Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, July 7, 2014

Treatment number one, and it ain't pretty

We are in our home.  A week ago Wednesday Mr. Moon had kindly offered his truck, a trailer and his back and he and Bug moved the beds, dressers and the couch.  Before they picked up their first piece I stopped them and reminded them that they are closer to 60 than 50.  Mr. Moon laughed and said that was very true.  His 60th birthday was in three days.  I suggested that maybe if he wanted to enjoy his birthday the two of them should be considerate of their bodies.  They laughed and did as they would do, but hopefully neither did any serious damage.

Ms Moon came over to the house to see it for the first time.  She had not seen it since it had holes in the walls and the house trashed.  Now it was mostly cleaned up, walls/ceilings repaired and painted not to mention all the other upgrades not meant to be seen.  She loved it and could see how happy we are.

We are very happy in our new home.
I say everyday more than once, "I love our home."
It is more amazing then I could imagine in my mind.  Soon, soon, I will get photos, but we are still moving in so changes happen constantly.

The phone and internet were turned off as scheduled the Friday after we moved.  However there was so problem said to imply technical difficulties and they might not be able to turn on the lines for thirty days.  They had very efficiently already turned off the other lines.  So now we could not even go back to the old place to return calls, use the internet, etc.  They said they sent an email to an address that was not either of ours.  They also had both of our cell phone numbers, but had not felt it important to let us know before the lines were turned off, that there was a complication.  Bug calmly explained their choices and ours and a few days later they were calling our cell phone to let us know that they were at the gate.  We now have phone and internet again.  We have very poor cell phone reception here, and for a little more than a week we were essentially cut off, and really I didn't mind.

I had been struggling with the move.  Emotions, being physical, not sleeping, just not feeling so great.  But the day before my treatment I mowed our yawn.  No, that is not a typo.  I call the area we fenced in for the dogs, the yawn.  It is the only yard and lawn we maintain.  Well, lawn is the stretch there.  It is a little grass, a lot of broadleaf weeds and the final majority is blackberry vines.  Spiny, spikey, ripping skin and catching clothes and fur.  I could try and spot treat it out.  It is entangled amongst the other weeds and the few sturdy grasses. I am sure there would be collateral damage and honestly when it is mowed you can almost walk barefoot on it.  I really enjoyed mowing it.  Driving that tractor mower around the fence line.  It is not a big area.  The hardest part was the yawn had grown so tall and thick the mower could barely chug thru ripping and tearing the too wet weeds.  It needed to be done, and better to get done then after the treatment, just in case. 

Wednesday, July 1st, I had my first infusion treatment.  The worse thing of the whole matter was that it was the US/Germany game.  We left the oncology center and had dinner at Appleby's just so we could watch the second half of the game.

I was a little taken back when the side effects started on Thursday.  Wednesday I needed to sit down a lot but no other side effects.  I really don't expect to have side effects until after the second treatment.  I mean other then a little blood in the urine.  Just enough to give a lovely pink tinge.  Actually I had less nausea then feared.  I was weak, tired, bone pain (not a listed symptom) and generally uncomfortable.  I also got back on the scales and was not happy to see that I had lost four pounds.  Then a few more mild side effects according to the list of mild/severe effects.  But of course I felt it was important to make up a few of mine, side effects that had a little more drama.  Loss of appetite was barely noticed which  helped for more weight loss.  Lots of bone pain, pain in my lungs and I swear one kidney is being a little difficult.  Those are not listed, but seem normal to me.  The most difficult, and I feel the most creative side effect I have invented is the feeling of wasps and hornets repeatedly stinging the bottom of my feet whenever there is any type of pressure.  My right ankle swelled slightly with red splotches and hot, then gave out.  It is much better now in that I can put weight on it again.  Remember my left ankle is the one I broke and wore the brace on, so again it makes sense that it might be vulnerable.  My other appendages also wanted some attention and soon had red splotches and lines that were much hotter then the rest of the arm/leg around them.  The splotches are gone except for the right inside leg.  From my knee to my ankle are various splotches and lines and extremely uncomfortable.  As I was taking my shower I realized that the red splotches were not red any longer but looked like fresh bruises, red, purplish still spreading out.  Now, that was on the list.  The list to immediately call your doctor.  I left a message, they called back and asked me to come in earlier so they could run my blood work earlier and see if there is a reason I should not continue with this treatment.

