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Jan. 23rd, 2009

my arms!  Created by feymaker

One year ago

One year ago today, Lady Ro's (Lynn Hunter) light was extinguished and the world made a darker place because of it.

I ask that those of you who are her friends and of a religious bent, please say a prayer for her soul's repose. Those of you who aren't religious or didn't know her, please just think happy thoughts and well-wishes that her journey to her next destination is swift and light.

Thank you.

-Drake (AKA The Crusader)

Nov. 20th, 2008

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Tribute to Ro

Hello everyone, The Crusader here.

I've something I want to share with the people who meant so much to Ro. At first, I wasn't sure I should, since I think it's likely that some folks won't "get it", and might misunderstand or misinterpret it. This is mostly intended for those of you, to quote Willy Wonka, who are "the music makers and the dreamers of dreams." If my gesture seems silly or childish to you, that's okay; it wouldn't be the first time something I did was called that.

I'll explain more after the cut, but for now, I simply present to you:

Rowan & Alysandir

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Oct. 3rd, 2008

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Ro's birthday

Good morning everyone, Drake (The Crusader) here,

Today would have been Ro's 56th birthday. Happy birthday, beloved.

Fifty-five is far too young to die. Even if you're still lucky enough to be one of those snot-nosed kids who thinks turning 40 makes you old, keep in mind that Ro's mother lived to almost 80. That's *twenty-five* years that Ro's genetics could have kept her alive for, and maybe even longer, given that her mother died from a long battle with emphasema, and not old age. Ro's heart was strong, her blood pressure fantastic, her cholesterol good; by all rights she should still be chugging along full steam. Even more staggering is the fact that Ro was diagnosed with cancer shortly after her *49th birthday*. If that isn't a sobering thought for most of us out there, I don't know what is.

Could she have done anything to prevent the cancer from happening? Probably not.

Could she have done anything to improve her chances of survival? ABSOLUTELY.

Ro's cancer originally presented itself as a tumor on the inside of her lower intestine, in the area of the colon. By the time it was discovered, it had grown large enough to completely block her colon, and more importantly, had expanded to her lymphatic system, greatly increasing the odds that it would metasticize, which it ultimately did. That tumor did not get there overnight; it had been growing and forming over the course of *years*, with Ro none the wiser.

If Ro only had scheduled regular yearly colonoscopies, recommended for *anyone* over the age of 40, she could have:

- spared herself from six years of chemotherapy and radiation and all the painful side effects and discomfort that came with it. And believe me when I say that it was a lot worse for her than she let on to *anyone*, except for me.
- spared herself from over two dozen surgeries and three dozen hospital stays overall.
- lived another 2 to 3 *decades* in the company of her friends, family, and loving husband.

But she didn't. She was uncomfortable with the idea of someone sticking anything in her behind, despite the fact that the procedure is painless and she would have been sedated the entire time. Too embarrassing. Too invasive. Well let me tell you, not a day went by over those six years that neither she, nor I, regretted not doing that simple 30 minute screening once a year. I'm just as much to blame. I knew the risks, I knew she should be doing it, but I never forced the issue because I figured it would never happen to her. Now I have to live with that, and without her, for the rest of my life.

Please...don't let my wife's death be in vain. Learn from her tragedy, and get yourself screened for colon cancer if you're over 40. Your loved ones will thank you for it.

-Drake

Jan. 24th, 2008

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Ro's services

Ro's viewing will be held at Beall Funeral Home in Bowie, MD (address below) on Friday from 2-4pm and again at 6-8pm. Ro's funeral Mass will be held at St. Jerome's Church in Hyattsville, MD (address below) at 10am on Saturday. Ro has requested to be cremated, so there will not be a graveside service following the Mass.

Mapquest.com does a very good job with directions to both these locations:

Beall Funeral Home
6512 Crain Hwy Bowie, MD 20715, US
301-805-5544

St. Jerome's Church
5205 43rd Ave Hyattsville, MD 20781, US
301-927-6684

In lieu of flowers, we ask that people make a donation in Ro's name (Lynn M. Hunter) to her favorite charity, the Humane Society of the United States. Donations can be made by following this link: https://secure.hsus.org/01/makeadonation

I want to personally thank everyone for their sympathy and kind words during this very difficult time. I cannot adequately describe how I feel right now; the English language doesn't have the words for it. I am grateful that Ro touched so many peoples' lives because that means her memory will continue to live on and serve as inspiration or comfort when each of us face our own struggles and challenges in trying to negotiate this often difficult world we live in. But I am with all of you when I say that I already miss her dearly.

