Tuesday, March 19, 2013

farewell to winter push and roll

Spouse caregiving for Patti and my own diagnosis of lung cancer collide on far too many days anymore. Trying to outlive lung cancer is somewhat like trying to outrun those proverbial headlights at the end of the tunnel. 

Yet paradoxically when actually hangin’ with Patti, I have no lung cancer in her Multiple Sclerosis dementia.

Attending her Care Plan Review today, I decided to include Patti. Usually I do not because if I want to actually discuss something, Patti’s MS dementia leaves her lost, clueless and wondering out loud who the hell are these people talking about.

One thing I have learned about advocating for someone with dementia is that you need to have boots on the ground weekly on a regular basis.

Anyway I was able to meet some new department heads and in closing when new Care Plan Review coordinator tried to explain to Patti who it was she was replacing, Patti interjected, “oh you mean that slut!”  … Which as the table erupted with gasps of laughter I had to smile at Patti’s sense of comic timing, always leave them laughing.

Next we were off for a 1 mile push and roll through a nearby park before heading downtown for some urban 1 mile push and roll.

2”+ of shoveable snow had fallen the night before which I enjoyed to no end. I love to shovel snow. By this afternoon the sun and warming temps had melted most of it for our farewell to winter push and roll.

Heading back to her care facility I fed her dinner in front of her TV, better than room service to her, before brushing her teeth, transferring her from her wheelchair to her bed with a one person unassisted transfer, and undressing/dressing her for bed.

While Patti certainly enjoyed our outing I had something even better, a lung cancer free afternoon. 

Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @ http://caregivinglyyours.blogspot.com/


  1. Just happened upon your blog while doing some research and I was compelled to drop in and say 'thank you.' Thank you for sharing your thoughts/battles/happy times with the world.

    I am survivor of breast cancer, and also an author. I wrote my book to shed light on the struggle that patients endure when the most important people leave following their diagnosis.

    Despite your battle and your wife's dementia you have stuck around and made every moment count. We need more fighters/caregivers like you.

    Thank you,

    Anne Hutcheson.


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