Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sometimes you feel like posting...

Somedays you know you should. Like when Dorothy reminded me I had not posted since before Easter.

All I can say is it's been a busy week, with social workers, VNAs, spiritual care people, friends coming to walk Vix (hi, Lynne and Abby!).

But let's see, I had my first consult re: hyperbaric treatment this week. Took 3 hours (!) but the exchange of info was useful. Basically, they know they have something useful in hyberbaric, they just don't know ALL the uses yet. Yes, the increased bloodflow can be a good thing -- if it doesn't increase vascularization to what exists of the remaining tumor, making it grow. That would be a bad thing. But investigating this is a long process. And I think Dr. Rocket wants to be part of it, so I am going to email Joe about that. and IF we do the process...a big IF, it don't start til June, after our trip to Madison.

Before I get into that, though, I want to point out that we're going to see how the Termadore does, and make our decision based a lot on that, though I want to remind people I have had great response to all chemo in the past.

Anyway, for Madison! We're renting an accessible mini-van! So I will be comfortable, and able to swing out as necessary. This is huge! It makes me look forward to the trip. And Elaine, M's mom, is likely coming with us. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Some days are better/rough/different than others...

Well, some days are better than others. We got a new, light-weight chair today which has swappable arms that make work a lot easier... but the seat seems less substantial, it's lighter, making transfers skitsier... You can imagine. The other truly excellent thing about this chair is that it has raisable leg rests, which should cut down on the foot swelling. There is much to love about this chair, and maybe the PT can teach us how to work it to truly love it. I suspect she can. We had an OT here this AM, and she was really lovely and brought us wonderful things so I can pick up stuff, and move my legs and all. But her methods were not as useful as those we went through with Cathy, the PT. Every nurse and PT we have seen has endorsed the methods we're using and helped us fine-tune them. Barbara, the OT, wanted us to try new methods and maybe I'm just a scaredy cat, but the "old" methods are as fast and efficient, seems to me.

Then there is the work front. I'm considering a ms on acting and spirituality. Seems to me when an editor shows enough interest to make comments on your intro, you make at least some of the changes before sending it back? But I got 2 versions of the same file, no changes. Fine, they went off to the readers like that.

And then there is the spiritual book on writing/performing monologues that needs to be more teaching, less preaching. It's bought and scheduled, and I am hoping she is listening to what I say about changes, because it will make for a better, more concise book, without losing the valuable material.

Besides the fact that everyone from outside the office is surprised I am trying to work full time....

Vixen is doing well; she is wonderful! I have someone coming in from the office three times a week to walk her. Lynne has taken one of Mary's classes, so she is about the only person I trust to walk my little girl. That will be different when Sue and Shirley visit, as they so kindly have said they will. Of course I trust either of them with Vix -- they've both taught her!

Anyway, Easter promises to be quiet. My sisters are coming up to pot the roses I bought and bring a clematis that we requested. It should be quite nice!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

We Have A Ramp!!!

Not the spring time vegetable, though I imagine it’s available at the Golden Harvest or Fresh Markets.

No, the wheelchair accessible type. The temporary kind you don’t need a freaking permit for. Steve (friend from work) and Brett (husband of friend from work) installed it yesterday and as unlovely as the weather was -- it was SNOWING!! -- we went outside to test it out. It works fantastically well. Today we may even amble over to the Masonic lot, on the corner, with the dog.

I can also now make a cup of tea on my own. Unlock and lock the back door. Load the dishwasher, but not unload it... Mobility and functionality come slowly, but they are coming.

Next week I have a meeting with the hyperbaric specialist. Dr. B had never heard of hyperbaric treatment for necrosis, but he was on the phone right away with the local specialist, and their office didn’t seem too surprised as to what was bringing me in. Fingers crossed,eh?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Rookie Stripe from Hell!!!!

So, I got the wheels moving, as it were, on getting my new motorized wheelchair. My friend Steve, who has done such great work here for us, is threatening to bring over a roll of yellow tape, so I will be an official dangerous rookie. I am threatening to dragoon my 2 male friends who play golf into teaching me (No. No plaid pants. One has to draw the line somewhere.). Vixen will soon be emulating all those little dogs who live at the Margeson, pulling 300 lb guys in their chairs -- or looking as though they do, for all they are Jack Russells. Looks pretty funny, but those dogs get their exercise!

The chair I have my eye on, like I have never looked at a car, is a Nutron R51XLP. I hope it comes in colors other than Junior’s, Jimmie Johnson’s, or whoever is driving the Jack Daniels car, but the JD is more in my line IF they don’t have orange (Tony Stewart) or brown (Mr. Dale Jarrett himself). Suppose I could have the body painted... :-)

And so do I. The PTs I have seen have shown me various smart, low-impact exercises to do to keep the upper body strength good, and to work on the lower body strength.

