Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snow or Mow

On Monday it snowed in Baltimore. I woke to 2 1/2 - 3 inches on the deck but nothing on the roads. I watched for an hour or more before I ventured out, just to be safe. I was complaining about the snow, the wet, the weather and having to be out in it. When I went to bed that night I realized that last year, by this time, we had mowed our lawn twice. Oh, and we complained about that last year too. Time to change the 'tude!

That has nothing to do with My Handsome Prince's health update.

He was admitted on Friday for this last round of chemotherapy before surgery. He was attended to by some familiar staff and some not familiar but all kind, caring, and for the most part attentive. He had several visitors including both his sisters and their manses, an old friend from Manchester, Audrey (Emma was sick all weekend :-( ), and of course his Dad and Suzan who make the trip weekly. Our friend Rick came by before he was admitted and we talked music, family and church and when he left we gathered in a circle for a word of prayer. It was a good weekend or as good a weekend on chemotherapy can be. He tolerated treatment with no issues, heard the latest with family and friends, listened to Car Talk and watched The Walking Dead.

We are home now. In our own home. For a couple weeks (say your prayers, keep your fingers crossed, breathe, meditate whatever you do to send intentions that nothing goes awry). We have two small freezers full of absolutely delicious food from our congregation. Mom is around. We have our dog. The sun is shining. A walk is in order and maybe even a quick, inspiring visit to the beach over the next few days. We will take our time adjusting to being home, relaxing and getting things in order. It is time for him to rest, gather his strength, nothing more, nothing less.

I must admit, there was a bit of sadness as I packed up yesterday. No walks with EmmaGirl, no visits from Audge, no Cooking with Sissy, and no Marie. We have enjoyed living with Marie. But we will be back and she says our room is open.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Things that made me happy today:
Audge and Lola coming over for coffee and breakfast
New sock yarn
Several kisses and a "thank you for being you" from My Handsome Prince
Jewish men and boys walking to their Temple
Pieces of April on tv even though it makes me cry
Rise Up Stout in bottles
The view from the Man's room

Patrick finished his radiation treatments on Wednesday for this portion of treatment. It's possible more will be on the agenda after surgery but I believe it depends on the surgery. The day he finished he immediately had an appointment with his medical oncologist who wanted to admit him yesterday for this last round of chemotherapy before surgery. We had other plans and went to dinner with family in Westminster and to Carroll Community College's production of Spring Awakening starring none other than Chris Z, our future son-in-law. It was a good night.

Instead he was admitted today for this round of chemotherapy. We got the call and were able to be there within the hour. He is on the same floor and section he has been twice before. They are starting to know him, know us. It's comforting. I am better preparing myself for any issues that may arise, even if we are home. And so it goes.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finnegan Begin Again

Well, it's Tuesday and we are in the routine again. BUT...tomorrow is the last day for radiation. I was going to invite the girls for the bell ringing but it does not really mean anything to My Handsome Prince. Radiation is just one piece of the whole pie. When it's all said and done then he can whack the shit out of something, have a party, scream at the top of his lungs, whatever. I think our friends Tom and Pam might come out for it but that's because they have gone through the whole thing. It gives us an excuse to get together, maybe go out to eat.

We had a quiet/busy weekend. I was busy, he was quiet. Pat was given instructions upon his release from the hospital not to go out, stay away from crowds, chill. So that's what he did. I felt the need to get things done or at least started. I had coffee with some friends who helped me bring home chairs I had stored at the center all winter. What a perfect early Saturday morning (so much so that i might even do it this Saturday!)Laundry, shopping, wedding research filled the hours of the day. Sunday another friend came over to help repair and paint the chairs. She came bearing gifts along with the gift of her time, a growler of EVO Rise Up stout for me and a snowflake obsidian for Pat. She told the story of her sister giving her the healing stone when she was going through her own cancer treatments. She wanted Pat to have it, to feel its healing energies. I'm not sure any of us could see straight after that.

And now here we are in the city again. We will stay through Friday. Wednesday will be the last radiation treatment as I said but also a visit with the medical oncologist to get the next portion of the schedule. I have a hair appointment with the girl who used to do my hair for years. We are going to Chris's (future SIL)performance Thursday night, then home, sweet home. For how long, who knows?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Quickie

Patrick is doing much better. A mega dose of wide spectrum antibiotics, some platelets, pain meds and constant monitoring have made him much more comfortable. They have not determined the source of infection if there even was an infection. I hope he gets released today or tomorrow. I'm going in to visit a bit later as I have a wedding dress look at with my daughter. She thinks she has found "the one". In the midst of all of this we have the joy of planning a beach wedding. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Take The Good With The Bad

We formed a community (there is that word again) with the people in the same general radiation time slot. I remember, just a few weeks ago, being the newcomer and wondering how they can speak with such ease as I panicked. Last week there was a newcomer. Her man was being treated and she was crying quietly. I should have had the courage to sit by her and just touch her hand, but I didn't. I thought about her all weekend. Today she was just like the rest of us, finding the solidarity that comes with the illness and the treatment. One of our friends, Tom, got to ring the bell today, his treatment done. He left with all of us promising to stay in touch. As he left he said he loved us. And I know he does, and we him/them. He waited for Pat to finish his treatment so Pat could witness it. They shook hands with tears as men sometimes do, and wished each other good health. I took their photo.
Pat had a rough day today and rough night last night. He developed a fever last night. After an emergency call to the on call oncologist, it was decided that he should go to urgent care in the hospital in the morning. All of his body fluids were taken and tested. He has developed neutropenia. Several of his blood counts have dropped so low and his body has no way to fight off any infection. They are unsure of the source of the infection so are treating him with a wide spectrum antibiotic. He was admitted into the hospital and will stay a day or two. He will most likely receive a blood transfusion. By the end of the day today, he had eaten a bit, taken some drugs and sweet talked a nurse into making him a milkshake (actually she offered, should I be worried?). I do believe he is in good hands.
I go to bed tonight thankful for so much, a couple "I love you"s, caring, tender nurses in urgent care and 4a, a doctor who seeks us out in that great expanse of a hospital, endurance, and human kindness and connection in so many forms.

Friday, March 08, 2013


I lost a whole week. No motivation for anything. I just went through the motions. But I am back and here is our update:
My Handsome prince was admitted to Hopkins at 8:30pm on Thursday, a week ago. Despite them having a bed for him, they were not quite ready for him. His chemotherapy was not ordered and did not start until 2:00pm the following day. And that is pretty much how the entire time went. In terms of the chemo, by the third bag he was pretty wiped out. Radiation treatment began the day after he was released. He's not feeling great, nothing really specific, just not good.
Yesterday we attended the Deployment Ceremony for the 290th MP Company. Pat was pretty much incognito, out of uniform, knit hat for his head and a mask over his nose and mouth. Yet most still knew it was him. In my observation he is well liked, respected and even loved by his work community. I know it was important to him to see this second group of soldiers off to their deployment.
Community seemed to be the theme this last week. I love driving through Audge's neighborhood on Saturday. She lives in a primarily Jewish neighborhood. On Saturdays, they walk to the Synagogue and home. They are in groups, families. I love the fact that they live and worship in the same community. We have a community in our congregation in Bethany who have filled a freezer full of food for us, a community of people in Catonsville with whom we we have not worshipped in years who still welcome us with open arms, and our community in the radiation department of Hopkins who missed us during our week off. Community is good for when you are lost, someone is there to guide you even when you aren't aware you needed it.