Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bone Treatment

The Oncology Center called yesterday and said I had a bone treatment today.  I was a bit confused because the doctor had said they would call me on Friday to set an appointment for next week.  She said that all she had was an order for me to take a treatment today.  I said fine, and planned on just driving up by myself in the morning.  Bug has two passes left on the bedroom floor.  He knocked out 3/4 of it yesterday.  I knew even though his back is giving him a lot of pain, he would want to finish the floor today. The floor is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.  This morning he said he would rather go with me to make sure that everything went well this first treatment.  I appreciated that even though I have been through this before I don't remember any problems or reasons that I shouldn't be able to drive myself, but I don't remember a lot of things.

We drove up and Ms Rose took care of everything and within an hour we were on our way home.  Bug sat with me during the infusion.  Each person gets their own little space.  The nurses give you warmed towels, snacks and drinks.  They are so nice to you there.  When I got there Ms Rose said she was surprised to see me because I was on the calendar for next week.  I told her what had happened with the scheduling and we both just laughed.  The treatment was done so there you go.  I told her I would call Ms G and let her know what chemo I had settled on and asking for an appointment to either start or meet with Dr. May.  They were working at another office this morning so I will probably get a call next week.

I have been at this place before.  That place where this must be the end of the final chapter.  It is time to start putting things in order.  This time.  I am just too tired to worry about it.  I still say the same thing as people stop to talk to me.  "How you doing?"  "Fine," I say, "Just fine."  Well, that is the truth, I am doing fine.  Tired? yes, Bone weary? yes.  But I am doing fine.  Have I turned the corner?  Well, again, yes.  Three months ago the cancer had not metastasized to my back bone.  Three months ago I did not have large dark spots on my lungs.  Three months ago I could still carry 50 pounds of chicken feed.  No longer.

But is this "the end?"  Please.  I have no idea.  I can't say that I am afraid, but now worry about the cancer metastasizing to my brain.  After all, my ex-late husband died of brain cancer.  Even though we did not know that was going on with him, we had dealt with debilitating headaches.  I have lived with headaches, but honestly have not had to deal with that for many years now.  So I will be able to understand what is happening and know what to look for.  Of course I am hoping that we do not need to worry about that.  And honestly, I am not worried, just.....aware.  If, if, this is "the end", well, I hope I have time to take care of everything, and if not?  no worries, I won't be here to worry.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple weeks ago.  She had a double mastectomy on Friday, and when I talked to her briefly today she sounded like the same person.  Not someone who had just been through what I would consider major surgery.  She sounded like she was just getting ready to go work in the garden or make her honey lunch.  The surgery went well, but they did find a spot on a lymph node, so that might change things.  Where the surgery might have handled the little c before, now they know that it has metastasized so that changes the play book.  I told her she was my hero, and she laughed and told me she thought the same.  After I hung up I thought how all of the people I have known dealing with the little c since I found out I had it just breaks my heart.  I do not dislike my c, but when thinking of others, I am now the one that can do nothing for them.  It is a helpless feeling.  I try to keep that in mind when people are having to deal with me.  It is much easier, in my case anyway, to be the one with the disease. 

I have been a care giver for family and friends and I have appreciated that opportunity.  I understood that they were not going to live forever, and several of the deaths were very hard.  But not because of their illness, but because I loved them and would miss them.  Each time I learn of another friend who had an illness, the wind gets knocked out of my sails.  I think I just feel guilty.  I am still here using resources of our planet, and breathing the shared air.  I am still here.  Not helping others, not giving back.  I still feel like I am part of the community, and tonight Carolyn, Judy, Denise and I will go to see the children's production at the Opera House.  I talked to Ms Moon yesterday and said that if her kids got back in time and picked up their kids, wouldn't she love to skip her weekly happy hour with her honey and go to the Opera House and watch lots of children.  She laughed and said no.  She has had her grand babies for a few days and thought she might need a little adult time.  If her grand babies are even gone at that point.  She is making a difference, she is helping to raise two sweet loving intelligent humans and what could be more important.  I will get to spend two weeks with Christopher and we will plant my garden.  I also want to have some kids and other stage company people for a makeup class.  I don't know how much energy I can manage for this, but I want to hand over the makeup to someone that the stage companies can call on.  Stage companies need light people, sound people, makeup, costume and prop people.  Anyone who comments they are interested in doing any of those gets as many opportunities as they would ever want.  It is also great for the stage companies to know who can do what. 

