Door Number 1-2 or 3?

A few years ago, there was a T.V show with that title. Contestants would go through a series of differnt question they had to answer correctly and then they got the choice of the 3-curtained doors. Two had nice and sometimes valuable prizes, one of them a ‘boobie’ prize. A bale of hay, or a pile bricks.

I feel like I got one of those doors.

Two weeks ago, I had a CT scan to determine how well (or not) chemo therapy was doing and, what change, if any, about the ‘tumor.’ As many scans as I have had, this result was very much anticipated.

Lab person was going to use my port to access veine for dye. Not sure what happened but the pain and burning sensation was so severe, that I yelled and came off that chair. Startled, nurse pulled it out quickly. To allow her to do this again took great effort.

My friends and I went to have lunch down town and theybought  bought this delicious Gelato for me to minimize ordeal.

After I got home, I waited for the call which would give me results. There was Tuesday evening, Wednesday, Thursday. Nothing. Friday I called Oncologist’s office only to find out she had left.

Then, I called local doc. I knew they also would get a copy. Left message. Then I went grocery shopping. Walking is still an effort. Although swelling has receded, there are places which are painful and I have to wear compression hose, which go up to the thigh. After walking some, they roll over and then there’s a big, red indentation and I constantly have to pull it up. Annoying. I need one of those stocking holders. As I drove home, my cell phone rang and it was the nurse from local doc. She said, they were looking at scan and that blood clot had not dissipated. Was still there and in precarious place. I needed to go to Hospital as soon as I could and have another Ultra sound. I was really confused why they would see the ‘clot’? She said, that scan reaches a larger area.

So. Went to hospital and got scan. Waited till they send it to doc before I was allowed to leave. He did tell me that tumor had receded. But not how much, or anything else, since this was not his expertise. Waiting some more.

Tuesday, chemo day and appointment with Oncologist. So. This is the good news. Tumor has shrunk from 5 cm to 2.2. Doing the happy dance for that. Now I am hoping, that these 2.2 cm will be gone in another 2 month. Then she says, that blood clot did not originate in the leg but in the abdomen. It was very unsusual that the clot would travel DOWN instead of UP. Which would’ve been very dangerous. I totally believe, that I had my little miracle. My blood tests, which I have to have prior to each chemo is ‘perfect’.  (I asked what I was doing there if everything is so perfect!!)

The down side is, that the chemo is destroying my veines. There’s the catch. I can’t stop chemo now but for the veine, it’s a horrid thing. Which door to choose??

After so many rounds, the effects from the chemo are felt more and more . Most of the time I am very fatigued and can’t catch up with house and yard work. For 2-3 days, bones hurt and I am freezing form the inside out. Depression is marching in as though it belonged. Watching a commercial the other day, I started crying although there was nothing about it to cause this. At the store, suddenly there are tears. My nose is dripping constantly, until we figured out it’s because I have no ‘nose hair’. No eye brows, lashes … nose hair. Now that it is getting warmer, the pretty wig feels like a fur cap. My memory is becoming faulty and this what we call ‘chemo brain’.

Bills are piling up and that one night stay at the Hospital cost a whopping $6800.00 and of this $1,133.00 which I have to pay fully. I am feeling overwhelmed. It shows that one cannot be allowed to get sick in the ‘Golden U.S.A.’ I’ve not opened the bills from St. Mary’s.

I have had wonderful and caring support. Some from people I have never met. (I received a $25.00 donation from a ‘Stranger’. I was so very touched.) I get uplifting and caring posts nearly every day from a new and precious friend ‘Michele M.”  Two days ago, I had a particular hard time, when a beautiful sun flower appeared on my Facebook wall. This helped more than any pill I could have taken.

I also got to drive to Telluride to visit my son. A dear friend drove as she was certain, this may be too much for me, to start. (She was right). A most beautiful, perfect day and drive. His new apartment is gorgeous and roomy. I had prepared lunch to take up. (Hungarian Gulash, Spaetzle, cucumber-tomatoe salad and fresh strawberries for dessert. We drove to the end of town to see the many waterfalls. Azure sky and awesome surrounding. Good to breath and be out of this house. It was slow going as the altitude was making walking more labored but I did walk from mid town to the apartment. Small victories.

