Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jessie's obit

Vega, R.N., Jessica C. age 40, beloved daughter of Jesus and the late Marie [Hajduch] Vega, cherished sister to the late John, Charles (Cathy), Judy, Cathy (Chris), Paul, Coye, David, Jennifer and Joseph, dearest niece to Lorenza Vega, Sr. Crescilde, Remedios Vega, Ramon (Clarita) Vega, John (Anna Rose) Hajduch, Helen (Michael) Svonavec, and Raymond (Georgia) Hajduch, loving aunt to Marie, Rachel, Alex, Audrey, Emilia and others, dearest friend to many, warm-hearted godmother to many and dedicated mother to Widdo Poopie, Hairy Potter, Cleo, Thumbalino and Elston. She was a graduate of St Edward, Good Counsel HS, and UIC College of Nursing. She was loyal to her nursing career in the VA Hospital system (Lakeside and Jesse Brown). Jessica was one of the Ferocious Five and an honorary female member of the Brotherhood. Jessica lost her 7-month battle with cholangiocarcinoma on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. Visitation Friday 5 9pm, Saturday 2 - 9pm and Sunday 12 7pm at Tohle Funeral Home 4325 W. Lawrence Ave. Chicago. Visitation Monday Jan. 3rd 9 10:30 am from Owens Ruzich Funeral Home 816 119th Street, Whiting, Indiana to St. John the Baptist Church Mass 11:00 am. Interment St. John St. Joseph Cemetery, Hammond Indiana. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the McNulty-Kelly Scholarship Foundation c/o St Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside Ave, Chicago, IL 60630-4146. Info 773-685-4400 or

Jessica called home

Jessica was called home by God this morning at 12:40am. She was surrounded by friends, co-workers and family. Funeral arrangements will be posted as they are arranged.

Thank you all for showing her love, courage and support through this tough challenge she was faced with.


Paul (her brother)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jessica admitted into hospice this morning

Jessica was admitted into hospice care this morning. I hope this is only a temporary stay for she was walking around talking and eating yesterday. The location is:

Rainbow Hospice Ark
1601 North Western Ave Room 2
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Busy busy these holidays are

Last week Thursday, 10 of my coworkers came by to visit and to make sure my holidays were going well. 5 in the early afternoon, then another 5 later in the afternoon. I was so thrilled to see all of the before Christmas. Their visit kept my spirits up!

Christmas Eve was enjoyably crazy busy as usual. Jenny makes a delicious turkey for dinner and my whole family celebrates. I think we finished up all the leftovers yesterday with a creamed turkey dish.

Christmas is usually low key at the Vega house, but this year a family friend, Brian, came over, as well as did Chris, Tobi, Justin, and Morgan from Baltimore. It turned out to be yet another big celebration. The family ended up playing the game, “What’s yours like?” They were laughing so loud, that I can to wake from my nap and join in on a round or two. It is a very fun game.

Below is a picture of my father, my sisters, my niece and I on Christmas.

On Sunday, Viv, Vince and Vanessa came for a lovely visit. I was informed that that my godson has an interview with the Naval Academy on Tuesday. I know he will impress them! It was great seeing them, even though I fell asleep on them (from the meds). I am sorry I did that.

Thank you for all the texts and phone calls and emails. I have been extremely drowsy from the meds lately and my vision is not as clear on the meds to be alert enough to answer all your well wishes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Plop,plop, fizz,fizz, where's the relief?

[This is a posting Jessica was planning to post back on Dec 6th.]

Monday December 6th, 2010 Happy St. Nick's Day

Hi everyone, I am still not sleeping very well. I still have my siblings taking turns helping me pump my belly and massaging my back when the pain is severe, which is most of the time. Friends and coworkers are welcome to come by and help. Do not hesitate to call me. Yes, I am in pain but if it is tolerable, I will pick up and get the phone. I am the one who is afraid to call you if it may be too late or if you are too busy. I've called my onc nurse practitioner and agreed that I have to find a primary doctor, one to coordinate all my care, know of anyone at UIC that you can recommend?

My onc nurse practitioner did increase my liquid morphine dose SO, now I fall asleep mid-anything, I could be eating, while sitting on the toilet, while they're pumping my stomach, my spoon is mid-air, head tilted back and , I'm half asleep and my food gets cold. I could be that way for a while until my family wakes me up if I do not jerk myself awake. I feel like Peppermint Patty, where's Marci? Should I get seatbelt for my dining room chair? That could be another reason I don't get the phone too. It's another reason why it takes me a while to eat.

