Wednesday, June 7, 2023

I gotta say, Monday was a hell of a long day. We were at the Cancer Center at 7 am and didn’t leave until after 4 pm. Just so damned long.

I can’t say sitting in a chair next to Ernie for that long does much for my back but eh, in the scheme of things it was fine. The Pod Gods must be confused because they gave us Pod Four for his short Keytruda Infusion last week and Pod One for the 9 hour marathon. Fortunately it was a relatively quiet day there. I suppose we could request one of the little rooms when we have a long day but I hate not having natural light. Regardless, we got through it. He got his IVIG and platelets and we got home before 5 so it certainly coulda been worse. I should try to figure out meals ahead on days like that but it’s been a crazy couple of days so we foraged for leftovers in our refrigerator and collapsed in front of the tv. After all that, yesterday we heard that his platelet count went down even further and so Barnes is delaying the treatment planned for next week. Sigh.

Onto better, and very important, news: Trinity came home from the hospital yesterday!! She’s been there since last Friday. They finally figured out it was appendicitis after too many days of tossing other ideas around. She had surgery Monday and then stayed one more night. Owen is SO happy to have her back home and I am incredibly relieved that it was figured out and had a fix. I mean, come on, it’s Trinity. Whew. Life just can’t stop itself from getting on that rollercoaster, can it?

Somehow, lost in the chaos of the weekend, was Teri and Brian’s incredible party. I’ll admit it was hard to summon the energy to go and celebrate and I was anxious about my walking…but I’m so glad we did, it really was wonderful. Nobody throws a party like those two and we saw so many wonderful friends.

The Moondogs/Halos, photo by the brilliant Eva
Only Ann would be able to convince Ernie to let her make a cake for him. Of course it was divine and I swear my mother would have loved that dress. Very Polly Voelkl.

I have a ton of things to get caught up on. Walking is still not great but I’m managing. I leave you with a somewhat unhealthy but crazy good breakfast. Cheese and leftover bratwurst quesadillas with strawberries. Aldi’s bratwurst FTW.


Tunnels and spaceships

Yesterday was treatment day at Barnes. Honestly, it’s an easy drive, easy to get to the Cancer Center, easy, albeit somewhat intense, valet parking, short walk to the elevators, Ernie usually gets in quickly and the treatment doesn’t take too long. So in reality, not a damn thing to complain about. Nevertheless we always are at a somewhat heightened level of anxiety all day and the whole thing always feels a bit surreal. Roughly three hours of a very quiet drive then you burst into the loud, exhaust filled valet parking area. Then we get into the elevator and all becomes quiet and pretty much stays that way in the waiting room. The worst thing is that I can’t go back there with him. So I sit in the waiting room, sip some water (water cooler in the waiting room—yay Barnes!) and scroll aimlessly on my phone. Then, an hour or so later we plunge back into the valet parking and exhaust, get in our car and in two shakes of a lamb’s tail (I have no idea why that phrase just came to me) we are back on our highway. It’s like being in a tunnel for 8 or 9 hours with occasional flashes of light. Not bad, just tiring.

Yesterday I got excited when they took him back about 20 minutes early. However evidently they had problems with the IV in his arm and had to switch to his port and it somehow took much longer than usual. We finally hopped in the car and headed out of the city. We did make two stops on the way home and getting out of that tunnel for a moment felt good.

I’d never stopped to see this sign but I was glad we finally did. Look at that tiny little lobster on there. ❤️ The longtime trope was that if the neon cherry was lit then female entertainment was available. However, reportedly there was never a mechanism to light the cherry separately… It also reportedly was a hangout for Al Capone but good lord the man would have been busy if he actually hung out at all the places that say that. A delightful sign and a John Margolies blue sky day. You can’t get much better than that.

As we drove back to the interstate we came across two motel signs as an added bonus.

Unfortunately the Apple Valley Motel burned down a few years back but the sign remains. That little semi-shaped sign that says ‘circle drive turn around’ is just wonderful.

We settled into I-55 but could not resist getting off to take a picture of a Futuro spaceship.

We drove on, so anxious to be home. We finally arrived and it felt like we’d been gone a week. Our beautiful neighbor Barb brought us dinner, we watched some mindless tv and collapsed. We’re not supposed to sleep next to each other for a few days so I slept on the couch and I didn’t mind as I didn’t have to go up the stairs.

Glad to have the day over. Only two more to go.


Random Saturday Notes: April 29, 2023

Eh, fucking cancer. Mind you, I’m thrilled Ernie’s back in treatment as we want to keep things under control but it’s been about a week since he started Keytruda again and the damn side effects are rolling back into town. Leo just took off to go pick up some prescriptions for him. I’m so crazy grateful for all our boys do. Damn, I just made myself teary.

Speaking of boys doing things for us, Owen installed lights on my three glass shelves in the living room and I am so happy. They are SUPER bright so I have ordered a dimmer for but in the meantime my glass is just primping and preening. It’s a super cheap lighting kit from China, who knows how long it will last. The shelves are black and without light the glass is lost. We’d tried some little battery operated lights but they didn’t last long and it was stupidly difficult to change the batteries. These are intended for under cabinet lighting but they seem to work fine here. Owen had to drill holes in the shelves for the wires and then connect it all.

This is a work in progress view…glass is not all arranged…final display decisions to be made, but you will note the handles are all turned in the right direction in honor of my beloved Jim Eyre! This is all mid 19th century American glass and I adore it.

I swear I’ve never had tulips last so long. Thank you so much, Eva and Heather. And Eva, I’m sorry, but pink tulips are better than yellow tulips.

OK, I will grant you this isn’t the prettiest meal but it was really good. I had some barramundi sitting in the freezer so we thawed it out, seasoned it with salt and sumac and browned it quickly in butter. In the meantime we’d made some gluten free spaghetti. We drained that and tossed in a couple of handful of mixed greens and let them wilt. Then we added the fish back in, a bit of pasta water and all the pan drippings. It was a tad too dry…should have added a dollop of olive oil but it felt so nice and light, if pasta can taste light. I think I overcooked the pasta a bit as it doesn’t usually break that much until it’s leftovers. Oh, and I deglazed the pan with lemon juice and bit of white wine and tossed in a bit of lemon zessst.

I’ve been criticized by some (Leo) for talking too much about my cat’s bowel habits. I really can’t fault him on that but when you’re in caregiver mode, whether it’s a cat or a human, all modesty and social constraints pretty much fly out the window. Suffice to say, Hattie is feeling MUCH perkier. Here she is assisting me with the damn CVS pharmacy website.

Last but not least. An old stone house in Eldred that seems to be abandoned in the middle of farm fields. It is the Samual Gates house c. 1830s, I believe.

Here it is in google maps. I guess there are the remains of a road there but I don’t think it’s accessible.