages on him throughout the night (and day) because he hurts from laying in a bed for so long. Iíve been told that heís informed all the nurses he has his own private massage therapist :) At least that makes him happy.

Tommyís been very strong through all of this, but of course he has those expected tough moments. The biggest thing Iíve noticed is that he seems to be afraid to be left alone now and he wants me in his room most of the time. I make sure there is always someone there with him if I leave for a while during the day. As I type this, I wonder how heís doing tonight. His sister insisted that I go home and get some sleep and she would spend tonight there with him. I want to be there for him whenever he needs or wants me and I feel a little guilty for not being there tonight, but being in my own bed right now is also really nice and Iím looking forward to some true sleep. I just wish he was here with me.

I laid there in his room last night thinking about how our lives have changed in one short week. It seems so much longer than that. I worked at Cancer Services for a couple of years providing free massages to cancer patients. Many of those people wanted to talk to me while they were receiving their massages; I suppose it helped them to vocalize their fears. I always wondered just how drastically their lives had changed after their cancer diagnosis. But it was one of those things that always happens to other families because neither mine nor Tommyís families have any history of cancer that we know of. At least thatís what I thought at the time.

When his doctor sat down to talk with me and his sister after the endoscopic ultrasound, we were listening carefully to what he was saying. But then I heard him say, ďWhat I saw on his pancreas is a fairly large mass.Ē I can honestly say that Iím not sure what all he said after that. I did hear the word cancer at some point, and those words just kept going through my mind. I still donít know what those cancer patients at Cancer Services felt like because Iíve never been diagnosed with cancer, but I do know what their families were going through. I also now realize how personal a diagnosis of cancer is. I would love to be able to jump in and fight this disease for Tommy, but I canít. I realize that this is his life at stake and his battle to fight. All I can do is to be there for him, to support him, to encourage him, to love and care for him, and to help him find every tool and resource available to aid him in his fight. My concern now is keeping his spirits and hopes high so that he wonít give up.

So, one week later, I look back at all that has happened in seven short days and Iím still overwhelmed and a lot more exhausted. And I canít even imagine how Tommy feels. Just a little over a week ago, we were talking about possibly visiting my sisters in New Mexico and Florida during the next few months. Instead, we will spend that time doing whatever is necessary to give Tommy a fighting chance against this horrible disease. All of the little things that I used to stress over no longer matter. This diagnosis puts everything into perspective and makes us understand what is really important in life. All that matters now is doing whatever I can to support my best friend and husband in the fight of his life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZSWAN 9/20/2009 1:15PM

  Good that you went home to get some sleep. While you are taking care of him, you have to also take care of yourself. You are going to need all the strength you can find to help him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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TIZHR48 9/20/2009 2:31AM

    I too am glad that you went home for some rest. Before my own cancer experience, I was a care giver. I worked with a lot of elderly and hospice patients. So, I know a little of both sides, and it changes our lives, never to be the same again. My priorities have changed drastically, first after spending so much time with cancer patients and then going through it myself, I changed even more. It is not easy. The important thing to remember as you are there for him, is that you need to take care of yourself too, in order to continue helping him.
My prayers are with you dear, and your husband, on this new journey of yours. Because that is what it is. A New Journey....new and unknown to you, but God knows and cares. He can be a very real help in your times of need. Hugs and prayers, Elsie emoticon)My froggie that never gives up)

PS So glad you are keeping us informed on how you and your husband are doing.

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RAVON27 9/19/2009 7:42PM

    I can't say that I know what you are going through but my prayers are always there for you and Tommy. I'm glad you got to go home and have a somewhat good night sleep so you will have more energy when you go back to the hospital. Tommy is very lucky to have you in his life emoticonPlease keep taking care of yourself as you take care of Tommy!

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 9/19/2009 4:25PM

    That's great that you were able to be home for a night's rest. You are doing the best you can under such awful circumstances, and I'm so glad you're able to let the rest of us being a sounding board and support for you. It is amazing how much has happened in a week. Life changes so suddenly sometimes, and the only thing we can really do is hold on to each other for as long as we're able.


