September 23, 2011

Oh, My Darlin'

Well, I am on day #3 of taking care of my Pappaw and it's been a humbling experience. The once strong man that I thought could move mountains sits hunched over on his sofa looking like a bag of bones. His clothes are sagging and missing the once fuller figure they adorned.

Skin, Bones and pain patches are what my Pappaw currently consist of because of a terrible disease that we can't seem to find a cure for.....CANCER.

Pappaw was diagnosed with bone and lung cancer a little over a year ago. The lung cancer portion didn't come as a surprise because my Pappaw has been smoking close to 70 years (I believe he was 10 when he had his first cigarette); and a heavy smoker at that.

My parents have been caring for him over the past 12 months and it's been hard on them. My father is the only child so the support system we have to fall back on is rather small. My parents are worn out from multiple trips a day to his house to fix something that he has broken while being impaired by the heavy doses of drugs he has to take consume to help alleviate the pain from his rotting bones and lung.

The week before my Mother flew into Albany she suggested that I come home for a few weeks to help with Pappaw so they could have a little break. Both my Mother and Father are worn out and need some help and as their only child and as my Pappaw's only granddaughter it's what I should's the right thing to do. I didn't help with my Mammaw like I should have so I wanted to do the right thing this time around.

I have only been here for 4 days and I am already exhausted so I don't see how my parents have dealt with this for an entire year! He has a ton of pills to keep up with as well as 3 different pain patched that have to be worn on a daily basis. His appetite is all over the place; some days he doesn't want to eat a thing and other days you can't bring enough food over to please his wants.

His mood is all over the place; as it should be. He has good days and bad days. Most days consist of both good and bad moods. He gets agitated easy so you feel like your walking on egg shells when you visit him. He tries his best to be in a good mood when I am there but I can tell when he just playing the part and is really in pain. Cancer pain can't easily be hidden; it's written all over the person.

My Pappaws once sun kissed skin is now an ugly shade of yellow and brown. He is bruised from his head to his toes. It looks like he was in a fight and came out of it as the loser. He is still smoking so his once silky white hair is now a distasteful shade of yellow; his nails are the same. At first I didn't understand how or why he would want to smoke after being diagnosed with cancer since that (smoking) was the obvious source of his disease but his prognosis is terminal so his thinking is what's the difference. He's going to die either way....might as well die happy doing what he likes to do; which is smoking a carton of cigerettes every 5 days.

I am so thankful that my I am able to take the time away from my daily life in Albany to come and spend some time with my Pappaw. I need some closure and I know that this is time that I will never get back. With living so far away it's realistic that I may not be here when he passes so I need to take this time to soak up as many memories as I can with him.

This man has been calling me "Pappaw's Darlin" as long as I can remember. And this "Darlin"will continue to help support him with the biggest battle of his life. He needs my support and strength. After all, he thinks I hung the moon and stars so I need to continue to do so as long as he lives. He took care of me growing up so now it's only natural I should take care of him when he's sick.....and that is exactly what I am going to do.

September 22, 2011

Footlight Series

Tonight my Dad's band "Route 66" will be performing at Davis Theatre tonight. Below is an article from the from the Charlotte Observer.

A band born in 1966 at Concord's Green Dragon Teen Club will play this week at the Davis Theatre in downtown Concord.
Route 66 will open the Cabarrus Arts Council's 2011-12 "Footlights" performing arts series with a 7:30 p.m. show Sept. 22 in the theater, located in Cabarrus County's historic courthouse at 65 Union St. S.
Tickets are $10, available online at, in person at the Davis Theatre box office 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, or by phone at 704-920-2753.
That 1966 band, The West Wind, was made up of four junior high school friends. Besides the teen club, it played at the Moose Lodge, local bowling alleys and private parties. The group disbanded after about three years as members went on to high school, college, careers and families.
"We'd see each other around town and talk about getting together," said bassist Jim Carriker, who graduated from Concord High School in 1971. After a reunion jam session in 2003, "some of us started practicing every week." They added members and changed their name to Route 66 in honor of the year the original band was formed.
Besides Carriker, original members Shane Atwell and Lauren Connell form the heart of Route 66. (Original member Bill Cody had to drop out because of limited time.) It performs covers of classic rock 'n' roll favorites ranging from the 1960s through today.
The current lineup is Carriker, bass; Connell, vocals/percussion; Atwell, guitar/vocals; Bob Wade, guitar/vocals; Jet Taylor, drums; Jeff Carroll, vocals/harmonica; Christine Nichols, vocals/guitar; and John Culbreath, violin/mandolin/banjo/guitar/vocals. For the Davis Theatre show, Michael Flaherty will be guest keyboard player.
Not everyone is from Concord. Nichols, for example, played in a band that toured the Jersey Shore when she was in high school.
The band plays because it's fun and has gone a lot further since the reunion than he had dreamed possible, according to Carriker.
"My dream was to get together to see if we could still do it and play out somewhere once or twice," he said.
"It's the passion for the music, the friendships, old and new, and the chance to do what we couldn't manage as 14-year-old kids," said Atwell, who is well-known in the region as radio personality Jack Daniel on 106.5 The End.

