Friday, 14 August 2009

Times Three No. 7

Friday, August 14th and I could gladly choke myself or kill someone. Times they are a-changing. Crack.


Jacquie is on the 5th floor while Sheldon is on the 7th. Angelique and Nadalene are visiting Sheldon upstairs and Mickey, Toni and I are visiting with Jacquie downstairs.

After a while Angelique, Nadalene, Joey and Sheldon come and join us in Jacquie’s room. It was such a nice evening and it almost felt like we were in my living room.

Sandy made Jacquie and Sheldon bottles of hope and Sheldon loves his. It is Hector the Mexican Cancer Fighting Bastard and Sheldon can even pull Hector’s head off. He loves it. Jacquie’s is quite pretty and she loves hers too.

Sheldon tells how it hurts him to know that he will not see his nephews and nieces grow up. I hope he does get to, wouldn’t that be amazing.


Suzie and Camille drop by and we talk and we talk. We talk about how Jacquie has drawn a line in the sand and wants to know directly what her family is willing to do for her and her son. Who will walk through the fire with them? And who will be the ones that can only cheer from the sidelines.

Jacquie has been told that she is making people feel guilty and that they can only do what they are able to do. She is told that she is pressuring people.

I say to Jacquie that she has every right to ask for what she wants. It is now or never for her. People constantly ask what they can do and mostly they want to hear ‘that you really can’t do anything.’ I tell Jacquie that no one has the right to shut her down. She is still able to ask for what she wants and if others think that is pressuring them or making them feel guilty or they are not able (when really the better word would be willing) that is on them and certainly not on her.

Fortunately for Jacquie many people are more than willing to walk with her and Sheldon. Camille who lives out of town will basically be living in town to help Jacquie and Sheldon get through this. Joey has been walking with Sheldon from the very beginning. Joey and Gord take turns sleeping over with Sheldon so that he does not have to be alone.

Many others are taking up many positions and it is truly the way it should be.


Sheldon, Jennifer and I go to the third floor so Sheldon can get a bone scan.

While with Jacquie I ask the nurse to get physio and occupational therapy to come and talk to us. I ask why Jacquie hasn’t been started on her physio and I say that occupational therapy should be up to help her get in a wheelchair so that she can have some freedom of movement. Jacquie has no motion on her left side so cannot stand or get out of bed to get in a chair. We need them to show us what we can do so that she can at least be strapped into the chair on the left side so that she doesn’t fall over or slide down the chair.

I go to cancer care to get my own treatment. When I arrive there I look like a total scrag and I see another patient that is getting chemo dressed to the nines in a beach outfit. Her outfit was all tropical flowers and she even had on shoes that made me do a double take. They were clear plastic on top and the soles were platform with flowers on them. Seriously, some people are meticulous and I look like I just got up off the floor where I slept all night.


Sheldon, Gord and I talk to the pain doctors and they tell us that the bone scan came back negative. Thank God for small mercies. Sheldon, however, is still in pain. They are readjusting everything.

Jacquie has her first radiation treatment and it took a long time to get her set up. She is in a lot of pain. I ask her if it was okay and she said that there was a four year old crying ahead of her that was getting radiation; and after seeing the little girl having to have it done, she had nothing to complain about. She felt devastated for the little girl.


Camille, Angelique, Jennifer and I are all with Jacquie having a great visit. Jacquie’s two grandchildren (Luke and Grace) are kissing Jacquie’s hands and lying all over her. It is so cute because after they kiss her hand; Jacquie tells them she feels much better and moves her fingers.

Sheldon phones me and wants another hair cut so I run him up the clippers and some clean pajama pants. He is in pain, has a lot of visitors, and Joey shaves his head and his beard. He looks very handsome after.

Josephine and Angelique come to Jacquie’s house to swim. Josephine keeps calling A.J. and wants A.J. to come out of the house. We tell her that she isn’t there and then she tries to get in the house through the patio doors calling A.J. Grace yells from the pool ‘Josephine my grandma is in the hospital where she is getting all better.’ Something inside me cracks a little more.


