Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BuBye 2013. Howdy 2014.

Ok, so 2013 is just about out of here. It's been a year of hell.

Started out normal enough, then Dan altered his final week of life. So our last week together was robbed from us. Then, he died. I realize he's at peace and his pain is gone but ours remains. The morning after he died the theme from Mary Tyler Moore kept playing in my head, especially the lines "love is all around, no need to waste it. You're gonna make it after all." I know that was from Dan and the proof of that love is in the faces I see daily, it's in the love of friends from around the globe who showed their love and support as I made my way through. It's seen and felt in my family who support and listen to my woes over and over again without freaking out.

Then halfway through the year Connors anger/aggression went to an awful place that we haven't found our way out of yet. I still hold a slim hope that things will calm and he can be the boy he used to be, without violence and pain. We have a diagnosis but still haven't found the key and it seems the hole gets bigger that we're in. Some day....
In conclusion, and ya this will be a blog entry too, it's been a crap year, but we've survived and will continue to do so because we are strong and because we are blessed with the love of many, many people. So thank you, for your love, kindness, and friendship and here's to a better 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Holiday has come and gone...we survived it.
I'm not worried about New Years because we never did anything for it...I'll just be glad when the year is done.

As for Christmas, it was nice. We started three new traditions. Two for the Yule time period(20-22nd) and one for Christmas eve.

1-A tradition to honor the Celtic heritage of Dan and the boys. It honors the relighting of hope for the world and year to come as night becomes lighter, etc. It usually is a red candle with holly sprigs but I used orange oil on the candle which I read was good too. You can also place it in the window as a welcome to weary travelers but I don't dare lol.
But, I'm going to light the red candle for 12 days starting on Yule but this year my candle was small and burned quick. Next year I'll get a tall one so it can last the 12 days.

2-We are honoring my Danish heritage. They used to leave cookies and drink out for the house elves. I can't remember the Danish name for it but the boys wanted to do that so we are. We do it on the 21st during Yule.

3-On Christmas eve we have decided to keep including Dan in our doings so we will watch his memorial DVD then I bring out the boys' memory boxes and we look through them and feel Dan's love and presence. Boys loved it.

So, this we started this year. It was nice even though not perfectly executed.
Usually I read Twas the Night Before Christmas and Gift of the Magi. However, I don't have them in written form so I was just going to read them from online.
Unfortunately, that was the Night the internet went screwy and I couldn't get online lol. Figured...
So I told them in my own words and went from there.

Boys got lots of goodies from friends, family, me, and Santa.
I got some money and a gift card...to be used on myself lol. I also had awesome friends who sent me beautiful angel gifts.

Connor got a tablet, a mini robot, a set of etch a sketches, a rubber dart blaster, some build it yourself cars, and a new electric toothbrush.

Avery got a tablet, a new electric toothbrush, a dart blaster, some build it yourself cars, a book on birds, two art sets(one he let Connor have), and a pillow pet.

Devinn got a tablet, an electric toothbrush, build it yourself cars, a Spiderman and Hulk action figures, a dart blaster, and a Mr potato head.

So a good haul which is good cuz they were literally out of toys.

I've been extra blue for a month now and it's not lightened up much but it's ok. I can't force it away but it's not taking over either. I'm living and pushing through it....as I should.

Now if we can get this CPS/Family Preservation thing finished and out of our lives...that would be a nice weight off me.

Go away 2013...Come On In 2014!
Blessings to all.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Stuck in my Throat...

I've had this sentence stuck in my throat since yesterday.....HE SHOULDN'T BE DEAD!!!!!
There, I've said it. Feel a bit better even though I've not screamed it at the top of my lungs like I want.
Sure my feelings are valid and many get it but what good does it do?
Is shouting that truthfully painful sentence gonna change one damn thing?? NOPE

No, he shouldn't be dead. No, my son shouldn't have anger/aggression issues that throw our home into complete turmoil. BUT...He is and he has so now what?

Im being asked to endure two trials at once. Neither is giving me anything to look forward to. Neither has any joyful outcomes.
But somehow I'm supposed to learn and grow from them both all while raising my boys, not killing myself(or at least going bald), and raising myself spiritually.

Too much...it really is yet I can't complain or I seem awful in one way or another. Can't tell people to stick it cuz that's rude. Can't beat up anything cuz I'd be hurt and no better off.
The anger is welling again so here I am ranting....for no reason, that'll get me nowhere.


I am blessed and am grateful but there are days, like today, that I could really care less. I don't wanna hear that it'll get better(know it) or that the universe/Divine knows and is with me(know it), or that I'm special and strong(don't care) or that I must look to the positive and be grateful and meditate, etc(know it, just don't wanna hear it cuz this mood makes me wanna barf when I hear it).

I don't feel Dan with me. I feel alone, flapping in the breeze like a flag.

