Hi everyone. Cheryl here actually speaking up… Beth gives me a hard time regularly because I don’t talk. I think it comes from lots of time in solitude as a ranger.
Over the last several weeks I was at Beth and Linda’s place for more than my usual weekend treks. With Linda’s current medical and work-life issues she was becoming rapidly overwhelmed. Beth was, of course, making every effort to help Linda at the cost of her own health. So, I came over to help shoulder the load and get them both to a more stable place. Spending lots more time with Beth and Linda is great because they are both lovely, caring, generous people.
There’s only one thing… being there for extended periods forces one to accept some hard realities. Beth is getting rapidly weaker over all and no longer has any reserves. Yes, there are days where she is strong and it is easy to fall into the trap of hope. Hope whispers in your mind, “Gee, Beth is doing great today. Maybe we will hit a remission so we can get her reserves built back up.” Then the next day Beth is paying for the strong day with extreme pain, fever, seizures, weakness, passing out and stopping breathing. (Laura –thank you so much for the ambubag!)
That is when it becomes impossible to ignore the truth. Beth is dying and sooner than any of us are prepared for. No, I don’t have a prognosis for how long it will be. I just know I can’t deny that death will come. That brings us to the fear. In a very short time Beth has become family in every unconditionally loving sense of the word. She is a large and important part of my life. I am afraid of losing her. I am afraid I won’t be strong enough to (1) say good-bye to Beth and (2) be there for Linda through it all. I am scared and feeling helpless. Feeling helpless also scares me. I have strong medical skills, I am capable in an emergency but this isn’t anything I can fix.
So I am holding on to a few hopes like they are a security blanket. I am well aware of what a formidable will Beth has. Now that she has said she wants to be here in May I am hoping her strong will and sheer determination will carry her through to that point in time. If there is anyone who can put off death through determination and will power it is definitely Beth. I tease her that the salmon must be her spirit animal since it is supposed to represent determination.
I am also hoping that the doctors in Seattle give us some help. Any improvement in quality of life would be a blessing. The possibility of slowing this disease would be a gift beyond price. Of course, we have to get to Seattle with the least amount of stress for Linda and Beth. That means fundraisers.
You are all probably aware of the rubber wristbands used to raise money and awareness for various causes. We have wristbands for Beth. They are colored to look like a cloud streaked sky and they say, “Gotta Fly”.
Now you can help raise money and show your support for Beth. Get your wristband(s) today. We are asking for a $2 donation for a bracelet. Feel free to give more. If you want more than one bracelet let us know with a message through paypal. If you are not receiving mail through the postcard project you will need to supply an address.
Thank you all for caring and helping!