|an update -- finally|
I've been terribly remiss in keeping this journal updated. When you get to be my age and have to work eight hours a day, then come home and try to find something for dinner that sounds appetizing, and then try to get to bed by 9:00 so you can start the whole process over the next day, you find that you don't have much energy or inclination for writing.
My wife, Alma, is still in Seattle. She's in the University of Washington Medical Center hospital as I write this. She had her final chemotherapy on July 28th and the stem cell transplant on July 30th. Normally, patients having this therapy end up in the hospital after an average of four days. She managed to stay out of the hospital for a number of days beyond that. But, the mucositis caused her throat to become so sore, she couldn't swallow even water, much less nourishment and her oral medications. Also, her white blood cell count went to zero, which is to be expected. She agreed with the doctors that the hospital was the best place for her. She should be there until around the 14th or 15th unless her white cell count comes up significantly before then.
We're still hoping Alma will be able to come home by the end of the month, but we also know that there could be complications that would extend her stay in Seattle. She's been over there since just before Memorial Day and now Labor Day is just around the corner.
Alma requires a caregiver 24/7 at her apartment at the Pete Gross House. We have been so blessed that Alma's daughters, Jessica and Tammie, Alma's sister, Janice and my sister Joan have been willing and able to provide that care all this time. All of them have sacrificed with extended time away from their own families and normal summertime activities and we are eternally grateful. The people where I work have been very supportive too, sometimes having to adjust their schedules over this past year when all of this started and before we knew what was causing Alma's vertebrae to suddenly start fracturing and compressing. Those friends and family who have donated money to Alma's cancer fund are angels. This thing has already driven us to bankruptcy and I don't know how we would have coped without all of the help we've received.
Alma and I will be celebrating our twenty-first wedding anniversary on August 16th. I doubt that I'll be able to get to Seattle to be with her for the special day, but I hope and pray that she'll be home shortly afterward and well enough to do some of the things she wants to do before the weather turns bad.
Y'know, I was a bachelor until I was 41 years old, and I never minded living alone. But I find living in an empty house (save for our fat cat Milo and the front door stray we call Mama) is really depressing. Thank God I have my job to keep me occupied during the week. The weekends are just the same boring things I do every week – mow the lawns on Friday night, grocery shop and do laundry on Saturday. Sundays? Last Sunday, I dusted for several hours and vacuumed. Pretty exciting life, huh?