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It’s a Tiny Start

I will not go into everything that’s happened during the last several weeks. Unfortunately, my health has deteriorated. I so want to get back to blogging – I really NEED it. As long as I live and breathe there must be something to say. I may have to write a rambling post to open up the flood-gates of the mind. Ok, hokey sounding, but it’s a tiny start.

So This is a Computer…?

I believe I’ve been so long  offline that I’ve forgotten how to operate this machine! This will be brief since I’m still under the influence of substantial medication and don’t have my wits about me.

Basically, the surgery went fine. But after about 4 days at home, I got really sick, only to discover I had an intestinal obstruction. This led to another hospitalization of about 5 days. We’re still working to get all systems back to normal.  I also have some tiny anxiety (at times, maybe not so tiny) about possible additional cancer spreading that showed up in an ER CT scan. But no one has confirmed that and probably won’t without additional testing.  So we’re putting that out of our minds, right?

I imagine it may take weeks to get caught up on all the posts and happenings here.  I’m looking forward to it, but it’s likely to be a slow process. I hope everyone is doing well.

BTW at the hospitals I had my little tattered sheet of Rich pics which I would bring out for some mind-soothing gazing when I couldn’t handle any more “medicine.” And the past few days I have had a definite yearning for Armitage Fantasia. 😉   A sign of recovery? Please let it be so! 🙂

A Quick Message

Just the quickest of messages so I can feel like I’ve left things in a minor turmoil.  I’d had all kinds of plans to finish posts, answer comments, take care of lots of little things before this surgery mucko gets me down. Alas, the best laid plans……..

I do want to send a special “Richard hug” – you know which one I mean – to the many of you who, while I have been out of touch, have had life issues to deal with.  I think we can’t pass that hug around too much for all of you! I’m thinking of you and hope things are slowing down a bit  or at least slinging around in your favor.

Tomorrow at this time (central daylight savings time USA), I’ll be in some state of post-surgical haze. Hopefully, resting comfortably somehow. Thank you so much for your kind wishes and concerns. I’m likely to not have access to a computer for a while (help!), but will be thinking of you and, at least in my mind, doing as much Richarding as I can possibly muster.

Am VERY tired now. My very best to you all!


M. D. Anderson Revisited

Last Tuesday we met with the gynecologic oncologist (that’s really a mouthful), and as it turns out, he will be my surgeon as well. The bottom line is he thinks the surgery will help, but of course can’t guarantee it. And he thinks the recovery won’t be bad, but again, can’t guarantee that either. The main down side is that it could be more complicated that anticipated, especially since I’ve had previous abdominal surgeries. This might lead to some damage to the digestive system. Of course the odds are slim, but you know they have to tell you all the worst case scenarios.  He did say that if he gets “in there,” and it doesn’t look like it would be worth doing, he won’t proceed.

He had several criteria for making the decision, and I think I met all of them. This was sobering – one of them is life expectancy.  He asked what my doctors had told me so far – basically, they have chosen not to bring it up and we have chosen not to ask. Of course they’ve told us what the statistics show – I think it’s 2 1/2 year median survival for Stage IV colon cancer.  I assume that if things proceed to the point where there are no more options, they would tell me to start doing my bucket list.  From an objective viewpoint, if you only have a few months to live, you probably won’t want to spend half that time in surgery and recuperation. But all the doctors are good with proceeding.  So, in total, we concluded that won’t be a problem – either based on professional medical opinions or our sheer determination that it won’t be a problem.

So we go back next Wednesday for an Anesthesia Assessment and all kinds of pre-surgery instructions.  Surgery is scheduled July 5 at M. D. Anderson, with a 3-5 day hospital stay and 2-3 week recovery. Given the pain that seems to stick around all the time with little relief so far, and other symptoms my onc says are from uncontrolled pain – insomnia, loss of appetite, depression, and a couple of others that slip my mind (maybe one’s memory loss?) – I’m ready to do it.

Hopefully, I can spend the couple of weeks in the interim building up strength, talking and writing about something BESIDES cancer, and building up my reserves of Armitage firepower to withstand the physical onslaught of the next few weeks.

I’m gearing up to work on an Armitage post, hopefully today. I’ve spent far too little time writing and I really miss it. But for now doing a few mindless home tasks, like feeding the hummingbirds. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

My Mona Lisa Cat

I really love this photo. What a beautiful expression she has! Doing lots of purring, no doubt! 🙂

the armitage effect



This is Ginger, the funny, clever, energetic, charming tabby that showed up with her sister, Mary Ann, at the door to our Dayton townhouse one raw November night. It was windy and bitingly cold and the snow was beginning to fall. We invited the two kittens inside and they became part of the family.

Ginger lived to be nearly 2o, and over her lifetime shared our homes in three different states, proving to be an amazingly good traveler for a feline. This photo was taken with my old Yashica film camera at my in-laws’ house, where I discovered Ginger sitting in the window of the guest bedroom. It was a perfect “Kodak moment.”

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