Esophagus stuff

17 Dec

I had another day of an extremely sore throat after the endoscopy. Just didn’t feel too great. This afternoon the doctor called which kind of scared me. He had the results of the biopsies for me. Turns out I have 3 things. I have Barretts Esophagus, Mild Dysplasia, Eosinophilic Esophagitis. For those of you who have been around me the last couple of years while I’m eating will be relieved that a lot of my burping, choking and coughing should be getting better. (I’ll never forget Margie telling me on our trip to Paris, that I didn’t need to keep saying “excuse me” after I burped a million times a day. I can’t believe how annoying I sounded)
My treatment for these problems is Prilosec twice a day and now I will use an inhaler twice a day for 3 months. The Eosinophilic Esophagitis can be caused by allergies, whether they be food or environmental.
Bottom line is I am so glad to be getting a handle on this issue. Barretts can get pretty scary and turn into cancer if it goes untreated.
I’m pretty foggy today not having caffeine. I did drink my last Pepsi that was in the refrigerator and now will go Pepsi and Ice tea free. I know I won’t feel to with it for a few days then it will be great. I generally feel really good when I don’t drink caffeine all day.
Denny will be on his way tomorrow. Hopefully the weather doesn’t interfere with his travels. It is supposed to snow tonight and may be slippery. It’s going to get crazy in the Blenden household because school is out Friday until January 6!! Hopefully they be at the sitters a couple of days because we really want to finish the projects before January 6. Also, the puppies will be staying with us for 4 days which will make Sophie and Easton crazy.
That’s it for now.

December 15, 2014

15 Dec

photo (14)photo (15)

As you can see Denny has been working so hard when he’s in Colorado. He has painted and put new wood floors down. I love the floors and am so excited to see them. The only ones who probably aren’t thrilled are the dogs. They have no traction so they are always sliding around Denny says. Today he tore off the counter top that had a very weird tile job plus tore off the tiles from the back splash walls which also were very weird. Anyway when it is all done our house will look much prettier.

I do have a happier post today. Sunday was a good day for the whole family. Billie and I attended a wonderful performance of the Nutcracker in Kansas City. It was at the Kauffman Center which was a beautiful venue. Afterward we had a nice dinner at the Longhorn. The kids spent the day with Billie’s friend Ann. Elliott went to a recital and made a new friend. Cade and Kyler went to Lawrence where this cool place has all sorts of sports equipment to play on so they were happy when they came home. Josh, Billie’s neighbor, put Christmas lights on the house so it was all lit up when we arrived home.

Today was my endoscopy appointment. Several things in my diet will have to change. Fatty foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, chocolate. I have esphagitis, GERD, and a hiatal hernia. The doctor said my esophagus was raw and inflamed. I will take 2 Prilosec’s a day for 3 months and then have another endoscopy. I have an extremely sore throat which caught me off guard. I really need to feel better tomorrow because I have Christmas ornaments to paint and paint a paw. Would also like to paint a wall in Billie’s kitchen. So we will see how I will feel. I’m sure much better. Thank you Ruth for hauling me around to my appointments.

It’s rainy and sleety tonight. Can we please have some sunshine one of these days. That is one thing I love about Colorado is the sunshine year round.

Since I have Netflix only in the basement I’ve been watching series. First I watched Friday Night Lights, now I’m watching The Killing. It’s intriguing.

That’s it for now. It doesn’t feel like Christmas time to me even though we have trees up.

