Category Archives: Life in general

Full moon howling

Part one of moving day draws to a close. I know intellectually that all days are the same length, but some days seem to be interminably long. Any day that involves moving all of your stuff from one place to another qualifies, I think.

Still, it’s nice to be in the new place, even if it looks like someone has just moved in. I took some time out from unpacking to skim the pool. The water is holding steady at about 80 degrees and looks very inviting. Of course, yours truly, with feeding tube still in place, cannot go for a swim. Just another reason to get it removed as soon as my calorie intake is high enough that I stop dropping weight. Official weigh-in weight at the oncologist’s office: 114.4. No one is happy with that.

Speaking of things oncology-related, this moving week brought with it two oncology appointments, one with each of the radiation and chemo offices. They poke, they prod, they want another PET scan, so we’ll be doing that again in the next week or two. Hopefully this granular tissue won’t light up the scan, but since I am still(!) healing, no doubt it won’t be zero and we’ll have to do this again three months from now.

Which is not to say I mind too terribly. After all, I can handle the IV, as I’ve no particular qualms about needles, and the opportunity to sit there in the dark while the glucose makes its way in gives me a perfect time for a little snooze.

But for now, it’s trying to get things in order. Trying to figure out where someone has unpacked something I need. Trying to remember not to push things up too closely against the walls because I need to paint over the next few days. And trying to remember that the post-move gets better with a little time. Just like me.

All boxed up and nowhere to go…yet

Looking around the house, you’d think someone was moving.

Oh, that’s right – someone is moving.

Tonight (or, rather, this morning, as I type this) marks the last night/morning in the old house. Moving day – also known as the Day From Hell – will kick off at 9 AM with the arrival of the movers at the old house and the pest control people at the new house, also at 9 AM. The cable folks are slated to be at the new place sometime between 2 and 5 PM, which means that come noonish, I’ll be without internet connectivity until we’re set up at the new place. Whatever will I do with myself? No email that I wouldn’t have time to check, no surfing that I wouldn’t have time to do.

I painted some sample colors on the walls at the new place and will be painting this weekend. We had come to a decision on a color called Soothing Aloe – a very light green – but one of my sisters hated it and suggested a darker, sage-y color. We went off and pawed through paint card samples at the local hardware place and found a color called Green Tea, which looks pretty good on the walls. We also found Butter Cookie for the walls of the kitchen and Cup of Cocoa for the lower half of the walls (think chair rail height). With some white trim, it will all look fabulous, I’m sure. I had toyed with the idea of hiring someone to do the painting, based on the first run with the original color, which was latex, but the new color is enamel and goes on much better, so it will be a snap to paint, as no primer will be required. Rather odd that all the colors are based on names of food, isn’t it?

By tomorrow evening, we will be ensconced in the new house, figuring out what goes where and where to start unpacking. The pool water temp is about 80 degrees, the water is clear (although it does need a little vacuum), and a dip in that inviting bath might be just the thing after the day we’re going to have today.

And then? Well, of course then it will be time to decide what the first meal in the new place will be, look ahead to all the things that Iwill be coming out of the kitchen – including trial runs of truffles, and start seriously planning for our Memorial Day bash on the 28th. I’ll be smoking a batch of ribs the day before, but the main focus on that Sunday will be seafood: shrimp, crabs (and crab cakes!), grouper, snapper, and if I can find anyone but me who eats them, crawfish. It’s going to be a great party, and if you’re reading this and happen to be in the area, feel free to pop in. There will be plenty for everyone.

Signing off from the old and looking forward to the new…

Turn your head and cough

When you go through any significant medical treatment that impacts your immune system – like chemo and/or radiation therapy, for instance – the medical staff always tells you to be careful about exposing yourself to germs and such. Try to stay away from people who are sick with colds, wash your hands often when you’re in a communal setting, monitor yourself closely for signs of illness that aren’t the direct side effects of treatment, and so on. All through treatment, even though the people around me were sick a few times and even though we were in settings with other people, some of whom were ill – after all, most of my time was spent in doctors’ offices and hospitals – I didn’t get sick at all with colds or the flu or anything.

