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Friday, June 30, 2006


Still no news about Amber. We have done all we can and now we just have to wait and wonder. We have walked the neighborhood many times and called everyone…….a friend called the police and one came last night at 9:00 to take a report. The radio station has had it on and the mystery continues.

Rocky, Becky and I have gone over a thousand times about what could have happened…….until there is nothing left to consider. She was such a tiny little helpless thing I can’t imagine anyone being cruel to her. She had such a sweet personality and was defenseless against any harm.

Of course, we all miss her and her bed is in this computer room so it is a constant reminder. I can’t bring myself to remove it in hopes she may come back somehow. I will let you know if we ever find out what happened to her.

Thank you for your concern and heartfelt sympathy. We appreciate all of you.

Until next time,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, June 29, 2006


We are so distraught because our little teacup poodle, Amber, is missing. I put her out around noon and checked on her once, then waited for her usual bark to let me know she wanted in. I was busy and forgot about her for a while and when I went to check on her she was gone.

Rocky and I immediately began combing the neighborhood although she rarely roamed more than a few feet from the garage to the house. We looked and called, for hours and when Becky came home, she helped us look until we were all tired and realistically didn’t think she would be found.

When I called a neighbor, he said his daughter and family lost their black lab and they were looking for him. They had been driving up and down the road in hopes of finding him even though, he, like Amber wasn’t in the habit of straying from the yard. We began to fear someone was picking dogs up in our area……which they sometimes do and then sell them for laboratory dogs. It is a sleezy and evil way to make money.

Little Amber has been such a sweetheart. She has a very big heart, though a very little dog. Rocky is terribly sad because she was the last one he had of the dogs he bred and raised for many years. We have called our radio station and they were very helpful and sympathetic. The man I talked to said he would put it on the air tonight and also in the morning…….and would have the other stations in our area put it on their airways as well.

I know many of you are pet owners and like us, consider them family members. We all loved Amber and hope we can get her back. If you feel up to praying for a doggie, we would appreciate your prayers on her behalf.

A sad day at our house,
Essentially Esther

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Give me a day where there are no surprises and I have a good day. Unlike yesterday everything went according to plan today and we got home much earlier. We’ve had lunch and Rocky is dozing and watching TV while I get a loaf of bread going and clean all the produce we brought back from WalMart.

Wednesday seems to be their main delivery on produce and it is always so fresh and crisp etc; etc; that I end up with a basket full. But when you juice a lot it goes in a hurry. Anyway, we managed to do our errands and end up at The Grapevine for another nice lunch. We were a little taken back when the waiter apologized for the length of time it was taking…..they had two new cooks and said our orders would soon be out.

Now I don’t know about you but when I hear there’s a new cook in the kitchen, I think bad things right away. Being a cook of long standing, I know the fiasco’s that plague the best of cooks……and when you are in a new place with a new menu, owner, and the noon rush is on……I could see a poor offering coming to our table.

To be truthful, Rocky’s Tomato Bisque soup was lukewarm…..that set us up for a negative attitude right off. I have to say, when they brought my Reuben Sandwich and Rocky’s Three Cheese Lasagna…….it was great. We gave a silent salute to the chef and finished our meal in jig time. We arrived before the bulk of diners so we were in and out before it became a full sized crowd.

Once home, all the critters came bouncing and meowing, barking and doing their “welcome home” dance while we unloaded the groceries. I think our appointments are over until next Wednesday now, barring unforeseen accidents. That will give us time to rest up and get some mowing and yard work done…….and then…..there are lots of other things we would like to get done when there is time.

So for today I’m going to cut this short. We hope your week is on target and the only surprises you get are the good kind.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


We have had a busy day. Half was very busy and half was waiting around for the next part of Rocky’s procedure today. For some reason I woke early to the birds singing loud in our window. A red bud tree is right outside and the birds love to ‘sit a spell’ as they alternate between the sunflower seeds and fresh water put out for them. I guess they are grateful and want to thank us.

I tried to gather my senses about what had to be done before we could leave for Rocky’s appointment and as the mental list kept getting longer, I bounced out at 6:30 and began the chores before leaving. Tuesday is also trash day in our section on town so that had to be taken out…….I decided to let Rocky sleep as long as he could because I knew it would be a long day.

