Monday, May 22, 2017

Hair Tales, #1

Hair loss with chemo did not rock my boat. I took it well. I just wanted to live, bald or not. My wig was delightful looking I thought. But as hair comes in now, it bothers me. I am not crazy about the color, but I can live with it…or color in time I have left. I don’t like the feel of it, feels fuzzy. But mostly when I look in the mirror I just do not see the me I know.

As a child, I had two modes of hair—ugly and painful. My mother either had my hair cut off into Buster Brown cuts or she did those old Toni perms. Oh, they smelled bad and I had to sit still for so long. But mostly then you had Saturday wash and pin curls which ended up tangled and Mother brushed the heck out of them pulling like each strand was a balking mule in harness. It hurt. In summer it was no choice, the hair was whacked off and horrid, deep seated bangs were chopped. If they were crooked, it was my fault because surely, I moved on the beautician!

When I was in eighth grade, we visited Mom’s cousin in Tulsa who had once done hair. My bangs were long and she offered to trim them. It was time for the summer chop, but dear Pat asked ME what I wanted. I explained I wanted t look like the rest of the 1962 girls. She shaped my bangs so beautifully, trimmed the ends of my almost shoulder length hair, and she rebutted my Mother’s urging for a chop. Pat said let the girl have her hair! So, from that day forward I never had short hair again!

There were times when my hair was midback. Others I kept it shorter but still long and straight like the times. I taught myself to pile it beautifully on top of my head as by high school tall, upswept hair was the rage Long hair cost more to have done at a beauty shop, and I had no money anyway. For my senior pictures, I did it myself and one older woman, a clothes horse and ritzy hair style gal, wanted to know where it was done she liked it so well. She could not believe I had done my own!

My Mother always wore her hair short and shorter, but that is another tale. I dreaded her trips to the beauty shop as she often did not like what they did. She would fume and recomb and be in a bad mood. My Granny told me often that she felt sorry for Mother’s dates with my Dad as he would sit on the couch waiting, waiting, waiting for Mother to stop seething and smoldering in front of a mirror over her uncooperative hair.

Cancer reduces you. It takes organs, hair, strength, cheer, blood health, and the ability to do for yourself. It is nice that people help and I am grateful for all the kindnesses and assistance I have received. Yet, it can often feel like you are a drawing and someone with a strong eraser is removing parts of you one line at a time, eliminating what makes you who you are. It makes you feel diminished, an abridged edition of who you once were.

On Friday my dear friend, Melissa, is going to look at my head and see if she can help me find myself!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May Mini Trip

It storms and storms! Between rains we are trying to do some fun things, to escape from our truths and pretend life is full time glorious!
Melissa is a friend who used to do my hair and still cuts DH’s hair. I go with him so we can still visit.  This time she wanted a picture and it turned out well. I now have enough hair I might let her see if she can do anything positive with gray fuzz!!!! Maybe this week?

We ran up to see our son and his family this week. They are busy; we are busy, but it all meshed for a few hours of togetherness. We actually dodged rain, wind, and hail, but were not home long yesterday before the sirens went off. Ugly wall cloud hung over town trying to drop a twister. We made it through with nothing and more came at 8 last night. Escaped again. Tomorrow is to be nice so I am already looking forward to Sunday. Maybe the flowers can crawl out from under the tables again!
This is one of the best pictures of our oldest grandson I have ever taken. Our kids don’t do the Olan Mills type thing we did every month when our kids were small. But this is more like a portrait, snapped on their back deck. He is gangly eight and long toothed like eight year olds are. But here, the picture captures his sensitive side and show the charming fellow he can be!

Our son told us about the National Guard Military Museum that is east of Jefferson City. It is small but we found it worth the visit. Love finding these little nuggets of history tucked away in America’s countryside. It happened to hold some of our history as well in that DH worked on designing two of the planes in our early marriage, the F4 and F15.

F15 by McDonnell Douglas
Sherman Tank...great piece except it was overpowered by German tanks that were heavier.
This plate brought to American with German family who was fleeing Nazi Germany. The father later fought with American troops.
This was first recoiling canon...perfected by America. The recoil allow the carriage etc. to stay in place allowing for faster loading and aiming after firing.
We found my printer not working late last night. Do I need to tell you how technology puts me in a spin? Nothing we could do fixed it and again this morning. So, we replaced it. I would pay good money just to NOT have to change a thing. But alas, that is not life. Got to go with it. So now have it working and will hope worst of that tale is over!


