Sep 13, 2012

A Few Things

It'll be a few days before I have time to crank out another post, so I put up a couple Florida photos on Facebook to hold back the wolves.  Head on over if you need some beach.







The pantry's bare, we'll try and make a Graziano run this weekend to reload.  I haven't given away junk for awhile, click to follow B&P over there on the right side of the page and I'll send out details soon for how to enter.   




 
Pigtails' mother is fighting stage 4 glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.  Median survival time is 3 months.  She's been mostly healthy since diagnosis and treatment 5 years ago.  The latest MRI looks a little rough though, she's slated for brain surgery next week.  I'm not really sure what to say to my daughter, so have kept it high level.  I've also encouraged her to spend more time with her mom the past few weeks.

India's on the docket this autumn, a deep-dig on immunizations is part of the package.  Doc' pricked me yesterday with flu, polio, hepatitis a/b and typhoid fever.  He also hooked me up with malaria and Hershey-squirt pills.  Felt a little blah last night, but worked most of it out on the trail.  Three more rounds of shots then done.  Go ahead, sneeze on my face bro', I don't care.

Get out there and enjoy some football this weekend, nice cool weather is headed our way.

-Beard 


28 comments:

  1. Good for you for putting aside your differences with your ex for Pigtails' sake. I'm sorry to hear about her troubles. There's a camp that I heard about for kids whose parents are struggling with or have lost their fight with cancer. It's called Camp Kesem. Check it out. It might be good for her!

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    1. Will check it out, thanks.

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  2. My dad died of cancer when I was 12. My brother was 11 and my sister was 5. My best advice is to be honest. Sure, she doesn't need to know the nitty gritty details, but she should know the truth of what is going on and what the possible outcomes are. I am very thankful that my parents were honest with us, but even though I knew my dad had roughly 0 chance of survival, it was still somewhat shocking to me when he died. I can't imagine if I hadn't been let it on the truth. And not implying that you aren't doing so, but just wanted to provide some advice from someone that's been there!

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    1. I'm sorry your dad died when you and your brother and sister were so young.

      I've been honest with the kid, just a judgement call on correct level of detail to get into with a sensitive 10-year-old girl. I started talking to her last night about the risks of surgery, Pigtails cut it short and said she didn't want to talk about it any more. We'll get there, just slowly rolling it out for her one step at a time.

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    2. I think that's the perfect way to handle it then. As long as she knows she can ask questions and get honest answers, which it certainly sounds like she does, you're doing the "right" thing in my opinion, for what it's worth. Let her lead you, and trust your instincts if you feel you need to push her out of her "comfort zone", so to speak, to hear something you really think she needs to hear. As I said, I don't think the details are important as long as she knows the potential outcomes. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and her mom.

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  3. Oh, no! It will be terribly devastating to Pigtails no matter what, but [I believe] she needs to know that her mother will not get better. As the end becomes closer, her grieving can begin, as it must. My humble suggestion is to find a good and gentle counselor (your priest can refer you) to help her walk through this turning point in her life, even while her mother is still alive. Regardless of all the reasons her mother was unable to raise her, this is just plain awful. I'm so very sorry for your sweet little girl, and for you too for having to see her in pain. May peace be with you both.

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    1. Anonymous9/14/2012

      Yep, I agree with the above comments. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 9. Be as honest as possible and surround her with as much support as you can. Kids understand more than we think, they just cope in a different way. It is great that you are encouraging them to spend time together. She will be thankful to you. You are doing a great job.

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    2. Thanks Jenny and Anon, you are pushing me to tell more of the story to Pigtails. I agree on the importance of getting the information to her sooner rather than later. During our last conversation, she resisted and cut it short.

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  4. Aw, Beard, it sounds like you have lots on your plate (and not much in your pantry).
    I'll be thinking of you but trust you'll find the best way to work things out for Pigtails. Trust your instincts. Go with your gut.

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  5. Anonymous9/14/2012

    I'm so sorry to hear about Pigtails'' mom. You're all in my thoughts.

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    1. I'm so sorry I don't have any personal experience to offer in this situation, but it sounds like you are doing a fine job anyway - without my input. ;-) I will offer my condolences for what each of you are enduring & strength to make it through. India sounds interesting. I look forward to what your trip to Graziano Bros. brings us ALL this time. Sunshine coming at you from sunny Queensland, Australia.

