Thursday, March 13, 2008


I have stared at the screen for a few minutes trying to come up with a title. I guess I'm just not feeling it today. I certainly hope it's not this much of a struggle to complete the rest of the blog entry. Here I go, wish me luck as I sit down and wing it.

I don't have much to say other than the fact we've all had a rough couple of weeks. I have a hard time seeing my mom cry, yet I am constantly encouraging her to get things off of her chest. What can I do? Nothing... except hug her, remind her that there are a million people out there who want to help, and then make inappropriate comments that make her laugh.

I have a hard time seeing my dad sick to his stomach or unable to eat. I must say, it helps my spirits that my dad hasn't lost that sense of humor which usually comes out at the most inapproprite times. What can I do? I can bring him a blizzard, cuddle up next to him in bed, and watch NCAA basketball. I think it made us both feel better.

Things are beginning to change physically. There is no doubt about that. Mom's back is hurting her more than she leads on. Her cough is worse and it seems painful to watch her when she coughs a number of times back to back. Not that anyone will be surprised, but, her 30 seconds of painful coughing is immediately followed by a smile and a joke about allergy season or a hairball in her throat. It's hard to be sad when you are laughing.

My sad moments aren't when we talk about sickness or cancer... not even about death. My worst moments are when I hear my mom talk about medical insurance, or her disability through work. She is very appreciative of the staff members in Stanwood who have volunteered some of their sick leave to get her through this tough time. She can't say enough nice things about these people but she also knows the importance of sick leave and she wants people to keep enough for themselves, as you never know what tomorrow will bring. Mom and I talk about her fears. She doesn't know what's going to happen with her disability insurance and she is scared (for many reasons) about losing my dad. She can't imagine being without him. She doesn't want to see him sick. And, she doesn't want to be in a horrible situation as a stage four lung cancer patient who's insurance benefits are changing. What if something isn't covered? What if one or both of them hit their lifetime maximum in insurance coverage? What if... what if... what if. Those are the conversations that make me sad. I want my parents to live in the now. I want them to think about the things that are happening around them. I don't want them dreading the "what if's" of the future. I can assure them that their children will be just fine. Many of you have assured them that their children will be loved and looked after. What none of us can do is ease their concerns about the uncertainties of the future.

I wish there was more I could do. I'm sure you do too. I heard a guy on the radio yesterday say something to the effect that too many people get obsessed with wanting more success in life so he encouraged all of us to become absolutely obsessed with doing everything we can to make the lives of the people around us as happy and fulfilling as they can possibly be. I don't know about you, but I'm all for it.

My advice for the day:
Give more than you take.... and laugh.

Dr. Amy


Anonymous said...

All I can say is that they don't come any sweeter than you.


Anonymous said...

Trying to hold up my end of that obsession. Let me know if you get tired and need some my support on your end.

XXOO Karen

Sonya said...

You don't know me, but I sit down each evening to read your blog. Your words have touched my heart in a very amazing way. I have come to know your family through this blog. I am a friend of Karen Hanseth's and found your blog on her page. I find myself smiling as I read your words, or tonight, tearing up. I wish you all the best on this journey and I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers each day.

Much love,

Heather said...

Thank you for your candidness. I haven't stopped thinking about you and the family since I saw you in Reno. Your words are a good dose of a reality check. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Families like yours are why we fight the fight!

We are so glad you continue to share your story...those of us who have been down this road before know we are not alone and those who have just begun this journey can understand what lies ahead!

Continue to live, love and leave a legacy!