I just left the hospital and Jacquie is barfing her guts up in a pail and Suzie is cleaning it. Jacquie started radiation on Tuesday and started her chemo (in pill format) today. It hit her instantly and I wonder if her nerves aren’t playing a big part in how sick she is, as over the last few days she has been nauseated too. Maybe it is even the radiation. She says she feels to sick to go for the radiation. That won’t be good if she starts to miss the radiation.

I tell Jacquie that she can’t miss the radiation; she basically tells me to shut the fuck up. Nadalene says 'Mom how would you feel being nauseated with your head screwed down to a table?' I know, I know. I just don’t want her to miss her radiation.

Suzie tells me the nurse is giving her gravol and it isn’t working. I ask the nurse if the chemo pill could be doing this already and she replies ‘chemo can be very nasty.’ I reply then give her some kytril or pills specific for nausea with chemo, not just gravol as it is obviously not working.

Sheldon’s pain is not under control and the pain doctor talks to Sheldon, me and Jennifer and tells us that he has discussed the issue with palliative care because they know more about oncology pain; and they told them a different way to give him the medicine that might help him better. Crack.

There is to be another family meeting with the oncologist tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for Sheldon. I’m assuming treatment will start Monday.

Camille, Angelique and I are in Jacquie’s kitchen and Camille is crying because she misses Jacquie being home. Camille is taking care of Jennifer’s kids so that frees Jennifer up to see her Mom. Camille says she keeps picturing Josephine trying to find A.J. We all start to cry because we want her back home. We know how Jacquie would be making us all tea and something to eat and insisting the barbeque be lit.

Ben calls to tell me his Mom said that she is not mad that I was yelling at her before about not missing radiation and that she did go. They gave her the kytril when Suzie and I left and she felt well enough to go for the radiation.

I started to cry and felt relieved. I told Ben to tell his Mom that I love her and together strong. He does. Crack. Jacquie and Sheldon are resilient and far stronger than they know.

Walking through the fire is when we face the most difficult challenges in our lives. We never look for it but eventually we all go through it. Some will have the courage to walk with us and others won’t.

I don’t know if how we perceive a situation is something we are born with or if it is a choice we make at some point along the way. But I do know that Jacquie walked the fire with me and I will walk the fire with her.

*artwork by Kelly Vivanco


Heidi said...


It is an amazing thing how, when we join forces, the burden of fighting our demons becomes more manageable.

You and Jacquie are both very strong and powerful women. Together, you strength intensifies.

My heart is with you, with Jacquie and Sheldon, and with the rest of your family as you face the horrendous challenges that have been presented to you.


one little acorn said...

There is no choice of course, walking the fire together is the only way when it comes to the people you love. However hot it may become.
Lots of love to you

Karin Bartimole said...

You are a family of fire walkers Renee, hand in hand, side by side, steadfast and true... I love you, Karin

Allegra Smith said...

And guess who is walking with you two side by side? I am here and I will be here no matter what if it depends on me.

You know how I feel about the ones falling by the wayside. Pity them, fear is the slaughterer of the spirit and to fear is to give up the most basic of all human rights, that of living in harmony with the Universe, whatever the Universe may throw our way for us to learn to survive and to thrive. Love, take care of yourself. This is way too much for anyone and you are carrying several full plates while doing a balancing act that would make a Chinese plate twirling artist envious.
I don't want to have to worry about you, I just want to be there for you. Love you girl.

Lola said...

I am hugging you Renee because I don't know what else to do. I feel helpless, I wish I could DO SOMETHING.

All my love and prayers,
Lola xx

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What an exemplary, loving, giving family you all are. Simply amazing. I'm not sure all families could bear the weight of all this. Then again, what choice would you have . . .

Blessings on you Renee. May the light from the sun, moon and stars infuse you with love and hope. May the energy from mother earth
infuse you with strength and constancy. May the love and good wishes of all your followers buoy you up in moments when you feel you can't go on. May prairie breezes tickle your cheeks and make you smile.

I send love and light to all three of you on a daily basis. One step at a time . . . and take care of you, too!!

Diana Evans said...

Hi Renee!

