Story 29March2022: Sleep in

Sleep is one of the things that has been hard to get. The steroids used at the start of the chemotherapy cycle make sleep impossible for me. So while I am on the break week, I try to get some extra sleep. This time the dizziness prevented me from doing some walking that helped me sleep later. I need some light exercise to sleep better. The next and last cycle starts on Thursday. Most of the extreme cold sensitivity is gone. My fingers are slightly numb, and my toes feel more numb, but every day it improves.

Leta and Barb, Susie’s mother and sister, will see Susie all day, and I can come later. I manage to sleep in until about 9ish. I go slow and write the blog and get ready. The dizziness is much reduced. I make a ham and cheese sandwich on toasted bread. I microwave the ham and cheese a bit to get everything hot.

I am getting ready to leave, and I hear a car racing down the street. My neighbors are testing their race car down our road. I am unpleased and manage to get into my car and pull out before they can race down the street again. I adjusted my mirrors and drank the coffee I had brought with me while they pulled up behind me. I then drive 5mps down our part of Clarion, drinking my coffee and not wanting to spill. I clearly demonstrate what we expect of our local drivers. Finally, they parked their car after getting the clear message that it would be wise for them to not make me escalate and contact the authorities.

Our street leads to the school, and many kids and parents walk our road. It is no place to practice drag racing. While my street leans to Trump, it will not likely tolerate that kind of freedom. They should get a peaceful message from the liberal side. I suspect my well-armed neighbors would be less benign.

Because of that disturbance, I forgot to drive to Safeway to get Susie some flowers. So I stopped at Target. It has been my opinion that the prices at Target are not better than other places, but Target sold popcorn, so I was willing to shop there while enjoying popcorn. But, alas, Covid-19 has shut down the popcorn production, disappointing me–I have not been inside a Target in more than two years, and worse, they don’t sell fresh flowers.

They do sell Easter Candy. I was unsure what to say when I saw the peeps, the sugar-covered yellow and other bright colors marshmallows in the shape of chicks and rabbits, now on a stick. Yes, the little chicks, six at a time, had a wooden stick driven through them and did not look like they enjoyed the process. I just shook my head.

Next, I saw Easter baskets made from cloth and pleasantly fuzzy. I am not surprised by another chick-styled item, but I was not sure why Jaws was included in the Easter baskets with cloth teeth in a happy smile. I imagine the temptations of Christ must have included a section I was unaware of, “Jesus, let’s go fishing and just relax.” With Jesus reminding Satan that the last person Satan went fishing with was Jonah, “I do not want to learn what you have planned for me when disobeying my father like Jonah,” I imagine Jesus saying. “I would have been epic,” says the disappointed Satan in my daydream.

I then try Walmart in Forest Grove, and they do have flowers. I can’t help and look at the Easter Baskets. Yup, Jaws is there too. Along with various princesses and a military-looking nerf set. “Have you have heard of nerf,” I imagine Satan saying. “I said no,” is Jesus’s slightly bemused answer.

They have flowers remembering Ukraine: small sunflowers and blue flowers; I get them. I also got some carnations as the bunches are small and priced to appear to be low cost; you have to buy two to get an honest bunch of flowers. Walmart knows all the tricks. But, the folks in the yellow Walmart vests are friendly and helpful. I asked one to hold my flowers; I left my wallet in the car. After a short trip to my car, I buy my flowers and leave.

A man in a raccoon hat and mostly no teeth asks me for help. I return to the helpful yellow-vested folks and relay his request. They search for an electric cart to bring to him. I did get him a regular cart for him to hold on to as he looked unsteady.

After all my adventures and musings, I arrive intact in Air Volvo at the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway finding everyone in room 44A after passing the entrance Covid-19 check. Leta, Barb, and Susie watch old TV shows and look quite comfortable.

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After a bit, one of the nurse aids moves Susie to her wheelchair, and we head outside. It is 55F and sunny, so it feels warmer. Leta takes a bench while Barb pushes Susie, and we head to the frozen yogurt store a block away. Barb located this treasure yesterday.

It is a short walk being about one New York City-sized block away. Susie eats all of her frozen yogurt, a surprise. While Barb and I both have a mix of cheesecake and strawberry with a few sprinkles. I can eat cold foods again, but I have to go slow. It would be unfortunate to trigger the throat closing off feeling side effect of the chemotherapy, and have Barb call 911. We get a to-go for Susie for dinner and one for Leta, who eats her vanilla with a few cherries on top when we return to the facility.

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Barb is in the background getting more goodies. Did I mention they sell popcorn too?

Susie is eventually back to bed, even with dinner time approaching. Barb and Leta say their goodbyes, a bit emotional, as they will fly out too early to be back on Wednesday. Sarah, the RN, says her goodbyes too. Sarah calls Leta and talks to Leta on the phone sometimes.

Dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse is quieter as the sadness of leaving makes dinner a bit somber. So, just soup for Barb and Leta, plus Barb ordered some California-styled flatbread with veggies and chicken. I have the double pork chop as I am hungry and know that I will be having a problem eating soon, two days away from cycle 4 chemotherapy. It was a good trip, and Susie seemed cheered by it. We are happy that it all worked well without incidents.

We say our goodbyes, and I head home. I am a bit worn out from walking and hanging out for hours at the facility. I read more of The Words That Made US, with the author very critical of John Adams, excoriates Jefferson as a liar, and suggests Madison was mostly compromised by protecting slavery. The author focuses on their words, and some are pretty damning. It is all fascinating to me as it is all backed up with footnotes and extensive (ugly) quotes. For me a page-turner as I am learning so much.

I manage to sleep early, around 11ish. I have to get up to prove hydration at 3ish and wake and roll over after the sunrise. I always wake up for the sun.

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