Stella has joined Luna and I on my red chair and is not happy that Luna has somehow managed to get to my lap first. Ednarose is a sleep at my feet, Bob in his Chair and Harry is stretched out part way in the living space, party in the kitchen. It is nice to be able to sit here and write again. I miss my time here, but life has changed and I have more in my life now then cancer, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 14 chickens, a handfull of goldfish and a stray rabbit hopping across the yard. I love my place here and my gardens and the quiet joyful peace that surrounds my little family like a bubble. But I also love to travel, and my life has been so rich with that lately. Spain, the Eastern Seaboard, the west an midwest of this country.
I have made a couple trips home to Palmetto to see my Dad and family. I went down last Wednesday and came home on Friday. My trips are quality, not quantity. Dad and I went to Applebe's for dinner on Friday night. This is the place that my older brother, Rob takes Dad. They go every few weeks or so and it is obvious that they have a good time, in that Dad wanted to take me there. Thursday I drove him in the toy with the top down to his podiotrist appointment to have his nails done. Then we drove over to Marie's to visit her. She is doing better these days, and they are so good for each other. Then we went to Home Depot where I bought a pre made railing for Rob to install on the ramp in Dad's house. I bought too much, but I gave him the receipt and told him to take back what he doesn't need and to pick up whatever else I did not get, like the hardware, with the store credit. He was pretty excited about the railing, and figured out how he wanted to install it. After Home Depot Dad and I had lunch at Bob Evan's. It has changed tremendously since Dad and I ate there. It is now more of a cross between Denny's and the Cracker Barrel, white midwestern food, consistently prepared. Dad's kind of food. I had a grilled cheese. Grilled cheese, my kind of food.
After lunch Dad and I went shopping at Wally World. My birthday is next Monday and my family wanted to have a family party, as is our tradition. They had suggested we go out, but that is so hard on Daddy and Marie would not have come, and it is expensive to take a couple of big eating kids out to eat. So I suggested we just stay at Dad's and pick up some fried chicken and fixin's. Rob had asked me to pick up a couple of mats for the ramp. With minimal railings, not reachable from all parts of the ramp, and no mats, it can be a bit treacherous for Dad to manuever. I hate the carpet in my place, and so I suggested that Dad buy me a couple of nice throw rugs to cover some of the animal stains on the carpet that will never go away. We looked at the carpet together and settled on the things we wanted and then we picked up so milk and OJ for Dad. That man loves to shop. He rides the little buggies and just putts along looking at all the things to buy. He found a Christmas present for Marie, he loves to buy clothes for the woman in his life, and he just tooled along happy to be out and about. It wears him down, but he needs to get out more. We drove back home with the top down. I could not put it up because he railing were in the back seat, too big for the trunk. Christopher and Nathaniel came down and helped me remove the railings from the car and then Cristopher and I finished cleaning the house for the party that evening. We set up the tables on the back screened porch and pulled the chairs out and wiped the dirt and grime they aquired from sitting for so long with no use. Then after making sure Dad was comfortably resting, Christopher and I hopped back in the toy, he over the top of the door in the old Hiawii 50 fashion and we drove up to Publix, where shopping is a pleasure. We picked up boxes of fried chickens, extra legs, then potatoe and macaroni salad, cole slaw and baked beans. Dad and I had picked up animal planet party supplies at Wally world, so so flowers for the table and the all important cake were our last big decisions. A pot of spider mums in gold and bronze and a fancy decadent chocolate cake rounded out the fare. I also picked up a package of cupcakes with icing the color of the mums so Dad could have cake, he is not a big chocolate cake fan, and also so everyone could take a cup cak home with them. Gift bags with posters and cards and glow sticks and a cup cake, nice treats to take home after a party. JongAe had lost her voice and obviously did not feel well, but she was there. Tom and Pat had picked up Marie, then Pat had been taken home to rest. She is having seriou siatic nerve problems, and even though she was adorable with her short haircut, the pain showed on every inch of her body. I was so taken back that she would stop by at all. I don't think I could have done that in the same pain. I would have just gone home from the doctors and crawled under the covers until the pain meds they have prescribed for her had kicked in.
