Halfway Through Round #2

We are plodding along during this pandemic! Lily and Rich left Sunday for Florida to surprise his mom for Mother’s Day. They flew back last night. It sounds like they enjoyed their four days in Destin, Florida, spending time with Rich’s folks and his sister, Tammie, and her family. The last time they flew down there, in January, the weather was unseasonably cool. They were greeted with better weather this time and managed to go to the beach a couple of times and fly Rich’s kite.

Yesterday was Lily’s official last day of her freshman year. She still had a couple of assignments to shore up today in physics, but she is done. She had been signed up for 4 culinary arts classes at the community college this summer, but all of them were cancelled. It literally took me 4 years to figure out the day to sign her up for these classes (because there are only 36 teens let in each summer for the entire metro area). It was just not meant to be this year. Lily is taking a Personal Finance class in summer school this June. She also has driver’s training scheduled but they are teaching it via zoom….and she never got her driver’s permit before the DMV closed. Not sure how that will work at this point. Strange times we are living in.

The Messina men are doing well….Joe has his EMT final tonight down in Kansas City. He has a few other tests coming up this weekend. He is really hoping to get onto a Fire Fighting Department soon, but it is hard to get the testing requirements done right now. But everyone is in the same boat, so hopefully it all works out. Tim started his master’s program about 10 days ago. It is the accelerated program, so he has quite a bit of work to do. His gym just reopened and as the manager, he is spending a lot of extra time making sure all goes according to plan. He is feeling the time pinch as he works full time and does the equivalent of going to grad school full time. At the end of May he will move back home with us for about 2 weeks while he gets ready to move to Ft. Collins, CO. We are pretty excited for him! Rich is actually at hockey tonight. He hasn’t played in several months, so maybe we should all pause and say a quick prayer…. He is doing the annual inventory with our staff on Sunday and then starting Monday, we will be back to our normal operating hours. Rich has decided that we will most likely be expanding our store this summer, so he will be keeping busy.

I am doing well. I didn’t feel so hot last week but felt fine this week. Tallinn and I enjoyed our four days on our own and went for some really long walks as the weather was pretty cool. Nebraska springs are a fickle thing….I try to not turn on the air conditioning prior to May 1st (and didn’t!) but then I also try to not turn on the heat after May 1st. The beginning of this week was a bit of a struggle. Luckily it was just Tallinn and me. There was one morning when it was 58 degrees in our house. Great sleeping weather….but not great ‘shower and get into your clothes for the day’ temps. So I occasionally have days where I just don’t feel so great. Today was one of those days. I ended up sleeping for about an hour around noon. That really helped. That being said, I am doing so much better on this chemo regimen. My peripheral neuropathy is resolving itself and my sense of taste is pretty much back. Some days I feel like I have been sucking on a quarter and everything is kind of metallic in taste…but nothing like it was before where I just couldn’t taste anything. I will have another round of chemo on May 28th…in 2 weeks. Then I will be getting scans to see if this chemo has helped or kept everything stable. Either of those are acceptable to me right now. If things are growing, then we’ll have to do something else. We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it. My oncologist has given me strict rules to only walk the dog and that is it. Well, after having a moment where I totally just lost it trying to explain to Rich what it has been like to be a prisoner in my own home since November, I decided I was not going to live like this anymore. I went grocery shopping. I won’t be doing it often, but I went at 0700 with all the older folks and immunocompromised people. It was liberating and will last me for awhile I think. I love to cook and to bake, so I went armed with several recipes in mind. I should be good for awhile! Also, while I was at the grocery store, I bought shampoo! This is a big deal seeing as I haven’t needed it for the last 5 months! I will be gutted if I lose my hair again before the wedding in September, but for now, I can actually part it. My comb has come out of retirement!

I want to publicly recognize my St. Gerald family….friends from Alpha who have called to check up on me… Marge Harmon, who sends me cards of encouragement…and Tom & RoseAnn Harvat (I refer to them as my Catholic parents) who dropped by a beautiful flower planter this week. In the midst of all this craziness going on, most people are dealing with their own issues. These folks remembered me during the midst of all of this and reached out. I am humbly honored to call them friends!

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