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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Break

I am getting anxious for spring break. It is coming up next week and I really can't wait. I will probably even use the time to catch up on some things but I am glad to just have some time at home. I can't believe I am just about halfway through this semester. It really doesn't seem possible.

I am also planning on getting a new phone. I really want a smart phone this time around. Any suggestions on which one I should get? I really want a phone that takes good pictures. I am tired of phones that take blurry, distorted photos. I like to take pics so that is something I have to say is required. I want Internet access, Qwerty keyboard and touchscreen. I had a phone that was just touch screen. Well when the touch part stopped working my phone was useless. I won't do that again. I also just don't do well with typing in numbers on a touchscreen. Apparently I'm a little clumsy. I was thinking I want a Droid.

Hmmm......stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Surprise!

I have a surprise for my kids but I can't even post what it is here! Why do you ask? Well because my blog posts directly to Facebook. This matters because my oldest has a Facebook account. Now I could keep her off of it for a couple of days until the post makes it's way off of her newsfeed but several of my daughter's friends are also on my friend's list. I have thought of many different ways the information could get back to her, so I have decided I'll just say in the next couple of weeks, I have a surprise. Now you my readers will be surprised as well! :)

Another thing is that I have been asked to do an interview for a hospital in Australia. They have read my blog and are writing a book on cancer in pregnancy. They want to include my story and will be giving me a free copy of the book and an audio of our interview. I have done interviews before for local news and I did an interview for an online radio show in the UK. The interview for the hospital is tonight over the phone. I am pretty nervous!! I have a terrible cold so the sniffles and coughs may be in effect for the duration of the interview. I'll do my best. For those not familiar with the interview that I did in 2008 for my ordeal please watch it here:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Long Day and Missing my Dad

Today I thought I was going to just relax. First I remembered I had an online quiz. There were some complications with the scoring on this quiz according to the teacher. I really hope so because it didn't go the way I wanted it to. This was the first thing to really rub me the wrong way. I put in some effort on this quiz and I wasn't pleased at all.

The second thing that got to me was the fact that in one of my courses the section goes into detail about impending death and the signs. For those that don't frequently read my blog, I have to say I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer December 27th 2009. He started having stomach pain around April of that year. It wasn't a couple of months of sleepless nights before he turned totally yellow. He went through a million tests, gallstone surgery, etc before he developed a blood infection. The doctors sent him home on an antibiotic. It was about 1 week before Homecoming in my hometown. My dad being the huge football fan didn't want to miss it even though he wasn't feeling well. I will never forget the phone call I got from my dad. I had gotten out of a night class and he called me on my way home. He sounded quiet. The doctor's wanted him to get this major surgery called the whipple procedure. He said there was a chance it could kill him. He was terrified. He said he was going to give the antibiotics a try, go to the Homecoming game, and then do the procedure. He didn't want to miss Homecoming. Honestly, I knew without him telling me he was terrified.

The day for surgery did not come. Before he finished the antibiotics my sister called saying she went to my parents house and my dad was delusional. Something was very wrong. He was confused. They got him into the truck and took him to the hospital. It was a whirlwind. He had meningitis. He was in the ICU for about 5 days. They didn't know if he would live. He did. A bit of background, my dad was only 57. He had a massive stroke in 2004, but thanks to prompt medical attention survived that event. We almost lost him then so when we got him back I knew I wasn't ready for him to go. It was too scary to think about. Then seeing him again in a bed unconscious, was more than I could take.

He came out of it, much like after the stroke. His words were a little messed up sometimes. He improved but he was losing weight so fast. This happened in just a few months time. He had been so healthy before. He was so outdoors man. The doctors still were not sure what was going on. All we knew is that it might be cancer, but they could not find anything.

Finally after my dad, normally a pretty big guy, wasted away to almost nothing, they scheduled the big scary surgery. He had no choice. It was time for the Whipple procedure. I got to the hospital, bright and early on December 22nd, 2009. Then the doctors came and told us they couldn't do it. He definitely had cancer and it had metastasized. They were not sure what kind it was, but he had cancer.

We found out for sure later that day I believe, that it was pancreatic. This is pretty much the worst cancer you can get. Statistically speaking, it's not good. At Thanksgiving that year my dad said what he wanted for Christmas was to come home. December 24th, 2009 we brought him home. We brought in hospice which is where my class at school comes in. This is where they start talking about the things that we went through. My dad talked a bit. We had him in a hospital bed in his living room. He didn't say a lot...and his appetite was nothing. We encouraged him to eat, but nothing was happening really. Christmas day he was in and out of it, but mostly just sleeping. We all stayed by his side and his brothers and sisters came over and sang hymns around his bed. The house was wild with activity with people coming in and out. My dad became pretty much oblivious to most of it. By the day of December 27th, 2009 my dad didn't wake at all. He slept, loudly. The gurgling sounds they speak of are accurate. I looked into his eyes and they were glossy, and he wasn't really looking in the same direction with each eye. I found that to be very ominous. I had told him on the 25th that I loved him, that he was the greatest dad anyone could have and that I was sorry I had ever taken him for granted. He had shrugged with a little eyebrow raise as my dad always did...and as anyone who knows him well remembers. The evening of December 27th I had walked into the kitchen to take a little break from hearing the sounds of his struggling breaths, not knowing what moment would be his last. Suddenly my cousin came in and told me I needed to get back into the living room. My dad was making motions, but not breathing. It was it. I got on my knees and I held his hand...and watched as he moved for the last time. I will never ever forget it. I miss him so much. Gone too soon. John Hamilton born August 27, 1952, died December 27th, 2009.

So when I say that sometimes these things get to me, now you know why. How could they not? I miss him.