Monday, August 31, 2020

The Battle Goes On

 Back to home and hearth. It was an enjoyable break in routine getting up to our cabin, and replacing those window blinds was so satisfying. But MeMa's third round of chemo was looming ahead of us. Towards the end of her third week after the previous infusion I can see changes happening. Weakness, body pain and with the last few days it seems that her stomach has gotten harder as if the cancerous fluid that has obviously gone down returned somewhat. My beautiful wife is and has always been a remarkably strong woman, with an amazing ability to shut pain out. This has proven to be to her benefit in this battle with cancer, a battle that she will win. I feel it in my heart. 

Last Thursday I dropped MeMa off for her third infusion our eldest son Nathan who has taken the entire day off work to keep his old father in check or from totally losing it. He has seen the anguish in my face not only during the first surgery but each of the three infusion days. He has been such a big help keeping my mind occupied and off the fact that with Covid 19 I am prevented from being by my wife’s side when that is the only place I want to be. 


He calls or texts his mother every day to see how she is doing and if there is anything we need.
On infusion days though, he willingly gives his entire day to humoring me and is there greeting his Mom when she has finished her day of treatment and is ready to be taken home. 

Home where her garden awaits, where we can close out the turmoil life is in. We put on our blinders if you will and concentrate on the immediate. 
Three infusions completed, the next step is a CT scan to tell us if the chemo has dried up enough of the fluid and shrunk the tumors sufficiently to perform surgery. Surgery will require MeMa a couple of days rest in the hospital.

We have been informed that I will be able to come to the hospital and spend time with her after surgery. Someone else will keep on her post waiting for her return.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Ticking Off That List


Decided to take a few days to ourselves and head up the mountain to our cabin. Menagerie Manor has many willing caretakers so it was left in very capable hands. We had a long list of things needing done while on our getaway. The first thing and something that has been needing done for several years now are these horrid pull shades on the three largest windows in the cabin. My lovely parents installed them back in the early 80's. They were great in their day but they are so long that they are too heavy for the spring inside the rollers. For the past 15ish years they have taken a whole lot of luck, finesse and so much swearing to get them up all the way and even more to get them to stay down. We have also gotten the crap startled out of us in the dead of night and usually after we have been asleep for several hours, when one or all three would lose their grip and go flying up with a loud flapping noise. 

It took about four hours with several long breaks so Mema could rest and get some strength to hold the flashlight while I installed the hardware for the new shades. I was so happy when we sat back and admired our hard work. I know my father will like them but most important I think my late mother would love the changes made to the cabin she so loved.

This is the longest window and required three shades because the window sections on either end open. So when we want fresh air the entire shade pushes up from the bottom very easily. 

I love the subdued light in the early morning while I sit and enjoy my quiet cup of coffee before the day starts.

We love our time on the mountain but there seems to be so much to do as the place is aging and being in the deep woods it faces some pretty rough weather. The decking needs to be pressure washed and a good heavy coat of wood preserver painted on, there is some dry rot that needs getting rid of and the whole cabin is in need of fresh paint. At the end of a busy day we lay around and read or watch a movie or sit out on the deck in the complete dark and stare up into black sky filled with billions of stars that we city folk never get the chance to see. Our Roxy is a true city girl so her evenings are spent curled up asleep on the knitted afghan that my mother made, dreaming sweet doggie dreams.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

August Update


MeMa's journey with chemotherapy expectedly has its ups and downs. This week she has been feeling fairly well and more importantly eating small but decent meals. Neighbors and friends have brought meals and helped when we needed anything. The 27th of this month she has her third infusion and then they will do a CT scan and determine whether surgery can be performed, we are confident! She has lost thirty pounds and sadly has lost most of her hair. Her hairdresser is graciously coming to our home next Monday to remove the last of it. MeMa has a hatred for wigs so has purchased some very nice wraps. 
Tuesday of this next week I go in for a procedure that has to be done in surgery. Just to add more stress to our already stressed life. 
Today it will heat up to 100 degrees so I got up early and soaked the gardens in preparation of the heat.
We have not had any measurable rain for quite some while, but the gardens are looking beautiful.

My beautiful collection of Hydrangeas have been stunning as usual, the colors are quite radiant. But I fear with todays heat those colors will soon be toast.

The Mandavilla has climbed to well over eight feet and the red flowers are almost blinding, they are so intense.

I will probably die a slow and painful death for posting this photo but the pout she has going needed posting. Obviously MeMa is not doing well with the game she is playing with one of her regular competitors. I will spare you the words of wit that followed shortly.

I swear, this dog can sleep through most everything.

The gate leading to the kitchen garden. The gate will stay but the kitchen garden will soon be removed and a new salt water hot tub will be installed, well there is quite a bit of prep work to be completed first. Actually we have been informed that there is such a demand for hot tubs that we will go on a waiting list and it could be January or February before we actually get it.

Japanese Iris "Fortune"

MeMa's latest "Porch Post" for the dog walkers and passers-by.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Touching Base

We have been completely quarantined but when our surroundings get to us, we get in the car and go for a long drive.
I have very little time to read or write blog posts but thought I would touch base with this short update. There is nothing like having to do it all to make one realize just how much ones spouse does in the shared running of a large home. I never see the end of the laundry, the only part of laundry that was my responsibility was to put things away after it was washed, dried, folded and left for me in nice fresh little bundles. We are counting the days untill MeMa's second round of chemo. The first one included Taxol which caused every joint in her body to cramp up. Nausea was so bad that she couldn’t look at or smell anything without becoming very ill. I tried so hard to make her comfortable but it was a losing battle. 
In those first few weeks she had lost over twenty pounds, able to stomach meals like a 1/4th of a cup of broth. She could not eat the same thing twice. Even into her second week when the pain was letting up and the nausea was for the most part under control she would ask for a particular food item, eat a small portion of it and then she was done with it. Either toss the rest or I usually added it to the growing number of leftovers that I would attempt to finish as a lunch or dinner on the days MeMa couldn't eat. 
Roxy, never far from MeMa. She takes her job very seriously.