Friday, September 4, 2009

Where Is A Good Counselor When I Need One?

I'm writing this from my desk at school, which is something I never do. When I'm at work, I am at work. But this has been a very trying week for us and I'm taking my lunch time to reach out to my friends.

We have another student at Riley with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He is the 14 year old son of one of our 6th grade teachers and one of our maintenance guys. This is the same class that lost a boy the first day of summer break. We also have a 6th grade teacher in Mayo Clinic, she hasn't worked this year at all due to numbness spreading over her body. I am so grateful for the upcoming 3 day weekend; everyone needs a break from the stress.

This boy is such a sweetheart, an All American boy next door. He is a class leader; all the kids admire him for his character, athletic ability and academic strength. He and his older brother a polite, compassionate, and friendly young men. The parents are close friends of everyone on the staff, they are both from local families and have worked here for years. Good People. He had his first chemo yesterday and was very ill afterwards. Today and tomorrow hold more of the same for him.

Teachers have been asking me into their classrooms to speak with his classmates this week; looking at their hurt faces, listening to their questioning pleas is almost as difficult as knowing what the family is going through. I reassure them his doctors are very optimistic and he will be fine after treatment, we discuss all the possible side effects of the chemo, talk about how to support each other and encourage them to pray, if that is their belief. Still in the back of my mind, the depth of my heart, I'm questioning too. Why is this happening? Why do children have to suffer? When do we learn to accept and trust? Life is difficult no matter who you are, did you know that?

The teacher in Mayo is afraid she may have some progressive disease which will completely change her life. She, too, has been a part of our community all her life. She has 2 sons and fears that they will have to watch her lose her battle with this illness.

I wasn't able to finish the post yesterday, too many interuptions, but we got some good news after school. The results from Mayo were that she has the lesser of the two conditions, chronic, but treatable. Answered prayers.

On the home front, Mom is now being treated for early onset of Alzheimers. Her short term memory comes and goes. She was great last night when Stephen King and I dropped her off from dinner. Two hours later she calls my sister in a panic over her meds; Deb got there to see pills all over the counter and Mom not remembering what she had taken. My nephew is getting married in L-ville tomorrow and Deb's day is full today. My brother and I will keep check on Mom till Deb picks her up for rehearsal dinner this evening. I keep reminding Debbie to BREATHE, but she is excitable. I've thought of you, Jill, all week and your momma. Bless you both. I think this is a long, long road we are starting down.
Our kids are great; Caleb and Gavin are less than impressed with school, but continue to attend. We may be looking at homeschool for those two characters!. Mack is loving sophomore year without PE. And Madeleine is becoming a stronger 4th grader everyday. She loves school and being with all her buddies. Stephen King is busy all the time, helping the nephew restore the old home place. And as he always says, "happiest SOB in the world". What a way with words he has!
Courtney is planning a visit home in late October and we are all excited. She will return to Oz after a couple of weeks, I'm sure. She has found her home and is very happy in it. She and Ken are an oddly matched couple, but seem to care deeply for each other and that makes her parents happy. She can apply for residency next year and then be allowed to work in any field she chooses. She makes the most of her temporary retirement by cooking from scratch, knitting and of course reading books by the dozen. They have a small sailboat and take long weekends sailing the many islands in a nearby bay. The pix from her are amazing; the wildlife, ocean and land formations are wild.
It is Saturday noon and I must check out the wedding duds for the man and myself. I'm hoping everything is still fitting, I didn't shop for new and the closest mall is 60 miles away. Don't want to shame the family by wearing our camo or anything tacky. I'm saving that for our Anna's wedding, hehehe.
I hope all of you are healthy and enjoying this good, long weekend with your loved ones. Miss you all and hope we can plan a gagglefest soon. Talk to me, Ladies. Hedy

1 comment:

Staci said...

Oh Hedy, how sad. It seems like your small community suffers so many blows, but then you read the paper or listen to the news and it is Everywhere, USA that people are suffering. The fact that you have a small supportive community could be the one good thing to come from all of this. Learning how to rely on each other. I know 6th grade is different from the HS kids I deal with, but sometimes letting them in on the fact that you too are forlorn by things like this may help them understand that their feelings are all normal in a situation such as this.

On a positive note, I saw cute little Jim Erickson last night. He is in his 3rd year of his program and will be applying for internship in the Spring. He is working in the In-Patient unit of Union Hospital in Terre Haute. I told him that if I was ever admitted that I would request him!!

September is crazy for me, nothing to do with my job, just the extra-curricular's that I can't say no to! Junior class sponsor requires float building and powder puff coaching for Homecoming, CAMA teens requires Operation Medicine Cabinet where we collect meds for incineration, and STAR Leaders are working concessions for all 8 home volleyball games...Thank GOD for my mother!!

Hedy, I know a little about Alzheimers...J.D. sells Namenda which is used as combination therapy with Aricept. Both of my Grandmother's had alzheimers and I am sure that I will be caring for my mother, father and aunt at some point. It is so terribly sad to watch the person you love so much change right before your eyes. You seem to have a good support system and that is the key. No one person can take on the responsibility of an Alzheimer's patient and maintain their own sanity! Educate and prepare yourself and make sure you talk to the doctor about combination medications, it truly does slow the process!

Everyone have a great week!