Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Catch-up

Ludicrous. Skip gave me an iPad for Christmas and I’m reading a terrific book and I managed to leave both of them at home. So I spent an hour at the Southern Indiana Radiation Center (SIRA) with nothing but a bunch of Tennis magazines and Web MD issues to read. I was there to get my annual mammogram and also-- because Skip’s cancer caught us so off-guard-- a chest and lung X-ray (I’m an ex-smoker, too and suffer now from mild asthma). It all went well—or at least as well as they’d tell me at the time; and now I’m back home. I have work to do, but I’m restless so thought I catch up on the blog posts.

Skip continues to do pretty well. He had his 4th aggressive chemo treatment, which hit him pretty hard: fatigue, blues and joint pain lasting longer than usual. Then on Dec 21, he began what they called “maintenance” treatments—just one drug (alimta) along with an anti-nausea drip. The after effects played out much the same way they always have. Weds, the day of the chemo treatment, and the following day, Thursday, he felt fine. Then Friday, he was a little tired. Then Saturday, Christmas Eve, he felt pretty worn. We spent a quiet evening –read, ate cookies and fudge, made a fire, watched the Tom Waits special on Austin City Limits and opened our remaining presents. But then Christmas Day, Skip rallied (said he felt as though something had actually shifted inside), so we went to our friends’ Christmas party. Wonderful food—ham and a roast, two kinds of ceviche, bean salad, hummus, lots of champagne and sweets galore. And wonderful talk. Our friend L. showed up—a big surprise since she was supposed to be on a great adventurous trip to see Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti project in Arizona with her new girlfriend. But things turned out badly for her—the new flame abandoned her in the middle of New Mexico, taking the rental car and L’s house key with her. L. managed somehow to get back to the hotel, where the inn keeper helped her to get a flight reservation home. “I didn’t bring anything,” she apologetically told our hostess, Tamar; T. quite appropriately hushed her, gave her a glass of champagne, and sat her near me (knowing I’d be a sympathetic ear; actually I was outraged at the girlfriend’s behavior and was so incensed on L’s behalf that she sent me a sweet thank you note the next day). For my part, it was a kind of gentle kick-reminder that as bad as things seem right now, I’m not feeling rejected or unwanted or unloved. Quite the opposite, since Skip is very loving and tender.

The winter continues to be mild. We did have one snow two days ago—bitter cold and icy. Friends came to shovel our driveway- and it was so slippery I couldn’t even walk down the driveway to say a proper thank you. Just blew kisses from the top of the drive and then went to find salt. But by yesterday, things were already beginning to thaw, and today we managed a walk in the park. Skip suffers from chemo chill, so he was bundled up with scarf, hat, and ear muffs. But I thought it was positively balmy and walked bareheaded, with my leather jacket unzipped, gloveless hands shoved in my pockets. Tonight I’m making tostadas and margaritas and we have plans to watch an Australian neo noir, The Square. If I don’t post again before New Year, I wish you all a jolly and safe holiday; and I wish us all some better times in 2012.

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