About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Road music, his and hers.

A zydeco CD with a Tabasco label.
Generic bagpipe music. (Lifescapes??)
More bagpipe music, this time by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band.
Generic zydeco music. (More Lifescapes.)
Martina McBride (we likes!).
Johnny Horton’s 16 Biggest Hits.
Classical Thunder II. (really loud pieces, some of which I like, some of which are obnoxious Russian twelve-tone garbage)
Eagles - Greatest Hits.
Romantic Piano Masterworks, Disc B (which implies that somewhere there is a Disc A).
Romantic Piano Masterworks, Disc A (bingo!).

J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton - The Road to Escondido.
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris - All the Roadrunning (we didn’t get to this one).
Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company (duets - we didn’t get to this one, either).
The Cream of Clapton (or this one).
Emmylou Harris - Stumble into Grace.
Eagles - Long Road Out of Eden.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand.

I was really tickled to find Martina tucked in among all that testosterone. I can sing along with Martina. Kinda hard to sing along with bagpipes, although I adore them.

His music is designed to keep him awake, pedal to the metal, from Point A to Point B. Or in this case, from Disc A to Disc B (ducking, ducking). My music is chosen for its sing-along-ability. Road trips, for me, have typically been motivated by a need to get away, process the latest family crisis, and have a good cleansing weep.

As you might guess, we are back from Houston. The news is mixed. His cancer count went down 130 points from last week. His lungs are in good shape. There are lots of little spots of rebellion on his liver. Parkland was supposed to overnight a CD with images from his X-rays and CT scans to MD Anderson. When we had the second appointment with new doctor yesterday morning, those images were not yet in the system. They might have been sitting in-house, waiting to be uploaded, or they might have been in transit, or they might still be at Parkland, which like the mill of the gods, grindeth exceeding slow. The new doctor needs to see the older images, to see where Beloved is progressing and where the cancer is advancing. Once he knows, he will work with the local oncologist to tweak the chemo protocol if necessary.

More bad news is that the Kanzius procedure is not quite ready to test on humans, although it is doing quite well on primates. (We are reasonably certain that Beloved is a primate.) And it appears to hold more promise for lymphomas than for solid-tissue cancers like Beloved’s colon/liver/lungs. So that is out, as are a couple of clinical trials that use a drug similar to the one which has caused the neuropathy in his fingers and feet. There is another trial at UT Southwestern here in Dallas (but we don’t like them much; they are intertwined with Parkland) and one at a hospital in San Antonio. We will find out more about them.

We had no appointments on Tuesday, so we drove to Galveston, walked along the seawall and investigated the two fishing piers (one of which is a not-only-no-but), had lunch at Landry’s with my friend from the Arlington days, had one gold-plated scoop apiece at the Ben & Jerry’s ($3.50 for a single scoop? really?) then drove back to Houston.

After we finished up at MD Anderson yesterday, I headed the car northwest to Brenham. Beloved had never toured the Blue Bell factory, so we did that, scored a free scoop apiece, then turned the car up back roads toward the freeway, reconnecting a little north of Huntsville.

Rough night last night. We think his body is still expelling the last of the barium milkshake from Monday’s tests. He had abdominal pain, no fever, backache from all of the sitting (helped immeasurably by an application of Bio-Freeze to the saddle of his back; I’m glad to be at least intermittently good for something around here). Not a lot of sleep for either of us. He got his in half-hour increments. I got mine in maybe one- and two-hour increments.

He has chemo-lite this morning, so I will be dropping him off in a couple of hours and heading into work. I am excused from the temple tonight, praise be, as we did not know if we would be in Houston all week, or just a couple of days. The email they sent said to prepare to be there for five business days.

Lots and lots and lots of knitting done this week. You can do an amazing amount during a nine-hour stretch at the hospital if you are not the one getting poked and prodded. I just finished the 84th round, of the 143 that will declare sleeve number two finito.

Time to go put his CD travel pack back and stow my own CD’s with their musical buddies. You will be pleased to know that the freezer did not go berserk in our absence. Our frozen food is still frozen. However, the gallon of milk we bought on Saturday, with a freshness date of 8/27, went sour while we were gone; the one we took with us in the miraculous cooler, is still fresh as a daisy, at least what’s left of it. Somebody will need to buy more milk today. I’m thinking that somebody is me. And if I were to stir my stumps, I might be able to get to Wally World and back before we need to leave for the hospital and the office.

I am (wearily) happy and significantly more hopeful than a week ago, even with the uncertainty, but it’s gonna be a Cherry Coke day.

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