Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I am here

I am here!  I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but I do sort of feel like I am free falling.  Between the Amazing and Wonderful Dr. McCutiepie, and my new doctor, I am back in treatments.  Just one chemical in the infusion treatment, and I am still taking the Tarceva but I am not doing well on the treatment.  Well,my mind isn't.  Everything else seems to be tolerating things just fine.

So I have gone to Atlanta and visit Dr. M and I have had the two treatments.  One in Atlanta, the other one back in Thomasville.  I have had a little bout of the stomach bug, which came when Bug and I had driven over to St. Augustine after Thanksgiving.  We did get to drive down to Sebring and walk around the car show, and our first night in St. Augustine we were able to waunder around that beautiful old city dressed up in her Christmas finest.  White lights shining golden and bright wrapped around palm trees and bushes, people walking around with 3D glasses on singing Christmas carols and riding on the tour bus trains.  It was beautiful and one of the most magical ways to start this time of year.  But by Sunday I was not well at all, and other then a quick drive out to the lighthouse, I spent the rest of our time sick in the room. 

So many things have happened since I last posted.  Part of that is because of my computer, the other part is that I am struggling with things.  I had a little break in my crazy meds, and it took me a couple of weeks to get myself back.  And then on this came the infusion treatment.  One measly WMD, and that one is one of the best working with the least amount of side effects, and yet it is like a perfect storm of insanity.  Crazy chemicals swimming through my system, each with their specific job to do.  Each with their own range of side effects.  The result is me sitting on the couch, practically drooling, barely able to keep my head up because I am so very exhausted.  And like someone who has not slept for a week, but who is altered with drugs, my head spins and I can barely focus.  This  makes me naseous and dizzy, but honestly, if I could think clearly I would be just fine.

Dr. M wants one more treatment.  Dr. May has already scheduled two.  Honestly, I would rather go for the two treatments.  Even though I am unable to carry on much of a conversation or to accomplish the many tasks this time of year allows, that functionin above bare necessity is difficult, I would rather take the 4 treatments of WMDs, hope that they stall the cancer, and that we can work our way back to a maintenance situation. 
I don't know what that means.
I don't know if we are going to have to add in another of the WMDs that we are fairly certain will impact this cancer.
I don't know if we can knock it down enough so that I can go back on maintenance.
Is there a maintenance?
Have I lost what little mind I had left?
I am not sure about anything.

Isn't that the way life is?

I did the Radio Play.  Mary Moon and I did our last stint together as the Miller Sister Foley Team for the Stage Company.  I am no longer able to tolerate the rehearsals and performances.  I love the work, but the late nights wipe me out.  And I am not really enjoying the performances because I am working so hard trying to stay focused.  To not fall over, to no retch on stage.  It was wonderful getting to Foley with Mary one more time.  I love that woman so much.  She is a fine Foley, and a dear sweet funny woman.  We also had an apprentice.  Our favorite 15 year old, Zach Holly.  We have worked with him on several plays in the past and he is one of our all time favorite people.  He is funny and quiet and a little shy, but charming and a wonderful quirky sense of drama and silliness.  He had to bang a cymbal so we gave him big pot lids.  The first time he had to bang them, he does this dramatic extension of his arms, and then BANG he brings the lids together.  They make this horrific clatter of lids, not very cymbal sounding at all.  And you just can not help but laugh.  It was wonderful getting to work with him and for Mary and I to know that the Stage Company is in good hands for the next generation of Foley work. 

It was also great to do the Radio Play because I get to work with some of my most favorite people ever.  Of course, Mary and Zach, but it is always wonderful to get to do this play with Jan.  She directs us and her Dad was with the NBC Radio Company half a century ago, so this type of show has some of the best memories ever for Jan.  We have some very talented actors in our Stage Company, but to get them go in a completely different direction and shine so bright makes this production one of my all time favorites.  Cami and Mike were back in the play with their two daughters, Mary Rose and Lily.  Cami was in Casablanca with us, so she is a special joy for me from the beginning.  Like getting to work with Carolyn.  She and I joined the Stage Company with the Casablanca production and I still love getting to work with Carolyn.  This year to get to work with Cami and Mike, and their 2 precious lovely daughters, just seemed perfect.  And Judi Persons, another one of our talented group got to perform with granddaughter and with Jon Taylor, who is like a son to her.  I got to watch my Amanda perform.  She is amazing, and I love that young woman like a daughter.  So this show is layers upon layers of family and loved ones.  Dancing on the boards with the bright lights on.  It brings out the best in all of us, and the bittersweet reality that this may be the last time I am on stage with George or Jack, Mary or Amanda, or Judy and Denise.  That I may never again get to play with Pat or Marcy and so many dear sweet precious friends is tempered by the reality of how very very blessed I have been to get to spend 4 years learning the Foley Trade with the most generous and delightful people in the world.

