10/2/19

Good grief this fall is whizzing by. Before we know it it will be the end of the year. This means my fall semester will be over and all my papers are due. I want that to happen yet I need a bit more time. Time, please slow down!

The girls just spent five nights with us while their parents took a much-needed vacation. Now I need one!  They were wonderful and I miss them. They are just so busy- busy little demanding bees- buzzing around telling me what they need right NOW! HA!  THEY ARE CUTE.  It seems so quiet here. Hmm maybe I can do my homework now?

Yesterday was crazy. I got Ollie off to school (someone thankfully picked her up for me) and then got the littles dressed.  We went to Granny's to give her her medicine and fill out a check for the lady cutting her nails for her. Then we went to my chiropractor appt only to find out that yes, my shoulder is very messed up......Of course, I already knew that.  I think I need to go back to the specialist and get an MRI. I don't want another one but I think we need to know if it's torn.  Then we went to Fred Meyer to get some things, then I picked lunch up at McDonald's. Yes, I know it's not healthy....Granny loves McDonald's.  I took it back to her house and we ate together then I cooked up some burger for her. Then I got my medicine and picked up a couple of pizzas for dinner. Yes, another unhealthy meal. Then we drove out to Sutton to get Ollie, went to Meghan and kirk's and I made pizza and cleaned up a bit for them. My blood sugar dropped to 52 and Ailynn and Boe were fighting over who was going to check my blood sugar. I ended up checking my own (and discovered it was 52) because I knew I was in dire straights. Ailynn sobbed and sobbed because she wanted to do it. How crazy they fight over that!  The parents got home about 6 and I went home thoroughly exhausted but pleased that I got to spend so much quality time with my grandbabies.

Now I have to leave for a meeting then come home to do my homework, then a medical massage, more homework, cook dinner, and four hours of classes tonight. God, please help me!

10/3/19

My heart rate continues to be extremely elevated.  It's 108 right now. I'm afraid it's going to stop beating because how fast can it go? It's been this way the past couple of weeks.  I have too much stress in my life.

Tonight we are going to the Garden of Reflection to install Logan's memorial plaque.  

Logan Joseph Marre

6-24-87 to 10-24-98

Loved Beyond Measure

10/5/19

It was a great gathering with my parents on Thursday at the Garden of Reflection.  It was a bittersweet moment for us to see our precious boy's plaque on the memorial wall.  We are thankful that he will be forever memorialized here on earth but are especially thankful that we will see him again in Heaven.

I invited my parents to go out to dinner with us afterward. I had been carrying around a gift certificate for a free steak dinner for months.  I had gotten it at a silent auction that was a fundraiser for someone with cancer.  Little Beemer I think.  So finally it was time to use it.  However, it was at Palmer Bar.  Now I was a little uncomfortable taking my parents into a bar.  It was loud, super loud, and most seemed more interested in drinking than eating.  My parents were good sports.  We three were just drinking water and we ordered our food. It was probably 45 minutes before we got our salads and another 30 minutes maybe before we got our steaks. Mom ordered a cheeseburger and hers came about five minutes after our steaks. Patrick ordered his rare and it came well-done.  I traded him as mine at least had a bit of pink in it.  The later we were there the more uncomfortable I was because I knew my parents were uncomfortable.  I think that maybe wasn't a good idea!  The waitress was really nice and apologized. She gave my parents a coupon for two free cheeseburgers and did the same for Patrick and I.  Mom handed theirs  over to me and said, "we won't be coming back." So, I have four free cheeseburgers to eat.🙂  Moral of the story:  Do not take your parents to a bar.

I went to OT at 0700 yesterday before I headed into Anchorage for a day full of meetings. I spent five minutes on an exercise machine.  When I got off I was having a bit of trouble breathing and my heart was racing. I had Shelly check my heart rate and it was 106.  If this keeps up I'll have to go to the doctor earlier than planned.  I have also been having excruciating leg cramps at night. Last night I was screaming loudly.  Thankfully no one was in the house but me, Ringo, and Oreo.  I think we should probably have my potassium levels drawn too.  It never ends.

I have a full day of writing to do for school so I might as well get started before I am so tired I need to take my daily nap. 

10/10/19

Five years ago (tomorrow) I was in the hospital on my grandfather's birthday (October 11, 1919) and told I had leukemia.  Five years ago my life was once again turned upside down as I struggled to process the news.  Five years later, I celebrate the gift of life.  I celebrate I beat the odds of 25% survival rate in five years.  I am not only alive, but I am also in graduate school, a grandmother of three, a mother, a wife, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, and more.  I may have some complications but overall I am doing okay and I'm thankful, so thankful for that.

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate but Patrick is out of town again and I have a busy day with my practicum.  Plus I have an oncology check-up.  I am still waiting for my blood test results but I'm sure things are okay.  My grandpa would be 100 this year! I wish he were still alive. I miss him.

My parents leave in a week and I'm not happy about that. I miss them already and they haven't even left. We are having an early Thanksgiving dinner at my grandma's next Saturday.

10/11/19

Five years since diagnosis.  I still remember the shock on Patrick's face as the doctor said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but we think you have leukemia too, but not the same type as your son had."  Today I head my oncologist say, "Around this time you can get secondary cancer.  But the good news is that the secondary cancer is usually easier to treat.  And, we need to do an echocardiogram on your heart to rule out heart failure which can also happen after someone has done full-body radiation."

Even though I didn't get to celebrate with anyone, I did get to hang out with my parents a bit when I picked up Ringo from them. They provided nanny duties for him yesterday since I was gone all day.

I got to say goodbye to my friends who are packed up and ready to leave Alaska.  I am thankful for cell phones and social media so we can stay in touch.

