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Yesterday was a busy day

I woke up when Daddy came in from work -- 7:30 am. Plenty of time to accomplish what was on my list. I'm glad he stopped at home, or I wouldn't have seen him for almost 24 hours. He took a shower and headed off to a doctor's appointment. (He's is the picture of health, thank God. No worries there.) I got up, ate, showered, the routine.

Then I went to Heinen's to order Thanksgiving dinner. That was more difficult than I thought it would be. For one thing, they don't have their brochures printed yet. I mean, come on, Thanksgiving is less than 3 weeks away! For another thing, I had to have this 10 minute conversation standing up. That is getting more and more difficult to do. (This would have been so easy to do on-line!) But the real difficulty was in letting go . . . letting go of the menu (I have to choose from what they offer), letting go of the image of good cook, hostess, etc. I realize I will probably never cook Thanksgiving dinner again. That made me sad, but I was in a hurry and didn't pause to think of it at the time.

I drove to Lakeland for my W2W workshop. I feel like such a failure in this arena. We are supposed to be focusing on Career Choices/Career Planning (The Myth). First of all, in the name of keeping peace between departments, I asked if someone from Counseling could lead this workshop. They sent two men to to a one woman's job. And they sent men to lead a women's workshop. Not the end of the world, but sort of not getting the point. Then, well, many of the women in the workshop are . . . fragile. Several are dealing with domestic violence, some dependency issues, self-esteem, basic security, isolation, to name the obvious ones. There was more pain spilled on the floor yesterday than I have seen in a while. The problem with that is that Counseling feels the Women's Center isn't actually qualified to run these sort of workshops because we 'are not counselors', which, indeed we are not. So, I am sort of afraid of the repercussions.

From there, on to the AFC (gym). I cleared out my gym locker and turned back my lock. Another moment of reality combined with grief. I can no longer walk the track. I have trouble walking all the way down to the gym. It just felt so final. And sad.

Then on to LakeWest. Lake West? you ask. As in Lake Hospitals System? Yes. I had an appointment for a two hour MRI. You might be wondering why I had an appointment for an MRI. This has not been part of the diagnostic tool box so far, why now? Last Monday I had a bone scan and a CT scan. The bone scan showed 'something' at my T12 vertebrae and on my pelvic bone. I have been having back pain, which is what triggered the bone scan in the first place. The CT scan also found a mass in the area of my stomach, which apparently wasn't there when I had my last scan in September*. That was then, this is now. Back to the MRI.

I am here to tell you that that was my last MRI. I will not do that again. I don't care why. I am not going through that again. MRIs are not in and of themselves painful. But laying on the very hard table on my sore and no longer well padded be-hind was. For three (3) hours and perfectly still. I was in tears. It was (while not a ten and not kidney stones) something I don't want to repeat. Ever.

I came home and Daddy had cleaned up the living room. Most of it migrated to the spar'oom, but it was out of sight. Because we were hosting feast. I was exhausted. Daddy was also tired from working, going to the doctor's and not being able to get back to sleep. But the community pulled together and brought refreshments. They must have enjoyed themselves because I had to ask them to leave at 10:30.

As I said, yesterday was a busy day.

Today we are going to Medina for the young Dornbrooks' birthdays. Actually, I think it is just Jaci. Garrett is staying down at OSU. Tomorrow Uncle Thom goes in for knee replacement.

And a few post scripts:

Look who came for dinner? And stayed the night.

Houston, I think we have a problem.
The funny part is that I knit the same socks (and yes, I count both the stitches and the row) with another brand of yarn with the same yardage . . . and had leftover yarn. Go figure!

I think this is why they are called Morning Glories.

We finally (after about 25 years) planted bushes out front. Don't worry. They will grow in and look beautiful in about 5 years or so. They still look just a tad scrawny at the moment.

This one is the Beauty Berry bush. Aren't these berries the most impossible color? When I first saw them, I thought someone had wired these berries to the bush.

*I do suppose I have to talk about that mass in the area of the stomach. It appears that that is what has been causing the full feeling, the loss of appetite and accompanying weight, and severe heartburn.

I'm still not really talking about either of these things very well, am I? Sorry. I know what they mean, but not just what the next step will be. What they mean of course, is that the cancer is progressing, breathing down the back of my neck, you might say. Anything we would do at this point would be strictly palliative. I do not want anyone suffering under the delusion that we can beat this beast. Anything we do will simply be to make me more comfortable. And, no, I haven't been all that comfortable for the last 3 months now. I adjust and cope as best I can, but things are going downhill.


Dearest Stephanie,
Thank you for sharing it all with such candor, all this coalescence of extra burdens...
& your direct observations & opinions. And I thought I was busy!!!
Beautiful photographs!!!
Much love,

Thanks for sharing, maman. I love you.

Update: I just heard from the doctor. The MRI doesn't show any sign of cancer in the bones. I have a fracture in my T12 from osteoporosis, but not cancer. Who knows about the whole pelvic thing. And as the onc said, this cancer doesn't usually go to the bones. I reminded him it also doesn't usually go to the ovaries or the muscle tissue either. My C119 (I think that's right -- it is the pancreatic cancer marker, which didn't go up with either of the other recurrences. Go figure. The concern seems to be the mass in the stomach area. Yet the pressure that I feel is mostly in the lower pelvic area. It is all so confusing. Now I have to make a decision about Xeloda. I can't think of any reason to take it, but I am considering it. I need to do more research. Capcitabine.

Wow. Anything to do for the fracture?

Hmmm . . . No one has mentioned one. I think one just waits until it feels better. My frustration is that my back isn't what bothers me. It is much more my abdomen. But the CT scan doesn't show anything there. So, I keep going.

Hmmm. Maybe it's what Carol used to call "referred pain." In some cases, you get in the habit of, say, leaning to the right every day. And you do it for years. Then you start having muscle pain in your right shoulder - and it's from spending all that time leaning to the right. The the real problem isn't in your shoulder, it's in your spine, but you can't relieve the pressure on your shoulder, you have to relieve the pressure on your spine before you can have a healthy shoulder again.

I think I'm saying that all wrong, but the idea is that something slightly out of whack in one place can cause something uncomfortable elsewhere.

Also, you've said that this feels similar to last time. Last time, the barium worked. You might want to try the same thing that worked last time.

I love you, Maman! All of you, sick or well, funny or somber, happy or sad, energetic or drained, I love you the same. You're my Mommy.

- Nathan

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