Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A year later...

Today is...

  • a year later from when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer.
  • two weeks since her funeral.
  • a week since celebrating her 58th birthday.

Everyone says "it gets easier"...which some days, that is true. Some days it's harder than hell. I found myself crying the other night after looking at the birthday card she gave me this year. She was pretty much already out of it then. She addressed the envelope to me, but signed "Deborah" on the card along with another word that we've yet to figure out. I knew she didn't totally know what she was signing since she would never sign my birthday card "Deborah" any other time.

Unlike my sister Stephanie, mom was alive for my birthday and she won't be around for hers next month. She pretty much lived with mom the 25 years she has been alive so being "alone" is all new to her. We've had our good/bad times and honestly there were quite a few times throughout mom being sick that I couldn't stand Stephanie. Towards the end we made up and we are still getting along. Stephanie was stronger than me towards the end. I couldn't do all the things that mom needed help with...I couldn't adjust her in bed, I couldn't clean her, I couldn't sit by her bed and hold her hand and talk to her like Stephanie could. And when it was time for me to say my "good-byes" I needed Stephanie in the room with me, I was unable to tell mom that it was "OK to go". I'm very grateful to Stephanie for being more involved at the end.

I'm dreading the upcoming holidays. Mom always had Christmas Eve at her house. And the last couple of years we came over, ate, opened presents and spent the night. It's going to be weird not doing that this year. Mike has decided that we will continue this tradition either with Stephanie or at our place. Still won't be the same.

Going to sleep at night has been hard. I stay up much later than I used to. I go to bed, lay down and find myself staring off into darkness for a good hour or more before I actually fall asleep. I'm tired, but I think the darkness and quietness give me trouble. I'm constantly wondering about things and thinking about mom. I wish there was a way that she could communicate and tell us things are OK, she is fine. Death is such a scary thing to me. I can't imagine just not being here. I'm not overly religious so that's probably my problem...although I don't see me becoming overly religious anytime soon either. Organized religion drives me insane!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


A Meme for Fun!
...I copied this off of Denise's blog (thank you!)

Copy, paste, and bold what you have done!
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
...Does Rock Band or Guitar Hero count? Because if so, I have!!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Gone rollerskating ...and survived!
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning ...and won't eat Burger King till this day!!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty ( I tried but didn’t make it!)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill ...who doesn't?
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping ...I think people of my size call this "Chunky Dunkin'"
27. Run a Marathon ...I've walked
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community ...Jamesport, MO, bakery there has the most awesome jalapeno cheese bread ever!!
36. Taught yourself a new language ...a little Spanish
37. Acted in a play or performed on stage
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke ...HELLO! I do the "jitterbug" part in Wham!'s "Wake me up before you go-go" everytime my friends and I do karaoke!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted ...for my grandparents, all grandkids participated
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
...had to donate plasma, was a poor, broke college student that needed extra cash, I have donated blood as well
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square ...2003, took trip to see my friend Marisa in PA and we rode the bus to NYC!
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car ...2005 Ford Focus, her name was Frankie :)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Won money
88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Had to put someone you love in Hospice Care
...RIP Uncle Ray
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit ...for work purposes
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Boy am I a slacker!?

Wow...I sure don't "blog" much huh? Maybe I should make that my New Year's resolution? So, I'm sure many things have happened that I haven't blogged about so I guess I will ramble now...

October 28, 2008...My mom was told by her doctor that she had lung cancer. I didn't want to believe this news until she had the biopsy done. Her appointment for the small needle biopsy was on November 6th and her test results did come back "positive" for cancer. I did not find out that she had Stage 4 lung cancer until we went to her appointment with the Oncologist on the November 24th. That day I found out she had Stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her bones and liver and was told that her cancer was incurable.

She really didn't want to go through chemo, but I'm glad that she did change her mind. I went with her to her first treatment on December 4th. Wow what a long day that is sitting there, bag after bag of poison, nausea meds and saline going through one's body. I think we got there at 8am and left a little after 5pm. She took the treatment well but the next night (Friday) she started getting sick. She told me that she was sick Friday night, every bone in her body ached and was sick and couldn't sleep all Saturday, Sunday she felt a little better and was sick again Monday. She was finally better on Tuesday. I can't imagine being in pain and sick for 4 days in a row. She was pretty much ready to give up on chemo after that experience.

She had an appointment on the 16th to get her blood count tested and those results came back good.

Mom started loosing her hair around the 23rd and was able to get a wig from the American Cancer Society. Luckily they had one that fit her, short and spiky. She was completely bald by the 26th.

She went to her second chemo treatment on December 31st. Once again, started getting sick Friday night. Yesterday she had to go into the center to have an IV put in so that they could give her fluids. She had now been throwing up for 4 days and had not been able to eat. Speaking to her this morning she is still not 100% better, but is at least eating a little this morning.

You know, I never really knew a whole lot about cancer before my mom was diagnosed. I mean, my gma had Melanoma and had a couple of surgeries to have that removed but I guess I wasn't overly involved and had not done much research with her sickness. I hate that people have to have this sickness and it is so unfair to think "Why her? What did she do? Why is it that people can smoke like a fiend and they don't get lung cancer, but my mom a nonsmoker has lung cancer?" I don't wish cancer or any other disease on anyone mind you. I just can't imagine what she is going through.

