Thank You

October 11, 2008

Our family would like to send a tremendous thank you to everyone.  There were so many at the funeral that we didn’t have a chance to talk to.  We thank you for coming and hope to see you in the future.  Thanks to all that could come to the burial as well as coming out to mom and dad’s afterword.  Thanks to all that prayed for my mom.  It was not a situation where the out come would be what we all wanted, yet people prayed faithfully for mom and her comfort and care.  Thanks to all that came out to care for mom.  The Willamette Hospice folks were tremendous.  So many also came and cared for mom and their loving kindness was wonderful.  Thanks to the pastors, musicians, and staff for the wonderful service yesterday.  That created quite a few more memories for us.  The slide show was excellent – thanks Patty & Debbie!  John & Darrel – what you shared was over the top, thanks.  Chad – mom would be so proud to have seen how you’ve grown.  Thanks to all that sent cards and notes.  Many shared a lot of memories.  Thanks to all the donations, you generosity will be enjoyed by group you directed it to.  We will try to get around and thank everyone over the next few months, but there were so many we fear we will forget someone.  Please know that we are truely thankful to one and all.

Additional Funeral Plans

October 8, 2008

There will be a viewing open to the public for family and friends to pay their respects from 5 – 8pm Thursday Oct 9 at Fishers Funeral Home in Albany.  Fishers is at the corner of 3rd and Wahsington in downtown Albany.

The obituary should be published in the Thursday paper in Albany, but probably not until Friday in Salem.  For those not in the area it should soon show up on the Fisher Funeral Home website (fisherfuneralhome.com).  They have a obit section at the website where you should be able to read the obit as well as sign the electronic memory book either later today or early tomorrow.

The funeral is at 2pm at South Albany Community Church.  The address of the church is 2418 Geary Street.  Here is a link for directions to the Church when coming from the north (starting point Salem)  http://www.mapquest.com/mq/1-ZPqsacOl5ccHdJ_F*VhC.  Here is a link for directions to the Church when coming from the south (starting point Eugene) http://www.mapquest.com/mq/10-l4PmMl8m.  For those from out of town and with a lengthy memory this is the same place Barbi and I got married.

Given the time of day we must procede to the burial after the service.  Burial is at the Shedd Cemetary.  All are welcome to attend the grave side service and burial.  We suggest people car pool not just to save gas, but to conserve parking area.  The cemetary is just south of Shedd off of 99E on Shedd Cemetary Drive.  We anticipate the grave side service to start between 3:30 & 4:00.

We will have a get together and food back at Mom & Dad’s house following the burial.  Everyone is welcome to join us, however, because there is limited room we’re asking that mainly family members and close friends attend this, but we won’t turn anyone away, so if you feel like coming you are more than welcome. We’re not planning anything fancy, just a time to get together and visit, remember mom, share memories, and eat.  I don’t anticipate us being back to the house until 5:30 – 6:00.  Mom and Dad’s address is 79 Ankeny Hill Road SE in Jefferson.  Here is a link for directions how to get there starting at the church http://www.mapquest.com/mq/8-cDVNOpUQXIErLU71pZYL.  If you haven’t been there before it’s a little tricky to actually find the house (most people drive right by it the first time).  Try to follow someone who know’s where they are going.  I listed mine and Brett’s cell phone numbers in an earlier entry from yesterday, so feel free to call us if you get lost.

Funeral Time Set

October 8, 2008

Just a quick message to let everyone know that the funeral time has moved to 2pm on Friday Oct 10.  Same location.  I’ll send out more details after we meet with the funeral home people tomorrow.  There will likely be a viewing Thursday evening.

She’s Home

October 7, 2008

Mom went to be with the Lord this morning at around 9am.  She had a pretty peaceful last couple of days and slipped away quitely.  We know she is now in happier more peaceful place without the pain and suffering. 

Tentative plans are for a service this Friday October 10 at 11am.  It will be at our home church, South Albany Community Church in Albany.  I’ll send out additional details as they are finalized.   In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be given either to Willamette Valley Hospice or the South Albany Community Church building fund.  The donation can be made through Fisher Funeral home who are handling funeral arrangements.

Our entire family thanks you for your prayers and caring during these last several months.  If you have gone through this before then you know how much the support means to everyone.  If you’d like to talk to Brett or myself here are our phone #’s:

Brett – 541-936-0559      Matt  541-990-6950

Sunday Afternoon

October 6, 2008

Dad called this afternoon to let us know that mom was doing much worse.  Breathing was much more difficult and pain was worse.  Part of the plan to control pain is that when the meds she is currently using – Lorazipam and Oxycodone – aren’t effective, then a mom would be permenantly sedated with phenobarbital.  We thought that it was close to the time that sedation would be used.  Brett’s family and my family all headed out to visit with mom.  Larry & Jan Schoen joined us as did Pastor John and his wife Donalda.   We each had a chance to sit and visit with mom – basically a last good-bye.  It was good, though very difficult, to have a chance to do this.  Mom was incredible.  Even through the pain she’d look us each in the eyes and tell she loved us.  She even tried to chear the kids up.  She is still giving out to others even in her difficult condition.

