1

(21 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Lou,

I lost my Mom to CC on April 3, 2009.  I know how hard this part of the journey can be. 

Your Mom will be leaving an amazing legacy behind in you her beloved child.  I can tell from reading your posts  she was an incredible Mom and taught you well!

I can promise you that you will find a deep strength in yourself that you never knew you were capable of during these next days.  I believe it comes from God and I was amazed at how much I was able to handle.

These are such precious moments.  Drink them all in -  the good and the sad.

Please know I'm holding you, your Mom and your family tightly in my prayers.

Hugs and many prayers.....
Pam

2

(12 replies, posted in General Discussion)

I kept a notebook on my mom that accompanied me whenever we had an appointment.  I had sections for lab reports, places for radiology cds, HELPFUL PEOPLE and their phone numbers and titles, anything I could think of.

I kept a section for lists of questions that occurred to me and printouts about her physicians.

I also kept an excel spreadsheet with all of her meds, prescription numbers, who prescribed it and how often taken.  I could keep this updated and just printed it out whenever we went for an appointment.  It was correct and I could just hand the nurse the sheet for her chart.  It saved lots of time and effort.  (Can you tell I'm in the medical field???....lol)

3

(21 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

you are a wonderful legacy that he left behind....!!!!

4

(10 replies, posted in Introductions!)

Jane,

You might look into a protein powder we were recommended by Duke.  It's on a site called www.unjury.com

I used this when I had my lapband surgery and it's amazing.  It's medical grade, comes in numerous flavors and disolves great!  One scoop had 20 grams of protein and I would mix it with the Carnation instant breakfasts. 

My favorite flavors were Chocolate supreme and vanilla.

They have a wonderful website with lots of information and recipes. 

Give it a look.  My Mom loved the smoothies I made with this and the instant breakfast.

Hugs!
Pam

5

(17 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Lisa,

Sending tons of good wishes!  My Mom had hives numerous times and we found an over the counter lotion that was wonderful.  It's called SARNA and we purchased it at Walgreens and Walmart and the local drugstores.

It gave my Mom lots of relief from the hives and infernal itching!  Chekc it out!

I've got my eyes, fingers and toes all crossed for a good result!

Hugs!
Pam

6

(167 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Pam,

Sitting here at my lab with tears in my eyes for all you and your family are going through.  Please know I am praying for Lauren and her medical team.  I don't think you could have a more caring medical team.  Please take care of yourself and try and get some rest and try to eat well. Lauren will need you and your strength when she gets past this medical intervention.

Sending hugs and tons of prayers for you and your baby girl. 

Hugs!
Pam

7

(122 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Sitting here at work with eyes, fingers and toes all crossed for a successfull surgery!  Take care of yourself (gotta remember the caregiver!!)....

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Hugs to all of you}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Sending prayers, hugs and love!
Pam

8

(32 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

Lainy,

there is a very interesting group on facebook you might like to check out.  It's called "Signs from our Loved Ones".

I think you would enjoy it.

Hugs to you!
Pam

I love books on tape and listen to them in the car and when I'm in my lab sitting at my microscope!  I put audio books on my iphone, ipad and ipod. 
Our library  has tons of books on CD and tapes and they are free to check out.  I love being read to!!

Sending hugs and prayers that things get better and easier to deal with!!

Hugs!
Pam

10

(10 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Dear Clare,

If your sister is up to reading, there are numerous books that can record the voice of the person reading it.

I would give anything to hear my Mom's voice again.....

Hugs and prayers to you as you begin this difficult part of the journey....

Pam

11

(1 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

I found something that really touched me on a new website I've become a part of and wanted to share with all of you.

The quote is from the man Rick Phelps who set the group up on facebook.

"When someone you love becomes a Memory, that Memory becomes a Treasure."

This sums up so much the feelings I have from losing my Mom to this monster.

Hugs to all on this journey....
Pam

12

(6 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Sharonlee,

So sorry for your loss and I can't believe it's been a year already.   I don't think we ever get over losing a parent.  In April it will be four years since I lost my Mom to CC.

Your love for your Mom shines through and the fact you were still consoling  others tells me her "apple" didn't fall far from the tree!

