Announcement of Life

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last entry

After an incredible battle, fought with epic courage and dignity, Janice succumbed to her disease this morning.  It was not unexpected and her family was with her.

Those readers who knew Janice personally will understand what a monumental loss occurred today.  Those who did not have that privilege can only get a hint from her writings in this blog.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Hospital Visit Again

One more week in the hospital. I’m a bit tired of it all. This time I got a contrast MRI, contrast Bone Scan and a few other delightful tests. The main problem was pain and the doctors focused on that problem. After we picked up all of our medicine a huge delivery truck pulled up to restock the pharmacy. Liquid morphine is a frightening thing to have in the house.

A new tumor was found on the spine so I’m now back in radiation for 12 treatments. That is not a tough saga and it really helps with the back pain. And the main problem with all of the pain medicine is that I make up strange stories in my mind. The family had a problem keeping up yet I was truly ‘out-there.’

My love to all of you and soon I hope to have some strength. I did get some benefit from the ice cream and root beer soda.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mommies love their children so
To watch them laugh and cry and grow.

My mommy loved me very much
And I so enjoyed her gentle touch.
Now I’ve grown quite big and tall
In fact, I’m not a child at all.
I have a family of my very own
And in a few years they’ll all be grown.
I wish them happiness from this point on

Even after the day I’m gone.
I hope they don’t cry when I go away

For they talk to me each time they pray. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Mental Moment

A doctor’s visit means so much to so many. For instance, today I see the surgeon who repaired my right leg with a titanium rod. He did his job and without ceremony today he will say good-bye. I’ve only seen him eye-to-eye on one occasion, a moment prior to unconscious, as I was then promptly put to sleep. Since the day of that surgery I have seen the x-ray of the orthoscopic operation. A mere view of the implant weakens my knees. Shelby refuses to view the image and Paige says, “Thanks mom” after I sent the email. I will never put it in the blog as leg x-rays aren’t supposed to look like that image. Non the less, I’ll thank and say good bye to a very important member of my medical recovery team.

My oncologist has a ‘happy face’ view for my recovery. The CEA blood count is 0.8 - that’s very good. My request to travel to Hawaii was met with a, “can I go too.” For just a moment I thought, ‘good idea.’  The chemo treatments are about to end for this period and I will switch to a oral pill form of treatment. Regular blood work will mandate the future treatment. It was discussed that my personal recovery is charting a new course and we can probably keep my health on this steady course. I’m already healthily outside the realm of probable recovery. That we will let my body mandate my awesome stabilization and treatment. Doctor Nishimoto commented on how one of his colleagues, who treated me back in my hospital days, remarked on how great I looked that he couldn’t have recognized me on his own outside the office.

My mind bounces back and forth between a ‘long future’ and ‘rap it up.’ Both are true. Don’t delay adventures and don’t delay mindfulness. This Saturday I’m spending a couple of hours with my cousin Sue who will be with her husband John for a modest visit at Long Beach Airport. From Long Beach they will return to Seattle to get on with their lives. I’m discovering just how important it is to look into the eyes and soul of someone you’ve known your whole life. Hey, Susie and I spent many hours sharing a playpen and toys. My mind and body know her as love and safety. We were only 2 months apart in age from birth. I didn’t become the bully until around age four, maybe five. I’m going to figure out a comfort plan for Skype and FaceTime.

Family, friends and future all seem to be connected as is finality. Today seems good, and I think that I’ll clean out part of my closet as well as part of my mind. I’ll also put up a scrolling photo image of my brother, sister and cousins into my mental iPhoto, album ‘family - old pictures.’ The family that gathered near while a grew up all learned the outer limits of grammar, words and punctuation. Yet they still love me. Dyslexic’s Welcome in Pop’s World. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor

Yesterday I was speaking with my cousin, who is 2 months younger than myself. We grew up 2 of 6 cousins in the wilderness of northwest Washington state. Ferries were required to travel off of the Olympic Penninsula and our Main Street town was often named after the fishermen or the owner of our main market and a founding father. Sheldon Stutz owner of the Shell Oil distributorship. My father, Ralph Johnson, owned Johnson Motors and most outboard motors were “Johnson Outboard Motors.” Our grandfather ‘Pop’ run the only movie theater. My uncle Bob was the editor of the Tacoma News Tribune. The women (Aunt Carol and Mom) were happy housewives and busy with the local women’s clubs. 
Janice, Sheldon, Dad
Every Sunday both families would gather for a picnic, dinner, birthdays and all holidays. The six cousins (Jim, Susanne, Janice, Bob, Jack and Jill) would always find a mutual activity. The Christmas plays were the most detailed. Yet the grand usual Sunday evening was a simple dinner followed by a pipe and coffee event for the men and the women got the community gossip, Sorella Club news with dishes to be replaced in the cupboard. The fresh home made pie was served as the women joined the men.

Our mental and social leader was Pop. None of us knew just how much this lone man would develop all of our live. Politics was the primary focus for the after dinner discussion with classical music playing on the old record player.
For all of us, we would have been gathered last night for the election results, we would have been near a radio as soon as they were widely in use.  It’s my belief and memory that no one would take delight in the painful loss for half of this country.  It’s with that grace, I so fully wish comfort in the hearts of all who did not get the voted outcome that they desired.
A full country where 50% of all citizens greatly dislike the other 50%. That just isn’t the best feeling for all of us. From my family of origin we would most appreciate a supportive and co-operative endeavor for all. And we quietly thank Pop who taught us to be mindful for the feelings of others.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm quite alive .......

Between every sunrise and avery sunset a full day flies by. When putting a group of days together you for a week then lifetime. I’m hearing a rumble that if I don’t blog with some regularity I might appear dead. If you know me my passing would be with great grandeur. Yet it truly brought to ming that I ought to keep friends informed.
I last left you with the red cell problem. Yet the depth of the issues was my white blood cell count was down to 1.1, and that is too low for chemotherapy. So doctor ordered me to stay away from any germs and live a quiet life. The white grew and the medicine was back.
The good news is also that I have a trip to Waikiki in front of me. Paige has offered a week long adventure to the warm Pacific shore. We’ll soak and float in the ocean. We’ve made three trips with them before so it’s very friendly. Having an adventure to plan might get me out of bed..

Sorry for being gone so long and as of today I’m actually feeling better. Adding iron has been a great idea. To Helen, Ginger and Patti - I’ll do much better with the news.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Getting My Ducks in a Row

Sometimes the blog thought comes right along with the photograph. Just like today. The image of getting ones ducks in a row helps merely by trying to line things up. 

Just like the oncologist canceling my chemotherapy for tomorrow because my red blood count is too low. Aha, my iron deficiency is producing my low red blood cell situation.

Doesn’t it just seem sensible that we take on one slice of pie at a time. The low red blood configuration allows, and encourages a very early bedtime and energy level. This presents the delay in the evening blog-update. It’s always someone else’s fault.

Now what will the doctor order with this chemical dilemma? I only know that Dr. had his nurse ask if I knew when I last had a transfusion. I did know, late August and receiving 2 pints of blood. Now, is ‘one of my ducks’ a pint of blood? ‘One’ a packet chemotherapy medication. Or ‘several weeks’ of iron supplementation. I think I’ll just worry about it all. To get ones Ducks in a Row takes real know-how and Greenwich timing.