Bad News

As many of you know I recently posted a prayer request for LC Caveman’s wife who was being rushed to the hospital. Those of you with a smattering of medical knowledge may have been able to read between the lines of Caveman’s comments and feared the worst. Today those fears where confirmed when Mary was diagnosed with acute Leukemia.

Cave is a proud man who would never ask for help for his self. I had to harangue him to allow his friends to help if the time ever came he needed it, and he still refused. He has been there for so many of our LC’s in the past, yet he will never ask for the very same help. Well now he needs it, and I am pulling rank and offering it, and asking y’all to help me with it.

While the power of prayer can not be understated, he and Mary will need other more tangible assistance as well. Caveman is facing a cut in hours, hours that will already be hit by the need to tend to his wife during her hospitalization and chemo treatments.

If there is any LC here who epitomizes what it means to be a member of the Rottie family, it’s Caveman. And that’s exactly what we are, family. We’ve done it before, we need to do it again.

Of course financial assistance will be of great help. But also needed is encouragement. Mary is facing a tough fight, anyone who has the slightest idea of what leukemia does to a person knows this. Also, any California LC’s who may be in a position to lend physical assistance, please let me know. As more details come in I’ll let you know what can be done and get you in touch with Caveman. If anyone can help out monetarily, contact me and I’ll make the arrangements. I have an address for cards and letters, just e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. Her emotional state is critical, and kind words will do wonders. And if anyone else has any ideas of how you can help, please pipe up and let us know.

Alright pups, let’s get busy. My e-mail addy is on the sidebar.


  1. 1
    Sir Fresh Sign says:

    i stand ready to lend assistance. just a few miles from Stanford. In touch with Kent.

  2. 2

    Thanks Chris. Being close puts you in a good spot to go beyond what others may be able to do. Don’t let Caveman tell ya no though. You know what you can do to help out, do it. If he has a problem with that, tell him to come see me. :em69:

  3. 3
    LC PrimEviL says:

    Heart-rending news, indeed.
    Thoughts and Prayers to Caveman, Wife and family, in the hope of a full recovery.

  4. 4
    mindy1 says:

    :em98: I’m in NY, can’t visit, but best wishes, and good thoughts to all-most leukemias are treatable if caught early, and being married to you, I’m sure she is tough.

  5. 5
    mindy1 says:

    p.s. any address to help out wih money?

  6. 6
    kwongdzu says:

    Will contact you via email. Please send our best wishes to Caveman’s wife!

    Any news on Brendan’s wife’s, by the way? I keep looking for updates here and at his site, but have not seen anything.

  7. 7
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Crunchie…I am humbled by your kindness. I wish to share with the rest of the Rotties what has happened… first letter…

    She fought back the tears….
    I fought back the tears………she gripped my hand tightly……
    And I held her, for she was frightened.
    “I will never abandon you, you can be taken, but I will never leave.”
    Wishing with all my heart I could protect her just this one time……
    We waited, seemingly for an eternity……
    The Doctor…..
    “I called you in today…in a nutshell……”I do not have good news……Mary is positive for AML……..half of her bone marrow is cancerous…………….”
    I asked her straight out….”Is this, is this going to kill my wife?”
    “It can…but, I can’t do the best for her here, Stanford Medical is known globally for their expertise is such matters. I am going to have you take her to the hospital here in Merced for a transfusion, soon she will be transported by ambulance to Stanford, a hundred miles from your home. Thirty miles from where you work. There genetic tests will be run, she will be kept in a sterile environment, chemo will be done, killing all her bone marrow, we will watch to see what grows back, in the worst case a bone marrow transplant will be in order. She will lose her hair, twenty per cent of all chemo patients do not survive the procedure, largely the old and or sick. Mary is neither, she is strong. Sixty per cent of all patients go into remission. Her chances are better than most. She will be on disability for a year.”
    The if left unsaid.
    It was hard driving home, thirty miles, the same road we drove two days earlier after shooting. I only pray we get the chance to go again…………
    Today I was also informed this morning that my hours are being cut twenty per cent. It’s either that or a severance package.
    I will be sending on an address where cards can be sent, or phone calls can be made once I know where she is. I will be seeing her tomorrow morning if they haven’t shipped her out yet. I am off work until Monday……I need the time, for her, our daughter….and for me.
    Tomorrow morning I will be getting the oil in the truck changed….and to stop by for a coffee at the elephant…then Erin and I hopefully will be able to catch Mary in Merced. If not, we go to Stanford as soon as possible.
    I am in the fight of my life, and you know what folks?
    I don’t intend to lose………