F4 Phantom

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Happy Sunday

The rains have ceased until late in the coming week. We have slight water under our house for the first time in eons of time. The ground is just so soaked, it leaches out everywhere. But…sun is out and it has lifted everyone!  Somehow, bright sun seems to be message from God that things will go on one way or another.

The doctors have called and after this week’s biopsy fiasco, they want to meet with us on Thursday for a discussion. I can tell you that I am much more stressed by the thoughts of this than the biopsy.

Meanwhile, the flower fairy friends have been here this weekend. Look at the beauty, and I wish I could send you the sweet fragrance of the peonies. The scent spreads in my kitchen. I always have an ivy geranium each year, but this year did not feel like the hunt and plant. A friend filled this need and I have an ivy geranium once again.
The air is warm enough to have windows open so even lingering in the kitchen, I can hear the tinkling of the fountain. Yes, even after hearing rain, I still like the soothing sound of water falling over rocks.

I have brewed two kinds of tea today, have a book for deck time, feel no pain,  and a friend is stopping on her way through town today. I could ask for no more.

I hope you enjoy a bright day today and look eagerly to a new week.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Biospy, Anyone?

While the deck flowers are huddling under the picnic table and grill for protection and even a little warmth, the indoor plants seem to be thriving on the occasional furnace warmth added to the dampness of monsoon season here. This Cousin Sel plant has leaves the size of saucers right now, and the spray of red trumpets cascading down the pot are a bright spot for sure.

This morning we left in more rain. The skies rained, thundered, and tossed lightning bolts all night long. While we were safe, I was awake thinking of all the people who were flooded, now getting more insult from Mother Nature. It rained all the way to Springfield, and we had allowed more time to get there. (Heard yesterday of someone who spend 8 ½ hours getting from Joplin to St. Louis due to water problems.)

We got to Springfield by 8 am and started the bloodletting procedures and readying for biopsy. Once prepared I waited another hour on whatever. Then they decided to use ultrasound instead of CAT to guide the camera and needles. Ah, then there was a problem. The two guys in the room could not see the lesions well enough. The doctor came in; he couldn’t see the lesions well enough and only route was through a vein that wasn’t worth the risk. He called the oncologist who said if it caused me risk and pain with maybe no good result, cancel the whole thing for now. I should have felt release from that poking, but I didn’t.

By the time we got back to the car I was chilled to the bone. It felt like late November instead of May. We got some breakfast sandwiches and headed home. Hubby was the driver both ways and by time we got home he was so exhausted as he did not sleep well night before either. He slept much of the afternoon; I dozed some.

I am relieved the lesions are so small and can only hope they grown very slowly. But still, it all makes me feel more on a precipice than ever. I am trying so hard to put a good spin on this for now. I know sun is to shine on Friday and the weekend so maybe that will help me get the grip to go forward again. Right now, the cold dampness bores into my spine and joints. I am listless.  I don’t want to move or think. But, oh yes, Miss Scarlett, tomorrow is another day!!!! I am going to fetch the flannel nightgown and get ready for it when it arrives!!!!  



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Thunder snarls across a sky the color of river gravel this morning. Thick, ashen sheets of heavy rain pour straight down onto ground already soaked from days of earlier rain. Somewhere today, people will face rising water issues. Inside, everyone will feel as grim and dreary as the weather!

Yesterday DH and I used the confinement to share household duties. Nothing gets done these days like it used to. Oh, we keep things straight and picked up, but the corners are dirty and the tabletops have dust so thick you could plant peas! So, we worked on what we could for a few hours. It was far from the deep spring cleaning I used to do, but it does feel better now in this house.

Since it is almost May, I felt like I wanted to put away some of the Easter pastels and reach for summer reds for a while. I wanted some brightness indoors at least. This week I will face a liver biopsy and not sure how I will feel for a while. So, I have something pretty to walk back into again.

