Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Closing Thoughts

In sorting through Mum's possessions we found the following notes on various aspects of her life.

Tim and I have decided to share these in an unedited form as the last entry on this blog.

Again we would like to thank everyone for their continued support and kindness.

As a daughter -

I led a happy life with mother playing lead parenting and caring role.

I was a fairly compliant child and later in life sometimes wished I had been more rebellious.

Happiest days were at the beautiful Glennifer Brae age 8-16, so grateful to my parents for this opportunity.

I probably didn't achieve to the levels my parents hoped for, but I don't think I embarrassed them.

As a sister -

I was the big sister to Leigh and Scott. I don't recall fighting with either of them, although they bickered with each other constantly.

I don't recall a cross word with them during my whole life time. You'll have to ask them if I was an appropriate big sister.

They have each been a great support to me particularly since late 2000.

As a wife -

I loved the soft submission into wife hood, partnership, security, mutual understanding, togetherness and independence as an individual and a couple.

Never felt I had to live up to any particular expectations, just knew that I would met whatever they were (unstated) and mine would be met.

I was wrong.

We all make many mistakes in life - that was my worst by a long shot. 33 years of not knowing how it was meant to be.

For the last twelve years I have been grieving my losses
- love of my life
- being his wife
- my family unit
- a later life of togetherness
- belief in myself and my decision making with regards to family

As a mother -

Did it all by the seat of my pants.

Being a mother is the most fulfilling role I played in my life.

The responsibility is huge and could be overwhelming. Fortunately there's not really time to think about it, so you just get on with it.

I resolved to bring my children up to be great people who would be caring achievers and make a positive contribution during their lives.

As a grandmother -

I've had a long distance role.

The disadvantage is the lack of constant contact and the comfortable familiarity that comes with it. They have to get to know you again with each contact. The advantage is that when there is contact it's of the 24 hour kind.

I've been privileged that my children have welcomed me into their lives and their homes to experience round the clock grand mothering.

I hope Zeke and Willow and Oscar will remember their Mumma as a grandmother who was fun and made them laugh, taught them special things, was firm but fair and (unfinished)

As a cancer patient I learnt

- You need to take charge of your own case

- That the system is not perfect, doctors make mistakes

- That the final decision is yours alone

- That friends are amazing people

- It's ok to ask people to help


Friday, November 9, 2012

A great loss

Terrie Anne Baxter passed away Wednesday November 7th 2012.
Loved by many and especially missed by her family and close friends.
Aged 65 years.

If your life has been touched by Terrie please join her family for a Celebration of her life to be held at Glennifer Brae, Murphys Avenue, Keiraville on Saturday November 17th at 2pm.
Please consider that parking will be limited.
No flowers. Donations to Cancer Council Australia, Wollongong to the Jodi Lee Foundation in her name gratefully received.


Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm still here!

Just a quick update.

Since I last wrote I have been having some good days and some bad days. I am beautifully looked  after by my sister and the crew of friends who have rallied around and the nurses who come daily to administer the medication. I am in no pain and able ( with help) to get out of bed to shower and sit in the sun for a brief time. I even sit in white cane rocking chair -)

Thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me.

Terrie. Saturday

Friday, October 12, 2012

And now

My dear readers
The trip home from Atlanta via San Francisco was great.   Nikki and I spent a day together in downtown San Fran and visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It was marvellous. My sister, Leigh, joined us in our hotel room in the afternoon and it was lovely the three of us being together for a few hours

Nikki saw Leigh and me off through the security system at the international terminal before she went off to catch the red-eye flight back to Atlanta. Leigh and I settled into our business class seats and had an excellent trip to Sydney. Still on a fluids-only diet, I consumed a considerable amount of ice cream during the flight :-)

Once home again it was straight into tests and consultations with doctors. It is now time to tell you that my prognosis is, yet again, not good.

As my readers you have been the inspiration that has kept me going over the past 6 years.

I hope you know how important you are to me.

I have been able to get up in the mornings knowing there is more to the day than doctors'appointmentsbloodtestsscansherbaltabletsacupuncturerestricteddietchemotherapyradiotherapyvomitingheadachesnoalcoholcheesenoredmeatoncologistsradiotherapistsgeneralpractionersnursesradiographersbloodthinnerstedssurgeryhospitals
I thank you every day for your love and support.

You know that I have recently been in the USA, in Atlanta, with Nikki and her family.  While there I was hospitalised twice in a month with a blocked bowel. The CT scans taken on both occasions, a month apart, and the PET scan I had in Sydney last week show rapid growth in the tumours that are attacking my small bowel. The doctors say these blockages will keep occurring more frequently and that eventually, sooner rather than later, my system will shut down. There is no further treatment that I can have that will be effective.

Needless to say, I am not just giving up. I will continue to live each day as full of energy as I can, implementing preventative treatment while I can, and getting on with normal life while I can. So, please keep in touch and let's keep doing what we always do.

I won't always be able to respond and I'm sure you'll understand that.

I have moved into my sister-in-law's home in Mt. Ousley at her
very generous insistence as she will not be there. There is room there
for me and for my sister, Leigh, to stay and care for me. And plenty of
room for visitors to park and stay!

Terrie. Thursday 17 October

Sunday, September 30, 2012

From my beautiful daughter

Nikki wrote this last week. Just click on the link


Terrie - for now

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Going home

Well, the doctors have advised, the patient has listened and considered, the family has agreed and I am heading home next week.

I am still on a fluids-only diet, which is keeping me going. I guess that's what it will be until, or if, there is some resolution with the blockage in my bowel.

I will fly from Atlanta to San Francisco on Monday and my beautiful daughter will accompany me. We will stay overnight there, when my equally beautiful sister will join us on Tuesday. She and I will fly together from San Francisco to Sydney while Nikki returns to Atlanta.

How difficult it will be to say goodbye to Nikki and her gorgeous family who have embraced me in their new home in the US over the past two months. It has been such a special time. I have read Winnie the Pooh to the children and tonight, 9 year old Zeke read a chapter of his Harry Potter book to me and 6 year old Willow is now reading her new school readers to me. What a treat for a grandma! I will have precious memories of them all in their new home, in their new country.

Nobody really knows what I have ahead of me, but my conversation with my Australian oncologist has given me the courage to return home and help me look for a resolution.

So now I fly, with strict instructions from doctors about medication and consumption beforehand and during the flight.

Terrie - for now

Monday, September 24, 2012

On a lighter note

During the past week we have celebrated Willow's 6th birthday. We made fairy bread and introduced it to her American party friends. Mainly they were not so keen. The parents were fascinated, but hesitant to try. So most of the fairy bread was eaten by the birthday girl and her brother.

Terrie, for now