Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Feeling Better

Today I made progress and feel better.

Rough day though. Lots of stuff for my parents to help with. Don't want to be more detailed than that.

Also met and really liked Lawanda my aide. Helped me bathe. Oh how the mighty have fallen hee hee hee!

Watched about an hour of Olympics tonight with Lou.

Because I am unable to post from my phone I am using Lou's.

So if you want to see updates from me then you should scan the comments for the current post. I have no trouble with making comments from my phone.

Sent from Lou's Android phone.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Three Bad Days

Just wanted to get it out there that since Saturday afternoon, I have been miserable with nausea and stomach pain.

My friend Marguerite helped on Saturday, and today hospice nurse Judy set up new meds.

Hard to talk on phone when so miserable. Texts are easier.

Parents are here and Patsy babysat this aft.

Sent from my Android phone.


This is a test to see if we can post from Lou's phone.

Sent from my Android phone.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Used the Walker for Saturday Lunch Outing

Sue and Irv took us out to lunch on Saturday.

Originally, we were planning to try Irregardless Cafe in Raleigh. Although we've seen many rave reviews, neither Lou nor I had ever been. Sue and Irv have been and have enjoyed it.

But at the last minute, we changed the plan. Because it's a brunch, it might be a buffet, and that would have been impossible with the walker. (I have been awfully unsteady on my feet for the last few days. Thank God, weeks ago, Gerry lent us Joe's walker; it's a godsend.)

We went to Tripps instead.

Lunch was excellent. Conversation was excellent. And, although we made a flood of special demands, our waitress was excellent.

When I say the conversation was excellent, I mean so engrossing that our waitress found it near impossible to interrupt Lou and Irv when she returned with additional questions.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Editors Visit

On Thursday afternoon, my friends and editors, Tate and and Kathy, visited me. We had such a nice time! Tate brought gourmet peanutbutter dog cookies for Miss Bailey, who spent the visit hiding in the bedroom with Lou.

Here they are, pictured from left to right, Kathy and Tate.

It was especially funny to be receiving a visit from my editors who must "bless" the contents of my books before they can be published --- on the same day when I receive forgiveness for all my sins.

(I know which one is more important, but you've got to find the funny bits whereever you can.)

Anointing of the Sick

On Thursday morning, I received one of the Holy Sacraments, the Anointing of the Sick.

My hospice team found me Father David of St. Mary's. He was wonderful. I told him a little part of my story. I cried a little.

(Earlier that morning, as I reflected on what my expectations were for this appointment with Father, I realized that I was nervous! I decided not to be nervous. Instead, I would just follow Father's directions and let my heart and head both get whatever they needed.)

Father David explained the sacrament. What I took away was that the Holy Spirit would bring me strength and peace from Jesus, and absolution from God for all my sins.

I was very happy to be receiving total forgiveness for all my sins.

During the actual anointing process, tears streamed down my face. It was really a lovely experience. Then I received Holy Communion.

Of course, we sat in the sunroom. Talk about starting a room off right! Two sacraments in one day.

I mentioned to Father David that the room was being re-decorated and would be finished at the end of August. I got to articulate that my excitement was happiness in knowing that Lou will use this room for years and years, in maximum comfort and style, for conversations with friends, quiet contemplation of the different views of the golf course, reading books, and whatever else he comes up with...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sofa, Rug, Lamp, Cheerfulness


Lasagna and New Furniture

[This was written at noon but technical difficulties delayed the actual posting.]

Today most of the sunroom furniture arrives!

Our designer, Celeste, has been here for almost an hour and a half, waiting for the moving truck. We have been chatting. Celeste also took the opportunity to walk around downstairs, looking for wall art to steal from other rooms and hang in the sunroom today. I am surprised that she found a metal-framed poster of a wheel-barrow filled with flowers. She and Lou think it will go great.


But I ran out of steam and went to bed. I'll get up once everything arrives.

So, where does lasagna fit into the story? Tonight Darlene and Chaz are bringing us lasagna and the pleasure of their company for dinner. They'll be the first to see the new furniture.

We just need to keep the lasagna away from the sofa. No testing how much saucy pasta a Chinet plate can handle when held precariously over new uphoulstery...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fantastic Lunch

I have been fast asleep since returning home from my lunch out with 24 of the best colleagues and friends a person could hope for.

In this picture, Anya was trying to get people to raise their arms to show off their Team Karen bracelets.

