5K 2012

It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on this blog, as it was meant for updating friends and family regarding my mom’s health, progress with our first race, etc…. I haven’t felt a need to get on here.  But now I need your help.  We are hosting our third Wanda Cline 5K for Cancer and need runners, walkers (strollers are encouraged), and volunteers!

If you knew my mom, you knew how positive and encouraging she always was. She was involved in many groups online, encouraging and guiding other cancer patients to take a natural approach to treating the cancer.  She wanted to spread the word of what worked for her, and prolonged her life for many years.  Many others turned to her for her knowledge on the subject.  Once she decided to fight her cancer naturally, she learned everything about the subject.  She was so well informed and put into practice everything she learned. She wrote about it on her website, online forums, and answered hundreds of emails from others fighting cancer. I remember when a doctor even contacted her becaue he was so impressed with all she was doing.  She believed in her treatment, and so did I.  I firmly believed she wouldn’t have survived 8 years with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer if she didn’t fight using alternative treatment for a few years.

As time goes on, I fear my memories of my mom are slipping away.  It gets harder to remember the sound of her voice.  I have one old voice mail I listen to, and I can call her answering machine. I have many pictures and recipes, and I cherish those.  Little things she gave me I cannot part with.  Murry has been wearing a pair of Declan’s old shoes, and I can’t part with them (even though I replaced them) because I know my mom bought them for Declan.  A picture frame that my mom bought us for our one year anniversary fell and shattered, and I freaked out on Andy and was so upset for days.  I have obnoxious jewelry from when I was in fourth grade that I keep all tangled together, because I remember specific events and conversations, and I was wearing some of that jewelry during that time.

I’ve come a long ways in my recovery. I’m not depressed all the time and laying on the couch.  I can actually function as a wife and a mother again.  I don’t feel guilty about having a child after her death anymore (it took a long time for me to get over that).  But as I feel better and go on without my mom, I fear that I will start to lose those memories of her.  I don’t want to forget.

This race is so important to me.  She was alive when I decided to put it on.  In 6 short weeks Em and I were able to pull the race off, and it was a huge success.  We felt so much love from family and friends. We had over 100 participants, over 30 volunteers, and raised over $5,000.  We know everyone was showing their support because we all wanted to help my mom get the treatment she so badly wanted but couldn’t afford.

The second year, 2011, was a bit harder.  We didn’t get out non-profit status until Sepember, and we were waiting on that before we dove into really planning and advertising the race.  We did a good job planning it, but I think since we were missing the urgency of “let’s get Wanda to Texas and save her life,” people weren’t as interested.  I don’t blame them, as it’s much easier to get behind something that is right there, in your face, and needing attention right away. This was her life we were talking about!

Now that she’s gone, we need to think about all of the other lives that can be touched by our foundation. We are a Section 501(3c) Non-Profit Organization, and 100% of our proceeds go to help others in need.  Cancer patients apply with the organization to receive funds, whether it is to help pay for natural treatment or supplies, or even to pay for a hotel room while receiving treatment. I know it’s not my mom, but it’s somebody else’s mom (or daughter, dad, son, etc).

Back to last year’s race. It was not nearly as successful as the first year. We had about 60 runners register, but due to the cold and windy weather, only about 20 showed up.  I unfortunately couldn’t even make it because my baby was at Devos Children’s Hospital with viral meningitis.

This year needs to be our comeback year. This race is something that keeps her in our hearts and staying with us forever.  This race keeps my mom alive.  We cannot lose it. But we also need it to be successful so we can continue to put it again.  I’m worried that if we don’t have enough participants and volunteers, it will end up dying out. That’s the last thing we want. This is supposed to be a race that everyone looks forward to each year.  If it grows, we can make it better.  If we get over 100 participants, we can justify chip timing (instead of hand timing).  We can offer more medals and do more age groups as well. This year we are adding a Swag Bag, and BondiBands were amazing and donated BondiBands for our Swag Bags.

Please help me spread the word about this race.  It’s well organized, professionally timed, includes T-Shirts, Swag Bags, and medals for participants who place in their age groups (both male and female), and is for a great cause.  There’s also a virtual option, so anyone from anywhere can participate!  Let’s remember my mom, and not let her memories or this important cause fade away.

Wanda Cline Memorial Initiative

Sign up for the race

Sign up to volunteer (participants can volunteer to bring food)

Join our Facebook event and share with your friends!

