Four weeks


The last four weeks have been a whirlwind.  Here's some of the things that happened:
  • When I got the call, at 1130 PM, that Bob had passed away, I was told I had 4 hours to get his body moved.  I was in shock, Bob and I had been joking that day, and he had been planning for the future.  But, 4 hours!
  • Ten years ago we did a Family Trust and part of that included Advance Directives and our wishes for after death.  This made my task so easy.  Bob wanted to be cremated and buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.  He also wanted no service, just family members present.  That's exactly what we did,  There were a flag folding and presentation, a 3 volley rifle salute, and some simple words.  This took place two weeks after his death, the mortuary took care of all the arrangements, but the National Cemeteries are so busy, up to 80 burials a day, that date was the soonest.
  • For the first two weeks, I really paced myself.  There were tons of tasks and notifications to be accomplished, but I didn't want to overdo and exhaust myself.  Plus, from being a caregiver and hospital visitor, my home had really taken a beating.  I'd been advised by one of my daughters that it really needed to be taken care of.  I did a deep clean; it was lots of work but rewarding.
  • The first notification was, immediately, to our daughters.  The next day I first called our wonderful Aunts, Vicky and Lorraine, then our sisters, and the final "relative" call was to my Dad's second wife.  Her response was, "What do you want from me?!"  I assured her that I didn't want anything; that I just wanted her to know Bob had died.  She's a horrible person and I don't need to contact her ever again.
  • While Bob was sick, I was his pharmacist.  Right after he died I gathered as many prescriptions and injection paraphernalia as I could find and boxed everything.  I was still finding more Rx stuff for the next 3 weeks.  I now have 5 medium size boxes of medical Rx to dispose of.
  • I also have 3 drawers of first aid supplies I want to give to someone.
  • One of the notifications was to the Pension Dept at LAPD.  They immediately withdrew the pension direct-deposit that had just been made.  I spoke to them today, and I should have my pension by April.  So I'll be without income for 3 months.
  • A man had been wanting to buy my car since last Autumn, he called me right after all this happened and I sold him my 9-year old car for a good/fair sum.  Now, I'm driving Bob's SUV.  No sense in having two vehicles when there's only one driver.
  • The past two weeks I've been going thru the closets and drawers and getting rid of clothing.  I got rid of a lot of Bob's clothing, but not all.  It's OK with me to have reminders around.  I found many brand new, still in plastic wrap, items of clothing, mainly pants and shorts.  I was really surprised.  Everything went to Goodwill, nine 32 gallon bags, so someone will have some nice duds.
  • I use "the office" for my sewing room.  There's actually a desk, a computer desk, printer stand, a bookcase and my sewing table in there.  About 7 years ago Bob purchased a used 4 drawer file cabinet and moved that in, also.  I really hated that file cabinet, I had a two drawer file cabinet, tucked away in the closet that worked just fine.  This week I emptied the 4 drawer and wrangled it out to the garage, I'll either give it away or donate it.  
  • We received a letter from Anthem Blue Cross, addressed to Bob.  It essentially stated that they were told by Medicare that Bob wad dead, and extended their condolences.  But, they stated, is this info is incorrect, let us know.  
That's what I've been doing this past four weeks.  There's still lots to do, but nothing is urgent.  This week I have a couple of appointments and I'm going to the Parkinson's Support Group, to lead Tai Chi.  Next week I'm going to start teaching Tai Chi, again, and I hope to start a quilt.  Not much sewing has been going on.  But, it will be good to get back into a routine.

The photo was taken on Bob's 70th birthday, 4 1/2 years ago.  If you'd like to know more about Bob, here's the link to his obituary.
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The Last Bob Report







These are some of my favorite photos of Bob.  He got sick with cancer in June, when we got home from our 50th Anniversary cruise.  Cancer claimed him on Tuesday night, he was 74 years old.  When I saw him on Tuesday, during the day, he was optimistic and making plans for the future.  On Wednesday my daughters went with me to make his final arrangements.  We have a trust and a living will, so it was fairly easy and straightforward, because his wishes were spelled out.

He will be cremated and his remains will be interred at the Riverside National Cemetery, next month.  I'm doing OK, Bob and I were both very independent, so I'm use to doing for myself.

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Merry Christmas

Christmas Dog!  I'm too sexy for my scarf... I'm quite the cuteness "arf..."  tooo sexy!

Love labs




Lots of good wishes from Jan, Bob and the animals!
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Survival

Since Bob's diagnosis of Lymphoma, more than three months ago, our life has be chaotic.  One example is he has spent 4 weeks total, out of the last six weeks as an inpatient at Loma Linda Hospital.  He had two inpatient chemo treatments, with four more to go; and was hospitalized for pain for 21 days straight.  The pain was caused by a deep hematoma resulting from a bone marrow biopsy.  Initially he could stand but not take a step; then when the hematoma released, his system was flooded with potassium and uric acid, which caused a severe gout flare, and he could no longer stand.

For me, I'm doing OK, and two companies have helped me stay healthy during all this, and I thought I'd give a shout out to them.



