Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad Thursday

Hi everyone! I'm taking over for the pugs today....The picture below is Denny's parents, Denny Sr. and Paula Smith. It was taken at a wedding in July 2007. The following week, Paula was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme, a stage 4 brain tumor. She had a tremor for a while that had been increasing and her behavior had started changing a bit in the preceding months. We were thinking she had Parkinson's, but it never crossed our minds that it could be a tumor.
The tumor was located on her right temporal lobe and it was fingered out in the area that controlled her motor skills, so surgery was not an option. The doctors tried to be as optimistic as possible, but we all did the research and knew that there is only a 25% survival rate beyond a year. And who knows how long this had been growing? So they decided on an aggressive treatment of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Unfortunately the treatments were just as hard on her as the illness. She lost the taste for food so she lost weight. She started losing her hair. Her energy level decreased. We took this family picture after the diagnosis but before the treatment started...
The whole thing was so frustrating. One of the doctors actually said before the treatments even began that she should be in really good shape by February. I was horrified that he said that. It's one thing to be optimistic, but to give false hope is just as bad as giving no hope. We watched her deteriorate over the next few months (Denny and I from a distance since the family is in Louisville, KY). We went there pretty much every other weekend. When it was clear that she was not getting better and in fact getting worse, the family tried to get information and answers from that same doctor that told them she'd be fine by February and he actually avoided them. They finally got the results of the newest MRI and it confirmed the worst...the tumor had spread and she didn't have much time left. That was November 20, 2007. Paula wasn't herself by that point, but it was as if she knew what the family had been told. That evening we got a phone call from Denny's sister-in-law who said Paula fell and they were rushing her in an ambulance to the hospital. She'd keep us posted. Within an hour she called back and said Paula was gone. I don't think she wanted to go on fighting this thing that had robbed her of her personality, so she let go. That was 2 days before Thanksgiving. I'm thankful this year that Thanksgiving is a week later than it was last year, other wise we would be trying to be thankful on the anniversary of her death.
This was the last picture Denny took with his mom, 10 days before her passing...
Ok, thank you for letting me get that out. Denny has been getting increasingly more sad the past few days. He's been trying to be strong today, but I know he's upset. I can't imagine how he feels. All the pugs and Sam and I can do is offer him lots of hugs and kisses...
So, I'm leaving work today and I see this truck turned over. I had noted to myself recently that I hadn't seen a truck turned over in that spot in a while. It's usually at least once a month. So this idiot took the curve too fast. This is where one interstate intersects with another and this guy was trying to get from one to the other. This is the view I have as I'm pulling out of the street my office is on...
On a much lighter note, I recently was given a link to a blog which really inspired me (http://eclecticmk.blogspot.com/). Not only is Margie owned by 3 pugs, but she is a cross-stitch whiz! Looking through her blog at some of her work really motivated me to get working on my own project. I have some software that will convert a photograph into a cross-stitch pattern, so, as a gift for my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary next August, I am stitching their wedding picture. This was all I had done 2 days ago, but I have made quite a bit of progress this week. I know the colors look funny and you can't really tell what the heck it is, but this is the center section and the picture was black and white. I hope it doesn't totally suck by the time I finish it. I thought maybe posting my progress on here would help keep me motivated...
Ok, I've taken up enough space today. Hopefully the pugs will have something enlightening to say tomorrow.
Pug love,
Vikki

5 comments:

Pearl said...

Vikki, I got really emotional reading your post. There is nothing quite like watching a parent fade away from us, and I can only imagine how difficult that was for you and Denny. He is lucky to have you and the pugs there for support.

I hope this Thanksgiving allows you time to be thankful for one another, and for all of the good years with his mom.

Your cross-stitching looks great! Can't wait to see the final product!

Thinking of you and yours,
Pearl's Momma

The Devil Dog said...

I was very sorry to hear about your mother in law. My mother in law was diagnosed with liver cancer in Sept/October, went into the hospital 2 or 3 days after Christmas and died at the beginning of January. It is always a hard time for my husband. You are doing everything you can do. It does get better with time, but it will never truly be easy. Please accept our warm thoughts and prayers that your holiday season is happy and healthy.

Roxy's mom

Nevis said...

My heart, thoughts, prayers and love go out to you and yours. (((hugs)))

Sandra y Coco said...

:_(

I read your post yesterday and it made me cry. I lost my dad, aunt(s) and uncle(s) and a cousin of cancer. It is a terrible disease, my family went through difficult times trying to give my dad the best possible. I understand how you feel, I will pray for you and your husband.

Salinger The Pug said...

Vikki and Denny,
Thanks so much for sharing this post with all of us and please know that we'll be including you and the memory of Denny's mom to our "happy thoughts list" as we give thanks this year!

Enjoy your family and especially those 5 little furbabies!

Love to all,
Laura (Salinger's mom)