I know many things...Im loved, I'm doing my best, I'm strong, I'll be good, I miss that companionship, kisses and hugs in strong arms, I have awesome family and friends, etc.

But right now....*shrugs*

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Blessed be y'all. Hope your turkey day was lovely.

We were going to just eat out because I just couldn't bring myself to cook and I wanted to have a nice week because last year was awful.

However, on Tuesday my good friend Stacey invited us to her home. It was a lovely meal. She's an awesome cook.
It was nice to be focused on visiting with others and enjoying their company versus letting my emotions overrun me. I feel kinda numb but it's because I block the thoughts of Dan not being here out. I know he's not but I don't think further than that.

Im feeling this way when I think of Christmas too.

So this week has, again, tested me. At Connors counseling appointment he said I choked him so I was told CPS had to be told so now I fret over that. Connor accidentally burned up the microwave plus his usual antics. So getting away from last year's rotten week didn't happen but today was nice.

I would like to say to the Universe that I've been tested a lot this year and I'd appreciate a break. Or at least find a way to ease your way into Connor and help him cease his anger and aggression towards his brothers and myself. Either one would be great, thanks. I want help for him, I want a way to ease our troubles and soothe his savage beast. My family has been through enough right now, please whisper a way, send softness to his mind, give his counselor the ability to get an answer that will work. SOMETHING....PLEASE!!!! I can't continue with this weight on me that CPS could be called for another lie. The thought of losing my boys over his anger induced lies terrifies me.

It would be foolish not to end this without gratitude since it is Thanksgiving. So here is my list.
I am grateful for....

*My son's. They challenge me, they make me laugh, they show me wonder through their eyes.
*A roof over our heads.
*My family. Your love and listening ears have seen me through this horrid year. Your teachings of family unity helped give the strength to carry on. Love you much!
*Dr Pepper, it keeps me sane some days.
*My friends both near and far. You have shown me love, tenderness, and and happiness. Your kindness has been inspirational and healing in more ways than I can count.
*The Divine. You test me, you give me strength and endurance, and you help me learn and grow.
*Ups and downs. Im grateful for both. I learn and grow and gain strength from it all. I know without one I cannot have the other so, for both, I'm grateful.
*Slippers. They keep my feet warm....the end.
*Dan. Without you I'd have never known love, commitment, and joy in the way companions know it. It had passion but little romance lol.
If it weren't for you seeing me and loving me I'd have never known motherhood. Thank you for the boys. For those gems that are a mix of you and me. Thank you for believing in me and appreciating my commitment to you. Always my Love.....

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Samhain 2013

So, it didn't quite go as I wanted but what does.
I lit a candle, opened a circle and did it my way. LOL

I said a blessing that I found online, it was lovely.
I thanked my ancestors and especially my great aunt whom I was close to and my grandpa.
Mostly talked to Dan and cried.

Made some "New year plans" but kept them general. Like letting fear out, bringing peace in. Letting doubt go, letting confidence in. That kind of thing.

But as I said...most of my half hour was spent talking to Dan. Asked him to hang around and to keep an eye on me but especially the boys....That's when the candle flame went into a brilliant white light that was twice as bright. So, I knew he was around.
I even told him that if I was meant to love again that he help us connect. That he pick him out(so to speak). Someone that would be good for me at this point in life and who would help me raise the boys to be men HE would be proud of.
Told him it was ok if it never happened too cuz I was back to wanting companionship, not needing it.
That I was doing alright so far. Talked about human imperfections, specifically those of parents but that the best trait of a good parent was not giving up despite our messing up.
Said I knew he was helping me raise them still and that perhaps this was how he could do that better. Odd thought I know.
Felt I was being watched, kept looking to the side...at the door.

I might add, and I said this aloud, the candle flame resembled a candy corn.

I cried pretty much the whole conversation but it felt peaceful, good to have that talk.
The missing my crazy chicken part and the moving on part. All of it.

I know Dan was here because after the kids and I finished trick or treating(slightly rough event cuz of Connor and Dan was on my mind), I got us in the car and started the engine.
As soon as I pulled away from the curb the song "Lady" by Styx came on. Dan kinda felt that song fit his feelings about me. I needed to hear that just then.

Music seems to be our thing cuz it's always a song we loved coming on the radio at just the right time LOL.

Any who, now I'm soaking in the peaceful feelings while typing this and watching Golden Girls.

Be blessed on this Samhain night.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Week...

October is almost over. I can't believe this year is almost in the record books.
My mom told me after high school time flies by and she was sooooo right.

Connors school finally set up an appointment with me to go over his "data". That will be on Halloween.
The day before I get to have the intake meeting with the new counselors. Hopefully I can get Connor in shortly after that.

Next week is also Samhain which I'm totally excited to celebrate. It'll mostly be about honoring Dan this year but I'll be adding a blessing and thanks to all my ancestors too. They won't be left out.

I think that covers main events through today.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Six Months...

