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    From Tom Cat today:


    Spoiled cats, enjoying each other's company.

    More deer out this morning. 30 ft away in the front yard. Neat to watch. 48F out there right now. Had coffee & a couple of hours of chat with Marty this morning. Politically & environmentally we're pretty much on the same page. Nice to have someone to talk to on the same page.

    Will be doing my 8/10th of a mile walk to & from the mailbox now that the weather is mild. I need the walk, but not the sliding on the ice. Most of the driveway is down to gravel. Waiting for the ground to warm up enough to take the snow runoff. Right now the ground is still frozen 6 inches or more down.

    Chipmunk was out this morning, with goldfinches starting to show their bright yellow feathers.

    Got my taxes into my CPA, picked up a check for the sale of our handicapped van & picked up a couple of fish sandwiches for Marty & me. Nice to have the income & property taxes paid for the year. Keeps the anxiety down, until next fall. Miss Ann, for having taken care of all of this through the years.

    Time to put some lunch together, & get the mail. I have some mild kimchi for a stir fry. Probably have it with toast, since I didn't cook up any rice. Maybe even get a little spring cleaning started. Take care.
    SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

    Comment


      ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

      Thank you for all of the wonderful photos! Such beautiful creatures, all content and well fed, thanks to you. Your cats couldn't be any closer or more devoted to each other.

      Congratulations on getting your taxes done! I dread it every year.

      As always, I am so glad that you and Marty have each other. You are both in my prayers, and I send you healing, positive energy.

      Thank you, agate, for keeping us connected with Ralph.

      Love & Light,



      Rose

      *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
      Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

      Comment


        From Tom Cat today:
        Just a note for the day. I had to take my friend Marty to Berlin hospital yesterday for several tests & removal of about 2 quarts of fluid from his lung. He could hardly manage to get in the car at 7AM. He insisted he'd walk into the hospital on his own. They put him in a wheelchair to move him around for tests & removing the liquid on the lung. I took him out & got a sandwich for both of us on the way back. He struggled to eat half the sandwich, shaking all the time. I don't know if I told you, but his lung cancer is terminal. He's got sisters in Illinois & Missouri, who hopefully will be coming up in a few days. So things have gotten hectic again.

        Cooled off a little here. 40's with heavy winds today. Had rain yesterday, which removed most of the snow. The deer are in the front & back yards each day now. Up to eight, on some corn I throw out each day. Many mourning doves & crows on the corn too. Had a barred owl out on a tree in the front yard area, a day ago. So between the chaos am enjoying the wildlife.

        Coffee time with Marty. Take care, & virtual hugs.
        SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

        Comment


          So sorry to hear this news about Marty. I am afraid it will also make Ralph more lonely. It is hard to loose a friend.
          Virginia

          Comment


            I was relieved to know that Marty has two sisters who are on their way there. Seems as if Ralph has been having to stay close at hand helplessly watching his friend fail--and needing to transport him too. That seems a lot to ask of someone who isn't so young any more--though of course the sisters might be putting up with their own aging problems too. Let's hope that more help for Marty is on the way.
            SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

            Comment


              ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

              I am so very sorry that Marty's condition seems to be declining. I'm grateful that his sisters are en route to help him, because he is going to need help from here on.

              Is Marty in hospice? If he isn't, then I highly recommend that he is in a hospice situation. That can occur at his home. He doesn't have to be moved to a facility or rest home, as long as he has 24 hour care in his home, which his sisters will provide hopefully. He will most likely need home heath nursing and/or aides at some point. In Jim's final 3 months, he was completely dependent upon me.

              This is something, which Marty, his sisters and you can discuss, before it becomes necessary. It is always best to have a plan and be prepared.

              Jim had Ascites, which caused his gut to fill with fluid. He had it removed twice, but it just kept building up relentlessly. This might also be the case for Marty.

              Chemo causes nausea and appetite loss, as well as food tasting different than it once did, making it unappealing. Marty should eat whatever he thinks he will like, but he may find that it doesn't taste the same and reject it.

              My prayers are with Marty, you, his sisters, and all who love him.

