The battle is over

This is Laurie’s husband Alex.

It is with a very heavy heart that I must say that Laurie has lost her battle with her brain cancer. At 4:30 am on Mar 14, 2017 Laurie passed away. She fought hard for 8 months (to the day) and suffered much. She is at peace now.

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I Can’t BUT~~ I Can

I feel that I can’t do much because of my hands. Tremors have taken over my hands. I DON’T LIKE IT!!!!

Instead of going to negative side, I’m going to stay positive about this whole thing.

My right hand is the worst. I’m going to work with it. Did I tell you I’m right handed? Meanwhile, I’ll be using my left hand.

I’m sorry if there is mistakes on here. I have not been typing in a very long time. I used my left hand plucking away on here.

It is short and I’m tired. Must go rest now.

Talk to you later!

God bless!

Laurie Jackson

Update on Laurie

First I would like to apologize for taking so long to post an update. It has been a week and a a half since Laurie’s surgery and I have been by her side the whole time.

The pathology report came back and it was as suspected. Laurie does have cancer. The tumor was a high grade glioma multiforme blastoma. It is the most aggressive of the primary brain tumors. The surgeon told us it will come back, the oncologist told us that treatment will eventually stop working. How much time we have it not known at this time. She will be seeing a neuro oncologist on Aug 8th at the Siteman Cancer Center in St Louis, MO. The doctor specializes in this type of tumor.

The tumor affected Laurie’s right side (causing weakness and some loss of direction from her brain to arm and leg). It also affected her speech and language area. She has aphasia (difficulty in finding her words and getting them out) – both spoken and written (texting and typing included). She has been at a rehabilitation hospital since last Wed night. She gets physical, occupational, and speech therapy. She is making amazing progress. I have no idea if she will ever be able to blog again, but I know she will try her hardest to. She loves to write and she loves this blog.

Below are some pictures of Laurie’s journey so far:

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Alex – Laurie’s Husband

Prayer – Update

Laurie made it through the surgery without any complications. They removed a tumor just bigger then a golf ball. She had a good night. She has been talking, eating jello, laughing and crying. Her speech is still affected and will probably need therapy. The right side weakness showed some improvement then slid back a bit. She is still trying to sleep off the anesthesia.

We could possibly have the pathology report today. She has a long road to recovery but she is a fighter and will make it through this.

Alex

A Prayer

This is Laurie’s husband. I am writing this because Laurie is in the hospital and will be having brain surgery tomorrow (Thursday July 14th). On Monday a CT found a 3 cm mass on the left side of her brain. Over the last 2 weeks it has been affecting her speech, ability to text, write, type, and spell. It is considered an aggressive tumor because of how fast the symptoms have progressed. Yesterday weakness on the right side of her mouth showed up and has moved to her arm today.

She is a talented writer and this is devastating for her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We don’t know yet what type of tumor it is or what other treatments will be needed. We won’t know this until the tumor is biopsied tomorrow.

I will update this when I know more.

Thank you everyone

Alex Jackson (Laurie’s husband)

Fear

Sit back, relax and have a sip of coffee. Let me tell you a story.

Fear:

I have experienced plenty of fear in my life. One experience of fear sticks out, though. When I had to get a job after 18 years, I was scared!

I was blessed and lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. I was blessed with being able to watch my children grow. At that time, I had five children. (Now, I am blessed with six.) It was during a time where two income families had not been heard of.

Well, my children were all in school. So, a mom from the area heard I did childcare. She stopped by with her son. We talked for a bit and I agreed to take care of her son for her after school. At noon time, my husband called me. I mentioned to him that I was going to start doing childcare. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he did not like the idea. He just wanted to take care of me. He didn’t want me to do anything but take care of his kids and keep the house clean. Too bad. Throughout the years, I watched many children. I even had a part-time job as cook for the elementary school.

Now that I was bringing in money, my husband wanted me to get a real job. Okay. I guess being a stay-at-home mom was not a real job. At least in his eyes. Rarely would he come home and find the house a mess. Dinner was always on the table with the kids sitting around it. When he came home and found the house a mess because I had not had time to clean it, he’d ask me what I do all day. One particular day, he asked me that and it ticked me off. I asked him if he saw all those kids around the table? I said they are still breathing, right? I took care of your kids! That’s what I do all day!

I realize that I am getting off track.