At one point, I told them that of course they were happy to see me because for once they were guaranteed that I did not have a list of questions for them to answer! Or "just a few" pages of text for them to review!

(The crazy pouring rain, thunder, and chirping uninterruptible power supply (UPS) boxes just  woke me up, but I expect to have no trouble falling back to sleep. The power is out!)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Firehouse Burger at Kickback Jack's

Before I fall back to sleep, here is Alex's picture of the delicious Firehouse Burger at Kickback Jack's.

A few of these were consumed (inhaled!) at our table, plus I got to bring one home to Lou.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Feeling Much Better

The additional pain meds have turned things around. I feel much better.

I am going to lunch today with friends from work!

Right now, I am about to take a nap. Need to rest after choosing an outfit to match my pink Team Karen bracelet!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tough Times

I have been having a tough time the last few days.

For the past week, the tumor has continued to grow at a crazy pace. I maxed out my painkillers, but I was never actually pain free. That ate up my physical and emotional reserves.

Late Sunday morning, I crashed. I didn't even get out of bed to hug our dear friends goodbye.

We know how we feel about each other, and one missed hug won't change any of that. Thank God. Plus the entire weekend felt like a long sweet gentle goodbye.

I also cancelled two visits. I am not at the point where I want you to drop in for a visit so you can watch me sleep or or listen to me snivel :-)

Judy and Jenny (my hospice nurse and my social worker) came a day early because Lou asked them to.

I could not even get out of bed for them.

When they arrived, I was ready to barf from the pressure on my stomach.

Luckily, I had just showered and put on fresh clean PJs, so all I had to do was lie there and let Judy take vitals and ask questions.

Then I got new instructions. I am now taking the painkiller more often, and soon I will have a stronger dose.

Now, nap time.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Team Karen" Bracelets

Heidi and Anya have been secretly cooking up a plan to raise people's spirits at work. They had awesome pink rubber bracelets made up that say "Team Karen" and "Cheer Me On."

I guess they started selling them yesterday, for two dollars each. Anya said they are selling like hotcakes, and now there are a bunch of people sporting the bracelets, including my boss's boss's boss Deva.

There is NO profit being made, and NO money being raised. It's just a way to say, "I'm thinking about Karen!" --- or maybe it's just a way to say, "I sure like pink!"

Last night, on her way home from the office, Anya dropped by to give us some bracelets. I was getting a massage at that moment, so I did not get to give her a big thank you hug, and one for Heidi too. You remember Heidi was here last Friday night for an hour, and she never dropped a hint that there was anything secret and fun in the pipeline. Sneaky Heidi!

Do you want a bracelet?

They cost two dollars. Anya and Heidi are handling "sales and distribution." Please send email to this address:

Bob and Sally Arrived Safely!

Bob and Sally are here for the weekend!

So if you are wondering why it seems as tho your texts or calls have been ignored, now you know why.

They flew in a few days ago and did some sightseeing in Virginia (I think). I probably shouldn't blog in the middle of the night if I am sleepy and lack facts.

But now they are all ours.

OK, whoa, I just WOKE UP holding my phone! I'm going back to sleep now. Tomorrow you can hear about these wonderful friends from the Seattle area.

But I will say that Sally's cheerful, spiritual cards and notes over these years of chemo have certainly cheered me on.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fantastic Blue Diamond transportation

This has been an amazing trip. I feel really relaxed and happy --- and grateful.

I've already thanked Lou for being my perfect travel agent.

But none of this could have happened without my Blue Diamond limo.

Physically, I needed to be able to lie down and stretch out for the 3.5 hour ride. Scrunched in the back of a car would not have been good enough. Sure, I would have gotten here, but then I would've needed a day and a half to bounce back.

Fiscally, taking the limo would have broken the budget at $1800.00.

But our neighbor Bob is their Senior Driver, and he talked to Carrie Peele.  
Bob says that Carrie does a lot with the American Cancer Society in North Carolina, and knows how to deliver joy to a person in need.

I dunno if I'm supposed to spill the beans on the screaming deal she gave us, but we are basically just paying the IRS rate for the limo ($520), plus whatever we give our buddy Bob.

If you're in need of a limo, do me a favor and consider using Blue Diamond as a way to thank them for me.


Oh great, now I am a little choked up.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Sunroom Update

Most of the furniture for the sunroom arrives on July 25.

