Thursday, January 22, 2009

My friends Richard and Carol Henderson separately emailed me to say that a friend of theirs at church who had a feeding tube found it easier to drink thicker liquids like milk rather than water.

Well, that was ridiculous, wasn't it! But I had some Ensure so I decided to try it and it worked. I drank a bottle yesterday and one today.

That is good in two ways. I am getting practice at taking food by mouth and I am adding calories to my diet.

I can't believe I am trying to add calories. Me, who has fought the weight battle all my life. I have lost a lot of weight but it doesn't show. My face still looks fat because I still have stuff hanging from my neck from the cancer. The weight I lost was all muscle. My trunk is still heavy but my arms and legs are skinny, skinny. I measured my wrist tonight and it is six and a quarter inches.

I watch a lot of tv now and I have considered how we are all influenced by what we see on tv. When I was young I wanted to live in the Anderson home on Father Knows Best. Remember that? The phone was at the bottom of the stairs. Heck, I wanted a phone. We didn't even have that. Most of all, the Anderson children did not hoe and pick cotton.

Later in my life, when Anne was small, I watched Family Affair. I wanted Anne to look like Buffy. Buffy's hair was always in those cute ponytails on each side, every hair was in place. Her clothes were adorable. She wore socks and shoes all the time. I felt a failure because Anne didn't look like that.

I don't know how I could have done it though. Anne would have been in the sandbox with those shoes and socks off and she loved to fill the pail up with sand and then empty it on her own head Buffy never did that.

Now I am older and I watch The Golden Girls. Another impossible standard. They are usually at home dressed like they are going to church. Their house is immaculate. I live alone. I have no children to blame but my house still doesn't measure up.

I think we all suffer from this to some extent. I watch HGTV a lot. If those buyers went through my house, I know what they would say. Kitchen: i was hoping for granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. This kitchen needs a complete overhaul. All three bathrooms: These will have to be gutted.

Yet the house has functioned well for me for 12 years.

Would we be happier without TV?

Monday, January 19, 2009

I had a few good days. Friday night I drove up to Janice's to see her granddaughter Nola. It was the first time I had driven in more than two months. I did the same thing Saturday.

Then today I had a bad day. I felt so weak. I have been working out as much as I can. Id do a half mile walk with a Leslie Sansone tape. I know half mile is not very far but I don't want to overdo it now and I will increase the distance as time goes on.

Saturday night James came by and we watched some basketball, the endof the Tennessee-South Carolina game and then theMississippi State-Vanderbilt game. We won to go 3-0 in the SEC. Wow, that was unexpected.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am now on Twitter. I have no idea why. If you are, please let me know why I should have done this. It just seems to be everywhere and I don't like to be left out.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I do everything for myself now.

I was just folding clothes. I liked it better when I had people to do that.

Friday, January 09, 2009

About two weeks into radiation treatment, my body went out. I remember looking at the clock thinking how could I possibly endure five more weeks of this treatment when I felt so bad I didn't think I could live another hour.

Everything was painful and exhausting. I could not eat or drink. The radiation had caused my throat to be raw and swollen so that little could pass through. I tried to eat and drink but with little success.

The next Saturday my sisters, Janice and Julia, took me to the emergency room. The bed there was so uncomfortable. It did not work properly. My knees were higher than the rest of my body.

For some reason it took about 12 hours for me to be transferred to a room. I was pleased to be in the brand new section. Those rooms are very nice but that bed was also not comfortable.

I had been thinking that the most wonderful thing is painless sleep. I got some that night thanks to morphine. I have a bottle of morphine tablets myself but I have been afraid to take any.

Anne and Ken had arrived and she spent the night with me that night and a few more. Monday they put in a feeding tube into my stomach. That was wonderful.

A few days later they sent me to transitional care in a skilled nursing bed at a nursing home. Beth and Steve had arrived and she stayed with me there.

When I went home, Beth cared for me for almost two months. She set up the feedings, prepared and administered my medicines, carried me to my appointments, and everything else.

When school was out for Christmas, Anne took over and later took me to her house for a week.

I am so proud of these girls. They really came through for me. I appreciate their sacrifices.

Finally the first week in December the treatments were over.

Things did not get better. I was still the most miserable of humans. I did not go to the Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations of my family.

Then one day at Anne's, I felt slightly better. Slightly attached to this world. I have improved more since then.

I really won't know much about the success or failure of the treatments until they do a pet scan next month.


I must be better because I am ready to comment on something besides my illness.

Of course, I was for Florida last night, since they are SEC and money f or themmeans money forMSU.

Despite that, I thought the announcers did a horrible job. First of all, were they from the First Church of Tebow? At one time, they went on about how lucky anyone would be to spend 15 minutes with Tim Tebow! I'm sure he is a great guy, but really it was too much.

Then they said such things as there is no two minute warning in college ball. Do they think we all only watch college ball because the pros are not on and we don't know the college rules?

It was a poor job all around but a great game.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

An essay by Emma Rucker

The Ruckers as Fish
If my family was something, they would be a fish. My mother would be an angelfish because she is so helpful and loving. My dad would be the swordfish because he is so protective. Both my grandmothers are kind and strong so they would be a blowfish. My Aunt G. and Aunt Beth are patient and fabulous so they would be rainbow fish. My Uncle Steve is awesome and entiget, so he would be a salmon. Adam is on of my brothers, who is kind and smart, so he is a catfish. George is smart and quiet and he would be a goldfish. I am funny, smart, and creative so I would be a clown fish.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I am much better and getting stronger every day but it is a struggle. The effects on the body of radiation and chemotherapy are major.

Today, for the first time, I was able to take a sip of water without throwing up. Now that is a real victory. I am still being fed through the feeding tube.

I went to all the doctors this week. No bad news; some good news; some worries.

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