I think we are born with the way we percieve situations....and grow and change as we grow older...for the are so wonderful and it's nice to hear how you have had support and how you are giving it now!!! bless you and everyone!!!


Angela Recada said...

I found these quotes this morning, and I thought of you and your family, dear Renee.

"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul."
~Jim Valvano

"Time is very precious to me. I don't know how much I have left and I have some things that I would like to say. Hopefully, at the end, I will have said something that will be important to other people too."
~ Jim Valvano

"I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going."
~ Jim Valvano

(Jim Valvano is remembered for running up and down the court after winning the 1983 NCAA championship, seemingly in disbelief and looking for someone to hug.)

"Hope is the dream of a soul awake."
~French proverb

As long as there is life, there is hope. I wish you all moments of lightheartedness, laughter, love, hugs, and relief from the pain. Many, many moments.

Love and hugs to you all,

soulbrush said...

and you know dear renee that there are lotsa and lots of us walking along side you too.and sheldon and jacqui. please keep your strength up too.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

I'm really at a loss for words Renee. The pain and heartache that you are all dealing with is just too much. I admire your strong, so loving.
The artwork you selected today is PERFECT!
Praying for you all right now,

Julie said...

I love you. I'll keep praying. xxx

Deborah said...

Oh Lovee, I am in awe of your amazing family...a Holy Family, how you all gather together and do what needs to be done. I believe it is a decision, just as love is a choice. At every moment, do what love requires. Feel my arms around you, shielding you from the flames...feel my prayers lifting you and Jacquie and Sheldon high above the storm. All my love, Deb

Sara Williams said...

Sending prayers for you and your family x

K said...

and you will BOTH be stronger for it!
as always you continue to inspire and amaze Renee! You are a GORGEOUS soul....heaven sent! xoxoxoxo

Coastal Sisters said...

How blessed they are to have you Renee. I am sure you feel the same about them also.

Continuing love and hope to you, Jacquie and Sheldon and to all of your family,


Noreen said...

......continued speachless.

Renee, you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Marie S said...

Oh bless you and your dear sweet family my friend.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers every minute of every day.
Love and huge hugs my sweet.

Anonymous said...


I need to say that you and AJ are truly one of a kind. AJ gave you and us (your children) a 100% of herself. You are now doing the same for her and her children. Both of you do this willingly, without reservation.

You alone are equals that cannot be matched and it is inevitable you will both feel shortchanged because you are.

This shouldn't exempt others from upping their game considering we've been down this road before.
Remember, there are primary supporters, secondary supporters, visitors and the miscellaneous!


Elizabeth said...

All I can say is that this is mind-boggling and, really, what comfort is there in that? Perhaps knowing that we are out here, all ears for you to drop your sorrow, your words, your frustration, your anger, might be a tiny bit of enough. But I wish that there were more.

Much love and grace and peace to you, Renee.

Sherry Byrum said...

I have found through my experience with loved ones who have cancer that very few people are willing to "walk the fire" with you. If you have one or two or maybe three you are a very blessed person.

For the most part our experience has been abandonment.

May the Universe bless you all!!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I'm leaving my footprints here today. Just wanted you to know that I think of you every day.
Love -

Sarah said...

Oh Dear Renee..I am sobbing again..little help that is I know. But if it helps just a bit..I am standing with you hon..walking with you. I wish I could use that Katana to slash away all of your pain hon. All of your loved ones pain - be gone. But...alas..I can only offer you a shoulder and a hug and the knowledge that I love you dearly. I am here hugging you you feel it? I'm here. Hang in there and love to you and yours, Sarah

Jaliya said...

Dammit, Renee, does it ever end?! I've read this post and want to leap right out of myself to you and your loves. We're all in this together.

Je t'aime!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox ... for all of you ...

glorv1 said...

Thoughts and prayer's with you and your family.Take care.

Silke said...

What I am most struck by, Renee, is your amazing family - how you go through the fire with each other, how you uplift each other, how you can lean on each other. That is special! And the strength that shines through your posts is palpable. As is the heartbreak. You have been given more than anyone can bear, yet you carry it with such grace! I am in awe of you and send all my love to you and your family! Love, Silke

Barbara said...

