Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I started this blog a few years back and after reading it one day I realized how depressing it sounded so I stopped writing. So today I'm going to start all over. This is basically a story of my life and how very blessed I have been. I am writing it for my family and if you happen by, you're welcome to read. Remembering what I already knew is in reference to the many good things in life that I have been taught and the fact that at times all of us forget how very blessed we are. We all have trials and we all have disappointments but we all have good that comes to us and we have a Heavenly Father that loves us so much.

Remembering What I Already Knew:

May name is Jackie and I am 51, soon to be 52 years old. I grew up in the small southern Tennessee town of Fayetteville. It is just a few miles from the Alabama state border. My father was Bobby Nix Davis and my mother is Carol Ann McDow Davis Bartholomew.

I was born in the Lincoln County Hospital on June 28, 1960. We lived in a small house near the Flint River. I don't remember living there but we moved just a few blocks from there before I was three. That is when I have my first memories. I remember going back to visit our next door neighbor. I don't know his real name but we called him Pa Stillman. I can't remember his face but I do remember that he would give me candy and that he was very sweet.

We lived across from the Central High School in Fayetteville and our house faced the back lot of the school. I would watch the band practice everyday after school. I had a baton and I would mimic the majorettes, marching back and forth down the side walk. I must have been about 4 then. We had neighbors beside of us that my mom was friends with and they had a boy about my age. His name was Billy Dale Helums. We would play at his house sometimes. He had older sisters and they went to the elementary school that was one the corner of the street. They would come home for lunch everyday. I thought they were so mature and grown up. I wanted to play with them but they were always in school.

Our backyard butted up against the yard of another little boy. His mom worked, so they had a housekeeper that watched him. I never went to his house but he and I would play through the fence. I do think I once climbed the fence and the housekeeper had to bring me back home.

My mom was a good mom and kept a very clean house. Everything was always neat and clean. We had hardwood floors and they were shiny and while she was waxing them, she would have me sit on the couch and I would watch her as she danced around waxing floors with her hair in curlers. She would have the radio on and there would be songs playing that I can still remember to this day. "Downtown" was my favorite, then there was "Breaking Up is Hard to Do". In the car, my dad would play the radio and I liked a song about tan shoes with pink shoe laces, a polka-dot vest and man oh man he wore, tan shoes with pink shoes and a big panama with a purple hat band. Then there was "The Elephant Walk" and Charlie Brown oh what a clown and "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay". My parents were always singing along. I loved music.

My mom and dad had a few friends that would come over sometimes. I don't remember their names but they would play Rook and we would go to a school and my dad and his friends would fly gas powered airplanes, I say fly, mostly crash. My dad would spend endless hours working on and fixing his airplanes and we would go to fly them and then they would crash. But it was fun while it lasted.

Once my dad and one of his friends were trying to make helium to fill up balloons. They had some sort of concoction in a Coke bottle. They would fit the balloons over the mouth of the Coke bottle and they would blow up. One blew up and burst, getting the concoction in the eyes of my dad's friend. I thought he was going to be blind. They took him into the kitchen and washed his eyes out and then he was fine.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A little medical history Part I and ramblings...

Okay, so here goes. My major health issues started in 1999. My family and I had just moved to Birmingham in August after Tony had started a new job with Specialty Products and Insulation. He was the branch manager and I started working there as the secretary. About a month after we moved there, my father was hospitalized for a hole in his lung. He was expected to heal a return home after a few days. He was in a small hospital in Fayetteville, TN. He didn't heal so a small town surgeon decided that he needed surgery on his lung. Two days after surgery, he developed a high fever and nearly died. He was med flighted to Huntsville Hosptial where they found he had a MRSA (multi-resistent staph infection). He was in the hospital there for 3 months in and out of isolation, ICU and regular rooms.

My mother, brother and myself took turns staying with dad. Because of my new job and living in Birmingham, I would come up on weekends to relieve my mom and at times when he was in ICU, I would stay there for the duration. My mom and I would make a sleeping roll and sleep on the floor in the ICU waiting room. We were there for every visiting hour which were sometimes in the middle of the night. We would go to her home in Tennessee during the day between visiting hours to shower change and return. We always tried to look refreshed and had our make up on so as not to worry dad. After a while he was moved to regular room and I went back to coming only on weekends.

In December of that year he started to decline and it became clear that he would not recover. I would come up as often as I could and on Dec. 13, 1999, he lost his battle.

During the trips back and forth from Huntsville to Birmingham, I noticed that I was increasingly feeling ill, but of course attributed it to lack of rest and stress. In January of 2000. I went to the doctor and found I had high blood pressure, was hyponthyroid and had developed a rare neurological eye disorder called Adie's pupil. Adie's pupil causes one of your eyes to dialted and stay that way. It doesn't react to the changes in light as your pupils normally would. This disorder caused me to have blurred vision and headaches, but I was told there was nothing that could be done about it and that it would correct itself in about a year. I was put on medication for blood pressure and thyroid. I was hoping these changes would make me feel better, but I continued to feel poorly.

