The Truth Behind My Hiatus

When I went on hiatus over a week ago, I didn’t mention why and maybe because it was spring break season you assumed I went on vacation. But hubby and I went to visit my parents because my father is very ill. Many of you will remember that my father, who was a very active and strong 86-year-old when we visited him in October, had an aortic dissection mid-December. He had a tear in his ascending aorta and was given emergency open-heart surgery that lasted all night long. He had a 50-50 chance to survive the surgery.

At that point, my father had already had three different types of cancer (not to mention squamous cell skin cancer). He beat them all. He had had 4 knee replacements and 2 hip replacements. He developed a MRSA infection from a replacement surgery. Only one kidney functioned at 25%–the other at zero. But he was fine! Still hauling heavy things, working long hours, and traveling.

He’s had a miserable recovery period from the surgery (in and out of the hospital, nursing homes, etc.). He toughed it out and doctors, family, and friends all encouraged him, telling him he was getting better.

But he wasn’t. His body had–unknown to doctors–developed multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer, and cancer cells were multiplying, making him weaker every day.

Hubby and I traveled to see my parents in time to go with them to the full diagnosis and treatment explanation, to help them with treatment analysis and decisions, and to admit him to hospice care–all in one week. He is now under hospice care at the nursing home and hopes to be admitted before too long to a hospice facility.

This has been such a hard time. My father is a larger than life person who fills all the empty space around him with his presence. None of us can imagine the emptiness ahead.

I haven’t forgotten your blogs, peeps. I will be back to reading them quite soon. The oddest thing happened, though. At the same time I left for Michigan, I stopped getting email notifications of your blog posts! It was as if WordPress didn’t want to send what would overwhelm me!

But how do I get them back again?

By the way, this is my 300th post, according to WP.

 

86 Comments

Filed under Nonfiction

86 responses to “The Truth Behind My Hiatus

  1. Sending oceans of love and never ending waves of peace, Luanne. Holding you in my heart.

  2. Luanne, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family my friend. As far as receiving blogs I think you can either go under Blog You Follow and edit there delivery again. Or just re-Follow your choices again. This has happened to me a time or two. Never knew why. I thought I was blacklisted! ~ Take good care Luanne!

    • Andy, thank you so much for your prayers! I tried settings, but I think I might need to go through the whole thing. Oh WordPress! I guess I’ll use the reader for now–and follow comments back to their blogs :)!

  3. Your dad sounds like one tough old buzzard! Good for him for enduring. I’m sure it has been stressful for you, but when you love someone, you do what you have to do .

  4. So sorry about your Dad. Not sure about WP. Sometimes my reader dumps a blog I’m following but I usually don’t have trouble getting the email notifications. Maybe check your settings?

    • Thanks so much, Kate. I think it’s a WordPress glitch. I tried adjusting settings, but nada. I’ll use other methods, but it’s irritating that they do stuff like that and don’t notify people and why is it always only happening to some people at some times? Sigh.

  5. What a terribly difficult time. All the best to you, your dad, and all your family, Luanne.

    What you wrote about “larger than life” resonated for me. Your father is truly such a presence for all. But I wonder if most parents are larger than life for their children.

    • Thanks so much, WJ. I’m so glad you got to meet my father. In some way, I’m sure that’s true with all parents, and it might be for you with your parents (I wish I had met them). Both hubby and I know that of our four parents (even his artist mother), my father is the one who has what everyone who knows him think is a larger than life personality. It’s hard being under his shadow, but being without him seems almost impossible.

  6. Don’t even worry about our blogs! Take care of your family. Your story is so similar to my father in law’s, and I know we will be facing the same thing soon. It’s so hard. Thinking of you.

  7. Windy Mama

    I feel your sadness, Luanne. Thinking of you and your family. Be good to yourself in this tough time.

  8. Ditto what mareymercy said – every word. And let me just add in terms I don’t usually use: Cancer sucks! Keeping you in thoughts and prayers, Luanne.

  9. Mom

    Mary our Mother, Queen of Peace, all of the Angels and Saints please help, stand close and lend comfort to his loved ones while guiding him gently home. Amen
    ❤ to your family Luann

  10. Luanne, I am so so sorry. Your dad is one tough guy. Sending you lots of love and hugs. Don’t worry about WP. Focus on your family. We’ll all be here when you get back. With our arms wide open.