Anyway, the surgery nurse practitioner recommended that I stop the lactulose, start sennacot and that I get a colonoscopy. I asked her about my labs, for example, my hemoglobin and platelets since they started trending down. Who is watching that, hence another reason to find a gen med doc. It seems the patient is the one doing it nowadays. It is a good thing I know what I need, the general population would not know who to turn to.

One night the senna gave me severe cramps, ask my family. Crying, shortness of breath, moaning and bent over in the middle of the night, not once but several times. I know I am extremely constipated. My family, drew the straw when I desperately woke my dad to massage my back. I am suffering, my sisters and brother have to work, my niece has school and my dad just went to lay down a few minutes prior. From now on, my sister said to wake her instead. Well another sister started bringing home the prune juice, the big guns. I had spent this past weekend on the toilet, with severe rectal pain, bleeding, cramping, and using the flushable moisture wipes with aloe on them. God bless my sister who is also a nurse and kindly digitally disimpacted me. I'm grabbing onto her leg, almost lifting her up, crying out. She cleared me out the best she could. One change, things are moving down there, still with discomfort but it is coming out for now. I am still pumping and getting my massages but at least there is painful progress.

[I got a CT scan mid-December and I showed that I did not have any bowel obstructions (yay!), therefore the constipation I experienced must have come from the meds.]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I got my hair done and I feel groovy

Here is a short video from Thanksgiving weekend to keep the good mood from the holidays going. It is from when Cheri colored and cut my hair. I was feeling terrific after that and was playing around with my brothers in the hat section at JC Penneys. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Getting Ready for the Holidays

With a little urging from my siblings to go to the hospital to get drained, I went to the hospital and they drew out 1.8 liters of fluid. (I guess I freaked out my brother when I screamed out that it felt like my tummy was going to rip open.) This sounds like a lot fluid, but without my shunt, this would have been more. So with this “free space” in my abdomen, I plan to fill it up with all the holiday goodies. My cousin, John, sent me another box of Gayety’s chocolates from Lansing , IL. Family friends came over to visit and brought tamales, Ray brought mint brownies, other family friends brought a large tray of cookies. A neighbor dropped by with cookies and fruit cake. Paul just made nut-free prune cake. My lovely co-workers bring treats as they visit, too. Yummy. I am getting hungry writing this.

Here are picture of culprits of some of the delicious goodies.

Currently, I am trying to manage my pain and some of the meds make me real sleepy. So I apologize if I do not pick up your call. My sleep schedule is all over the place. Also, since I called this hospice service, they have been bombarding me with visits from a nurse, a social worker, and a caretaker helper/assistant. So I may be with one of them when you call.

I had a hospice helper come over today and she helped my bathe – ahh! I also have a few more contraptions to help my get in and out of the shower as well as one to help me lift my tuchus (butt) of the pot.

Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bring on the Alternatives

Sorry, I have not written in awhile. I have been experiencing lot of pain lately. Just about 2 weeks ago, the pain was so frequent that I was taking pain medication every time I was allowed. I have some good days in there once in awhile, but they are few. I have asked my brother, Paul, to type up some of my blogs for me. He is in busy with getting ready for the holidays, but I wanted him to get a message out.

Last Friday, I went in for a blood transfusion and my doctor told me that my liver enzymes are at a high level that they will not attempt any more chemo on me. The last time I had chemo was back in October before they put a shunt in me. We all expected that once I healed from that surgery, they would resume chemo. That is not the case now. So, I have to say, “bring on the alternative meds!”.

My cousins, Gemo and Grace from NY, have been sending Guanabana juice to help fight the cancer. I was drinking it sparingly to not counteract any results from the chemo. After Friday’s news, it is now my beverage of choice. I also have to hunt down apricot seeds. They have been highly recommended. There is something in the seeds which is a good cancer fighter. Any other ideas, please send them my way again. (My memory is a little foggy from the pain meds.)

Today, I met with Rainbow hospice for assistance in managing my pain. They will send a nurse out twice a week to take my vitals and a home helper 2x a week to help me bathe and other things (maybe the will help with typing this blog for me ). I know this help is also help for my father, brother, sisters and niece that take care of me the majority of the time.

I went to lunch with my co-workers last week. It was so good to see them all again. I miss going to work everyday and hanging out with everyone (and of course taking care of the patients).

I had a drink! Yes, Jenny's co-worker gave her some homemade ginger beer. I had to try it. It burned going down and tasted like lemonade. The taste did not bother Paul at all, he finished what I did not.

I’ll ask Paul to post more to my blog soon over the next few days after he gets out all our holiday cards.

I am enjoying all the beautiful cards and visitors I am receiving this holiday season. Thank you all very much!