Oh, Renee,

I know we don't really know each other, but it's heartbreaking, hearing this story about your family. I'm sending up some prayers for all of you, today and hope that all of our prayers together will make a shift for the better for all of you. Hugs to you.

Michelle said...

Funny thing, this fire walking, isn't it. Funny other thing, you getting to walk the fire from the other side too. Your feet must be fucking sore Renee.
Love you


Julie-ann said...

Oh Renee, how you all have to bring out the brave solider in you. I don't know how you manage to go through all this with your precious family and share with us also what is happening. I read in heartache every word.
Bless you so much, my sweet and wonderful Renee!

Baino said...

Jacquie has been told that she is making people feel guilty and that they can only do what they are able to do. She is told that she is pressuring people . . .WHAT? That's idiotic. It's not about 'people' or guilt . . poor woman's suffering and has every right to do and say what she likes. In a way she's very lucky that you have been there before her and can ask for medication that others aren't giving her. We're walking through the fire with you Renee albeit metaphorically. Stay strong.

Sherry Byrum said...

My mother died from breast cancer when I was 18. My husband was diagnosised with tonsil cancer two years ago!
You are right abandonment is not a good thing but it is what has happened to us.
I am the only one that has been a caregiver for him.

yoborobo said...

Renee, I am thanking God you are there, because it would have to be one hell of a fire you wouldn't face down for someone you love. Jacquie knows that. You may crack, and I'm sure you are, but you will carry on. I cried thinking of Josephine calling for her AJ. You are loyal, and true, and an angel to Sheldon and Jacquie. Just keep your strength up, don't worry about beach slippers and the meticulous dressers of the world. You are in a fight - and getting hit hard. But you're swinging back, too. Love to you, and all my strength to add to yours. xoxoxox Pam

Rikkij said...

Renee-I don't know how in the hell you live this, I can barely read it! Shit! God how wonderful though the bonds the crap can create. I think when all is done, no one will be better able to define love than you. I feel so lucky to have you as my friend. ~rick

Michelle said...

Shelli is doing very well, a different kid from 6 months ago. Thank you 'god' for that!
I cannot imagine what you are going through right now my friend, well, only from one side anyway, but I pray for you and your Jaquie and Sheldon, everyday, and for all of you really, because what happens to one happens to all doesn't it.
I really believe Renee, that we choose our own lives for a reason, and the bad stuff is for a reason, maybe to help those we love grow strong in themselves, maybe to get us somewhere we need to be spiritually, for whatever why, it IS NOT for nothing. Never for nothing, none of it, I know that in my heart.

Know that you are loved, not that it helps much some days.....


Delwyn said...


and I will send you all the strength I can...

Happy days

Sandy said...


I am too far away to be able to walk with you. Instead I'll be blowing on the fire from the sidelines trying to keep at least some of it from touching you and your family.

Hugs and love to all,


secret agent woman said...

You are right of course, that Jacquie should ask for what she needs. This isn't a trivial setback and she needs help. I'm glad you have each other.

You know, I wait for these updates and dread them at the same time. I so want it not to be so. But I'm glad for the detail, because it helps me paint a better picture of your family to hold in my heart.

Manon Doyle said...

When things aren't going my way I think of you and how strong you are. You have a wonderful family full of love and support and you are all there for each other. I know it's tough but you will pull through!

I pray everyday for you and your family.

i love you Renee,


Sue said...

Renee, you are blessed to have the family you have. So much love and willingness to 'walk the fire' for each other. I really don't know if this is the norm in that many families.

May the Goddess of Fire walk with you all and calm the flames.


yoborobo said...

Renee - I've been thinking about Sheldon, and his comment about his nieces and nephews. God, it has cracked my heart, too. Just sent a big split in there. I am praying that he will get to see them grow up, and that he will have many, many years with his loving family. xoxo

Rob-bear said...

When the chips are down, you gotta know who is going to walk through the fire with you. There will be someone, though angels (human and otherwise) often appear in strange places and at unexpected times. A whole hockey-sock full of them have planted their comments under your posting.