Tomorrow marks 6 months since you left us.
In some ways it seems only yesterday I told you to go, told you we'd be ok, told you I loved you always my crazy chicken.
In other ways it seems like it's been forever.

The ache remains. I don't ever stop thinking of you but it doesn't paralyze me either. Life goes on, the bills get paid and groceries gotten but it doesn't mean you aren't here with me.

Sometimes it's dream-like, this thought of you. Like, did you really exist? Did this all happen? Did I ever know someone named Dan(although that's technically not your given name now is it lol).

Connor is so your mini-me. Even his smile is like yours after chemo took your teeth that is.

We ARE ok Dan. We miss you, we love you always but onward we go. A piece of you goes on our adventures with us....enjoy! :)

To the moon and back my Crazy Chicken....
Love your Goosey.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I need it known that I'm ok. Overall, I'm ok with stuff.
However, I have tugs and I need people to understand that and accept it. Im not gonna hit a magic month and suddenly be fine.
Im not going to stop talking about Dan just cuz he's gone. He's still someone who lived and loved and experienced life. His stories and such can be relatable and they will be shared.
I am ok, will be ok, so will the boys but we'll always mourn a bit but don't worry it's not an overwhelming feeling because I know we'll meet again and I know he's at peace.

But, I have these pesky tugs that I'll talk about sometimes.
Like I have tugs of sadness...So I may cry for a moment.
I have tugs of talking about my feelings because it helps and you never know who might hear something and know they aren't alone out there.
I have tugs of anger that he left. Even though I realize it wasn't his preference to go.
I have tugs of laughter at memories.

Mostly though I have smiles when I remember/think of him because he was my Love and we created an awesome albeit imperfect world.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Boogaloo

That would be Connor. His nickname has been Boogaloo since he was moving in my belly.
Where the name came from I don't know, just popped outta my mouth one day.

He was such an easy going baby. Hardly fussed, sweet disposition but did seem to have a knack for throwing his head back and cracking me in the cheek bone, sending sheering pain through my face.

He loved fans from the time he was 5/6 months old, stare at them for hours if left to do so. It's one of those things you find different but tuck away in the back of your head cuz you aren't sure it's just new mommy nerves.

When he was about 17/18 months he started biting me. He wouldn't stop it was an obsession for him. He'd literally shake and chomp his teeth til he got me....if he couldn't he'd bite through blinds. Redirection didn't work, pop on mouth didn't work, time out didn't work, nothing stopped his need. He started tricking me....he'd put his arms out for a hug/love and when I picked him up, he'd bite me and jump down and go play.
He did this til he was just about 3 years old. I, unconsciously, built a wall against taking "loves" from him cuz it always brought pain and bruises with it.

Things progressed and by that point I'd been looking up answers to his odd behavior. Autism, ADHD, ODD were all on my list.
When he was about 5 I wanted him tested, dr gave me the referral. Then job changes, a move, and no insurance led to it not happening.

So, life went on but testing was impossible cuz of no insurance but I did what I could and then Dan got sick and all other things went to the backburner.

Connors got serious anger issues that have been there but got worse after Dan's death. He's been in counseling since March 2012, and meds. Nothings helped so far.

But after a week stay in the pediatric psych clinic we got the testing I'd desperately wanted for so long. And of course, he's as funny with his diagnosis as my family seems to go in cases like that....never a straight answer lol.

Officially he is PDD-NOS, Mood Disorder NOS, and Learning Disorder NOS. School is pussyfooting around getting him the recommended help. We were going to start a new therapy but I got a letter saying insurance is screwed and the kids are done at months end. However, there is a chance they'll get on Medicaid come October but until I have the cards...I hold my breathe.

I still have the emotional wall up and I want it gone but I can't do it without help.
My relationship with Connor is hard...always yelling, him threatening death or pain. No sleeping well. Add in our pain of losing Dan and we are a mess.
I love that fella a ton, he's my firstborn. I don't wanna give up on him but if we can't get help...I don't know what's gonna happen. Im tired of fights over EVERYTHING! I'm tired of yelling and him hurting us all physically. Just tired....gad I hope this works out soon.

So that's some of the Connor story.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Oddball Widow

Its been a bit over two months since Dan died. I miss him, I really do. I miss his smile and rubbing his arms and tracing his tattoos and I miss brushing his cheekbone/temple area. I miss his strong hugs.

I even miss his annoying habits like always being right. Although not as much as the other stuff LOL.

The first 3 weeks I was in a shock funk. I felt like my eyes were planted open as wide as possible at all times and just foggy head going on. I cried at times but not as often as you might think. Definately not as much as other widows Ive chatted with seem to.
In the first month I sold most of his music equipment(except the childs guitar in case one of the boys ever wants to learn how), I pawned tools and other stuff just lying around never to be used again. I was so freaked over what would happen with our finances I couldnt just wait around, I had to make sure we had enough to at least pay rent and car until I knew otherwise. And with the help of my good friend Teresita I was able to get around and do what was needed with support and got the money I needed to do what I felt was the least needed.