Hugs to you as you continue on this next part of the journey....

Hugs!
Pam

13

(7 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Dear Suzy,

What a loving tribute to an amazing man, husband, father and grandfather.  You will be an amazing legacy he leaves behind. 

It's so hard to lose a parent.  I lost my Mom to this monster April 3, 2009.  Be kind and gentle to yourself as you begin the grieving process.  It's the hardest job we ever have and no two people will grieve in the same timeframe or manner.

Come back here often as you continue on this part of the journey.  We are all here for you and somebody is ALWAYS awake on here!

Hugs and prayers to you and all of your family,

Pam

Hi all,

I lost my Mom to this monster of a disease on April 3, 2009 so I'm coming up on the fourth anniversary of her death.

As I've said before grieving is the hardest job we ever tackle.  My journey with grief has had its' ups and downs, its' ebbs and flows...

This weekend I picked up a book I'd bought a couple of years ago and hadn't gotten around to reading.  Turns out this was a huge mistake.....

I'm so impressed with this author's insights and wisdom.  She interviewed hundreds of people that had experienced the death of a loved one including one of the Moms that lost a son in the Pan Am terrorist attack over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

The book is called "TRANSCENDING LOSS"...UNDERSTANDING THE LIFELONG IMPACT OF GRIEF AND HOW TO MAKE IT MEANINGFUL BY ASHLEY DAVIS PREND, A.C.S.W.

The back cover says....."There are many wonderful books available that address acute grief and how to cope with it.  But these books often focus on crisis management and imply there is an "end" to mourning.  They essentially fail to address the issue of grief's ongoing impact, and how it changes through the years....

"This is a book about death and grief, yes, but more important it is a book about love and hope.  I have learned from my experience and interviews with courageous people about pain, struggle, resiliency, and meaning.  Their stories show that over time, you can learn to transcend even in spite of the pain.  We all get broken by life sooner or later because loss is the price we pay for living and loving.  But experience shows that we can become stronger at the broken places and find the opportunity in crisis.  I hope this book will guide you on your journey through times of healing and transcendence"......from the introduction by Ashley Davis Prend, A.C.S.W.

She is a licensed psychotherapist and supervisor at the Center for Marital and Family Therapy in Manhatten.  She also has a private practice and is affilated with St. Vincent's Hospital where she leads AIDS-related brereavement and support groups.  A frequent lecturer on the subject of bereavement support groups at a local church and is an active member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.  A native Texan, she now lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. 

Thought I would pass it on....Hopefully it may help those on this part of the journey....

Hugs to all.....
Pam

15

(9 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Dear Marcos,

Thank you for letting us know of your Mom's fight with this monster of a disease.  I lost my Mom to CC on April 3, 2009.  Her fight lasted almost exactly one year from diagnosis, so I know the pain of losing a Mom.

In the coming days take care of yourself and give yourself time and permission to grieve.  Grieving is the hardest job I think we ever have.  No two people will grieve in the same way or timeframe.  Be gentle with yourself....you are an amazing legacy that your Mom leaves behind.

Come here often.  Someone is always awake here and we know how hard this fight can be.

Hugs and prayers to you and your family,

Pam

Pam and Lauren!

I'm always humbled when God answers my specific prayers!  I've prayed so much for Lauren to get this opportunity! 

I can't tell you how happy this makes me!  What a blessing! 

I follow your blog and the computer gods were mad at me today and wouldn't let me post on your blog so I'm posting here!

This great news really made my day!  I'm so thrilled for all of you!

Keep us in the loop and know you have MANY PRAYERS going up for all of you!


Hugs!

Pam

17

(6 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Dear Danni,

I know how hard it is to lose a Mom.  I lost my Mom to this monster of a disease April 3, 2009.

The pain is awful to bear and will come at you at unexpected moments.  I can still be reduced to tears just passing someone wearing my Mom's perfume.

I can promise you at some point the good memories will start to overtake the bad and it WILL get easier but I can't tell you when.  Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own timeframe.  Grieving is the hardest job you will ever tackle but you must find your way through it for that is what your Mom would want for you. 

