The day started with me feeling the weight of doing this every day for weeks without a break. It is not easy to keep going sometimes.
This is the first biz day after Susie was declared in hospice and her provider is Bristol Hospice. The folks at Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center had recommended the hospice provider. So now, as the first biz day, I need to find nursing care for Susie at the house. This would allow Susie to come home.
This weighted on me as I did all the everyday things to get ready. Soon the email was read, the meds were taken, breakfast–bagel, washed and dressed. Today I used for the first time an electric razor, and I did manage to cause a slight issue on my neck. I need to leave the blades as I will have low platelets soon from the chemo. I now have a Remington PF7400 F4 Comfort Series Foil Shaver, Men’s Electric Razor, Electric Shaver, Black. It cost about $40. This one had some decent ratings. I also used the cow pee based creams (!) as those will be needed when the chemo impacts my hands and feet, and I just want to get into the habit of using them.
I order bagels to be delivered and have a bagel with smoked salmon. I will freeze the rest and have bagels for the next few weeks. While Einstein Brothers is not Zbar’s in New York City, the bagels are good.
I travel to Forest Grove a few minutes late, 10:20ish, and have no surprises traveling in Air Volvo. After being admitted, I found the door closed to Susie’s room, 44A. Susie was profoundly sleeping, and they had closed the door for her. I woke her with effort. She just wanted to sleep in.
She woke up enough for me to have her talk to her mother on FaceTime and then she went to sleep again.
Susie agrees that her old clothing can be shipped to Kat in NYC as they are about the same size (when Susie was younger). Kat can have them, see if Natasha wants them (both sisters reside in NYC), or send them to a vintage place and get credit.
Susie woke about noon and was uncomfortable. I asked the nurses to change her, the usual issue and kissed her goodbye. I had some emotions, and I had so much to do with nurses. Sometimes, it was hard for me, and I could not sit there and cry, so I headed out.
I managed to get calm on the ride back. I drove to La Provence for lunch-dinner-breakfast. There I had their french take on corned beef hash with poached eggs plus their excellent croissant. Food is my answer to most emotional items. How do you get through all of this, you ask, about 20 more pounds? But, due to my unique colon cancer experience, I am losing weight instead. Yes, a strange positive, but one I will take.
After getting my focus back with food, I leave the place. The seating and ventilation are not up to my standards–I am very picking about this. I was about 4′ away from the other table, and I felt no air movement. Yikes! As much as I love La Provence, I will be doing delivery or outside seating when it is available. Still, lunch was terrific.
Back to the house, Teresa Cody, who used to live across the street, has the most experience of anyone I know using local nursing and medical stuff, and she recommended two services. As I said above, it is the first working day after Susie was declared in hospice, and Bristol Hospice’s social worker, Carrieann, calls me. We discuss what is happening with Susie and update some details. I mention Teresa’s suggestions, and Home Instead is also recommended by Carrieann.
I go to the website, and soon I am called by the corporate folks at Home Instead. I have arranged for a meeting next Tuesday. I am underwhelmed as I would like to move faster and act this week.
I called Teresa and thanked her, and she suggested I call the Home Instead office and ask them to move up the appointment. It was nice to chat with Teresa, and she and later Leta convinced me to change my plans and Susie will be installed in the living room instead of a bedroom.
I keep Carrieann in the loop and end up calling her back twice on Tuesday.
I do call, and they move the appointment to Thursday. This means Susie might be here before I start chemotherapy. Excellent!
I take a few naps. I am still tired, and I have pain again from coughing in my incisions. I was also passing on painkillers but will return to using them again.
Mariah texts me, and I meet her at the Rock Wood Fired Pizza for a beer and a snack. Mariah has a Yellowbrick Road small pizza. I have just chips and cheese sauce. We chat, and I am finally feeling better as I now have a road forward. It will likely be costly as I am looking at 24-hour coverage (I can’t do some of the work, thereby reducing the cost and experience chemotherapy at the same time), I think, but this is what is like in the USA (likely as much as $36,000 a month). So I will make it work for as long as we need it.
I return home in Air Volvo and have a bagel for a snack with my pills at 10PM. I must eat food with my prescriptions. I finished my crime novel set in 1933 Berlin. The author manages to find a good and cheerful ending for the crushingly dark story. I am not sure I can recommend the books as they are dark, and the main character is not always sympathetic, but I did enjoy them. This is the Berlin Babylon series (also a TV series in German) by Volker Kutscher. I just finished The March Fallen, book 5 (in English).
I wash sheets and laundry. I contacted Matt to update him, and he will help take the living room apart once we know Susie is headed here. He also recommends a cleaning service that he uses. All good. I clear part of my work table, the former dining room table, in the family room. I intend to paint and build models as part of my waiting to complete chemotherapy. I need to use my hands to know if I am losing dexterity from the treatment.
I received a package from MicroMart. There is a lovely wood ship model that I would love to build. I got the OcCre workbench to build. This is used to manage the process. Exciting. I have some wood stains still on backorder I would need to start. I have two wood kits I never finished also waiting for me. Maybe I will get to them soon. Or not.
I have trouble sleeping but finally, sleep after some Benadryl removes all the allergic reactions.