I know I keep saying that I am not fighting, but by allowing these WMDs and the war that followed in my body are getting a little hard to say I am not fighting.  But at this point, for what I have gone through this past week, I don't want to stop now.  I was held captive for almost four days, unable to walk, to spend more then a short time with loved ones. 

 Rob, JongAe and Jessica came to visit.  I was able to spend some time with them, but the stimuli would get to be too much and I would have to go down into the dark of our room and lay there.  I have had to cancel Christopher coming.  First of all I can not walk except with great necessity.  I can not drive down even part way to get him and Bug is not going to leave me for that long in this condition.  Thankfully he was not able to come up two weeks ago like planned.  His grandmother passed away, so this past week has been filled with small town mourning of a treasured member.  He needed to be there for that, and then he came down with a bad bug.  I can not be around sick people, so the guardian angels were watching over us all.   I called Pat and explained what was going on and told her I would call Christopher and explain.  I simply can not take care of even his simple needs since he is old enough to take care of himself.  And I can not ask Bug to add another person to feed and watch over.  He has enough to deal with already.  I am miserable that I can not have my Christopher.  Pat said she would try and get them up here one weekend for me.  That would be nice.

 Judy, the Director of the Murder Mystery, is a 17 year survivor of a very severe bone cancer.  I called her in for help.  I am down to 108 and I have got to get my act together and get back to living.  At this point, I have rested, slept and tried to allow the WMDs they infused into me wage their battle.  I looked at it that I am Switzerland, neutral.  The wmds and my body, hopefully mainly the cancer cells are waging a great battle inside of me.  I simply walk around, or lay around as an observer.  Unfortunately in all wars there are civilian casualties.  I am trying to avoid that.  Hence the call to Judy this morning.  And she helped me with all those things I needed to share with her.  The one person I truly can discuss anything.  I have special bonds with so many precious people.  Bonds with them about things that have happened to us together.  This is the time I call Judy. 

I have to say when I got off that scale my own life force surged upward.  I would not say I stood up ready to fight.  No, I didn't feel confrontational, it was more, like cheering for the World Cup.  I cheer more for a great game than for a team.  I decided to start cheering for Kathleen.  I can look right in my loved ones eyes and remind them that I am still here.  Inside where the war is waging, but the war and I are not the same.  This war will not take me with it.  I will not give in to fighting, but I am going to survive, and hopefully the damage will not be so bad.  I am a civilian in this war, and I need to have Judy remind me of the things we do when we are surviving.  And usually I can change my thinking (or as my brother and now his 11 year old daughter say, "do you have change for a paradigm?") and get back to living.

The house looks amazing, Bug is madly working at the chicken coop trying to get it ready for the chickens and ducks.  He has the metal roof on and the chicken yard fenced in with goat fencing to keep the dogs out of the area.  Bug has the material to build a lower roosting area on the first floor for George and the ducks.  I don't think George could make it up the plank to the nesting and roosting.  He sleeps on the ground and the ducks roost next to him.  So Bug is trying to make a comfortable spot for everyone.  We will worry about an area for babies later.  Right now we are focused on George, Willie, Lily, John C and his four remaining hens.  Camellia died on Friday after we moved here.  We knew she would not make it more then a couple of more days.  She was pale, not eating, still laying eggs.  I checked and could not find any blockage, but that doesn't mean anything.  She did not seem to be in discomfort.  She would make a little nest area in the grass each day and spend time dozing in the warm summer sun.  She allowed us to stroke her and she would nuzzle her head up to our hand and make little guttural chicken coos.  She was simply tired and ready to go, and when it was her time and just never woke up after a lovely afternoon nap.  Blessed be my sweet little Camie.  Such a sweet hen.

