Life is meant to be lived in forward, not in reverse.
Category Archives: Humor
Always be the rose in your Mother’s eye
Honor your past; but don’t live in it!
Today we picked up “The Little One’s” new shoes today Hanger Prosthetic and Orthotics. Unfortunately, the first choice of shoes ‘The Little One’ selected, somehow was not available in a therapeutic model! These Stilettos would make Bette Midler proud as she would be singing…”In These Shoes” once she laid eyes on these shoes!
As we arrived in the office of Hanger Prosthetic and Orthotics we were greeted by Shelley who assisted us last week with the fitting. Shelley is great to work with, she pulls no punches, knows what she is talking about and has a care for all her clients. It was a pleasure to work with her.
Within moments of sitting in the waiting room, the new shoes arrived and the Imelda Marcos of South Florida was back in his element. Mindful of what Shelley mentioned last week that “these shoes” would feel a little ‘loose’ at first, ‘The Little One’ was quick to comment about just that! ”When I get a blister on the back of my foot from ‘These Shoes’ being loose, I will be back next week to show you!” Of course, my laughing at this statement was is not the polite thing to do!
Shelley handled the comment with grace; by the time we were ready to leave, the Imelda Marcos of South Florida had already had is eye out on another pair of shoes. Should I have really have been surprised?
The good folks at Hanger really treated us well today. There was a complete mix up with the co-pay, they admitted their error and allowed us to send in payment as we were under the impression that there was no funds due upon pick up of ‘These Shoes.’ Customer Service goes a long way in leaving a lasting impression on consumers. I knew from my previous experience with Hanger that they were a model company whose mission is to help people lead a better life. They proved it again today! It goes without saying that when you are in the people business, you need to be about the people! Hanger proved that again today. And with that, had one happy customer leaving their office today!
You see…we might have cancer, but cancer does not have us!
The trip to the oncologist brought a big smile to everyone face. Amazed at the progress of ‘The Little One’ the doctor encouraged us to continue on this smooth path and don’t come back for six months!
Now seven months past the diagnosis and five months past the last Chemo/radiation treatment, we find ourselves on an upwards swing. We have much to be thankful for…
Love comes in all shapes and sizes: don’t let love pass you by because life can change at a moments notice.
You see, we might have cancer… But cancer does not have us!
We arrived safe and sound in Deerfield Beach this week. While we miss our family and friends in St. Louis, We are both thankful to be in South Florida.
This afternoon we are visiting the primary care physician; Monday the cardiologist and Tuesday the Oncologist. The report today at the PCP has been great. There is weight gain, all the critical numbers are good. The doctor is quite pleased, and so are we…This has been a remarkable recovery!
It’s great to share our sunshine with you from the Sunshine State!
While ‘The Little One’ continues to show marked improvement while recovering from the trauma of chemotherapy and radiation, we move on to another calamity called sciatica. Anyone who has had back pain knows how debilitating it can be, yet to alleviate the pain we must be open to new modes of treatment.
On Wednesday we motored to InMotion Health and Wellness for a visit with Dr. Greg Neff to see if Chiropractic help was in order for his current ailment. The ‘Extreme Patient’ as we see in this photo opportunity for his building fan club, (yes KJ, the only thing missing is the Tiara!) decided to ride the wave and try out this new treatment. Of course there was the debate…”This is not going to work”…’Why are we wasting our time”… etc, etc, etc. While I try not to roll my eyes (at least noticeably to others), we just continue on with our friendly banter because that is the way we communicate.
Communication is a funny thing; just like relationships. It’s funny how the two go hand in hand. Relationships are built on strong communication and trust. Yet in communicating his apprehension to Chiropractic care, I knew that this was simply a way for him to let off some frustration. Sometimes, you just have to let go!
As caregivers, we have to be mindful that while we are there in a supporting role, it’s not our body that is going through the treatments. How much can the mind and body take in such a short period of time? I think that really depends on the person and their ability to communicate their wants, needs and desires. And in the supporting role, the caregiver has to be mindful that what you might want for your loved one, may not be what they want; what a slippery slope!
It is through honest communication, built on trust and love that truly reveals the essence of a relationship. We’re glad that we have (and share) this trust and love as we continue on this journey to better health and happiness.
As we continue to recover from the chemo and radiation therapy, we often reflect on ‘how things used to be’. Always willing to be on the go, ‘The Little One’ has taken a wait and see attitude on many of the things he used to like to do. While there has been steady progress in his overall health these past few weeks, we are really on a ‘day-to-day event planner schedule.
Crowds has never been his thing, even when feeling good. So approaching his 81st birthday, I was puzzled at what might we do? And…if we would be able to do it! With a small gathering in Brentwood, ‘The Little One” was greeted by ‘The Sisters’ and a couple of friends from our Tuesday night group at Pietro’s. (of course, one sister forgot to make it)
What struck me about the evening was not so much about the significance of the day, but rather the engagement in conversation of “The Little One.” I will be the first one to admit that I can be a little worry wort and always have one eye out for him, yet on this night I glad that I did because I saw a person return to life in a way that was good to see.
