From the category archives:

Cancer Sucks

Just got the call from Dude. Lisa died about 45 minutes ago, at around 11:30 PM Friday night. He’s frazzled, but is thankful she’s not in pain any more.

RIP, Lisa. You’re missed already.

lisaclusterfook

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A lot of you are asking how you can help Lisa’s family and the short answer, for the time being, is I don’t know. I’m working on it. There’s a Donations page on Lisa’s blog, but after talking with the Dude on the phone, he doesn’t have access to that Paypal account, and he’s not sure if Lisa left him any notes about the account or not.

So for now, please don’t use the Donations page because I don’t know if Dude will have access to the money.

I think we’ll strive to get a new Paypal account in the near future for those that wish to help financially. Right now, Dude is really sick with a stomach virus, so the last thing he wants to do is set up bank routing information with Paypal.

Be patient and we’ll figure something out. He sounds like he’s in agony, Dude, and says he thinks Lisa is actually doing better off than he is at the moment.

For now, lots of prayers and good wishes are plenty.

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Hey, Karl here.

After a couple of voicemails left for Lisa and not hearing back, which is unusual for her, I called the Dude a little bit ago and found out the reason. She’s not going to be returning phone calls any more, nor emails. No more Tweets from her.

She’s in the final, final stages now, people. So out of her mind with pain and drugs that she often doesn’t even recognize her husband or children. Dude says it’ll be “lucky” if she makes it through the weekend, though he also says it’ll be luckier if God takes her away sooner. She’s that bad.

I’d been riding her to get a “last post” done, but it doesn’t look like that happened. There’s a fragment of a post she was working on, which I’ll post here soon, but there won’t be any more posts from Lisa beyond that.

Those of you that live locally to Lisa and her fam, I know Dude and the kids would appreciate any meals brought over, since the last thing on Dude’s mind is cooking dinner right now. Everything is on hold now, just waiting for the final moment, and Dude is doing everything he can just to keep it together.

He says that the kids are taking it much better than he is.

My heart is just breaking. From here on out, I won’t be posting updates about Lisa on my blog…I’ll keep you posted here, of course. I’ve been getting an inordinate amount of traffic and email from you folks hoping to hear news. I answer it all, but it may not be instantaneous.

If you’re of the praying sort, pray that Lisa doesn’t suffer much more. Pray for her family.

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Waiting On A Friend

by Lisa on February 3, 2009

in Cancer Sucks

In about an hour a dear friend will arrive at my house.  We met at TequilaCon in May 2008, which sadly is an event I won’t be able to attend this year because of my health.  Of course I tried to figure out how I’d do it if I was still here in April but that’s just ridiculous.  Dude takes me to the doctor for an appointment and I’m wiped out after being out of the house for an hour.  Heh, and I’m thinking about TequilaCon?

Anyway, Karl is flying from Florida after his first flight was cancelled and his second flight was delayed.  You see Karl has Power of Blog, a term we coined on his radio show last summer.  A term I never thought we’d have to exercise.

You see we were having a discussion about what happens to our blogs in the event that we pass away?  Who notifies the blogosphere?  In a lot of cases our spouses don’t blog or know the first thing about WordPress (or other blogging platforms).  Thus “Power of Blog” was born.

I asked Karl to take Power of Blog in the event that I pass away.  I never thought he would come close to exercising it.  Last week Dude asked me for Karl’s telephone number so that he could call him when I do pass away.  Karl has admin access to my blog and he can inform you that I’ve died and post my last post.

That’s all the technical stuff, in case you were wondering what happens to Clusterfook after I’m gone.  Karl can do what he wants from there.

It will be Dude’s decision as to whether he prints parts of my blog for the girls.

Back to Karl and his visit.  I just spoke to him and he’s on his way to my house.  From reading the post that he wrote earlier today he’s having a tough time dealing with death.  I’m very proud of him for coming here to face it head on because as you know, I’ve come to terms with it.  I hope I can help him out.

Most important I hope that we can have some good laughs since I can’t really go out and have a good time.  I hope I can leave him with some good memories.  It’s what I try to do for all my friends when we are together.  I want them to remember me as the crazy, intelligent chick who not only remained truly loyal to her friends but cherished the relationships as well…including Karl.

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Regrets

by Lisa on February 1, 2009

in Cancer Sucks, It Is What It Is

There is a small segment of my family and my friends who can’t handle that I’m dying.

I understand.  I get it.

I believe they will regret cutting me out of their lives now instead of actually letting me die and then taking the time to grieve.  However, I realize that we all deal with death in our own way.

After all, the doctor told me last week that I have anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to live.

It would freak ME out to talk to someone over the weekend only to find out they died the following Wednesday.

My point is that I’m hurt and part of me wants feel that I’m entitled to be a little selfish right now.  Like I can stand here with my hands on my hips and tell people that enough is enough.

Instead I’ll focus on the family and friends who have come out in droves, come out of the woodwork and have been faithfully supporting me on a daily basis.  I love all of you for everything you unselfishly do for my family and me.