    It’s two-thirty…….
    I couldn’t sleep, snapped awake and still feel exhaused.
    I have to look after my own health too, even Mary told me that. And she is right. I ate one piece of chicken yesterday, that, and lots of coffee. I hope to return to work Sunday, my boss will see this letter. I just need the time to look after my wife.
    I have to phone her boss.
    I made some painful phone calls last night…Laurel, my sister in law made more.
    I think this will bring out th best in all of us……….
    Now…looking back……
    I miss her next to me, even the shitheads, I mean the cats, weren’t on the bed. They are when she is home……she will be gone a month or more.
    So no doubt I will try to nap. but I want to go see her today, even more, I want my daughter to see her.
    It was one of the most painful events in my life, having to tell my daughter…..
    I was gentle with it, stressing the positive. She is a trooper.
    Now to take care of business, first, to see to Marys comfort as best I can. I’ve heard chemo can be a bitch, and that distresses me greatly. I promised to print out all emails for her to read…..she knows of the people I love, many of whom I have never met.
    Mary knows of my circle of friends, all reading this letter, and she told me to turn to them…..
    I told her I have a prayer group going…if you thought you felt them before, girl, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
    I fell asleep with the Lords Prayer, finally exhaustion knocking me down.
    I am going to use the extra time I will have off, say four day weeks, to use on her behalf…..
    And you know what?
    I won’t be able to see her every day, but I can call her every day. My Comcast land line is unlimited….
    Thank You from the bottom of my heart, Guido…you provided the ammo for us to go shooting……that memory will forever remain precious to me………
    As a matter of act, many memories will remain precious to me…..
    Don’t take it for granted, folks, none of you….ever…….
    I never will again.
    I just want her home, to lean on the low gate into the front yard next to me, shaded by a green canopy we love so well, to see the shitheads, the cats again……
    And for me to see her watching Cold Case and Law and Order. again…..
    I can’t do yard work at three AM, it tends to be frowned upon. I do need a shower…….
    Then to turn to the business at hand…………one day at a time.
    For gratitude lists need to be made.
    I am sober, and will stay that way.
    I am employed, more or less.
    I have a great support group.
    Hopefully my daughter and I will see Mary today.
    She was so courageous, I feel it overwhelming me now, fighting back the tears, her saying….”I’m going to beat this thing, I am going home.”
    So Lord…I guess its Footprints time again…and thanks for the lift.
    You are a great source of solace Lord. For I remember the one time I believe I was in the presence of an angel, and I will until the day I die. And probably longer.
    For I remember the bright light, and most of all I remember the power..that awesome power……and I felt protected, loved beyond description. I lack the words. And I saw evil men flee. But I know that power exists, which is why I am the man I am.
    And I know you love Mary too…….
    I have things to do……and I will do them.

    Dear Mary C.;
    This is what Mary has. Her chances are fairly good.
    She is my greatest strength and weakest link. It makes no sense sometimes, but it so often true. I hope Dr. Harris is all right. I know he takes his profession very seriously. No doubt Mary will be seeing a great deal of him in her future. Actually, she may get pissed at all of us bird doggin her. I have read a great deal, the numbers say she will make it for some time, perhaps totally. But I want her to come home…to be with us. I would wish to be with friends…..What rips my guts out Mary, is I’m not afraid of going back to God, she is. I’d trade places with her in a heartbeat. Pain pisses me off anyway. They’d probably kick me out. I have no idea how this will get handled……..but insurance has out of pocket caps. I don’t want her to stress. To lose this place? She has a psychic connection to this place….I am not joking. The way we ended up here is something out of Twilight Zone.
    And we found some wonderful people we are proud and grateful to call friend. To be part of something….
    Chemo has improved enormously in the last decade, Stanford is known globally. I do expect her to come home……then it will be up to us, the people of Dos Palos…to welcome her back…..

