Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rest in Peace Uncle Doug

I went to Palmerston North Hospital on Friday to help and support my Uncle and NO 2 dad, through his radiation treatment on his spine and his eye.  Sadly the radiation on Uncle Doug's eye affected his brain and on Sunday he started deteriorating and his kidney's shut down.  On Tuesday he was bought back to the rest home in Hawkes Bay where he died peacefully Wednesday morning.  My late cousin's wife and I were both there all night and the nurse thought it he was still strong enough to go through the day, but he fooled us all and slipped away within 20 minutes, while we were munching on toast. 

Just what he would have wanted.

It has been hard but at the same time rewarding and comforting to be there with him.  His last sentence to us on sunday were "I'm sorry you girls have had such a bad day".  That sums up my Uncle .. he always thought of others before himself! 

I am going to miss him dearly but he is at peace with my beautiful Aunty Shirley, my cousin Ross and my Dad .. and he will be free of pain and suffering. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hello and goodbye

Just a quick visit to say I'm off again to see my Uncle for the weekend.  The cancer is spreading quickly and his eye is now a real mess.  He is on morphine anytime he needs it now.  So I want to be there with him whenever I can.

My bronchitis is a lot better.. always cough, cough, cough at work.. but it's an allergy to work hahahaha

What have I achieved this week??  Barely anything cept early nights and lots of rest so I could get better.  Half the newsletter done (which has to be done by Monday) so I've saved it on a memory stick and will take it with me.  Just in case I don't come back on Sunday!! 

Off to pack and another early night so I can start work early tomorrow.  I'll be back to visit all your blogs when life settles down a bit.  Have a great weekend everyone

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Geez, I'm becoming a once a weeker blogger!!!   Haha.  Well, I'm still here.  I have bronchitis now and so sick of coughing!!  I'm sure you can imagine what happens when us older chicks cough too much!!! eeek..
Dr has put me on strong ab's and phenagan for the cough so I am feeling a lot better and no pain when I cough now.  Maybe back to work tomorrow but will see in the morning.

I was most embaressed when my brother called in during the week and saw my 'tip'.  I had come home on Tuesday from my Uncles, dumped everything and gone to bed.  Never got out of bed until Thursday morning, went to work, and came home at lunchtime.  He was here!!! My brother thinks he's so much better than his 3 sisters and if he had a home and possessions.. well he might just be the tidiness fairy!!!  How would we know haha. 

Amongst the chaos, though I had put them in a safe place were some of my treasures from my uncle and aunt's home..My Aunt's hairbrush and mirror set have laid on my Aunts dressing table for many years and as Uncle has given me their bedroom suite he gave me them as well.  They will sit on it again for many more years yet.
A gorgeous plate with matching bowl however the bowl has holes in it like a cabbage leaf haha.  I love it.
Another leaf plate with a broken stem and my Aunt's sugarbowl.. you can see the crocheted cover anyway.  the cloth is also handmade, a real treasure.

And one of her sugar bowls - not a good photo.. I seem to shake a bit now when I'm taking photos????

But this will be the biggest treasure of them all always.  I said to my Uncle that all these things were Aunty's treasures and I'd like to have something that was his.  He chose one of his books that he loved.. A book about the Puketi Rhododendron Gardens bought many years ago but full of colour and gorgeous rhodo's..  I asked him to put his name in it for me and this is what he wrote:

There is nothing more meaningful than these words.  I have never hesitated to be there for them and them for me, and I've always felt appreciated.  Doesn't that make life all the more rewarding.  To be able to laugh with loved ones, to help, love and to support but to receive love and kindness in return.  I am really going to make the most of this precious time and visit Uncle as much as I can .. because I love him to bits and because I am selfish too... It feels so good to be appreciated and to feel special!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A busy weekend and more

It was a weekend of mixed emotions. A lot of sadness some old memories laughter and concern for my ailing uncle. On 6 june he was well enough to pass his full driving licence. Five days later he was in incredible pain and admitted to hospital. On monday we took him to his new home in a care facility. He is terminally ill with ca of lungs, spine and in his right eye and on a cocktail of morphine and other painkillers. I am so grateful I could help him for four days. Sorted and Labelled his clothes. Helped him sort his drawers of old papers and memories. Decorated his room with photos and ornaments. In fact it does look like home away from home. It was very hard for us to say goodbye to their home a place full of happy memories and lots of love. And again At the rest home diane and I had a few tears and hugs after leaving uncle in the dining room with three disabled men. It took strength for all three of us to say goodbye. A few weeks ago an independent man! But yesterday I called in to see him On my way home. Turned out he knew two of the men years ago so he is feeling more content that he had made the right decision. Staff are lovely. Manager is one of my dearest friends. Im home again with my cousin pauls flu. He was there for all of 24 hours Grrr. And to top it off I had ww salmon pasta microwave meal for tea. Sure works cause ive lost half nights sleep and surely ten kilos! So im posting this from my mobile in bed!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I love that Doctor

Friday 9 July is the 3rd anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with BC and yesterday I had my annual checkup.  My daughter said 'well, I know you'll be fine", a friend said "of course you won't get it again"... and I know in their heart they are being positive for me but hey, having been taken by surprise once, I am always a little nervous sitting waiting in the pretty green gown for the oncologist to come and give me the results of my mammogram. 