Just when I was ready to make my coffee and pat myself on the back for being so far ahead of schedule the phone rang. It was the nurse from the hospital saying the first appointment had canceled and would we like to come in early? We could come as soon as we wanted. Of course, I jumped at the chance so we wouldn’t be so late in the day getting home.

Rocky heard the phone and was out of bed…….when I told him we could go early, we both shoved into high gear and left by 8:30. We were at the Admittance Office by 9:00 and things looked backed up. The ladies behind the desk already looked haggard and we settled in for a wait before we could even be admitted.

They didn’t get the “hurry up and come early part” at all……they moved with maddening slowness and deliberation…..the clock ticking all the while. If you are getting the idea we were anxious……you’re right. The clock was fast getting around to our normal appointment time.

Finally a nurse came to take us back and after more paper work and an attempt to put an I.V. in Rocky she called for help. A big six foot guy came in and got the job done after taking him to another room. Just when we thought things were looking up, we were told to go back to the waiting room…….and wait. They would call us. So we waited and waited and everyone waiting with us was complaining about waiting………one by one they were taken for this, that and the other……while the rest of us……yes……waited for our turn.

Lunch time came and went and finally Rocky and the nurse showed up with the news that we were going to have a complimentary lunch in the hospital cafeteria. We rushed down three different halls to make the deadline before closing. It wasn’t great but we were starved and we could have eaten anything and been grateful.

Rocky still had to wait for the final phase of his stress test…….believe me….I was stressed without the test. I think I knit a foot of afghan before we were finally finished. We turned the lights out in the waiting room at 3:30 and drove home by 4:00. Of course, no one did the KP while I was gone so Rocky and I did the necessary things and ate some supper. Becky came by with the bad news that Jonathan’s mother-in-law was in the hospital at St. Louis with very serious congested heart failure. Aimee had taken her and Brady up for their appointments and they kept Lena as she was in such dire straights. Aimee drove home with Brady by herself and I guess he was not a happy camper. She had her hands full. Becky went to help as soon as she got home.

I did some fast fertilizing of the flower garden, did some laundry and now I think I’m ready to go back tomorrow for Rocky’s lab work. We won’t know the results of the stress test for a couple of days probably but I’ll post as soon as we know anything.

Needless to say, we are both very tired but thank goodness for a good bed and time to sleep…….tomorrow is another day and the last of his appointments until next Wednesday when we go for Rocky’s last chemo treatment of this series. Dr. Morgan could stand a few prayers as he tries to decide the best and most effective treatment from here on.

One thing that impressed me as I leafed through a magazine today were a few beautiful words……. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” I couldn’t agree more and I hope you have a lot of them as I do.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Monday, June 26, 2006


The hour is getting late and we’ve had a big day here. Rocky’s daughter, Holly, and family came for the day and we had a nice meal and good visit together. The weather is absolutely perfect. No humidity, cool temps for June and the livin’ is easy.

The weekend was quiet. The first weekend after Rocky has his chemo is a bummer. He feels so tired and yukky but they tell us if he didn’t feel that way the chemo wouldn’t be doing it’s job. So with the good CEA numbers we’ve enjoyed, there has to be some pay-back. Nothing good ever comes without a price.

Tomorrow he goes for a stress test to make sure the two prior heart attacks have not compromised his recovery. Dr. Morgan and Dr. Lewandowski were both concerned enough that we are to have a “look see” about it and in the morning we go for that. I’ll give a report on the findings when we get back home.

We’re closing shop here tonight and going to get comfy until news time……then off to bed for an early start in the morning. We hope you are all having a great week where you are and we’ll be talking to you soon.

Good night from the Ozarks,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, June 22, 2006


The Cancer Clinic is an excellent place to observe people at the core of their existence. Young, old, in-between, well dressed, ragged, slim, fat, they come through the doors which will enter them into hope or despair. They all come because they are at the last stronghold of defense from cancer.