    What can I say.
    I didn’t fight the tears.
    I knew before you did.
    My head said I suspected, my heart said it can’t be.
    She is my friend, we have the same name.
    She has been on my mind all day.
    I hope she feels my thoughts and prayers, somehow I know she does.
    Doc has talked to Dr. Peray twice today.
    We are all feeling it.
    Please extend our love and prayers to MEH.

    Her Friend

    An on a closing note…..Mary is comfortable, at Stanford. I would love to have her sent cards. Crunchie has the addy. But I looked at her, me all dressed up in gown, booties, mask and gloves.
    I looked at her, saying…”Trick or treat?”
    I fear mestastasizing of the cancer. But she is in the best place around for help. My town has been wonderful….hundreds of people praying for her, many prayer rings…and folks. She told me she can feel it. And I want that pretty girl back, the one I remember shyly putting a ring on my finger and a lock on my heart thirty years ago…….I meant what I said to her……till death do us part.
    It has been a very difficult time..but now the letters are out, people notified, and tomorrow I and the Offspring will see her at Stanford. I will keep everyone posted. And is Blue Cross ever gonna’ be pissed at me…………no doubt several hundred thousand dollars…..I don’t want to think about it right now.
    I think about her, and please pray, I want to take her shooting again………

  8. 8
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    I forgot the link…. It says it all.

  9. 9
    SeniorD says:

    Crunch, Caveman and Mary,

    Lost my mother to a very rare form of T-cell leukemia 20 some odd years ago and my father to bone cancer 2 years later. I know of the heartache, the turmoil and the damn-all sense of helplessness.

    You’re not alone, will never be alone and can call on the Host of Heaven and the host of Rotts here on this benighted planet.

    You are in my prayers, my thoughts and if ever the need arises, at your side.

  10. 10
    hephaestus says:

    Cave, Mary and Crunchie- As noted in the new family addition post below, I am in the chemo stage of pancreatic cancer survival. The path Mary is on is an uphill fight but it is not an impossible one. There are going to be dark days mixed in with some brighter spots where life approaches normal again. If all goes well, the normal times start to outnumber the dark times, but try to record everything, good and bad, just to keep you focused. I would suggest registering at a web site called Cave, you can do updates as often as you feel up to it and we can drop best wishes to her wherever she has access to the web. If you get Mary registered, get us her address via the Rott and we’ll do the rest. I will put another notch in my cancer survivor wrist band just to keep Mary formost in my nightly prayers. God bless you both with his healing hands! hep.

  11. 11

    Hep, thanks for the encouraging words and insiders insight. And I hadn’t even thought of caringbridge :em98:

    That’s pretty damn pathetic when ya consider I’ve followed so many peoples hospitalizations on it.

    BTW, yer still in my prayers on a daily basis as well. Keep fighting.

  12. 12
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Thank You Hephaestus….I pray for you too, Bro…….I have a site now, still empty. I need to get some zeees, got a lot of driving tomorrow, a date with a gal I know……. Here is the link……

  13. 13

    Cave, I’m sorry to hear of this, have faith brother, They have come a long way with cancer treatment, and I’m living proof.

    Prayers and best wishes for You and Mary….I left a note in the guestbook in caringbridge.

  14. 14

    Caveman you’re just astounding.

    I could never be composed enough to write or even function as lucidly as you, even as the devil does his worst to the Other Half of your heart.

    If The Person that motivated me to accomplish all of my personal achievements, all the things I’d NEVER do just for myself, were taken away, I hope I can be like you.

    And I hope you can feel my hand on your shoulder Bro’.

  15. 15
    BigDogg says:


    I will pray for you and your wife every day. Take heart, because modern medicine has made some amazing advances in treatments. Cherish every day, ask her to journal, video some of your time together, take photos. God will carry you both through this.

    If marrow transplant is a viable option, I’d be willing to be a donor (as I’m sure others here would). Let us know.

    Keep your faith strong, and in return He will keep you and your wife strong.

