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Archive for the ‘Bad news’ Category

December 31, 2015 • Okay, we came up short, DCI-wise. Big whup. For me at least, Ruby’s Bequest stopped being about money a long time ago. Somewhere along the line I guess I got the notion that 300 was actually impossible, that no community has ever scored 300 in their Caring Index. Not that I think Ruby Wood was being cruel to us or anything. Sometimes it’s best not to know that you’re attempting the impossible, or else you’ll never even get close.

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Aug 20, 2014 • I have just learned the Emelia, the woman who helps take care of my parents, might have to leave the country?!?? Emelia is 65 years old and has lived in the US for over 30 years! This is ridiculous! I don’t know what to do. Emelia is a shining light of positive energy who came into our lives when mom had her second stroke, like an angel sent to us when we needed her most. Now she is like a wonderful Aunt who gives great advice and tries to fatten me up “because men like a little meat on those bones”. I *need* Emelia, she is family now, we can’t function without her.
Actually, little does she know, but I have recently started dating someone. I’m not ready to say who yet on who but I will say that is someone newly transplanted to Deepwell and he is a super nice guy.
Also Greta and Ingrid are Zoo Flu negative, thank god. Honestly I don’t know what I would do without my little girls.

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Feb 13, 2014 • This is a hard thing to say, but Ida May’s time is very soon now. If you have been thinking about coming over and saying anything to her, you should do it as quickly as you can. I don’t know if she can hear you – in my heart, I like to believe that she can – but I know it makes me feel better to talk to her even though she can’t say anything back.

It feels so ironic to me that I’m watching her leave me just as the “miracle cure” for Alzheimer’s is coming into play, that drug that nobody can even pronounce and everyone just calls “Tau.” Tauremonpravadil? Something like that. I haven’t had enough energy to watch the news. All I know is that there are so many people it could help, but only the very rich at this point can even dream of affording it. It’s too late for people like Ida May, but those just diagnosed? So help me, if I could keep just one person from going through what I’m going through right now, so help me, so help me. This is hell on earth.

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July 26, 2013 • Sometimes when things are terrible, I try to think about things that are not terrible. Sometimes, that seems impossible to do. Terrible things can be all-consuming—they are monsters that swallow you whole and you get lost inside their cavernous stomachs.

The terrible, all-consuming thing right now is that Tim’s latest full body CAT scan revealed that the cancer has metastasized to his liver and his shoulder. All those treatments, while shrinking the initial tumor somewhat, were not enough to prevent the cancer from spreading. So, there will be no surgery. He has actually been feeling better and has gained a little weight, so finding out the cancer had spread was such a shock. We have gone from praying that he can be rid of the cancer to praying that he will live for at least a few more years. I know that sounds gruesome, but it’s the reality we are facing, and reality is often gruesome.

At least he can still be treated, which is so different from when my dad had colon cancer in the 1970s. After his spread to his liver, they basically sent him home to live out the rest of his short, painful life. The phrase the doctor used, which is burned on my brain, was to “let nature take its course.” I remember being so upset that he wasn’t straightforward about it—to this day, I hate euphemisms for dying.

Anyway, since then, they have made great advances in not only pain management (which is a great help), but in treating the cancer itself—even when it is as advanced as Tim’s. At first they inserted a PICC line for his chemo, but it has been removed and now he has a port. The drugs they are using do not make him as tired—in fact, he seems to have as much energy as he used to before he got cancer. If there is anything positive to say about all of this, it is that we are making the best of the time we have together and that is not so terrible at all.

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Oct 21, 2012 • Hello everyone. This is tough to write about, so I am just going to come out and say it at the outset: Tim has cancer. I want to cry every time I say it, write it, or think it.

Over the course of a few months he lost thirty pounds, but it wasn’t until the pain was so severe that he couldn’t hide it anymore that I even noticed anything. Then it took some effort to convince him to go to the doctor, but he finally relented. Then it took the doctors over a month to diagnose him with rectal cancer, which, they found, had spread to some of the nearby lymph nodes and his pelvic bone. The course of treatment is radiation and chemotherapy and then, after six weeks or so, surgery to remove the tumor in his rectum.

We have to drive two hours each way to get him to his appointments. The radiation treatments don’t take very long, but he needs them five times a week. Every Wednesday, he has a liquid chemotherapy treatment that lasts at least three hours. I have gotten to know the other regulars in the waiting room and have been talking with them and knitting scarves to pass the time while I wait. The scarves have been a hit—the nurses give them out (no matter what the temperature, the patients are often cold) and I have seen people I don’t know being wheeled by wearing a scarf I knitted. I am glad that my time spent waiting for Tim’s treatments can be put to good use.

Of course, all of this has been very tough on the whole family. Allie has just started college. She is getting her G.E. out of the way at the J.C., as well as helping out a lot on the home front. Patrick has one more year before getting his degree in Biology (he is interested in research and is probably going for a Master’s). Martha had a bad fall and dislocated her shoulder, but is on the mend—she is a pretty healthy 88 year old lady.

The bulk of Tim’s treatments happened during the summertime and when the school year kicked in, I was able to take off most of the month of September. Tim is well enough to drive now. He finished the last of his chemo and his next appointment is for another full body CAT scan. If the treatments worked, then surgery is the next step. We are praying for a good outcome.

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Going down?

Caring index - going down?

September 7, 2010 • We got an update on our “DCI” today (Deepwell Caring Index) from the Ruby’s Bequest lawyer’s office. And the news is not good, it dropped from -17 to -34. At this rate we’ll be -300 by 2016, not +300! Lawdy, lawdy. Economy’s still weak to be sure, but that’s not the whole reason for our dropping DCI.

It’s been 9 months to the day since we first learned of Ruby Wood’s bequest. It’s been almost 6 months since the will was read in March. For a small town, time sure moves fast here. 2010 is winding down… Before you know it, it’ll be Year Seven, 2016, and the Bequest will expire. We need to start taking action!

If you’re willing to help out, the best way is to tell us your story about caring. We’re starting to get a fine collection from people all over the country – like these stories from walkernomore and Christa Knaak and Jess in San Francisco and Gareth.

The second thing we need to do is to figure out ways to change direction on the DCI. We have some great questions from people such as Piotr and anonymous and great, practical advice such as this from Charles W. or this from amandel and great, visionary ideas from people like Carol.

You can tell your story on this page or call 1-888-64-RUBYS (1-888-647-8297) like dessum9 did. We listen to and appreciate every story.

Photo by dsl via Flickr.

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July 5, 2010 • I’m sure most of you have heard by now, but MeelieSue’s aunt, Ida May, fell and is in serious condition. I don’t have many more details than that. She’s at the hospital, I’m not sure what room, but the operator should be able to give you her room number if you call.

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