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    2. Angela - "...brings us ALL this time." <-- Send me your address to beardandpigtails@gmail.com, I'll ship you some Graziano spices.

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  6. Pigtails is blessed to have a Dad who loves her as much as you do. Sounds like a very rocky road you are all heading down. Many of us will be praying that God and his Angels watch over and comfort you all.

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  7. Oh man, best wishes to you and little one. Might be a rough time coming.

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  8. Kelli K.9/15/2012

    I am so sorry that you must face this coming storm. I echo the thoughts and sentiments of those expressed so eloquently before me. I pray that God will keep you all in His care and give you the strength and wisdom to handle the situation and its repercussions. Pigtails is so fortunate to have a dad like you! You will be in my thoughts!

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    1. Wisdom is something I need and yearn for most, thanks for the prayer.

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  9. Anonymous9/15/2012

    I'm praying for all of you. Prayers from NY - Karen

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    1. God is good, thanks for praying.

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  10. Kathryn9/15/2012

    aren't you afraid that someone might read this post, and say something to Pigtails before you do?

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  11. I'm so sorry to read this. My mother fought the same brain cancer and passed away in 2011. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  12. I'm sorry to hear this sad news. You and your sweet, sensitive daughter will be in my thoughts, along with her mom. If you need help finding the balance of what medical details P needs and wants to know, ask the hospital staff that's treating her mom if they have a child life specialist that can work closely with you all.

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  13. Debbie9/17/2012

    my brother was diagnosed in aug 2003 w/ stage 4 glio & died in oct 2004. we appreciated the dr's efforts & giving us that extra year, its never enough time, but we used it to the fullest. he left behind three children, the youngest 16. there are wonderful glio support groups out there for families, i wouldnt hesitate to contact her physician for more info.

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  14. Delancey9/17/2012

    I have thought about you and dear pigtails a lot since I read your post. I honestly wish I had something more profound to say to you and Pigtails, something that would make this situation more tolerable and easier for Pigtails, but I am at a loss. Please know that you, Pigtails and Pigtail's mother are in my family's prayers. I truly wish for her time left to be meaningful and full of joy for both her and Pigtails. May it bring you solace and closure to a situation that I know has hurt you deeply. I will also pray for your strength and the strength of Pigtails during such a hard time.

    I would also like to recommend that you connect Pigtails with any support you think she may need during this time. I have a feeling you already have as you are a phenomenal parent!

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  15. Rachael9/19/2012

    This nearly has me in tears. I'm just so sorry for Pigtails, for her mom and for you. My older brother died of brain cancer about 3 years ago - it was surprisingly a very peaceful ending for him and he was able to remain at home, where he most wanted to be. My prayers are with all of you.

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  16. Prayers are with you and Pigtails during this time. Sounds like you are handling everything as well as expected. I have learned through our trials that kids drive the conversation. Tell them honest answers to their questions and gauge how much information they want/need. Help them to lean on God in tough times and take it a day at a time. And as a mom of sensitive boys, the right counselor is a godsend if they need it.

    Let me know if you need referrals! :-)

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    1. Thank MOB, surgery went well today and Pigtails is in good spirits.

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  17. Elizabeth10/09/2012

    Hi Beard,
    I've been reading your blog since seeing your kitchen re-model over on Young House Love. For some reason, I just saw this post tonight about your ex. I am sure that you have been getting more than your fill of two cents from everyone and everywhere regarding this situation, but thought I would throw mine in as well. I'm a former social worker, now NP, who has spent a lot of time working with end-stage cancer patients. For parents with young children, yes, honesty is always best, but you are absolutely doing the right thing by allowing your daughter to dictate how much information she is able to handle right now. Years from now, she may want memories of her mother, or wish she had more time with her.

    Have her make a memory book or box or video(s) with her mom. She can write down her favorite activities with her mom, special things they have done together, etc. When your ex is feeling up to it, she can write letters to your daughter that you can give to her on specific dates, like 16th birthday, high school graduation, things like that. This way Pigtails will always know that her mother was thinking about her and wishing she could be there. There are tons of books out there on this subject too, but books are books and as wonderful as they may be, they are not always right for specific situations. Go with your gut instinct. Pigtails will show you what she needs as well.

    Sorry for the long-winded response, guess it is more like 4 cents than 2.

    Elizabeth

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!