My friend Woody McCoy died.  Yes, he is one of those McCoys and one of his best friends was a Hatfield.  I know, knew them both and love them dearly.  Ceil's husband died of brain cancer about seven years ago.  Larry died of brain cancer over two years ago and now Woody has joined them.  He also died of cancer, but I do not know what kind.  He had smoked most of his life so it could have been lung, but really does it matter.  I know that death is not a bad thing and can be welcomed by those who have suffered or not lived long enough.  Of those with confidence in their beliefs of the hear after.  Death is hard for those who must live without you.  That is reason to be sad, to miss our loved ones not with us.  I am sad and miss Woody.  I have not seen him since Dub's funeral I think.  We moved that next year up here.  All of our lives were in flux, grand children, careers, health, retirements, our lives were turning towards the realities of middle age.  He is young to die for these days, sixties, but what does time have anything to do with it?  Life is not about time, but living.  Woody lived his life.  No one would argue that point.  Blessed be Woody.

So here I am in our new home. 
I am happy
I am very happy
My cousin Lori will be living in the state within the next three weeks.
Not near me, but still closer and in her beloved Florida
Bug and I are living each day as it comes
I rest more
We works more
I am trying very hard to have a small and a happy voice, even when I do not feel it because that is the least I can do for someone who works himself to exhaustion everyday.  He is not simply finishing the last details of a new home.  He is the only one packing and moving at this point from the old house here.  I help to unpack, but he is doing all of the packing and some of the unpacking.  He is also mowing both properties, taking care of the animals and now taking care of me and cleaning the house.  There was almost a week I could not help him with even the most basic needs.  He was doing it all.  And I was miserable.  But if he could cook for us, clean up after us, feed the dogs/cats and all the rest, I could at least smile and thank him for all that he is doing.  To let him know that I see more then he knew I did.  How much I appreciated his hard work.  Getting up everyday and doing the work for two.  He is amazing

I am having the last snack of the day.  I eat on the clock.  I am never hungry.  So at certain times each day I eat either a "meal" size or snack size portion.  I alternate between bigger balanced meals and smaller higher calorie meals.  I have been doing this all along, but not with the timing, so I may have missed a few more than I realized.  This seems to be working better.  I have no choice, it has to work.

And if I can not take the Gemzar?  If it is more than my body can handle we can hold and wait, or stop.  But as challenging as this past week has been, I may be plenty strong enough to keep taking treatments.  I am trying.  I may not be fighting, just too uncomfortable to even think about.  But now I hope that the chemical gives us a good game, and maybe, just maybe the chance I took will pay off and I will be 'well' again for more time.  Quality life for a little more quantity.  I was willing to take the bet.  I had referred to this treatment was to see what was behind Door No. 3.  She texted me asking about Door No. 3.  I said I should have stuck with the box and not gone for a door.  No, I am feeling stronger now.  I was able to wash laundry, including the sheets.  Clean sheets tonight.  sigh  I was able to do a few other small tasks and visit with Judy.  I am exhausted now, but tomorrow another treatment.  I need to rest and prepare for tomorrow and what surprises are still yet unseen behind Door No. 3.  It hasn't been pleasant and usually gets worse with each treatments.

Oh well, today I have my sense of humor and all I can think to say, is oh well.
Just happy to be here.



  1. I hope the next treatment goes well and that the war is eventually won against the cancer. I think that you are amazing and so is your husband. Happy for you in your new home.

  2. I am so glad you have your head in the game! Your home sounds lovely.


  3. What is it that you can eat? I would like to bring you food, dear.

  4. Dear Kathleen, Congrats on your new house.
    I am rooting for you in this big game. I know the World Cup final will be on TV at my house today. While not a grand soccer fan myself, I just might enjoy it a bit more thinking of you. Sending love.