  16. 16
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    I lean on the Lord….have for years, for He is my best friend. I long ago learned He doesn’t make bad things, happen, but He permits them to happen, as they did for Him, for a better good, prayer often the only intercession.
    I’ll be honest with you….I have felt the ovewhelming urge to retreat to my garage and bawl my eyes out, yet I can’t…..not yet…..for her needs outweigh my own, and in that resides a great strength and a personal defining of ones spirit and character.
    I’ve been through too much shit in my life, even my sister told me that. But I won’t retreat into hatred or anger, although I have been accused of being a seasoned cynic. And now I thank God for the adversities, for all that mattered so much not so long ago matters not at all.
    I don’t know if the cancer has metastasized.
    I do know it’s aggressive.
    Yet in all this, my friends…I fear for her, not for me.
    I felt that merciful second of amnesia upon awakening, then to know the bed is empty………
    I don’t want her to feel afraid, it’s getting hard to type again…….I’m trying to get my shit together enough to go back to work Sunday.
    Yet in all this remain great lessons, for all of us…….I look at our yard, not taking it for granted, knowing what Mary would give to see it again……..and see her shitheads again. they miss her too.
    And you and others have kept me from flipping out….I do feel you, a warmth of sorts… please keep in touch, for I truly need all of you.
    And with Gods grace I shall remain functional…….
    Now off to Stanford…….

  17. 17

    Cave, my prayers are with you and Mary now. Doesn’t seem nearly enough, but that’s a start I imagine. You both are in good hands, and no matter the outcome, you will have experienced a lot of love in that journey. Bless you both, and keep us informed.

  18. 18
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Like asking myself…has it metastasized? This was fairly aggressive. Has it metastasized, complicating matters? If so, what can be done? We don’t know yet, but there isn’t a better place for her to find out.
    That is my one big question…….
    But what we have, what we are given, we will live it…….
    Off to Stanford soon…..I will keep you all posted.
    But I can’t help asking?
    Why can’t it be me????????????
    Just an old, worn out, used up drunk……….
    Yeah, I know, it’s kinda’ selfish…but it is what I feel.
    I found myself just wanting to retreat to my garage, bawl my eyes out…yet I can’t. Not yet.
    To lay on the bed, silently noting the tears flowing down my face……..
    But my mother once told me my soul had a core of steel…….
    And now to hold her up, to hold her close……….for I never loved her so much.

  19. 19
    Lc ORWN says:

    Cave, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife.

    If you need anything, I’m too far away for you to lean on, but along with the prayers I got a few bucks, now that my wife is working again, to spare. not a lot, but it might help out and sounds like you would need it more than me. ( with your job situation)

    I know its not the same, but I know what you are going through, 6 months after we got married, my wife found a lump on her right breast, and although it turned out to be nothing, that was the worst time of our 20 years together, the feelings of why her and not me, the surgery, the waiting for the tests. the worst two weeks of our lives.

    I pray that God sees you and your wife through this trial.

  20. 20

    Type A pos’ here Caveman.
    Don’t get in a bind searchin’.
    ‘Already a donor, good stuff.
    No job, will travel.

  21. 21
    LC Wil, S.C.E. says:

    Brother Caveman, if I may offer some unsolicited advice (it’s worth at least what you pay for it), from BTDT experience?

    You, personally, will feel every needle, every ache, every pain, and each and every insult done to Mary during her course of treatment. The bond is that strong, and Mary will know. You will deny it, but she will. Get used to it. Take care of yourself FIRST. I know it sounds cold, but just like the airlines advise in the safety briefing, “put on your mask, then your kids mask”, if you dont, you will be too weak to give her the assistance she is deperately gonna need.

    Pray everyday. Get your Church involved. Get your friends Churches involved. Prayer works.

    Tell her you love her everytime you see her, and let those be the last words she hears EVERYTIME YOU LEAVE THE ROOM. Otherwise, you will drive home, and you will not sleep that night. Sounds corny, and trite, but it’s true.

    Keep the faith! Cancer research is advancing EVERY DAY. Every passing minute we learn something else. Also, ANY cancer research benefits ALL cancer research. Thats why we participate in the breast cancer walks, all the fundraisers, etc. Something from, say colon cancer research may prove to be the key to breast cancer, which fixes something else.

