Wednesday, November 29

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

It’s 7:18am on Wednesday. Wednesday is trash day. We’ve gathered all the trash and recycling and taken the cans out to the curb. I’m drinking hot chocolate. Later today I’m supposed to go to a neighbor ladies lunch. I don’t feel like going.
The situation with Mike’s mother has gotten much worse. I don’t know how she is hanging on and still alive. When we went over there Monday the situation was so grim. She can’t use the left side of her body. She can’t lift her head. She can barely speak a whispery word or two. Her face is all sunken in. She looks way worse than my mother did when she died. It brings back all these horrible memories for me. Annette is in no pain at all. I couldn’t go over there yesterday. Mike went without me. I pray she passes over soon. It’s so terribly sad. It’s like some huge death cloud hanging over. 

Thursday, November 23


It’s Thanksgiving. Mike drove over to St. Charles to see his mom. She’s doing better than a week ago. I have a mild headache, feel pretty congested and tired and weak today. I made a turkey breast, stuffing and dessert yesterday. I don’t really feel like doing much. Tomorrow I’m driving down to see the kids. I will need to feel better than I feel now. 

Tuesday, November 21


It’s 5:24 a.m. I’ve been awake a couple hours now. Later on this morning we’re going to Loyola hospital in Maywood. I’m having labs and then getting an immunoglobulin infusion to help boost my immune system. I’ve had bronchial congestion, wheezing and coughing since late September. I’ll do whatever it takes to feel better. Mike has enough on his plate right now without worrying about me. My poor health has been increasingly limiting my activities with family and our community. I’m hoping today’s treatment will help.
I fell asleep early last evening so it’s no surprise I woke up so early. We went to see Mike’s mom yesterday morning. The caregiver, Charity, had bathed her, helped her out of bed into a chair and fed her breakfast. She looked worn out and haggard to me but Mike thought she looked good compared to previous days. Her time on earth is limited. It reminds me of tending my own mother before she died. It’s hard for Michael. We all will pass through the gate at some point. No one escapes it. 

I’ve been getting a lot done at home lately- lots of cabinets and drawers cleaned out. Clutter weighs you down. I feel panicked when I can’t find things. I feel more relaxed and at ease when things are clean and organized. I’m a big fan of feng shui and minimalism.
feng shui

I’m needing to start meditating again. I used to do it regularly in my younger days. There’s more reason to do it now. I have so much more going on now. I need more connections with the universe. 

I’m 64 now!!!!!

Sunday, November 19

Patience is a virtue

The situation in our home is strained due to my mother-in-law’s illness, hospice care, Mike being gone much more than normal, people constantly calling and texting him. This has been going on for many months and snowballing bigger and bigger. I’m trying to be helpful and supportive but staying out of the way. There’s a huge stream of people going to visit her the last several days. It’s too much for her weakened condition but it’s not my deal. 

Saturday, November 18


Mike’s mom is being released from the hospital this afternoon and will be going home to a hospital bed, hospice care and a full-time caregiver. She’s 85 has stage 4 lung cancer and a brain tumor bleed that is inoperable. Mike has been at the hospital with her about 14 hours a day the last several days. It’s just a matter of time with her and the goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible. They have a very large family so Mike has a constant stream of calls and texts since he is the power of attorney. This has been going on for months but it’s ramped way up the last couple weeks since his mom has gotten so bad. 

Saturday, November 11


It’s pretty cool to think as of today I’ve been on this planet and traveled around the sun 64 times. 

Our combined birthdays splurge surf and turf buffet dinner yesterday was really good. When we left we both were uncomfortable full and looked forward to changing into comfortable pajamas and lounging on the couch cuddled up watching a few episodes of “ The Circus”. Shortly after we were home and had changed and just settled in the phone rang and there was another crisis with Mike’s mom so we had to get dressed and drive the 45 minutes over there. There were 6 other relatives there all fussing and hovering about. His mom was okay, she just had an awful coughing attack that scared them. Why on earth they didn’t just call 911 I have no clue. His mom’s oxygen levels and pulse were normal. She was in no pain. We told all the relatives to go home and we’d stick around. It took them FOREVER to leave because they just cannot stop talking. They chatter incessantly, seriously. After they left his mom was relieved. She got up and walked around unassisted. No coughing. We stayed for a long time. She fell asleep. There was no problem .

