Teaching Time!

The he and I are on a mission to complete some of those things we dreamed we would do in our retirement. One of them is to travel to a far away place with specific accommodations. We have been dreaming of this for about 10 years now. I approached a travel agent and told her our situation and asked her to put some prices together. I gave her lots of latitude. We don’t care which location we go as long as the accommodations are what we want. In fact, I said “water is the same all over this region so we don’t care where”. We also told her the travel dates could be anytime after October, holidays included and the length of stay was open as well. I had done some preliminary searches on travel sites so I had an idea of what to expect, we just needed someone to narrow it down to a few places as we are overwhelmed with everything and don’t want to have to think about this or make a ton of decisions. That’s why they have travel agents right?

Last night I received an email from someone at the travel agency that does a lot of these types of trips but mostly honeymoon packages. This agent asked me to study up on the different destinations to let them know where we want to go and provide the dates we want to travel.

So, here’s the thing. If I study up on the different locations and figure out dates I might as well get on Travelocity or Expedia and book the trip myself. Whisky Tango Foxtrot!

This is where the Teaching Time begins.

In situations like we are in, making decisions is hard. Hell, focusing on the day to day things seems impossible some days. For us, we are doing great if we get up and get to work and school and stay there all day. It’s a total win for our family if we can get dinner made and the dog gets fed.

We are so overwhelmed. Under normal circumstances juggling careers, home life, extracurricular activities for the kids, staying in touch with family & friends and making time for your beloved is hard. Now, throw in a terminal illness. It’s so much more than “my husband is sick”. You may not see it because you don’t see us every day, but every day we see and live the terminal illness.

So statements like, “Let me know what you need” or in the case of the travel agent asking us to make most of the decisions, makes us look at each other like WTH! We will most likely tell you nothing, mainly because we just can’t think of exactly what you can do and to be honest it is hard to ask for help.

Bottom line for teaching time…If you ask what you can do or ask us to make a decision and we say nothing or tell you we don’t need anything call B.S. on us. Cause we all know if there was ever a time we needed help from our family and friends it is now. Right now it may be just to sit and love on us but as we move forward it may be other things like making sure we feed the dog!

Love to you all.

The She

P.S. For those that know me, can you just imagine the email I am going to send back to this travel agent. 🙂

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How YOU doing?

How many said that in Joey’s voice from Friends?

Seriously, “How are you doing” is a common question these days. I will be honest, for us that is kinda a trick question. Do you really want to know how we are or is it a question you ask because it is the polite thing to do? Most of you that know me (the she in the family), know that I am an open book.  I like to quote Popeye, “I am what I am”. So when you ask, I will tell you.

These days we are really just in survival mode. There is so much for us to wrap our minds around that it is very overwhelming. There is all the information given to us by the doctors regarding Alpha Lima Sierra on what to expect, drug trials, etc. The he’s military service may have had a part in this diagnosis as the rate of military members that are being diagnosed is at a higher rate than the general population (especially for those that served in the Desert Shield/Storm). In fact, the VA considers Alpha Lima Sierra a service connected disability. So there is now all the VA information we need to understand and digest. There are the things he is doing to ensure that the little he and I will always have his words to guide us and make sure we are taken care of and there are the hard medical things we need to get on top of before decisions need to be made. All of that and we must still maintain some normalcy in our home for our little he which includes things like work, school and baseball.

Do we have good moments/days, absolutely! But please don’t think that it means we are accepting of the situation or that we are just that strong. We don’t and we are not. It means, that we are having a good moment or a good day. Any strength we show is due to our love for each other, the support from our family/friends and our faith in the Lord.

Like I said above, I am an open book. While some things are hard to hear and many a tears are being shed (including ours), this is our new reality. It’s not always pretty, but it is what it is.

So how are we doing? We just got done with a good weekend. Good time spent with each other, the house kinda got clean and he did the laundry. So right now, we are good.

Love to you all,

The she.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot!

Yep, that’s right, WTF! That was really our first thoughts and I think I may have actually said it, when carpel tunnel syndrome turned out to be Alpha Lima Sierra. We are walking around in this fog of disbelief, grief, and anger. Oh, throw in confusion too. We have been trying to wrap our minds around what Alpha Lima Sierra means to our family, our marriage, our life. We know what the disease is, what it will do but what does it mean for us.

It means our world has once again been knocked off its axis. When we experienced the loss of our twin daughters in 2000 and the loss of first son in 2001 our world tilted. It is now even more catawampus. We know the grief path and know how hard it is.  We will have to learn to live in this new world of ours. Which right now is kinda hard. I know we will figure this out. Our goal is to LIVE and ENJOY the time we have as a family.

It means in our new world we will find love and laughter in the small things (and most likely the inappropriate things) and will find them daily. That’s just how we have always rolled. I have noticed the minutes we are together are more precious and the time apart is so hard. Let’s face it, Alpha Lima Sierra is the kind of disease that you know when the moment has gone it has gone. No do overs. So why waste a moment. Our family has always been the most important thing, but now we show this by our actions and not just our words. We don’t let the day to day crap take us from what is important. We see this in our little he as well. He has always been a caring kid, but now he takes time to send us sweet text messages like “I love you” instead of the “Can I get on Xbox now?”.

It means in our new world our walk with God has strengthened in ways we could not have imagined before. For our whole family. Knowing God is us watching over us, Jesus is walking beside us and the Holy Spirit is within us keeping the darkness away gives our family the peace we need to face this. We know we are not alone in this because He is with us. Now, let me just put it out there, we are scared and we do ask why and how can this be. But it is in the same breath we ask for His comfort and peace.

It means in our new world we are focused on doing all those things we have dreamed of doing and making all the memories we can NOW. We are not just thinking of bucket list items we fully plan on crossing them off. Trey is adding to the list as well. There is no more “when we retire” or “when our son is in college”. We are doing now.

So what does all  this mean to us. It means we are going to LIVE and ENJOY life NOW.