And Miles To Go…

It’s been several days since I have written anything in this blog.

Saturday was Shabbat so we rested.

Sunday EJ moved several climbing rose bushes away from the bird feeders and next to the fences where they can climb better. EJ is never “aware” when he walks through my garden and he always manages to step on my flowers even though I try to point them out to him. I cringed as he trampled my tulips and daffodils that were just poking up from the ground. I accused him of being an orc in my garden, going out of his way to stomp on fragile flowers. Then I forgave him.

My Birdhouses
My Birdhouses

EJ also dug another hole, put up another post, and fastened my second new bird house to the top. Sparrows are already building a nest in the blue bird house we put up last Spring. Now I am just waiting–rather eagerly and impatiently–for the birds to find these new houses. The bird houses are all positioned so I can see them from my kitchen window as I do dishes. We plan to put grape vines along the fence in this area to become a sort of living green fence. We will be able to enjoy the grapes and we hope the birds will too.

We also discussed what needs to be done in our yard. One of the most important Big Jobs is getting the dead tree down. I want to find someone to take it down for us so we don’t have to worry about it. Then we can put up new fences.

After EJ went to work, I worked a bit in the yard, doing little things, and then came inside and made coleslaw and charoset. The recipes can vary, but charoset is a mixture of apples, walnuts, honey, grape juice, and cinnamon that is a part of the Passover meal.

Monday JJ had another blood draw at the lab. He was dreading it because he has had so many blood draws that the nurses at the hospital in Indianapolis had trouble finding a usable vein and finally had to use a portable ultrasound machine to locate one. We got up early so that we could get there and back again in time to celebrate Passover before EJ had to leave for work. Passover actually began at sunset, but EJ couldn’t take the day off because he has been using vacation days to be with JJ as he battled cancer. We didn’t want to celebrate without EJ. Usually I enjoy having guests for Passover but because we had medical appointments this week and we have been so tired from such a long ordeal, we decided to keep our Passover very simple and not have guests this year. Maybe next year…

Monday turned out to be a very difficult day. We have gotten through Chemo, and we have gotten through the surgery in Indianapolis, but the journey hasn’t yet slowed down for us. JJ still has medical tests and procedures and appointments to get through. Yesterday was probably one of the most difficult days we’ve had since we learned that JJ had cancer. Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), we weren’t able to celebrate Passover as planned and we were hugely disappointed. I know it sounds kind of silly after all the stuff we have endured, but it was almost the last straw, almost more than I could bear, because I was really, really looking forward to Passover. Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of First Fruits occur in the same week and are what Jesus–Yeshua–would have celebrated. I always thought that these Feasts and Easter were the same but they not. I love the incredible deep meaning of every part of Passover, encompassing all the senses, and it was discouraging to be unable to celebrate it. We considered celebrating Passover after EJ got home from work–at around 11:30 p.m.–but none of us had the strength. I wasn’t sure if we would have enough time today because I didn’t know how long it would take to remove JJ’s staples or if he’d feel well enough afterwards. Bummer.

A snow-dusted field
A snow-dusted field

I had trouble getting to sleep last night and ended up only getting an hour of sleep. JJ only slept a few hours more than I did. So we were exhausted today as we headed to our family doctor’s office to get the staples removed. We drove through a snow-dusted landscape. The weather had been really nice over the last several days with temps up into the 60s and even low 70s but the temps dropped yesterday and it snowed overnight. We can get snow in April, and even have had snow in mid-May, but it’s always difficult to have snow again after having a taste of warmer weather.

We were told we didn’t need an appointment to get JJ’s staples removed, but we could come during “walk-in” hours and a nurse would remove the staples. We weren’t sure how busy the “walk-in” times were, and I was glad that we were one of the first ones there and the wait wasn’t long. The nurse was surprised at the number of staples that JJ had. She said that she was used to removing only 3-4 at a time. JJ had 29 staples. She said that with that many, she was going to have our doctor stop in and check him to make sure he was healing nicely before she removed them. JJ’s incision looked good and was healing nicely.