Take your time and grieve.  Remember if you had not loved so much and so deeply this would not be as hard.  Come here often....believe me someone is ALWAYS up and awake on here.  We truly understand and have been and still are there.

Be kind and gentle to yourself.  Surround yourself with those that really care...unfortunately you may find yourself surprised at who these people turn out to be.  My "best friend" once told me to just "get over" it.  That all of my tears would never bring my Mom back.  It was my Southern Upbringing and fear of prison that kept me from acting out what I truly wanted to do......

We are all here for you and we understand.  Start looking for your "pennies from heaven"....( you can search my posts for the story)

Hugs and prayers... You are a wonderful legacy that your Mom leaves behind....

Hugs!

Pam

18

(11 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Orly,

You sound perfectly normal to me....just grieving the greatest loss of your life.  I too am a great believer in listening to my gut and am stubborn enough to usually follow through...lol

The following is something I wrote about 'Pennnies from Heaven"  Maybe it will help you a little.....

***************************************************
Here is a post I wrote about "pennies from heaven" about a few years ago.....



----------------------------------------------------------
"All of my life my Mom and Grandmothers told me about pennies from heaven.  Every time we would find a penny Mom would say it was a message from heaven.  We would speculate about which of our loved ones might have sent it. 

I've found numerous pennies since Mom died.  I know it may be silly, but each seemed like an affirmation that she was looking out for me or just sending "an I love you" message. 

On Saturday we were at my daughter's house at Camp LeJeune (the Marine base in North Carolina.)  My son-in-law is gone for 6 weeks for Movaje Desert Training at 29 Palms in California.  We were hanging out with my daughter's two bulldogs so she could attend a sorority alumni function in Greenville.

As you may remember when my Mom got sick, we moved my daughter's wedding up so her grandmother would be there.  They were extra close to each other since Liz is the only granddaughter out of 4 grandchildren (and was my Mom's last chance of having a granddaughter).

As you've probably heard by now North Carolina was rocked by tornados on Saturday.  As we were leaving Liz's house to travel back to New Bern before the storms hit we were helping her put up the yard furniture and grill.  She had already gotten her flashlights ready and put a blanket and pillow and dog leashes in the downstairs bathroom.  Just as we got in the car I told my husband we needed to move some large flower pots on the front porch close to the side of the door.  He moved the first pot and then was called by Liz.  As I bent to move the second pot I found a penny.  I picked it up and told Liz not to worry her grandmother would be looking our for her and the bullies.

That night an EF-3 tornado torn through the military housing complex of Terrawa Terrace.  12 homes are completely destroyed, another 40-60 are structurally unsafe and another 40-60 have mild to moderate damage.  Only one serious injury, a 23 month old that is in critical condition. 

It appears the tornado jumped across Liz' house and there is only mild to moderate damage to her house and car.  I was on the phone with her and it was a scary time.  Houses in front and behind her had significant damage.

She and the bulldogs are staying with us until the power is restored.  I thank God she was safe and knew what to do! 

And the penny?.......is now with my daughter....who carries it with her everywhere....
I smile now as I come across my "Pennies from Heaven" and keep all of them in a jar on my desk.

You'll find your pathway and if you are kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve,  you'll be OK.  I've learned lessons and believe I'm kinder and more compassionate.  I think I value the small things more.  Remember.....if you had not loved so much you wouldn't be grieving so hard....  Personally the love was well worth the grief.....

We're all here for you....take care!

19

(11 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

Dear Orly,

I lost my Mom to this monster on April 3, 2009.  During the last days I was handling everything like a champ.  I even gave her eulogy at her funeral on Easter Sunday.  I wrote all the thank you notes, helped my Daddy and sister make arrangements and comforted each and every one.  I was on autopilot and boy was I good at what I did.....Then a few weeks go by, we cleaned out her closet and divided her jewelry between my sister and myself.  About two and a half months after her death, I think I finally woke up to the fact that I had really lost my Mom....and the rest of the world had gone on it's merry way.  I was furious at everyone!  Especially God.  I didn't lose my Grandmothers until 94 and 95 so I was planning on having my Mom for another 20 to 25 years and you can't believe how lost, alone and furious I was for her being gone! 

