Saturday, July 10

Update on Jo Ann

Today I went to see my friend, Jo Ann. My regular readers and blogging friends will know that Jo Ann has terminal cancer. She had surgery for cancer of the jaw last December and in June they found that she had stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer continues to spread. It is now in her bones, her liver and her stomach. I can see her failing each time I go to see her. She is getting nutrition intravenously and she can now administer her own morphine whenever she needs it.

Jo Ann's time here is very limited and she is quite aware of the fact. She has signed a DNR form and has refused chemo and radiation. The cancer is so far progressed that she figures it would only prolong her pain.

Please pray that she will pass away peacefully and that the pain will be minimal. I will try to keep you updated.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying.

Friday, July 9

Christmas in July

We've all heard of Christmas in July and this month Etsy is having a Christmas in July sale. Though Etsy is only sponsoring it for one week, many sellers are celebrating the entire month, including myself.

Now is a great time to do a bit of Christmas shopping. Not only are Etsians offering Christmas items, they are offering some great deals on regular items.

The Item of the Day thread is another great place to get deals on Etsy. Drop by the thread and check out the beautiful items being offered by very talented artisans.

With our heat wave, which has brought temperatures of over 100 degrees F to southern Ontario, it's kind of nice to think of Christmas with the cooler temperatures. Hope everyone is keeping cool.

Tuesday, July 6

Dakota Update

Dakota has always been a handful since we got him in January 2009 as a puppy. He was a rescued pup and was very aggressive even at 8 weeks old. When I came home from the hospital after my bypass surgery, I expected to have trouble with him from the moment I stepped in the door. That wasn't the case. He seemed to sense that I wasn't well and was very calm and well behaved for me.

As I get stronger, he is again challenging me. A month ago, I decided it was time he learned to obey. I felt more up to handling him than I had in the past and so the battle began. Surprisingly,
a few squirts from a water bottle when he misbehaved has calmed him considerably. Here are a few photos to show you his favorite past time, which is playing with a stick.
He finds any stick that he can and holds it in his mouth just to show off.
Then he chews on it for a little while. Not to destroy it but just to chew on something.

After than, he becomes a little more aggressive with it and chews it apart.

What are you doing, Mom? You know I don't usually look directly into the camera.

Well, okay, I'll let you get a couple of good shots of me since you don't really have any.

He has now learned to lay in the grass. We have a lot of white clover in our lawn and it is soft and cool when the yard is shaded in the morning. This is Dakota's favorite time to be out in the yard. He lays and chews on a stick or tosses stones about and I sit on the porch and listen to the birds singing or watch them squabble amongst themselves. There are lots of crows around here and the cardinals and blue jays often dive bomb them.

Last month, I watched the baby cardinals learn to fly. There are many creatures around this area and the baby squirrels tease Dakota and he teases them back. I've had many a good laugh in the yard. Isn't that what life is all about?

Monday, July 5

My Friend of 36 years

Many of my friends and regular readers will remember this photo of my friend Jo Ann and myself. This was taken last year just before Jo Ann and I left for the Charley Pride concert. She had the tickets given to her and had chosen to invite me along. I'm so glad I went because now Jo Ann is in critical condition.

Last December, Jo Ann was diagnosed as having cancer of the lower jaw. They operated December 23rd and the prognosis was she was cancer free. The health care system chose to believe that, even though the cancer had spread from her jaw to her lymph nodes. They didn't do anything else except take care of the X-rays or tests to see if the cancer had spread.

About two weeks ago, I tried several times to reach my friend. No answer. This was very unusual because she has a big family and someone is usually home. I finally got her and she told me that she's been to the ER and several doctors in those three days. They had diagnosed her with cancer of the lungs. The right lung was full stage 4 and there was some cancer in her left lung as well. Terminal, they said.

Jo Ann was in the hospital for 3 days and then went out of town for an appointment with her cancer doctor. He sent her home and said they would talk about chemo on the next visit.

A few days later, Jo Ann was on oxygen at home. She was very weak and not doing well. She returned to hospital last Friday night around midnight. I've seen her several times since then and her siblings have flown in from eastern Canada and the USA.

Today I went to see her and once again the cancer has spread. It is now in her stomach and her liver. She told me the doctor has been bugging her to have chemo but she has no desire to do that. I told her it was her choice and that she needed to stick to her guns and do what she wanted to do.

I know the inevitable. My friend is going to pass from this earthly plane. I wonder how I will cope. We have talked at least 3 times a week for all those years... more often everyday. I'm not upset because I have lost many loved ones to cancer. I'm well aware of the circle of life. However, my one desire is that she not suffer.

Jo Ann is on morphine and resting comfortably. Please pray that she will continue to live out her life without the severe pain she was feeling a couple of weeks ago.