The other day I spoke with a lady from Wasilla who was told they think her 3-year-old has leukemia.  That was a hard conversation to have and I worry about their family.  Please pray for this little boy as they run all the tests to figure out for sure and then to arrange for treatment.

10/13/19

Recently I had read an article about the decreased interest in helping those who have problems that might be perceived as "self-induced."  The author gave the example of how when she got divorced, the members of the church failed to support her emotionally or even by simply delivering a meal.  When a friend lost her husband to death, the author watched the same church members bring her casseroles for months.  While she was happy her friend was eating meals, having people help her around the house and repairing her car, she wondered where the church members were when she was going through her own grief over losing her husband through a divorce. 

The article got me thinking about how we ignore families who have a family member with a substance use disorder (SUD).  We often don't ask about them, we don't visit the addicted one in jail (as Jesus commanded us to do), we don't reach out to them or their family to see if there's anything they need, and we often just forget about them.  How is it that our churches focus so much on mission work in other countries, but fail to provide basic support to someone with a SUD?  Where are the prison ministry teams?  Why do we not care about our addicted members in America as much as we do for the sick in Africa?  Don't get me wrong- I believe in mission work. But I also believe the mission should start right here at home.  We have a societal (and religious) obligation to take care of our community members who are suffering.  We have an obligation to bring them the Word of God in prisons.  We have an obligation to reach out to suffering families. 

 It's something to think about.  How are you doing your part? How am I doing my part?  Are we showing the love of Jesus to all who hurt? Or are we choosing who we feel deserves our help?

10/17/19

Yesterday my youngest child, my only daughter, turned 28. She wasn't thrilled when I called her at 0550 to sing her happy birthday. Neither was her husband.... However, in my defense, I had seen she had acknowledged my happy birthday message on Facebook, so I knew she was awake.  She is truly a miracle as I prayed fervently for another child after Patrick had a vasectomy.  I instantly regretted that decision and wanted another baby so badly.  God made it happen and we have been delighted with her ever since.  She's a wonderful woman, wife, and mother, and certainly a wonderful daughter to us.  I had a little over an hour free yesterday so Mom, Dad, Casey, Meg, Ailynn, and Boe came over for pizza and cake.

Yesterday I had a breakfast meeting in Wasilla.  Just before I got there, a man who is homeless went into the restroom. The waitress said that he took an entire bowl of creamer in there with him. It broke my heart to hear that.  She asked me to tell him she bought him a breakfast sandwich so he should grab it before he left.  When he came out of the bathroom he had to walk past our large group and he was scurrying. I quickly stood up and said, Sir! He stopped for a second and I tried to quietly tell him about the sandwich. I didn't want to embarrass him. My heart still hurts that someone is so hungry they have to drink creamer in the restroom at a restaurant.

10/18/19

I have had a rough couple of nights in class this week.  Maybe I am just weary of all the work and the lack of sleep I have which is causing me to be more irritated with a few of my classmates.  I quickly learned last year that I don't have much in common with most of them. First, I am the oldest in the program, second, I have lived a full life and have been a professional prior to this program, third, I have a lot of knowledge about grief, going through cancer, having a child with a substance use disorder, and many more things.  Most of my peers in this program are idealistic and think that the way to solve the world's problems is to be angry and demand change.  I am fully aware that demanding change in a disrespectful way gets us nowhere.  I feel that I am a minority in this class and very few of them value my opinions or thoughts. There is one particular student who shuts me down every time I say anything by telling me she disagrees with me. It's gotten to the point where I don't want to even talk. Last night the professor asked us if we felt guilty for being white and having "white privilege."  I believe everyone in the class (we are on camera in this online program) raised their hand but me.  I was just (internally) shaking my head. Why should I feel guilty?  I do a lot to help others. Why should I feel guilty that just because I am white and I live in a house and have food?  The Bible teaches us that we need to let go of guilt and shame.  Do I feel compassionate? You bet I do!  That's why I carry food (and sometimes buy meals) for those who are homeless.  That's why I spend time talking with the lonely or with those our community shuns.  That is why I reach out to people in my community who have been diagnosed with cancer and try to help them navigate the system. That's why I visit sick people in the hospital.  I do it because I care. Not once do I think, "Damn, I'm better than you because I am white and have a little bit of money in the bank." "I'm better than you because I'm in college." Why am I the only one who thinks it's okay to be appreciative of what I have and not feel guilty about it? I wonder if those who feel "guilty" donate their money and time to the causes or if they just stand on their platforms and preach about how insensitive and horrible white people are.  Why should I be blamed that the men who signed the constitution were wealthy white men?  Can I do anything about that? Can I change anything regarding history?  The one particular thorn in my side classmate insinuated that we should feel bad about the constitution signing by white men, and everything else in the world that doesn't represent someone of color, transgender, homosexual, or female being at the top of the chain.  Do they think my life has been easy because I’m white? Leukemia doesn’t discriminate. My son and I both got it despite the fact we are white. My younger son developed a substance use disorder even though he is white. How did our race protect us?

Ironically, most of the people in this class are white.  They judge me because I don't agree that no one in the world should be wealthy.  The majority believe in socialism and feel our Nation is built on capitalism.  The one student said there should be no billionaires and no one fairly earned their wealth and if they inherited it, they don't deserve it.  I disagree. I think if people work hard they have a right to have wealth. If they invest well, they have a right to have wealth. If they inherit money- then good for them!  Why should I care?  I do believe people with money have a moral obligation to use their money to help those in need. I do believe they should pay taxes and help fund programs.  I love the multitudes of wealthy people who do have foundations that help those in need.  But who am I to tell someone else how they should think, feel, or believe?  Honestly, I cannot wait to be done with this program.  I have been in the real world and I am okay with who I am.