Melissa went out and rented a temporary ramp this afternoon.

Emotionally -- pretty good. Can move the left foot sometimes without hauling on it. Stood at the kitchen sink for 15 seconds today, which felt awfully good!

Vixen is getting used to things. She cannot yet jump onto the bed, because the floor of the bedroom is now wooden, and she can’t get a purchase and in fact hurt her leg the one time she tried it -- but that is how smart she is, she tried it only once. Now she sleeps next to my bed and moves when necessary.

Cute nature note: I am working in the dining room, and we have a feeder outside the windows. Well, in addition to the chickadees, sparrows, cardinals, and junco, we now, since yesterday, have a chipmunk. Oh, and a dyspeptic looking squirrel, about the first I’ve seen this year. The chipmunk shares with the birds. He also eats enough that his little cheeks puff up with food so he can’t get into the feeding slots. Way too much fun watching nature when I should be -- and AM -- working!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ok. Where are we?

More specifically, where's my foot? Is it on the ground? Is it flat, pointing the right way?

This is the most frustrating thing. A week ago I managed with a cane. I now slowly get round with a 3-sided walker. It is in its way, as our friend Stephe said, kind of like a stroke, given the relative suddenness with which it happened. It being the loss of mobility. On Monday, I agreed to get a commode and yes I can now say that without blushing. Coming downstairs Tuesday was tricky, but that was all. Going upstairs last night was hell. Coming down this morning was worse -- we shall be sleeping on the sleep sofa down here til our friends come in and move the bedroom from upstairs to downstairs... the bathroom and kitchen are on the first floor, you see. So Melissa gets to decorate our old bedroom as her office... one understands it is going to be a grotto of some sort. Strange to think it's going to be hard to see. Me, I'm in charge of the new bedroom, which I call modified club. No, not dark wood panelling, but many different horse photos, some by Barbara, some found here and there. Two ornate bookcases from an unfinished furniture store will act as headboard and night stands. Reading light will be better -- though there are no inset light fixtures there, we can add lamps as necessary.

Did you know -- you probably did -- there are special chairs for people who cycle? Play tennis? Rugby? All of the above? I've even seen paralympic curling! But this could clear up, too, one neurology report says it might well. But damn it, I might as well have fun despite it all.

I'll miss my old office upstairs. You see, we live in a Cape, and my office was a weird little space. Everything down here is so four square. But I'm here, Melissa is here, Vixen, Trouble, Tenzing, Grendel, and Floyd are here, my horse pictures are here, and my friends are here. It's just -- frustrating.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Back on the Ste-roids Again...

Or, "My Appetite is Back and There's Gonna Be Trouble...."

So. Ever since I tumped over, you may recall, I've been feeling uncertain on my legs. Got worse middle of last week when my left foot went numb. Monday went to the doctor. Wednesday morning had an MRI -- only 2 days before my scheduled one.

Propriaception -- the brain doesn't know where my left foot is. Cause -- likely radiation necrosis.

Jeezums, here we go again! I now have a cane and a walker -- I may be getting a better, luxe model of walker if my insurance approves. I am probably going to temporarily move my office space in work to the first floor. The bathrooms and the kitchen are all on the first floor, damn it.

It could get worse. It could stabilize. It could, according to one study in the neurology journal, get better. According to it, onset of symptoms is severe and abrupt, and then they can go away again. May take 18 months... may not. May not get better. But the cerebellum is a balance center, not a cognitive one. Which means my ability to do the Monday and Tuesday NY Times crosswords should not be impaired.

Owning a herding dog, however.... this could be a battle of wits in any event! Luckily, Vix is listening to Melissa, whom she (Vixen) has never viewed as an alpha and who (Vix) I think needs a refresher course.

My mood is not the best, as you can imagine. But

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Words, words, and #$@!^%

One of my pleasures -- and it has real science content, so I won't call it a guilty pleasure -- is Mythbusters. Recently, they opted to investigate various myths connected with flatulence. This could lead to a riot of improper or only marginally proper language, but our boys, Jamie and Adam, too the high road, consistently using the word "flatus" to describe the, umm, produce of flatulence.

Somehow, my post on the great gelding (which word will probably bring nothing as the commenter probably needs to look up what it means) generated seven posts of sexual/scatalogical phrases.

Thanks to a friend, I have been made aware of these in quick order and deleted them. But for now, I am screening comments. And while I am aware such -- flatus -- is probably generated text, whoever is posting it need not sit their wracking his brain for such phrases.

For the rest of you who have been nothing but intelligent, clever, kind, supportive, I do apologize, but you shouldn't notice much difference.