You got the message, right?

Blessings and courage in a challenging time, Renee.

Sonia ;) said...


Renee you are the light of their candle right now. You are guiding them through a journey you have traveled and now they will. Tell Sheldon not to think about what he wont see, but what he is leaving for everyone to see...His strength, fight, determination and heroic spirit....

Kiss and Hugs to Sheldon. Tell Jacquie stand strong and demand her life. YOU take care of yourself, no one cane run on empty too long.....

Love you dear friend...Hugging my Lovey...

xoxoxooxox S

A Palmer said...

Renee, you know the Lord knows your struggle. Lean on Him every hour, every day for your strength. Find ways to decompress whenever you can. Know that many people out here in the world are lifting you up. Take care of yourself, Renee. You deserve all the love and care everyone is sending your way. May God bless you and your little family. XX00XX Anne

LDWatkins said...

Always and will continue to send up prayers for all of you. Rest. You need rest. Love, Lynda

kj said...

sometimes i can't find words for all this.

it pains me to think that anyone thinks jacquie is asking for or expecting too much. you are all in this together and who ever stands on the sidelines will miss the intoxicant of courage and love.

oh are my friend and i wish i could do more, help more, protect more.

push for phyical therapy--the more active and upright,the better.

i love you.


Anonymous me said...

Renne these cracks are not the kind that lead to crumbling, believe me. They are caused by the fire ... a force that both cracks and welds. Everyday I talk to God about you all, holding you in my heart and asking God to do so too. To surround you with love, hope and peace. To strengthen the bonds that hold your family so tightly. To hold your hand as you fire walk. I pray. xx Jos

Bella Sinclair said...

I have a pair of asbestos boots, just for such occasions. Oh, love. Someone wonderful and very important to me once sent me a book about the most beautiful little Mayfly. Such a tender and uplifting story. That story is even more poignant now.

You are all cradled deep within my heart.

Mim said...

You have been blessed with an amazing family.

Chrisy said...

Oh baby girl I think of you and Jacquie and Sheldon daily...if I were Jacquie I know I'd be nauseated every second of the day - without any radiation...and so very angry that I couldn't be with my's all so bloody cruel...I am grateful that there are friends and family supporting you all...and the rest...well...set them adrift...

studio lolo said...

Renee, you'd walk the fire with anyone you love no matter if they were there for you or not. That's why you're a phenomenal woman.

I finally mailed you something yesterday. It took me too long but I finally found cards with the right words. Of course I added my own words too.

Did you see my latest raven? I always think of you when I paint them ;)

Love you...still praying.


Holly said...

I stop to visit for just a spell. At Sarah's request to wish you well.

If friends were the cure to make things better, you'd all be dancing happily and whole again. It is possible when you know love.

Remember the truth of you and not what illness would lead you to believe.

Reiki energy to you this day.

Blessings From Afar~

sweetmango said...

damn i love you so much and i love your family too Renee.
You live in my heart, all of you.
everyday i send my soul out to you all, i touch you on the shoulder and kiss you on the cheek every single day, i really really do.
i love you

Arija said...

The Jews have a saying, "when youget to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!"
A blanket of love to enfold you all and a bright, bright star to guide you.

yoborobo said...

Renee - thank you. It does my heart good to hear that. I'm there, too, very small (if you squint you'll see me). I'm holding you up. xoxoxoxoxo Pam

Middle Aged Woman said...

Sad that you need to be a patient advocate, but thank God you are one!

Dawn said...

I see your family all supporting each other - the strength and unity is there and that is such a blessing...
Strength in numbers is a good thing and I am glad that you all have each other to support when needed. Boy, as a family you are so admirable, and don't forget you have an extended family who are beside you and yours in this journey, Love you sweetest Renee xxxx ooo xxxxxxxxx

Debra said...