It was only my Southern upbringing and my fear of prision that kept me from doing bodily harm when my "best friend".....(yeah right) told me that all of the grieving and tears wouldn''t bring my Mom back and I should "get over it".

I won't presume to tell you anything you haven't heard.  I can share it gets a  little easier as time goes on but I can still be undone and reduced to tears walking by someone wearing her perfume.

Hang in there and come here often....we really do understand and will be here for you.

Hugs!
Pam

Lynn,

You can purchase disposable bed pads from any medical supply company.  I would suggest checking with a local drug store that carries medical equipment and they will be able to guide you. 

If you have access to a baby monitor it would be helpful to set it up in the room so you can hear if he tries to get up or is restless.

Above all....and this is one of the hardest parts.....Please take care of the caregiver....YOU!

We are all here for you.  You and your family are in my heart and prayers....

Hugs,
Pam

This would be a great question for our Dr. Giles....(under patient support at the top of the page). 

http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org/ask.htm#question9  Here is a link for a question concerning a teenager.

I think grieving is the hardest job we ever do.  No two people will grieve in the same way or time frame....

Hugs!
Pam

22

(43 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

I do miss our Kris!  I like to believe I touch her soul each time I wade in the ocean or see her beloved daffodils.

I think of you both often and hope that you are doing well Hans!.....(the only person on the planet I know as monkeybutt!)

Hugs and prayers for you always....

Pam

23

(42 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

North Carolina did well...a couple of branches in the yard...some rain.  The bad thing was the loss of the Bounty replica off the coast of Hatterus.  Most of the crew rescured after abandoning ship, one crew member dead and the captain is still missing I believe....

I'm so glad this hurricane decided to pass us by!

24

(13 replies, posted in Members' Cafe)

I think I'll be Abby on NCIS.....Just need to whip up a spider tattoo and grab a dog collar.....lol

Pam

25

(25 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Alla,

Here is a post I wrote about "pennies from heaven" about a year and a half ago.....


----------------------------------------------------------
"All of my life my Mom and Grandmothers told me about pennies from heaven.  Every time we would find a penny Mom would say it was a message from heaven.  We would speculate about which of our loved ones might have sent it. 

I've found numerous pennies since Mom died.  I know it may be silly, but each seemed like an affirmation that she was looking out for me or just sending "an I love you" message. 

On Saturday we were at my daughter's house at Camp LeJeune (the Marine base in North Carolina.)  My son-in-law is gone for 6 weeks for Movaje Desert Training at 29 Palms in California.  We were hanging out with my daughter's two bulldogs so she could attend a sorority alumni function in Greenville.

As you may remember when my Mom got sick, we moved my daughter's wedding up so her grandmother would be there.  They were extra close to each other since Liz is the only granddaughter out of 4 grandchildren (and was my Mom's last chance of having a granddaughter).

As you've probably heard by now North Carolina was rocked by tornados on Saturday.  As we were leaving Liz's house to travel back to New Bern before the storms hit we were helping her put up the yard furniture and grill.  She had already gotten her flashlights ready and put a blanket and pillow and dog leashes in the downstairs bathroom.  Just as we got in the car I told my husband we needed to move some large flower pots on the front porch close to the side of the door.  He moved the first pot and then was called by Liz.  As I bent to move the second pot I found a penny.  I picked it up and told Liz not to worry her grandmother would be looking our for her and the bullies.

That night an EF-3 tornado torn through the military housing complex of Terrawa Terrace.  12 homes are completely destroyed, another 40-60 are structurally unsafe and another 40-60 have mild to moderate damage.  Only one serious injury, a 23 month old that is in critical condition. 

It appears the tornado jumped across Liz' house and there is only mild to moderate damage to her house and car.  I was on the phone with her and it was a scary time.  Houses in front and behind her had significant damage.

She and the bulldogs are staying with us until the power is restored.  I thank God she was safe and knew what to do! 

And the penny?.......is now with my daughter....who carries it with her everywhere....

----------------------------------------------

Hugs!
Pam