I donated a buttload of stuff and I sold his car. Now I admit I dont miss it and wasnt too sad to see it go, in fact I couldnt wait to be able to sell it but the day it left I was waiting for Dans spirit to thump me on the head LOL. Like I said though, I needed to make sure I had money in case we didnt get things straightened out quickly with social security.

In the remaining time of the two months Ive hung out with good friends and the boys(well Connor and Avery) finished school for the year and I registered Devinn for his Kindergarten in the fall. I cant believe all of them will be school boys come August. Time has sure flown. But I think all parents can say that.
I do have issues with sleeping. I cant go to bed til my eyes are burning cuz I just cannot sleep so thats an issue I have that I need to deal with cuz it doesnt do me any good to be living on little and troubled sleep.

I also found a couple of widow groups to join. One I already gave up on, all they did was bitch and moan and had pity parties. I didnt fit in, I wasnt a widow that kept his things as is for several months or years after he passed. I didnt still wear my ring cuz it didnt seem right to wear it without its partner wearing his. I got angry at all the pity being passed around. Yes, we all lost a love and have a new normal to get used to but we arent the only ones and our loved ones wouldnt want to see us acting that way. We are here to be strong for ourselves and any children we may have. We are still on this journey whether we like it or not. Their lessons were learned and they passed to a better state of being, a stronger one than they may have had being human.
My journey continues and as much as it hurts and takes time and as much as I have my moments of feeling sorry for myself I dont want pity. I dont want everyone feeling sorry for me and boohooing for me and my boys' loss.
We are strong, we are ok, Dan was part of what made us that way and he is still running through the veins of my boys. We are and will be ok. Not saying its easy or we wont have those moments but, in the end, we will be ok.

Hence why I call myself an oddball widow. In the 3 groups Ive been a part of Ive only seen like 3 others who seem to feel similar to me and they've been widowed longer than myself.

The love of friends and family and their support over the 3 years Dan was sick and when he died...they've strengthened us and Im forever grateful for that and hope to pay that forward and teach the boys to as well.

Love is strength, joy is strength, even sadness is strength.

I can admit to depression. Ive got some hence why I could care less about the house or its state(it gets its basics tended to), why I tossed out several pots/pans and all my glasses, dishes, and bowls, most of the silverware too and opted for paper. I dont wanna do dishes, I cant be bothered with cooking or dishes right now. Its too much for me to care about.
My strength is put towards keeping the boys good and myself good. In doing something for ourselves that is fun and uplifting and together. Putting my family back into a place of unity. Getting us out and about because for 3 years we were basically housebound.

Earlier this week I got memory boxes done for the boys. They picked a box from Michaels and I painted and decorated them.
Each of them has a picture of Dan, a ring of either mine or Dans(or both in Devinns case), a tie of Dans, a beeny baby from his collection(that seems to have shrunk since having kids cuz I couldnt find most of them LOL), and a memorial DVD that the mortuary did with pictures of Dan set to songs he loved.
Then I did individual items....

Connor~Dans pocketwatch from the boys(Fathers Day last year), my wedding band(my first one). He also got the only plane model Dan finished(mostly, main paint and stickers missing), as well as another beeny baby.

Avery~the rose from the night Dan died that the mortuary left in his place on my bed, Dans Handfasting band with "hearts as one" inscribed on the inside(where my matching one is I dont know), and a Blue Oyster Cult Greatest Hits CD because he and Dan loved their music.

Devinn~Handfasting cord, the first one I made. He also got our last set of wedding bands(the one we wore for the last couple years). I wanted him to have those because his memories of Dan will be small and I wanted him to have items to remember the love and bond his daddy and I shared. Plus he keeps telling everyone Dan died "10 weeks ago and he and mommy got married too" LOL.

OH and I added a stone into each of their boxes from my collection. I believe one got a blue agate and the other two got sunstones(yes I suck at remembering what they are).

Those boxes will serve them in times they are missing their daddy and just want to feel a piece of him. Add to that the stuffed animals they got from Build a Bear that I put some of Dans ashes into and the blankets from his clothes Im gonna have done shortly...they are set with tangible reminders of their daddy.

Now I think I got you all caught up, although Ill save the story of Connors behavior and Dev's arm for another day. :)

To conclude this blog post...here is a picture of the boys with their memorial stuffed animals.

Monday, April 29, 2013

His Ending...

March 2013...Dan becomes jaundice. He didnt notice it but I did and then my friend Stacey did. That was like the second week of the month.

That same time period Palliative turned him over to Hospice care. Mostly because there wasnt more that they could do for him pain management wise nor did they want him driving to Salt Lake in his weakened state. They wanted me to drive him but with 2 kids in school it was impossible to take them out all the time for his appointments.