But yesterday he said those three little words

"You're ALL CLEAR!!" 

I'm never quite sure whether I should tell everyone this good news or not considering some women don't get it so good but it is a huge relief.  He also admired my new 'boob' and said it was the best one he'd ever seen as the tattoo and new nipple just finish it off and it is a near perfect match symetrically .. they both hang down the same distance!!!  hehehe..    It bought the biggest smile to my face and even if he says that to all the woman he sees it really made my day!  (My ex bf saw it for the first time 6 months after the op and asked me to keep my bra on..hence he was asked to leave and I have been sworn off blokes ever since!)...

My dearest uncle has been told yesterday the cancer has spread rapidly and is now further up his spine, tumours in his lungs and it's in behind his right eye.   I am so saddened that he has to suffer this and I pray, I really do, that God will spare him this pain and take him quietly in his sleep one night.  He is moving from hospital to rest home care this weekend, luckily to one my dear friend Margaret manages so I know he will be well looked after.  So so sad though as he was so independant until a few weeks ago and now he can't even read the paper.

I talked to my lovely young, old boss today.. DCR's hubby too, and we chatted about all the loss and grief I have had in the last 3 years... it just doesn't stop.  I said to Stew that I must be mean't to learn from it and help other people.. Stew's remarks were "You're getting really good at it now".  Haha... I don't think I could ever work in a hospice though??/ 

But all my loved ones I've lost in the last 2 years have been really 'nice' people.. never hurt a fly, never spoke a bad word about anyone, always been there for others and loved and gave and loved some more.  So my mid year resolution is to carry on like them and to try and be a really 'nice' person as I grow old.  I'm starting to feel like people in the big smoke really 'like' me now and I'm feeling more settled too (a little white pill everyday helps too but who cares!)

And on that note I'd better go to bed or my new resolution won't start tomorrow haha..

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yeah, I"m still here

It's become a once a week blogpost lately but I am still here.  It has been so cold down here I haven't ventured far from the heater at night (when I've been home that is).  But today has been sunny outside and I've caught up on emails and what's happening in blogland.  (I've decided I need to have a 'nice' photo taken.. so next time I get my hair done and put makeup on I'll have to stop someone on the street to take a photo for my blog!!)

What's happening.. Uncle is still in hospital.  He is not well and when I spoke to him on Wednesday night he told me he'd had a good innings and he wasn't afraid of dying.  We talked for ages like we normally do but he is in a lot of pain and is on morphine and other drugs.  They haven't done any further tests to find out what's wrong other than the CA in tailbone and the kidney stone which they thought had passed but now aren't sure!!! .  I've just spoken to his son and he's going back on Tuesday to rattle some feathers and get some answers.   I'm planning on going up next weekend to visit or to take care of him if he's home. 

Maybe it's a bit hard to understand why I am so close to my Uncle but he is and always has been like my second Dad especially since Dad passed away in 2008.  Uncle's wife was like a Mum to me but sadly she passed away 2 months after my Dad, her brother. 

The three of them have always been there for me, they never judged me because of my size or being different, they have always made me feel special, never hesitated to offer advice if I needed it and never put me down.  Uncle and Aunt often told me I was just like a daughter to them.  In fact I've still got a message on my mobile they left in July 2008 thanking me for flowers I sent when Uncle was diagnosed with bowel cancer.  And Uncle says "We love you, you're just like a daughter to us".  Don't ask me how many times I've listened to it over the last few weeks.. I am sad I know.  My Dad always treated his four kids equally and we knew that.  He never spoke a bad word about anyone especially us.  

In two years I've lost my Dad, my Aunty, my best friend in Oz whom I spoke to regularly and now my Uncle is very ill.  I guess I'm getting older, these things are going to happen ah.

But Tuesday I'm off to the specialist for my annual post BC checkup.  I had my mammogram two weeks ago so he should have the results.  So I will have to ring Uncle and then I'll celebrate on Tuesday night. And in September when it will be 3 years since my op, my friend Emma and I will have a little tea party again around 'the boob' (a soft rubbery boob that we swap around between March (Emma's anniversary) and September hehe.  Emma is 5 wonderful years post BC now! 

What am I quilting.  I'm quilting the baby quilt now... YES doing it myself.  I have all but finished another batik UFO and I want to make aprons for my sisters tomorrow and a knitting bag for my little sister's birthday.  So no sleep in's for me tomorrow.  In fact I'll start now.   I'll post some photos tomorrow.

Luv you all and thank you for listening.. it's the downside of living alone sometimes.  There's just no-one to share these thoughts with.