Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Free Day

Thursday night I met with Thugbert and his lovely wife Linda at the Woman's Club for their spaghetti and Gospel dinner.  We had a lovely time.  Thugbert has a PhD in mathematics and has written a lovely book, "Hermit Arithmetic."  Then Thugbert and I headed to rehearsal.  This is a great group, so much fun, and even with all the fun, they work very hard.

Friday was a lovely day.  After work I met Ms Carolyn for lunch at the Brickyard.  After a lovely lunch we walked around the antique stores downtown.  I found a silk Liz Clayborn skirt for less then $5.  Oh yeah!  Carolyn is one of the first friends I made here in Monticello when I moved up 4 plus years ago.  For dinner I made a frozen pizza. Ms Moon can make a pizza from scratch almost as fast as I can make a frozen one.  Hers tastes amazing.  Mine?  Like a fancied up frozen pizza.  I spread pesto all over the pizza and then covered it with sauteed garlic, onions and portobella mushrooms.  Let me tell you for frozen pizza that was good.  So good the dogs who usually get a slice a piece, got much smaller slices.  It was a quiet lovely evening with the kids at home and getting to bed early.

Saturday I was up early and weeding in the garden.  Then I started working on the sprinkler system for the back garden.  I will have to get a new timer system.  The old faucet was damaged and I will have to fix that.  But then Ms Judy and Denise called and we headed into town in the toy with the top down for lunch at Harry's, a Cajun restaurant downtown.  We had a lovely meal and relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  Then to JoAnn's to pick up material for Thuggee's robe.  A few more errands to the Tallahassee mall and we were able to pick up a few "artifacts" for the play.  By this time it was raining cats and dogs, so after walking around to let the rain pass we headed home.  

For me another quiet evening at home with the kids.  Sunday was lovely and I did the usual chores around the house and got out a little to pull a few more weeds.  It has been so very long since I have spent any real time in the garden, so there is so much to do.  I also got to make a few calls to friends and family.  Sunday morning with Charles Osgood and calling friends, nice way to start the day.

Sunday we had a wonderful rehearsal.  We have now gotten scenes 1 - 3 blocked.  We have rehearsed the bows.  Yes, we rehearse our bows.  We are putting this play on down stairs, where each scene is separated by a different course of dinner.  And so to get as many people into see the play as possible, we are putting this play on a 12X12 floor space with an additional 2 foot buffer around the stage.  That is a very small area.  Now the actors run through the audience, enter in and out through the audience and interact with the audience, so it is not like they spend the entire time on that small space, and it will be worth the small place it if we can pull it off.  But even with my quiet evenings, it is not enough, and the stress between work and co-directing a play, let alone dealing with normal life, well it is taking a toll on me.  

I am not interested in stopping the play, but it is pushing me to my limit.  Maybe a little beyond.  Sometimes I feel like I need that push.  But this stress and worry over things like getting my taxes done, getting myself set up on the right strength chemo, finalizing the trip plans for Dad and I to go to Europe, retiring and doing all the paperwork at the right time, getting my insurance coverage set up for after my retirement,  getting my retirement set up to live on.  Lots of things, all with their own time frames, all that must be dealt with in their own time.  So even though I am tackling one item at a time, the pressure of all the things on the list still over take me and overwhelm me at times.  And with my liver still off, I am an extremely unpleasant person.  I am bitchy, moody, weepy and terse.  Not someone I like being around.  So I do try and limit who all I interact with.  And  then I feel as if I need to apologize to them.  It will pass, I know.  But in the meantime it is not pretty.  I keep warning the cast in the play that I have Stage 4 lung cancer and that the drugs are messing with my liver, my bone marrow, my head.  They laugh it off, or tell me to quit talking about dying.  But they give me a wide berth and a great deal of patience.  Thank you.

And I think that things will start to get better when I can start my new meds. 

Monday I went to work and physically felt OK, but mentally, it was a weepy day.  A day I was not able to make decisions.  A day where I was completely overwhelmed.  Bad day, bad bad day.  I worked until 2 trying to help my Section to get caught up.  Physically it felt like a piece of cake.  Especially knowing that I had no commitment that evening, so I could go to bed early.  I ran errands and got the things I needed to fix my sprinkler system in the back yard.  This is not a professional system.  Oh no, this is simply a system I have put together and keep adjusting as the gardens grow and change.  And the antique red rose has grown up and engulfed the first sprinkler head.  