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Remembering my mom…

Today is the memorial service for my mom.  The funeral home actually recommends not having family members speak, which made me very relieved.  I know with my anxiety I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

But I do want to share some thoughts about my mom.  I know most people think they have the best mom, but I think my mom really should get an award for being the best mom out there.  As a mother now, I often think back to how my life was growing up, and I wish I could be more like her.  I don’t think there ever was a day that my mom would say no to me if I wanted her to play with me for hours (all too often I’m telling my own kids not now, I’m busy).  If I wanted to go somewhere, she would usually drop what she was doing to take me there.  Whatever I wanted to eat she would make for me.  I thought everyone grew up having huge meals every night including homemade desserts.  If I needed a costume for school or Halloween, my mom sewed it herself.  When I was in probably fourth or fifth grade, I wanted to have a troll theme birthday.  She spent days making a paper mache troll that would now come up to at least my waist, just so it could greet my friends on the front porch as they entered the house.  My mom was the quintessential example of what a mother should be.  She did it all.  She was a work-at-home-mom, with putting me, her only child, always first.  She did her artwork while I was at school.  I was her life. Most people would just see it as me being spoiled, but that’s not it at all.  Yes she spoiled me, I’ll be the first to admit it, but she did more than that.  She showed me how to be a wonderful mother, probably without even realizing she was doing that (although I still need to work on applying everything she showed me).  She showed me it’s okay to treat someone like they are the whole world.  What’s wrong with that?  I know nobody else will understand me the way she did.  She knew my quirks and my flaws more than anyone else, and she understood it.  I like to believe that we have a connection that most mothers and daughters don’t have.  And I sure am going to miss it.  She wasn’t just my mom, but my best friend.  I would always call her while I was in the car, or when I was bored… I need to get used to not having someone to call just to hear me talk about nothing.  Only a mother will do that!  I loved that she always made herself available to me, even as an adult.  I could call her at a moment’s notice and suggest we go for a walk, to a movie, shopping, or to lunch, and she would usually be up for it (whatever she was doing could always wait).  And now I don’t have her here for any of that.  The best thing I can do though is remember her by carrying on her ways of mothering.  I need to remember that whatever I am doing can wait, and that my kids should come before anything else I am doing.  My mom was like a big security blanket to me.  No matter what, everything in the world would be okay with her on my side.  Even at 29, things still felt that way.  It’s going to be really hard to get used to her not being here.

I found a few pictures to post for now of my mom that capture her in her everyday life.  Most of these were from when I was a little girl.  More pictures will come later, as I dig deeper in my stuff and her stuff as well.

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This entry was posted on January 15, 2011. 4 Comments

Picking up the pieces….

How do I pick up the pieces? Where do I start?  I feel like I’m broken…..

The last few days have been terrible and filled with too much suffering.  She was in good spirits last Thursday, even though she was moved to the hospital bed and had the catheter.  By Friday she was much worse and could hardly talk.  Saturday, worse.  By Sunday she could barely respond to anybody.  I slept on the couch by her bed, listening to her breathe, and checking on her constantly throughout the night.  This morning around 9:30 the yelling and crying out started.  “Pain” and “hurt” managed to come out of her mouth as clear as day.  Screaming these words over and over.  “Help me” came out too…. she would look straight into my eyes (her eyes were normally closed at this point) with this horrible look of fear while she begged for my help.  It took Hospice over 2 and a half hours, with about 6 phone calls, to finally get out there (****RIDICULOUS***).  They gave her morphine drops, which calmed her down and eventually put her to sleep.  This was early afternoon, and she never woke up again.  At 7:35 pm she gasped for her last breathe.  I can’t even describe the hurt we’re feeling right now.  Somehow I’ll have to heal, but I have no idea how.

 

This entry was posted on January 11, 2011. 3 Comments

Another update…bed rest

Family members and friends received this email from my mom yesterday evening.

This might be tacky, but sometimes it’s reality also.

Less and less function.  Can’t stand, walk, or use pot on own without tremendous help.  Is it disease progression?  They think maybe.  No one knows for sure. Doctor won’t order physical therapy, due to fragile bones.  I am miserable, miserable.  Poppin House, should we need, is $195 day (not free after all).  Ron says no nursing home, but beyond his capabilities, I fear (my words, not his).  They recommend catheter to help, but then you have a risk of UTI infection. Will use “Depends” in meantime, I guess – what else?  I used to pee a lot, but now hold and suffer, in addition to all the cancer pain.

If I can be comfortable, I want to live longer.  If I can’t, then, no.  I am at hell’s door, it feels like. Help……………………

I didn’t check my email until right before bed, so I didn’t get this until after 10pm.  I quickly called my mom, who was in the process of trying to get to the toilet with the help of Ron, so she said she’d call back.  When she did, she was in tears.  Ron had dropped her… because she has absolutely no control of her weak, fragile bones, it’s really hard to try to pick her up and get her anywhere, including the toilet.  So I went to bed not knowing what we would do…. she said for me not to take the day off of work though.

