Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Surprises

Here you see my nephew, Josh, and his girlfriend, Noelene. They are both pilots working out of Yellowknife. Josh is home for a couple of weeks vacation, helping Darrel out with harvest ... when they can find stuff ripe enough to harvest, that is. Noelene had only a few days to spare so hers is short visit. This is the first time Kevin and I have had an opportunity to meet her and we are thrilled! She seems like someone we've know all our lives. Don't they look good together?! It looks like they even colour coordinated their clothes.

Yesterday was a pretty good day all-round. It's not like I needed to curl up in a fetal position on the couch. That's a good sign. Sylvia drove me to the Champion Centre and came with me to learn from the pros how to change the dry bandages over my PICC-line. There's a little redness around the stitches that hold the contraption in place on my arm, but Tracey tells me that's not unusual and is nothing to worry about. It's probably my body rejecting the stitches and trying to push them out, which often happens, and then they have to restitch or otherwise clamp the thing to the arm to secure it. I expressed my wish that it would all hold together just long enough to get through the next chemo treatment, at least ... exactly two weeks from now ... and I asked when they usually remove the PICC-line. Tracey told me they usually remove it right then ... at the last chemo treatment! Now that's exciting to contemplate!! Still, I'll believe it when my doctor tells me it's true. I don't want to get too pumped about it because I don't think I could face the disappointment if they told me I'd have to keep it there through the next surgery. I so want that thing out of my arm and chest.

After I got home, I had a much needed afternoon nap. I didn't experience much in terms of stabbing pains and twitches yesterday. Not even last night. I did have some numbness in my lower legs. While I was walking from the parking lot to the Champion Centre, it felt like my feet weren't attached to my legs. I think I managed to walk normally but I really had to think about it. It felt like my feet wanted to flop around and go in different directions. Strange. It felt fine later.

When I woke up, Kevin was home. He put some drops in my eyes to help with the discomfort there. And then ... this is where the surprise comes in ... Darrel, Josh and Noelene phoned to say they were bringing all the fixings for a steak dinner right to our house! It was wonderful! Wonderful to see them all, to meet Noelene, to have a little social event right here in my bubble, and to taste test some foods.

I must say the steak and potatoes tasted crappy. The corn on the cob, though, tasted wonderful and it tasted sweeter than I remember corn normally tasting. Corn will now be one of my go-to foods when I'm needing a hit of flavour. Noelene made a very nice spinach and strawberry salad and I could taste the strawberries in it, too. Poor Noelene. She had to make the dressing for the salad twice because after she went to all the trouble of squeezing the lemons, etc., she accidentally selected the wrong canister and ended up with salt instead of sugar in the dressing. No problems. We had more lemons and redid. The salt/sugar switch has happened before. I should really label the cannisters. The best part of the whole meal was the company.

Lynn, who had been at a Credit Union event, came by after dinner and, later still, Kathy showed up, so we had all of them here for a while at least. I especially liked the retelling of family stories ... how ginormous Josh and Luke were as babies, especially they're heads in adult-sized helmets ... and how much food they all inhaled ... how Kevin wondered if Hannah had a tapeworm ... and remembering Dad (Grandpa to our kids) and some of the things the kids remember about him ... his big hands and how warm he was ... wrestling hopelessly with him. It was especially fitting to recall happy memories of Dad because this Saturday is the anniversary of his death and that's how I like to remember him ... with fun and laughs. Thanks so much for coming, guys! Oh, and Otto was here, too, of course. The baby of the family. During all of this, Sylvia came by and gave me my injection. Two more of those left this round.

By 9:30 my face started getting very hot and very red. After everyone left, I put a cold washcloth on my face. This has happened the past three nights and I get a low-grade fever along with it. It's very uncomfortable. I'll have a blanket over my legs because they're cold and a cold washcloth on my face because it's burning up! I did manage to get a good sleep but when I woke up this morning, my face is still hot and red. Damn!

The old digestive system has been a little off the past couple of days, too, which is annoying. Still, all considered, I can't complain. This causes a lot of problems for many people going through chemo and I've been lucky to have had so few issues with it. Hopefully, it will "work itself out", so to speak.

And now ... well, now ... I feel "okay". Not horrible. Not good. But okay. We'll see where the day leads.


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