Friday, August 29, 2014

fueled up

Fuel for the long weekend! #yum #coffeeMy long weekend started last night.

Four days off feels pretty good.  I must say, it also feels a little decadent, having just returned to work last week after 2 weeks of vacation but I don't care, I'll enjoy it all the same.

Mark's still wearing his pump today.  He's feeling much better this round than the last two.  When he met with the oncologist he found out that his dose had been lowered a bit, which is probably why he hasn't been as sick.  Whatever the case, we're glad that he's not running back and forth to the bathroom or sleeping 'round the clock.  That was no fun.

We don't have any big plans for the weekend yet.  There are things we hope to accomplish in the yard and around the house but it'll be nice to not rush with them for a change.  I do like the slow pace of a long weekend and wonder if that's what retirement feels like.  I still have a way to go (like 20 years) before I can retire but still, I wonder sometimes.

In the meantime, have coffee will putter!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chemo - Round 11

Chemo round 11. Only more to go #cancersucks #chemo
You may think that chemo would be more fun when you have a beautiful view of the lake wouldn't you? You would be wrong for thinking that. It's never fun, ever. The folks at the clinic are lovely and helpful and we're so grateful to have access to great care but honestly, we are both anxious to see this come to an end.  Today was round 11.  Just one more to go.  In two weeks and 46 hours, it'll be done.

We will not miss the clinic, or the view of the wind farm, or the sweet and awesome nurses, the friendly admin staff or the other patients and their families.  The sounds and smells of the cancer clinic, the pink parking passes, the long list of medications and doctor's appointments, I will gladly shove away into my memory somewhere.

In two weeks, and 46 hours, we will, with any luck, be able to put this all behind us.  Fingers, eyes, legs, everything is crossed.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

we now return to regularly scheduled programming

It is super boring being super good while the furnace service guy is here #ilovemydogs #instacollage #eskie #sheltieWow, tomorrow morning we are heading back to work.

Where did the last 2 weeks go?? Seriously!

The first morning of my vacation, I made a list.  It wasn't a huge list, in fact at the time it seemed quite manageable.  I had a number of small things (and one sort of large thing) I wanted to accomplish around the house during the first week.  With Mark being home, a lot of them just didn't get finished (or started actually).

I did get pretty far along with my office organization project.  Pretty happy about that I tell you.  It's been a total disaster for about a year.  I never really finished unpacking and there are boxes which have been left, ignored, since our previous move (2005).  I managed to get everything that wasn't paper sorted out.  Stuff's been thrown out, donated or put in a proper place.  The papers are stacked up neatly in boxes, ready for me to go through them and either file, save (to re-review next year) or shred.  I'm saving those boxes for rainy or snowy days later in the year.  The weather is too nice to be spent inside with papers right now.

The upside of Mark being home for almost the whole two weeks is that I actually feel rested up. While he was sleeping, I found myself joining him for a nap here and there.  It was lovely and felt very decadent to sleep in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. He's feeling better too, finally.  Really, I can't ask for anything more than that out of a vacation, spending time with Mark and the doggies and feeling relaxed and ready to go back to work. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

family reunion

Three Collis men! Mark, Malcolm & Ryan. Was so nice to see them (and the lovely Tanya) this morning!! #familyphotos #familyToday we had a little family reunion of sorts.

Mark's nephew Ryan was in town with his wife and son.  We met them for breakfast and had a nice visit.  We hadn't seen them in 3 years so it was good to see them, particularly little Malcolm.

15 years ago today, Mark's mum, Ida, passed away.  Spending time with family was good for Mark, I think it made the day a lot less sad.  Hopefully we won't have to wait another 3 years to see them again.

As they were leaving, we gave them a big box full of books, photos and some religious articles that belonged to Mark's dad Joe and Joe's dad, Harry. I think Ryan was surprised by how old some of things were but it's nice to see them going to family who are actually still connected to Judaism in a sort of formal way.  I think Joe would approve anyway.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chemo - Round 10

Chemo round 10 & @taxichef would happily be ANYWHERE but here today. #cancersucks #cancerclinic #chemo"Having dental surgery without any freezing..."

"Slamming his hand repeatedly in the car door..."

"Being trapped in closet with Glenn Beck..."

"Um...Things Mark would have rather done than have chemo yesterday??"

 Yeah, yesterday was not fun.  Mark did not want to be at chemo.  I cannot blame him at all.  First of all, he has been so sick since leaving the clinic two weeks ago, he couldn't stand the idea of doing it again this week.  Secondly, this is a rough week for him, August 15 is the anniversary of his mum's death and the few days leading up to it are always really difficult for him.

Ordinarily, he and I both work in the morning before chemo but yesterday was weird.  We were home, farting around.  We got to chemo earlier than normal so we had more time to see the folks in the waiting room.  A little girl, maybe 5 or 6, was there running around with her brother while she received her chemo.  It was heartbreaking to see but at the same time, I thought, at least whatever she's got, they are treating her.  She could be a big success story but boy, it's difficult to see a child in the cancer clinic.