The leather chair and a couple of end tables arrive mid August.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Restaurant Review

I am pretty much done packing up.

When you do no shopping during a trip, packing to go home is greatly simplified.

The lobby also has a coffee shop that brews Starbucks coffee. Every day, the Verona drip was available. Lou was so happy. He's been humming "My Sharona" the entire time.

The coffee shop also serves ice cream. Coffee ice cream is on the list. You know there must be something wrong with me, that I am only a little tempted.

Staff told us that they did a big refurbish last year. Well, it's nice. I love the variety of seating options in the bar and lobby. Several different couches and table/chair setups. You would be hard-pressed to not find something you found comfy.

Dinner last night at Vintage Twelve was super. Attentive but not annoying service. I ordered a lot and had a few bites of it all --- which meant Lou made out like a bandit.

I ordered the tuna tartare appetizer and the filet mignon entree with roasted asparagus and corn pudding. Everything was delicious.

I was nervous that the quail egg on the tuna tartare would be raw --- it was cooked sunny side up --- but I was confusing tartare with SUSHI.

I also got a bite of Lou's appetizer, an heirloom tomato and mozzarella on flatbread that was like a flying carpet to heaven. In exchange, Lou ate 3/4 of my steak!

Lou loved his shrimp and grits, but it was a small portion, so I think he appreciated the steak taking care of his big manly appetite.

All the food was "locally sourced." I don't know why I find bragging about that concept LOL funny, but I do. Why wouldn't you buy your tomatoes from Jim next door, instead of from Gary clear across the country in California? Your kids probably go to school with Jim's kids. Who's more likely to bring his wife for anniversary dinner at your restaurant, Jim or Gary? And which tomatoes will taste better, the ones that were rolling around in a truck for 3 days, or the ones that were still on the vine this morning?

Wow that was a rant.

I am 'sposed to be napping and charging my phone. In about 30 minutes, a bellboy comes for our luggage. Checkout is 11am.

Bob and the dreamy white stretch limo arrive around then.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jeff Realizes He's on Camera

So now Jeff looks up and realizes Lou is taking pics of him, not the dog.

Hey, not to distract you from my handsome brother, but look at that freshly-painted yellow wall! Celeste from Bassett sure has an eye for color. Soon the furniture will arrive...

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Jeff the Artist

At some point last weekend, the guys were hanging out in the sunroom-to-be and I was sleeping.

Lou started taking pictures of Miss Bailey, and then got a few of Jeff.

Jeff was drawing. He draws these awesome quirky sketches.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Pounding Surf vs Placid Pool

Yesterday morning, I tottered out onto the beach after breakfast.

The sand here is hard-packed and very flat. Even the dryest part of the beach is hard-packed, so I could walk on it without too much trouble.

Lou picked up one tiny perfect shell for me. Usually I spend hours hunting shells or rocks. But I don't feel bad about not being able to do that. With my stomach so swollen, I cannot bend over.

We dumped our stuff and went straight into the water. I hung onto Lou when waves crashed into us. We walked quite a way in and never really got deep.

When big waves hit us, I clung with two hands and turned sideways. I didn't really want to get knocked over.

We were laughing pretty hard.

Eventually, I floated for awhile with Lou as my anchor. I got battered! I got ground into the sand when the outgoing wave stole all our water!

Then a quick succession of three huge waves tossed me magically back onto my feet, and I was ready to get out.

We rinsed off the sand, got clean towels, got drinks, and found comfy chairs in the shade. Eventually we ate lunch. Then we went to our room and I think I slept all aft.

My pain is under control, but I am taking a lot of it. Thank God for painkillers.

Today, we are not going into the ocean. Today we will do pools. There will be no big waves or sand, but there are kids. Jumping, splashing, yelling, fun!

Plus, I downloaded 3 Nero Wolfe audio books (that I have never read) to my phone. Heaven.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weather Report

The app on my phone says it is 72 degrees and cloudy, but that it feels like a party!

Lou and I are going down to the coffee shop for a hot beverage. (Usually I would run down alone.)

Talk to you later.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Monday, July 16, 2012

Headed to Myrtle Beach

We are headed in style to Kingston Plantation Resort at Myrtle Beach in a fabulous Blue Diamond limo driven by our neighbor Bob.

The only way we could make this trip was for me to be able to stretch out. Lou just snapped this picture where I am lying on the comfy bench and I am reading another Nero Wolf mystery.

