Happy After-Thanksgiving and Pre-Other Holidays to you all!
How are you all? I am hoping all is well, but I do know that my sister-in-law, KC, is going to have a third try to fix her elbow in about 10 days. An out-patient procedure, but none-the-less, not so fun. I'm sending good karma your way, KC! I really hope no one else is going through similar situations.
I have completed nine radiation treatments and have 16 to go. So far, I've not really experienced any side effects...my skin is intact where the beams are aimed and my energy seems to be increasing every day, thank goodness! The docs say that both skin changes/damage and energy loss - when radiation related - don't usually begin until a bit later in the process. Right now, I have my fingers crossed that those side effects don't begin at all.
My last treatment is scheduled for December 22 - and if everything continues on schedule, our plan is to be packed to leave for home immediately after my last treatment. We haven't actually checked to see if we'll be required (medically) to stick around for anything, so we'll see what happens as the days progress.
It's hard to be so far away from home and Jim for so long. I miss Jim everyday! Joy has a wonderful home and has done everything possible to make me feel at home - including letting me bring Booker (African Gray parrot) and two cats (Mogwi and Sneakers) to live in her previously no-pet home. That takes a pretty big heart and I appreciate it so much. Booker is on my shoulder constantly when I'm in the house. The cats have moved right in and seem to be pretty much at home - even Sneaks has come out from under Joy's bed to explore and lounge in front of the fire!
For turkey day, we were so happy that three of our four human kids could join Joy, Jim and I for a feast, much laughing and hanging out on Friday. I did a little cooking on Thursday - desserts of course! On the big prep day, Jim and Joy cooked all day while I played executive chef from the couch. Not sure why, but it was a low energy day for me. I made it through without any naps, but my idea of being able to help with the cooking went out the window. I'm sure Joy and Jim think that I'm just a sloth. They were kind, however and didn't call me names - at least not out loud or in front of the kids!
Sometimes it's surprising what you get if you ask for it. Today I asked the radiation tecnologists if I could take a picture of the machinery that is doing its best to be sure I don't have any more local cancer cells. I thought I'd get a "we'll have to check with higher ups," or "we can't for liability reasons." But instead the response from all three was "sure!" "No problem!" I'm waiting for a camera to arrive - when it does, I plan to take a picture of the machine I fondly call Mr. Magoo and post it for you to see.
Do you remember Mr. Magoo? He's the cartoon character old man with terrible eyesight and coke bottle lenses. He is so cute, slightly bent over to squint at things and mumbling all the time. The radiation machine is one eyed (I couldn't get my head around calling him "cyclops." I wanted to greet it everyday with a little smile rather than fear). The one eye is very thick and the machine makes buzzing, clicking and other mumbling sounds as it's doing its work. I imagine Mr. Magoo standing really close to me, squinting his eyes behind his thick, thick lenses to look closely to see just who is climbing on the table, then clucking a greeting at me. This vision has made it much easier for me lay still for the treatments.
Follow-up to the Strange Smell in the Car story: Thanks for all the suggestions you sent. You were right (and we were too) - it was a dead thing in the engine area. Specifically, it was a dead rat under the windshield wiper cowling. The rat had been there long enough to make a nest and start to chew on the cabin air filter. Long story short, we ended up taking the car to Toyota maintenance, spending a day and $600, but the odor and all of the reasons for it are gone. I felt really sorry for the service techs - after their usual high tech forays hadn't found the cause of the smell, they had to resort to "sniff" testing along the hood of the car to find it! Ugh!
That's it for now. The weather in this valley has gotten colder since I arrived, but there have been many sunny days. I've discovered that the route from Joy's to the Sutter Cancer Center is covered with beautiful birds - red-tailed hawks, harriers and red-shouldered hawks by the handfuls everyday, snowy white egrets, cattle egrets, blue herons, lots of blackbirds, Canadian geese, and even some American white swans on migration!
I hope your days are filled with new bird species to add to your life lists! I hope yours are easy sightings that make you smile as you go through your day. Thanks so much for your support - you make me smile as I spy new birds and go through my days!