    Find something living to put in her room. They won’t allow a flowering plant (allergies are a stone biotch during chemo), so a potted fern or some such. She will have bad moments when you CANNOT be there, and it will help her through some of the rough times.

    The two of you are on my prayer list.


    Also, keep us in mind and in the loop. I’m pretty sure we can find a bone marrow donor, if needed. I’m O+.

    My love to Mary,


  22. 22
    Princess Natasha, Decadent Delicious Deviant says:

    Caveman, you are one hell of a strong human being! It was an awful piece of news, and I only want to say that I wish for the best outcome: a total remission and healing. I hope the treatment works and she beats this horrible thing and lives to see many more years. From what I learned of her, from you, she is a strong lady, and with you by her side, with your faith, and the doctors’ skill, her victory is possible and real.

  23. 23
    LC Wil, S.C.E. says:

    Oh, and Cave:

    Get with the Social Worker at the ward. They can hook you up with the National Cancer Society, who in some cases (not all) can provide financial assistance. They can’t pay for the treatment, but they can toss a few bucks for things like car repairs (it will), telephone bills (large), your meals at the hospital, etc.

    Ain’t a lot, but every little bit, ya know?

    Don’t feel guilty, as it is mostly a pay-it-forward operation. You will.

  24. 24
    LC Subotai Bahadur says:


    Stay strong, for you two are not alone. I don’t have much I can donate [dealing with family medical problems ourselves over the last two years; complications of flesh-eating strep] but something will be on the way. If you need a marrow donor, I am O+. I know that there are many factors beyond blood type, but if the call goes out I will go to the donor registry and get tested and listed.

    LC Subotai Bahadur

  25. 25
    harleycowboy says:

    Prayer has been sent.

  26. 26


    You have the email addy. Drop me a line and I’ll get you a phone number. Call whenever you need an ear.

  27. 27

    I’ll put it on here as well brother. Dude, I know what you’re feeling, or at least my version of it. You know you have my prayers. Rotties, stand together in prayer for Mary, and give what you can. Spiritual and financial.

  28. 28
    LC Rurik says:


    I too share the suffeing and the anxiety, or at least asmuch as I can. I will help in whatever way it is needed. You already have better advice from Senior D, Wil and hephaestus than I can give so I will lapse into impotent silence – except for my continuing prayers.

  29. 29
    LC Trooper THX1138, Imperial Gadget Geek says:

    I also am A Pos, No CMV antibodies. And I live in San Diego. And I should be in the donor database. If not, I will get back on.

  30. 30
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Rurik….don’t underestimate yourself, you have been a good friend. Soul brothers at heart, like most of us here.
    This is today…..
    We saw Mary today. More on that later.
    Something inside me told me to call her just now. A tad of gastric distress, for she had her hip drilled….again, her bone marrow taken. The IV they gave her knocked her on her ass, and she lost her dinner. I think she is puking as I type, she had to get off the phone. She is going to try Seven-Up. But she is drowsy and in no pain, just a bit nauseous.
    I finally ate today, seems an angel showed at my door with an extra slab of ribs. There ain’t no such thing as an extra slab of ribs! Thank you Mary C. , I was a good boy and stuffed myself. Ate more this evening than in the last two days, the last two days consisting of cigarettes, coffee and Red Line.
    Tomorrow the chemo starts. The rubber meets the road. She asked me to come on Saturday. We will, if even only for a brief time. When she looks at me, eyes wet, saying, “Kent….you are my rock, I couldn’t make it without you…” Any fear from her draws me to her, I really can’t explain it better than that. Something happens to me inside, you know what I mean?
    She expects to feel like shit, but those drugs will save her life, well worth it in her mind. A weeks worth, first round, if not in remission repeat the process, then rinse, repeat if necessary. If successful three months of outpatient therapy, meaning more chemo to kill off the remaining cancer, our lives changing. I’ve been reading up on it. These drugs are flat out brutal. We are returning to see her Saturday, she wants a pair of slippers, size nine. I will buy some.
    Joey…thanks for calling, Bro…you’re a real friend. She was delighted to hear from you.
    Terri..Mary apologizes for not being good company, she felt bad, but your gesture is appreciated, by both of us.
    To all of you, thank you.
    The facility is gigantic and gorgeous. Like the star fleet academy scenes you see. I felt like the Wandering Jew trying to find my way out of that parking lot. Then they took six bucks from me when I did leave.
    They are all business, a sense of strong purpose, laced with a genteel humor. Laughter is the best medicine, even down to the troubadours wandering around, or the art therapy, the spiritual counseling, the musical therapy. the beautiful gardens Mary can sit in. Although she will look like a bug head wearing that respirator. Looked like something out of a Star Wars. set. Beneath this gentle facade is a strong sense of purpose, cancer is to be defeated or at least arrested, in the worst cases comfort and company are to be provided.
    Mary had the catheter type device implanted in her this morning. I watched the procedure, I’m not squeamish, my daughter stepping outside. It was virtually painless, the tube in her arm, the tiny tube up her vein now implanted in her heart. Mary had no difficulties at all. The chemo will end up dumped into her left ventricle, through her aorta and then the massacre begins. That’s what tightens my gut up. I told her to call if she needed me, end of story. They will put me on a cot in her room if necessary. I checked. It is a two hundred and sixty mile round trip.
    Cards and phone calls help her greatly…….she is not forgotten or left behind.
    Take care folks…God I miss her! And thanks. Kent