In a few days, it’ll be my birthday. I am totally grateful that I get to be here and celebrate, although this will be the first time in many years, that I won’t (can’t) host a party.

I still try to reconcile the actual number of my years with my internal years. Where have the last 20 years gone??


‘Lawd… Lawd have Mercy’.

Before anyone thinks I am making fun, that’s not so. This came to me the other day when I was still hugging the couch.

It was a long time ago, when I first arrived in Long Island, N.Y. as a nanny. After I was there a few months my aunt and uncle came from Munich to visit and we took off to see New York.

It was a hot, sweltering July day. I believe it may have been the 4th because I remember a long Parade with music, drums and everything.  When it was over, the people dispersed and we were thirsty and started to look for a diner or Cafe. Not knowing the area and had no map, we got lost.

We ended up in a very different neighborhood. Not another white person. We were watched and looked at but had no idea why. No one bothered us though.

We came upon a building with multi-colored windows. From inside we could hear a Tamborine and singing. I thought it was a bar. We stepped inside. Right away I noticed that this was not a bar but a church. Filled with Black people. Dressed in their absolute best. Hats, gloves and pretty dresses, the men in somber dark suits. We just stood there, not knowing what to do. The Pastor was saying that someone should start giving ‘Testimony’. My English was still in its infancy, so I was not sure what that meant. Suddenly, a lady got up and started shouting’ :Lawd, Lawd have Mercy!’ She was looking toward the ceiling and lifted her arms, while repeating. (I thought she said ‘Lard’ and couldn’t understand why someone would shout to heaven, to get it.)

My aunt and uncle who spoke no English asked me where we were. Before I could answer, the Pastor waved me forward and greeted us nicely. Asked where we were from and how we found our way to their church. I told him that we were glad to be there. The congregation gathered around us, talking and smiling and being very friendly. When the service was over, the Pastor walked with us to the edge of Central Park and pointed us to the right direction. We did stop at a diner and had a Cola. We had got lost in Harlem, in the 60’s. It was for us a very nice experience. I still smile when I think of the ‘Lawd’ and hope whatever that Lady wanted, she got.

When I started walking, with the bum leg painful and heavy, I too said ‘Lawd have mercy’.

I couldn’t write anything for awhile as a horrible tragedy happened to a very good, dear friend of ours. Just a few days before his wedding, his Fiance’was murdered by her sick and violent ex-husband. Shot in front of her teenage daughter, in broad daylight, in the parking lot of the dressmaker where they had gone to try on her dress. (He too was shot by Police after he opened fire.)

I was stunned and cannot imagine the grief and sadness over such a senseless act. Instead of the wedding, there was then a funeral. Anything I had to say about my problems, paled immensly in light of so much pain. I was supposed to be there for the wedding and had so looked foreward to a visit and to get to know this beautiful, vibrant lady that our friend had chosen for the ONE in his life. Due to the Thrombosis, I couldn’t go. My son had flown to be ‘best man at the wedding. What does one say? What words can possibly be used? What sense can make someone out of this hellish act? So many people who will miss her. The mom, the daughter, the aunt, the good friend to so many. I’ve cried for days. For her, her daughters, her family and our good friend. From the very beginning when he told me about her, I loved her name– ‘VIOLETA.

For the last few days, the leg has improved. I am doing ‘baby-steps’. I can now walk 3 blocks. In between, I had chemo. The blood test shows that the numbers are down. I am grateful. In 2 weeks I will have a CT scan to check on tumor. I envision that it is ‘dried up’ hanging by a thread, and I can stop having chemo.

Meanwhile, life goes on and my beautiful granddaughter is now 22. My daughter will have a birthday soon and then, it’s my turn. So much has happened in that year. And, we are molded once again by all the  happenings in the tapestry that is Life.