Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year

New Years, when we are enjoined to reflect on the past year and hope for the new, is not a good holiday for the seriously ill.  A recent message from a wise friend offered a better suggestion: do what you can to enjoy the moment.

Last fall My sister Diana asked me what she could do to help, and I immediately asked her to make family plans for Mom for Christmas. In recent years it has been just Mom and me, sometimes in NYC, but usually in the Poconos. Lots of folks come there for New Year's, but it is pretty deserted over Christmas, and the heated part of our house is pretty small. Last year we took an Christmas afternoon trip to the new Casino at Mount Airy Lodge: an appalling place, a desperate diversion.

So this year we spent Christmas weekend at Bill and Bonnie's house in Annapolis. We stayed at a nice Mariott, overlooking the harbor.  The Walshes brought Mom, and I came by train.  It was a lovely visit.  Mom hadn't spent much time with grandson Bob in years, and they enjoyed each others company. Granddaughter Dorothy and her family came by Christmas afternoon, and everyone was charmed by William, 6, and Julia, 3.  Bonnie's collection of Spode Christmas china graced the table, and Bill, Bonnie, and Bob prepared a feast.

My breathing problems had subsided a bit earlier the previous week, but returned later, along with the sharp pain.  Morphine helped, but the smallest effort was unpleasant. So I mostly sat still in a comfortable chair in the corner, wishing I could contribute more.  The first night I was not sure I was going to make it through the weekend without having to return to NYC, but with everyone's help it worked.

Diana and Chris drove Mom back to Foulkeways, and then to NYC.  We had plans to spend some time together enjoying the city.  I called Motzer's office Tuesday morning to tell them about the breathing issues, and was told to go to Urgent Care.  Blood work and x-rays showed no new evidence of infection or increased pleural fluid, so I was not admitted, a relief.  The doc said that pulmonary embolism is a possibility.  Unfortunately the way to see clots is a CT with injected contrast agent, which I cannot tolerate.  But other evidence (pulse normal, pain in exactly same place) makes a clot unlikely.  I was sent home with a new course of antibiotics, in case of hidden infection.

I rested quietly Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, and was feeling well enough that I was able to go with the Walshes to see the Wednesday matinee Porgy and Bess. The production is wonderful and Chris had sprung for fantastic seats. I felt fine during the show, and was so glad to salvage this part of our lovely plans.  Fortunately the Walshes met friends and saw some movies, so I hope they enjoyed the NY phase of their visit.

Treatment and CT scans on Thursday.  It had looked to be a long day, but the infusion went quickly; Diana joined Helene and me for part of that, so it was very jolly.  Just one stick to find a vein this time; last week had taken three.  We got to the imaging center at 11:00; we were supposed to be there at 12:40 to drink the wretched fluid, with the scan at 1:40.  They weren't busy, and said they could take me soon.  All done by noon!

I am scheduled to see Motzer Tuesday, rather that the usual Thursday, because a couple of months ago Diana had suggested and planned a Florida trip. We were going to leave Wednesday, and stay a week. I decided today that this happy plan really isn't practical. While I am breathing slightly better, the continued Morphine results in stomach upset, so I just think that quiet time in NY sounds more appealing right now than Miami fun.  For the same reason, I am not at the lake for New Year's.

Perhaps I will know more with the scan results, but I have learned not to expect too much. Have the tumors advanced? What does that mean? Is this breathing problem directly related to the disease or the treatments, or just an infection?  What's next?  We will see what Motzer has to say.

Happy New Year.  Enjoy the moment.

1 comment:

Giny said...

Thinking of your upcoming return to Motzerville tomorrow...