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Everything posted by bunny

  1. Paula, I'm so sorry for your loss. I knew your dad was going down a road similar to Suki's, but this must seem awfully fast for you. My belief system is such that I believe people who are terminally ill with cancer or another progressive fatal illness have a lot of control over the the circumstances of their death. I believe Suki waited for me, my brother and my father and our respective partners to be with her before she died. So I believe your father wanted to be alone when he died -- not out of any lack of love, but just because that was his preference. This might be hard to hear and it's OK if you think I'm full of baloney, but that's what I believe. Maybe in his heart he thought this was easier for you, maybe he was just very private. Who knows. I do know you have enough of an emotional rollar coaster to ride in the coming days, weeks and months (years?) that you don't need to add second-guessing the details of his death. His suffering is over, which is the great news. I feel for you and the rest of your family whose missing him (yes, suffering, I am really suffering today, especially) has only just begun. Love and peace to all of you. xo amie
  2. I know I come late to this, but I had a LEEP for a carcinoma in situ (from HPV -- it's the "common cold" of STDs) in 1999 and have been clear as a bell every since. The LEEP may or may not have contributed to some of the pre-term labor and short cervix complications I had when I was pregnant with Levi, but otherwise it's been 100% fine since then. The HPV is gone, and I've had normal PAPS (every 3 mos., then every 6, now every year) since 1999. Try not to worry.
  3. "God loves me just the way I am, but He loves me too much to let me stay that way." Ann Lamotte
  4. I am so sorry, Kasey. Your post breaks my heart. And I share your anger, though obviously it's different. You are more than entitled to let us, and others, fight for you for a while. Lord knows you've done enough. I can only offer you this as a glimpse of hope for future fights, should you so choose. You've probably heard it before. The man who is walking along a beach where thousands of starfish have washed up and are dying for lack of water? He pickes one up and throws it back. he picks up another, and throws that one into the ocean, too. As he's about to through a third starfish into the water, another man walks up asn asks "With thousands of starfish dying here on this beach, what possible difference can it make to throw a of them back into the sea?" The man threw the starfish into the waves, turned to the other man, and said "It made a difference to that one." If you never, ever do another moment of advocacy, fundraising, peer counseling or any of the other remarkable contributions you've made to our common fight, Kasey, you've made a difference to this starfish. Love. Amie
  5. I am so grateful I was with mom at the end of her life and saw her die. Otherwise, I don't think I would believe that she was really gone. That's where I am at with this. I miss her and feel lost. I returned her leased car yesterday and have felt queasy ever since. I'm one of those mothers who tries to give my son a substantive answer to every question he asks but his queries of "Where Grammy's car, mommy?" yesterday as we were driven away from the dealer were met with silence. After the 2nd or 3rd time I failed to respond, he said "Mommy, OK?" I replied "I miss Grammy." He said "I miss Grammy, too." I don't know if he really misses her or was just agreeing with me, but it was a moving and devastating thing to hear. Then he said "Big orange truck, mommy" and I remembered that, no matter what, life goes on. Sometimes it seems wrong that it does, but it does. Last week I faxed death certificates to all her creditors. The hardest part of that was going through the medical bills and collection notices, with their dates of service and copays. I have to say that, on the whole, all of the customer service representative and, in a couple cases, collection agencies I spoke with were really gracious. I'll be able to probate her will next week. We have a closing date on her apartment; it's the day before her birthday in August. And then I am flying to my mother in law in Ireland for two weeks to let her love and mother me and I can't wait. I come here and read all the time, I just don't post. Love and prayers to all of you, as always. bunny
  6. I remember Keith, and I remember you, lovely. It's great to read about your happy life.
  7. I keep going back to Tracy's messages and looking at her beautiful family.
  8. This is devastating. I'm so sorry for you and your family, Kasey, and for Tracy.
  9. bunny