I was disturbed by the picture at first because it really shows how extended my stomach area is. But it is what it is.

I will post later to describe the kindness and generosity of our driver and of Blue Diamond. This company has strong ties with the American Cancer Society and does a lot of good works.

Sent from my Android phone.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early Breakfast at Brigs

Breakfast was fun, and now I'm sitting in the air-conditioned car outside Bruegger's Bagels.

Lou and Jeff are in there picking up bagels so we can re-stock the freezer.

John's driving Jeff to the airport at like 4:15.

Got to make the best of these 6.5 hours!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Massage at Home

Martha from Avante Physical Therapy does massage house calls!

On Friday, I could not get into the office, so she came to me. (She has her own business as well as being an employee of Avante.)

Because I cannot lie on my stomach at all anymore, I thought that I'd have to have the massage sitting up. Instead, she had me lie on my side (first on the right, and then on the left).

It worked great.

She used less pressure than usual but still worked out all the knots. I felt wonderful afterward.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Time to Post!

I am having so much fun with Jeff, I don't want to waste any time telling ya about it!

I'll give you all the details later.

Oh, and I also need to mention how much fun it was to see Heidi, Chris, and Gul on Friday evening.

Right now I am sitting in the air conditioned car in the Harris Teeter parking lot while Jeff runs in for oyster crackers for our lunch, New England clam chowdah that he hand carried onto the plane from Massachusetts!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jeff Arrives Today

Was I tempting fate when I asked my brother, Jeff, to fly to see me on Friday The Thirteenth?!

Yikes. Let's hope there are no mishaps, misunderstandings, misadventures, or misrepresentations.

I am totally psyched about seeing Jeff. I am so excited I am about to fall asleep.

Really. I need a nap.

Around lunchtime, John is dropping by for a quick visit --- then he and Lou go to the airport to get Jeff.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Dinner Guest Does All the Work!

Thursday is, of course, Poker Night for Lou, so I made plans for my good friend, Barbara, to come to dinner and hang out with me.

I was TIRED (but not in pain) when she arrived close to 6:00pm.

The menu was seared salmon and French green beans from the Kitchen Miracle (or Miracle Kitchen?) dinner service.

Meredyth and other friends from work sent me dinners weeks ago, and so we are finally eating them. Yesterday I had soup that blew my mind. Tonight, the salmon was very very good. Can't wait to try the other items soon.

Barbara did all the work, while I called out general instructions from my perch on the couch.

And she cleaned up the mess afterward!

We had a nice heart-to-heart about what's going on with me. I met Barbara soon after arriving in North Carolina in August 2006. Her friendship has meant a lot to me.

We also talked about how there is no "Best If Used By" date stamped on my foot --- that I have no idea how long this will last.

I am supposed to pay attention to how I feel today, and then do whatever I can handle or whatever I would enjoy today. I guess you could say I am living my life "one day at a time."

Right before 8pm, Barbara helped me put clean sheets on my bed, because it's too hard to do alone. Thanks so much!!!

I got a huge hug, and she left, and I immediately popped into bed and fell asleep.

Sure, I woke up a little while ago, but now that I have had this chance to update you, I'm sure I'll fall right back to sleep... maybe right after I check WWF.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Myrtle Beach

I love the sounds of the surf, the ocean  waves lapping on the shore.

Growing up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, right on the coast, I spent lots of time at the beach. Lou grew up going to Miami Beach!

We figure we can get at least one beach trip in during hospice.

We sure have nice beaches here in North Carolina! But I wanted to go somewhere new.

That's why I kept thinking about Bermuda's pink beaches. But realistically the flights would be too hard on me.

Lou figured out a way to get me to Myrtle Beach in a white limo!!! I can stretch out on the back seat, totally comfy, for the 4 hour drive.

Next we had to find a nice resort where I can plunk down in a lounge chair in some shade and not move for hours, if need be.

Our friends Gail and Mo suggested that we look at Kingston Plantation Resort in north Myrtle Beach, and it looks perfect.

So that's where we are headed.

I will be able to walk as little or as much as I want.

Worst case scenario, if I never make it out of the hotel room, I can watch the Atlantic Ocean from the balcony.

Picture me on the balcony, looking down at a tiki bar, trying to figure out which little person down there is Lou. He's the guy drinking margaritas and beating me at Words With Friends. (As if he would leave me alone for in a minute!)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Vanpool Visit

On Monday evening, my friends from my old vanpool came to see me. Lou took our photo, as proof! From left to right: Joe, Rick, Jane, me, and David.