This past week, though, I’ve not felt a hundred percent. The day before yesterday, it started going downhill, and yesterday was just awful: the first cold (or whatever) I’ve had in over a year. I spent much of yesterday napping off and on, only checking in on the biz occasionally to handle some issues, then returning myself to my non-upright position. This morning was more of the same, and since I’ve now poured some formula down the tube and feel a little queasy, I can feel another session coming on.

This is all very bad timing. Within the next two weeks, I’ll be moving into the house I’m going to be buying. There are a lot of things that need to be done for that and then the grand Memorial Day party that will follow. So whatever this is needs to speed its way along and leave me alone so I can get back to everyday business.

The universe laughs at us, not with us

I am convinced of this: that the universe, while generally a well-functioning, smoothly oiled engine, has, at its controls, a group of monkeys who delight in picking out someone at random and resetting the clocks that run certain areas of their lives. The effect of this is to dash to bits any semblance of timing in certain circumstances for that person – not every arena, of course, as this would cause the person to go crazy as they moved through time, forever just out of sync with the rest of the world. No, I believe it’s done just to slightly throw off that person so that What Might Have Been is tossed into their faces as much as possible. Think of anything in life. The relationship that does not bloom because the other party became involved with someone “Just recently, and s/he’s a good match, but if I’d met you first, we surely would have gotten together,” they say, and clearly they mean it. The job that isn’t won because the candidate interviewed several days prior fit the bill and was offered the job. “But,” they say, and clearly they mean it, “if we had been able to interview you first, we’d have offered it to you instead.” The comeback that dies on the lips because the clever retort does not come to mind until hours or days later. “But,” they say, when others are told about the incident, and clearly they mean it, “that would have been a good one and would have put someone in their place.”

Examples of this bad timing abound, and devious monkeys are as good an explanation as the serendipitous nature of life. It’s difficult not to be just a little bitter and angry about these things from an emotional standpoint, while at the same time understanding intellectually that we don’t all move along the same strand. It’s where the real battle lies.

Resolutions

So, I made a few resolutions to ring in the new year.

Not really.

I never do, at least not for the past (mumble) years. There seems to be very litle sense in making resolutions about things you’re already working on or have no intention of doing.

For instance, I might make a resolution to get less exasperated with certain types of clients. But that goes by the wayside as soon as some jackass threatens to sue you for terminating his service because he didn’t pay for it. Or someone asks you to do something with a domain you never registered. Little things like that really puncture that sort of resolution.

I might make a resolution about eating better. But that presumes that I’m actually eating rather than pouring nutrition down a tube. And since my goal is to gain a little weight when I can eat, I picture double cheeseburgers, pizza, and fried chicken in my immediate future. After all, I lost almost 20% of my bodyweight during treatment, and some of that needs to come back. So that knocks out that resolution.

On the other hand, there’s nothing like a goal. Like being able to shower without almost falling over afterwards because I’ve used up all my energy. That’s getting much better. My mom kindly got a chair for me to sit on, so I sit part of the time and stand part of the time. Soon, standing will be all the time. Little steps, as my mom says.

And, a great piece of news, for those following the saga: the other day, I managed about eight small spoonfuls of soup (organic potato-leek). Not only did I manage to hold the soup down, but I could also taste it – fantastic news for anyone who has gone through treatment for head and neck cancer, since taste buds get zapped during radiation. I also managed to drink about a third of a cup of hot tea, cooled to lukewarm. I still had an issue with my mouth burning after every couple of spoons of soup, but drinking the tea, with lots of sugar, after those couple of bites, helped sooth things. Tonight, I managed to drink an entire cup of hot tea, cooled to lukewarm. It took almost all night, but I finished it.

So the new year is bringing progress with it. I have another followup with the ENT this month, and then a followup with the radiation oncologist in February. I also have a followup PET scan in February, to see what lights up now that we’re a few months out from treatment and recovery. We’ll see what we see at that time.