    Another June 17

    I love you, I hear you and I will raise my sword to help fight your demons any day, any time. I wish you still had Brian, too. Call any any any time. xoxo Amie
  10. Thanks, ts. No, I am not personally obligated but her estate is -- for medical and consumer debt. I can clear her car lease (eventually) and her student loans, but the rest has to be dealt with creditor by creditor, unfortunately. And my personality is such that I need to clear things now, rather than have loose ends and wonder about a lawsuit years down the road. Also, I'm the executor of the estate so that makes me a fiduciary. I'm an officer of the court b/c of my profession. If I screw up as a fiduciary badly enough I can lose my license. Yadda yadda yadda. I am glad you didn't have to deal with all of this crap. Also, I have to probate her will in order to clear title to her coop. Blech. I will be so happy when all of this is done.
  11. My brother just got mom's death certificates in the mail TODAY. Now I can finally start clearing some things. I get collection calls on mom's accounts every day and no matter how many times I tell them she died, and the tell me that as soon as I send them the death certificate they will take the account out of collections and we can negotiate a settlement, they keep calling. And calling. And calling. And, if anyone is wondering, even death does not get you out of a car lease with Honda Financial Services Corp.
  12. I can't take a breath. I miss her. And I am overwhelmed, emotionally and physically, by the job of liquidating her life. It hurts so much more than I thought it would. I can't take a breath today, much less focus on work. bunny
  13. I don't know how I imagined I'd feel when my mother died, but I keep being surprised. I cried all day and night the day she died, but from the day after until the 1 week mark, I just felt tired. Not quite numb, but not terribly upset, either. Just out of it, busy with 'arrangements' and tired. And sick. I woke up with a head cold the day after Suki died that developed into my first-ever sinus infection. I came back to work on Wed., 10 days after her death, and was happy enough to get back. I like my job and the people here have been an incredible source of support since November when we found out about her mets. And I was happy to go home and be with Levi in the evening, like I used to, rather than going to Calvary and getting home at 9-10, long after he was asleep. Then, over the weekend, I was so ridiculously happy. I spent the whole day Sat. doing fun things with Levi and Dave, I picked up cufflinks I had made for my brother out of one of Suki's rings which gave me great joy, I slept well, I ate healthier, and, above all, I was consumed with happiness that Suki did not have to suffer any more. Levi even talked about her a few times unprompted -- "Grammy. Blue fish. Eggs." All things he associates with her time in hospice. And, yes, I felt relief that we aren't going through it any more, either. I had time alone yesterday and I spent it doing laundry and thinking about her in a very not-sad way. And then today - BAM. I feel like someone is sitting on my chest, it hurts so much. I am posting here because I am afraid if I open my mouth I will melt down to the point that I will not be able to pull it together to finish the workday or get home on the train. Nothing happened. Nothing reminded me of her more today than other days. It's rainy, I'm hormonal, I suppose that could all have something to do with it. I just want to crawl into bed for a month. It's two weeks today. In fact, it's two weeks ago almost to the hour that I kissed her for the last time and left her for Calvary to do whatever they do. We spent 90 minutes packing up and dealing with all the stuff in her room after she stopped breathing. We were laughing that if she hadn't already died, she would have when she saw me cleaning up. She laid there as we did, all of us moving around her, making lots of noise with paper and bags and talking. It sounds crazy when I type it but at the time it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. When we were finished, my brother and I each spent a few moments with her, then we said good bye together. He cried; I didn't. I told him everything was OK, and believed it. So what happened to me today? Is this just how it's going to be? Blind sided by sadness and emptiness with no 'trigger' or anything? I'm not good without a map. Bunny
  14. bunny

    We kept it simple

    But here is Suki's death notice, which will be in the print Times, as well, today and tomorrow. Also, a link the Fund my brother set up. http://www.legacy.com/NYTimes/DeathNoti ... =126544775 events.lungevity.org/goto/sukidennison
  15. bunny


    Suki died this afternoon around 2:30. I neglected to take note of the precise time, and didn't know everyone would ask. I was holding her right hand, my husband stood next to me. My brother held her left, and his partner held him. My father was with us, as well. In the end, mom just couldn't breathe any more. She struggled to pull in every ounce of air over the last few days of her life and by this morning her sats were down to an unbelievable 47. Still, it snuck up on me. Her color and breathing changed, and I thought it was a new plateau where she'd hang out for a while as she had the other plateaus over the last week or so. But she turned her head towards me, breathed 3-4 more times and was quiet. It was perfect and beautiful. And desperately, desperately sad. I will write more soon. I am waiting for all of our family to be notified before posting anything related to mom's death on Facebook, and ask that my LCSC/Facebook friends do the same. I could never overstate what this place contributed to my ability to show up for Suki since her first recurrance in 2005. Thank you is the understatement of the century. And I keep thinking about Fay A., who once told us that when she died she would not be losing the battle against cancer, but winning it by denying it a place to continue to grow. Suki won today. And I was privilaged to be on her team. Love, love, love, Amie
  16. bunny


