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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What Can I Say?

have cancer! I have cancer! I have cancer!

Nope, anyway I write it, I don’t like it!!!

I will not let it define me. I plan on putting a world of hurt on this cancer. I will fight this with all my strength. I am counting on God to be by my side the entire time. I know He will be! I also know with the Lord by my side that I can do this! God never gives us more than we can bear! If He brings you to your knees, pray. I’m not angry at God. When I ask myself, “Why me?” God answers with, “Why not you?” My faith is strong. Apparently God believes in me!  Besides, I have my Mama’s sass. My baby sister, Mindy, put up a hell of a fight for 11 years. She is my role model. I never heard her complain about being ill or anything. She went through radiation and chemo, as I will be. This cancer doesn’t have a chance in hell to defeat me!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016, my life changed. I had brain surgery to remove a tumor which, unfortunately, was cancerous. I have glioblastoma multiforme. It is stage 4. It is the Grandfather of all tumors. (I can’t do anything simple. No, I have to do it big all the way or don’t waste my time. Haha!)

For the most part, I am positive. I am a roller coaster of emotions. The doctors tell me that it is to be expected. This tumor is the last thing I ever expected to take place with me.

Alex and I had been planning a trip to Canada when all this happened. We still have not received his passport card. We agreed to go somewhere just to get out of the house. The hospital was not what we had in mind! Being away from home for three weeks was unbearable. I was getting bored and irritable. I (should say WE) wanted to go home.

A week before I went to the ER, I had been having trouble with texting, finding the correct spelling of my words and slurring of my words. Alex noticed I was slurring my words. The following Monday we went to the ER in Wentzville. The doctor ordered a CT Scan. He made the discovery of the tumor. (I’m sorry I do not remember his name. He was very thorough.) He sent us to Dr. Neiles right away. I was transferred by ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles.

Eat that dessert first! Drink that wine or whiskey, which ever suits your fancy. Live each day to the fullest.

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)

Sing That Song

I love to sing. I’ve been singing probably since the age of 6.

It was Christmas time and in order to open our gifts, Grandpa wanted to hear us sing first. I remember standing on a bench in the garage. (That’s where our tree was at the time.)

I was in junior choir, youth choir and the adult choir. While me and my siblings were in youth choir, the group toured to different churches to sing. We wore blue long sleeve shirts and blue jeans. It was so much fun.

I sang in the adult choir for many years. Then, I started getting nervous and I could feel my face get super red. A few times I really thought I’d pass out.

On occasion, my siblings and I get together and sing in church for Mom. She is proud of us for our singing talent. We don’t want to sing professionally. We do it because we enjoy it. My brothers sing bass and tenor. Two of my sisters sing alto and the rest of us sing soprano. (There are seven of us.)

The Christmas before my Grandma Helen passed, my siblings and I sang for her at Mom’s home. We sang a cappella. I glanced at Grandma during the hymn…that was a mistake. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. I could feel my eyes water. By the time we finished singing, I believe we were all in tears.

I enjoy singing to the radio. I’d like to think I have a good voice. It’s just that it cracks and shakes when I get nervous. I used to sing while driving to work. The radio was cranked up and I sang my heart out. Even with depression, I enjoy to sing. Singing brings me out of my funk.

If you feel like singing, do it! Who cares who’s watching or listening. Sing and be happy!

Have a blessed evening!

Laurie Jackson

 

Fake Or Real

I hate fake, especially fake friendships. If you are going to be nice to my face one minute but stab me in the back the next, you can just go on your merry way. I have no use for you. I do not have the time, energy or patience to waste on people like that.

I can’t stand drama. Someone close to me seems to get a thrill causing drama. It seems like this person isn’t happy unless there is drama. Talk about stupid! When I see this going on, I just walk away. I do not need that negativity dragging me down. I have enough stuff going on with my own life. I don’t need or want that crap around me.

I am an extremely honest person. I am not afraid to speak my mind. (It took me many years to get this way. No more walking on eggshells around people, especially in my own home.) If what I say hurts your feelings, deal with it. If you can’t handle the truth, don’t lie to me. I usually have a way of finding out when someone lies to me. My gut instinct stand to attention. I can, also, usually tell if you’re lying to me. If you have shifty eyes while talking with me, just stop talking.

I am an honest person and I am a positive person. Don’t drag me down with your sob stories and negativity.

If you want to be my friend, be yourself and be honest! Please!

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

 

From Grandma’s Country Kitchen — Pecans

Pecans should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They will keep without deterioration for two years when frozen.

SUGARED PECANS

1/2 pound pecans

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl. Add pecans and stir until coated with this mixture. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for an hour, or until dry and toasted, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool and store in refrigerator.

