Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm exhausted

Okay, I have to admit that I'm tired today. I feel good in my spirit and mind, but my body is just plain tired. Two days of walking miles on the beach, bending, sifting sand, and riding in power boats that pound on the waves has made my body weary.

I decided that I'm not going to row tonight. Instead, I'm going to go home, have a good dinner with my wife and her sponsor, and then read some blogs that I haven't had a chance to check this week and just chill out. I know when to say "enough" and to take care of myself.

I heard the news this morning about Ted Kennedy. I'm not going to discuss politics, but I do like the idea that he did a lot of good for a lot of people in his later years. I believe that his is a story of redemption. I also believe that people who have a dark side can move from that into the light. I've heard enough in the open AA meetings that I attend to know that people do get a second chance.

Sen. Kennedy had a brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. It is the same tumor that my cousin has. I called yesterday morning to check on how he is doing. His wife has some different ideas about how to deal with the tumor and the fact that my cousin has suffered a lot of cognitive disfunction from the radiation and other treatments as he has from the tumor itself. He is combative, incontinent, can walk only with help, and is demanding.

My cousin's wife has cared for him for over two years since the diagnosis. She believes in a healer who tells her of his progress. She believes that a team of dead neurosurgeons lives in his brain and are repairing things. I listen but make no disparaging remarks. Maybe her beliefs are what get her through a day of changing diapers, being screamed at, and having to endure uncertainty. Her beliefs aren't mine, but I've learned patience, compassion, and acceptance in the program. I've learned that there are many ways to survive getting through a day.

She told me yesterday that she could not put him in a nursing home. She simply loves him too much. I shall be lucky to end my life being cared for with such love.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin. It must be hard to hear all of the broadcasts today.

    I adore the pics on your blog -- the beach from yesterday. Are you the one that's lying in bed tired?


  2. Syd,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your cousin. He is fortunate to have such a loving wife. Wow.

    Get some rest.

    Love, SB.

  3. Whatever gets you through the night(and day) got that right, Syd.

    I guess my post was this sentiment also. Thanks, as always, for your caring and reasoned comments.

  4. wow i dedicated my post to senator kennedy. i think cancer needs to take a vacation for a while. too many good people could use the break as well. i was very saddened about his death, i am very saddened i should say when i hear of anyone who succumbs to cancer, my mother did and i remember taking care of her and making the decision to put her in a home. have a peaceful evening

  5. I am sure the recent death of Ted Kennedy probably makes you think more about what your cousn is dealing with. I am not a fan of Ted Kennedy myself because his views were just a little too liberal for me. On another note, I hope you get the rest your body needs though at least your body is tired from healthy activity and not worry.

  6. praying for your cousin and her husband to find peace and to have strength through the difficulty and praying for you to receive rest and peace.

  7. Syd, we would all be so lucky.
    My sister in law had this exact same thing, she had surgery after surgery for 5 years until finally she was put on hospice care and sent home.

    Our family took turns caring for her and your young son while her husband went to work to pay for all the bills... she died within 2 months, peacefully at home with her loved ones nearby.

    It is heartbreaking thing thing, but whatever works to get you through the day, I say more power to it. and to her.

  8. I'm sorry to hear about your cousin. Your compassion is a wonderful healing thing. jeNN

  9. I agree, everyone gets a second chance. I am sorry about your cousin. Good to know our limits.

  10. We should all be so lucky! God bless her for the sacrifices she makes in the now.

  11. Hope you have a restful evening at home, Syd. I adore the compassion you have for your cousin's wife and what she is dealing with on a daily basis. Cancer is evil. I've had it myself, along with losing my mom and brother to it. It's an awful thing.

  12. Oh if only we could all know love like that.

  13. As you often say to me, take care of yourself. I'm glad you decided "enough" and stayed in tonight.

    As you know, I certainly believe in healing - I have to - but as for neurosurgeons in his brain? - I personally have to pass on that idea. But, what do I know????


  14. We should all be so lucky to be that loved.

  15. Bet you're sleeping right now, right? Tough deal for your cousin. Way to go on the "Live and Let Live" regarding that. Prayers for your cousin and his wife.

  16. Illnesses. pain, suffering...all a part of our humanness. That is why I must have, believe in, and use, a Higher Power.

    God brings me out of the mire, and I must trust God implicitly.

    I'm very sorry for your relatives' plight.

  17. i'm sorry about your cousin. but he sure is lucky to have a wife like her. being able to care for another is not within everyone's make-up. here's wishing you are restful evening!

  18. I agree - Ted's story is about redemption and using what God places in front of us.

    I marvel at the simple courage of your cousin and his wife. God forbid, should I ever have those challenges, I fear I'd not have the character to show up.

    Blessings and aloha...

  19. my prayers to your cousin and his wife and family. God tests us over and over. I admire your cousins wife for her love and dedication. Many would not stick it out like her. It is very hard on them, to see a loved one go through hell as your cousin is, it is hell for her as well. I know I have ben there with my father in law. My mother always said that she would not want her children to have to take care of her should she not be able to do so herself. I could not allow her to cared for by anyone other than her family.
    May God shed his blessings on your cousin and his wife. God bless you!!

    BTW love the picture

  20. Thank you for such a powerful message. I believe in miracles and second chances. God loves each and every one of us like that. Your cousin is blessed with that love. I hope you got the much needed rest. Thanks for your kind and compassionate comments. They mean alot!

  21. Your cousin and his wife have my thoughts of hoping they both have at least one of day of rest from their stress soon.

    Rest is a good thing and we all should take more time to rest ourselves. Take it easy Syd.

  22. We just lost my best friend's husband to that same cancer, about four months ago. Your cousin and his wife are in my prayers.

    I too, believe that the Senator's story is one of redemption. Whether I agree with his politics or not, I respect the fact that he faced his consequences of some earlier poor choices, and devoted his life to fighting with passion for the causes that he believed in, and that the people who elected him wanted him to do....

    I hope you got some well-deserved rest today!


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