Ever since we found out that I was sick we try to celebrate each day as if it were our last. Our hugs are a little tighter, our dinners are a little longer and we are a little bit more patient with each other. I hope you’re able to make each day count, too.
Our grandsons Cole and Peyton had been in Michigan for the past two and a half weeks but flew back to Dallas on Sunday with their Uncle Corey. Corey was home for a long weekend and offered to fly back to Dallas with the boys so he could spend more time with them. When they arrived at Dallas Fort Worth Chad was waiting to pick the boys up and he drove Corey to his next flight at Dallas Love Field so he could board another airplane to take him home to San Francisco. I know this sounds crazy but it worked out great because every flight was on time.
We had a great time with Cole and Peyton and hated to see them go, but before they left I asked them to write about their vacation in Michigan and this is what they wrote.
Hi. We are Cole and Peyton and we are going to tell you about our two weeks here in Muskegon. We got here late on Friday night and the next morning we went on the boat to go see Aunt Kelly and Uncle Chris. We were going to watch them paddle board on the beach. While on the boat Katherine let us use her paddle board for a while then Aunt Kelly came over to the boat and paddle-boarded us back to the beach. Afterwards we went back to the condo and went tubing for a while, then we went paddle boarding in the marina and heard a car fall into the lake. The next day we went to Camp Pendalouan and after a week we came back on Friday and rested. On Saturday we went to Bear Lake with Uncle Bryan and tried to blow up an island that floats in the water but it didn’t work out because the island was so big that we couldn’t fill it with air all the way with the blow up thing we had and it was too windy anyway. On Sunday we went to the beach and the water was super cold but me and Peyton got wet head to toe anyway. On Monday we kinda just relaxed and ran errands with Aunt Kelly. On Tuesday I woke up to Grandma in the Hoyer Lift. We also went to the Ionia Free Fair (admission was free but nothing else was though) but before that we went to…drum roll please…THE CANDY STORE (also known as the Lakeside Emporium). Anyway, when we went to the Emporium we got a TON of candy thanks to Miss Patti who gave us a gift card. At the fair we got these wristbands that allowed us infinite tickets. Also, our Aunt Patti took us to the fair which was a TWO HOUR DRIVE but thank you Aunt Patti. On Wednesday it was Grandma’s birthday and we went on a really long walk (at least it was in my opinion) and went to Wasserman’s Flower Shop to eat pizza and Grandma and Grandpa had guests over and they ate fish tacos. On Thursday Uncle Corey came into town and we did four rounds of bowling, each with our own nickname. The highest I got was ninety-four and we ate pizza on a boat ride and Peyton and I almost jumped into the lake and we saw a bald eagle. On Friday we went to the White Lake Yacht Club to swim in their swimming pool and me and Peyton both jumped off the t-dock and swam in the lake and we stayed up till 1:00am waiting for Uncle Corey to come home from dinner with his friends. On Saturday we had brunch which was amazing and we went to the beach and it was a lot warmer than last time but it was still cold and we walked home. After that we packed and ate dinner and went on a walk to see an awesome sunset. Today stinks because we have to leave and it’s Sunday so now tomorrow is Monday and Mondays stink but we still had a blast.
Last week I received an email from one of Corey’s best friends, Amanda Stoerman. During one of Amanda’s routine visits to her dermatologist she found out that she had melanoma, which can be one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer if left untreated or not caught early enough. I asked Amanda if I could share her story on my blog in hopes that her words will save someone else and she said yes.
I think of you and your family very often and read your blog regularly. You have such an amazing ability to capture your experience and inspire others to live a life of grace and make the most of the time we are given, which makes me want to share a story of mine with you…
I think I mentioned once when I was visiting that this past March I was diagnosed with Melanoma, which can be the most deadly form of skin cancer if left untreated or not caught early enough. Needless to say, it was a very scary time. However, because I get regular skin checks with a dermatologist, we caught it very early and they were able to cut it all out. All I have now is a decent scar on my back, check-ups every three months, and a new appreciation for sunscreen!
At first I didn’t really tell anyone (minus close family and a couple friends) about what was going on because it was scary and emotional for me to talk about. But then one day I read your blog and realized how special and important sharing experiences can be. So I made a post on Facebook sharing my story along with an impacting video of people wishing they could tell their 16-year-old selves to be more proactive with their skincare. It felt good to share my story and spread the word about proactive health and regular dermatologist visits, and many people liked and commented on the post.
However, I did not realize the real impact my story had until last week when I received a message from a Facebook acquaintance who had seen my post and because of it, scheduled a visit to the dermatologist. At his check-up he had three moles removed and one came back positive for Basal Cell Carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. He told me how he was able to catch his skin cancer early because my post prompted him to make that appointment and thanked me for taking the time to share my story. Wow! This made me realize how important it is to share our stories because we never know how it can impact others.
So Rosemary, please know that your posts and stories are doing the same thing for so many others. It’s amazing what meaningful words can do to inspire and motivate people. I’m so thankful for you. I love you and your gracious heart.
Ready or not I have graduated to a Hoyer Lift to help move me and the first time we tried it wasn’t pretty. We’ve had this big beast parked in our spare bedroom taking up valuable space for a few months. My legs are failing me and it’s getting harder for me to stand without my knees giving out so we decided to try the lift to give Mark’s back a break. After watching a YouTube video on how to use the lift, Mark laid me down on the couch on top of the hammock that was going hold my body when he lifted me. He attached the straps from the hammock to the arms on the lift and started to lift me. The fabric on the hammock spanned from my neck to the tops of my legs so when he began to lift me my head fell back to an uncomfortable position and my legs fell to the floor causing my back to arch. I don’t think the Hoyer Lift was designed to transport a patient with severe muscle weakness issues so Mark went back to the YouTube video and watched it again. Heaven forbid that he would ask for help from one of our many friends and family members that are nurses and physical and occupational therapists. It’s much like a guy not asking for directions because he thinks he is not lost and can find his way on his own. Anyway, before Mark aborted the lift he had an idea. He found a strap from my wheelchair that we weren’t using and he put it around my head and attached it to the hammock hoping it would support my head. Then he got two of his belts hoping they would support my legs. Lucky for me Kelly showed up and started laughing at us as Mark tried to lift me with the new adjustments. Both the strap and the belts worked for a short time but they were not secure so we decided we needed to get some help. Kelly called Airway Oxygen where we got the lift to see if they had a larger hammock that would cover more of my body and they did so they delivered it to us that day. The next day we tried the lift again with success. The new hammock worked perfectly and as Mark gently raised my body up with the lift and as I was dangling in midair he said it reminded him of hoisting an engine from a car.