Friday, August 18, 2017

A Crazy, Scary Summer

I had planned on posting weekly blog articles throughout the summer. A few would be book reviews by Sue’s Reviews. She’s not behind––I am. (I’ll be posting a review soon.)
To say it’s been a crazy summer is an understatement. I’ve been gone a lot, as my sister and my very best friend have been stricken with cancer. I spend as much time as I can with them, yet still come home and work in serious catch-up mode to prepare for the craft and art shows we had already signed up for. I also managed to squeeze in taking the grandkids to swimming lessons and to a couple summer fairs, but not without some serious help from my husband.

Even with his help, I have to admit, this summer I have felt rushed through the family activities. Like I’m watching the calendar for swimming lessons to end so I can hurry back to the hospital, just in case good goes bad. Needless to say, I got as far behind on work and crafts as I have my blog and other commitments.
I don’t regret it. I want to spend as much time with these two special people as I can, though I am no way writing them off as doomed. They both have positive attitudes, and they are fighting for their lives. A lot of people are praying for them, including me. My sister Helen had surgery for her cancer, and we thought she was good to go. No sign of cancer for months. Then it came back with a vengeance. But she’s pretty stubborn (runs in the family), and she’s showing everyone just how tough she really is. Take that, cancer!

She lives a four-hour drive from me, but my husband is an understanding sweetie and has taken me to visit her. Even when I’m not at her side, we continue our morning coffee ritual via phone, something we’ve been doing for years. We laugh together, and we pray together. We hope together.
My friend Betty was diagnosed with bone and breast cancer June 29, and she was hospitalized. Prior to that I had stayed at her house a few days. She was having problems getting in and out of bed. A sore back, it seemed. Maybe too much gardening, we thought. Now we know what the problem was. Anyway, she has since had surgery that involved inserting two rods in her spine for support. Her entire spine was filled with cancer.

Since then, with cheers from her daughter, me, and other friends, Betty has learned to walk with a walker and already can manage the length of a city block. She’s improving every day and making new friends in the facility that has become her temporary home. I’m glad she has people who enjoy visiting and playing cards every day. She has always been a very social person, and people gravitate toward her because of it. The nurses and doctors have all been very supportive, as well as astonished at how strong Betty is. She eats three full meals a day and hasn’t lost any weight.
I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been able to spend time with my sister and with Betty during their journeys.

For four years Betty and I had been shop neighbors. My tiny sewing and alternations/craft shop was right behind her large store. We live in a small town, so I often put a note on my door during lunch break –“At Betty’s if you need me.” We had coffee together every day, Tuesday through Saturday those years. Once we closed our shops (Betty retired and I went into nearly full-time writing), we continued our coffee visits. We’ve been there for each other for ten years now.
I am missing the routines of both my coffee partners, but we’ve made new routines. I still see them, and we still share coffee and laughs.

I may not get around to visiting all of your blogs, and I do miss that part of my life, but please know I will return once my sister and friend are back to their old selves.
It’s a scary thing, because though we look toward the positive, there’s no way a person can have someone with cancer in his or her life and not have the tormenting fear of losing that special someone. I try not to look in that direction. But bad news happens. I recently lost a classmate to cancer. She will be missed. We were friends back in school, and though we haven’t kept up with each other the way friends should, I have thought of her often and will continue to remember her with fond memories. Here’s to you, Brenda! :-)

Any prayers you want to pass this way will be appreciated, and I hope to get back to visiting blogs soon. Until then, please accept my apologies for my absence.


  1. Blogging has to take a back seat to important issues affecting friends and family, and it's up to the authors of the blogs you usually visit to understand that we can't always come first, nor should we. Here's hoping things turn out well for your friend and your sister!

  2. Real life, especially family and friends and illness, comes ahead of vitual life. Your sister and friend will be added to my prayer list.

  3. Hi Deb - cancers are so difficult - my thoughts to you and your sister and friend. As Silver Fox notes ... blogging is so ephemeral when it comes to life itself ... just take as long as you need and are needed - with thoughts - Hilary

  4. All good thoughts are with you in this trying & troubling time Debi... and to your sister and friend ...

  5. Sorry to hear, Deb. Family first, everyone here is with you and understanding. And we love you! Stay strong, you're a great sister and friend.