Friday, November 10

Looking up

It’s Friday morning, the sun is shining and it’s a good day. I woke around 5 and laid there for a while but then got up. I made a cup of coffee and warmed up some of my oatmeal with berries I made two days ago and put the leftovers  in the refrigerator. I slept pretty well and so far haven’t had my usual coughing goo attack. This is day 7 of no gluten or dairy. Actually it has been fairly easy so I’m going to keep going for at least 6 weeks to see if I feel better and have less mucous and congestion. I would do anything at this point. 

Later today we’re going to the Port Edward in Algonquin surf & turf Friday buffet as a treat for our combined birthdays. Mike is turning 65 on the 16th and I’m turning 64 tomorrow. They haven’t had this buffet in three years so it should be a great splurge and treat.

Yesterday we went to Mike’s mom’s and she was really weak and hadn’t been up out of her chair much at all in three days. Her three sisters and brothers were there hovering around. Mike was trying to pay her bills over the phone and go through her mail. Somehow in the last couple weeks she has misplaced an envelope with $800 so everybody was searching for that. Technically his mom is still living on her own but somebody’s there almost 24-7 now. She has dementia and is tiny and frail. She has lung cancer that has spread to her brain. It’s a very depressing situation. 

I’m going for a nice long walk with Bitzi in a little while. It always makes both of us feel better. The fresh air and exercise and connecting with nature is very uplifting. I have more work I need to doin the yard today. I need to dig out the Christmas stuff. Hopefully I can check a lot of things off my list today. 

Sunday, November 5

Killing me softly with his song

It’s 11:56 Sunday, the first day of the fall back time change. It’s also day 3 of no gluten or dairy for me. I’m trying to see if going without those for 6 weeks will make any noticeable reduction in my mucous production and congestion. I’ve been wheezing and coughing for a couple months now and it’s exhausting. I finally started taking walk again the last 3 days. For weeks prior I’ve been too short of breath and exhausted from coughing. 

Monday 10:02 a.m. 
I’ve been cleaning and scrubbing my bathroom. I’m still wheezing, short of breath and sweating. I keep taking little breaks to drink water, wipe the sweat and all that jazz. I’m so sick of congestion! 
I’m done in the bathroom and now I just have to put everything back. After that I’m cleaning the bedroom, then working outside to put the winter cover on the patio umbrella and faucets and put away the patio furniture. Then I’m taking the dog for a walk.  Let’s hope I get it done and don’t faint. 

As expected, the bathroom cleaning job has morphed into doing a whole bunch of related things. It has snowballed and gaining quickly as I roll along. Mike has been on the phone all morning with his siblings. Their mom’s cognitive status is declining fast and she’s need round-the-clock supervision now. She’s starting to wander the neighborhood and forgetting where she is, what time/ day it is. She’s left the gas on her stove numerous times. She’s forgetting to eat and drink. She’s stopped taking her pills. She’s randomly flying into a rage. She’s misplacing money, checks, bills, etc…

Sunday, October 29


It’s 11:39 a.m. on Sunday. I just boiled a rotisserie chicken from Costco to remove the meat from it then I return it to the seasoned broth. I then ladled it in to plastic freezer containers and now have 7 of them cooling on the kitchen island before I put them in the freezer. Yesterday we hosted a neighborhood “ ChiliFest” in our garage and driveway. About 20-some people came. We had 5 different chilis we sampled. There were lots of different things to add in such as shredded cheese, jalapeƱos, onions, macaroni, sour cream, different hot sauces, etc…. Also there were a lot of side dishes and desserts too. It was a lot of work but it was a good time. 

Tuesday, October 24

Tuesday afternoon

We got our concrete poured okay. We now have a bigger patio in back and stamped concrete driveway ribbons in front. Now it has to dry for a day or so. We’ve been wanting to get this done for four years so it’s great that it actually finally got done. 

I’m still wheezing a little but improved. I went to a water aerobics class at 9 this morning. It felt good.

I may start getting immunoglobulin infusions again. Loyola has to see if my insurance will pay for it. My new oncologist suggested it. I’ve had them before but not for several years.