6 weeks and 1 day

13 Dec

Has been a tough week. Grieving is beginning to appear in different forms again. Cade and Kyler seem to be doing better. They have their games to focus on. Apparently 4 year olds show their grief by arguing, crying, not listening. It’s hard not to get mad but we’ve heard this is a symptom for the young ones. Counseling has begun and I hope that it will help all of them. Billie went back to work last Monday. The first day her hair was all curled, she had on her new scrubs and went out to face her new world as a single mom. By the end of the week she was very tired and sad. Reality is beginning to set in. It is very difficult being a single parent and there is a lot of adjustments to make. Some new rules have been set in place which help with some issues. I think everyone finds it necessary to stay busy because when they aren’t, they get sad. I do too
I will begin paint again this week. Billie has picked golden yellow and a shade of green for the kitchen. A turqouisy blue and a darker blue for her bedroom. Big project is to try to the backyard secure so the dogs can’t escape. We thought that had been accomplished until Thursday when all of us were gone all day. When Billie got home both dogs were out and a huge hole was ripped through the galvanized fence. I hate when dogs have separation anxiety which Easton has. We will try a couple of things to see if we can keep them and if it doesn’t work, Easton may have to go to a new home. He is a great dog and we all love him, but the stress of him doing damage in the house and outside of the house is too much. Denny made them a great dog house full of hay and cozy places to sleep.
We made a huge mistake this week. We had plans to go with 3 other couples to the Church of the Resurrection Christmas show in Kansas City on the 19th. It was 3 pm yesterday afternoon when we found out that it was actually last night. Crap. Our brains are beginning to get mushy I guess.
Did accomplish some art projects this week. 5 paw prints and 22 bowl holders. I drove to Tonganoxie and met up with Sherry, Jan and Patty. In 4 hours of assembly line work we were able to do that many. Billie is giving them out as Thank you’s to the many who gone above and beyond with their help.
Also accomplished my little homeless mission for the ones who are sleeping outside. I was able to pack up 10 packs of blankets, scarves and hats in bags and plastic zippered bags. Ruth and I delivered them to the mission yesterday. We asked what else was needed and how many were outside. She said about 35 and that they needed socks and chapstick. So…we went to Walmart and bought that many socks and chapsticks. Now I’m trying to think of something to make that would make their socks water proof. Little booties maybe? We’ll see.
I hate winter in Kansas. It can go for days and days with now sunshine and so dreary. I feel like I need one of those sun lights, so does Billie.
Torrie, Larry and I went to visit some friends who’s wife has cancer. We have 2 very good friends who have cancer and it has been a very tough year for both of them.
On a happier note, Denny has been working so hard on our Colorado house. I think he is almost done with the painting of the living room and putting the wood floors down and putting new trim up. I’m waiting for some photos.
I know it will be beautiful.
That’s it for now. Wish us luck for a better week ahead. As Billie says: “Nothing feels okay, nothing feels right”. It’s very hard.
I am having an endoscopy on Monday morning to hopefully get some relief on these multitudes of stomach issues. I think a week on a private beach would cure it all!

Some Normalcy

7 Dec

Billie will go back to work tomorrow after 5 weeks. I think she is ready. Life has a semblance of normalcy right now. Christmas tree is up and Bob the Elf is keeping an eye on the kids. Kyler loves Christmas, the elf, and Santa Claus. The kids had a busy weekend of hockey and ballet rehearsals. Can’t wait to see Elliott in the Nutcracker as an angel.
Denny is back in town and has been swamped with projects around the house. The big one was installing the french doors on Billie’s bedroom. Now she can hopefully have a little privacy when needed. She also picked out the paint for the kitchen and her bedroom and we’ll get that done in the next 2 weeks. Larry helped Denny with the French doors and Torrie helped me in the basement today. I think by next weekend we will be able to begin painting down there. Very excited about that.
Denny and I drove to Lake Wabaunsee for the Christmas home tour. It was great fun seeing our friends out there and the homes were beautiful.
Busy week ahead. Denny and I will work on house Monday and Tuesday. He will head back to Colorado on Wednesday. Thursday I’m going to meet at Sherry’s in Tonganoxie and with a few other friends we are going to assembly line bowl holders. I hope to maybe get 20 done or almost done. Next Sunday Billie and I will head to Kansas City to see the Kansas City Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. That’s a gift from Mike and Cathy. We both love the Nutcracker.
My fingernails are finally growing out after biting them all off a couple of weeks ago. I used to be a horrible nail biter. I forgot how painful it is and how tender my finger tips would be. Now I”m dealing with very painful hang nails. I’m trying to think of an invention to be able to keep my fingertips covered in lotion and then have something to cover them with to let them heal. Maybe a bunch of rubber tips.
The kids will go to their first counseling appointment this week. They will each spend an hour with a therapist by themselves. I hope they will be able to share their thoughts and can comforted by getting some insights.
I know my stay is coming to an end in a couple of weeks. I am so happy I was able to spend this time with Billie. I really feel like I was a Grandma. I’ve always struggled being a hands on Grandma and now I know that I can do it.
Billie has good kids who have their moments. They each have own personality. I know Daddy would be proud of them and how they are handling life without him. Very resilient. Billie is adapting to being a single mom. It’s not a path she would have taken but she knows what it will entail.
I’m continuing on with my project for the homeless who sleep outside. We have several blankets, some good coats, hats, gloves and I think I will put in some big plastic bags for wet days. I also might purchase some cigarettes. Since no one has returned my calls or emails, I am going to just make up the bags and take them to the Rescue Mission.
That’s it for now. Think I’ll downstairs and return to my Friday Night Lights Netflix show. I’m really liking that Netflix.


