Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Visitors On Island!

I have three daughters, ages 39 to 45. I am extremely proud of each and love them all dearly. I have been blessed with a visit from my oldest, Becky. She and her husband will be staying here on the island for 9 days. This will be the first time the two of them have ever gone on vacation alone without their children. Their daughter is now almost 22 and is taking care of her brother, age 14.

I’m going to try to give you a quick look into the last 5 years of Becky’s life, so you will understand the importance of this trip.

Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.

Chemo treatments, mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, radiation.

Tested Lymph nodes had cancer cells; more chemo drugs came and went. She continued working through much of that.

Went back to work, but couldn’t handle the physically challenging job.

Found the perfect job, staying in a house 3 nights a week with 4 mentally challenged ladies. She quickly grew to love this job and her ladies.

2005 brought spots on a rib, radiation and surgery. Only off work for surgery and the recovery.

2006 terrible pain from degenerating disks, requiring neck surgery. Only off work for surgery and recovery.

2008, lesions on her brain, radiation treatments and new chemo drug.
The bad news for her was that she had to give up the job she loved, and was not able to drive anymore because of seizures.

3 months later, horrible pain in a leg. Tests showed two large tumors in the bone and spots on her pelvis. Radiation on both areas.

Through all of that she remained strong, and did not complain. She didn’t really get sick from the treatments, just very tired, until the last round of radiation, which did make her sick and by the end of the treatments had her completely down. She had IV treatments each day for a week to help build her strength up again.

After that she said she was good to go. But, the doctors have said that all of these treatments have taken quite toll on her body. Her spine is in really bad shape now and causes her much pain. She also shakes constantly and that makes it difficult for her to handle dressing herself or eating. A while back, she was diagnosed with Parkinsons, Now they are saying that the trembling could be caused from nerve damage. But, she has a smile on her face as she teases us saying that God let her do this because the rest of us, her sisters and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. :-) Sad thing is, she’s probably right about that. :-) I know that I could never be as brave and non-complaining as she is.

Now for some ‘GOOD’ news.

The tests show that the treatments have taken care of the troubled areas. Another wonderful thing is that she has a husband who is a saint. He has nearly become a pharmacist dispensing all of her meds and keeping up with everything else, as well. He is constantly by her side.

Some of my dear friends offered them the opportunity to stay in one of their condos located on the beach. This is truly a wonderful gift, as they have never seen or met Becky and her husband.

Another kind person happened to have been one of Becky’s nurses. She also did something remarkable. She and her husband bought airline tickets for their travel from Indianapolis to Ft Myers, plus provided them with even more to help with expenses. That was the third time this nurse had given them a gift from her heart. She had never seen Becky before a four day stay in the hospital, where she worked. After that short stay, she kept checking on her by telephone, sending her little surprise gifts in the mail, and by going to see her when she went back to the hospital for the radiation treatments.

I think these folks should have a “Kind Person” award of some kind.

I had a fun time stocking the kitchen with food and goodies before their arrival. I am letting them have their space and have told them to do whatever they want to. I’ll be there when they want company or need something.

This is a much needed getaway for them and they have been enjoying themselves since they arrived Monday morning. They were treated to a nice welcome to the island dinner at the Timbers Restaurant that evening by another special person.

Today was sunny and warm, so they really enjoyed some time on the beach and at the pool. Tonight they were treated to dinner at the Island Cow and we had a fun time there. Becky was laughing at the restrooms labeled as 'Bulls' and 'Heiffers' and said she's never seen any of those before. :-)

I’ll keep you posted on the island fun.


Gayle said...

I hope Becky and her husband have a rockin' good time being Sanibel Slackers! I hope the good times follow them home, as well. God bless.

Melli said...

WHAT a remarkable woman! WOW! God bless her oh so good! And how nice that their vacation "just happened" on Mom's little island of Paradise so that you can visit with them too! God has done great work through all those friends... Thank you sO much for sharing that!

I'm taking The Box down to Luz's house today! We will open it together! She was sO cute when I told her it had come - she said "Mommy! Can we go visit Nana today?" ... well, that couldn't happen. So I said I would come on Wednesday. Then she thought about that for a minute and said "Nana, you can open it." LOL! She wants to know WHAT is inside! But I'm making her wait! (she probably won't be nearly as excited as I am... she doesn't know what a gift this is!)

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Tootie-that is such wonderful news!Jon and I are so very happy for youse guys!Have a wonderful visit with Becky.

Snowbird said...

Wow,I had no idea she had gone through all that. Becky, you are amazing. A true hero in my books. And also the friends who have given her all these gifts. It seems that all we ever hear about are the bad people--never the ones who do things like this. I hope you guys have a wonderful visit together and I hope that this is just the beginning of the healing that Becky needs and deserves.

MedaM said...

I am moved with this life story. Your daughter really is an amazing and brave woman. She is a hero and I do admire her. And I do admire you because you are her mother and I know that it isn’t easy for you to know what your daughter has been going through. I too honestly hope this will be Becky’s beginning of the successful healing and that her staying there will make her good. May God bless her and help her to be strong and to go on bravely! May God bless you as well as all those kind people who are ready to help the way they can! And may God bless her husband; the very good friend that she has in him.
Best wishes to you all!

Barb said...

God bless and be with all of you. Becky certainly is a strong and determined gal! Isn't it true, that with the help of friends and family, we can conquer the worst possible things?

Enjoy all that fun and sun!


puli said...

Although I don't know your family, I'm pretty sure your daughter's strength & beauty comes from having a mother filled with love and compassion !!

Snowbird said...

Tootie, as I told Becky today, she is my hero. I will wear the bracelet you guys gave me until she doesn't need it anymore. I can't believe what she has been through and still remains as strong as she is. And you are right, Kevin is a saint. It was great meeting both of them and I can't wait to crawl with them again!!!!

MariBy said...

Beaming good wishes across the miles to Becky and her family. I hope Becky and her husband have some wonderful days in the sun.

Mare said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Tootie. Not only am I touched by Becky's strength and her husband's love for her, but also for the kindness of others who have touched her life. It truly gives me hope that there really *are* good people walking among us. =)

Hugs...I hope you all shared some wonderful moments together.