29 staples
JJ’s 29 staples. They were all pulled out today.

I was going to stay by JJ’s side to give him support as he had his staples removed–as a good, caring mother should–but everyone urged me to go wait in the waiting room. I guess no one wanted me to faint. I am always embarrassed by my tendency to faint. I always feel like an utter wimp, but EJ and JJ always explain to the doctor or nurses that I am very courageous but I just have a very strong sense of empathy, especially for our son. My second super power is that I have deep empathy. (My first is an incredible gift for finding lost items.)

When my guys rejoined me, I asked JJ how it all went. He said it was a bit uncomfortable and even a little painful at times, but he got through it. The nurse put a bunch of small strips of surgical tape across his incision while it finishes healing.

We got home early enough so we were able to celebrate Passover. Yay! Our “table” was the coffee table next to the couch so JJ could participate while lying down. Halfway through JJ started to “fade” but he hung on until the end. We were all very glad that we were able to celebrate Passover after all. There is a part of the Passover meal–toward the end–when a child goes to the door to see if Elijah has come. Most years there is no Elijah at the door, but some years there are surprises. This year just before we reached that point, there was a knock at the door. Our “Elijah” was a UPS man with a box of hummingbird nectar. LOL.

As soon as EJ left for work, JJ and I curled up on couch and love seat for much-needed naps. JJ was able to sleep for about three hours. I slept for less than one hour because my cell phone woke me. I turned the volume down to “vibrate” but didn’t want to turn my phone off in case a doctor called.  I already missed a follow-up call last week from the Indianapolis surgeon and didn’t want to miss it again. Every time I drifted off to sleep, my phone vibrated. I am a light sleeper and after the second call I couldn’t get back to sleep. Sigh. One call was from the oncologist’s office reminding us of tomorrow’s appointment. The other call was from a guy asking if he could talk to Kevin. In the last several weeks, I have received about a dozen calls from this guy wanting to talk to Kevin. Each time I have very nicely and very patiently explained that he had the wrong number and there was no Kevin here. I would think that the guy would start to understand that he has THE WRONG NUMBER but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in to him. So I am trying to think of a way to tell him more firmly that he really, really has the wrong number, there is no Kevin at this number and hasn’t been for the 10 years I’ve had the phone number, and he really needs to stop calling. I don’t want to be rude, but I’m getting tired of it.

We just have to get through the rest of the day. Then sleep (I hope). Then the appointment with the oncologist tomorrow morning. I want to ask the oncologist about scheduling the every-other-month CT Scans and the flushing of his port. JJ’s port will stay in for at least a year, until they are sure the cancer is gone and it won’t be needed again. (Then he will have a surgery to remove it.) The port needs to be flushed every 6-8 weeks. After tomorrow, hopefully, we won’t have anything to do for the rest of the week. Although EJ has to go to work early tomorrow and he might have to work this weekend.

The last verse of Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening, keep running through my mind today:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 


2 Comments on “And Miles To Go…

  1. That is also a long line of staples wow…..that was not comfortable at all I think. I had that them on the outside of my hips ( which have enough flesh so to speak:) that is less painful. And I’m so sorry that you are so tired I can even feel it over here. and I do hope that better days are arriving soon. WIth nice weather and lots and lots of time to do SLOWLY what you have to do and have all the rest you are needed. And I’m feeling for EJ too who has to go to work every day and he can use the rest too I think.Wish I could hand over a basket full of money to pay all the medical bills and send you three on a great vacation!!! You all deserve that in my opinion.
    Love and hugs for all …….<3


  2. God’s Blessings to you and JJ and EJ. As we celebrate Maundy Thursday this evening, I will put you on a prayer slip. It is something I am starting at our church and hopefully it is liked well enough to catch on. Enjoy your posts.


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