Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting the House in Order

Are you prepared if you or your significant other unexpectedly dies? Or worse, lapses into a coma? Do you have a Will, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Financial Power of Attorney? Do you have adequate life insurance? And if you do, do you know where these important documents and policies are? I am relieved that John and I have the financial documents we need. However, we have not followed through with all the estate planning advice and made the appropriate changes on the titles to property, financial accounts and beneficiaries. And whoops, 2007 income tax returns have not been filed. And what about the harder questions? The ones you really, really don't want to pose. What would life look like without you? How would your family cope?

None of the above relieves me of my usual round of phone calls to doctors and other health care providers to keep up with my eligibility for future clinical trials, to follow up with insurance issues, and to address other matters that come up on a daily basis. And most importantly, for me anyway, to do whatever it is I need to do to survive against overwhelming odds.

Since the end of May, I have not been able to return to a predictable daily routine. That has not changed even as treatment has ceased. Since May, I have been relegated to approaching each day, each hour even, as it comes. The few plans that I do make come with the condition, spoken or unspoken, that I may have to cancel due to a conflicting appointment, or if I am just not up for it, which is often. Thankfully, with few exceptions, my friends and colleagues have been wonderfully understanding.

Today I am grateful for another day, another week, to put one foot in front of the other.

Love to all.


Lenore & Scott said...

Those are good questions under ANY circumstance, but obviously more imposing and pressing to you as you face the prospect of surgery, recovery, and such. I probably shouldn't post a comment when I don't feel like I can be uplifting and cheerful. But if nothing else, I am competitive and I just like to be the first to post to your message because I know you anxiously await it! So is your birthday the 13th or 14th? I can never keep it straight :)

Anonymous said...

I came back from Houston to your good news regarding a surgery decision and now your "getting house in order" post. You are human and doing the very best you can! You are brave Elyse! What your doing is scarey and I love you, pray for you and hold my breath in anticipation of what lies ahead. I totally believed my weekend in Houston with you know who would be terrible but God proved me wrong. It was a blessing that has renewed me and given me strength. I can't help think that this experience will only make you stronger and better. If that's possible, I mean dang girl, your so fly anyways!!:) I'm giving you my big hug! I'm sure people that don't know me read these and think "Who is this nut?" (Well except Terri, she knows I'm crazy)But that's ok--I know I'm making you smile. Love Bridgette

Steve Beagle said...

As it is told to me, my mother, also my best friend, g-d rest her soul at age 56, is sitting in front of her black and white zenith waiting for the Miss America Pageant to start. The year - 1961, the day Sept 10th. She feels waves of pain, becomes angry that someone is interrupting her planned evening watching bathing beauties and gets a ride to the hospital in Perth Amboy NJ to get it over with. Into the world I enter.

Now on this supposed celebration of my day of birth, I only have one birthday wish - to be able to help you any way I can Elyse. I wish I could donate a lung, I wish I could transfer my healthy cells and blood to you to eradicate your illness, I wish I could feel your pain so you would not have to feel it, I wish I could worry over the future so you would not have to, I wish I could command this all to go away and linger only as a dream to appreciate the life you have lived and the life you desire to live. I wish I could take Brent, yourself and John away skiing to celebrate your cancer free state in nature, I wish I could do something, anything to alleviate any small bit of emotional and physical pain you have carried and continue to carry every minute of every day since this cough appeared. Please g-d on my birthday - grant me one wish. Please allow Elyse to live her life the way she intended and if this is not possible please show me what I can do to make her life better in any small way I can. LH&P - Steve

Eric said...

I admire your perspective and abilty to keep the practical parts of this in order, and i know that has a coping function as well. I am reminded of a bike ride (ever so breif)that we took many years ago. What I remember about it is your zest for life and adventure and finding what you wanted in this world. I am not quite sure why that breif encounter had that impression on me, but it did. Today i see that same person holding on to that outlook for life and realizing what you need to do. Keep that outlook Elyse and it wil help you more then anything.Continue to take long walks when you can and stay focused on healing yourself. Myself and your thousands of freinds will continue to focus on sending positive energy your direction. Last for now, thank you for teaching us so much about life as you encounter it in ways so mnay of us have not had to.HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! LOVE,Eric

Anonymous said...

Although I don't like the sound ofthis blog I truely understand it. Get everything in order and you're bound to make a full recovery!!! You have been so positive up till now so here we go into the next phase-a full and complete recovery. Keep good thoughts. Everyone loves you!!
Roberto C.

Anonymous said...

Another day is great. It sounds like things are moving along. I/We are with you through this journey. You have a ton of thoughts, prayers and energy. Especially the energy...

Anonymous said...

Hi Elyse,
I don't know how I found "Elyse's Big Adventure" site, but I did. I was blown away as I read all that you have been through and what you will undergo in the coming weeks. I admire your courage and strength and feel overwhelmed, as you must, with the awesome support group that you have. Wow, Amy is going to cycle cross country -- that is amazing. I offer my support and prayers to you and your family.
I hope you remember me - I worked with you (oh forgive me) for two weeks. If my work station had been a kayak and not a cubicle - I could have stayed longer. I'm just an outdoors girl.
I remembered that you too are a Virgo - enjoy your celebration and make wonderful memories.
Peace and love, Cindy Ruppenicker
I'm praying for you and hope you feel the strength of the Angel wings around you.