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I have been readin Blogs and Forums. I was married at 16.. yeah had to.. I had 2 children 18 months apart.. The marriage was doomed from the start, but in 1965 .... you were a "bad" girl. Marriage was the "right" thing so thats what happened. Divorced. I met a man 12 yrs older, We married and he adopted my children... their "dad" had no interest and didn't pay child support or even call. Pat my husband had kidney problems.. he was medically discharged from the Army (8yrs in the Army). He had a couple surgeries and did well. then in 1971 my 5 yr old son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer) there weren't any chemo drugs or protocol, so he was on some experimental drugs ( we lived in Ohio) so he was going to Cleveland Clinic, almost an hour drive from our home.. I would have driven to the moon if I had to. He was in remission for a few months. Then it cam back and he passed on August 8 1972. He would have been 7 n November.
I didn't like Ohio, I had been born in PA. My husband had been stationed in Calif. My parents had moved to upstate NY and I rarely saw my sister.
We wrote to cities in Oregon and Washington state. Found we really like Washington, so sold almost everything or gave it away. packed the basics and moved to Washington in 1976. In 1978 Pat's kidney's disease started getting worse..We lived an hour from Seattle, but that is where we had to go for treatment. He ended up on dialysis and little city had no dialysis unit. The Hospital trained me to run a dialysis machine.. And They set us up at home. Luckily we had an extra bedroom to store ALL the supplies. In 1979, he developed complications ( the hospital up here diagnosed him with appendicitis.. he was getting worse.. so they sent him by ambulance to Seattle.. he actually had a small hole in his colon, and by then was Septic.. he passed away 10 days later. My daughter was 12. I had a wonderful neighborl and our daughters were best friends she lived right behind us. So I could call her on a moment's notice.. I had come home from Seattle for a couple days, and was going to go back early in the morning as they were going to do Surgery..I got a call at 5 am, that he had passed.. I felt guilty for not being there... I was 30 and he was 42. I was angry he left me, and I had a teenager.. My dad had died in January.. after 3 days in the hospital from a massive heart attack. We did manage to fly back for the funeral In January. Snow storms and all..WTF now 5 months later my husband.
I did start dating, and I was with husband #3 for several years before we actually married ( he was also 12 yrs older)
The marriage lasted 11 almost 12 years.. we just grew apart.. and he found... someone. The couple were actually friends. people would actually ask if we were sisters.. she was older than I. Took several yrs for the divorce as it was complicated.. I was devistated. I moved into an apartment. Met another lady there, we decided to move in together as the apartments were identical and 2 bedrooms. So we shared rent, expenses, etc. We both loved photography,and other interests, we started going out to places together.. and we both met men and dated some.
We would laugh... and ask do you have your "jerk" magnet on tonight. One evening ... I met John..and we fell in Love... in June of 1991.. we married in 1996. We were in No hurry,, and my divorce had not been finalized until 1993
We were so happy, I could never stay mad at him long.. he woud look at me with his hazel eyes, and this little look.. and of course I would melt.
In 2003 I had a stroke which affected my left side, I had to walk with a walker, and then graduated to a cane. He was a very handsome guy. 6 ft tall. I was so angry with the stroke happening. we had bought and lived on our 5 acres.. I was also very frightned that I was embarrasing to him. here i was with a walker at age 54. I finally asked him.. are you embarrased when we are out in public? He said What? I again asked him, he said I am so proud of you. For walking and trying so hard. Wow what incentive. I really pushed hard to regain as much as I could. I had to medically retire as I no longer had the memory or physically ability to continue as a medical assistant. I have regained use of my left side except for a slight limp. and if tired left side clumsy, I fatigue easier, and it sometimes takes me a little to process and answer questions. Forms are a nightmare for me.
In 2005 I saw a dark spot on John's left shoulder.. ( he had a lot of freckles) I first thought he may have been scratched by black berry bushes when he was on the tractor.. I kept an eye on it, and didn't like the look of it. I kept asking him about it. He said it started itching . I sent him to our Dr. ( he had been going to the VA about 90 miles south) as I had carried our Insurance and of course lost in when I could not return to work. as he was self employed. I said YOU WILL make this appointment and not cancel it ....
the biopsy came back.. melanoma. We went to a surgeon here, but the costs would be enormous, so we went to the VA.. they did surgery and were very positive they had it all. November 2010 he started having some mild back aches, The Dr's were treaing him for back pain.. of course at 63 you expect some back pain, especially with his business and having 5 acres. They finally scheuled MRI and bone scan for 4/27/11 ... he was coming home early and fatigued.. we went back to the Drs several times. he started getting sick the day after Easter and his appointment was only a couple days away for the scans. They had set up an appointent with the Spinal clinic for June... I kept calling and trying to get it moved up..but they said nothing was availabe sooner. by the time of the appointment he could barely walk. We got there for his scans, and some wonderful lady told me about the VA advocate and where his office was. So while John was getting the first scan. I hurried to the advocate. He called and found out the Specialist for the spinal clinic was in. He took me there and explained the situation.. she said I have 2 openings today. I wasn;t sure if I wanted to kiss her or kill her .. as I had been trying to get him in before June.