  11. We’ll be back when you’re ready.
    Terrible news. So sorry. x

  12. Oh Luanne, I’m so sorry. I’ll keep your father and your family in my prayers.
    WP cut off my email notifications over a year ago. We’ll be here, so don’t worry about us. xo

  13. Luanne, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Thinking of you and yours, Luanne. Love you.

  15. Oh Luanne, my loving prayers are with you all and I feel every bit of heartbreak for you and your family. Such magnificent men of integrity and strength are those of Dad’s generation. We are both so fortunate to have enjoyed long, loving relationships with our fathers.

    May these next few weeks be peaceful and painfree for your Father who has endured with astounding fortitude. And may we always live the lessons they have been.

    • Sammy, I learned so many good and fine things from my dad. Some of them are almost lost from our society. Like holding a door open for–wait for it–anyone who behind me! Like walking on the outside of the sidewalk for someone I am trying to protect. Like being responsible and “there” for other people.

      • So true, Luanne. I think many more memories will come to you in the coming weeks. I do wonder, sometimes, if we are ‘progressing’ as a society or simply growing so crowded and self-centered that all chivalry and civility will be gone. Certainly at the nuclear family level I feel hopeful, but beyond the walls of home we all seem a bit lost. If only our Dads could guide the country for awhile but they’ve already done what they can. It’s up to us to help our kids realize some of those quickly disappearing acts of human courtesy.

  16. So so sorry to read this news, Luanne. I was hoping something great was happening for you. Wishing you and your family hope and strength. Virtual hugs!

    As far as WordPress, I’ve had that happen. I think I had to go into the settings and reset that I wanted email notifications. I have no idea why it happened, and sometimes I get two notifications from some people. I’m pretty sure there is a WP Gremlin. It seems different every time I post something.

    • That gremlin attacked my blog pretty securely. Oh well, at least there is the reader!! And connecting through name links on comments! Thank you so much for the virtual hugs, Merril. I need all I can get :)!!

  17. I’m so sorry to hear this, Luanne. Wishing your family as much peace as possible, and as easy a journey for your father as he can have. I’ll be thinking of you, your father, and your family as you go through this together.
    ~Audrey

    • Audrey, thank so much! I think the hospice people are trying very hard to make his journey as easy as possible–and my mother is an incredible trouper.

  18. Thank you for sharing this.

  19. My best to you and your family. Safe passage to you all, especially your father.

  20. Prayers and positive energy to you, your father, and all of your family. He sounds like an amazing personality and his strength is an inspiration. With medical issues taking place in my family also recently seeing the Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is comforting, thank you for posting it. ✿

  21. Hi Luanne,
    I understand what your family means to you and what a blow this is for your world as you know it. I am truly so sorry and wish I had the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, but since I don’t, I’ll simply tell you I have found them to be real. There is a time and a season, and sometimes we don’t feel like participating in either of those, but this is our life.
    After my mother and my aunt died and that generation of my family was gone, I was devastated for a year – and then finally went to a therapist who asked me how old I was. I was 67 at the time. She said, then surely you must know loss is a part of life by now.
    She shook me out of my depression with her lack of sympathy – plus she also advised me to double my anit-depressant meds. To me, as Granny Selma would say, they both helped.
    May you find your comfort anywhere you can.
    Thinking of you tonight,
    Sheila

    • Sheila, thank you so much for your wise words. It’s true about comfort wherever I can. My cats certainly give me a great deal of comfort, although two of them are elderly and getting thinner by the day. The wisdom of Ecclesiastes is not only powerful, but reflects the way my father is approaching this passage. I burst into tears when I hugged him goodbye, and he asked me not to cry because he’s lived a long, eventful, and happy life and it’s his time to go. That is nothing to cry about because he is at peace that it is his time. But it’s still hard and I keep thinking of him as “Daddy” more than “Dad” at this point.

  22. Stopping by here and read your very sad news. Although we don’t really know each other, please know that I am sending prayers your way.

    My email notifications also disappeared on me and after trying to re-set them, they are still missing from my email and only show up in the Reader. 😦

    • Thank you so much. That means a lot to me! And as a family we are grateful for all prayers!
      That’s what happened to me. I tried to reset them, but nope. I only get the email notifications for wp.org blogs, not wp.com. Drats.