So Hospice it was. Access Home Care and Hospice to be exact. Kristy was the first lady we met. She came by and did the initial questions and such. She was the director of Hospice care. She was an RN. She loved her job but was ALWAYS in meetings. I had to call a few times that first couple of weeks and hated that she had to call me back after she was home. Always felt bad disturbing her off time and disliked that she always sounded irritated.

Next up was Cami, think that was her name, she was the social worker. We met her a few times before she went on maternity leave and Jenn took over. Both sweet ladies who did what they could.

Met Shadd, he was Dans nurse. Nice man, actually gave a damn about how I was doing too and really meant it. Most people would ask me as a second thought so it was nice to not be so. He took care of Dan pretty darn good and put up with his stubbornness and all that jazz. Didnt mind my questions via texts or anything...never sounded irritated, just helpful.

Met the chaplain, forget his name, just once. Never heard from him again and I wouldnt be a bit surprised if it was because we said we were Pagan and he hadnt a clue what to do about that as he knew nothing about it.

Angel was the aid who came to help bathe Dan. She was sweet and strong...I had such a hard time getting him to sit up and take his meds those last couple of weeks and she didnt seem to strain at all! LOL Bless her...

Towards the end of March Avery was hugging Dan and asked him about his yellow eyes. That did it! Dan wigged and had me call Shadd and had me using a flashlight to check his eyes every few hours to see if they went more yellow or got better. Tried drinking more water and gatorade and such...didnt do any good. He got yellower and then orange.

He made it to March 31st, the day after Connors 9th birthday. Thats when he altered, mentally I mean. It was small stuff at first like he added parts to movies and such...no big deal.

However, by Tuesday he was really out of it. Waking Connor up to talk about sugar amounts in tea and a "morning fizz". Making sure I had the recipe for one. Asking me to open and shut windows that didnt exist or checking for people that I had never heard of before. Having me cut holes in one of the boys' socks so those little bits could go in some Russian capsule. Wanting me to print out a picture of cosmonauts for it too.

Just very odd stuff. Stopped taking his meds on time, not eating and barely taking sips of soda to take meds when I could get him to.

By Friday April 5th I had to use my friends baby side rail to keep him from falling out of bed and hurting himself really bad. He'd done it like 3 times so this was a step to protect him.
Saturday night I had to sleep on the couch cuz he was taking up most of the bed and talking so I couldnt sleep decent.

Mind you he wasnt getting out of bed at all except to potty by Wednesday night. Sunday he was really bad and I had to get an aid there to help me change his clothes cuz he couldnt use the toilet anymore and had had an accident and I couldnt move him myself. Then that afternoon he just HAD to get out of bed and sit on the couch so I tried to help him but he fell back against the wall and Connor had to run and get our neighbor to help me get him back up and into bed. That night he started making odd noises just groan type sounds but loud. Was spooky.

Monday he wasnt responding, the aid came to bathe him and called Shadd to let him know that things had really progressed downhill fast and he needed to come asap. Dans eyes were barely open enough to see the pupils and the moans had been going pretty much non-stop since the day before.

She bathed him and got him cleaned and fresh and I waited for Shadd to come...grateful Connor was off to school and the other two were occupied with Ben 10 on the tv followed by Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes. Cartoons their daddy loved and got them into.

Around 1030-11am(ish) Shadd got there. Took one look at Dan and said it wouldnt be long...maybe today or tomorrow but he'd know more once he got his vitals done.

His vitals...bp was 66/36 and his pulse and oxygen were both at 65. Shadd said...a few hours was all that was left to the life of my Love. Told me to keep an eye on him and when he stopped breathing call him and he'd come.

So I kept a vigil over my husband that day. Checking on him every 10-15 minutes. Talked to him each time telling him I loved him and it was ok to go be with his mom and out of pain. Had the younger two come in and tell him the same and promise they'd be good boys for him. I swear he knew what we were doing and was complaining LOL.

Shadd had told me to sit and spend time with him but I had said most of what I wanted to throughout the day. However, when Devinn went to nap at noon I took some time to go in and lay next to him...knowing it would probably be the last time I ever did that. I rubbed his arm and touched his face as I had for 10 years and I thanked him. I thanked him for 10 wonderful years and 3 handsome sons. I thanked him for loving me and being a good man and a good daddy. I told him it was time to be with his mom and we would never stop loving him and we would know he was watching over us from a different perspective now. He groaned, I knew he was not thrilled I was talking that way and when I mentioned his mom he said "she's here". It was the first real thing he had said that was understandable in 2 days.

When Connor came home from school, I had him drop his backpack and come tell his daddy goodbye, I love you, its ok to go. They each got that opportunity and for that Im grateful. I dont think it means much to them right now but it will when they are older, I know it.

At around 615p(ish) I checked on Dan and he was gurgling in his throat. As he'd thrown up brownish crap a couple times before I called Shadd to see if I needed to turn his head or not. Shadd said this was normal and I could turn his head if I was wanting to but it wasnt necessary.

