December 1, 2009

Super Susie's Bucket List Update

For all those following Super Susie as she spends the last months of her life... living out a Bucket List with her Family & Friends; the CBS Early Show is airing her Swim with Dolphins over Thanksgiving (either Thursday or Friday m- usually around 8am)...
Knowing that many of you are following these Living Wishes Come True within your Hospice Units & other Rehab facilities; I just wanted to give you a "Heads Up" and an Update on how The Bucket List has effected Super Susie & her Family.

The process of going thru these Monthly Bucket List adventures is "transforming for all involved".

Super Susie has become more loving & lovable (what a wonderful awareness for all of those around her & a gift she is allowing us to give her). "It's my last chance to tell & show you how much you mean to me", says this mother of 4 & Grandmother of 4.. She's giving without qualification! It is such a JOY!
OVERALL… PHYSICALLY: Mom is doing really well (all considering). Tho' her appetite comes & goes & she feels mildly nauseas @ times; Mom is most disturbed/annoyed by her shortness of breath... Such a difficult transition for an active person who has a life to live (we can all certainly relate)!!

We, as family, don't take her (or each other) for granted as much. Because of "The Buckets", we are trying to be nicer & kinder to each other. In the past 4 months, we have spent more time together as an entire family than EVER before. We are really getting to know each other as adults. Mom laughs & says we still communicate w/ each other as we did as kids (tho' we're all bigger & "use our words" more)!
Because of the Buckets; Super Susie (Mom/Grandy) ...
Continues to be Closer to her kids than she's been in DECADES
Has past friends who are clamoring to visit her in this "End Stage"
Enjoys the constant chatter that her local celebrity brings in Her Assisted Living Facility
Breathing continues to be limited but no WORSE! (She received a blood transfusion that didn't seem to help her breathe)
Laughs at the fact that her Cancer doesn't seem to be growing quickly (sometimes I get a cramping in my high-tummy area)
Is now curious as to the expected progression of her cancer! The doctors say, "who knows"?!?

After the Dolphin Bucket (with 3 under our belt since August, 2009) I polled the participants, "how would they describe each Bucket"?
Interestingly enough; their answers have followed the course of Mom's disease & symptoms:

HANG GLIDING: the Launching! Our first Bucket was chaotic... What are we doing? What are we getting into? Where are we going?
* The literal "take off" nature of this adventure was representative of our reality. We had just gotten the news of cancer & many were just getting 'on board' (or taking off) with the concept of her choice & her Buckets.

SKY DIVING: scary, yet very FREEing! Fears were faced & together we made it thru!
* (Prior to this Bucket, Mom's breathing had declined drastically. Dr's were saying 'stay home! Go to Hospice!' Mom said "no" I'm not staying home! I'm going thru my Buckets!!
* Her stomach cancer was undeniable... Yet she/we said nothing is stopping me! And we all plunged ahead! into the unknown moving ahead w/ LIFE! Mom was very nauseas the day of her Sky Dive...! She felt so liberated! Encouraged my her own decision in the Face of Fear to step out, hold her nose & JUMP!)

DOLPHIN SWIM: Introspective. For the family, it was a quiet uneventful Bucket. Most said 'Boring'… (Mom's breathing condition was accommodated w/ a wheelchair, she was thrilled with how easy travel became for her!
* Mom doesn’t feel her condition is changing. Nothing new is going on & therefore this Bucket took on the same trait as Mom’s Cancer… ‘treading water”… that’s what we did… and that’s where we are! treading water! enjoying the water while waiting!

UPCOMING BUCKETS: I don't expect Mom’s condition will change much from now to January.

SEDONA: Thanksgiving we will be Hot Air Ballooning over the desert, doing ATV's in the Desert, & Hiking & Helicopter in the Grand Canyon. I believe this Bucket will hit everyone in a Spiritual way... we call it; John Weadock's Bucket because of it's meta-physical nature. It has the action we Love, yet the historical & geological backdrop we hope will heighten everyone's SPIRITUAL awareness … we’ll see!

CHRISTMAS Home in Baltimore. The spiritual side of this Bucket will include One of Mom's favorite places, the Holocaust Museum in DC. Other "action" parts of this Bucket will be be determined soon.

January: SCUBA DIVING! Trying to keep John in the picture,
we are looking for a place in Key West that will teach & allow us to Scuba all in one day. Mom will snorkle (which she adores!!) - maybe Matt Tybersky can join us!

February: HOT AIR BALLOON w/ wheelchairs IN the balloon... somewhere in Florida along ocean.

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