Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
In the event you haven't heard the news recently from Louise, I am copying a letter she sent out in the middle of March to her friends to bring you up to speed:
March 13th, 2016. Sugarmill Woods- Homosassa, Florida
"This is a letter I sent out to my golfing buddies this morning., and now to other friends & family. I think everyone should know where I stand on this issue:"
I awoke at 6:30 am with a new resolve: let my friends help me.
You may know, I have brain cancer, 80% removed, and has not spread. Tomorrow I meet with the oncologist (Dr. Rao), whom I’ve known for 5 years.
I am going into this event like I play golf: have fun, enjoy the sunshine, and especially your companions for the day. I then record every score. And as you know, 30 is a high HCP, but as you observed, I can pull in some winnings when in competition. Tomorrow with the doctor, all I want to know is when and where to go for treatment, and I promise to be there. He knows the cells and treatments, I’m not interested in learning. It never made a difference in whom my opponent in the game was, just don’t be an a-hole, you play your match, and if I focus, I’ll beat you.
Back to where you can help: I have at least one child with me thru the end of April (Tony’s organization skills are alive through them). I live alone, and cooking for one is dismal, so if you feel inspired to try a recipe, text or e-mail what/when you’d like to share with my child and I, we’ll plunk you into the schedule.
I’ve lost 11 lbs since Feb 15, and have to fatten up for successful future treatments. Once you’re on the schedule, we will set the table for you, whatever you bring, BYOB (we have ice water), we’ll share your meal and talk (some medicine has made me a chatterbox, I have to say “shut up Louise”). Share your meal, repack any leftovers and take them home with you. My family will clean up our dishes. After Tony’s memorial, we had so many generous offerings of food, we did not have enough room to put it all, so we would like to space this out, this will be going on for months. So come, share, and let my life remain simple.
I’m fine, euphoric actually. I went through an emotional rollercoaster. Unbelievable: I’m in no pain, the worst so far has been needle pricks for blood tests and scans.
Again, no calls, cards, flowers please. E-mail or text, (352) 382-5579, I am letting phone calls go to voice mail.
Who knew that this fun game of golf would build into a great group of true friends... it’s hard to express just how lovely it is to live in a community surrounded by such caring, wonderful friends.
Thank you, and love back to all of you,
Here is a second letter sent out one month ago...
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2016 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: Lucky Lou not a eulogy
It’s been just over a month since I was diagnosed with brain cancer. To slow down the SW rumor mill, here is what is going on. My doctor, Dr. Raju Rao, is an oncologist at Florida Cancer Specialists in Brooksville. He hass treated me for 5 years for an unrelated minor condition, so am lucky to have a well-respected doctor who already knows me. My treatment for radiation and chemo started today, and is scheduled through May 15th. The treatment takes only 10 mins each weekday.
I am on steroids at the moment, which means all my senses are working overtime. I have a great appetite and the happiest mood ever! Since Day 1, each of my children have come from out of town to take turns to stay with me throughout the treatment, and we’ve had a wonderful time. Meanwhile, please understand that I am cautious about visitors: as you can understand, I need to avoid germs during the treatment.
I am confident in my doctors and treatment plan. I am buoyed knowing I have such good friends here, and look forward to catching up with you when I return to a more normal routine after this treatment finishes in a few weeks.
In closing, I’d like to share the Serenity Prayer, which has guided our family.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference
Also: I live to left of the 8th green of Oak. White house with blue shutters. Most days I’m sitting at the table on the lanai ( birds are migrating right now and the view is perfect to watch chips putts.) Wave “Hi”.
P.s. Our refrigerator is packed full, so don't worry about bringing any extra food! We have plenty...and thanks for your prayers and good wishes.
Sincerely yours, her five loving children: (oldest to youngest): Val Hendry, Jay Schmid, Jean Morrill, Ed Schmid, and Barb O'Kane