Blessing One Another

It has been a rough few weeks. I have not gotten much done except fall out of one resting place into another. Very weak, worse brain fog than usual, some bone pain, yada yada. My phosphorous levels have done a 180 on me. The level is so high now that there is concern for kidney issues.  High normal for phos is 4.2 and mine is 15.4. All phos meds are stopped. More labs tomorrow. I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of our bodies—for good or for ill. I had a cataract removed on Monday and that went very well. I am excited to get new glasses soon. All the better to read you with, my dear! Terry is going to River’s Edge for a week for his consulting group retreat and to help with the estate sale at my Mom’s house next weekend. I will be staying with Heather and...

Love Never Ends

Unbelievable! It’s been over two months since I have written! There is so much stuff going on in my head and heart that it’s hard to settle down and write! Mom’s death created such a hole in my heart. Daily I think of things I want to tell her or ask her. Mom was the last of her generation in her birth family. Who do I ask now about all the greats and great-greats? Oh, my! Then there is the habit of checking in with her by phone nearly every evening. However, her love continues to journey with me through each day. I may not be able to phone her, but I know she is there. In the midst of this, I must ponder my own death. I was officially admitted to hospice on July 31, just a little over a month after Mom’s death. What a great team of folks who are supporting not...

Wednesday’s Visit to Cancer Center

Wednesday’s visit to the Duke Cancer Center was a multiple cups of tea kind of day! Not surprisingly, we have another new path to follow. The tumors in my lungs have blossomed like dandelions on a warm spring day! You can dig the stinkers out but they keep coming back! We have no more available interventions, so there will be no more labs or scans. After much discussion with the oncologist and his team, we have chosen admission to Early Hospice. This doesn’t mean I expect to die anytime soon. It does mean the hospice team will be able to get to know me and my family while I’m “weller.” Then the hospice team will be better able to assess my needs as time goes on. It means I can be assured of the best quality of life possible in the coming months and years. It...

Iona Reflection

It’s been about six weeks since I’ve shared about the “Life and Times of the Coffman Clan.” I’m beginning to wonder if we are magnets for wild and crazy stuff! Terry is finally feeling more like himself after getting his plumbing sorted out and several days at our mountain cabin. I stayed with my daughter while he was away. I am full of joy at being able to ride along with Heather to watch one of Brenna’s volleyball games, see Claire’s Spring Show for dance (and I thought T-ball was a hoot!) and a short shopping trip with Tucker. I’ve been to church a couple of Sundays, too! One of the best times has been reconnecting with two special cousins who visited and a couple from Michigan who have been strong supports! I am pleased to report that I went with Terry to...

Surrounded by a Circle of Grace

In February, as you know, I chose to stop the trial chemotherapy. Within a couple of weeks I began to feel better. The cancer is still there but the worst of the side-effects have gone to wherever old side-effects go—to hell, I think! The fatigue will forever be with me, but at this time it’s wonderful to get away from the house every now and then. I have been out to eat and shop for books at a thrift store. The most fun of all is getting to see my 4 year old granddaughter’s T-Ball practice. What an absolute hoot! I laughed so much that my ribs were sore! Alas, just when you think that you’ve gotten the hang of living in a state of “new normal,” another “new normal” jumps around the corner to greet you! On Friday my oncologist called to say upon closer study of...

Longing for Peace

On Wednesday, January 3, I will get to experience my “favorite pastime,” another treatment at Duke, the first of the New Year. As I look around at all the folks there at the Cancer Center—staff, families, friends of patients, those fighting cancer, those who have let go of the fight, those who have given up the fight, those who are just plain ol’ tired of fighting. It is generally very quiet at the Center. But, there is just below the surface of what can be seen or heard, an ever present hum that can be felt with the heart—a longing for peace. I wrote this confession/prayer several years ago for a worship service at a conference for faith community nurses. It strikes me as appropriate for not only for my life situation as well as the world situation. This will be...