Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27, 2006

Well, after sleeping in quite a bit late, I did get something accomplished. I spent about two hours digging out a new shape to the garden around the maple tree (the tree island, I call it). Took the sod I dug up and put it over on that scar on the front lawn left from last summer when I had the guys dig up the drainpipe from the basement and fix it. Hopefully the sod will take and it will look at least a *little* better.

I have a couple/three beautiful blisters on my right hand, and a sore spot around the heel of my left palm. Not tooooo painful, but I am very aware of their presence. I know I probably should have worn gloves, but really, I'd just as soon use bare hands, even with all the wear-and-tear.

The tree island looks really great. I edged it all in brick, and I'm very very pleased with how it turned out. I still need to get some more topsoil to put in there, and then I can transplant the hostas from the foundation garden to the tree island, and move a couple of plants from the rock garden, and THEN I can put in the flat of pansies Donald & Dorothy gave me for Easter. Which reminds me, I need to go water them. be right back

There. They'll be happier.

When I was taking Donald to his test on Tuesday, we got talking about gardening, and on to tomatoes. Donald does tomato plants every year. He was talking about how his *favorite* kind is "Fantastic" but he can't find them locally anymore. He doesn't grow from seed, he gets seedlings. Well, yesterday I found some Fantastic seedlings on eBay of all places (really, is there *anything* you can't find on eBay?) So I bid on them. The auction doesn't close until the 30th, so we'll see how it works out. That would be really cool for me to be able to get some for him.

Which reminds me that I haven't planted my six-week start-ahead seeds. I really need to get to that. Maybe Kira and I will do that tonight while Mark's at baseball practice. I need to remember to bug-spray him before he goes, the blackflies are out. They attack Kira something fierce, she comes in from playing outside all bloody, so I'll need to bug-spray her whenever she wants to go outside, too. sigh. This is like the worst part about living in Maine. (if this is the worst of it, though, I've got it pretty darn good)

OK. I haven't eaten anything yet today, so I'm gonna go grab a yogurt w/ granola and chill out for awhile.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Secret Language of Sleep (a quiz)

According to this wacky but strangely accurate sleeptest, my sleeping position is a colon. You should try this test, it's fun. :)

Colon Traits and Tendencies
The Colon is the chosen pose of individuals who, on their own, seem awkward or remote. They may be the sort who responds to telephone messages with email, or spends their lunchtimes quietly pedometer-walking in lieu of socializing with coworkers. But when a Colonist finds its mate, together they acquire a grace and ease that surprises friends and family.

Comfort Zone
The Colon is one of the Sea Sleeper poses. Other Sea poses you might try: The Ticket Puncher and Sixth Posture of the Perfumed Forest.

A Note About Coping
Since Colonists rely so heavily on their partners to give them context and spark, the times when business or family obligations take one of them away from home can leave both sleepers demoralized. To temporarily fill the void, swap in a large, carnival-sized stuffed animal, making sure to keep candles, space heaters, or other combustibles well away from the bedside.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25, 2006

Well, today has been a little bizarre. Mom & Dad are in Florida, so I was supposed to play taxi service & drive Donald (my grandfather) to the hospital today for some test. Got to his house at 8:15, he was at the hospital at 8:30, test was scheduled at 9, supposed to be done by 10:45. I was back a little early (just in case they were done early), and after finally figuring out what waiting area I was supposed to be in, found out that the doctor would be out soon to speak to me about the test (????????) and then I'd need to sign some papers and they'd wheel Donald out to the carport for me to pick up.

So Dr. S comes out, and immediately apologizes for having to tell *me*, but that Donald has a tumor. I asked about treatment options, whether there was an operation, and he said no, particularly not at his age and the stage of the tumor, but that they would probably try radiation and maybe some low-dose chemotherapy (not enough to make him seriously ill or lose hair, though, most likely). He had taken a biopsy, and the results would be back on Thursday when Donald has another appointment scheduled with Dr. P. And THEN Dr. S tells me that they're not going to tell Donald until then!!! He did want someone from the family to know, but he wasn't going to scare Donald until the results were in and it was definitely confirmed, although he has had a great deal of experience and is 99% sure. He said that what they were telling him (and it's not a LIE, it's just not all of the truth) is that there is some swelling and blockage and they've done a biopsy and Dr. P will have the results Thursday. He said that a lot of people *know* what those results will be, but they don't want to face it directly yet. So he encouraged me to just tell that to Donald, but not to lie to him.

So I get Donald home (he was feeling fine, not acting groggy or weird or anything), Dorothy was SO relieved to see him, because he had been late (he slept off the medication a little longer than expected). They both seem to be really relieved, and are focussing on there having been no mention of an operation, but that an appointment had been made for Thursday to discuss "how to treat it." I can't help but feel horrible because they are thinking the 'no operation mentioned' is a GOOD thing, and it's NOTNOTNOT.

So I called Dad from my cell while I was at the hospital (after Dr. S but before Donald woke up), and had to break THAT news to him. Hey great. I get to be the one to tell my father that HIS father has a tumor! Wow! What a great day!

And I was supposed to be TAXI SERVICE!!!!

