Ham & Cheese, Please.

With Miracle Whip:Fun Times Mom Dad grandkids September 7 2011
The Sandwich Generation
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

That’s the life I’m being served up, at this time. That of the “sandwich generation”.  I’ve recently stepped into the role of caring for my aging parents while supporting my own children. Wowza, did that happen fast! Thank God I have siblings that are pitching in.

To recap… (

2 weeks ago…”Then finally, on the path to back surgery, my dad’s health has significantly diminished. Not sure what exactly has happened here. But he surely isn’t the same man he was only a short month ago. So with this intro, I’ve gotta run. It’s back to my parents place to help my mom navigate through this strange, unwanted new world as we work with professionals to figure out….what the heck is going on?”


Last week…”Above was the introduction to last week’s JAK Happenings weekly e-newsletter. That next day, Friday, May 1st, my dad was taken to the hospital via paramedics and admitted, diagnosed (well, not completely) With primary central nervous system lymphoma…cancer in the brain. There are dark spots revealed on an MRI taken on his back that pathology will soon uncover. We should have a course(s) of treatment presented this weekend.    

This is not anywhere near what we expected. But who does expect to have cancer enter your world? What I do expect is a miracle, our family to grow closer, and for you to be kept in the loop. This is life. Cancer sucks!”

At this moment…and dang how fast things change. 😦
As I was typing this out and anticipating sharing with you that my dad had a great week, the hospital just called my mom to get consent on doing a scope procedure this evening. Yes, like 10:30pm, to find out why my dad’s stomach is filling up with air. He may have an ulcer in his stomach. If that’s the case, it’ll be patched. If in the bowel, that part will be removed and dad will have to have a colostomy bag. All this, and a change of events that likely will prevent his leaving the hospital for room 39 at a rehabilitation facility. Yup, that was all set up for tomorrow, pending his discharge.

Chemo was administered last Saturday, seemingly, without any side effects. Dad was “coming along” quite well…if I only took the time to describe where he was, to how he was doing right before today’s setback. It has been nothing short of a miracle. I believe in miracles. I witnessed a couple during this process.

So while dad is at the hospital being cared for, thankfully my younger sister is on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and is staying with my mom who has suffered setbacks in part, as a result of my dad’s situation. For most of this week, I’ve been able to be at home with my husband and kids. I felt a bit more normal than I did the two weeks prior.

When your parents are healthy, you take life for granted. Eat it up, by golly! I’ve have friends who have crossed over into the caregiving role for their parents, whether they come to live with them or having to be involved in life decisions on their behalf. As always, it comes so fast, it just consumes you. Not sure how I could’ve prepared for it. So I (we) take it as it comes. And apparently it keeps coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. Typically, when I write, it’s about my kids, parenting, situations. This is part of the circle of life, most of us will experience. #AMiracle4Dad


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