I had him in a wheel chair as he couldn't walk. ( he was always terrible with medical stuff, and would call me from the Dr's office to tell them his meds ( I went with him 99% of the time) When the spinal (student) came in, I explained he had MRI and Bone scan that morning. Sshe pulled them up.. and then said, oh I need the Dr to look at these.. About 15 min later the Dr came in.. the melanoma was "eating his spine.. it looked like swiss cheese.
They admitted him.. I drove back home and would drive down to visit. Then they transferred him to another hospital for back surgery to remove some of the bone and insert a titanium rod. My step daughter flew up from AZ. he was in a private room, so we could both stay there with him.On the chairs that pull out into a bed. After a week he was transferred back to the VA hospital. The oncology/surgery unit was not full. so a wonderful little nurse put him in a room with an empty bed. so I coud stay with him. Lori got a motel room.. they would have put me up there also. They do have a house where family members can stay but it was full. If you got a room in the house, you had to sleep there and not stay in his room. No I was not going to do that.
Lori flew back to AZ.. she is ia teacher. My daughter was coming by 2 times a day to take care of our 5 dogs,2 cats and then we had 2 goats. I either slept in the bed if he did not have a room mate or in a chair bed at the foot of his bed. A couple times I slept in the chair bed across the hall in the "Family Room" I would ask when he got a room mate if it would be alright with them if I stayed in the room at night. All his room mates were great, and I also helped them out if they needed something. We were there almost 30 days, I did come home a few days staying over night and trying to go into the business to pay bills, etc. We had "lost our 2 main employees.. The tech for service calls had to have rotator cuff surgery. John had hired a tech right out of Tech school, about 2 months before he started getting sick. Our main lady who ran the copy shop and did all the graphic work, had taken Family leave. her mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and her dad had dementia from a brain injury.
So all the employees were NEW. I was trying to run the business by cell phone. ( I only went in a few hours a week) to get things ready for the bookkeeper. I did know a little about the outfront, but not all the graphic stuff)
My daughter would go by and deposit checks, come down to Seattle and bring me clean clothes and take pay checks back.. Looking back I have NO clue how I even made decisions.. My daughter had been working thru a temp service, but took Family leave. So her and her husband would spend days at our home, My grandson 18 was at their house. so he coud take care of their 2 dogs.. so daughter & sil would take time going back and forth between the houses. Driving down to Seattle on Saturday or Sunday. John's son came a few times to visit his dad.
on May 27th (my daughter's birthday) John was transferred to a nursing home about 17 miles from home. That was a total nightmare.. He was only there about 48 hours.. the Hospice Nurse came in and I told her what was going on, she had him transferred to Hospice House within an hour. I had to Advocate and the hospice social worker worked with the VA and we got them to pay for Hospice House, since the nursing home was totally incaple of taking care of his needs. The hospice house here is Wonderful it is like a 5* hotel. They have 12 private rooms, each with a patio..and are totally set up for the Family as well as the patient. Lori came back up from AZ the week before Father's Day and we could both stay in the room 24/7 they have day beds built in and also a large recliner in each room. My daughter & sil came by once or twice a day to visit. John's son and Family only a few visits.
Lori and I took turns taking breaks, and getting away for short periods.
Hospice House made a nightmare into making many Happy memories in the last few weeks of John's life. The kept him totally pain free.. and are true angels on earth. i have gone by several times with candy and cards for them.
I hope soon to start volunteering there. It is where he peacefully passed and strange as it sounds.. I feel comfortable going there.
My grandson got a job (with his dad) in Seattle, My daughter & sil were renting so they moved in here with me. The house is set up.. A living room 2 bedrooms and bath on one end. French doors between living room and Family room. so I have the family room, master bedroom and bath. We can be together or have privacy. It is working out well for all of us. They both work and their comute is much shorter from where they were working. that's plent for now... will write another blog later.