The vanpool was excellent in terms of saving money and helping the environment and keeping my workday to a predictable time schedule...

But what really made the vanpool outstanding were the people! There was always something interesting or hysterically funny being talked about. I remember looking forward to my commute, especially in the afternoon, because it was just plain fun. (Not being a morning person, I obviously struggled in the morning.) Plus, it was pretty cool to meet other people, from other departments, some of whom have been working at the company for a loooong time.

On Monday, we spent a lot of time enjoying the view of the golf course. David has golfed here, and he said that our house is easy to hit, but he stopped short of actually saying he ever hit us.

These folks entertained me for about an hour and left before I got too tired.

Just over my shoulder, you might be able to see a vase full of sunflowers that they brought. Very pretty! I just freshened up the water, so we'll be able to enjoy those flowers tonight when some other friends from work drop by.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bigger Pants

Yesterday afternoon, Patsy and Omer flew back to Arizona to close up their house, pack their stuff, and get ready to drive back here. They're moving into their furnished apartment on July 30. Yahoo!  It was really easy to let them go home yesterday, knowing that they would be back in a jiffy.

Nick and Sharon from across the street drove them to the airport in the rain. Nick popped his head in our front door when he got back to let us know that he had delivered them safely to the airport. Shortly after that, Patsy called to report that they were checked in.

Now let's back up to early Monday morning. Because this was our last morning together for awhile, I made myself get up and take painkillers and be ready to participate.

We left the house at about 9:00am and drove over to the apartment complex. There is still a guy living in their apartment, so we knew we could not see it. But we toured around the parking lots and found the car wash station, trash collection area, pool, mailboxes, etc. It all looks really nice. And they are walking distance to the movie theater! Super! We also toured the entire mall area. There are a lot of good stores there.

Next, we headed to Cary. We had a coffee break at the Starbucks in the Crossroads shopping center. Once we were rejuvenated, we went across the parking lot to the Catherines clothing store because I needed bigger pants. My abdomen has grown a lot this week. Pants that were comfortable are no longer comfortable because they put pressure directly on the area where the big tumor is.

It wasn't easy, but I found some capris with giant gentle elastic waistbands and slim legs, so it does not look like I am wearing baloony clown pants. (I hope.)

Next we ran an errand for Lou. We got a super absorbent mat for outside the back door. We are hoping to stop Miss Bailey from tracking water and dirt into the house. We found something at BBB. Luckily, today we are expecting RAIN so we can test the new mat.

By this time, I was completely wiped out. I was in pain, stretched out on the back seat, too miserable to even fall asleep. Luckily, my Mom remembered that I was due for a painkiller, and she had one in her pocketbook.

We picked up lunch and came home. I went to the Chinese restaurant to get Lou's lunch, and my parents went to Subway to get our lunches.

There was a very strange mixup at Subway. I wanted a BLT. I figured since I am eating so little, if I wanted a bite or two of a BLT then by golly why not. But when we got home, what I ended up with was a BACON only sandwhich. No lettuce.  No tomato. Because I was so exhausted from being out for so long, I actually cried! (Poor Patsy felt bad for not watching the woman make my sandwich but honestly who would have expected to ask for a BLT and just get the B?!) I didn't cry for long -- I started laughing, because it was ridiculous.

Basically I spent the rest of the day in bed, in pain, trying to recover from the morning's over-exertion excursion. My vanpool pals dropped by at 5:00pm for a great visit, but I will have to tell you about that after Lou forwards me the picture we took.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How Do You Do That?

Over the last few weeks, I've been showing Lou how I do various tasks around the house.

Like running the clothes washer for different types of loads: bedsheets vs. black tee shirts vs. towels...

Lou already does almost everything anyway. I really don't have that many jobs assigned to me.

Oh, one of my jobs was to scoop all the dog poop in the back yard the day before the lawn gets mowed. We hired the neighbor's kid to handle that one! (Did I mention how smart Lou is?)

Yesterday we ran through the dog's monthly anti-flea/tick/heartworm regimen.

First I give Bailey a prescription "cookie" for heartworm, and then I squirt the anti-flea oily goo between her shoulder blades.

The toughest part is removing the goo dispenser from the plastic packaging without leaking the goo all over your hands. (Explains why I have no fleas on me.)