Then about 15 mins later I went to check on him again and he wasnt breathing. My husband, my Love, my "crazy chicken" was gone. I called Shadd and as I talked to him Dan made one last gasp and it freaked me the hell out! Apparently, Shadd heard it too and said it was the final air leaving his body and totally normal. Might even happen a couple more times(if it did I never heard them). He was home but was turning around to come and would be here in an hour.

I called my mom and my friend Stacey. She came and got the boys so they wouldnt see the mortuary take their daddy away. They hadnt been told anything at that point either, I wanted everything tended to first plus I couldnt make the official call that he was passed so I decided to wait til Shadd did.

My neighbor, Robert, came to be with me. He is the husband of my best bud Lynne. She was out of town so he was her proxy LOL. He stayed til Shadd came and did his thing, stayed til the meds were counted and taken out by Shadd and stayed by my side til the mortuary took Dan away. I appreciated that very much. I appreciated that Shadd stayed by my side too and didnt just leave once the mortuary showed up.

My Love was dead at age 50. Leaving behind a wife who adored him and 3 little boys who thought he was the coolest thing ever!

I woke up a married woman and went to bed a widow at age 40. But the next day I woke up and that was where the next adventure was gonna start.

Life As I Knew It

So, after we found out what was up with Connor we began getting him on new meds that have so far helped him. We also got him into counseling because he has behavioral issues that needed tending to. So far, he likes the counselor but nothing has changed and new "quirks", as I call them, have appeared.

Dan, well he was still seeing his oncologist every 3 months even though they said nothing could be done anymore since chemo didnt work. However, after a bit they decided to try one other experimental type treatment called the Y90 procedure. Basically inserting radioactive pellets into his liver directly via the artery in his leg. Could only do one session because of his platelets and so that was a dead end too.

Once that failed the oncologist sent him off to Palliative care and we never heard from him again. Palliative care was full of good ladies who treated him nicely and seemed to care. They got him on a med schedule that worked decently, not 100% but well enough, he started acting less PMSy and so the edge of my seat wasnt as worn out as it had been.

Im pretty sure I mentioned Dale before but you should all know that much of his easing was due to the fact that he kicked Dale to the curb in November 2012. Finally had it when he smelled liquor on Dale and Dale lied about having had any. One thing Dan didnt tolerate was lies...honesty was ALWAYS the best policy for Dan.

So, Christmas 2012 came and went. Dan got onto a new hobby...model planes. Something he used to do as a child and wanted to do again. He was big on nostalgia stuff by this point. Simple days of youth and all that. So my mom bought him a plane and he continued to buy and buy and buy. Never finishing any of them. Got one very close to being done though and thats the one I will keep.

I have to say, I enjoyed not sitting on the edge of my seat all the time but I still was on a roller coaster ride. Never quite knew what would happen or when. But the kids went to school, we watched Perry Mason at night before bed and we moved onward as best as we could. Found happiness and laughter when it was there and cried when needed.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Connors Health Adventure

October 2011 I got the boys insurance via the state. Thank the Gods for that!!!
Connor had been having blood in his bowel movements since early July but we had no money and no insurance to get him fully checked. I did eventually take him(early August) to the urgent care cuz his poop was jelly like and nothing but red. They had me do a poop retrieval and checked for an infection...found none and charged us around $1000. Im sorry, quite ridiculous when they'd made other arrangements with us so screw 'em! I did all the work except looking through the microscope LOL.

Anywho, so mid-October we got approved and in November he was seen. They sent us to Primary Childrens to see a GI specialist. He felt Connor needed a scope so that was set up.

Couple weeks later it was done and the doctor believed he had Irritable Bowel Disease, specifically Crohns. However, there was another test to do to be sure it was that and not Ulcerative Colitis. Basically both fall under the IBD category just on different branches.
So we waited for the pathologists report. Came back December 7th to get results and they were inconclusive. They'd had 3 or more pathologists look and some saw crystals(indicates Crohns)while others had not. So the GI dr(whom I love) had us go do another CT scan to see if we could get a better reading since he'd been on meds for a bit.

Radiologist comes in while Connor is sitting up and says, " he's got rip-roarin' appendicitis!" LOL I had no clue what he said. I had to have him repeat it 3x before I understood rip-roarin'. It was his accent mostly but also its not a term you hear often LOL. I was in shock as was the doctor. Totally came out of left field at us. So we spent a couple hours getting stuff set up and figured out and he was admitted that night for an appendectomy. It was to be a procedure lasting around an hour. He was in there for a bit over 2. Because of all the inflammation from his disease and such they had to take out a bit of bowel and small intestine, it was just too damaged from the inflammation.

