Updated: Sep 19
There are so many new readers, and this blog is about to change … so I figured this was a good time to catch you up…(if you want the short version), otherwise you can go back and read. I get so many questions so hoping to answer those here.
September, 1997 (one year out of high school) I met Trey. Been Best Friends, and partners for 23 years. We had been through it all. All of it. Owned a small business together, by small, I mean REALLY small. Affectionately???(or maybe not) named Blooming Idiots by Treys mother. That closed down after about two years, and I started cleaning job sites for Trey…I’m not a very good cleaner. Soon there after I started helping Trey with his work. Trey worked with/for his parents that had a construction company for 28 years. Worked there for a long time. A long long time. Parents retired…it was just Trey now. I helped. Everything changed. Just changed. Instead of Brenda having all the stress, it was us now. We did pretty well. I think. It was a bumpy ride, but we had a decent suspension. We made it through.
August 10, 2018. Trey was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. In his liver, colon, and possibly his lymph system. Stage 4 cancer.
Life changed. Drastically. Not really by Treys choice, because he would have not changed a thing if it were up to him. After his first few treatments he would go to the office. Pop his head in, sometimes the same day of treatment. I put a stop to that almost immediately. He would get a neulasta shot patch that would automatically inject 3 days after chemo to ‘protect’ him more. Until that shot went off…he could be around no one. No germs, no anything. That was the first big change.
Chemo is tough. It just gets tougher and tougher. It wore Trey down. He stayed at home, always. His assistant at work would come and they’d work here. When he could. Things just really started changing.
What’s weird is I can see it all now…but then, we were just doing what needed to be done. Making it. Pushing through.
About a year before Trey was diagnosed…he hired Benton. Against everyone’s opinion - he was not the most qualified, in fact he had no qualifications. At all. But, Trey saw something, and knew he was right. Benton was kinda sorta Treys prodigy, unknowingly. Trey taught him everything he could - from the day he interviewed, until the very end. Nothing more than student, and mentor…or friends.
Benton hit some rough times. Needed somewhere to get his head right, somewhere he could focus.
February, 2018 - Benton moves in…for SIX Months. During that time Trey tutored Benton every night almost - to sit for his project management certification. He took it in June, and failed. Trey told him he would. Took it in July, and passed. That was a big deal. Benton went on salary, and got a raise. It was a big moment, for them both.
August, 2018 - Benton is moving out. Packed and ready to go. All is well.
August 10 - Trey is in so much pain in his right shoulder I rush him to the emergency room.
We are told to call an Oncologist Monday morning. It looks like cancer.
Benton drives us home from the hospital. He had gotten a ride down as soon as he heard.
August 17 - the diagnoses. Also, Treys birthday.
Long story short…Benton never moved out. He stayed, and helped from day 1. Cleaning, constantly…sitting with Trey always. While I cooked, outside (smells were not a good thing) Trey, and Benton became really good friends. We all did. I depended on Benton for just about everything. Somehow, the three of us just made it all work. When I needed a mental moment(breakdown), benton was right there for Trey. So that I could go outside, or wherever, and just lose it. I never ever wanted to get upset in front of Trey.
Also, caring for someone with cancer…is NOT easy. It’s an emotional roller coaster. So if you know a caregiver…just be there for them. They need it.
We pushed through everything. With April at the office…I don’t know how, but we made it work.
January 2020 - we got back from a cross country RV trip. I was sick as a dog…I had gotten a ‘cold’ at the Grand Canyon(HELL -never visit)
January 13, 2020. First day back at work. 4pm. 12 clotting strokes, followed by a 13th massive pons hemorrhage.
I was a mess.
Made my way through viral pneumonia, ventilators, tracheotomy, rehab, learning to walk, eat, talk, everything. All because I needed to take care of Trey, I needed to make sure everything was okay.
The one thing I’ve never been able to recover is my vision. I have Gaze palsy in both eyes. Basically my eyes do not move left, or right. They’re frozen in place, and cross eyed, so I have horrible permanent double vision, along with no peripheral vision. Also when I get very tired still by eyes ‘bounce’ so I see even less clearly. I was never able to fully focus on anything in the hospital at all.
I made it out of the hospital FINALLY. 4 days later Trey had a chemo appointment. We never made it. Trey was admitted to the hospital for one week.
March 7 - we went to see a movie.
March 8 - Trey kicked the hospice lady out of the house. Told her he did not need her.
March 10 - hospice comes back
March 15 - hospice home care stops because of Corona Virus.
March 16 - my birthday
March 18 -
At 4am my world Changes.
I tell Trey again I’ll be okay. Everything will be okay.
June 12 - Treys inurnment.
During lockdown I had no therapy, nothing. I kept Trey at home. Carried him everywhere we went…I could not just leave him at home. By the time the abbey re-opened for the inurnment it was incredibly INCREDIBLY hard to leave him there. We all went to lunch, and I just remember needing, and wanting to go back. After lunch we did.
I went up three times a week for awhile. Then on Wednesdays, and Saturdays (it’s an hour drive, and eats up gas) it took me quite awhile to be okay with that. Now that Benton is in school and working, we go up every Saturday. And if I miss a Saturday - it shows.
In the last weeks Trey was with us - he gave me a lot of to do’s. The main one was to make sure that my mom didn’t have to fly across the county to get the care I needed while in the hospital. Nothing could be done without her permission in the situation I was in.
Trey had set up Benton as an additional proxy on all of my medical records. He made Benton promise over and over to take care of me. He made me promise to be nice to Benton. In the end he told us to make it official, and take care of one another.
October 15 @ 5pm on Treys favorite spot on earth, Benton & I were married by some crackhead peace bird lady in Big Sur, CA. We had never met her, or talked to her…and during the Ceremony, she started Talking about Trey like she knew him. How he was always there in the breeze, and always with us. It was extremely emotional.
December 4, 2020 - I had facial reanimation surgery for 14 hours. They took a nerve out of my right thigh, and rewired the right side of my face. And installed two slings in my cheek bones holding my face up.
Therapy has restarted, PT, facial, and speech therapy starting soon.
Life has totally totally changed. I forfeited my drivers license this year. I’m totally dependently independent. Treys parents - Tommy & Brenda, take me to most of my therapy appointments - and listen to me and all my problems all the time.
Benton is in school for architecture, and drafting. Continuing on with everything Trey taught him. And working as hard as he can.
Me……I’m home. Bored. Watching the cars go by, and cutting the grass. I plan on going back to school ASAP, and switching course totally. I want to help people suffering from strokes to get through it all. Counseling, just talking, anything really. I also want to be able to talk to, and help caregivers of stroke victims, or also cancer patients… because I know how incredibly difficult both can be, and how all of that feels.
So - wherever that may take me - or lead me to. I’m here for the ride.
If you would like more in depth, feel free to go back and rad from the beginning, or pick and choose what to read. This sums it all up so you should be able to understand anything from here.