To those who can’t do it, I hope you don’t regret that decision some day.  I still love you and I’m still here.  It’s not too late to take advantage of the time I have left.

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Other Than Cancer

by Lisa on January 26, 2009

in Cancer Sucks

I’ve recently read that my blog is considered “very depressing”.   I get that because I’m writing about death, my own imminent death however if you’re a long time reader you know that I’m honest and put it all out there.

And as heart breaking as death is, I’m doing O.K. with everything that’s happening.  Do you hear any “woe is me?” in my writing?  Do I sound like I feel sorry for myself?  Am I crying out for pity?

No, no and no.

Every day I strive for inner peace and so far I’ve found it.  I consider myself one lucky chick-o-dee, perhaps I should say I’m a blessed chick-o-dee to have such calm and inner peace.

That’s not to say that I don’t cry.  Crying is a release of emotion for me but I’m not crying every day.  Usually I cry when having deep, heartfelt discussions with family members and friends.  Those moments when we are brutally honest about how we feel about each other and say to each other the things we should be saying but usually never have the courage to say.  Then the day comes when it’s too late to say what we’ve always wanted to say.

If you ask me, it’s a gift to have those opportunities right now.   My advice to you is don’t wait until you are facing death to tell those dear to you how you really feel about them.   Whatever is holding you back…let it go.   And I don’t give out advice like I’m Dear Abby or something, just from recent experience I can tell you how silly I feel that I let things hold me back from telling people how I feel about them.

Every day I wake up in a good mood.  I wake up, look at the clock and say to myself, “Damn Skippy, I’m still here.”

Basically what I’m trying to say is that although I’m now in hospice there is more to me other than cancer.  I’m living in a depressed situation but I’m far from depressed.

I understand that it is depressing to read about someone who is as ill as I am, someone who is dying but are you getting the sense that my blog is overall depressing?

All I can say is, it is what it is.

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Life in hospice is going well. I can’t say enough about how nice the hospice nurses and other hospice workers are. The social worker has been a Godsend in helping Dude and in helping us tell the girls what’s going on.

Telling Cam and Teeny the truth, that I’m not going to get better, was the most heart breaking things I’ve ever had to do. It is NOT easy to tell your children that you are dying. Listening to them cry was one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. Not being able to fix it is the worst feeling in the world.

Dude and I decided to deliver the news to the girls last Saturday afternoon, a few hours before they had to go to church. Teeny has been consistently lighting a candle for me every week and she finds a lot of comfort in going to mass with Dude. Cam doesn’t complain about going nor does she get real excited. Dude and I thought they might find some extra comfort in going to church after talking to us earlier in the afternoon.

I’ve been too sick to go to mass for a while so Dude takes the girls by himself. He said that each girl was snuggled up as close and as tight to his side as they could be during mass. And of course, Teeny lit a candle as she always does. When she got home she told me that she still believes in the hope that I’m going to get better. God, how I wish that little ray of sunshine was right.

It’s not that I’ve given up hope but I’ve accepted my situation. I still take it day by day because I don’t know how I’m going to feel day by day. Take today for example. I might sleep all day long like I did on Tuesday OR I might feel fantastic and full of energy like I did on Friday. Every day is a crap shoot and I’ve just got to roll with it.

During the week the kids asked questions and spent more time “taking care” of me. In fact there were arguments over who was going to take care of me so I had to schedule their time out. They’ve also been busy cleaning and helping around the house.

My kids are strong but they have been dealing with cancer in their lives for five years. I hope the lessons they’ve learned and continue to learn make them stronger and don’t scar them. Although how do you tell an 8 and 11 year old there’s a lesson to be learned when their mom dies?

Well, I’ve got them surrounded by great people and a good support system that I hope pulls through for them. That’s how you do it.

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The outpouring of love and support I’ve received from everyone has completely overwhelmed me. Not to mention cry and make my eyes puffy. But I feel that I need to clarify some things before you write me off.

In my last post I shared with you that I’ve decided to end all treatment. When I had chemo last week it caused blood clots to form in my neck and that sent me to the hospital via ambulance. I couldn’t walk and breathing was becoming very difficult.

I spent four days in ICU and had two procedures done to break up the clots because my face, hands, arm and chest were swollen. Earlier that week I had a blood transfusion because of my hemoglobin but that had nothing to do with this new condition.

When my oncologist came to speak with me we both agreed that my body has had enough punishment via chemotherapy. Chemo is not going to cure this cancer. Enough is enough.

Although it’s was a tough decision, coming home and starting hospice care was the right decision.

But I’m not saying good-bye…yet. I will probably live for a couple of more months. And as long as I can lay in this hospital bed that now occupies part of my living room, I will still keep blogging. As long as I have something to say, I will say it.

I just want to die in the comfort of my own home, if I can. Right now I’m pretty weak and need assistance getting in and out of bed. I can’t use the steps to get upstairs so communicating with Dude about what articles of clothing I want has been, well, challenging. He doesn’t get the word “camisole”.

I hope this clears up any confusion that my drug induced Hospice post may have caused…that is if you thought I was never coming back to my blog.

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