Some are there for the first time. Like Freshmen in a High School they just moved to they seem unsure and the look in their eyes give them away….. “first timers.” It took a lot of courage for some to make this pilgrimage but for others who are in the latter stages of their chemo it’s like a social time with people they’ve sat next to and shared life stories as the chemo drips into their port.

The nursing staff is upbeat and cheery. They playfully tease their patients for the day…..it is of course to put them at ease and hopefully take some of the fear out of the visit. On days when the reports are in with a trip down the hall to the doctor’s office, some come back grim, others with relief written all over them. The visit to the doctor twice a month is to review the treatment and see what needs to be tweaked.

It is a time and place where you don’t want to be doing a jig when you come back, providing you were fortunate enough to have good news. You are observed by the hopeless, the ones in last stage pain and others up and down the scale. It would be cruel to announce the good news you just received. Some will never hear that from their doctor.

No one has any guarantee for more than a day. Cancer is cruel and by the next visit there are a lot of variables that could land you in left field as well. At the very least, you don’t want to appear smug or condescending because the tables can turn swiftly and find you on the other end of nowhere.

It is a field of suffering on different levels. Sometimes the stress is worse than the physical effect of the cancer…..wherever it happens to be. For some it is very painful, for others, there is no pain. The worst pain is wondering how long you will be here, the effect it has on your family and friends, the uncertainty is the worst. Most of us like life in a neat package…..kind of like a mental note pad. Everything parceled out to our pleasure. Cancer doesn’t come wrapped in pink ribbon……only a life that seems to be unraveling at the seams.

I accompany Rocky each time and sit on a chair by his recliner while the various bags of liquid flow into him. He reads or sleeps, I sit and knit and my mind wanders around the room, wondering how these other people got to this place as we did. For us, it came one day last March when we made a routine visit to see Dr. Lewandowski.

At that time, we were dreading to hear he would probably have to undergo another colonoscopy and we were hoping he didn’t have to. The next few moments changed our lives forever. “ I wish I didn’t have to tell you this, but it’s colon cancer.” We stared at him as if he just spoke in Swahili. It took a while to make it’s claim on our senses.

Wednesday as I sat knitting I noticed a plaque on the wall and I got up to read the words…..they speak for all of us.


It cannot cripple love.
It cannot erode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the spirit.
It cannot lesson the power of the resurrection.

(Author unknown.)

Until the next time,
Essentially Esther

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Well today was memorable. Dr. Morgan could barely keep a big smile off his face. He came bouncing into the room, asking Rocky how he felt today. Rocky said fine and waited for the report that Dr. Morgan had in his hand. We were kind of tipped off by the nurse that it was good news.

Results of the Echocardiogram showed some damage from the past…..relating to the two heart attacks Rocky had in 1983 and 1994. He thought it might be a good idea to see a heart doctor just to make sure we were in safe territory with the chemo treatments and direction Dr. Morgan was going. He is a very cautious and thorough guy and we like him a lot.

Next down the list was the fact all of the blood work was right on target. Doing great with that. The smile prompter was next……the CEA report. Now remember, after the first month it was 148.7.……last month it was down to 43 and today it was down to 10.4.………YES……10.4 !!!! Dr. Morgan said this shows Rocky is responding to treatment in a dramatic way….the tumors are shrinking and we have one more chemo treatment before the big conference on where to go from here.

It is considered “normal” if the CEA number is below 5 and we aren’t far away from that, obviously. Dr. Morgan made it clear that although the tumors were shrunk to a normal range, there was still the fact it could return anywhere at any time. It is a terminal situation but the good news is, we can postpone the inevitable.

Our Dr. Wiehe has gone the same route and has managed to survive very healthily for several years. We are doing the same thing he is and apparently those results along with Dr. Morgan’s good doctoring may have bought us a little more time.

I have to give both men credit for excellent decision making. Dr. Morgan studiously labors over the reports with each patient and has a personal interest in each one. Dr. Wiehe has spent considerable time with us to get us on the right track with the Integrated Medicines and diet.

Rocky and I are also very grateful for the many people who are praying for us and being concerned. It gives us both pleasure to give you all a good report, which lets you know your prayers are being answered. Thanks to God, doctors and you…….. Rocky and I are giving you a high five right now. This is one team that is on the winning side for the moment and giving all of us hope.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Father’s Day weekend came and went quietly at our house. Rocky had his usual phone calls as all of our children live away except Becky who was in Kansas City to see her dad.