Once the visits were over, the hospice nurse stopped in to evaluate the situation.  Long story short, the current meds were not being given at their maximum dosage yet.  Prior to the a permenant sedation step, the current meds are required to have been given at there maximum dosage.  The nurse, after consulting with the hospice Dr, set us to the max dosage level.  The result may be much like the permenat sedation, only with drugs we are using, it is reversable if needed, and the Hospice nurse said this is the prefered method.  After giving mom the initial dosage she fell into into a heavy, peaceful sleep (she was also quite tired after the visits this afternoon).  That is where she is right now.  Her condition will be re-evaluated tomorrow to see of the max dosage is giving her the comfort level she needs.

Changes Happening

October 3, 2008

Some very large changes are happening with Mom and they are indications that the end is drawing near.   The hospice folks are telling us to expect the her to pass in the next 3 – 6 weeks  Here are the two most significant changes.  Number one is that over the last couple days here tube feedings have ended.  This was her main source of food and nourishment.  Her body is shutting down, so the tube feedings were beginning to be of little help.  Naturally cutting most of the food will speed up deteriation of her body, but the reality is that her body is pretty much there anyway.  She was also ready for them to stop.  Change number 2 is that her pain and discomfort level continues to increase.  The hospice folks indicate that it is likely this could to continue to grow.  It could grow to the point that they can’t control it, so arrangements have been made to give her drugs, if needed, that would keep her sudated until the end.  These aren’t easy things to read or hear.  We are now praying for the end to come quickly.  That definetly isn’t easy to write or to do, but the way this disease works, things only get worse from here.  Mom is very tired, in a lot of pain, and ready for it to be over.  Please join us in praying for her comfort in these end days.

Happy Birthday Shanda!

September 26, 2008

For those not familiar with the birthdays in our family, the months of Sep – Nov are full of a string of birthdays.  Last week was Dad’s, this week Shanda turned 18, next week Barbi and Ashley have their big days, then it’s Brett, Barbi’s mom, and my mom.  While our grandparets were still alive, Grandma McDonald, and Barbies Grandma also had birthdays during this time frame.  So happy birthday to all in advance.

Mom’s condition has gotten a bit worse in the last week.  The talking ability is pretty much gone, there is noise that you can hear, but it takes a well trained ear to understand it.   She is very tired most all the time.  Her legs have weakened to the point that she can’t stand or support herself on the rare occasions she has to get up.  The nurse indicated that the increased fatique level could be a sign of further deteriation of her lungs and breathing capacity.  There just isn’t as much oxygen getting to the blood.  Pray for comfort.  Her sleeping and sitting positions often are not very comfortable, so it can lead to discomfort on top of what the ALS symptoms bring her way.  Imagine how you feel after sleeping in a poor position and waking up with a sore back or neck, then multiply that several times and have it happen everyday.  It is wearing her out and is just another one of the misserable things that come with this disease. 

We are all very greatful for the support and prayers.  My folks both want to forward their thanks and appriciation to all of you.

Being the huge Beaver fan that I am I can’t help but giving out a big GO BEAVS after last nights win over USC.  Barbi & I were at the game and had a great time!

Happy Birthday Dad

September 17, 2008

Dad’s birthday is today.  It’s the big Seven-Oh for the ol man.  Congratualtions!

Brett’s family as well mine were both able to go out and have cake with Mom & Dad on Sunday afternoon.  It had been quite a while since all the family had been able to get together and it was a lot of fun.  It tired mom out pretty well, but we think she enjoyed it.  We realize it will be one of the last times we can all get together in this fashion.  So we savored every second.

Not many changes to report.  The nurses and doctor continue to work with medications for mom.  For the most part they are minimizing the pain, but there’s nothing they can do for the continued deteriation of her body and her ability to control her body.

She wants to thank everyone for their prayers and support.  Keep it up as things will continue to get tougher for her.

Back On-line

September 7, 2008

I finally got my computer back so we’re back on the blog.  No earthshaking changes with Mom.  Hospice care has worked a lot on medication and pain control, and for the most part the pain control is much better, though she has recently has had a very sore and aching neck.  Here legs are now extremely week and she continues to lose control of them as the continued growth of paralysis takes place.  She needs a good deal of assisstance to get out of bed and walk the little bit that she can.  For the most part she is in bed full time.  Speech continues to weaken as well and is just barely there.

Offline for the next week

August 8, 2008

I’m going to be off-line for a little over a week as I give my computer to one of the computer nerds at work to fix.  It’s been sick for a while and needs a good going over.  I’ll post a new entry as soon as I can.

I just got back from my folks’ tonight.  Mom was better than over the weekend.  Her medications are much more in control and she isn’t so “out of it”.  Pain control is a little better as well.  She wants to thank everyone for their cards and prayers.  They mean a lot to her and dad.

Type to ya in about a week.