              Thank you, agate, as always for keeping us connected with Ralph.

              Love & Light,



              Rose

              *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
              Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

              Comment


                I'm passing your message along to Ralph, Rose. He may recall that Cat Dancer had hospice coming in towards the end. Or at least she was applying for it--I'm not sure if she went ahead and actually had it but it was definitely being considered.
                SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                Comment


                  From Tom Cat:
                  Good morning to all of you. Before I answer Rose's questions, I want to add a lighter note for the morning. I'm having my 1st cup of coffee for the day, after my morning treat for the cats & cleaning up their litter boxes. Always have to get the morning priorities in order, aye?

                  I was looking out the bedroom window as I got up, at a grey squirrel on a hanging bird feeder. I was marvelling at its tail. He/she had whole wardrobe in that tail. When that squirrel is on the ground she can put that tail up & use it for protection from the wind, or as a raincoat. When running it is used as a counter balance for fast turns on the ground, or jumping from branch to branch in the trees. Then she can rest in the tree, curl up, & wrap that tail around her like a blanket, & take a nap. What a wonderful tail, aye? Thought of the morning.

                  Time for coffee with Marty. Take care.
                  This too--CAUTION: This gives details that may be difficult to read.
                  As to Ann she may have talked about hospice with me, but she never got there. I took care of her at home until the last week.

                  Though she had at least 2 pairs of high-grade hearing aids, at the end she wasn't hearing at all, even when you shouted into her ears. She had lost all cognitive responses.

                  I took her to the hospital one weekend, but couldn't let her go yet. She kissed me, I think. I took her to our old watering hole, ordered a meal, & fed her little pieces, like feeding some baby chicken. They never realized she was out of it. I took her home, & got her in bed with the hand lift, as always.

                  The next morning, I got her up, put on the leg bag, dressed her & changed the colostomy bag. Put her in the wheelchair, the handicap van, & to the Berlin hospital. They checked her in, gave her heavy IV of antibiotics, with no change for 4 days. She didn't recognize me after that. Stared at the ceiling. Maybe had some recognition, & puckered her lips a couple of times. Took her off of life support, & she passed in my arms at 4 AM a few days later.

                  There was no need for her bed, so they left her in the room she was brought in until she passed. I was called in at 2 AM the morning she passed, & spent two hours holding her hand before she died. I spent about 12 hours a day or more with her that last week. She was 20 miles or so out. I went back & forth each day a couple of times. She was right off of the nursing desk, where they checked her status every hour or so. Hospice stopped by, but other than saying hello, there was nothing they could do. I stayed until the coroner picked her up.

                  It was a long 51 years married, & about 2 years dating, with lots of up & downs. And I'm still adjusting.
                  Then this:

                  Now as to Marty--he is in touch with hospice & may use them as needed. His wife, who died in October, had hospice at the house until the last week. I don't think he's going that fast, but I'm sure he'll go over that with his sisters. Unfortunately they have their own problems, so he may be running the show.

                  I don't know if his younger brother, 20 years in Alaska, will show or not. It depends if he can get off work or not. He's worked in the wildlife & forest service up there, which don't have extra personnel. I'll be standing in the background as needed.

                  His sisters are vegetarians, so going out to get a meal with them may be challenging.

                  Enough for now. Need to get lunch & outside. Up to 54 degrees right now. Cruising the property with the golf cart now. Feels good.


























                  SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by agate View Post
                    From Tom Cat:

                    This too--CAUTION: This gives details that may be difficult to read.


                    Then this:



























                    You are a good man Ralph.

                    Comment


                      ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

                      My heart goes out to you, and I understand your experiences with Ann so well. You are Ann's devoted, loving soul mate, and I'm certain that if the roles were reversed, Ann would have provided you with the same love and care. Such a long journey you were blessed to share, with so many memories. You will continue to adjust and find your path to peace and comfort for awhile. And, we will be here to love and support you.

                      The care you gave to Ann, you are now giving to Marty. You are doing God's work, Ralph. Bless you.