You see, cancer can take the root out of your being. Cancer drains your energy, it drains your confidence and it drains your piece of mind. It is easy to understand why so many people give up, that is why outside support is so important in the healing process. What I saw on Saturday was a man who enjoyed talking about topics that were important to him, all removed from the thought of having cancer. When the topic turned to the Virgin Islands, well…he was off and running. You can’t go through 81 years of life without having special memories of people, places and things. It was a joy to watch him revel in the conversation.
When we talked about his ‘engagement’ at the gathering, I mentioned to him that it was great to see him involved in conversation that was important to him and completely outside to scope of health, cancer and the rest. He too, acknowledged that it was a great experience, with lots of fun and easy to talk to ‘because they are so nice.’
What “The Little One” learned on this evening is that its good for him to be in conversation on topics that he enjoys as it takes his mind of the health concerns. What I learned is that I cannot be mother hen, worried about every step in the road. We live day by day. Often times we go through life with so many misunderstandings, so many unresolved conflicts and so many worries that seem unbearable.
Yet when you think about it, it is easier to get through the day simply when people are nice!
With so much seriousness over the past few months dealing with Cancer, it is time to relax, reflect and be thankful for our time together.
So what does one do with ‘A Day of Beauty’….
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; we are thankful for our time together. No matter what the future has in store for us, we will forge ahead. Because in our heart and in our mind, everyday is a day of beauty!
Happy New Year from ‘The Purple Jacket’
If you have ever had the chance to sit by the beach at night to hear the thunderous waves while smelling the salty wind, you know how relaxing that experience is. Tonight I write from beautiful Hillsboro Beach; relaxing, reflecting and thinking about the events of the long-awaited results of the day.
“Near resolution of a previously seen hyper-metabolic focus at the gastroenterology junction since the prior study, indicting an excellent response to therapy.” Whew…that’s a mouth full!
Of course the conversation with the oncologist did not start out that way as he was startled to see us sitting in the waiting room. “Bern” he called out; “you look GREAT, I did not recognize you at first!” (We both look at each other and said…’We’re not dead yet!) If he only knew how much ‘The Little One’ hates to be called, ‘Bern’…but not today!
In layman’s terms, the reports indicates that the majority of the tumor has been removed by the ‘intense’ treatment; what is left of the tumor we hope will lay dormant for many years to come.
‘Cautiously Amazed‘ is two words that come to mind.
The oncologist recommended that ‘Bern’ live his life as he is able. ’Enjoy what you can, do what you want to do.’ You don’t have to worry, doc…The Grim Reaper will have to chase us, we do not intend to grow any daisy’s under our feet. Out of the woods, yes? When you think of it, how many of us are really out of the woods? You know the story…death and taxes; It’s all in the attitude, don’t you think? We hope and pray that what is remaining of the (little) tumor leaves us alone, let it lie idle for many years to come.
PET scans are pretty magical and pretty revealing, too…
“There is a large calcified gall stone in the gallbladder.” Oh Boy…here we go again, another health calamity to deal with. The gall stone explains the pain in the back; we’ll deal with this on Monday morning, enough is enough for one day. Aging gracefully has nothing on us!
One of the key components to age gracefully is to have acceptance of your reality. Fiercely independent most of his life, “The Little One’ knows and accepts that he just can’t do it solo. There will be some good days, there will be some bad days…it’s just the process of aging gracefully.
Unfortunately for many LGBT seniors, aging gracefully often comes with some difficulty. In my opinion, our bodies age by our metabolism and what we choose to put in it; our mind ‘ages’ because of our personal experiences and understanding — it’s not all relative. I’ve never been much of a political person and my theological training has always leaned more to the social side of dogma; bias aside, should we all not be given the opportunity to age gracefully?
Unless you’ve lived in fear, you never really know what it feels like. Many LGBT seniors live in fear of being outed, in fear of being mistreated, in fear of the type of care they received simply because of someones personal bias. Some are fearful that their life long partners will be turned away at their bedside because of someone’s bias. Think of being in a hospital, nursing home or an independent living center and living in fear because of someones bias? The closet is no fun.
It’s concerning; having empathy for bigot is simply a misplacement of morals.
While societal norms have adjusted in recent years, we are all products of our youth. What is ‘accepted’ today, in most cases was not on the books when we were kids. Imagine the climate that an 80-year-old LGBT senior faced when they grew up in? That is their reality. We are all a product of the societal norms in which we grew out of; some grow out of it, some over come it, some don’t care about it, some live it their entire life, many are in fear of it. Acceptance is a two-way street.
Having the experience as a caregiver himself for his partner Herman of 43 years for the last 9 years of his life, provided ‘The Little One” with a keen sense of his own needs as he ages gracefully. (History aside, 43 years together is a feat, no matter what side of the fence you’re on!) We are fortunate that we have not experienced bias in relation to health care, yet I carry my legal documents where ever we go because you just don’t know what or when you’ll need it. However the legal documents don’t necessarily open all the doors to the closet.
We started on this health journey just about a year ago when we had the first flare up with the esophagus while enjoying a meal with a number of friends in Indianapolis. Over this past year, we’ve learned a bit about ourselves; we’ve met some new friends, had some friends leave and we have grown closer. In our diversity, we’ve all had one thing in common and that is we’ve all aged gracefully, I hope. We can’t avoid the aging process, we just do it!
Care-giving will always be an honor; and just like his health…there are going to be some good days and some bad. It is all about the attitude: every sunset should have its dream.
I think we can see Paris in the Springtime.