Little Davy Hocking, who lives next door, thinks Rocky is his grandpa. He was born in a family without any grandparents so I became “grandma” when he was a little guy. When Rocky and I married, Rocky, of course had to be grandpa. Sunday afternoon we heard a knock at the door and there was little Davy with a card in his hand and a Pepsi. I asked him in and he presented Rocky with the card (which he said he picked out by himself)……and a cold Pepsi, right out of the frig.

Rocky read his card and remarked what a very nice verse it was and then visited with Davy a while. Pretty soon, our cats began making Davy’s eyes water as he has an allergy to them…….he gave us each a hug and left. I’ve always felt sad that Davy’s own grandparents couldn’t have the hugs and visits that we enjoy as we stand in for them. He’s a little kid with a big heart.

Rocky and I are gearing up for tomorrow’s next chemo treatment. This will make number five. I am anxious to go because we will have results from his Echocardiogram, new lab work and the CEA count for the month. Of course I am always hoping for high numbers in some things and low numbers in others.

We are fast getting to the place where we will have to make our second order of Integrated Medicines. It will be necessary to order them the first of the month. They would have lasted longer had I known he was only to have one of each pill or capsule every day. Next time around I will be better informed and they shall last twice as long. However, with the greatly lowered CEA count the first month, it might be prudent to triple up the doses…….it sure worked in Rocky’s favor. The money is not the factor here….getting Rocky to remission is.

Rocky is working out every day at the gym to be ready for the PowerLifting Meet on July 1st. The chemo will probably keep him away for a couple of days but hopefully he will be ready. If nothing else, the younger men at the gym are getting a lesson in grace under fire. The respect they have for his will to compete is obvious. He is their talisman for the sport they all enjoy. As for Rocky….he wants to beat his own personal best. I hope he can.

I’ll be writing the results of the day once we are home. It will be late in the afternoon.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Friday, June 16, 2006


In honor of Father’s Day I am reprinting a piece I wrote previously. I hope you all have a great weekend honoring that special dad in your life and hopefully you will be able to see him in person. For those of us whose dad’s are no longer with us, we shall content ourselves with some of our favorite memories. I hope you have a few of those.
We are all indebted to our fathers because without them we wouldn’t be here. Period. No matter how good or bad, rich or poor there was some reason for them to father us. For that we should be thankful. For most of us, we came out of a shared love, maybe not the kind of dreams but nonetheless there was passion before us.

When I was formed in my mother’s womb I was known by God and everything I needed or would become was known by Him. I believe that because the 139th Psalm says so. At the time my parents were raising my brother and me fathers didn’t have much to do with raising the family. That was the woman’s job. He made the living and she ran the house and raised the kids. To put a little variety in the mix we had a first generation father of immigrant parents. He struggled between old and new traditions that for the most part were not understood. He was still Danish at home and trying to learn how to be American away. The process took him on a long journey.

I am thankful he was what he taught. He put sound teaching into both of us and at times he was a hard mentor but later on when we were older we could understand that he just wanted us to be good people.

I am thankful that my children’s father was a good man who loved his children and was very much a factor in their raising. He was patient with them and they enjoyed his participation in every detail of their lives.

Being a dad can’t be easy. The buck always stops with him. A dad has to be smart with money, able to fix and repair things, be a yard man, a mechanic, a counselor, a helpmate to his wife, hold down a job and be the world’s greatest lover. If he manages all that and finally sinks into a chair to watch TV there is usually a little guy who wants to sit on his lap and have a story read to him. On his way to bed he puts the dog out, takes a glass of water to number two child and finds his wife is sound asleep…..

So here’s to the dad’s who make our lives rich and funny and safe and happy. Here’s to the guys who are clueless about how his life got lost on the way to the church ……..may you find some consolation in the fact that we love you…..we really, really do………God bless and keep you.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I was reading John’s blog this morning, Walking In A Grassy Field, and we all walked with him as he questioned and attempted to answer his thoughts. Some people walk a field and never question, never have any thoughts. Some people look and never see while others touch and never feel. So what is the difference when one person simply takes a walk and blessings fall like manna from the sky?