ROASTED SALTED PECANS

Spread pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Dot with butter or drizzle with oil. Roast in a preheated 375 degrees oven for 5 minutes, watching and stirring the nuts–they can burn suddenly. Sprinkle with salt and store in an airtight jar.

CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

Unbaked 9″ pie shell

1 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoon flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prick pie shell well and bake for 5 minutes. COOL THOROUGHLY. Combine chocolate, evaporated milk and butter. Cook over low heat until mixture is creamy and smooth. Cool and beat in eggs and vanilla. Sift together flour, sugar and salt and beat in. Pour into pie shell and sprinkle with pecans.

Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes, or until firm. Cool pie completely before serving.

Enjoy!

Laurie Jackson

Bookmobile?

I might be aging myself…    Does it still exist?

What is a bookmobile? It’s a library on wheels.

I grew up in a rural area in central Missouri. This was back in the ’60’s and early ’70’s. I don’t know why there wasn’t a library at that time.

I think the mobile library came once a week. (I’m not sure anymore. I’m old and I can’t remember.)  😉

Just getting to go into town was a treat. I grew up on a farm. At that time, Mom didn’t know how to drive. Every Thursday, my uncle came to pick us up in his car. We piled in and off we went to town. Each of us received a quarter to buy a bag of candy. After our little shopping spree, we were allowed to go into the bookmobile.

Two books each, children! Mom used to say. Two! Just two, Mom? C’mon! Please? Can I get more than that? She explained to me that there were other children that liked books, too. I had to share the bookmobile with others. So, two books, it was. As we grew older, we were allowed three. I enjoyed reading mystery stories such as The Nancy Drew and the Parker Brothers series. I could relate with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life. I read every single one of her books over and over.

The driver of the bookmobile used to read us a story under the big shade tree. It was great fun sitting in the grass listening to her read. She used different voices for each character, too. I loved it! As I listened, I was drawn into the story. My imagination went crazy!

Since this during the summer, Mom let us read for awhile after we arrived back home. She loved to read. She always said that was her entertainment. She never had the opportunity to read until after us kids and Dad were in bed.

Such great memories!

Have a wonderful day!

Laurie Jackson

 

 

 

Corners Of The Earth

I will drive (or ride) to the far corners of the world to reach any of my children. I do not care how old my kids are. I will get to them one way or another. Day or night doesn’t matter to me, either. My kids call and I’ll coming running.

I received a phone call from my oldest son who happens to live 2 1/2 hours away in Illinois. He called me Saturday night and he sounded horrible!

It was kind of funny at first because I had been sitting there thinking I should call him to see how he was. My phone rang and his name was showing. I chuckled to myself and answered. When he said hello, I almost didn’t recognize his voice. He was all kinds of clogged up.

He told me that he had been ill the last couple of days. He convinced me that he was antibiotics. He had a culture taken but the results still had not confirmed if he had strep throat or something else. He promised me that he would give me a call on Sunday, the next day. Well, he didn’t call me. He didn’t call me until Monday afternoon.

First thing out of his mouth was that he was in the hospital. The meds he had been on had not helped at all. He had taken himself to the ER Sunday afternoon. The doctor gave him morphine because he was in so much pain. He said that he could barely talk. His tonsils were so huge that they were touching each other. The doctor wasn’t sure if my son’s tonsils were abscessed or just what was going on.

While on the phone with EJ (my son) Monday afternoon, I decided that we (my husband and I) would be going to Illinois. I needed to be close to my son and visa versa. EJ is 29. I could tell in his voice that he wanted me to come to the hospital.

When Alex and I arrived at the hospital (about 3 hours later), it was past visiting hours. The security guard gave us a visitor’s tag after he called up to the nurse’s station for clearance. I told him that we just drove three hours from Missouri to see my son. There was no way I was not going to see EJ. The guard kinda looked at me weird and told us to have a nice visit.

When Alex and I reached EJ’s room, I could hardly contain myself. I hugged EJ. He looked like death warmed over but I was so happy to see him. I could see in his eyes that he was thrilled to have us there. After a short while, Alex and I drove to EJ’s apartment. We spent the night there.

The next day, Alex and I took EJ’s bedding to the laundry mat to wash. We did his dishes, swept the floors and cleaned his bathroom. When we arrived at the hospital, EJ was being released. YAY!!!

We took him home and got him settled in for the night. Making sure EJ had everything that he needed, Alex and I headed home.

I hugged EJ and I could tell he was grateful that we had come up there.

Yesterday (Wednesday), EJ called me. He sounded so much better. The medicine that he was on this time was working. His tonsil was abscessed. The doctor said he won’t be removing EJ’s tonsils, though.

I’m just ecstatic that EJ is feeling better!

I do not care where my children live (Well, I do but that is a whole other blog.), if they need me, all they need to do is call. I’ll be there.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson