Sunday, June 22, 2014

In Response to Donation Requests

We have received numerous requests regarding donations in De De's name.  The information is below.

To honor our beloved DeDe and celebrate her life, in lieu of flowers you may want to make a tax deductible donation to one of the following 501C non-profits:

To celebrate DeDe's love of music and singing donate to;
Central Coast Celebration Chorus
c/o Dani Prigge 
350 Palomar Ave
Shell Beach, CA 93449-1945
(make checks payable to "Central Coast Celebration Chorus")

Or to help people with cancer here on the central coast donate to;
The Jacqualyn Palchak Cancer Fund
P.O. Box 1614
Pismo Beach, CA 93448-1614
(make checks payable to "The Jacqualyn Palchak Cancer Fund")

Ken Irwin

Monday, June 9, 2014

Celebration of Life | Details

In LOVING memory of DeDe Irwin we will hold a memorial service on 
Sunday June 29th at Noon
Los Osos Memorial Park
2260 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402

A short reception at the memorial park will follow the memorial service.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Celebration of Life

Hello this is Cindy Welch, DeDe's sister. As most of you know one week ago DeDe passed away in the early hours after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Her sisters Lindy, Lisa and myself along with Ken were her constant companions during her journey away from us.   Her sons were near as well. We had great support from her wonder friends Lois Harvey, Dan & Julie as well as Dick & Lisa.   Words cannot express our sorrow but we are relieved she is no longer in such pain.  She will forever be The Princess!!

A celebration of her life will occur on June 29, 2014 in Pismo Beach California. Once I have the details I will post them here.  If you need to contact the family please email me as ken is unable to answer the amount of calls and emails he is getting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Life sucks...isn't that grand?!??

Sweaty underarms
Problem solving exercises
Load of undone towels

Sounds like a good day huh??   It was.  It still is

Just a shorty note, as I      1. take a couple stretches on the ole back
                                          2. take a potty break
                                          3. take what I hope is ONLY a few last waking moments to the day

Then realize that it is the most productive day I've had in weeks.  As pitiful as it looks on paper, it's SOMETHING!!

Thanks to everyone who helped me accomplish it. woooo hoooo !!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Severe tear storms approaching with a chance of blizzard hugs following

the Captain and I are currently establishing our conscious level of bedtime sogginess.  We walk a fine line between that which gets things out of the head and off our chests to allow sleep at night.  We risk going into areas of both, that can make us think TOO MUCH!  It's going to take some practice to get it right, but boy did I pick the right person to do it with!
Years ago, when I shared with co-workers that the Capt was going to retire...several of them cautioned me about being careful what I wish for.  Tooooo much time together.  Becoming smothered.  Creating an expansive "to do" list in advance.  Just to name a few.  But, I wasn't wrong then...nor am I now!  He's "the man"  in every sense of the word!!
It is the time of the evening when the captain smoothes back the bed covers .. his hands cutting thru them like a perfect set iron temperature, to create crisp, white, pillow cases on which he mentally  places a single chocolate mint wafer.  He might spritz the foot of the bed with a light lavender or lemon scent. He arranges newly arrived flowers or keepsakes so that I can see them from my side of the bed at a glance.  During HIS ritual...I am performing that of my own by setting up the bedside table in prep of what could be an hourly wake up call in the night.... to address pain, thirst, or nausea or changing position to relieve numbness or stinging.  We are unwinding from whatever has been handled for this day...while winding up for what may also lie ahead! Getting me into resting position is no longer an easy feat!  It used to simply require laying down.
THATS IT...laying down!  Now, it resembles the three or so circles about the bedding to bundle and tuck and nestle.  (Like when cats go to bed!) by the time I actually make physical contact with the sheets... I am sooo hoping I am close to where I need to be, as I am already in a state of exhaustion!!  With the remote switch at the tip of my fingers...I make the last couple of altitudinal adjustments and lights out!!  For at least an hour. (Hopefully). It takes a few deep breaths before any evidence do consciousness returns....and the talking begins.
This is when our world problems begin to reshape.  This is when the tears flow. This is when the real time of our real life is discussed.  It's our time to be real with each other.  And we are.  Some of this I may share along the way...some maybe not.  At this point, it's all I can do to commit to TRY and stay on top of the blog itself.  If I find I am not holding up my end of the bargain...I am looking at a way to address that as well!!
FOR TONIGHT.... I have gotten this far, and that's quite an accomplishment for me!!  In doing so, I hope I am doing something for you and me both!  Time will tell.  Time, will tell !!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Travel arrangements are under way....