Today we could do more I suppose, but we feel listless. We have a grade B movie to kill time with later. Of course, I can always get lost in a book. I have the new Elizabeth Strout book, Anything is Possible. Years ago, when I read her first book, I was not impressed. But then I read Olive Kitteridge, story of a cranky math teacher in a small town. My first read left me wanting; I read it again and loved it. My book club then read it too. You don’t like the main character, but Stroud makes you at least care about her. Have you read this one?  I hope the new one has the same zap.

Thanks to all of you for the continued cards, letters, gifts, and thoughts. Mail time is still special around here. I do appreciate it all as some of the days are falling into such a rut, especially in this rainy season. I hope you readers are staying dry…we must remember this damp coolness in the coming July!!!!  Now I will pour some cinnamon orange tea and curl up with my book….hope you can do the same.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Trash Day!

Last week it rained until I felt like a soaked sponge in dirty dishwater. Even the dog did not want to go out! She lingered around with us as we watched movie after movie to escape the roaring gutters and splattered flowers. Then just as the weather started to turn, when sun began to peek around, DH started with bleeding and pain. I found him on the floor of bathroom where he had put himself not able to go forward anymore.

So, we raced to the ER where nothing raced! The doctor leaving duty (we would not see another for three more hours and at our insistence!) said it wasn’t unusual for his kind of surgery. They needed to irrigate the bladder for blood clots. His pain, my pain, exhaustion just made me numb and crazy. Watching less than stellar employees drove me nuts. How I want to fix the world! One nurse just did not seem to know clearly what she was doing. She finally asked me to help hold a tube aloft and I picked up the trash.  I miffed a couple of RNs when I dared to ask questions. When they finally admitted DH,  they were keeping him until they could talk to urologist in the morning, I left the hospital at 1:30 a.m.

Yesterday no doctor ever showed up. Surprise! This morning we wait again, weary of “stuff”. Biscuit has been sad without her Daddy home. But it is Monday and that means trash day! She hears the brakes of the trash truck a block away and looks at me. I know, it is “chase the trash truck day”. I let her out and she runs from one fence corner to the other looking like a streak of saffron butter flowing across the yard, back and forth-back and forth. When she feels like she finally has scared the monster off, she comes to the door with a satisfied look on her face!  If only we could be so fulfilled with so little!

So here we are at Monday’s door again. The sun is out and day is to be a beauty outside before four more days of rain show up this week. Ugh. We wait for a doctor or some info at the hospital. I have a low tire I must attend. I will go to Joplin and help DH wait and wonder. I hope you all have a beautiful Monday with a fresh start for a good week as you chase your own trash trucks!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week Is Passing

Another week has slipped by, and it felt full because we had lots of appointments to keep. It takes a lot of energy for us to just keep up right now. Double for me, as I feel I am watching a child as I try to keep my DH out of trouble. As I write this, he managed to get on top of the roof to clean out the gutters and he should NOT be up there!!!

It rained this morning and more coming tonight and tomorrow morning. It did pause enough for me to fetch some of the roses before they get beaten off in the hard rains coming. This morning was a gentle rain at least. The blessing of the week was two afternoons of perfect sunshine where we could sit among our spring flowers and green grass with iced tea and maybe a book.

One morning I tackled my writing files. It was a bittersweet job as I tossed much I knew I would never be able to deal with again. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I had published though and enjoyed looking at what I had achieved. I found the following poem published in 2006 which I had long forgotten. It had been lost in a computer crash, but I had the magazine still. Glad I did not overlook it.

I got news of my biopsy this week. It will be May 3, and I dread it but such is life these days!

This morning I rode along with DH as he went to his haircut. I miss seeing my friend. She did snip at my unruly gray fuzz! It is not long but it was shaggy looking. She leveled some places and trimmed some side pieces that were two different lengths. It feels better so I hope it looks better too!

Garage Sale

Stacks of stuff line the floor down the hall.

How did we actually accumulate it all?

Unmated mittens, woven neck scarves torn.

Christmas toys broken and now piled in a heap:

Curling irons that no longer heat.

A wool plaid coat missing a button or two;

An ugly purse, shoes that don’t match

Thrown on top of the bulging batch

Of leftovers and unnecessary things.

It is rummage; it must be spring!