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RONDARC 9/19/2009 3:06PM

    So glad to hear Tommy was moved out of ICU & into a room.

I can understand how you & Tommy feel. After I had my brain tumor operation, I needed my DH to be with me, it was a comfort to me to know he was there. I was in the hospital for two weeks and he "slept" in my room with me every night.

As far as when the ER doctor told us I had a tumor, I don't remember much of anything except she told me I had a brain tumor and the Doctor was on his way in to talk to me. After that, I went blank.

Just keep being there for him with this battle and you'll both be fine. Do a lot of communicating with each other about this too. It helps calm the fears to talk.

I hope you had a good nights sleep.

Ronda emoticon

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LEEPFROG95 9/19/2009 8:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

thoughts and prayers for your and Tommy.....
hope you had a restful night...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/19/2009 8:44:21 AM

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Surgeries for Tommy

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Well, today was the big day for Tommy. We arrived at the hospital at 5:45 a.m. to prepare for his surgery. He was actually very strong, but also a little nervous.

It's been a long day, like a roller coaster ride. His surgery lasted about 5 hours and Dr. Marterre said he accomplished everything he wanted. He could see no evidence of any spreading to surrounding organs, but tests and time will tell if there are cancerous cells in his lymph nodes or the remaining part of the pancreas. They're certainly not promising a cure for him as pancreatic cancer tends to come back, but at least other organs don't appear to be affected and he has a fighting chance.

The immediate problem came after the surgery when his blood pressure began quickly dropping and they determined that he had a bleed somewhere. After receiving 5 units of blood in IC, Dr. Marterre took him back to surgery to attempt to find the source of the bleeding. Took about an hour but he found a substantial artery going into the stomach was bleeding and was able to repair same. He also received an additional 4 units of blood in the second surgery. He said his stomach was about the size of a football filled with blood, so he had to open it up to release that pressure. They're leaving him on the ventilator all night tonight and keeping him sedated. They will try to begin to wean him off the vent tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.

I'm now off to get to get a few hours sleep before heading off to the hospital I really want to be there when he wakes up. Praying for the best possible outcome!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVON27 9/17/2009 4:31PM

    I hope things have been going better since you wrote. It certainly sounds like his Dr. knows what he's doing, thank goodness! My thoughts and prayers are always with you and Tommy! I'm so glad to hear that you are trying to sleep and take care of yourself! Keep us posted! emoticon emoticon

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CZSWAN 9/17/2009 12:51PM

  I can't even begin to think of words to offer that would help and I can't even begin to think about what your life must be like now. My thoughts are with you. Will be thinking of you.

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AMAZINGDADNC 9/17/2009 11:46AM

    prayers to you guys, i think that dr Marterre was my mom's dr too, please keep us posted as you can


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CJROMB 9/15/2009 5:49PM

    Oh, man, rough day for both of you. I'm so happy to hear it hasn't spread that they can see right now. I'm hoping with all my heart he's going to be okay permanently very very soon. I know this is a trying time for both of you right now. You're in my thoughts and definitely in my heart. Hugs.

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MONICATJ 9/15/2009 10:33AM

    Praise God! You and Tommy were in my thoughts and prayers all day yesterday. I will keep praying!

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LIZZYP609 9/15/2009 6:32AM

    I will be praying for both of you. I am glad that everything turned out pretty good yesterday. I am sure it was scary for you, hopefully you had friends and/family by your side.
Keep us updated! God's blessing on you both.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 9/15/2009 4:29AM

    I'm so glad some positive things came out today. I hope there are many more to come. You two, and all those close to you who are going through this with you, are being held close to my heart. emoticon

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ANTICIA 9/15/2009 1:07AM

    My thoughts are with you and Tommy while going through this hard time. I am glad the surgery is over and finally able to rest. I will cross fingers that all test come back negative. Stay strong for Tommy and yourself. emoticon

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One Day at a Time

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The good news for the weekend is that Tommy's doctors allowed me to bring him home for a few days. But only after much lecturing and me promising to administer all of his meds over the weekend and keep him on a clear liquid diet Sunday. He had told them he just wanted to come home and sleep in his own bed a few days.

