Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hard is not Impossible

Boy howdy does time fly.

A quick catch up. I went to Mayo Clinic and the diagnosis of AE was confirmed by one of the top neruo immunologists in the world. He devised a long term treatment plan that I have already started on. I had a three day round of IV steroids last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now I'll have one treatment a week for 11 weeks, then 1 every other week for 12 weeks, then 1 every 3 weeks for 12 weeks and finally 1 every 4 weeks for 12 weeks. Being on steroids means my immune system will take a hit so I have to take an antibiotic every day. Steroids can also weaken my bones so I have to take calcium and vitamin D. After the last steroid treatments my B vitamins were low so I'm also taking a B Complex. All that in addition to the Synthroid I have been taking for years. I take more pills than my (almost) 96 year old grandfather. ((He takes a B vitamin, and 3 prescriptions.))

Speaking of my Grandpa. In June I got word the he was given 1-6 months to live. He has brain, bone, blood and lung cancer. I was heartbroken. I went to spend time with him and my grandmother before I went to Mayo. I will be forever thankful for that time. When I returned home from Mayo I got word that my grandmother (not grandfather) had passed away unexpectedly.

I wish I could put into words how amazing my grandmother was and my grandfather is. Grandma was 95, Grandpa turns 96 in a few days. They lived in the same house my entire life. Up until just very recently my grandfather was still driving them everywhere they needed to go. My grandmother cooked their meals. They took care of themselves and each other and their little dog, Poncho (an elderly Chihuahua).

I have wanted to write up this post for a while but I just can't put into words all that I'd like to say so I stop writing and move away from the sadness and pain. But as I move away I am also tamping down the love and admiration I feel as well. So I'll just apologize now that this post will not be neat and tidy. It will be a jumbled up mess of emotion and thought...pretty much how I am feeling right now.

While I was in Dallas my grandmother fell, twice actually. She was in excruciating pain. The dr thought she had sustained a compression fracture. That would have been ideal in the grand scheme of things because there is a procedure they could have done that would have INSTANTLY taken her pain away. But, it turned out that she had broken her tail bone. There was NOTHING they could do to help, other than give her pain meds. The big down side to pain meds was that it caused her to basically stay in bed all the time except when she had to go to the bathroom.

When we are younger staying in bed when we are sick is just what the body needs to regenerate. We get rest, the body recovers and we are better than ever. But there's a tipping point along the way where being in bed is not good for us. (When my brain is working better I'll have a great analogy for this but right now I don't have it.) Suffice it to say my grandmother had tipped that point long ago. Being in bed was more harmful to her than good. Being out of bed was incredibly painful. But when she found out being in bed wasn't helpful, she forced herself to get out of the bed every day and move around at least a little bit.

My grandfather is the same way. The first week I was there he had become very constipated. (When you get older the digestive system slows way down.) I'll spare you the graphic details but this caused a cascade of bad events. But he too wasn't one to be relegated to the bed. He forced himself up and out every day, even if it was just so he could fall asleep in the recliner. He told me on more than on occasion "I have to get up and move, eat and get stronger so I can get better."

Let me remind you, he has cancer all throughout his body. He is about to turn 96 years old.

And, he is living life to this fullest.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Why? Because there is life left to live.

Hard is not impossible. Down is not out. The count of 8 is not 10...

Do you need some motivation for today? Check out this video:

Thanks for stopping by and sticking around.