2 Dec

It’s a sunny chilly afternoon in Topeka. Billie and Cade left to pick up the other 2 and run a couple of errands.
Billie has put up the Christmas tree so we are trying to get a little cheer going.
Life feels a little calmed down. Everyone is really getting some good night’s sleep which has helped tremendously.
Kyler is totally enjoying my egg and bacon sandwiches for breakfast. I think I actually made my first meatloaf last night.
Everyone likes the church we are going to which I am very happy about that.
Denny is coming in tomorrow. We are all looking forward to that. He has some of the bigger projects to do. We’ll finish painting the upstairs next week after Billie goes back to work.
Excited about a possible little mission activity that I hope happens this week. There is a man who keeps track of the homeless who live in the trees and under the bridges. Billie and I went to a local thrift store and purchased some scarves, blankets and hats. Then after I hear from the guy and find out what else they need to survive these cold nights, we’ll together some packages full of warm things.
I’m not sure what stage of grief the house is going through right now. Last night I can kind of threw a tantrum which in turn upset the whole house and I was actually going to go to a motel. Not that the tantrum wasn’t a little justified. Billie said “you’re not leaving, we’re going to talk all of this out”!. Yikes. We did get it talked out and we all aired our grievances including the kids. So……we’ll see how it works out. Billie is really handling the kids well and I need to not turn into another kid for her to deal with!! Elliott continues to say different things regarding Daddy. Kyler came across a little video at a pumpkin patch that they all went to the weekend before Halloween. It was strange to hear Justin’s voice on the video. It made everyone sad but Billie was glad she has the video.
Billie received a letter today from the Midwest Transplant Network. They informed her that Justin’s donations were bone tissue, connective tissue, skin, cardiovascular tissue, pericardium and corneas. We already know that his corneas have been used.
I am scheduled for an endoscopy and a MRI on my back next week. I really need to get a handle on the back thing. I’m sure I will be told I’m deteriorating, duh after all I will be getting social security in February.
Denny has finished painting the living room and installed new wood floors. Meeko has already christened them 3 times already and the spots clear right up. Soo glad I won’t have to look at yucky pee stains on yucky carpet anymore.
That’s it for now.

