The Boxer, Part 3: Surprise Chat with President Eisenhower
Two Beginnings

Traumatic Thursday


I knew last Thursday was going to be a difficult day, but I really had NO IDEA just how traumatic it would end up being.

Later that same evening I received this gorgeous flower arrangement from my children...God knew I was going to need something to brighten up my otherwise dreadful day.



I climbed out of bed and showered, then Kim drove me bright and early to Community Hospital North, where I was scheduled to have a port put in at 7:30 am.  

I did not wash my hair (as if you care...but this minor detail becomes important later on...) as I had a hair appointment scheduled for noon that day.  And we all know that it's useless to waste the time and effort washing and fixing one's hair (a task I despise anyway) when it will be re-washed and re-styled in just a few hours. My plan was to get the port put in, have Kim take me home, then drive as scheduled for my noon hair appointment.


First of all, I had no clue that the port installation was going to be such a big ordeal.  I thought they'd numb the spot, stick it in, and I'd be good to go.


I was taken up to SURGERY, put completely under by an anesthesiologist, and had some major cutting into my chest and I'm sure what must've been a large crochet hook poked down the vein in my neck.  When I woke up, I was totally groggy and felt like a freight train had run over me.  I could barely walk, let alone drive and I wasn't even ALLOWED to drive for 24 hours anyway because of the anesthesia.  It would've been nice if someone had clued me in....

Kim had made arrangements for Emily to drive me to my hair appointment. Because we all know how critical it is NOT to miss those appointments...totally throws my life off-kilter.  At that point, I wasn't even sure I'd be able to go, but at least the plan was in place.


As soon as they wheeled my groggy self to the curb and helped me into our car, as we were pulling away from the hospital Kim said, "Here's what's going on."


He explained the family had been called to Dad's bedside at Elmcroft, that he seemed to be in his final hours here on Earth.  Before he even asked me what I wanted to do, he already knew the answer.  We headed straight from the hospital to Elmcroft.

Meanwhile, Emily had picked up Mama and was headed that way too.  

All the way, I just prayed that we'd all get there in time.  I called my dear friend Peggy to cancel my hair appointment for me.  My head was splitting, I was partially in "la-la land," but I needed to be there for Mama and Dad.

As we were driving, I reached up under my hair to scratch my neck and my hand met a gooey, yucky, sticky mess in my hair.  "Ugh!"  I told Kim.  "I think I have gum or something in my hair!"

I was horrified when I pulled out my hand and looked at it.  Red.  That gooey, yucky, sticky mess was my own blood!

That, my friends, was when I totally lost it!  I sobbed and squealed and sobbed some more, as Kim is trying his best to maneuver down the interstate and help me find something, anything to clean up my hands and hair.  Apparently during surgery the blood had run down my neck and pooled under there and no one bothered to clean it up!!!  I am still furious just thinking about it!



After giving my hands a spit-bath in the car, as soon as I arrived at Elmcroft and talked to Dad a minute, Emily went to work on cleaning up my hair as I sobbed. Not a pretty cry.  At. All.

She took this photo after most of it was wiped out, and they all tried to joke that I was being fashionable with red highlights in my hair.  Not funny.  At. All.

When Barb arrived, she and Emily eventually took shampoo and washcloths to it and did the best they could to wash my hair.  As I cried my very ugly cry.



And so we sat the rest of the day, at Dad's bedside watching him struggle for every breath. Eventually, Kim had to take me home because I was miserable myself, light-headed and nauseous, and they certainly didn't need two patients to care for.

Dad eventually passed away early the next morning, and there's no way I could have ever made it that long, so I guess it's good that I went on home and went straight to bed.

Not exactly the day I had envisioned.

A very, very...

....traumatic Thursday.



Kathy Pressel

Oh Terry, it just seems so unfair. I know life isn't fair but it just seems like when one thing hits there's always more to follow... I read your jugular blog first then came back to this one. I don't know what to say. I love you, I love the woman of God you've always shown me over the years. I definitely know the grief of losing your daddy, still coping with my own loss. I'm praying for you Terry. I pray for you to keep your strength up and keep going; you're an amazing woman! ❤️


No words. Just wish I could really hug you.


Dearest Terry- I'm overcome by your two life changing events this last week! I know what your daddy meant to you and your family. Then multiply that grief with your start of chemo. You are in my prayers, and just in case I've not said it before, I love you- your wit, your wisdom and your love for your family and for Jesus! Just what it takes to kick cancer to the curb!!! Consider yourself hugged!!!!

Phyllis Mattheis

Jerry has had a port for two years, since he had surgery for bladder cancer, followed by 3 months of chemo. We are so thankful that his tests to date are clear. Dr. says he can have port removed. Maybe after the next CT scan. His is higher on his shoulder.
How often are your treatments? Hope they are going well.
Thinking of you...Phyllis

Terri Chapman

Oh honey I am so sorry to hear of all this mess you had. I did not have a port put in, so I couldn't have helped you there, except that I do know it is a surgical procedure.

Glad that is all in the past and your wonderful father is breathing in Heaven now with our awesome God who is going to heal you all up.

Love ya, Terri

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