  31. 31
    BigDogg says:

    By the way, O+ here … and I was (am?) on the database, I can certainly update/rejoin.

  32. 32
    Elinor says:

    Good luck and Good Speed! I hope the chemo works on the first round!!

    I make Chemo Hats that I donate to a local cancer hospital. I would be honored to make Mary one, if she would like. I can make any color and have a couple of patterns. They are all warm and soft against the skin.

    I can send you a picture of some that I’ve made in the past. She could pick what she likes.

    I registed just so I could comment here. I read this blog everyday but usually just lurk in the background.

    Please let me know if she would be interested.

    I hope the chemo isn’t too hard on her.

    Elinor in Cleveland

  33. 33
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Mary is A positive. I am O negative. I will keep you informed.

  34. 34
    LC Horrabin says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I can’t offer anything but moral support, but you and Mary have it.
    I know you are concerned with your wife, but don’t forget yourself either. Remember what is cunning, baffling, and powerful.
    Jaybear has my email if you need it.

  35. 35
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Elinor, that is very kind and she would be very interested. Welcome to the Rott, the finest group of people I have ever met on line…and proud and grateful to share the name Rottie….. Crunchie has my email, he can give it to you.
    Thank You, Horrabin. You are correct, and I have thought about it. Ironically, I learned of Marys leukemia on my eighteenth sober birthday…the day I became an adult. Tomorrow at five-thirty I am attending a meeting here in town, down at the Methodist church, walking distance. I intend to use my experience to help people, to inspire them………
    And to be truthful, my feelings towards my wife have far overridden any thoughts of alcohol. I intend for it to stay that way……….I will keep your thought in mind…..

  36. 36

    Elinor sez:

    I make Chemo Hats that I donate to a local cancer hospital.

    *smacks self on the forehead* Duh! Thanks Elinor for that suggestion. I’ve been racking my brain to think of something I could do than just send a card or letter. :em69:

    *runs off to rifle through yarn stash and polish crochet hooks*

  37. 37
    Elinor says:

    Mrs. M-Itt,

    let me know if you need a chemo hat pattern. I have several.

  38. 38
    Imperial Librarian Azygos says:


    I am only a state away in Arizona. I’m of a rare blood type that does not produce antibodies against other types. Will gratefully get tested if it comes to that. Do not hesitate to let me know if you would like me to be tested.

    I have never met you but from reading your comments over the years I think of you as family.

    Prayers for your family.


  39. 39
    Tallulah says:

    LC HJ Caveman82952 @:

    Hi, Caveman/Kent: Another Friend of Bill’s here (1979!).

    I know what you’re going through. My dear sister Vivian (age 57) just died from cancer on Good Friday: liver/bone/peritoneal. She was in hospice for the exact duration of Lent — came out of a hepatic coma the day after Ash Wednesday and breathed her last on Good Friday.

