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Old 12-02-2009, 08:54 AM   #1
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What's been happening in my life (Beth's Story)

For the past year Rich (dh) was having what he called indigestion. Then he started to have spasms that he called hiccups. Eating was getting problematic and uncomfortable, so he finally decided to go to his primary care physician. He was referred to a stomach specialist who recommended a colonoscopy and endoscopy (sending a camera down his throat to look at his stomach). I accompanied him to these procedures on October 7th. During the endoscopy, the doctor said, “whoa, you have stomach cancer”. As we were exiting that hospital, Rich stopped to call his brother who is a doctor. Tom immediately recommended that Rich be seen at a larger hospital than the regional hospital where the first endoscopy had just been performed. And that was wise advice. The pathology report from this regional hospital came back “non-malignant”, which was not the case. These same pathology slides of the stomach biopsy accompanied Rich to Nashville where he spent 10 days of more tests, scopes, CT scans, and meetings with cancer specialists and treatment oncologists. This hospital read the biopsy slides not only as malignant, but as adenocarcinoma. The recommended treatment was 3 courses of chemotherapy so severe he would be hospitalized for 2 months, then surgery to remove his entire stomach and where ever the cancer had metastized, then more chemotherapy. Recovery from this treatment would be up to one year. It took Rich a nano second to decide this was a course of treatment that he did not want to endure.

A few weeks ago we enrolled him in Hospice and he is very happy with that decision. At this point Hospice visits weekly and have been very helpful in answering all our questions.

Since October 7th, Rich has been focusing on preparing the house and homestead to make it easier for me to stay here. Most days he has felt okay, good enough to work on the various lists he makes daily. And he has accomplished a great deal of work so far, with the help of many friends. The house has been re-roofed, he has completed our part of the work required to hook us up to county water. We have always had our own water system that relies on two electrical pumps. County water will flow even if the electricity doesn’t, and I won’t have to deal with the next time the submergible pump stops working. Our own spring water has also corroded our faucetts and he has ordered all nine new faucetts. Yesterday I ordered a new Bosch range and dishwasher and a new refrigerator. He has now replaced all three toilets with Toto water conserving toilets and two years ago we purchased a new front loading washing machine. So I should be set for low water usage since I will now be paying for water.

Our long range plan had been to keep the goats until we reached the age of 70, for eleven more years. I knew I could not take care of the goats by myself and especially when I was going to be taking care of Rich. So it was heart breaking to make the decision to sell the entire herd. The goats left on November 14th. But that has enabled Rich to complete another major project, with the help of 3 friends, to remove all the fencing that contained the goats in a 6 acre parcel. That will make mowing so much easier for me with the tractor and bush hog. I plan to hire someone to mow the back hayfields once a year, but will have my hands full with mowing around the house, barns, garden and front hay field.

We are definetly taking one day at a time. We hope Rich feels good enough to travel to Nashville for Christmas to see his Mom and both brothers. We actually feel blessed to have this time to get our affairs in order. One does not always get a heads up when your end is near.

Eating remains problematic for Rich and has many foods that he does not tolerate. He eats many very small meals a day. Ice cream is a staple in his diet right now. That means it is impossible for me to participate in the “What’s for Dinner?” thread. I don’t know which tiny meal/snack is dinner anymore.

I find I don’t have much of an attention span these days and don’t spend time on the forums that used to interest me. But we do ask for any prayers and positive thoughts for Rich to maintain his present level of health for as long as possible.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Beth you know we are here for you whenever you find a moment to be with us. My prayers go up for you and Rich and you know that my ears are yours whenever you need them. (OK I guess its really my eyes and fingers but you know what I mean)

Take care dear Beth, and come when you can.

You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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It’s deeply saddening to learn that such an idyllic lifestyle is coming to a premature end.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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Wow. My sympathies and a big cyber-hug.
I understand his decision, I think, but golly, what pain for everyone involved.
If there is such a thing as psychic support, I am beaming it out.

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:34 AM   #5
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You have my most heartfelt prayers and thought Beth. I am so sorry you and Rich have to go through this.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:50 AM   #6
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Beth, I've no words that will make this easier or make it go away..All I can give is my love and prayer that the Lord makes this time easier and as peaceful as possible for all of you. Life has a way of jerking us around when we least expect it. Know that you will be in my thoughts and my prayers..If you need to talk or just cry or yell, I'm here for you.
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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My heart aches for you and Rich. You both will be in my thoughts.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:43 PM   #8
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Prayers are with you...

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Old 12-02-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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I'm so sorry, Beth!

You have my thoughts, prayers and especially hugs!!

A little kindness goes a long way.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #10
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Beth, you will be added to my prayers. My mother made a similar decision after the cancer returned for her. We had some good talks before she died. It's great that you've involved hospice already. They can be a wonderful support through this. I'm glad he's feeling well enough to do things yet. Know that the folks here at DC will be here when you need us.

I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
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