It's now 6:25 a.m., but I've been up since 4:45 a.m. Just couldn't sleep; too many thoughts swirling through my head. I finally got up because I didn't want to wake Tommy. For the first time in a couple days, he appeared to be sleeping soundly. I'm glad because I spent the night before with him at the hospital and he was up and down all night long.

I know he's happy to be here, but at the same time, without all the distractions that come with being in a hospital, he has more quiet time to reflect on his situation. There were a few tough moments last night, but we got through them with tears and hugs. There will be many more. We both admitted that we are scared to death. He is afraid because he is facing his own mortality and upset because he wants to see his grandchildren grow up. I supposed I'm a little more selfish; I'm terrified at the possibility of not having him in my life. I know we will all have to face our own mortality someday, but I'm just not ready to give him up at this age. That's why I will not give up on my husband and I will continue to fight this thing as long as he is with us.

I'm hoping today will be a good day for him. My son's best friend, Will, is married to the great-niece of Benny Parsons (for those who don't follow racing, he was a famous Nascar race driver and later announcer). Benny Parsons' home is about a 90 minute drive from our house. Tommy loves Nascar racing, so Will is planning on taking us to see Benny Parsons' museum and some behind the scenes stuff that visitors don't normally get to see. We're supposed to go up at noon today and Tommy seems excited about that. Maybe this will allow him to get his mind off things, even if just for a while, and enjoy his weekend.

I don't know what will happen on Monday when he has surgery, but from this point forward we will take things one day at a time and make the most of every day.

I thank all of you so much for the support you've shown in your kind comments and the private messages I've received. It truly means so much to know others are praying for us. It also helps me a lot just to be able to write all these feelings down. Thank you all so very much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 9/15/2009 5:56PM

    We're here for you. A few weeks ago when I was struggling so hard with what's happening to my Dad, SparkPeople was a lifeline for me. It was a place to talk this through, get it out, it's safe, there's caring, hugs, comfort, tears, warmth, love. It was NEVER something I even considered when I signed up for those trackers 2 years ago, but it's been one of the best surprises I've ever had. It will be the same for you as you deal with what's happening.

You're right, we do have to face our mortality. I've done that a lot in this past month, in a way I've never done before, and frankly, I prefer being in denial myself. My husband and I have been having some trouble lately. We work together PLUS we live together PLUS we do everything together PLUS we're really different. We were discussing, before that trip, some serious changes in the relationship and in the business structure. Monumental. But then? All the stuff with my Dad happened. And the two of us looked at each other and thought "Huh? What were we THINKING?"

And we tabled the whole idea of pushing back from each other in any kind of way.

It's times like this that we realize how much those precious people in our lives mean to us. Of course we always know it, but sometimes the spotlight gets shifted off that to other things.

I ache for you that you've had to face that more than once recently. I hope with all my heart you'll both get through this just fine. Of course there's nothing I can do really to help, other than give you a hug in my heart and make sure you know we all really DO care.

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NASCAR_CHICK 9/13/2009 4:04PM

    My thoughts & prayers are w/ both of you... and I'll definitely be thinking of you on Monday! Be sure to take care of yourself through all of us... I'm sure that you are putting your husband first right now, but you must remember that you be no good to him if you let yourself get rundown!

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SALEE100 9/13/2009 3:51PM

    I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you. Have a great day!


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18GH30 9/12/2009 8:38PM

    I don't know you or anything about your situation, but I can feel the pain in your writing. Good luck - my thoughts and prayers are with you.


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RAVON27 9/12/2009 9:11AM

    Ditto on the taking care of yourself! I'm so glad that the doctors let you take him home. Nowadays hospitals are just thinking about how to fix people with medicine. It's about time they realized all the healthy benefits of being with family and in your own home. Have a great weekend!

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LIZZYP609 9/12/2009 9:07AM


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LEEPFROG95 9/12/2009 8:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

thoughts and prayers for you and your family.....Make sure in taking care of you hubby you take care of yourself so you are strong enough for the both of you ....the race stuff sounds so cool and maybe just the little break you all need ....enjoy the day.. and the fun memories take tons of pictures....it is a chance to have a great day.... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/12/2009 8:34:08 AM

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