Just under 2 years ago... I used my blog to announce the travel arrangements that Pa (Sir Bill) was setting up.
TODAY... with regret, I do the same for myself.  I HONESTLY don't know which one will turn out to be the most difficult!
It's been a long time since I've taken on such a task, and hopefully- I'm giving myself plenty of time to accomplish it!!!  I have soooo much on my plate right now, that I will be unfolding things a little at a time, so I can manage to cover all the bases.  I have already elicited help, should I find myself in need!  The need for ticketing has come up rather unexpectedly, which explains the fact that the trip was not even on my bucket list!  I don't know of a trip I have been less optimistic of ....perhaps that helps explain a little as well.

I will keep you posted as best I can.  For now, it just wanted to let YOU know, that I know, it needs my attention to detail, and I will do the best I can to take care of things in a timely manner!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NEVER too old or too late .... to DREAM

I didn't grow up in an environment of make believe or dreams.  There wasn't a lot of "what if" thinking or use of imagination.  There were periods when we had not a TV or radio.  There was not much in the way of paper or crayons or paints.  If it wasn't available at school, or in the scraps of stuff in the corner of mom's office ... we did without.  The reality of it was ... we lived a real life.  It was meager, at times.  It was a struggle, at times.  But at the end of the day ... which sometime came late ... there was hugs and kisses.  It COULD have been easier.  There were choices mom made that probably made it a little more difficult than it might have otherwise been- but I'm not sure it would have been better.  I might have become a different person.  Maybe a better one ... but maybe not.  Since there was always a roof over my head, food on the table, and a kiss good probably resembled a more normal childhood than I realize.  The ONLY thing I can look back and see ... no, that's not right.  The thing I FEEL my upbringing lacked was encouragement!  That lack of encouragement may be part of the person I have become...and I'm not complaining.  Except that that same lack of encouragement also may have kept me from being the person I could have been.  In some cases, the lack of encouragement was prompted by the lack of finances.  I can only assume.  What would have come from an audition for the "Young Americans" if I'd been able to go?  How would my voice have developed if I had pursued the vocal lessons offered at half price?  Would the open call audition lead to anything if I had been able to follow up on that one?  Would music had been and stayed and grown in my life if I had used the partial scholarship to Chapman College?  These are questions that linger...even after all these years, and yet ....
    I am FAR from unhappy in my life, FAR from unfulfilled!  Be perfectly clear about that!  It's just a time of what ifs .... like when I watch episodes of GLEE.  I know it's an unrealistic view of KIDS making their dreams come true.  BUT- I also know that if we don't encourage our kids to dream, and reach for the stars ... we are limiting them from being all they might be!!!  sing to them, read to them, AND .... encourage them to try anything and everything they think they might want to do or be.  hug them, applaud them, and be fair & honest with them.
     As for me... my dream these days is to get healthy enough to even pursue the thought of dreaming!  It's sort of a full time job at the moment!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Life in the passing lane

     Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say life in the slow lane is passing me by!  Certainly over these past 3 weeks or so.  Life with cancer isn't easy.  I guarantee it's MUCH easier being green!  EVEN IF I was in remission...there would be the constant anxiety of what the next check up would reveal.  EVEN IF my treatment was going well...there is the anxiety of wondering how long it would last.  EVEN IF I wasnt dealing with pain 24/7...there would be the anxiety of the normal progression of pancreatic cancer that would eventually come.   At this point...I wish I was dealing with any one or all of those EVEN IFS.  Particularly that which is behind door #3.
     We are currently awaiting word on our authorization request for a pain pump.  Medicating with oral meds is no longer affective and is present MORE OFTEN than not.  I've never been one to complain about an ache here or a twinge there.  Until 8 mos ago, I didn't know what real pain was.  Until 2 mos ago, I had never experienced true agony.  We are hopeful that the pain pump will be the light at the end of the very, Very, VERY dark tunnel I am in.  With the ebs and flow of depression, I have all but lost my creative streak.  It's like losing a good friend.  My craft studio is like a man cave...full of toys and gadgets, good music and movies, snacks, views and ....inspiration.  Without it, I'm not as joyful as usual.  I'm unfulfilled.  Being pain free affects every aspect of my life.  Nothing feels good, sounds good, looks good.
   SO, if you're not busy over the next few days...could you cross your fingers for me a couple of times?  I'm sure it will help move things along!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