Making squirmy Miss Bailey stand still long enough to get the goo out isn't trivial, either, espec if you are attempting it as a one-person job.

There is the rub: the one-person job. I am showing him all this stuff in preparation for when I won't be here anymore.

We hadn't actually talked about that aspect, till yesterday. It was just this un-said thing.

But I got a little upset yesterday.

Every month, for years, when I have done the flea thing, I have made a note with date and whatever is going on that day. It started just as a way for disorganized me to keep track of whether the dogs got their flea stuff done every month.

Like, one old note commemorates the first time Sam got the flea stuff as an "only dog" --- after Molly died.

Like, a more recent note says that Lou took Bailey for her first 3.5 mile walk, which explained why Bailey spent the rest of the day wonderfully asleep and therefore not underfoot at every turn.

Yesterday, I wrote that this was the first time Lou had done it all himself, and I drew a smiley face, even though I was actually a little teary.

So a few hours later, when Lou told me that he thought I had rushed him through the process a little, I admitted that I had been trying to hide being upset. I wasn't upset because I won't be there to squirt the goo and write the note. I was upset that I won't be there, period.

So we held hands for a little while, and I felt better.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Saturday, July 7, 2012


What a BLAST I had on Friday evening!

Basically, most of the people from my "scrum" meeting at work dropped by my house for some laughs and some beer and some snacks.

We tried to keep the plan quiet, so that we could keep attendees manageable.

Attendees were Alex, Anya, Arin, Emma (Mike's amazing toddler), Jerry, Lorna, Meredyth, Mike, Pu, Tao --- plus Lou, Patsy, Omer, and me!

Some very interesting beer was served, along with soda for us non-drinkers.

We all toured the downstairs and I got to show off the freshly painted walls of dramatic yellow, blue, and terra cotta. Plus the big bucket of golf balls we collected in the yard during that first year.

Everyone arrived just after 4pm so they had a great view of the golf course.

Poor Bailey had to stay upstairs and calm, so she missed the party.

I am so glad that Lou finally got to meet everyone on the team, especially Alex, after hearing about them for about 6 years!

Darn, we should have taken a picture. It was awesome to have the opportunity to hug all my good friends from work.

THANK YOU ANYA for arranging the visit! I looked forward to it all week.

However, right at the 2 hour mark, I was overwhelmed with exhaustion (even though people kept encouraging me to sit down and rest). Then I saw sparkly lights. Migraine! Everyone cleared our fast, and I immediately went to sleep for about 2 hours. Woke up feeling fine.

On Monday afternoon, my old vanpool pals are coming.

On Wednesday afternoon, a couple of other work friends are dropping by.

What a great week this will be.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Secret Apartment Hunters

Unbeknownst to me, Patsy and Omer have secretly been apartment hunting so they they can stay here comfortably till this deal is over!

I guess Lou brought it up as an idea a few days ago, and they all wanted to make sure it was doable before bringing me in.

Our real estate friend Christina McCormack helped!

So they found a small, beautiful, furnished apartment by the White Oak shopping center in Garner, which is a 15 to 20 minute drive from here.

This is such a great plan.

I wanted them here, but couldn't see how to make that happen because it's just so hard to have long term "house guests," when you're so used to peace and quiet.

Plus there is now quite a lineup of people coming to visit, so the guest room at the Ross Ranch is booked.

The plan is that they stay here as scheduled till Monday and then fly home to shut down their house. Then they drive back here, in time to move into the apartment at the end of the month. And they stay here to help till it's all done.


Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Lou is Always Right

My current painkiller regimen is that I take an extended release (ER) pill every 12 hours, no matter what my pain level is. If there is any additional pain, then I can take an immediate release (IR) pill every 4 hours.

The ER pill works slowly, and the IR pill works quickly.

Last night, about an hour before I was due for my ER pill, I was pretty miserable. Lou suggested I take an IR pill, but I refused.

I can't explain why I refused. In retrospect, it makes no sense. Lou is a saint for having to deal with me.

So the pain got worse...

I took the ER pill as scheduled. Of course, it didn't help much because it's slow acting.

Lou again suggested that I take an IR pill, and I again refused.

This time, I refused because I could not remember being told how soon after ER can I have IR.

The pain got worse, and I went to bed. I said I would take the IR after an hour. An hour seemed reasonable. You have to wait to go swimming an hour after eating...