More technical details: the radiation/chemo is not expected to eliminate the tumor, but to hopefully shrink it to a degree that Donald can eat and be comfortable. I've looked up esophageal cancer and at the late stage that it is detected when symptoms are such as Donald has been having, survival rates are "disappointing." (Disappointing?!?!?! THAT'S an understatement) Oh, and benign tumors of the esophagus are extremely rare, so we ARE talking cancer here.

I can expect calls tonight from Aunt Dianna, and possibly Uncle Kim. Mom & Dad are planning to go to St. Pete tonight to talk to Dianna, and they'll probably then call Kim. And like Mom said, even though I've told Mom & Dad everything, Kim and Dianna will probably want to hear it all from me directly again.

I feel more than a little weird about the idea that we're all going to know all this about Donald and HE doesn't even know yet. This cannot be a good thing. I would feel so betrayed if I found out my family knew all this and didn't tell me. I mean, don't you think that a person has the right to learn their own medical condition first?? I'm afraid that Donald will be hurt or upset with me that I kept it from him, even though I did it at the doctor's recommendation. Dad says he'll take care of that part and making sure it's okay. I hope so.

Anyway. I really should get something together for dinner, although I am really not motivated to cook. I got through Daisy Scouts okay, although it felt a little surreal, but I would greatly love to just bury under covers and sleep or something. Thank goodness I have nothing going on tomorrow.

Oh, by the by, Zoe loves me (Donald & Dorothy's dog). First time I've met her. I've heard a lot from Dad and Mom about how skittish this dog is, shying away from people. She did NOT like Lynn at all, barking at her and spooked Lynn quite a bit (Zoe's a German Shephard--if she didn't like me, I'd be freaked, too). Well, she just looooooved me to pieces. Licking my hands, my face, popped her paws right up on my lap, we played catch (in the living room, to Dorothy's horror Image) D&D couldn't get over it, they kept commenting about how they'd lost their dog (and truthfully, Zoe made more over me than Donald). She was acting like she'd known me forever and I was her best friend. It was altogether funny. Dorothy had to hold her collar when I left so she wouldn't try to go home with me.

OK. More later if I can get my brain together.


UPDATE: Just talked to Mom & Dad. They did NOT go over to St. Pete or tell Dianna....Kenneth rather hesitantly suggested (bless him!!) that it might be Donald's choice who and what to tell. I totally agree!! So the only people who know are me & Mom & Dad. Should it turn out that the doctor mentions that I know (as we explained to your granddaughter, etc), Dad is going to tell Donald how I was instructed by the doctor not to be the one to tell Donald. So it should all be okay. Dad is having a wicked hard time with all this, but he is trying to block it a bit so his entire vacation is not ruined (and really, to what point? he can't do anything about it, and his father hasn't even told him yet....hell, his father doesn't even KNOW yet).

Jeepers, what a soap opera.

Monday, April 24, 2006

April 24, 2006

First and foremost, need to remember my grandmother's birthday. It's the first one since she died. I miss you, Mammy!!!!

Mom and Dad are even now in the air on their way to Florida for yet another of their vacations. I am sooooo jealous. I haven't been on a plane since 1993, when I went to Alaska for a month. I'd love to take a vacation....(and here's my secret: I'd love to take it ALONE). Sigh. Not for quite awhile, I'm sure. At least I have something to look forward to at the end of this vacation of theirs...Ginnie is sending up an entire suitcase full of clothes that Kristin has outgrown. Yay! Love new kid clothes.

I was making my bed this morning and got to the pillow part. Every time I do that (and I mean EVERY time...yet somehow I never seem to remember it as soon as the pillowcases are on), I think about this game show I saw when I was much younger (teens?). It was men vs. women, and the contest was to see who could make the bed the fastest. Naturally, everyone assumed the woman could, she had the most experience (she was a housewife). But aha! The MAN actually won. The thing that tripped the woman up was that she was trying to make the bed NEATLY, so that it would look nice when it was done. The man just threw everything on, literally stuffed the pillows in the cases and ta-da! He won. Of course, his bed looked like a hurricane hit it, and hers looked like something you'd actually want to sleep in, but since nowhere in the rules was neatness a factor.....I have never forgotten this. Lesson learned? Who knows. But it has stuck with me.

Speaking of beds etc., I have been on a roll with getting the housework done this morning, and I want to stick with it. So I'm going to post this and get back to work.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 23, 2006

Ah. My first blog entry ever. I've been debating back and forth about whether I would ever be interested in posting my thoughts etc. on the World Wide Web. I mean, it's really just so voyeuristic, the entire weblog concept. Well, here I am, joining right in, so what does that say about me? Particularly curious considering my extreme paranoia about what people say and think about me, to the point of social avoidance. I guess that makes me an ideal creature of the Web, though, doesn't it, with its simultaneous anonymity and global access?

The sheer variety of information that is available about the average person is intriguing, if occasionally a little frightening. If you haven't already, try Googling yourself and see what comes up. I've been able to find a $10 donation I made to a Cambodian charity for malaria mosquito netting. How bizarre.

Of course, I must end this blog entry with a quote from Rocky Horror Picture Show's Time Warp: "In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention....well-secluded, I see all."

Kid alert. Must run.