He was in the hospital for 5 days. I was right by his side the entire time. I missed my shower! LOL
We got him regulated on meds and he's doing fine for now. We even participated in the hospitals genetic research to figure out whey this disease, that is typically found in people who are in their early 20's, is being found in young kids a lot anymore. So we gave blood and in a couple of years when they get all the funding and such they need we'll even get a genetic readout of what we can be susceptible too. :)
Dan couldnt be in the hospital for long because he hates them and because he was freaked that his boy was there and battling a rotten disease of his own. Tore him apart.

You know, I wasnt pleased to have Dale in our lives and that feeling of "he shouldnt be here" was proven correct but he did help out for a while and I am grateful for those few months that he was helpful. And I am not talking anymore about him, he's not worth more than a paragraph LOL but he's a part of this story so it was only right he be mentioned.

Next Step

So, I talked about the chemo...did I mention that when his platelets started going down I had to give him injections, in the belly, to try and boost their production?
Ya, anyone who knows me understands needles scare the crap out of me yet here I was injecting my husband with stuff daily. I got pretty proficient at it but I dont wanna ever do that again if I can help it LOL.
The things we do for love, right??

So, we had already discussed leaving Las Vegas and moving to Utah simply because most of my support system was there and we had noone and no thing in Vegas worth sticking around for.

So, we made plans and in late September 2011 we made the harrowing journey to northern Utah. When I left Utah originally back in 1999 I never expected to go back. Had no desire to or any of that. But we talked about moving back to Texas and as much as we loved living there I knew we still would be without a real support system(I have one friend there and thats it). What my family needed, especially me and the boys, was support especially when Dan was gone. So, with Dans "bro" Dale in tow(totally against my desires) we were off.

Our journey began by the Uhaul breaking down on our way out of town and we had to turn around and go to a facility to swap trucks. So, Dale and a couple of workers had to take ALL our belongings out of the one truck and put it into the new one. Then off we went again.

Spent the night at my moms since we'd gotten on the road late(as I recall). Then we headed to our new home in the northern part of the state. Was going pretty ok(Dan was grouchy tho) til we hit Salt Lake, during rush hour I might add. Then my van broke down on the freeway. Oh joy! That meant we had to pull to the side of the road and put the van on the car puller and drive Dans beloved SVX. I LOATHE that car so Dale drove it and I drove his truck with the boys inside the SVX.
Well, I didnt realize the headlights werent on so Dan pulled the Uhaul off the road and bitched me out over our walkie talkies and then he bitched me out again cuz he got lost trying to get back onto the freeway. Then we couldnt find our way totally right after hitting Ogden and had to call my friend and then we finally pulled into our new parking lot around 9pm. What a hell of a day and hell of a trip...you'd think someone was trying to tell us it wasnt smart to move but once we got here, it felt right. My friend had food for us and other friends came to help us unload and all that good jazz.

Im surprised how at peace I am being back here. I wanted to leave it because it never ever felt homey to me. Texas actually did tho. However, being back here is now homey to me and the boys love it and love the seasons and I know we made the right choice. Its just very odd leaving an active LDS member and coming back an ex one LOL.

We actually got here on Dans birthday, did I mention that LOL. The next week was spent getting settled and unpacked and then getting the boys insurance.

And that will begin our next adventure in Utah.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Chemo Days

So, beginning September 1st 2010 Dan began chemotherapy.
At this point we lived in the hotel and space was extremely limited.

Mind you my only exposure to chemo was what I saw on tv things. I expected vomiting, lots of it, exhaustion, paleness, and hair falling out til bald.
I got the exhaustion and the paleness and some hair falling out but he never went bald from it. He never severely threw up although once in a blue moon he did.
I couldnt go with him to these sessions because of the boys. Had no babysitter so he went alone. The first med they gave him he had a horrid reaction to so they had to switch.
He felt awful and his personality slowly changed. It seemed every small annoying habit he had increased into a ginormous annoyance. Like it quadrupled in size.

I had joined a group on a mothers board that dealt mostly with women who were cancer patients/survivors. When I asked what to expect with chemo the two most vocal were kind enough to tell me two things that have served me well in surviving this experience: his tastes will change, literally, stuff he liked before(food) he wont anymore. And the most important one....he will become a raging bitch. They told me how lucky they were that their spouses had stuck around after the arguing they'd caused over nothing and the bitchiness with which they lived life during and after the chemo process. Its usually known as part of the "chemo brain" that happens to all who do chemo. They change in temprement and personality and get really forgetful.

Dan got the bitchies and forgetfulness(mind you this lasts forever). His food tastes changed but not horribly like I was expecting but his personality changed and he did become bitchy over the dumbest things. Got to the point where you just never knew what mood to expect so you lived with a breathe held and on the edge of your seat til you knew. And even in knowing the mood could change in a moment. Ive lived that way ever since and its an awful way to live but such is life right now.

We began a "new normal" that wasnt pleasant but was what it was. Kids were used to daddy being gone all the time and now he was home all the time and sick to boot so they never knew how to act or react and they still dont many days.