I have always been deeply moved by the printed word. A poem, a bit of prose, a good book……someone writing their thoughts down can take me to heights no other can. To me it is the soul of a person speaking rather than a desire “to write.” Oh some people do “write” but it is such worthless fare it isn’t worth a reading.

To have a gift to write and lift others up, to talk in language so beautiful it is lyrical, to inspire so much that a soul is reborn can only come from one who walks along each day with God.

Some people are smart but not wise, others are rich but destitute, there are those who seek and never find…..all because it is a senseless search. God, our maker, is opposite of our senses and the world. His plan is simple. Love…..and then put it to action. That’s it. The mystery of life is settled with those few words.

To all those people, known and unknown, who have made me a better person for reading you, I give thanks. I thank you for the light I see in you………..

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


We got home a little bit ago and after getting the critters all aired out and fed I can tell you that Rocky’s lab work came out “very good” as the nurse said and our visit to the Heart Care Center was pleasant and informative. A nice young man named, Mike, escorted us to his room where he maintains a large computerized machine that showed everything going on in Rocky’s heart. I think it said, “I love Esther,” before it showed anything else. (Yes, I’m egotistical.)

Mike was very nice to explain what each “picture” on the screen was, from the valves to the veins, arteries and all those other little working parts. It was amazing when the sound of the heart beating and the blood going through the veins began. Mike said most people tell him it sounds like a washing machine but he didn’t get that impression. Rocky told me later Mike was too young to know what an old wringer Maytag sounded like drumming along on the back porch…..it was all the “old” people who came up with the comparison….old, like us. LOL It’s a hoot going to doctor’s these days…….just a bunch of kids with brains. An amazing concept.

We will find out the results of the echocardiogram next Wednesday when we go for the fifth chemo treatment. Once out of there we went for lunch. I won a $20 gift certificate to a nice restaurant, called The Grapevine last Saturday at the big sale at the Antique Barn. Every one was allowed to spin a wheel one time for free so I won the gift certificate and Rocky won a tee shirt. The lunch was very tasty and it was enjoyable after being in doctor’s offices all morning.

Rocky wanted to go to the gym to work out and gab with his old buddies while I went for groceries. When I picked him up he told me the first of July is the next Power Lifting Meet and he plans to sign up for it. He will have to shape up quickly but I know he can do anything when his mind is made up…….I’m very proud of him for taking charge and not letting cancer get in the way of what he wants to do.

I’m the dietician, nurse, lover, cheerleader, mother, sister, and plain proud woman to help him through this bump in our journey together. We may be draggin’ sometimes but I do believe we can get the rest of the way by helping each other. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to do some juicing for him and get some supper. We’ll be back here tomorrow, good Lord willing.

Until then,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I sort of missed my Monday deadline for printing so I’ll have to begin earlier today. On Saturday Rocky and Becky went to the big Parking Lot Sale at our local Antique Barn and made a few sales off the trailer. Becky said she thought it was because she was sitting with him and was a good “draw” being fabulously good looking and witty.

After I arrived around nine o’clock, the sales pretty well quit….at least for us. I guess rusty old tools of yesterday aren’t a hot item so now we have the problem of getting rid of them all somehow. I’ve been considering leaving boxes on porches in the middle of the night……kinda like people do with their prolific yields of zucchini.

It was hot and uncomfortable sitting in the shady side of the car as morning drifted into afternoon. I knew Rocky didn’t need to be out in the heat so around two o’clock I insisted we call it a day and ‘get out of Dodge.’ Home felt really nice coming into the air-conditioning……….we soaked up the cool and had a cool drink of tea. After Rocky ate he went to bed at five o’clock.

He got up late the next morning, ate some breakfast, and went back to bed. Finally by four in the afternoon he got up. Guess who isn’t going to get to go to another sale? The man was totally worn out. The good thing is he can now close the chapter on the last of the farm things he brought with him, hating to leave them behind. He kept thinking he wanted to sell them but sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Becky took the day off yesterday to go Antiquing in Springfield. We met each other in George’s lot where I was walking Mandy…….she came in for coffee and Rocky decided he was rested up and felt like going so we did just that. I drove up and Becky drove back. In between, she took us to dinner for Rocky’s Father’s Day a little early as she may go to Kansas City this weekend to visit her dad. She also got a Louis L’Amour book for him which he loves.

