I guess it has been a while since I have updated this blog. I don’t have a really good excuse for that. Thanksgiving was hard without Joe, but it was so absolutely wonderful to have Tim home, even if it was for just a few days. A lot of board games were played, good food eaten, and basketball watched. Thankfully, he is able to come home again for Christmas. I am so very happy about that! I realize that our years of all being together for the holidays are coming to an end…with Joe and Michelle and their dogs not present, it is so quiet. Tim is looking to be hired this spring as a head strength and conditioning coach for basketball at the university level. The holidays happen to fall in the middle of their season, and they are typically celebrating Thanksgiving at fun locations playing in tournaments. We may just take a trip to wherever his team is and take in the festivities there. So, Thanksgiving will most likely look very different from now on.
Lily has been accepted to the three universities she applied to: Montana State University, the University of Central Missouri, and the Kansas City Art Institute. All of these schools are excellent and very different. She has a large school, a medium-sized school, and a school half the size of her high school in the mix. She hasn’t said which one she is leaning toward. She would be closer to us if she went to MSU…but still 5 hours away. If she goes to school in KC or UCM, she will have her sister-in-law close by and Joe’s circle of friends, whom I would think would help her out if need be. They have all watched her grow up. She was reflecting on that last night. All of Joe’s friends are about the same age 10 years ago as she is now. She said that she is her own person now, not just Joe’s “durpy little sister.” I look forward to seeing where she decides to go. Her best friend was also accepted to KCAI, so I am sure that will hold a little clout as well. Both of them got significant scholarships and there is an art scholarship from her high school available as well if she decides to go to KCAI.
Rich is down in Florida right now helping his sister and parents move into their new house. His mom suffers from dementia, so it has been a bit of a struggle as today is moving day. I am glad he was able to go down and help because it sounds like they needed the extra help. Plus, it has been gray, raining, and blustery since he left here. I hope he is getting to enjoy the weather a little bit. He will be home on Friday, just in time for our first snow fall of the year, if the weatherman has it right.
I have had a few health issues. Actually, it isn’t my health, it is the extra pieces in me thanks to cancer treatment that are going awry. Three years ago TODAY, I had my port put in. It has worked beautifully for me…until Thursday morning’s treatment. They went to flush it and it felt like lightning flashed up my neck. It was horribly painful. She was able to draw blood just fine, but then went to flush it again, the lightning pain started again…and then the port tubing in my neck started bulging. She stopped immediately and then started an IV in my arm to do my infusion. She contacted my oncologist and let him know my port needed to be checked. My neck was bruised all weekend and it was so sore. I was taking photos at a church event on Friday night and just the feeling of the camera strap on my neck was incredibly painful. By Monday morning, my neck was feeling better, but it was pretty concerning. Fast forward to today. I went in first thing this morning for a port study or venogram. They lay you on a special table and you have an x-ray machine with a plate hanging over you to isolate my chest and neck. They took still photos first but could not see anything obviously wrong with my port. This was my biggest fear, because I knew what was coming next. They accessed my port and then slowly started pushing dye through the tubing. Sure enough, that lighting effect started. I told the doctor that I was hurting and that the tubing was again, bulging in my neck. She, of course, decided to keep going to just make sure and get good pictures of THE LEAK THAT I SAID WAS THERE. She showed me the scans and it is obvious that my tubing is fractured in my neck. The doctor decided to take out the needle to my port. I am not sure if she had done that before (it’s a nurse thing). When she finally realized how to take it out without hurting me further, she popped the needle out and I started bleeding from my port site. I am on blood thinners. I don’t bruise easily…. even on blood thinners, but I do tend to bleed when poked. She is standing there, looking horrified (at least through her eyes) as she placed a gloved finger on the site and asked for a band aid….and then a gauze pad to “clean up my skin”. One of the main lessons you learn in nursing school is to have all your supplies with you before you start a procedure. Sigh. Anyhow, I received an email from my oncologist’s nurse saying that my port is fractured, and they choose to just remove it at this time and not replace it. I need port access 7 times a year, so I will just get IVs started rather than having a port put in. So, she sent me a number to call to schedule my port removal. My oncologist has not seen me in person for maybe two years. A requirement of the surgery is having a physical of some sort. I haven’t’ seen my doctor at the base for over 5 years. I go to the cancer center every month. Trying to get into the clinic for a physical could take months. I told the lady on the phone this. It is a teaching hospital for goodness’ sake, I am sure my oncologist has a resident that can do this. So, she was going to call him and get back to me. That was a couple of hours ago. Hopefully we can get this taken care of very soon. I have a trip planned to Florida with Michelle in early January to swim with the manatees and I want my incisions healed before getting in the ocean water! I will keep you posted on surgery dates.