Story 3March2022: Cycle 2 done

This morning I took the catch-up dose of chemotherapy, and now I am done with Cycle 2. I will spend about seven days trying to get my health a bit more stable to start Cycle 3 on 10March2022. I managed to sleep another night without staying up to 2AM for the chemo. I get started about 8:30ish and read my email and some news. I did not do too much news as self-care. Can’t do too much war.

At 10, I take my last dose of chemotherapy for Cycle 2 and throw out the now empty bottle. I then open the packaging for Cycle 3 and put the new bottle in the bag of bottles for chemo. Ready for the next cycle.

The pain in my hands is gone, and the cold sensitivity is fading, finally. I can now hold a cold drink and drink cold water. My toes are not numb either. So I have survived Cycle 2 without disablement.

I manage the morning tasks. I have a yogurt for lunch and peanut butter on wheat toast for breakfast. But, of course, I always make a pot of coffee too.

Air Volvo travels to Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, with a stop at McDonald’s for a chocolate shake and an order of fries. During the trip, none of the warnings are tripped on Air Volvo, and the extra-legal driving of my fellow Oregonians is kept to minor issues such as not using blinkers.

Yes, a tidepool fountain at the fast-food joint.

Susie is in bed as I am after lunchtime for her. Susie lets me know that she is not having a good day. Her tummy hurt earlier in the day, now it is OK, but Susie could not eat much. I ask her about various symptoms–including Covid-19, and she does not have any other problems now.

I made calls for her; she wanted to chat with people today. So, first, her mother, Leta, is on FaceTime. Then, “Call Barbara,” and I called Susie’s sister, and we talked while Barb was walking their newish dog, Sophia. Next, I connected with the Kopers, and we had a brief chat.

I then stepped out and found a chair and table in the rec room. The more permanent residents were doing Bingo in the hall. The facility is no longer in a Covid lockdown as there are no active cases, and so, while remaining apart at different tables, the residents can meet for games again. Thus, I got to hear them calling out Bingo numbers while I made a call.

I called Dawn, the hospice nurse at Bristol, for Susie and let her know that Susie was uncomfortable this morning. Dawn would look into it and call the nurses at the facility to monitor Susie and see if they need to take some action. The whole point of hospice is to be comfortable. It is not likely that Susie complained to the nurses and nurse aide, so they would miss this. You have to ask every day, “how are you?”.

Mariah sent me a few texts, and we met after I kissed, through a mask and with gloves on, Susie goodbye. It is always hard to leave, but I try to be there every day. I see most residents have few if any, visitors. I see a few visitors that, like me, come almost every day. So there is always traffic. Church groups and other folks could not come with the pandemic. I hope that they will be able to return when it is safer. Folks are a bit lonely.

Mariah and I have an early dinner. I have a terrible pulled pork over mashed that is the special for the day. The pork is good but drowned in an overly sweet sauce. I also have a Cuba Libre that is not very good. A total-fail for the Black Dog in Forest Grove. Mariah had wings, and a beer, which looked a better option. Stick to the Buffalo sauce was the only comment after two sweet sauced wings were not consumed.

I returned home after chatting with Mariah for an hour or so. Air Volvo did correct my lane handling once (yes, it has some limited self-driving capability). TV Highway has a few giggles that are not important, but Air Volvo always corrects if I don’t.

I took a nap and awoke to a second dinner; Corwin cooked a Blue Apron dinner. It was good and not huge, so I did manage it. Then, I watched the first news of the day on Bloomberg of the day.

I imagine Putin with a checklist for being a super villain. Yes, arrested children for protesting. Yes, shut down freedom of the press. Yes, invaded a local county. And now the new option is “shell the world’s largest nuclear power plant.”  I can see him looking up in my mind at his long desk, “check.”

Bloomberg is watching a total financial meltdown as the world is expecting now a major nuclear disaster. Money is moving into the US dollar and crashing yields to unimagined lows. The beginning of the world’s end is shown as just a crash in yields. I can’t save my 401K or anything at this point. Cash will be king.

President Biden and the French president make some calls. The shelling of the nuclear plant stops. The fires and damage are outlying buildings. We are not going to see the end of the world after all. The markets dive into safety halts. Cash is more like bishop now.

I turn off the news as my blood pressure needs no more testing today.

I read for a bit and then head back to my other chair at the table. Now that my hands seem to work again, I start working on my model of a fantasy balloon. First, I sew stitches around the edges of small pieces of felt. I then glue the pieces onto the balloon to look like patches to create more drama on the surface.

The paper I have torn into pieces and then glued to the craft ball does sort of look like a patchwork of leather, but it still looks more like paper than the surface of a balloon. I paint the surface with gray primer, and the felt too. I want the paint to stick and not just absorb the paper. I do this with a 1/2 inch brush I rarely get to use. I can see as the primer is absorbed and that some of the more paper-like features look more like a texture. Better. I paint 3/4 of the surface and will let it dry. I will finish the primer tomorrow.

The sewing made my hands hurt a bit. I have to be careful as I am more brittle now and can bruise easily. The pain and stiffness fade. I am just so happy to use my hands and have them work.

I read in bed after that and fell asleep without the chemo keeping me up; I am now on my break from chemo, my first night without it burning in my body. I sleep until a car warranty call on my cell wakes me in the morning.

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