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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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Weekend Wrapup

by Lisa on January 5, 2009

in Asshats, Cancer Sucks

What a rough weekend I had.  It started out with a blood test and ended with a blood transfusion and an asshat.

You know I hate to get all medical because it’s boring but sometimes it’s necessary.  Well, the last time I had chemo my red blood cell count and hemoglobin were low.  My hemoglobin was down to 8.6 so I was given a shot of Procrit.

I scheduled a follow up blood test for last Friday to re-check my blood counts.  Unfortunately, everything dropped a little more.  My hemoglobin went down to 8 so I got another shot of Procrit and was told I need to have a blood transfusion over the weekend.

I found out that part of the reason I’ve been feeling extremely run down and out of breath had to do with my low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin.

The infusion center was booked on Saturday but I got an appointment for Sunday.  I didn’t think anybody did anything on Sundays but there apparently people who need infusions everyday.

My blood transfusion was going to take four hours so my appointment was made for 8 am.  Dude now drives me everywhere because of the painkillers I’m on (it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of what I take) so we had to pack the kids in the car at 7:30 am on Sunday morning.    They had their Nintendo DS’s so they were good to go.

By Sunday, my pain level was at an all time high.  I didn’t get any sleep Saturday night because I was in so much pain.  I finally passed out from exhaustion at around 5:00 am only to have the alarm clock go off at 6:00 am.  One hour of quality sleep is better than nothing, right?

So Dude dropped me off at the hospital so I could get my blood transfusion.  The nurse gave me Benedryl before she started anything.  Once she started the first pint of blood I was out cold.  Had she not taken my blood pressure every 20 minutes I may have actually caught up on some sleep.

Four hours and two pints of blood later I was finished with the blood transfusion and Dude came to pick me up.  Once we got home I started feeling better.  Like a little perkier with less pain.  I made it up the steps without losing my breath at all!

My pain level has come down considerably since I had the transfusion yesterday too.  I slept through the night and I’m feeling like I might make it through today without taking a nap.  Well, maybe I’ll take just a 30 minute nap.

Hopefully my blood counts will be o.k. on Thursday when I go back to the hospital for chemo.  It seems like this could be a vicious cycle though.  Get chemo, have blood counts go down, get blood transfusion, have blood counts go back up, get chemo again.  There’s only so much a body can take, you know?

Maybe that’s the point when I, as my commenter in Understanding, so lovingly put it, “pretend to die”.  To quote Barbara:

So when you get enough gifts and money, will you pretend to die?

I’m sure my family and friends enjoy watching me “pretend” to have cancer.  God, some people are pathetic.

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