Well, we made it back from West Virginia! Goodness, it was a long but wonderful trip! I am so glad that we got to see so many friends and family members along the way. That made the trip that much more special. We are all getting caught up at work, which allows for the post vacation stress to ease somewhat. Tim is getting settled into his new life and is having a good time doing what he loves most…training elite athletes. He has some great roommates and an all around great group of interns and preceptors to work with. He even got together with a group of them for a few card games and beers this past weekend. A far cry from his more solitary life in Colorado. He had to pick up a job that allowed him a lot of flexibility for his schedule, so he is going to be delivering pizzas starting pretty soon. He figures it will allow him to learn his way around pretty quickly.
Joe and Michelle are doing well. Joe survived his annual training with the Army National Guard in Fort Polk, LA (where I graduated from high school and lived for 2 years). It is no fun in the summer. He managed to have no fun and no shower for several weeks. I am guessing his uniform could walk on its own by the time he came home. Michelle survived her month without Joe and dealing with their two large dogs and everything that comes with having two large dogs and working full time. They are looking into buying a house…with a yard…and as Joe put it, “A decent-sized mancave.” He has started his time with the Olathe Fire Department and is loving it. As the new guy, he is cooking all the meals. He has hit me up for some of mine in the last few days. I don’t think he is used to cooking for 9 people at a time. Sounds like his Tuscan chicken was a hit and his stuffed manicotti was also decent…although he was told that he HAD to have protein in the meal, so sausage was added to the cheese mixture. I think chicken enchiladas were on tap for tonight. He is already getting to see and do a lot at his new station, which is good.
Lily is going to start grade 11 this week. She is excited to get back to school…and to see her friends again on a regular basis. It has been nice spending so much time with her this summer. She and I have spent several hours together working at the store, as well. We actually went in tonight because we had a late delivery several hundred hockey sticks that had to be unwrapped, marked, and put out. Rich calls the two of us in to help with stuff like that when they need instant staffing. I still do all the books at home and Lily is on the schedule to work at the store a few nights a week and some weekends.
Rich is keeping busy between his work at the store and putting in a new, raised flower bed in our front yard. We had some pretty wild and rangy shrubs that were most likely several decades old. We finally cut those out and put in some brick and flowers to add to the curb appeal. We just have about an hour’s worth of work to finish it off. He is also flying with the Civil Air Patrol whenever he gets the chance. He has been working with the gliders and that takes him back to his glory days at the Air Force Academy when he taught soaring there as a captain and major. He also got himself a motorcycle and is having a lot of fun riding around the countryside of Nebraska and Iowa.
I am still doing the same. I keep getting my Lupron shots every 4 weeks to make sure my one ovary is nonfunctional. I then take this tiny white little devil pill every night that cuts off all estrogen and progesterone to my body. That is the life juice of a woman’s body…what makes her skin supple and smooth…her joints moving easily and keeps the weight off. Whelp, my body is sucked dry of all of that in the hopes that it will starve my tumors into stability or better yet, shrinkage. Is it better than chemo? I am not sure. I now feel like I have cancer…I feel old and can’t move as well. That part is hard on me. However, usually once I start to get moving, it gets much better. I am also still on my blood thinners twice a day. I take a few other things each day to try and decrease the amount of stiffness and pain I have in my joints. I am not sure they are working but am scared to not take them in case they are helping. I will be seeing the nurse practitioner on Sept 2nd. I will have scans soon after that and will meet via zoom with my sarcoma specialist on Sept 23rd. I am guessing I will be told that I qualify for a booster shot for the COVID 19 vaccine. We shall see. Until then, I am hoping for cooler, less humid weather and an occasional rainy day so I force myself to do something indoors. I am making up for lost sunshine for the 15 months I was on chemo and couldn’t be in the extreme heat or in the sunlight. I read or listen to an audiobook outside on the back deck nearly everyday. Tallinn loves keeping me company out there and tries to hint to me that it’s time to head outside on the days I don’t sit out there.
I have included a few photos of Tallinn, the Sarpy County Fair, and some visions we see when walking around Standing Bear Lake and Lake Zorinsky. We went to the Sarpy County Fair on the last day…it was kind of a bust. There had been really severe weather in the area the night before, so I think the 4H kids were told to take all the animals home. We got to look at a few tractors and see needlepoint, drawings, and championship squash. Lily had invited her friend from Omaha and she was pretty non-plussed about the whole country thing….I had to tell her it was not normally like this! Rich was wearing what I call his “Forrest Gump” shirt. He was asked by a vendor if he farmed. He said no. He looked to me as if I knew why people would think he was a farmer. Just then, three men walked towards us wearing the same type of shirt but with jeans on. Light dawned…it still makes me giggle.