We had been married for 18 years and the problems started. He left for work earlier and earlier. He came home later and later. After 23 years, he filed for divorce without telling me. During those five years, we went to counseling. That worked for a while. Our marriage never went back to the way it was in the beginning.

Shortly before he filed for divorce, I realized that I needed a good paying job to support myself just in case. The day I applied for the job, I was so nervous and scared. I had not really worked outside the home in 23 years! The job I had applied for was close to home. It was at a golf course doing landscaping.

I learned so much about myself with that job. I was so excited when I was hired on. I was the landscaping assistant. I learned that I loved being outdoors. The fresh air and the people I worked with made me feel good. And the paycheck was nice!

After working for months, I knew there was no reason to have fear.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

Enjoy Life

Don’t put your life on a shelf! Get out and enjoy the weather! Explore the world, if you can. Travel, if you can afford it. Or take day trips to places close to home.

Don’t sit on a shelf and think about doing anything.  Don’t let yourself get dusty from sitting too long. Just do it! Life is way too short. It’s way too short for negativity. It’s way too short for complaining. My husband and I literally live from month to month with no money left over for “fun” stuff like go to the movies. So, we create our own fun. The river is within reason from our home. We drive there and just people watch. Or we just sit and watch the water flow by. There is even a walking trail that we sometimes travel down. We are outside and getting fresh air. We are enjoying ourselves. We may not have much but we do have each other. We laugh every day.

Don’t sit and watch your life go by!

I wanted to go back to school. So, I did. I, now have my BFA (Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts.) Why did I do that? Just to see if I could do it. I am even contemplating getting my Masters degree. Why? Simply because I want to. It’s never too late to achieve a goal you may have. Believe in yourself and go for it!

I am 53 years old. I am tired of waiting for that right moment to do something. Guess what! There never is going to be that “right” moment. Well, no, I take that back. Right now is the right time to do it.

I suffer from chronic depression. It is a struggle each and every day. I will not let it get me down. I have too much living to do. I choose to be happy.

I was a quiet, shy kind of child growing up. I was scared to death to anything wrong.  In my first marriage, I was submissive. After my divorce, I promised myself that I would be true to myself. No more going along with the crowd. My children are grown. They do not need me as much now. They all have their own lives.

So, I plan on spoiling my husband and my grandchildren. Give them all the love I have inside. I enjoy life. When I die, there will be skid marks leading into my grave. I ain’t going down without a fight. I’ll have a smile on my face. I can hear my kids now say, “Yep, that’s our Mama! She was crazy (in a good way) but she lived life to the fullest.”

May your day be filled with tons of blessings!

Laurie Jackson

Bucket List

My bucket list:

Go to a Reba McEntire concert. (Did that.) Have always loved her music. She has a wonderful voice.

Ride a horse. I have always enjoyed horses. I think they are beautiful creatures.

Complete my sister’s story. I’ve been working on it for many years. It is time to finish it.

Take a trip to Canada. My husband wants to take me there this year. He wants to show me where he grew up. Also, we will visit his daughter and sister who live in Canada. Alex wants to show me real mountains.

Go zip-lining. (Did that.) Alex and I did this last summer. I truly enjoyed myself. I’d like to do it again. I’m not so sure about Alex, though. I have to admit that I screamed. I am scared of heights but I still wanted to zip-line.

Take a trip to Colorado. (Did that.) I took a bus trip to Colorado about six years ago. I have always wanted to see the mountains. The trip was nine days long. We rode four different trains while we were out there. It is a beautiful state but I do not think I could live there. I had a hard time breathing. Alex and I also took a trip to the southern part of Colorado. Again, I was suffering from flu type symptoms.

Visit the ocean on the east coast on a clear, warm day. We drove to South Carolina over 23 years ago to visit my sister and brother-in-laws. The day we went to the ocean, it was windy and very cold. It was not a pleasant visit.

Go gambling out in Las Vegas. (Did that.) I’d like to go again. This time with Alex. I flew out to Vegas several years ago with an old acquaintance. I had a great time and did not want to leave. I do not think I could live out there, though. It was too dry for me.

Make quilts. (Did that.) I want to make quilts for my children again. I would like to make a quilt for myself and Alex. I am working on a quilt for James (my grandson). I have not made him a quilt yet.

I can’t really think of anything else at the moment.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

 

Homeschool Anyone?