The rest of us gathered together and filled plates to over full with the Southern fare so familiar to all of us. We ate and laughed, and then filled plates again. Twenty two pieces of chicken disappeared like wheat with loqust. Sweet tea splashed in the red solo cups and we looked at each other, aging brothers an sister, a father frail with age, kids getting taller by the day and it was just magical. All of us kept repeating how much we enjoyed getting together like we used to do. How nice it is to once again gather at my parents home around the tables in the back yard, the screen room, Mother's little oak, now huge reaching over the fiberglass ceilings. A place so familar, so a part of the happy times in our life as a family. It was good. And I made out like a bandit. I had wanted a folding bike basket and Rob and his family got me the exact one I had asked for. Jessica picked out my birthday card, which was a dog, and was very cute. Tom and family bought me the latest release of Rick Riordan's heros of Olympus series. Christopher and I are reading that series together. He was a little taken back that I should get the new release before him. hee hee, ah, the joys of age. The candle was lit on the cake, a wish made, a breath of air to carry it on the wind to the place where wishes come true, and we all dug in again.
After the meal was done, everyone helped to put the porch back to right, hugs were shared and my brothers drove off into the night to dream in their own beds. Dad and I left in the quiet after all the noise and confusion of a loud happy family and driven off. We smiled and taked about what a nice time we had had. We reminisced over past times and looked at photos from our trip to Spain in June. Then I walked back to my bedroom, still there at 57 in my parents home and laid my head down and dreamed. My wish already come true. A happy birthday with my precious beloved ones. And still more time for more time to celebrate with precious ones.
Returning home I threw myself into the details of An Evening of Suspense. Rehearsals are under way and I am enjoying this modified play time wth my precious friends. Yesterday Bug and I went up to visit Dr. May, my Oncologist. I had had a PTScan last week, blood labs run this week and I was to hear the good news that I am a miracle and still doing better then anyone could have predicted. But life is about change.
The PTscan shows that the lymph nodes in my neck and behind my breast bone are fully engaged with cancer. One node is extremely enlarged. Change. The Tarcevia alone is no longer able to keep the cancer at bay. Change.
But I am stronger these days, physically and mentally and Dr. May is not giving up on me. We will go back and revisit some of the chemo that Dr. M started when I first came to his care. My body was not strong enough then to handle the infusion, but it did a great job halting the cancer. Maybe this time I will be able to tolerate it better and it can knock this cancer back down, and then we can go back on maintenance. Maybe.
Before I met Bug, I was ready to stop treatments when the Tarcevia quit working, but now, as long as we can maintain quality of life, I am willing to try some of themore aggressive treatments if it means I get another year. We will see. I don't know what is to come of all of this, but I am ready to see what will happen. Tomorrow Bug and I will mount up on his red Harley again and drive to Daytona for Biketoberfest. We will stay with his friends, Bill and Felecia in their home on the intercoastal. I have not been to a bike rally in many many years, but I am looking forward to this. When we get home on Sunday, it will be a week of busy while we prepare for the Evening of Suspense Friday night. After that, I am not sure. I will find time to be with my precious ones to celebrate yet another birthday I was told I would never see. I will rest a little and then get busy on the house and property as the days fade from fall into winter. It is already chilly here. The oaks have dropped more acorns then normal and the wooly bear catepillars are mostly black. A hard winter ahead.
But for now, I am happy, strong and healthy, despite the news about my cancer. The busiest time of the year for me has already started and I am ready to dive in. And maybe I can get my computer to work better. Sorry for the misspelled words, but I can not get it to autospell because of the stutters and slow down. It won't be the first misspelled words I have posted here. I am just happy to have had the chance to remember all of this and write it down now.