I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
I haven’t written much in December because it’s been a busy month filled with a mixture of difficulties and tremendous blessings.
JJ began Chemo last year in December. As the anniversary of his Chemotherapy approached, he found himself getting stressed. It didn’t help that he had four medical appointments: a CT Scan, his port flushed, a blood draw, and then his follow-up appointment with his oncologist. He kept his sense of humor for the CT Scan but couldn’t summon a smile when he had his port flushed because he has to sit in the infusion chairs at the Cancer Center, which feels to him like being sucked back into a nightmare. However, the month became much easier and more enjoyable when he met a girl. Enough said.
Not long after JJ’s port flush, I began experiencing intense pain. It was so excruciating that I cried, which worried EJ and JJ because I can endure a great deal of pain with little more than a whimper. EJ took me to Emergency and although the doctor found a slight problem, he couldn’t find anything that would cause me such pain. He prescribed pain pills and scheduled an appointment with a specialist. Even with the pain pills, I felt a lot of pain, and I knew they wouldn’t last until the specialist appointment (which was more than a week away) so a day or two after my trip to Emergency, EJ took me to our family doctor. She also couldn’t really find the problem although she didn’t think it was cancer since there is usually no pain with cancer. She gave me stronger pain pills to help me last until the appointment with the specialist. I had intense pain for about a week and then it went away.
I was going to accompany JJ to his appointment with his oncologist, but he insisted that he and his Dad could handle it and that I should stay home. So I did. The oncologist was very surprised that I wasn’t with my guys so EJ explained why I wasn’t there and described my symptoms. The oncologist was extremely concerned and urged EJ to take me to Emergency without delay. EJ explained that I had already been to ER and our doctor and I had an appointment with the specialist. The oncologist said that if I need chemo to let him know and he will get me in ASAP. It’s sort of scary when the oncologist is that freaked out.
I went to the specialist last Friday and he asked me questions and did a brief exam and said that he wanted me to have a colonoscopy to make sure everything is ok. I expected that he would say this so I wasn’t surprised…Yuck. I asked him if he had any thoughts about what is wrong with me and he repeated that there is usually no pain with cancer and that with other major conditions the pain continues so the fact that my pain stopped is a good sign. The procedure is scheduled for mid-January. I will be glad when it’s over, and hopefully the oncologist’s concerns are unfounded.
We know this awesome couple–EJ works with the husband and his wife works at our bank. The guy shot an extra deer and they decided to give it to us. EJ and JJ got it from the guy and drove it to the meat market, which also does deer processing. The venison was ready on Dec. 23rd so EJ and I drove to pick it up. EJ said that the deer was small so he wasn’t expecting much venison–maybe a grocery bag full. Instead, the guy at the processing place loaded two big boxes into our car. All the way home EJ marveled that we had gotten so much venison from such a little deer. When we got home, we immediately unpacked the boxes and put the venison into the chest freezer. The next day, EJ happened to look at the boxes and saw that we had mistakenly been given one box of someone else’s venison. EJ called the processing place this morning to explain the error and said that we’d return the venison…but we’d need help to figure out what belonged to us and what belonged to the other guy since it was all mixed up in our freezer. The owner of the company said that they had already caught the error and the guy wasn’t worried because he has tons of deer on his place and we could just keep the extra venison at no charge. So instead of one small deer, we got as much venison as two big deer. Our freezer is filled with venison burger, steaks, roasts. It is such a gift!
Earlier this month, our HHR started developing some problems. I felt like, great, we don’t need this. We had planned to buy a vehicle next summer so we could give the HHR to JJ and he could have transportation to get to a job and/or school, but we were saving to pay off other bills first. We are working hard to be debt free. Since the HHR was our only car, we couldn’t get it fixed until we had another vehicle to drive….so we thought that we might as well buy one now. EJ has been searching and search for a good, not-too-expensive used vehicle for several weeks. He has several days off for the holidays so today he called about a few cars he had found on the Internet and we drove to a small dealership about an hour away to look at a small blazer he liked. After test driving the blazer, we decided it against buying it, but we found a Nissan Xterra at the dealership and we took it for a test drive and then decided to buy it. It is in very good shape and not very expensive at all so it won’t take long to pay it off. EJ drove it home while I followed him in the HHR. We have never bought a foreign car before–both our Dad’s worked automotive manufacturing plants and they were strongly pro-American. However, these days cars are made all over the world so I don’t think it’s the same. Anyway, when we got home, EJ said he loves the car.
Now we can get the HHR fixed. We’ve been discussing trading it in and getting a different vehicle for JJ. The HHR is a good car, but it has a lot of blind spots. We’d prefer getting him a vehicle that’s a bit safer. We don’t want him to have survived cancer only to be killed by a vehicle he couldn’t see. But first we will pay off some bills.
December had some tough spots in it, but mostly it was filled with blessings.