I got up this morning, went to the gym, and drove to work like usual.  But I didn’t feel right doing it.  While I love my job and am usually fine separating work from everything going on at home with my mom, I knew we needed to figure out a plan for my mom.  She can’t continue like this.  So, I called my principal, got ready for my sub, and came to my grandma’s house (where my mom is still living).

Hospice was here this morning and put her on bedrest.  That means nobody can get her out of bed except the Hospice nurses and doctors.  They put in a catheter, so now we eliminated the need for her to get up to use the bathroom (even though the hospital toilet was next to the bed, it was still too hard to manage). We needed to decide whether we keep her here or bring her to the Poppin House (which is Hospice).  We still have all of the race money that we raised, but it would only pay for a month of the house…. Also, it’s much more cheerful at my grandma’s house, and she has the constant company of my grandma, plus Ron is always around, and it’s close to our house.  It would be much more difficult for her to have visitors at the Poppin House.  We decided she would stay here.  Hospice is bringing out a new hospital bed for the living room (the one in the bedroom isn’t paid for by Hospice, and apparently they have to pay for your bed when you’re in their care).  She’ll be in the living room for the remainder of her time (unless things get so bad we have to move her to Poppin).

There is a lot of care that goes into taking care of my mom, especially now that she’s on bed rest.  Before she could use her motorized wheelchair to go into the kitchen and heat up food, but now she can’t do that.  Someone will need to be with her nearly all the time (and my grandma has Alzheimer’s so we can’t depend on her for care when nobody else is around).  Ron can do it all all week, plus Hospice comes out Monday through Friday.  Ron sings on Friday nights and once a month on Sundays, so I will be with my mom taking care of her Friday evening/nights. I’m working on arrangements for my own boys, as I can’t have them here with me while I’m tending to her (especially in a house that is not kid friendly or toddler proofed).

I strangely feel calm and okay during all of this. I’ve been mourning and grieving already  the last few months and I know what is coming.  It’s a slow enough transition that we’re just taking it as it comes.  Then I begin to think I’m a horrible person for actually dealing with something okay.  I feel like I should be crying all the time.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of crying and bad days..but there are also good days in there, which just feels wrong.

To everyone who donated to my mom or participated in the race, we want you to know that the money is still very appreciated and will be used for her.  We have plenty of medical bills adding up, and there will probably be a time in the near future where we need more help than just family, and we’ll have to get nurses to come in (which is expensive).  But for now, while we can manage with family, we are going to.  If she does end up in the Poppin house, we need to conserve as much as we can now. 

This entry was posted on January 5, 2011. 7 Comments

Nothing new…

I just wanted to update everyone, but unfortunately there isn’t anything new.  My mom is in a lot of pain (just talked to her a little bit ago, and it’s really bad) and they are having a very hard time getting it under control.

I will keep everyone updated as well as we make a decision on how to use the money raised from the race.  I am going to see what medical bills she needs help with….  I so wish we would have been able to send her to Texas.  Who would have thought that she would have taken such a turn for the worse during the 6 weeks it took us to plan the race.

Photo Book

My mom and I decided I should make a nice photo book for Declan.  They are so close, and I’m just scared he will lose his memories of her over time.  Before she was sick, she would always pick him up from daycare for me and they had so many good times together.  Making cookies, popping popcorn, reading books, playing games, and doing puzzles.  I found tons of pictures on my mom’s computer and want to share them here. These aren’t in any order, but when I do the photo book of course it will be in chronological order.  I will continue to take pictures of them, and will wait on ordering the photo book until it can be complete….

Declan spent many days at MeeMaw's house (yes, sometimes in pajama shirts and jeans)

He practiced his stacking skills.

Thanksgiving 2006

Declan playing with water

My mom enrolled Declan in dance class when he was 3. He loved it!

Warn out from hula hooping at MeeMaw's

Baking Cookies

Declan and MeeMaw

A Day in the Park

Stacking Again....

Declan's Third Birthday

Declan spent many days running around in the sprinklers at MeeMaw's

Helping make a cake

Silly Face While Enjoying Blueberries at MeeMaw's (his favorite snack).

He made me a castle....

Helping cook (one of MeeMaw's favorite things to do)!

Yummy.....

Hanging out on MeeMaw's bed

Cousins at MeeMaw's house

Playing with my old horse

Halloween

MeeMaw, Declan, and Murry

Declan spent many afternoons in the kiddie pool.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2006

Christmas 2005

This entry was posted on December 2, 2010. 2 Comments