We made it through two huge Antique Malls and came home. Today is a new day and Rocky is feeling good…….so we’re busy catching up with ourselves. Time for me to get busy in the kitchen and feed that man so I’m outa here for now. Have a great Tuesday………..

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Friday, June 09, 2006


Good Friday morning. It’s going to be hot in the old town today so I’m trying to finish outside jobs early. Rocky has gone down to have his fanny pack taken off and won’t have to return until next Wednesday when they want to do an Echo on him to make sure everything is OK with his heart. Just a precautionary procedure since he has had two heart attacks in earlier years. I will go with him for that but today he’s on a quick trip by himself. It’s a fast removal and then he’ll be on his way home.

He is borrowing our neighbor’s trailer so he can load up all the “stuff” he brought over from his farm when we married……..now he wants to get rid of it in a large parking lot sale at our Antique Barn tomorrow. Dealers bring the larger things they can’t sell in the building……. so Rocky is loading up several old lawn mowers and X amount of other things to hopefully get rid of. No one knows it but we’re about ready to pay them to take it off our hands.

We hope all of you have a great weekend doing the things you like or maybe things you “need” to do. I leave one thought with you……hardly a day goes by that Rocky isn’t reading in one of Louis L’Amore’s books. He has drawers full of the paper-back variety and several nice hard cover or leather bound that George and Jennifer have given him for gifts. He reads them over and over and by the time he gets back to the first one…..it’s all new again. Hard to remember all of those stories and keep them separated. This is a quote from Louis L’Amore:

“The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.”

That sounds like the words of one of MY favorite authors…….Solomon. Good stuff.

Until Monday,
Essentially Esther

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Today went smoothly. No surprises and no problems. They won’t do another CEA until our next visit as they are only run once a month. Rocky was a little low on red blood cells so they gave him a shot of something to boost it up. The Avastin was given and tolerated and we were told he is doing amazingly well so far.

I give some credit to the Integrated Medicine from Dr. Wiehe…….and the immune boosting benefit from that, the juicing and correct food. We are understandably tired after another long day so just know we are doing well and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Until then,
Essentially Esther

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


We go for Rocky’s fourth chemo tomorrow. Unless Dr. Morgan changes his mind he will add the Avastin once more to the mix. I’m hoping with Rocky’s great drop in the CEA number last week that it will be given again but we won’t know the effect it’s had until they draw blood in the morning. At least his system tolerated it so that’s a good thing.

Rocky’s appointment for lab is 8:30a.m. then we visit with Dr. Morgan or Dr. Suzi and then the I.V.’s begin. It took 9 hours last time but the nurse said the time on Avastin would decrease one-half hour each time so it will put us through by late afternoon.

I will put the stats on the site once we are home. It’s always a long day but I also know how interested and hopeful everyone is to hear about Rocky’s progress. So until then keep the prayers and good thoughts coming. I know a lot of you pray for Rocky and Ellen each day so I join with you to see them both well again, in remission and doing their thing. We hope all of you are able to do the same.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Monday, June 05, 2006


Choices. We are all victims of the choices we’ve made. Some of us are older now and the wrong turns we took are far away but good reminders not to take the same road again. Life is pretty much what we make it. I get pretty tired of folks that can’t square their shoulders and admit when they’ve done something wrong.

My children learned early that their punishment was much more harsh if they lied about something they did. The best thing was to tell me before I found out from someone else. Then we talked about what happened and that was the end of it. Did they ever lie and get away with it? I’m sure they did but at least they knew it had better be a pretty good lie or they knew what was in store for them.

Perimeters need to be set and adhered to. I watch Dr. Phil more than I care to because Rocky likes the show. I sort of have overkill on it now but was a big fan for a long time. My reason for mentioning this is because some of the parents he has on the show are so disgusting I can’t see why they ever thought they wanted to have children.

