It’s The Weekend!! (“What is a Week End?” says Dame Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey)

Being mostly retired, weekends haven’t been remarkable for quite some time, and they are even less so now. This week I got to meet a home health nurse, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist. They are all sweet as can be, and each is impressed with my progress and my assortment of appropriate home health gadgets – walker, shower bench, ‘high-rise’ toilet (which all tall people should have, anyway), hand-held shower wand, and handy-dandy-grabber-thing-that-helps-you-pick-up-what-you-dropped. I’m just telling you all this because shortly after acquiring all these items I discovered who, among my friends, has all these things they’d be glad to loan me. So, make a note. I have all these things and I’ll be happy to loan them to you, should you ever need them.

I’ll also buy myself a new cane soon, and you can borrow that. I have my great-grandfather’s hickory cane, which is beautiful, but I’ve discovered he was shorter than I.

My experience of time has changed in the last few weeks. It speeds up, it slows down, and it’s mostly unpredictable. Rather than experiencing time, my experience feels more like pain, less pain, grogginess from pain meds, and brief periods of relative clarity between. I thought there would be many tasks I’d catch up on, since I’m sitting around even more than usual. Instead, I’m just sort of floating through my days, trying to make sense of my treatment options, insurance, and learning who is in (and out) of my ‘network’. (I’m glad y’all are in my network, by the way…)

I did learn a few things this week about how to proceed, but it wasn’t until this morning that I actually had a face-to-face with a doctor. I met Dr. James Eckman, a radiation oncologist at Baptist Hospital Louisville, and he will see me through radiation treatments, starting as early as next week. (I’ll have either one treatment or five, depending on more factors than I can count.) It took us quite a while to find Dr. Eckman. We had to go to the wrong hospital, then to the wrong entrance, before learning we were miles from where we belonged.

When we finally found Dr. Eckman, he referred me to Dr. Michael Kommer at Baptist Hospital Eastpointe (also in Louisville) who will see me through chemotherapy. I’ll meet him on the 14th and we’ll go from there.

Jeanne can stay through the end of next week, at least. She can return to Denver and come back again later, so I’m especially grateful she’s retired. I think we’ll get through the radiation and start chemo before she needs to take a break. So far we’re getting along just fine.

As I progress through chemo (it’ll likely be one, 6-hour day, followed by a 21 day break, repeat 6 times), I’ll be looking for folks to give me a ride sometimes, and I’ll post my requests for help here on CaringBridge. It’ll be a good time to visit with friends (I hope). I’ve only had family visits since I came home from the hospital. I just feel so tired most of the time. I look forward to not being tired and enjoying a good laugh with friends. And remembering what was so funny, so I can laugh about it again later.

Love you all,

Published on — November 4, 2016


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