No regrets, really.  I wish I felt clearer, stronger, but between the WMDs, the holidays, the stomach bug and wearing myself out, I would do it all over again.  Yes, I would.  But I don't have to.  I got to do it the first time.

So much
so much
wonderful life
and sweet reminders of how lucky I am to still be here.

We had to put Harry to sleep.  He was 14 or maybe 15, I am not sure.  But he was still hanging in there after the summer of travelling.  Then within a few days he just went downhill.  I called the vet and they of course fit us in right away.  I was not feeling so great at the time, but Bug found me digging his grave and the two of us were able to put him next to his mother, Maggierose and his sister, Lily.  He went quickly with Bug and I with him as Dr. Baxley administered the drug.  No pain, he just slipped away.  My giant Harry boy.  The child like creature that has been such a major part of my life for a decade and a half.  My three labs all gone now.  We buried him in his blanket with his food bowl, a dog cookie, a glow in the dark star to help him navigate to never never land, a candle to light the way and matches.  I stood at the grave of my three labs.  Marina is the only one left with me from my life before here.  Marina was Harry's cat.  We brought her home and put her with him.  A tiny black creature that had barely opened her eyes.  A giant labrador whose head was bigger then Marina when she was full grown.  But they loved each other.  Marina loved Harry more, but he tolerated her constant loving and attention with the dignity of a jowl heavy giant. 
Now he is gone.

We are heading over to Apalachicola today.  Bug and I are staying at the Gibson Inn.  We saw the PSA in May's blog blessourhearts about the deal they have at the Gibson about dinner and a free overnight stay.  I have always wanted to eat at the Gibson and to sleep in that old blue gray cracker hotel.  We have a room on the second floor on the balcony.  I am so excited.  The weather has been amazing lately.  Perfect for riding the motorcycle.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to ride.  That would require being able to sit up right, balance, think.  Nope, that has not been me.  But now, a beautiful ride along the coast over to Apalachicola. 
It is raining.
Oh well, we will take the toy, and  hopefully the weather will clear and we will be able to ride around with the top down.
I wish we were able to take the bike.
I know Bug really wishes we could take the bike
But for today, not such a good idea

Bug and I bought ourselves a giant screen TV
Ok, not giant compared to a lot of TVs, but giant for us
You can see the hair in someone's mole. 
Yep, pretty clear
We are enjoying it

I am hanging in there.
No pain
Really, nothing to complain about other then loosing my mind
I really miss my mind
no seriously, I really miss my mind
But I am here.
I am "well"
I look well
I am happy
I am busy with the holidays

I was able to spend thanksgiving with Rob, JongAe and Jessica.
Dad spent a week with us and we got his Christmas shopping done
It was great having him here, but a lot of work for everyone

I have missed so many birthdays and calls and just hello how are yous.

I am sorry, I am just not up to carrying on a conversation
I get lost
and then I stress
and then my head spins and I just want to run and hide
But considering how much people with sinuses or arthritis or migraines have to deal with, a few days, or weeks of confusion doesn't seem worth mentioning

Bug took my back deck/porch and has closed it in and we are going to get the windows closed up with screen and roll down canvas/vinyl windows, and I can sit out there. When it is sunny or rainy, cold or warm, I have a lovely place to sit. A real Southern screened in porch. I am now sittin on a porch in style. Thank you Bug, you are the most wonderful!

So I am good.
I hope that all of you are
Thank you each for trying to crack through my shell and find out what is going on.
Love to you all
Happy Holidays
I am happy
and well
and living my life



  1. I am so sorry about Harry. I know how much you loved him. It's so hard to see the dogs that are like children go.
    Take care and enjoy the Gibson.

  2. Right you are, Ma'am, and thank you: being well doesn't have as much to do with the state of one's physical health as we might once have thought, does it?

  3. Sending you my love Kathleen. I am so sorry to hear about Harry....I know how hard it is to say goodbye to these furry family members (still grieving over my 14 yr old shephard from a year ago.) He was such a good boy.
    I am glad you were able to get treatment in Atlanta and, despite the side affects I'm sure are difficult, I hope it helps stop this cancer in its tracks. Please know I am thinking of you and keeping you in my daily thoughts. Enjoy your new porch, rain or shine. :-) Love.