I will write more tomorrow, as there is alot more to my medical history. Boring as well.

Yesterday we went to Tony's therapy sessions and I learned how to help him at home with his "homework". We went to Walgreen's afterwards to check out stuff for Easter baskets. I know, my kids are 26 and 24, but I still make them Easter baskets. Came home and did some laundry and read my favorite blogs, Jan, Mary Lou and a few others from some ladies I have come to "know" through bresatcancer.org message boards. Some really nice ladies there and alot of good information. I don't post there very much, but read there often.

Danielle came home with sinuses really bothering her. I boiled a pot of water with cloves in it and had her lean over it with a towel over her head. That really seemed to help. Later she pimped out my myspace page. HA, HA!

The rest of the evening I spent online searching for a Mother/Son song to dance to at Adam's wedding reception. I'm thinking maybe "A Wonderful Life" by Louis Armstrong. Adam can imitate that song very well and always makes me laugh. What do you think?

Well enough rambling for today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Not so easy...

Okay, so it's not so easy to think of things to write about everyday. Yesterday was pretty boring. Gloomy part of the day and windy. I was tired from getting up early to take kids to airport and so I pretty much lazed around the rest of the day. I did balance my checkbook (finally got it to balance). Can't believe that I used to be a bookkeeper and a bank teller. Always balanced to the penny. Now I can't even balance my checkbook. Always entering stuff wrong. Never in my favor either. Brainfog. uggggh!

Poor Danielle went to dentist and has an abcessed tooth. She was in alot of pain. She needs a root canal but they can't get her in until April 24 and it's going to cost her $1100.00. Crazy. They did give her some strong pain meds and antibiotics to tide her over though.

Got to go take Tony to occupational and physical therapy this afternoon. I have to stay today so they can teach me some things I can help him do at home to strengthen his arm and his neck. He goes to Athens Wellness Center and they are all really nice there. A former neighbor of ours works there as a receptionist and it's nice to see her again.

Heard from Chris and Sandy Herwig that they will be coming home from Germany in April. Chris has a new job with Redstone, so they are excited to finally be able to stay put.

The Lord has blessed our family so greatly and I see His hand in everything that we experience. God is good. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's been a while...

Okay, so I was going to start blogging everyday, but life sort of got in the way. Better late than never. I can still use "today is the first day of the rest of your life" can't I?

I stopped the Tamoxifen on Dec. 15 2007. Had a couple of good weeks. but that didn't last. So I decided to take myself off all other medications for a few weeks to see what that would do. Went off Amibien for sleep, Hyzaar for high blood pressure and Levothyroxin for thyroid. Also took a few weeks break from B12 injections. Needless to say no real changes for the good and needed to add them all back one at a time to keep conditions for which they were prescriped under control. I have 3 maintenance drugs that I will have to take the rest of my life. The Tamoxifen is up in the air. I will have been off of it for a little over three months when I see my oncologist in April. We are then going to test hormone levels to see if I have started menopause and can maybe change to another drug.

Have been having some really bad days lately. Since Tony has had two surgeries in the past month for cervical spinal stenosis, he has had to depend on me quite a bit and I feel really bad that I don't have the energy to help himout more than I do. We are both trudging along and feel very blessed for the health we have and for the healing that he is having. Many people have remembered us in their prayers and we are truly humbled by the number of cards, calls and well wishes we both have received.

Today was a beautiful day in Alabama. The sun was warm with a nice breeze. Tony sat on the front porch for about an hour. I spent the morning sorting through medical bills, calling to see why insurance didn't pay what. Fun stuff. Emotionally draining. Later I drove Tony into Madison to meet with a man there that they have a job with. I sat in the car while they reviewed what work that needed to be done. Tony's first day to be back at work for a few hours. I think it did him some good. Later, we met Tony's mom and dad at Cracker Barrel for lunch. It was Dorothy's birthday. That was fun.

Adam and Rachel are leaving tomorrow morning to go to Delaware for a week. Last minute details for the July 26th wedding. They are both getting very excited. They went to the court house today to apply for their marriage license.

Danielle worked today even though she is having trouble with a tooth, causing alot of pain. She has an appointment tomorrow to have it looked at. May need a root canal.

Better get to bed as I have to be up at 4:00 in the morning to take Adam and Rachel to the airport.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Starting Over

I have always felt I should be recording my life experiences, but never took the time. So, as my daddy used to always say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." (obviously not an original) So here it goes.

I have been sick for a few years now. Took along time for docs to find one of my diseases that left me with residual central nervous system damage. In January '07 had surgery and radiation for early breast cancer which has left me feeling exhausted and ill all the time.

I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself, but no more. I'm only 47 years old and I don't want to feel like I'm 67 anymore. I take back my life, physically, mentally and spiritually. One medication I am on is causing liver problems and even though it is used to prevent a reccurence of my cancer, what the heck if I don't even feel like going out of the house. It may help me in the future, but what about today?

Today I will take a walk, read my scriptures and put only good things in my body. That's a start and so it begins.