    But during the whole of Lent, she was with us, awake, conscious, talking, eating, singing, and praying. A parade of people who loved her came through that room. Amends made, hearts healed, God witnessed to.

    My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on the same day my sister was told her liver cancer had metastasized to the bones: just three months ago. She’s been begging God to let her die — she has Alzheimer’s as well. Our poor Dad is beside himself. Feeding her by hand, staying with her eleven hours a day. The nurses at the hospital have nicknamed him “Lawrence Nightingale.” His heart is breaking.

    But I wanted to tell you what our sister said when she came out of the coma after Ash Wednesday. Mind you, the doctors had all but pronounced her dead five days before: that Sunday night she slipped into the coma and the docs in the MICU said “the ammonia levels in her blood are so high that they’ve destroyed her frontal lobes. We doubt she’ll still be alive tomorrow night.” My brother in law said he just wanted her to live long enough for their daughter to get back from Ireland on Monday night.

    When Vivian woke up on Thursday, the Hospice nurses were astonished. I got a call: her eyes were open! I raced over there and got to her bedside. I held her face in my hands, and said, “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you . . .” Her pupils were blown, but she looked at me, and then — a miracle. I saw her eyes were filled with tears. Then, a single tear rolled out of her left eye!

    I ran into the hall and got my brother in law: “She hears me! She understands! She knows who I am!!” He, being an Eeyore, said, “Now, now: we all want to believe that….” but he hastened to her bedside. I saw her turn her face to him like a flower. Left them alone together.

    The next day, he nearly dropped his drawers when she woke up and said, “Hi, Milt!” And she began talking again. And she didn’t stop for the next 40 days.

    My sister’s report from the Far Side.

    “I could hear all y’all talking while I was in the coma. I was having conversations with you, mentally. I could hear people say ‘I love you,’ and I was thinking, ‘I love you, too!’ And I was having conversations with people who were not physically present, too. Like Mom. And I could hear and feel all your prayers lifting me up.

    “So what I want to report is that, even when we leave this planet, it’s okay. That we’re all one. And it’s all true, you know? Everything they tell you about God and Jesus.

    “But I still want to live. My son needs me. My daughter needs me.”

    My sister, like a lot of us, never really realized what she meant to the people in her life. And she ended her Report with this:

    “… Now, finally, I know how much I’m loved.”

    She really found Jesus in her heart during her last weeks here. She was raised Christian: we went to church every Sunday when we were growing up, and our parents still do. (Or did, until Mom got sick.) But she was worried about what happens to all the other folk who don’t know Jesus. But finally, after seeing Him in her coma, and feeling his golden Presence, she realized it was all okay — the Lord knows His own, and he loves each of us so much more than we can ever take in.

    A friend of mine, when I told her this story, said she was going to tell her sister, who had a son who lay in a coma for ten years before he died: and she visited him every day. That’s love. And she talked to him. My friend said, “It will mean so much to my sister to know that he heard her all those years.”

    Ripples of love in the ocean of humanity.

    We miss our sister dreadfully, and we’re bracing for our mother’s death as well. And I also am grieving the death of my sweet little cat just a month ago: I have more sadness in my heart than it can contain. But I just keep on trucking, grateful for my friends and support group, still going to church, and grateful for my compassionate and wise pastor. And I have spells of fury and weeping, too.

    Just keep breathing, and remember that “Israel” means “struggles with God.” So ranting and raving are Ok, too. My minister said that when we’re angry with God, we’re the most passionately engaged with Him.

    He also said, “some wounds are too deep for us to reach.” Only God can.

    God bless and keep you all. Even though these times are dreadfully hard and almost more painful than we can bear, they are also profoundly transforming.

  40. 40
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    I spoke with Mary today….her chemo is starting and it will be aggressive. The doctors seem upbeat, hoping one treatment, consisting of eight days, with two different drugs, will be adequate. She will lose her hair…..and I intend to keep it in my safe. Call me maudlin if you wish, nevertheless I will do it, probably next to her favorite gun. She expects it to “Rip me a new asshole” but it will be killing cells which would have taken her life in two to three months if left unattended. Nobody knew…..and if a lab had never been done, what we thought was asthma would have proven to be far more sinister. She feels safe and secure where she is now, for which I agree. I feel more or less at peace now, her voice beautiful to me on the phone. And she did say, and stress one thing….very emphatically…….
    She can feel your prayers…..I am going to bookmark this thread, for her to see when she comes home…I will try to get a pic of her, obviously not at her best, but within that body resides a beautiful, gentle spirit……and one I treasure far more than my own. And in half an hour to attend an AA meeting, and to share a certain story……

  41. 41

    You are not alone, and neither is Mary.
    Prayers for you both.
    Believe me, I know what you are experiencing.

