Wednesday, May 31, 2017


A few months ago I came across an old friend on Facebook and re-connected.  We had just lost track of each other and it was so nice to hear from her again.  One of the first questions she asked me was "Did your son ever open up his letters you wrote him on his birthdays". I had forgotten that I shared that with her.  If you have followed my blog you know that I the day my son was born, I wrote him a letter.  I put it in the safety deposit box and every year after that I wrote a letter on his birthday and put it in the safety deposit box.  I think at some point he knew what I was doing but we didn't talk about it.  I really enjoyed writing that letter and added photos and different things. I would collect thoughts and stories all year and save them for that day I wanted to write "the letter". As the years went by I wasn't sure when I wanted to give them to him......on his 18th birthday, 21st birthday, graduation.....????? When I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's these letters took on a different meaning.  I wanted to share everything with him before I forgot everything.  Some years the letters were very hard to write.

I finally decided that the night before Alan got married I would give him the letters. I purchased a brown leather case. We shared time that night and it was really hard for me to give him these letters.  And, he didn't want to take them from me.  We shared a few tears and I finally convinced him that it was the right time.  I think maybe he thought I would never write him another letter, or that I had given up on life or something.  My only condition to him was that -- he could read them when he wanted but that when he did read them I wanted to know that he had.  That was almost nine years ago.

On Mother's Day this year, Alan gave me a letter.  The letter said he had read my letters the week before.  I didn't ask why now but I would suspect that my cancer scare brought him to it -- not knowing what my long term prognosis is going to be.  That was a hard day. 

So, Jan......the answer to your question is "Yes, Alan has read his letters."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28 th -- one week removed from chemo

Last Monday, May 22nd, I have had my first chemo treatment.  In an update to my last post, the other tumors that were located in my body were benign and I was doing the "happy dance". I told friends later that I was so relieved to "just have breast cancer", that I never thought I would hear myself even mutter those words.

So, Chemo started last Monday. Monday wasn't too bad but the ensuing days have added lots of new side effects, lots of sensations, lots of highs and lots of lows. But, this too will pass.  There are many many people much worse off than I am so I am thankful for everything that comes my way.  I went to purchase a wig. Not sure how much I am going to wear it, but by this time next week, I shouldn't have any hair. Right now it doesn't seem to bother me, but it probably will when I see it dropping to the ground in clumps.  The good thing is that I don't have another chemo appointment until June 19th. It was suppose to be earlier but we had planned a trip to visit family in Illinois and the doctor thought it would be good for me to go, so we will delay chemo for one week during that cycle.  After getting back on track I will have chemo through the first part of August, followed by surgery and then 5-7 weeks of radiation every day.

This guy makes me smile -- he turned six months old this week.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The saga continues

Last week I was welcomed in Warner Robins by the NARFE state convention. (National Active and Retired Federal Employees) -- I was one of their keynote speakers and they were great.  Thanks to all of you for having me there -- I enjoyed my time and getting to know some of your members.  This organization gives very very generously to the Alzheimer's Association not only on a state level but on a national one as well.  We are very grateful for all they do.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I'm dealing with this breast cancer thing. Since then, a few things have changed.  My chemotherapy treatments that were suppose to start this week didn't. Last week I had a CT scan of my torso and a tumor was found in my liver.  In addition, a bone scan indicated there was a "suspicious" spot on my spine. Needless to say, these are not things we were prepared to hear.  Every time I go to the doctor I find more things I didn't want to hear and certainly weren't expecting to hear.

So, tomorrow I sill have another CT scan of my abdomen and my pelvic are so they can get a better look at the liver tumor.  A few days after that (we hope) there will be a biopsy done on that tumor to see if it is malignant. I will also have an MRI on my spine to look closer at the spot there to determine what it is. We are in that "hurry up and wait" mode which is always pretty agonizing.  Our next doctor's appointment is next Thursday and we are hoping that by then the results of all of these tests are in and we can again get a course of treatment.  I hate to take more tests because they keep finding new things.

All of this has been weighing heavily on my mind and my focus isn't clear. My friends and family have been there when I need them and I know they will continue to be. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue on this journey.