Friday, May 9, 2008

Hello everyone. Here are some photos that were taken last Saturday. I could see a big difference in Charles since we were there before. He is so much weaker, and having more break through pain. Sis and I are leaving in the morning to go back to SA, and we may come home on Monday. We know that Charles doesn't have a lot of time left, so we want to be with him as much as possible. I have been an emotional wreck all week, and I know it is only going to get worse. His hospice doctor said that he didn't know how Charles was still alive and he was doing OK, but now it has hit all at once, and we don't think he will make it to June. If you wanted to send him a card or something, now would be a good time. He is on more pain meds, and an anti-inflammatory medication for cancer patients to reduce swelling, and it has made him so sick that I think they are going to discontinue it.
In the first photo are my sister, Jeannie, and Charles and I, and we are at Denny's for breakfast (of course). Second photo is just me and my darling brother Charles. All our lives we have called him Butch, and a few years back, out of the blue, he asked us to call him Charles, which was my dad's name.
Photo three, look at that beautiful smile. He didn't know I was taking his picture. Last photo, he is back home in his recliner.
I wish you could all be here to meet Charles. I promise you would go away, just knowing that there is someone out here as special as Charles is. I want everyone here to know that Charles is so happy to see the postman and to get cards, letters, photos, drawing from some children etc. from all of you. He received several letters from 5th graders who wrote to him in English class. He liked those too. You have kept the smile on his face. Someone sent him a necklace that has a boot, hat, and saddle charms on it, and he hasn't taken it off since he got it. He even wears it to bed. Speaking of which, hospice is delivering a hospital bed tomorrow, and he is getting his TV tomorrow and a combo DVD/VCR player, all from his home. When he is so medicated or feels really bad, he has started to go and get in his bed. They want to be able to put up the bars to keep him from falling out of bed as they continue to increase his pain meds. He is still very much Charles, and what a trooper he is! Still never complains about anything except of course the pain.
We had told him that we would take him to the western store after breakfast if he wanted to go, and he said "Yes"! On the way though, he wanted to get his flat top haircut so we did that. We took his hat and had is cleaned and a new hat band put on it. Then we looked at the shirts and pants. Well, Charles shops like a girl, because he has always gone with me and sis, so he had to pick up, consider, look some more, and finally decide what he wanted. He picked out one really expensive shirt that was a red plaid, and I said "Charles, this one isn't on sale, so you decide do you want to keep this one, or get 2 off the sales rack". Well, of course, he put the red one back so he could get 2! In all he chose a pair of white jeans!!!! He loves them so much, and 3 western shirts a blue check, a blue and purple plaid with gold threads running through it, and the red shirt he is wearing in his recliner, a purple western T-shirt with a beautiful wild horses image running across the front, the new hat band, a new key chain that is a miniature spur that spins!, a new buckle with a star on it (he has a brand new buckle and belt that he has from Christmas that he is saving). Charles has always worn rather quiet clothing, but WOW has his taste changed! He had a wonderful time at the store, and when he was so worn out he couldn't go another isle, we took him home.
He took some pain meds and got in his chair. We all set together, and looked at his cards, and we read them to him, and he would just listen, and look at the images, and he kept saying "from your friend", or he would tell Jeannie, "from work". He meant from her job, where she is well loved. (She is the payroll clerk for a school bus company). He knows I paint, and make art and that I "get online" and talk to people.
I am not sure that Charles will ever wear the new clothes that he picked out, but sis and I have decided that those are his "special clothes" that he will wear when the time comes, and they were bought with love, kindness, and the money that all of you have sent. I can not express to you all, how wonderful I think you are for "being there" for my brother. I just thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I will update my blog again when I get back in town, and I am sure I will have more photos too. I love to do my art projects, but it has taken a back burner lately, and I was looking for a new place to live, but all of that can be done later, but I can't make up the time that I would loose with Charles, if I am working on something else. Art is very important to me, and it has helped me to work through some past bad experiences, and I know I will return to it when I can.
Well, it is late here, (3:53 AM), and I know I have to get up early so I will say goodbye for now. God bless you and your families, and I will write again soon.


a message from gillyflower said...

what wonderful photo of charles
there is another card on the way from the UK hope it helps brighten charles' day
i only know charles through the craft blogs but wish you all well and hope the next few weeks are bareable
my mom has recently been diagnosed with cancer but her's hopefully can be controlled for a while with drugs and our emotions are in enough of a turmoil so can't imagine what you are all doing through keep stong

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog entries, Mary, brings both smiles & tears.
Charles is so blessed with that happy nature and to have 2 such loving & caring sisters.
I just pray he doesn't have to suffer through much pain during this time, and you take care too.
(((Hugs))) from a friend...
Vicki R. in OH

Susan said...

Mary Lynn,
Thanks for sharing the great photos of Charles. He is so lucky to have such caring sisters and how lucky you are to have his happy spirit in your lives. How hard this must be for you all. Just know that so many care...

Simple Journeys said...

Mary Lynn, I can see how blessed you are to have a brother like Charles. I can also tell that Charles is blessed to have wonderful sisters like the two of you. How special that you are making such happy memories.

peggy gatto said...

Charles is a true artist because he has a unique taste for clothes!
We artists all dress as the mood and spirit stirke us! Kind of like his wonderful homepage art piece at AWOL!!!!! Sending you and charles and family BIG hugs.

Deborah said...

All the best to you, your sister & Charles.

Junie Moon said...

Thank you for the update on Charles. I did indeed send him a card I made using a vintage cowboy graphic. But, and I'm horribly ashamed about this, I forgot to include the dollar bills I had set on the counter to send him. We were on our way to catch a plane and I was trying to make sure not to forget about dropping Charles' card off at the post office. Anyway, I'm so happy he is receiving lots of cards and enjoying them.

Lori Nowak - aka Mirror said...

Dear Mary: Thanks so much for sharing Charles with all of us. I'm so glad he enjoys the cards and fun things people are sending him. The photos are wonderful, you would never guess to look at him that he is suffering so much. I love that he has a fashion sense and enjoys colorful things now.
I will keep you and Charles in my prayers and hope that all can find peace and joy. God Bless!

Veronica said...

Oh sweetheart
Is there anything else we can do???? I am sending him some money Saturday is there anything else he needs? favorite food? I mean anything???? please let me know. You know how to get in touch with me. Let me know if we (Rick and I) can do anything and I mean anything. all my love to you and charles.