Eventually we got in there, Mark got hooked up and that pump couldn't click fast enough. He's feeling a lot better this go round.  He felt pretty good last night, slept well, and this morning, he's up at a decent time.  We've had coffee on the porch and so far, the day is going okay.  I'm happy to say that this week, the anticipation has been far worse than the actual event.  Just 2 more rounds to go.  We'll both be really relieved for this to be over.

Monday, August 11, 2014

kicking ass

Sammy loves his Etta Says deer chew! Thanks @barkbox #ilovemydogs #dogsofinstagram #eskie #americaneskimodogChemo continues to kick the ass of Mark.  I have never seen anything like it.  Sleep, sleep and more sleep.  We're both off anything resembling a schedule and the TV watching continues.  We recently finished up with The Wire and are getting ready to start into Oz.  Six seasons of guys beating the crap out of each other in prison.  I have a feeling it's not going to be anything like my beloved Bad Girls.

As vacations go, this one has been very restful but it would have been nice to have Mark feeling better.

In other news, the dogs are each celebrating their birthdays this week so we'll have some sort of doggie celebration them for them before the week is over.  I'm sure they don't care that it's their birthday just so long as they get something good to eat (they are funny that way)!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my mum's birthday & Gracie helped her open presents #goodgirl #dogsofinstagram #instacollage #ilovemydogs #sheltieToday is my mum's birthday.  Happy Birthday Mum!!

We stopped by for a visit and to give her a little gift earlier in the day.  She's having a relaxing day I think.  My brother was scheduled to arrive shortly after we left.  I felt a little bad that we couldn't stay until he got there.  We had the dogs with us and they were getting antsy to go (it was getting pretty hot by the time we left) and Mark wasn't feeling super fantastic either.

He ended up having to stay home from work on Thursday and Friday.  I'm not sure if this is all down to the chemo or if he's picked up a bug too but he's been sleeping, a lot.  Like more than I have ever seen, even after surgery.  The upside of the sleeping is that when he is asleep, he isn't having stomach distress so at least that's something.

When he's not sleeping, we're just hanging around the house with the dogs, binge-watching tv shows we've had saved up for a while.  Over the past couple of days we got through the final episodes of "Halt and Catch Fire" and "Fargo."  Fargo was incredible, Halt and Catch Fire... well it left me a bit "meh."  I worked for a software company right out of college so a lot of what was portrayed took me back to those crazy mid-80's days.  The company I worked for sold flow charting software and I remember how HUGE a deal it was for us to offer mouse support for our product.  By the time I joined the company, we had 5 1/4" and 3 1/2" inch floppies but just prior to me joining, they were selling 7" floppies too.  I think if it gets a second season, we'll probably watch it for the amusement factor but I really didn't give a crap about any of the characters by the time season 1 wrapped up.

Now that we are both officially on vacation, I'm not sure what we will get upto.  It's going to depend entirely upon how Mark's feeling.  He has chemo again next week which should be interesting. Hopefully he'll be rested up and ready to go again by Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

15 years

bride and groomPoor Mark.  He's been absolutely miserable for days.

Yesterday, he went into work and actually got through the whole day but I really wished he hadn't.  Last night was very rough.  I didn't let him go into work.  He'd not slept at all and quite frankly, it would not have been safe for him to be behind the wheel in the state he was in.

Happy Anniversary huh?? Yes, today is our anniversary.  We met on this day in 1999, 10 years later, we did it up all legal and got married in our back yard, Sammy and Gracie (and some friends and family) witnessed it for us so it's all official.  Neither of us could have ever anticipated that we'd been dealing with the fallout from round 8 of chemo on our 15th anniversary but here we are.  This is the latest in a long line of challenges we have had to face since we got together.

By mid-day, Mark had perked up a bit and he really wanted us to go do something.  We went out for a late lunch/early dinner at a sushi place we like.  It was a really lovely meal and all of that rice and veggies seemed to settle his stomach. 

Next year we will do something a little more exciting than a sushi lunch.  This year has been all about getting through this treatment and putting cancer behind us, once and for all.  Not wishing my life away but it'll be nice to get to the end of the summer and finish this up!

Friday, August 01, 2014

all I ever wanted?

Say hello to my little friend. #bunny #homesweethomeOkay, so I'm on vacation.  Officially.

I'm scheduled to be away from work for two weeks.  Mark will be off with me for the second week.  We started off the holiday weekend with a visit to St. Elizabeth Health Care on the way home.  Mark had his pump taken off and his PICC line sorted out.

If he's going to feel lousy from the chemo, it's normally the worst on Saturday morning after having the pump removed.  By Saturday, normally, the full dose is settling in and the side-effects begin.  The bad stuff seems to be starting early this week.  He's feeling like hammered poo at the moment. It's quiet in the house right now and he's snoozing with Gracie in our room. 

My hope is that a good sleep tonight will help him feel better tomorrow.  It's really difficult to see him like this.  I'm glad he's got the extra day off to rest.  

In other news, the bunny we have been watching through the front window all summer was outside when we pulled into the driveway today.  He's pretty cute (I say "he" but really, it could be a she I suppose) and actually didn't run away when I pulled out my phone to snap a photo.  Hopefully, that's a good sign huh??