Chemo didnt work. It didnt take long(couple of months) for his spleen to start enlarging and, continues to do so til its below his waistline at this point in time, and his platelet count to go down the crapper. When your platelets are too low you cant do the chemo because your immunity is at a bad point. Chemo kills it enough but if your body cant make enough platelets then you are really screwed. So it got to the point that he could only do a full chemo dose maybe once a month instead of the weekly he had been doing. Then it got to the point where a month or two would go by with nothing and finally a year into chemo time they stopped altogether because his platelets and spleen size were just too bad off.

So September 2011 they stopped trying the chemo and kinda left us blowing in the wind with stuff that could be done. Radiation was always out as an option because they didnt know the true source of the cancer so that left little options and his doctors didnt try hard enough to care.

End of September 2011 we moved to Utah because this is where I am from and my family and closest friends are here. We wanted the boys and I to have a good support system for when the time came that Dan was gone. We knew it was coming, the doctors had told us as much as had Dans instinct...so we prepared for that day.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Battle Begins...

Every story has a beginning, a starting point.

Ours began in late 2009 when my husband lost his job. You have to understand he was a workaholic. He worked 6 days a week for 10-12 hrs a day and he did it this way for 30 yrs.
So being without work wasnt new to him but going more than a week was. 

The economy had hit the fan and we got caught up in the downhill spiral it had taken on. We had to apply for aid, which kicked us hard in the gut...pride was wrenched for sure. He looked and sent out hundreds of applications and I helped him with that as well as sending out my own. However, after being a sahm for several years no one wanted me despite my skills.

So this was the first blow to him. Then he thought he'd found a job in early 2010 and it fell through because the man only wanted Dan to help him get his emissions bay up and running and once Dan helped him through that...his promises of a job fell through. Another blow.

Then we were struggling to the point where we knew we'd have to give up our house. We rented it but it was a house and we loved it. So around April/May we let the landlady know we'd have to give it up come the first week of July.

I should say that in March Dan was given medical insurance through the VA since he was a vet and all. They did a physical which was standard to do for all new patients.
In April/May we got a letter that changed our world once again.

It said a shadow was found on his lungs and they needed to do more tests(MRI's and the like). He knew immediately that it was cancer and he was a goner. He'd seen too many loved ones receive the same letter and end the same way.

So he did the tests and sure enough it was cancer. However, it wasnt lung cancer...they found a bigger mass in his liver thanks to the MRI's and thats where the cancer was living. The lung shadows were sarcoidosis(sp?) which is tumors just not cancerous.

However, we didnt know what stage or more specifics til mid July(another joy as we were in the middle of moving our stuff into storage and moving into moms). Stage 4 non-defined small cell carcinoma, something like that. They decided chemo was the best bet because they didnt know where the cancer actually started so radiation wasnt going to work.

In the meantime, we didnt have a place to stay as we couldnt afford the house and were leaving. We didnt know what we were gonna do...my mother opened her home to us. She was a true angel. We were with her for a few weeks.

Then we found an organization that helped us get into a hotel for a month, so we could get chemo started and be close to the hospital instead of driving 2 hrs each way once a week,  than they were able to put us into a small apartment where we paid a small amount of rent plus utilities and they paid the remaining rent. They also saw to it that our boys had happy holidays with sponsors getting them toys and whatnots.

We were truly blessed with all these wonderful people aiding us through this gut wrenching, pride kicking, aching soul time period. We can never pay back what was given to us but we can pay forward to the best of our abilities now that we are a bit back on our feet and that will be our lifelong goal...to pay forward whenever possible. Its something we want the boys to learn and live as well and enjoy doing!

Time to fight!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Beginning...

I suppose all blogs must start somewhere. I have tried writing blogs before and failed but I feel now is the right time to put my thoughts down and do so willingly and often.

My name is Hillarie. As of this writing I am 40 years old. I have been married to my Love, Dan for a bit over 9 years. We have 3 sons...Connor is nearly 9, Avery is 6 1/2, and Devinn is 5. 

Our lives have been blessed in many, many ways over our time together but the last 3 have been challenging to the point of breaking us many times over.

My husband is 50 years old and dying of liver cancer. IF his grossly enlarged spleen doesnt take him first that is. That issue is due to the chemo but we'll go through all of that later.

Just know we are imperfect people doing our best in an awful situation. My writing will not be perfect but it will be mine. My comments will not express those of my husband, just mine. 

What follows is what started our journey and what will end it. I promise honesty and love but I do not promise happy endings or positive, uplifting posts at all times. Im sure there will be happy ones but there will be many dark ones because this subject is not a happy, light filled one.

I hope you find something in my words that you can take and apply to your life or something that will help you understand those on similar journeys. If you take away nothing but this than I will be happy....life is a journey not a destination and the road has never been, nor never will be smooth. Enjoy each and every bump along the way and find the bliss in even the darkness.