  42. 42
    lc purple raider says:

    Every time I come on this thread, the room really dusts up.

    Caveman, we are praying for you and yours.

    I have been tested in the past, can’t remember what blood type I have, I will research for possible match for marrow.

    Money’s tight, but I’ll see if I can’t squeeze 10 bucks out of the budget.

    Be strong, Mary needs you.


    If there is any way to keep this post going, so we can both:
    A: Get updates from Caveman.


    B: Continue to see what we as the Rotts can do.

    I would appreciate it.

  43. 43
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    I just got back from Stanford. Mary’s chemo has been underway for not quite twenty-four hours. She feels tired but is in very good spirits. Even though the two chemicals flowing through her are killing many thousands of her cells every minute……..she was walking about the lobby, mask on, taking laps, her clattering bottle rack in tow. That did something to me inside…….a very determined gal, the environment there beautiful, the food excellent. Even got Starbucks coffee…shit, I don’t get Starbucks coffee. In truth the Elephant is better but what can I say?
    But maybe you can help me? Especially the medical people. I wrote down what they are giving her…..the doctors upbeat, four of them arriving every morning to consult and decide on dosages, how she feels, her mood, etc. Her toughest road in front of her…and she feels the prayers, more and more.
    The first drug to be administered three times, she has already had it once, a fifteen minute drip, called daunorubicin hydrochloride or Cerubidine, possible side affects liver and heart damage. The second drug, Cytarabine, a 41.7 ml/hr. drip, given twenty-four/seven for the next seven days, one liter per day.
    She touched my heart once again, second guessed me…once again. I had planned on asking for for a lock of her beautiful wavy hair before the chemo gets to it. I asked her, she told me…”I knew you’d want it, I already have it, and I don’t think anyone will mess with it. I must say, she found a good bag to put it in. The one that says Biohazard. “No, I don’t think anybody will mess with it.” I told her I was going to place it with her favorite gun…and by the way, what is your favorite gun? She shyly…or slyly, looked at me saying…”Well…I really like your revolver, the .357.”
    Looking at her…..”It’s yours, on the condition I get to see you fire it again. And can I shoot it once in a while? I know guns are personal, kinda’ like a pipe or underwear……but this is a special case.”
    And we laughed together, the first in this two week living nightmare……..
    True to my word, I got the gun out of the safe, showed my daughter, now expressing an interest, how to safely shoot it, placed the bag of hair in the case next to her gun.
    Yeah, what can I say? An incurable romantic, maybe she’d like a bazooka for her birthday?
    Any info would be greatly appreciated….and maybe now to see about an attorney, for there is a certified letter down at the post office from her employer…….I hope the pic comes through.

  44. 44
    LC Subotai Bahadur says:

    #43 LC HJ Caveman82952

    Here is the information you asked for on the drugs:

    Hope this is of some help.

    LC Subotai Bahadur

  45. 45
    LC Subotai Bahadur says:

    Whoever has the conn for ‘Teh Management’

    Information that Caveman requested is in moderation.

    LC Subotai Bahadur
    (Got it Subotai. Thanks. – crunch)

  46. 46
    LC HJ Caveman82952 says:

    Thank You, read, sent on and saved. Kent

  47. 47
    LC hilljohnny says:

    a quick prayer for Mary and for all our other friends who need it.

  48. 48
    Radical Redneck says:

    Prayers out for Mary! :em04:

  49. 49
    Spiffus says:

    Prayers out for Mary and you!

    I had ALL myself (10 years in remission now), so while it’s different type of leukemia than AML, a blood cancer is a blood cancer. So if there’s anything I can do for you, brother, don’t hesitate to ask. I will be praying.

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