Grief Part II

26 Nov

Said good by to my sister Judy this morning. She spent 5 days with us helping with some projects. It was a huge help.
I’m in the basement watching Elliott playing “going to a meeting with my girls”. Her imagination is so fun to watch. She has on a pink tutu and a princess crown and is carrying her tutu purse that someone gave her last night. It is full of lip gloss which she loves.
We are heading into the first holiday of Daddy being gone. It is unbelievable that it will a month this Friday. We still have some good moments but when the bad moments hit, it comes with a vengeance. Last night was really rough. 2 1/2 hours of crying, being scared, wanting daddy, wanting mommy. It is when I am helpless because it’s only mommy they want in the middle of the night. 4 a.m. seems to be the witching hour for some reason. No amount of paint on the walls, new bedspreads, new clothes, or toys can ease those tears at that time. Thank goodness there was no school today. We are all exhausted.
We are going to make the best of the 5 days we will all be here. I bought a card table and chairs today, some family games, and dominoes. Kyler wants to make some paper turkeys for everyone tomorrow so we will get that done too. It’s a really cute pattern he found Pinterest last night.
We are also done fixing up for this time too. We do have Billie in her new bedroom and she has some new bedding and curtains that Gina gave her yesterday. It will be nice to get her settled in there. She is taking one more week off of work which is desperately needed. She has maybe had one full night of sleep this whole time. I hope that she can spend some time in bed during the day and rest and mourn.
I’m actually feeling tired today. I think adrenaline is such an interesting part of our body chemistry. I really have had quite a bit of energy and not very hungry. It certainly is needed at times like this.
Have seen a few friends this last week. Cindy and Gayle came by and helped out with a few projects. Very grateful for that. Had a piece of Bobo’s apple pie with friend Judy yesterday. The pie is my go to comfort food at this time. I know it’s not gluten free but I don’t care. Shelly and I have been trying to get together for days now, hopefully soon. She is a psychiatric physicians assistant and has a lot of information on grieving during the holidays. Bernie also came by. She lost her husband at a young age and she and Billie were able to visit.
Billie’s friends and family continue to be great support. Our friend Judy gave us 2 sets of KU basketball tickets so both the boys were able to go to a game with their grandpa. One of her neighbors came by yesterday and offered to put up all of the outdoor Christmas lights on the house. Her cousin Sara came over and did a super scrub on the kitchen tile. A local band donated all of their tips to her at a benefit for the family. Another group adopted them for Christmas. I think we are still getting a meal delivered every night. That has been really helpful. She is so grateful and doesn’t know how she will ever repay everyone for their kindness and generosity. I told her they are doing it all unconditionally because they all loved Justin’s family.
Last night during the night time meltdown Billie said she felt Justin’s presence for the first time. She was consoling Cade and Kyler came into the room and patted her on the side of the head like Justin used to. Then Kyler put his music headphones on her and said “Mommy relax and listen to some music”. It was Justin’s music. I think Justin was trying to help her get through the difficult hours last night.
Sooo…Grief Part II. Maybe the numbness and shock is wearing off and the real grief is just beginning. Elliott is also talking a lot more about Daddy being gone. We will get through this. We read these sad stories about little families whose parent dies young, but to actually be living through it is so hard on the heart.
Counseling has now come into the picture and they all went to a church service last Sunday and we hope to attend this week.
Praying has been difficult for me. I talk to God, but I don’t feel like I am praying. I just ask for strength to help Billie’s family get through each day.


20 Nov

Who ever came up with the saying “Good Grief”? I do not believe there is such a thing.
Cade, Kyler and Elliott are grieving in different ways. Sometimes Kyler just breaks down and cries. Elliott isn’t crying too much and feels “we have to be tough”. Cade’s grief comes out in behavior. Billie comes in and out of it also. One minute doing okay, the next minute crying so hard I can hardly bear the sound.
This morning I had a totally hopeless feeling. Tonight, better. I cry more by myself. I’m trying to be the one to just keep things going.
Billie is home until December 1st. We took the kids out of school for 3 days this week to go visit my Mom and stay with my sister Judy. It was a good trip and I think all of us could have stayed quite awhile.
Billie continues to get lots of support from her friends. Meals are delivered every night along with yummy desserts. We have made this coming Monday as “let’s all start eating healthier” week.
Grief also makes eating difficult. I haven’t been able to eat a lot of meals that are delivered and subsisted on rice cakes and peanut butter for several days.
Grief makes dressing nicely hard and also putting make-up on a pain.
Grief clogs our brain cells. I was trying to keep up on laundry and dishes. I discovered today that I have been using softener only in the wash and finish in the dishwasher, soooo basically we have just been wearing rinsed out clothing and rinsed off dishes. Yuck. Now I’m doing it correctly.
We have managed to get the living room painted. Billie’s friend Scott and I did that on Sunday. She loved it and it was a surprise for her when she got home. Monday was her 38th birthday. Tomorrow we will begin on our next painting project, the boys room.
We did find out Justin’s cause of death. Heart attack and he had the beginnings of hardening of the arteries. A piece of plaque broke off.
Denny is home working on our house. He is painting the walls in the living room and hallway. He will come back here after Thanksgiving to put up some french doors and some other things Billie needs done.
Sister Judy is arriving tomorrow to spend a few days with us to help with projects. That will be a great help.
Time to go to a meeting with one of my friends. Not that I would take a drink but I need some spiritual energy desperately.
This is the hardest thing I have ever been through but very glad I can be here for my heartbroken daughter and her little family.


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