UnDomestic

Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dear Cari

I miss you so much. Words cannot explain the loss that I feel without you. Just reading this now seems trivial compared to what I feel. I need you. I was told following your death that writing to you would make me feel better. You know what I said to that! I’m still the skeptic you married. Nevertheless, months after the suggestion, I find a strong urge to do this. It is now 5am and we just arrived in Orlando last night for the first time without you. I haven’t been able to sleep. I wish so much that you were here.

Our arrival was classic. You know how we used to say that the best part of our vacations here is walking out of the airport into “the Orlando Air”. Well our kids seem to agree. It was only about 50 degrees, but you might have thought it was 90 degrees listening to Cameron. He was so excited. He told Sara that he should have brought a tank top because he was sweating! Cameron also wanted to know, “How do they make it look so pretty?” Max exclaimed, “ l love the smell of the air”. Cameron agreed. Ella, as you know, usually comments on the “coconut trees”, but not this time. She was pretty quiet. I think the late flight wore her down.

The resort we’re staying at is great! It’s funny as I could imagine your thoughts as I took a look around. I know exactly what you would say about everything I saw. I just wish that I could actually hear you say it. The people are friendly. Despite our late arrival the kids have been surprisingly good. Sara claims that she saw an armadillo. No one else saw it. So for our whole walk to find a place to eat Cameron was teasing Max (who you know was deathly afraid) about seeing the armadillo. All three of the resort restaurants were closed so after walking the kids back to the room, we ended up ordering Carryout from Wendys.

It wasn’t a bad night. Love you. Melvin

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My angel




The day that I prayed I would never see has come. Cari passed away this afternoon. It occured peacefully and comfortably in our home. I want to thank all of you who have followed her blog. You have been a source of comfort and strength for my wife through her long struggle with cancer. She started this blog a few years before her cancer diagnosis simply out of curiosity. It is amazing to see how this has developed into such an important aspect of her life.

I've had her blog entries converted to books dating back to her first one in 2005. Each of our children will receive a set. It is only fitting to close with Cari's last words left for our three beautiful children.


Cari's words:

My dearest Ella. I just want you to know that you are the sweetest little girl in the world. You always bring a smile to my face with your bright eyes. You also have a very giggly laugh that I just love to listen to. You are very funny! Also, you are very determined, and can certainly hold your own when it comes to your brothers. You played laser tag the other day and loved it! I love you so much.

My lovely Max. Just like your brother and sister, I love you so much. Such a sensitive big boy you are. You used to cry because you didn't want to get your hair cut because you didn't want to lose your curls. You always look so handsome with your sweaters and other clothes. I can't wait until you start kindergarten and show everyone how smart you are. And you are always so helpful...especially when it comes to setting the table. I also love how you 're always hugging your sister.

My dear Cameron, you are my first born. Oh how you used to cry. That's because you were a mama's boy. I love you so much. There are several books that I want you to read. They are in the reading room. For when you are old enough to read them. I'm very excited about you getting into the gifted program. You are so smart. You have also been so sweet helping me out when there were things I couldn't reach when I was in my wheelchair. You've also been doing great in track and at football camp.


And for all my kids, be nice to everyone.....especially each other.



This letter was left on her computer for the kids. She wrote it just a few weeks ago. Again, thank you for all of your support and please continue to pray for our family.


Melvin

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Busy Week

Can't believe it is over a week since the last posting. I keep going back to edit this as each day is different and doesn't seem to be relevent the time I want to post. I also wanted to post some pictures of the kids first day of school, but haven't figured that out yet so you will only get words this time. Cari had a relatively better week. Meaning she was not sleeping as much as the last week, not in as much pain, however on the other end, very restless and often confused throughout the day and night. Cari asked me today why she is so scared. I was greatful to receive a book from Fairview Home Health Care and Hospice and was able to answer her question. It seemed to satisfy her and calm her down some. Not knowing what each day has in store for you can be frightening. I am just so honored to be able to be by Cari's side each day and hold her hand so she knows she is never alone on this journey. She actually had some visitors this week and was able to converse for short periods of time. Her Dad came for the week end and was pleasantly surprised to see her talking to him when he arrived at 1AM Saturday morning. She was asking for him all week so I guess she wasn't going to miss the opportunity to see him the first chance he arrived.