what I hear in the silence of night

The Captain and I share a LOT of our thoughts and fears with each other.  I open up (routinely) to each of my sisters.  My friends Lois & Julie have heard portions of my tear filled fears on occasion.  Even my Dr gets a sniffly dose from time to time.  But NO ONE gets it all.  NO one person hears every thing I think about, every time I think about them.  No one.
There are those who praise me for my strength & optimism.  Praise that seems unwarranted to me.  It's probably more an avoidance of the situation VS the former adjectives.  I accept the compliments as gracefully as one can, considering I'm not sure what it is I say or do that prompts them.  Some days are easier to "live" than others.  Some days, I do feel like I'm simply surviving that particular day.  I avoid "wishing" things were different.  I still tend, however,  to compare my life  "before and after" my diagnosis.  My wanting to SCREAM out loud in anger has disappeared.  But I don't see any of these things as courageous in any way.   From past experiences, I have learned that there are some things, circumstances, & events that we have ABSOLUTELY no control over.  No matter how good or bad we are as human beings.  No matter how smart, or kind, or anything.  Sometimes, it is ALL out of our hands .....
EXCEPT- how we respond to them.  How we react.  How we move on.  And for a while, we don't realize we have control even there.  This is where I take my thoughts whenever I can ... to the things, the people, the experiences I still have time for.  The memories I can still add to the photo-bank in my head and heart.  And who knows .... maybe tonight I will go out on to the lanai in my jammie pants and slippers, instead of pausing at the window or crawling immediately back into bed.  MAYBE.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

R-E-A-L housewife .... IS THERE one such thing??

This is NOT the first time I've used RH as the subject of my blog (and likely not the last) ...  I make no bones about the fact that I am enslaved to what they might do or say next.  They amuse me!  I'm neither embarrassed, nor do I feel a need to justify using space on my DVR to record the show.  Let's face it, it's a cheap thrill.
The cast as a whole is still a head scratcher to me.  I have the occasional jaw drop, I've added my unsolicited opinion to their conversations,  my eyes roll, and yes ... I laugh (out loud) during each and every episode.  I have allegiance to none, although more interest in some than others.  Some are an enigma to me.  In their arguments, they are  surprised how one or more of them have changed through a circumstance or season...but as an observer outside the circle, I find that the basics of what makes each of the personalities what they are ... they haven't really changed at all.  Those that lash, those that grudge, those that avoid, those put on aires ..... still do, although PERHAPS not as seamlessly as they once did- since they've all been called out on it at some time or another.  Can I find one good thing about each of them?  probably.  Could I find one thing I find interesting about each of them. definitely.  Do I identify with any one of them?  not really.  Is there one of them in particular that I would choose to meet if given the opportunity?  YES.  (any guesses??)  Do I have enough in common to at least carry on a two sided conversation for more than a few minutes?  I DON'T KNOW!!!  - but OH ... how I would LOVE to sit on the sidelines for a few days to watch & listen.  That would be a once in a lifetime experience I could totally go for!!
THIS IS NOT the learning channel.  the discovery channel.  National Geographic, or family TV ... but it sizzles like a cooking show.  It heats up or ices down like a weather station.  It's the soap opera of Beverly Hills life.  And boy oh boy, it repeats history the way only human beings can do so well!! BRING ON THE REUNION!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

NEW old friends, and remembering what you never even forgot!

SATURDAY was really a beautiful day, a great day in fact ......  for a lot of different reasons and, on several levels.  Since it's late, and I am nearing need of a well-deserved restful night's sleep- I'm going to keep it simple and elaborate ONLY on the group pictured here.
Varner, Peachee, Kyker, & Varner
Varner, Peachee, Varner, & Kyker
We were but acquaintances for the most part in high school, but you would not have known it from the comfort & length of the conversation we shared this day.
Relaxed, comfortable, filling ..... friendly !
On my doorstep at 11am ... and out the door somewhere 3+ hours later (I think).  There were no lengthy silences or loss of commonality - it was girl talk, woman talk, people talk- for the entire time.  I admit, we didn't even approach the problems of the world...but it was important & informative just the same, and I think we all enjoyed it equally.
The fact that the weather was perfect and complimentary to ANYTHING we could possibly have had to say is far beyond the point .... but it DID make a good day, a great one.  We'd originally planned more of an outing than my body could handle, but these ladies took it all in stride and good humor and the simplicity of just sitting and chatting was  openly welcomed by all.  I thank them for that. (and more) It's pretty heartwarming to know there are people who are happy with just spending a little time with others and not needing a particular reason or excuse, other than to just share space for a while.  I know there are probably a lot of people like this ... and AMAZINGLY, I am near-constantly surrounded by such people, but it still is a lovely and comforting gesture.  Our lives can become so congested and busy, that we forget how valuable or important a few minutes of conversation can be in a person's life.
Thank you ladies ... for your travel & your time.  Your stories full of humor & experience.  Your happy dispositions & thankful attitudes.  Thank you for all of it !!  YOU ARE what helped make a good day..... GREAT!