I don't know how many of you consider yourself to be religious or spiritual people, I frankly don't know where I am on that scale right now, but for what it is worth... My mother, who stayed over last night because she did not want me to be alone, said that at one point she woke up and was aware of someone heading up the stairs, and knew it was not me, because or stairs creak whenever someone goes up/down them. She can't/won't describe for me what she saw, but she insists that she was not dreaming and insists that it was Lynn. When she got up to head up stairs, she found nothing. But she fervently believes that it was Lynn heading up stairs to check on me, and believe me when I say that my mother is neither terribly religious, nor holds any belief in mysticism or the occult, nor is prone to story-telling or imagination. So, take whatever comfort you wish from that; maybe it was a dream after all, or maybe Lynn's doing just fine and is looking after me.

-Drake

Jan. 23rd, 2008

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Ro's long night has ended

Hello everyone,

My name is Drake, and I am Lynn's (Lady Rowan's) husband. It is with deep sadness that I must tell you that Rowan has succumbed to her six-year battle with cancer this afternoon. She passed away in her sleep and did not suffer.

I will be posting viewing and funeral mass information here sometime tomorrow for her friends in the Maryland area.

Thank you for keeping my wife in your thoughts and prayers.

-Drake

Dec. 24th, 2007

my arms!  Created by feymaker

bad news

been trying to figure out a way to post this, but there is no easy way.

The cancer has exploded. Without a iracle, my time is limited. I spent 11 days in the hospital, there is no surgeryn thatnwill help - only a miracle.

I;m praying hard for one - please do so also. I am not ready to go.

Again, I apologize for the bluntness of this entry - there just isn't any other way to say this.

Nov. 14th, 2007

my arms!  Created by feymaker

My Entry for the Shag A Thon over at Giles_Shagathon

Yes, I am a geek. And I adore Anthony Steward Head.... You have been warned

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Nov. 12th, 2007

my arms!  Created by feymaker

To Our Veterans

Thank you for what you have done. Because of you (and men like my Dad - God rest his soul), I am free and I live in the greatest country in the world.

No matter how badly the politicians screw things up and screw us over, it is folks like you who make this country worth living in.

My Dad (and Mom) always impressed upon me that to live in America was a privilege. One that called for a payment, which might be as simple as voting or sitting on a jury, but might be as complex and dangerous as being called to put my body on the line.

Thank the mercy of God, I was never called to be a soldier. And thank you for taking care of that duty for me.

Nov. 11th, 2007

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Bump in the Road

The cancer is resisting the Xeloda and Erbitux, so we are switching to another chemo. Luckily, cancer has a short memory and forgets what has been done before, so it's back on infusion and oxiliplatin. Bummer. At least this time there are meds to deal with the oxiliplatin side effects.

Also looks like some radiation for the lump on the side. On the CATscan it offers a density that could be cancer. Also some nodes in the belly that could be cancer or lymphedema - no way to tell, so erring on the side of caution, we are switching treatments.

So prayers, dear ones, as always. We will sort out this bump in the road, and persevere forward.

Ya'll ain't getting rid of me yet....

Nov. 4th, 2007

my arms!  Created by feymaker

Yesterday

Was not a good day.

Second anniversary of Mom's death, and I still miss her so much. Are you ever old enough to lose your Mom? Not in my case.

I could have gone to Jeff and Rie's open house, but I did not want to inflict me on other folks - it was bad enough that I bedeviled The Crusader with my mood.

Today I am a little better and am going out to TAG - up at Lady Wynne's.

I did 6 miles on the bike in 22 minutes - the last 2 minutes and 1/2 mile were to hit 200 miles on my Walk to Rivendell. I am almost half way to Rivendell! And I have achieved almost 37 miles out of the 50 I pledged to exercise by 11/14. I'm shocked that I've actually exercised every day since 10/29!

Anyone who is interested the Walk to Rivendell is a yahoo group based off of this website:

http://shieldmaidens.net/mileagedatabase/index.php

I lead such a glamourous life, don't I?

And if you haven't already - turn your clocks back!

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my arms!  Created by feymaker

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