The first is GoPicnic!  These are Ready-To-Eat Meals,  If you were in the military, these are so much better than MREs!  They are great tasting and no refrigeration necessary.  I love that the calories are listed right on the front of the box.  There is a wide variety of choices, including Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks.  I don't eat beef, so I skipped those; and went mainly with vegetarian choices.  I have not been disappointed in any of my choices, but the five in the photo are my favorites.  GoPicnic boxes are available in some stores, I found my first one in the hospital gift shop, but I found much better prices when I ordered online,  If you're interested, sign up for their emails and get special offers galore.



The second one is Graze.  "Snacks by Mail", and "Snacking | Reinvented" are two of their mottoes.  For less money than you'd spend at Starbucks each day, you receive a snack box in the mail, each with four snacks.  Each box is tailored to the feedback you give them of your likes and dislikes.  I choose the "calorie counter box" and that helped me to stay on track with my slow weight loss.  Instead of grabbing something from a vending machine, I grab one of the four snacks included in each box, and nibble away.  I mean, who could resist, Hot Cross Yum, Topical Daiquiri, Banana Caramel Dippers or Cracking Black Peppercorn?  Then there's, Scandinavian Forest, Cheese & Chive Oatbakes, Raspberry & Coconut Muffin or Vegetable Power!  These have been lifesavers for me; I hate to be hungry.

(I've loss 15 pounds since Easter; talk about slow.)
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The Bob Report

We got the call that the had a hospital bed for Bob at LLUMC, last Wednesday, so he could start chemo.  We dropped everything, and went.  I mean I even stopped sewing in the middle of a seam!

Wednesday and Thursday were taken up with pre chemo "stuff".  He had chemo on Friday & Saturday.  Sunday was an evaluation day and I brought him home on Monday afternoon.  We were told that the first round of chemo was edited due to Bob's additional health problems.  Future rounds will need to be full strength in order to "kill" the cancer.  We were also told that he really did well and would not need to be hospitalized during the subsequent rounds of chemo.

Tuesday & Wednesday were great, considering the chemo.  He hadn't had much of an appetite, so I made some of his favorite foods and he really "pigged out".  Thursday at 4AM, that all ended.  Bob woke up in excruciating pain, in his right rear hip area.  He has low pain level if he doesn't move, if he moves his pain level jumps to 9 out of 10.  We called his oncologist and she decided she needed to see him.  By late afternoon he was admitted to the hospital.  So far they haven't been able to find the cause of his pain and it hasn't gotten better/worse.  He can stand but not walk; the movement of walking is debilitating.

The good news is they're still trying to find the source of the pain.  He won't be going home until he can walk.  I'm coming to the hospital each day and staying until late afternoon or evening.  We have great neighbors and they have been walking Frisco and Ben for me, if I'm not home by 4:30-5PM.

Life goes on; we'll get through this bump in the road, like we've done so many other times in our 50 plus years of marriage.


This is the first time I'm attempting to post from my iPad, we'll see how it goes.

Flash Mob and Bob!



Saw this on FB this morning and thought I'd share it.  I'm not an emotional or weepy gal, but with everything going on at Casa Prytz, I did feel a catch in my throat.

Here's what's going on:

This happened on Monday: An 11 hour day today. Bob had labs and a Bone Marrow Biopsy in the AM and in the afternoon we saw the Medical Oncologists. From the tests they did last week, they know that the mass is in his abdomen and in his chest. That means it's at least stage 3, but may be stage 4 depending on today's biopsy; the results may take 2 weeks.

But chemo will start on Wednesday. Bob will be hospitalized for 3 or more days to determine his reaction to the chemo. They are trying to tailor the chemo to his cancer and his other health problems, like his heart and kidneys are not fully functioning. After that the chemo will most likely be every 3 weeks, for 3 days in a row. Sharon met us at Loma Linda today. It's great to have wonderful daughters.

And, today, we're waiting for a phone call from LLUMC to tell us they have a hospital bed available for Bob. We were warned the call could come anytime in this 24 hour day. I hoping for noonish, so we can get this ball rolling. Keeping my fingers crossed.


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Milestones and my Day Job




In the social media world, I've hit a couple of milestones recently

  • On Pinterest, over 6K followers
  • On YouTube, over 1,000 people have viewed the Tai Chi Ball videos Bob and I made for Parkinson's patients.

Lately, my time is really not my own.  Once we became empty nesters, I really valued my alone time.  I certainly love being part of a couple, but I also love being fiercely independent.  Bob is much the same way.  He and I really are a good pair.  Cancer has taken away almost all of our ability to be independent.

For the last month I've been the only driver, he's weak and this is a safety issue.  He could certainly drive, but why?  This week he had doctor and test appointments, one to three everyday, I drove him, and went to the doctor appointments, too; except Wednesday.  On Wednesday I cleaned and did errands.


For over 40 years, Bob has always done his own laundry.  All those years ago, he would change his clothes 3 or 4 times a day!  Work, workout(s), relaxing.  I advised him that he needed to take care of his own mountain of dirty clothes, or go naked.  So he learned to do his own laundry.  Now, he can still manage the task, but it takes a day or two, so I do his laundry in a couple of hours.

I am not complaining, change is good, especially to help out a great guy.  The only thing I'm not happy with is lack of quilting/stitching time.  That's been the first thing to go, mainly regulated to the weekends.  I think of Quilting as my Day Job, now Bob is my Day Job!

 

I threw in some photos of recent quilt work, every post needs photos!  Lots of hearts, lately.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,
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