                      Hospice can begin at any phase. Jim's oncologist offered hospice to him a year before Jim passed. A 90+ year old neighbor was in hospice for 3 years, before he passed. Hospice nurses can accomplish much more than visiting nurses in terms of getting equipment, supplies, medication, etc. Hospice is all about comfort, and I regret that Jim continued to decline hospice. He didn't want to lose our nurse, who had cared for him and for Jon for many years. She was not a hospice nurse.

                      So, perhaps you could share this with Marty and let him know that it doesn't mean he's leaving in a day, week, month, or year. It means that he will get the attention he needs to help him have the best quality of life.

                      You, Marty, and your loved ones are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. God Bless You!

                      Love & Light,



                      Rose

                      *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
                      Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

                      Comment


                        From Tom Cat (Monday):

                        Smudge is trying to figure out how many feet you can get on the edge of the fountain, before you fall in. This cat is unbelievable.

                        SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                        Comment


                          I've let Tom Cat know that there might be downtime for BrainTalk as of tomorrow. From Tom Cat today:

                          I'll be looking for a delay or whatever after tomorrow & the BrainTalk [upgrade].

                          Marty is doing relatively well, & has had his sister from Illinois & a sister-in-law here a few days in the last & this week, helping him with his financial paper work, & going through his late wife's papers & discarding most of it. She had a degree in management & music. He has several harps, a keyboard, & a guitar of hers to go also. None of his family plays music, so his in-laws will probably take care of that. So he's got his hands full with that, plus his cancer.

                          I've been helping my friend Joe put up a storage shed on his property this week.

                          Nice weather most of the week getting into the 60s several days. Raining some today, but we need it. Need to get up some ambition & get out & seed lawn edges that get torn up by the snow plowing each winter, plus filling in ruts in the driveway. That's the price of living on acres of woods & prairie, aye?

                          Most days I'm having deer in the back of the house & the front, plus the turkeys on the corn I throw out. There are a pair of sandhill cranes in one field too. They were here last year too, & had a pair of young ones. They've already put on their summer plumage of brown feathers, which I call their working clothes. I'm seeing more of the birds of prey, cooper hawk, barred owl, & a stray red-tailed or rough-wing hawk now & then. Even got my first flower a day ago. A yellow crocus. It's a start. In the little prairie garden in front, where Ann is.

                          Take care. And virtual hugs to all of you,
                          Last edited by agate; 03-24-2021, 04:40 PM.
                          SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                          Comment


                            Ralph loves his cats, wild animals and everything that grows in his yard. This is good. I am sure his neighbor is glad to have some help.
                            Virginia

                            Comment


                              ((((((Ralph))))))

                              Smudge is an acrobatic cat!

                              It is good to hear that Marty is doing fairly well and has his sisters helping him. As you know, things do accumulate through the years, so it's always nice to have someone to assist in organizing and disposing of some of those things.

                              Recently, I gave Jim's guitars, harmonicas, leads, mics, and an amplifier to a young man, who jams with his friends. He's also going to take some of Jim's tools. The paper work is overwhelming, especially stacks of medical documents, all of which need to be shredded. It's all quite time consuming.

                              You are a wonderful friend to Joe and Marty, and I'm sure that they are grateful for everything you do for them.

                              Be sure to take very good care of yourself.

                              agate ~

                              Thank you, as always, for keeping us connected with Ralph.

                              Love & Light,



                              Rose

                              *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
                              Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

                              Comment


                                From Tom Cat Wednesday evening, after receiving the recent messages from here:
                                Hi, Rose, & everyone out there on Brain Talk. Yes, Smudge is one good balancing cat. But she does get her paws wet & walks over the floors. With the large 6-claw front feet, the claws are like washcloths, & wet ones when she puts them in the water bowl.

                                Oh, one fact about cats' eyes. They cannot see still water. They see through it. That is why they usually paw at the water dish, since they can see ripples to drink it.

                                Time to try falling asleep again. The house is guarded at night by the cats watching the outdoor critters. They paw my face a couple of times at night, to let me know they're on guard duty. And for a treat, of course.

                                Take care & virtual hugs.

























































































                                SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                                Comment

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