When my kids were little, we lived in an area in which we were not comfortable sending them to a public school. We heard all kinds of horrible stories about drugs, etc. within that school district.

Well, we decided that I should homeschool. I was relieved. When my siblings heard what I was going to do, they called me crazy. They thought I  had suddenly went insane. They looked at me like I had just grown three heads. Oh well. I wanted my kids to be safe.

There was a woman who lived around the area that homeschooled her kids. I had known her for many years. So, we went to her home and oh my gosh. There were stacks of paper everywhere. I kid you not. There were stacks of paper on tables and on the floor in practically every room. There were pathways just big enough to put one foot in front of the other. I asked her about the papers. She called it her organized mess. I had to laugh.

Anyway, she gave me suggestions and tips.  She told me that one thing I had to make sure to do was read out of the bible during each session. She also told me that I did not have to just have school at the kitchen table.  She said I could either order and buy expensive books for the kids to work out of. Or, I could design my own school work. After much research and decision making, I went with making my own books for school. I created my own alphabet letters from felt. I created my own spelling tests that was age related. I came up with math problems for my sons to figure out. We went to the library to check out books. We had a certain time of day where I was read to. Some days we played outside and threw a ball around. During that time, I had them figure out math problems in their heads.

My oldest son was almost 6 years old. He was (and still is) very smart for his age. He could read before the age of five. (I promise I had nothing to do with that.) So to keep him challenged, was a bit of a struggle. He became bored easily.

My second son was almost 5 years old. He wanted to do what his big brother was doing. I remember once while giving my oldest a verbal math quiz, he gave the answer before my oldest had a chance.

I usually had school in the mornings. When we sat at the kitchen table, I had a son on either side of me with one on my lap. I also had a son in the playpen right beside the table. And, yes, I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter at the time.

I started with prayer, having each of the boys say what they wanted. We sang songs and danced. We worked on math problems and spelling words. We had reading time. We went outside to find bugs and talk about what we found. We looked at nature. We collected leaves and made projects.

One thing I was told was to keep track of anything and everything we did. By the time we moved back to my home town, there were boxes upon boxes of school stuff. I could not depart with anything simply because my kids did it.

When I signed my kids up for public school, my oldest started in second grade. My second son started in kindergarten. Both of their teachers were pleasantly pleased with how smart my boys were. The teachers were impressed when I told them that I had homeschooled them.  My boys were advanced to the class ahead of in certain subjects. Again, they were easily bored.

Do I regret homeschooling my kids? Not a chance. I’d do again in a heartbeat. I’d probably do it longer than what I did. It was a challenge but I loved every moment of it. I miss those days. I feel somewhat proud because of the start they had with me.

One more thing, I am so very proud of all my children and how they turned out. (My oldest will be 30 this year.)

If you are thinking about homeschooling, do it. You won’t regret it. It is quite the experience.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

I prefer to be surrounded by strangers. Why? Well, if I make a fool of myself, I know I will never see these people again.

An example:

Last June, Alexander and I went zip-lining. Yes, that’s correct, zip-lining.

When Alex first told me he had set a date for us to go zip-lining, I was excited. The closer we got to the date, the more nervous I got.

Alex and I were the last ones to cross the sway bridges, besides our guide. I believe there were twelve of us. There were seven bridges to cross to get to the first jump off tower. I kept telling myself not to look down. I ended up looking down a couple of times. At first I thought it wasn’t too bad. Wrong! My head started spinning. Yep! I am scared to death of heights!!

When my turn finally up, I told the guide that I would probably scream. He said a lot of people scream and worse. He hooked up and told me to go. As I took that step off, I screamed, “I love you, Alexander Maxwell Jackson!!!” When I reached the next tower, the people laughed at me. I didn’t care. One lady asked me why I was zip-lining if I was scared of heights. I told her that it was on my bucket list. She just smiled at me.

The next tower I didn’t scream. I enjoyed the ride and the view. By the time we got to the last tower, I was almost disappointed that it was over already. At the end of the day, it had not felt like we had gone zip-lining at all. That it was just a dream. I did enjoy it and am thinking about going zip-lining again sometime.

Anyway, being surrounded by strangers would be better for me. If they want to talk about me and how I reacted, well, so be it. With people that I know, they can talk about me behind my back, which is fine. They can also make comments to my face. No thanks!

Enjoy life and don’t let people get to you!

God bless!

Laurie Jackson