On a lighter note...Christmas was good. Got some Hello Kitty things :) Always a good thing. But our "Christmas Crack" has been the Wii that we got from Mike's mom. OMG! That thing is addictive. We first bought "Guitar Hero" and played that for a couple of nights. Fun as hell! Then I kept seeing an ad on tv for "Animal Crossing"...OMG...OK, I didn't get dressed on Saturday because I was playing that damn game all freakin' day long! So needless to say, I haven't done a lot of knitting or anything for that matter since buying that game. Sarah, a co-worker of mine also has the game and we play with each other via the Internet through the Wii system. It is fun to have another "nerd" that plays and we discuss things at work. I guess we don't get much done at work either?! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I think I may have just vomited in my mouth!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uncle Ray

Raymond A. Rodriguez

Raymond A. Rodriguez, 58, Kansas City, KS, passed away Saturday, November 15, 2008 at the Kansas City Hospice House. The Funeral Liturgy will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 20, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1086 N. 94th St. Kansas City, KS. Burial in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Friends may call 6-9:00 p.m. Wednesday, at the Church where a prayer service will be held at 6:00 PM. Any expression of condolence is appreciated. The family suggests donations to KC Hospice House or Juvenile Diabetes Association. Raymond was born March 29, 1950 in Kansas City, KS and was a lifetime area resident. He was a 1968 graduate of Bishop Ward High School and attended Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia KS. He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church. He was employed in the trucking industry for 37 years. Raymond loved going to the Lake of the Ozarks to relax with family and friends on his deck and riding his Harley. He especially loved the time spent with his precious grandchildren, Natalie and Colin. He was preceded in death by his mother, Marie and brother, Vince. Raymond is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Pattie (Buford) Rodriguez, of the home, daughter and her husband, Angie and Chad Burns, Parkville, Mo, grandchildren, Natalie and Colin, his father, Sandy Rodriguez and his wife, Sherri, Edinburg,TX, nephew, Michael Rodriguez, two nieces, Suzy Isabell and Vickie Rodriguez, and many loved family members and friends. Raymond was a gentle and caring person who always loved making everyone laugh. He was loved by all and will be greatly missed. (Condolences may be expressed at: Arrangements: Porter Funeral Home & Crematory, 1835 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, KS (913) 621-6400)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Seven things I love...

I was tagged by Kim to answer "Seven Things I Love"...I've never been "tagged" before!

  1. My friends and family! I don't know what I would do without all of you. Especially in the last month of my Mom being diagnosed with Cancer (update...she went for a small needle biopsy on the 6th and her test results did come back "positive" for Cancer, I will not know anything else until her appointment with the Oncologist on the 24th...prayers please) and helping Mike deal with his dying Uncle Ray (has been in and out of hospitals for about 2 years, coded on October 29th, was in ICU for 5 days, was taken off dialysis and has been in Hospice since the Mike learned that his condition has worsened and doesn't have much longer).
  2. Collecting Hello Kitty things...don't really know exactly why or how this collection started. I've collected numerous things through out the years...flamingos, penguins, Elmo...strange mix! I also really like crosses! I think this started when watching the "Osbournes" and seeing all the crosses on their walls. I'm not overly religious so religion really doesn't have anything to do with it. I do have a cross tattoo on my left wrist as well for people who don't know.
  3. can turn a shitty day into an awesome day sometimes! I used to meet my friend April every Monday and Friday mornings at Starbuck's for a half an hour before work for coffee and gossip. It was so much fun! But then I bought a house and moved further away and neither one of us can get up early enough to still meet for coffee before work anymore :( How sad...
  4. "Whatever Martha!" Awesome show! As Mike says, "those are your type of chicks!" I mean really, what is not fun about watching shitty old Martha Stewart episodes and talking shit about her? Seriously!
  5. Ravelry...What an awesome site it is! I'm not what you call an experienced knitter, although without this site I wouldn't probably be the knitter that I am. They have everything on that site and I've met quite a few new friends there too!
  6. The Melting Pot...cheese and chocolate...enough said!
  7. Pop culture in general. Mike and I play "Xtreme Team Trivia" with our friends Ron and Donna every Wednesday night. It's trivia all about movies, music, tv, sports, ect... We always have fun listening to "our" music and kicking the other team's ass playing something we really enjoy!

OK, so if anyone really reads my blog...I'm wanting to know Ria, Kitty, Jen and Shelly love...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10:22AM, October 28, 2008

A time and date I will now never forget. This is the time that my mom called me to let me know "what is wrong with her." My mom has been complaining of chest pains and being sore around her ribs, or as she says "right below my bra." My mom went to the doctors on the 22nd, the day after her 57th birthday, to find out what was wrong with her. Since then she has had a series of CAT scans, bone density tests and a mammogram. Today she went to the doctors and was told that she has lung cancer. No, she does not smoke...the question I've heard numerous times today. I'm not sure all the details yet because she hasn't told me everything and honestly I don't know that she knows all the details yet either. She goes back to the doctor's on Thursday and I plan to go with her to ask all the questions I have and hopefully get answers to everything that I/she needs to know.

My mom and I have talked quite a bit about cancer. Talked about the "Cancer Policy" at our work and how nowadays people are silly not to get it because of cancer being so common. How we are bound and determined to get it sometime in our lives because of all our family members having some shape/form of it. But now it's one of those things like "Hey! You weren't supposed to get it! You're too young to have cancer. (like there's such a thing)" I think i'm worried, scared, uneasy, unknowing and not sure how to accept that my mom now has cancer.