September 20, 2011

Pappaw's Darlin'

Today I will be heading back to Concord for two weeks to help take care of my ailing Pappaw. Last year he was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer and he is slowly getting more feeble.

My Dad is the only child so a lot has been put on my parents regarding Pappaw's care; he's not a really good "patient". Is is old, stubborn and set in his ways which most are not appropriate but that 's my Pappaw.

These two weeks will probably be the last "good" weeks that I will spend with him since he is going downhill on a weekly basis. Living 8 hours away is hard on  the heart because I know I can't be there as much as I would like to be so this trip is something I am looking forward to.

I am NOT looking forward to leaving Mike and Vicki for 10 days but they know this is something that I have to do. I will need closure in his passing and this is part of it. I don't want to sit here while he still has some good days and my only excuse is that I am 8 hours away. I don't know how well that would sit with me once he is gone.

I do pray that God keeps him as comfortable as he can and this isn't a long process where my Pappaw has to suffer more than he already is. He is in pain and it seems to get worse every week. Pain is entering areas like his arm/shoulder and foot where I am sure the cancer has now taken over once healthy bones. It's a sad situation but I am blessed to be able to go back home....this is what I need and maybe he does too.

September 17, 2011

Oh, how I've missed me!

It's been 10 days since my last blog post and I have surely missed venting on here! Things got a little out of whack for the past 10 days but we're back on track and moving back in the fast last. As you know, I take medicine for anxiety and depression and at my last appointment (2 weeks ago) they changed some things around that really didn't help matters and made them worse so I kind of just huddled back into my shell until yesterday.

Two good things happened back to back this week....Mom flew in on Thursday and I had a Doctors appointment on Friday to fix my medicines. WOO HOO!!!!! With that combo how can I not feel like new?!?!? I feel so much better that my meds were the reason I was in a funk and my heart feels happy my Momma is here.

Mom is staying until Tuesday and then I will be going back to Concord with her for 2 weeks to help take care of my Pappaw. My parents have been his sole caregiver for almost a year and they need a break and I have the time so it's the only option. I don't mind, it will give me some time with him while he is still in somewhat a good frame of mind and may give me some closure on the situation as it's probable that I won't be home when he does pass away. It will give him and Brody some time too...they both love each other to pieces.

While Mom has been here Brody has kept her pretty busy. He doesn't leave her side which is cute but draining! He loves his Nannee and she is overly in love with him. It's sweet to watch. We went to the Zoo today so we all could ride the train together. He loved it.

Tomorrow our family is taking a BIG step and becoming official members of our church. Brody, Victoria and myself will be Baptized tomorrow and then it will be official!!!! We will finally be members of FUMC-Albany. I am really excited about it and I think Victoria is too! This is something we all have been wanting over the past several months and it's finally here. Mom is excited to be a witness to all of it so I am happy she is here to watch it....just missing Dad but someone had to stay in Concord with Pappaw.

Well, I will wrap up for now but I am determined not to wait 10 days before my next blog post!

September 8, 2011


I can't believe how busy my life has gotten in the past few weeks. Seems like it's a whirlwind spinning out of control at times. I don't know if I am coming or going. Hence why I am doing bullet points again for the blog. I can't seem to put down entire thoughts that flow well in a paragraph form so here is what's happening in the Beemer house:

* Victoria came home yesterday with very good progress reports.....A's and B's so we can't complain too much. She is so busy that we usually only see her before she heads upstairs to bed or if we are graced with her presence at the dinner table.

* Mike is loving being a Dad that can attend football games so we will be going to until the season is over. Yay, me.

* Brody is on week 2 of Preschool and has already learned parts of the "Pledge of Allegiance" and days of the week. I am super proud of him.

* Momma is coming next Thursday to spend 5 long days with us and I can't wait to see her! I have missed both my parents terribly lately. I wish my Dad was coming too but someone has to stay with my ailing Pappaw.

* Pappaw is still doing okay considering the type of cancer he has. I just pray that he doesn't have to suffer too long with this. I have heard bone cancer is very painful.

* My new anxiety medicine makes me eat like a cow and I have went from 76 pounds to 100 pounds in 2 months. I just put over 30 pairs of jeans up in my closet and had to buy 10 new pair so I would have a fall wardrobe. I am now a size 3 and can't even get a size 0/1 up over my thighs. Go me!

* Church is going awesomely well. We are all enjoying the service and social activities. Vic stays busy in youth and we are so proud of her for that. Hopefully some of his good grace will rub off some of her teen attitude ;)

* I couldn't hold out any longer.....ALL of my Fall decorations are out minus the pumpkins that will be added in the very near future!!!! (No matter what my husband says)