  23. Luanne–Thinking of you…

    Pam

  24. Dear Luanne, please just know that I am holding you, your father and family in my heart and prayers ❤ xoxo

  25. Dear Luanne, I’m so sorry to hear of the new health challenges your father is facing. It must be so hard to face the home stretch with a father who has always been so dear to you. The Ecclesiastes passage you quote says it all about losing and finding. I pray for you as you go through losses and new findings with your dad. About WP and not getting email posts. When I was going away for a couple of weeks I went to “manage follows”, clicked “edit” by every name and clicked “receive no posts”. When I got home I reversed the process. It doesn’t surprise me when unknown things happen like your receiving no posts after you left Michigan. Technology is a weird mystery to me. ❤

    • Viv, thank you so much. My father and I have had a very “tempestuous” relationship over the years, but I love him very much and am very loved by him. Very very difficult. And this is such a strange season. Yesterday I was on the phone with him and someone came in to test him for TB as part of their regular routine. This is the kind of stuff he’s not supposed to have to do now that he’s in hospice. He said (very kindly but firmly) to her, “I’m going to be dead in six weeks [I hope that is an exaggeration], so I don’t need that test.” I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone hearing things like that. I am pretty stoic in personality, but sometimes it all hits me.
      Re technology being a weird mystery, maybe ESPECIALLY WordPress ;).

      • Good for your father standing up for himself. He’s still alive. It must seem like a twilight zone that he will soon be gone. Many blessings on you as you accompany him and wait.

  26. So sorry for you and your family. It sounds like your father really lived a full and happy life. The endings are the hard and lonely part. I’ll be praying for you.

  27. Oh, I am so sorry to hear what your family is going through. Prayers for strength, and just take as much time as you need getting back here!

    • Lindsey, thank you so much for your prayers. I feel so bad for my mother as she has already gone through so much since December and now will be with him throughout hospice. I am trying to give her a lot of attention by phone now, too.

  28. You’re in my prayers Luanne, God would uphold you and all that is yours in this season of your life! It is well.

  29. So sorry to hear about your dad Luanne, sending you all my best wishes.

  30. Mom

    Amazon just buzzed me…Doll God will be on my doorstep tomorrow! Easter weekend reading, here I come! Know you and your family will be in my heart as I read each word

  31. Your father is such a resilient man. May you be strong in this difficult period.

  32. Luanne, thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Make some lasting memories to add to your treasure trove.
    Theresa

  33. Luanne, I am terribly behind in my reading and was just doing some catch-up.

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I’ve learned to love him through your blog, too. I wish him and you and the rest of your family peace in this difficult time.

  34. My practice of getting email notifications once a week puts me behind in reading posts. It usually never matters, but I’m sorry this time to be so late in understanding what a shock you are going through. Please know that I am thinking about you and your dad and your family. I hope hospice is as much of a help and support to you and your family as it was for us–it’s just plain hard, but when I look back, what I see are the moments of light and love and togetherness. I wish that for you as well.

    • Ellen, at least you are still getting notifications. Mine stop and I can’t get them re-activated for some reason. Thank you so much. The hospice people are wonderful, but he’s still in that nursing home where they don’t have enough employees. But he’s at peace with everything. My mom is getting so overtired. 😦 Yes, light and love and togetherness. The whole family is so supportive. xoxo

  35. Although I’m new to you and your blog, you have my condolences. I’ve been there with both my mom and dad. It’s hard. Family and community are there to help you through it. Best wishes.

  36. I wish you and your family the best during this stressful and wrenching time. Hospice makes it as least-bad as it can be, for both the ill person and those who love him or her. It takes a special type of person to choose to be a hospice nurse. Most nurses cannot do it, and wouldn’t choose to. The priority in a hospice is to minimize pain and suffering; the imperative in a hospital is to prevent addiction to painkillers. Hospice nurses are more respectful and tolerant to the elderly ill than are ordinary nurses, and they develop a surprisingly accurate sense of what will happen, and when. We saw this with my mother. Moving her to a hospice made it much better for her. Near then end, the nurse called us and said that my mother would die within the week, and she did. As for multiple myeloma, a brother-in-law died from it, as a did a treasured former colleague, who had trained to be an astronaut, and was the back-up for an astronaut who actually flew. Some years afterwards, she developed a fatigue more severe and unrelenting than any she had ever experienced before, and after several mis-diagnoses, she was found to have multiple myeloma. Recently there has been potential progress in treating it, but that is for the future.

    • Poli, I’m so sorry for your losses. I didn’t even know multiple myeloma existed before this, and now I hear about so many people having it. It’s still considered somewhat rare though, apparently. I can’t imagine being a hospice nurse. Or anybody working in hospice. My dad is still in the nursing home and hospice helps the nursing home care for him (which makes things so much better). They don’t have room for him at the facility yet, but honestly, he’s still such a social butterfly and so maybe he’s better where he is right now.

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