Other than that the only thing I have to give is to try and be as nice as I can to everyone I meet.  That and be there for the shows, applaud loudly and let the kids I have watched growing up know I am there.  To support them to be the most they can. 

I am tired.  Wow, that is new! Okay, I am always tired, but I am still alive.  I went to the fashion show yesterday with Carolyn.  I laughed and clapped and cheered the models on as they circled and spun and tried to look like TV models.  They wore clothes from our thrift store, Wag The Dog.  A woman sitting with us made a comment that she would never have thought to shop at a place called Wag the Dog.  She has now changed her mind after watching this fun show.  She wants to do some canning so I need to call her and make arrangements for her to get my supplies.  Canning sounds so romantic, but it is hot, heavy, hard work.  Way past what I plan on doing again.  She is about 10 years older then me, but she wants to make fig preserves.  All older southern women are charged with growing tomatoes and leaving them at doors of neighbors when they overflow the garden.  And, to make fig preserves.  I had looked forward to making the preserves.  I don't eat jellies, jams and preserves but it is written somewhere that is what we do.  I think Baily White has also discussed that in several of her stories.

This lady was quite nice, but it is interesting to listen to her views after moving here from Gainesville.  She is a judge for flowers and ornamental shows.  We are not a big judging place.  We tried to introduce her to other gardeners in the area that belong to different garden circles.  I do not think she found what she was looking for.  We told her about the art league and other groups and things in town.  I do not think we particularly impressed her.  Oh well, I love our community. Where the grand marshal for the parade tomorrow is the UPS driver.  He is well liked, a native of this community and goes above and beyond in serving his customers.  Sounds like a grand marshal to me.  A small town, but not for everyone. 

Oh!!!  I have seen my first red/yellow/green stop light in Jefferson County.  No, it is not at an intersection.  It is in one of the antique shops in the main business district.  You can see it through the window.  It certainly caught my eye.

They have set up booths downtown and by this evening it will be hopping.  Tomorrow will be the big day of the festival.  Breakfast, car show, parade, street dance and lots of other fun festivities.  Life is good here in our small little community.  And I am doing very well, all things considered, but I think I will go lay down so I will be rested up for the play tonight.


  1. We just got back from Panacea where we took the boys to the Gulf Specimens Marine Lab and it was about fifty million degrees and a yellow fly bit me and now I'm so tired that I just want to lay on the bed with four fans on me and rest, rest, rest. But I know it is a different sort of tired and that's all there is to it.
    I can drink an iced espresso and then get up and do what I need to do to get these boys packed and to their parents.
    Honey. You are not useless and you are not squandering the planet's resources. As long as you are alive, you will, on some level, in some way, be doing for others.
    And hey- is your voodoo lily blooming? Mine is! Dang!

  2. Kathleen, I wish that you didn't have the c. I have to say that I don't like it but know that it is a group of cells that have simply gone wild. Hard to hate cells out of control. You are brave and good.

  3. Kathleen, my name is Janie and I have been reading your blog for some time. Though I've never commented, I've been deeply inspired. I dreamed of you last night and knew it was time to tell you how important you've been on my journey.

    I was diagnosed with a crippling disease at a young age....while this disease will not kill me, it makes me wish I was dead. I'm now 41 and have spent years "fighting" and hating my body, exhausted between the constant battle of wills between "it" and "I." After reading your journey I have come to see there is a different way, a gentler to get through illness. I am beginning to see my crippled bones as friends who are doing the best they can with what they have, just like my spirit and my mind. It's hard to put into words how this has affected me, but it has been a life-changing alternative view, and you the pivotal point.

    Thus I strongly disagree when you say you don't give anything back. I have said that about myself for years too, but again, your writing tells me I may be wrong about that. Your mere presence gives and teaches, and you need *do* nothing.

    I was a nurse and am familiar with cancer, and have watched many lives pass through this earth. Be gentle with yourself, as living with illness and dying is difficult business, more difficult than many people understand. Those who have always been quite healthy cannot always comprehend the weight of the physical struggle, and of course they have their own emotional needs and issues as well. You are not alone, even if you may sometimes feel alone on the personal journey in your body. Please know my heart and thoughts are with you....from all the way across the US in Rochester, MN, I am here with you in spirit, my friend.