Exactly one hour later, Lou brought me an IR and I capitulated. Soon after that, things improved greatly.

This morning I called Nurse Judy and found out that it is perfectly okay to take the ER and IR simultaneously if I need to.

So Lou was right! Again!

I just wish in the moment I could remember that, and just do what he suggests.

Lou has never liked the idea of a tattoo, but maybe he would like "Do whatever Lou wants" on my forearm where I can read it.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Up and Down

Last night, there was a lot of pain and misery. But today is good. So I guess my condition is "up and down."

I think I finally might make it to the Barnes and Noble today!

There has been a painter here all week. The sunroom is an amazing yellow! The laundry room is an amazing blue!

But we have run into trouble touching up the walls in the TV room. These walls go two stories high, and it's not in the budget to completely paint them, floor to ceiling. None of the paint that we have from the builder is matching.

So the painter got a fresh gallon color matched from Sherwin Williams, and we're hoping for the best.

I am not going to worry about it.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jeff is Coming!

Today just keeps getting better.

My brother Jeff just booked his flight to come see me!

I am thrilled that he's coming.

The last time I saw him was at Brian and Nicole's wedding in 2007. We have talked on the phone since then, though, hee hee.

So, he'll be here next weekend.

(Too bad he couldn't work it out for this weekend, while my parents are here, because it would have been a mini Granger reunion.)

Happy Dance!

I am back in bed, so the happy dance is more like a happy wiggle.

Status Report:  I'm taking a nap now. P and O are off getting the car serviced. Nurse Judy will be here for my weekly hospice checkup some time before noon. Lou is supposed to be working, but I can hear him out in the kitchen shooting the breeze with the painter.

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Feeling Much Better

I woke up this morning feeling a thousand times better than last night.

I am well rested and absolutely nothing hurts. I was even HUNGRY so my Dad made me one quarter of a salmon bagel! Yum.

I just wanted to get that news out ASAP.

Last night, I wish I had remembered, "This too shall pass."

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Spending a Lot of Time in Bed

Gosh, I am exhausted and spending a lot of time in bed.

My big outing today was to go buy a pair of pants that have a waistband that won't put pressure on my abdomen.

I have lost weight, but my abdomen continues to swell because that tumor continues to grow.

At a Catherines store, Patsy and I found perfect white capris, very soft cotton, very wimpy waistband.

For the last few hours I have been really uncomfortable, I guess it's pain, from the continued swelling.

This is all bad news. Perhaps things are progressing faster than expected.

Sorry I don't have better news for you.

Lou is great. He takes my hand, and I feel better. And it helps so much that Patsy and Omer are here.

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Migraine with no Meds

On Sunday afternoon, I went for an outing to visit some girlfriends in Clayton, and I went empty handed.

I did not bring a plate of cookies. I did not bring my pocketbook.

And so when the migraine started, I had no Maxalt. Bummer.

I decided to suffer quietly, because the plan was to stay for an hour only anyway. Plus we drove 30 minutes to get there. And I figured that the morphine ought to help keep the headache under control anyway.

So I sat through the sparkly lights and it wasn't too bad.

By the time I got home, the real headache had started, and I took Maxalt then and went to sleep.

When Lou brought my parents home from the airport, I got up and ate dinner with them.

Lou cooked the steaks, and they were excellent. Patsy handled the side dishes. Omer and I did nothing!

But I was unable to really wake up and be perky, and so I went right back to bed as soon as I could.

Today I woke up at 6:00am feeling really good!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Healing Touch Today

Amelia Vogler came to the house today for a visit and a Healing Touch appointment.

I really needed it!

I felt great afterward, and we hung out chatting with Lou for awhile. Lou was very very funny. But then I was suddenly exhausted, so Amelia split and I went to bed.

It was strange though. I zonked out for like 15 minutes, and now I feel good again and wide awake.

Maybe I should get up.

But bed is so comfy  :-)  especially now that I have two pillows. On Saturday night, at like 2:30am, I woke up with terrible lung pain. Somehow I knew if I had a second pillow, the pain would go away. So Lou, who is clearly a saint, ran upstairs and got me a second pillow from the guest room closet.

Today I do not feel like an angry zombie. (Whew. Could not handle another day like that.)

Patsy and Omer arrive early this evening, yahoo. We will have a week of fun. Luckily the insane recording-breaking heat wave ends today.

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