Saturday, March 9, 2019

Twenty Days Later

It was twenty days ago that I posted "Sometimes Life is Just... Hard."  It hasn't really stopped being hard, but there have been a few bright spots here and there.

My daughters and I went to Frisco, TX  on February 22nd to spend a little time with my mother. For Rachel and Becca it was a short visit - we all arrived on Friday night, they left on Sunday.  Sarah and I stayed until Wednesday. At this point my mother is pretty much house-bound, spending her life in jammies for comfort. Her tumor is mid-abdomen and sort of makes her look pregnant, so she's wearing clothing two sizes too big in order to fit around her middle. The tumor is pressing on her stomach and digestive system, making it very difficult for her to eat. She was in good spirits while we were there, but I don't think it lasted much beyond our visit. I did what I could for her, which wasn't much, but such as it was, I felt good about it.

We were at the airport on Wednesday, waiting to get on our flight home, when Sarah got a text from her friend Brianna who has been battling colon cancer for the past two years. Doctors said she might only have a few days left and Brianna wanted to know if Sarah could get to D.C.  So we got home (my house), I did all Sarah's laundry, and she left Thursday morning to drive to D.C.  She had to drive there and back same day because she had an intensive two day class to attend on Friday/Saturday and couldn't get out of it without losing the tuition money and taking a failing grade. It was a rough few days for Sarah.

Sunday (March 3) was a good day.  I met my new grandpuppy Millie.  Rachel brought her home from the SPCA on Saturday.  She's a retriever/shepherd mix and has the sweetest disposition.

We made it home from our visit to Manyunk just as the snow began to fall.

And woke up Monday morning (March 4) to this:

8" of heavy wet snow.  So glad I didn't have to shovel!

This past week life felt like it was starting to settle back into routine, except that I wasn't able to concentrate on anything and got a fat nothing done for work.

Thursday (March 7) was Rachel's surgery. I'm happy to say that went extremely well. The surgeon got clear margins on the first cut and was actually able to close Rachel's shin without doing a skin graft - so no donor site stitches and scarring! Rachel came out of anesthesia much better this time and was quickly in good spirits. The "closure" is a mixture of stitches, glue, and tape and if it holds, it looks like the scar will be 3-4" long but very thin. Fingers crossed!  It is hard to be 25 years old and find yourself getting covered in surgical scars.

Brianna passed away on Friday afternoon. She was only 31 years old and, according to Sarah, one of the best people she's ever known. My heart is breaking for Sarah, for Brianna's family and friends, and for everyone who has had their life changed by cancer in one way or another.