Like all families it was the first week of school for the Ashford kiddos. Cameron started 3rd grade with the Gateway program at Baily School. Max is now in full time kindergarten and Ella attends preschool 3 half a days a week. Well the saying "it takes a village to raise a child" is so true. The Ashford children are very fortunate to have a very involved Daddy and dedicated Nanny in their lives and neighbors helping to cart to practices and having play times with all that has to be accomplished.

This week we have plans to meet with Hospice and review what services they have to offer.
Please pray that Cari will find more restful moments, especially at night, so all can be refreshed to tend to her needs.

In His Peace!

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:18-19

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Weekly Update

Again this week our goal is to make Cari as comfortable as possible. Cari made an emergency visit to the hospital earlier this week as she was having difficulty breathing. Of course they did some tests and then arrived back home early the next morning. She is now on oxygen to help her breathe better and continues on maintenance pain medication. She is having some trouble swallowing pills so we have converted most of her meds to liquid or dissolving tablets or IV infusion. She just dislikes the taste of her meds and makes no qualms about letting us know. My sister in law made me chuckle when she said that Cari tolerated all her surgeries, chemo, radiation, mris etc.without complaint but she just does NOT like the taste of her meds!!!

The kids had a busy week end. Visit to the state fair, birthday party, fire works at Woodbury days and the end of the summer trip to Valley Fair. Also all three children are busy getting ready for school next week. Melvin took Max to his school open house yesterday AM and Cameron had his in the evening. Both got to meet their teachers and become familiar with their classrooms. It's so much fun to see their excitement for school and their excitement for learning. Cari has done a wonderful job preparing them for this school year and passing on her love of learning. Miss Ella will be attending pre-school but still trying to figure out how many days. All this coordinating of bus schedules and activities sure brings back a lot of memories of when Cari and her sister Dana and brother Scott were younger with the same challenges. We sure become more skillful at multi tasking and more organized when confronted with everyone's busy but important schedules. Life sure would be boring and too predictable without children wouldn't it?

Just want to thank everyone again for your supporting comments on the blog, the many meals that are always at our dinner table after the highs and lows of the day, the email/text messages/cards,the flowers to brighten Cari's and the families spirit, the spur of the moment child care needs and the friends and families that are always there offering their kinds words, help and prayers each and every day. The Body of Christ is so present for the Ashford family.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday August 25th

The time between blogs are getting longer as Cari has become weaker over these past few weeks. So as her Mom I will be updating her blog these days. Last week Cari had 4 out 5 possible chemo treatments. When Friday came along a decision was made to not give her that last treatment as she was not progressing as hoped. Instead she was given an IV with saline and a medication which I think was an antibiotic for a possible infection. She is receiving IV infusion this week at home through home health care. Her father has also returned to spend the week to help care for her and love her through this time. A loving group from Woodland Hills Community Church also visited with our family and lifted Cari up in prayer. We were so thankful and blessed with their presence and kindness. Cari sleeps most of the time and is receiving meds for pain management. We ask that prayers be lifted to our Almighty Father that her spirit and health will be strengthened and she will feel the heartfelt loving arms of Jesus Christ through her family, friends and bloggers and that she will have peace of mind and heart during each precious day.

Wisdom 3: 1
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update

Had chemo treatment today. Lab results were better than they have been in a long time. Even though I have not been able to write thank you notes, I appreciate what everyone has been doing for me. Will continue with treatments the rest of the week and will be meeting with my oncologist.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

trans

Today I had another blood transfusion...athough apparently I didn' t really need it. Unless something else happens, I'm free until next week when I start chemo again.

Labels: ,