When I got home there was a message from Caremark about my chemo pills.  They are delivering them on Tuesday.  I tried to talk to them about the difference between customer service and selling drugs.  They are selling drugs, not dealing with Customer Service.  The voice over the phone "corrected" me that she was a Customer Service Representative.  I said, then provide me service and help me to get my pills without loosing a days worth of work.

So I took the day off today.  I was not willing to deal with the drama that I had to deal with last time.  She was unable to assist me to do anything by take the day off.  So here I sit.

But I have used it to my best advantage.  I did my taxes online this morning.  Check off one pressure off the list.  I have done laundry that I did not get finished this weekend.  I have started working on Thugee's robe.  I have been safe.  No one around for me to hurt or upset or for me to freak out with.  Quiet day.  I have taken it easy, and I plan on going to take a nap in a minute.  I have rehearsal tonight so I want to be rested, calm, pleasant, focused.  

The UPS guy got here around noon and gave me my new prescription.  So tomorrow I will start the new dose, and hopefully it will be enough of a reduction in the strength that my body will be able to tolerate it.  And hopefully this will mean that my body can recover from the first dosage.  It will take a while, and this does not mean that the side effects will go away, just hopefully they will continue to be bearable and that my liver will recover.  Livers are amazing like that.  The last few days have been rough.  But nothing that bad, but it is hard to watch yourself through your own eyes and see yourself behaving in a way that you are not proud of.  And to not be able to stop it soon enough.  As soon as I realize it, it does help me to try and control the inappropriate behavior, but it does not mean that I can completely control it.  And it does not mean that I always recognize when I am acting inappropriate.  

And as much as I need to be at work.  For one thing we just have so much going on.  There is always too much going on.  But as long as I am employed there as the Manager I am going to try and do my best to get the work done.  To assist the applicators, the trainers, the Extension Agents, the companies and the general public.  Once I retire, on June 9, I had to change the date to match time periods, it will not be my responsibility anymore.  

I turned in my resignation letter.  They graciously told me that they wished I would stay.  I said I would like to, but I don't have the leave, and I am not able to work a full day.  And I know that for my health, I need to quit.  I need to take some time to get my strength back.  I need to take my Dad to Europe.  OK, I have already started looking into getting a part time job after I get back with Dad, but something with less stress and only part time.  And I have to meet with the travel guy tomorrow to finalize our trip plan.  So step by step I am checking things off my list.  And I know that the majority of the stress is less about what I need to do and more about not well enough to handle the pressure.  I am not sick.  But with the side effects it is hard to tell at times.  And more then feeling "sick", it is the emotional over load.

My life is changing, and as always, even with a little side effects, things are going well.  I am so lucky all in all.  And now I have my new chemo and I have completed my taxes, I am getting things done, I am trying harder to get enough rest, and drink enough water.  And now to nap.  Tonight rehearsal.  Tomorrow a quiet night at home with the kids.  And hopefully soon I will feel up to talking to my friends again, being around them and interacting.  But for now, a few more days away from people to get my emotions under control.  

Peep update.  They are not working as a very cohesive group.  You can tell who are the alphas and who will not be alphas, but they are so young, they are not pecking at each other yet.  They all have multiple feathers on their little wings.  they are eating eating eating and growing from all the food they are taking in.  And pooping, lord they are pooping.  You can't help but love them.  Life is wonderful, especially when you can sit next to Bob and stare down into those 17 little faces and watch them change each day.  


  1. Eating and pooping and growing...
    Aren't we all?
    I love you, you crazy-busy woman!

  2. So sorry you have to deal with Caremark, they were the 'gate keepers' of my Hep C meds and 'Rescue meds'. If i remember correctly, their motto was "It all begins with care," or something like that. At that point I was writing a Hep C blog and did a post about it, a former employee of Caremark commented that he thought Caremark owned a few funeral homes as a side business, I stopped trashing Caremark in my blog. That was 4 1/2 years ago and I see they still haven't gotten the definition of Customer Service correct. They are in the business of selling drugs. If you're medically approved to buy the drugs, they'll sell you the drugs. Pisses me off that they keep getting bigger and bigger...