Does any family sit down and have a meal together any more? Growing up, supper was never taken up until we heard dad’s old panel truck pulling in the driveway. Then we all ate. My brother and I were not chauffeured about to events apart from the family. Where my mother and dad went, we went. We were a family and we went every where together. Granted, we went places we didn’t want to go and we didn’t get to go to some of the places we wanted…….but we weren’t raised by nanny’s or baby sitters, we had a real dad and a real mother.

I was fortunate to be what the modern world calls a “stay at home mom.” Once the children came there was no question about leaving them for a career. They were my career and I didn’t plan on “having it all.” It was harder on the kid’s dad because he didn’t have the comfort of that extra pay check coming in…..but we knew where our kids were and what they were doing. The things we couldn’t give them were substituted for things we could give them.

I’m not knocking women who work after their children are born. It’s a very personal decision and there are many good reasons for doing so. What I am knocking are parents who go after everything except their children and then wonder why their kids are so detestable. Hello……it could be a lack of parenting.

I am not a poster gal for Mother of the Year and there were a lot of times I felt inadequate and made mistakes……. but I knew if I didn’t live to see the results I’d hoped for, they would come sooner or later. I still think life’s lessons have to be shown rather than talked about. Kids will learn more from watching you in the trenches than they ever will from what you say. Kids today are no different from the era I grew up in. My brother and I learned some harsh lessons in harsh times but we also learned respect, gratitude, sacrifice and a good work ethic.

Kids are more resilient than they’re given credit for a lot of times. My prayer is that parents will become acquainted with their own kids, put their time in and try to make some decent people. They are after all like a bank. You get back what you put in it…….if you don’t like what you’re getting back……try putting more into it.

I read a quote from Bobby Knight today that impressed me. He said, “Most people have the will to win……but few have the will to ‘prepare’ to win.”

Cheating on tests, always looking for an easy out and cutting corners for success just ends up in hallow victories. Sadly, too many kids have learned this from mom and dad. Prepare your kids for an honest race in life and you’ve given them the only thing they’ll ever need to feel good about themselves………and others.

Until tomorrow,
Essentially Esther

Friday, June 02, 2006


Dr. Lewandowski was very happy to see Rocky looking so good. He has kept up with his reports from Dr. Eck and Dr. Morgan who are shooting broadside at short range. Dr. Lew told us Rocky is more or less on an experimental program and they are monitoring him closely. The three of them are gratified with the blood work readouts and as Dr. Lew read them off to us we were impressed along with them.

Rocky’s glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and various other things that didn’t mean anything to me were great. His weight is stabilizing which is good. On the down side Rocky is feeling tired a few days after the chemo but has only had some mild nausea which he has pills for. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a good tradeoff so we aren’t complaining.

We hope you are enjoying good health and the outlook for a nice weekend as we are here. Looks like yard work for us tomorrow and with the humidity gone it will be enjoyable. Thanks again for your concern, prayers and thoughtfulness. We’ll see you again on Monday…..good Lord willing…………….

Until then,
Essentially Esther

Thursday, June 01, 2006


It’s been a good day here on our little acre. Rocky went to the gym to work out while I did errands and then picked him up later……tomorrow he goes to our MD at the hometown clinic so it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. He was the first to alert us to Rocky’s cancer and it was terribly hard for him to do. He worked himself into quite an emotional state because of the respect he has for Rocky. He is young and always says Rocky is the poster boy of his geriatrics.

Rocky is real fond of him, as well, and brought him a T-Shirt from the Boston Marathon last year when we drove out to see John run. He told me he wears it on his daily 5-mile run……albeit not as great as the Boston Marathon but he says it makes him feel important. We would always like for him to feel that way, especially when he sees how good Rocky is doing.

We have already passed the date that colon cancer has claimed some…..and we’re trying to extend that as far out as we can. I’m sure he will be proud of the progress Rocky has made.

I’ll let you know what we find out tomorrow. This is more or less just checking in to see if Dr. Lew is on top of everything that’s been progressing down at the Cancer Center. We won’t be going back for more chemo until next Wednesday so Rocky is getting a break in the action for now…………

So until tomorrow, then,
Essentially Esther