    God, heavenly father, Abba, Buddha, Jesus, Allah...in all of your names, I ask that you give me the strength and clarity to see my mother through this important and difficult time in her life. I pray that you help me be still and know that You Are. I pray that, in the spirit of St. Francis, my anxiety may be transformed into peace, my sadness into gratitude, my resentment into forgivebness and pardon, my confusion into resolve and my fear into faith. I publish this prayer so that the love and faith of the men and women on this Board may carry it to you, even as I falter and lose my voice. Guide the hands of Suki's new caregivers, that they may treat her with compassion and wisdom. Guide the travels of our family members coming to visit with Suki this week. Guide me and my brother though this transition in our lives. Guide Suki through this transition to her next place of being. Amen.
  17. Ellen, I could not agree with you more. For a nation that places such a high value on self-determination, I am baffled by our legal stance against self-euthanasia (for lack of a better term) for people who are terminally ill. Basically, we treat our pets more mercifully, in some ways, than we do each other. And I hope my interjection wasn't patronizing; I just worry. Bunny
  18. You're all so brave and strong. Carole and Ellen, I am admire your ethics, your courage and your resolve. The lawyer in me wants to remind you that we never have as much control over what we put out on the internet as we think we do, so be careful. The daughter of a cancer sufferer (and, yes, I know there are more positive terms for it but right now she's just suffering) in me hopes and prays my mother can make self-loving and sound decisions the way that both of you have, whatever her ultimate decisions may be. Love to you both and Katie, as usual, merely starting this thread shows how insightful you are into the needs of the people here. xo bunny
  19. Seems like it can't possibly have been 3 years, lovely. I think of him every time I see a David McCullough book. I think about how much he would have enjoyed the John Adams mini-series on HBO. I think about how tired he sounded the one time I spoke with him, but how positive he was even still. And I think about you -- almost every day. I meant to call on 1/1 but Suki ended up in the hospital that day and it was a chaos I know you know only too well. Know that even amid all of that, I was thinking of you and Brian. Hope you got a smile in the mail. Love you. Amie
  20. I made a longer reply to your mom, Amanda, but I wanted to keep the tally up on this one to give Don his bragging rights... Love to all of you. And thank you for posting that great photo of you two. Bunny
  21. Jude, I am just learning of Don's death and am so sad. He was, as you said, the best cheerleader anyone facing lung cancer could hope for. He also possessed a wealth of information that absolutlely, without a doubt, has helped me help my mother face treatment decisions and other difficulties related to her lung cancer. Before I found this 'place' in June 2005, I wouldn't have believed my next statement possible between strangers but, Jude, I loved him. I loved his fight, his depth, his honesty, his humor and his outlook. He was a treasure to us here. I can't help smiling at the thought of him and that grandbaby with the HUGE, amazing eyes perched on his knee. Love and peace to all of you. Amie
  22. bunny

    Baby Update

    I am nearly blinded by the cuteness. She's adorable, Dana! Congrats. Right about now I'd say you're on the verge of longer stretches without feeding. Hope all is well. She really is a stunner. xo
  23. Despite having been diagnosed an amazing 8 years ago, this is my mother's first experience with radiation. We have a couple questions for the Wise Ones here: 1. We learned today that they suspect some of her leg weakness is being caused by the lesion(s) on her spine, and so they plan to radiate there as well as her brain. We are desperate to get them to do it on days she is already going in for WBR - 14 days/treatments in a row, with weekends off. Is this a reasonable thing to push for? Is there any reason any of you have experienced that they won't agree to do her WBR and spine radiation concurrently? 2. The neurologist we saw today (Dr. Posner at MSKCC, who is making the recommendation that she receive RT to her spine) said that NSCLC "doesn't respond that well to radiation." What did he mean by that? Mom's neuro surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist seem confident that radiation will accomplish something. Seems like a mixed message, albeit from different specialists' points of view. Thanks for any information. Amie
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