They are lucky to have you Renee. You have been down the road a bit and can help them, guide them. It is sometimes difficult for people to "commit". Not that they won't be there when you need them, but it can be almost as hard for them to face the prospect of the their loved ones being so ill or possibly dying as it is for the person going thru it.
When my father was dying some rallied around ever helpful willing to do the physical part. Some hung around the fringe, while wanting to be supportive they were having trouble dealing with their own emotions and pain. A couple did not even come around much as it was just too painful for them. I did not judge, I handled what I could handle, I was there. When it came down to it though no one refused to help and do what they could. Let them have a bit of time to wrap their brains around what is happening. Give them indirect duties (laundry, helping with groceries, calling for scripts), which may be something they can deal with for now. I was grateful for those that just prayed for him, called to talk, or sent cards. I m sure they will be there when you need them. I am so sorry you and your family have to go thru this. I pray everyday that God in his Mercy intercedes.

Lisa said...

You and your family are amazing. I am sending all the healing thoughts I can muster, for all of you. xoxoxox

LindaGJ said...

Hi Renee, I was sent over here from Sarah of Cottage Studios, and although you and I don't know you, my heart goes out to you so much. I've had my issues with my health and am on disability, been through chemo and now have constant pain from fibromyalgia. I was cured but I do know the chemo part very well. I know it brought me into a closer relationship with God and for some reason I thought this hurdle was just another test for God to make me a more compassion person, as if I wasn't already compassionate and sensitive!
I'm sending you so many prayers and surrounding you with guardian angels. Friends may slip away, but you have family that supports you and us special bloggers that do care. God will also give you the strength. Don't ever give up!
Linda :)

Dede said...

Together Strong!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

You and your family are amazing Renee. If anyone can walk through fire - you guys can! Continuing to send prayers your way. Keep up the fighting spirit.

Woman in a Window said...

i am without.
anything i have ever gone through
is nothing
up against this.
and so i give to you
whatever it is i can offer.
can i offer anything from a thousand miles away?
what can it possibly be that i could give?
is there anything else?

Ribbon said...

that is so beautifully written.

together strong Renee...

big love to all of you

what a huge journey... you are an amazing traveller

xoxoxo ribbon :)

Draffin Bears said...

Your family are amazing dear Renee.
Love it that they were there for you and then now you are all in this together walking through the fire.
Together strong.

I think of you and your family every day. Sending prayers and love


Ces said...

Renee, what a struggle it has been for you and your family. I have not known any family faced with more adversity yet so full of love and caring for one another. Your family is truly a source of great hope and inspiration.

Clarity said...

Dear Renee,

My heart goes out to you and the love is reciprocated. You are so strong and I pray continue to be so.

With love, hope and prayers, your friend, xxx.

rochambeau said...

WoW Renee,
This is hard. But you are strong. This too shall pass. You all are going through the toughest of it, I think, I pray! Sometimes life seem so unmanageable, then just when you think that it turns the corner and see the sky looks so blue and the flowers look so bright.
Love to you, Jacquie, Sheldon and your mother.
Will not stop my prayers of light for you all!!!!

It's always darkest before the dawn

kathy hare said...

I am in tears my friend.. love to you all..


karengberger said...

"Together strong" is right. The love that you share with your family is stronger than disease, hospital care, and pain. It is eternal and powerful. You are filled with that love, and I can tell that your whole family is, as well. One breath at a time, is all I can say. Sending love to you, Renee! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Lover, tread easy walking through this Fire of Hell

Please for all our sakes remember to take care of yourself and take time for yourself to heal and not become too run down as we all need your strenth with us, as you truly are an angel (My Angel)

I admire your courage and strenth and yes "Lover Dad is up in Heaven looking down with tears in his eyes (hence all the rain) and saying not to worry all will be alright!!!

And I say Please God take care of Sheldon, Jacquie & Renee and mom.
in fact all of us.

I love you you are an amazing woman.

Love Suzie xoxo

nollyposh said...


Kate James said...

You have the ability to paint a picture with your words Renee.

It's difficult to reconcile the innocent image of those little darlings kissing Jacquie's hands in the midst of all that pain and uncertainty.

Life is completely mad isn't it?

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

"Walk the fire" how appropriate a term... and carry a big stick to beat back the cancer! Love to you & yours, Lizzy