Unfamiliar Things

Monster spider
Monster spider

Last night I looked out the front door and saw a humongous spider on the porch. I texted EJ, “I just saw the biggest spider EVER on our front porch. I need a gun.” It was the size of my hand. Seriously. I took a picture of it. It’s kind of blurry because I took it through the door. There is no way I was going to open the door when it was less than a foot away. If I ever saw one of those things crawling across the floor or wall, I swear I’ll run screaming all the way back to our old house.

I suppose that every Eden has its snake and every Enchanted Forest has its giant spiders. Shudder.

I went to bed early last night because I wanted to be well rested when I drove JJ to the Emerald City for his appointment with the new oncologist. I was dreading the drive because the drive was unfamiliar to me–and I get lost very easily–and EJ and JJ have been telling me for several months how terrible the traffic is there.

Of course, when I want to be well rested, something always happens to cause a sleepless night. Always. From about 4 a.m. on–or maybe even earlier–Timmy decided he wanted lovings. Usually he and a few other cats just curl up on the bed and sleep with us, but last night Timmy was awful. He kept burrowing in the covers with me, or rubbing against me, or poking me. Ugh! I never woke fully to put him out of the room–I just kept trying to push him away. Unsuccessfully. Finally, I just gave up and got out of bed and got ready for the day.

I don't mind being caught in a traffic jam when I can enjoy views like this.
I don’t mind being caught in a traffic jam when I can enjoy views like this as I wait.

Viki the GPS outlined the route and called out directions. JJ was also helpful because he drives part of the route to work every day and he lived in the Emerald City for a couple of months. We drove through forests, around curves, up and down hills while lakes played “peek-a-boo.” When we neared the Emerald City, we got caught in a terrible traffic jam–the worst I’ve ever seen. It made me think of the Gridlock episode in Doctor Who in which travelers were stuck in such a huge traffic jam that it took them years to travel only a couple of miles. I think it took us about an hour to drive 5 miles.


I didn’t mind so much because I had left super early for that very reason, and the traffic jam occurred right next to the bay so I could enjoy the beautiful scenery. The traffic going in the opposite direction was not jammed and cars were driving by quite quickly. I told JJ, “I hope those cars aren’t fleeing an alien invasion or a monster like Godzilla, who is crushing cars and flinging them around like toys.” In superhero or monster movies, clueless bystanders always seem to head straight into the conflict. If it was me, I’d run into a basement and hide out until the villain was defeated.

Anyway, after a long, long, slow, slow journey, the jam finally broke free and we went faster. Viki took us right to our destination. The drive really wasn’t that bad, and I now know that I can handle driving to and from and through the Emerald City.

The appointment at the oncologist was stressful because everything was so unfamiliar. There are things I liked about the new oncologist and things I didn’t. I don’t think the staff was quite as friendly as the ones we have known. I miss Chris, the patient care tech at the other center, who brightened everyone’s day with his cheerfulness. However, I liked the oncologist. He said that JJ’s treatment had been excellent at the other Cancer Center and that the doctors at Indianapolis were the very best in the world, to which we agreed. He explained things quite clearly, letting us know the plan for JJ’s followup treatment. JJ asked when he could get his port removed and the oncologist said he could get it done soon–like within 7 to 14 days. Although the procedure to have the port removed will be another stressful thing for him, he hates the port and has wanted it out for a long time.

I liked that JJ could get his blood tests right at the center instead of having to go to a separate lab. After the exam, JJ went to the infusion room and got his port flushed and blood drawn. I liked that our old Cancer Center had separate rooms and that there were extra chairs so loved ones could stay with the patient. This new place had seven wing-backed chairs (not recliners) in one room where people were getting chemo. I saw no extra chairs and no loved ones sitting with the patients. Perhaps this room was for patients who received infusions for a short time rather than hours like JJ had?

After we left the oncologists, JJ said urgently, “Now get me out of here!” He liked the doctor but being at a cancer center totally stresses him. Probably triggers PTSD. He is always rather irritable on days when we have to go to a cancer center. He dozed on the trip home and took a nap at home until it was time to go to work.

After JJ left, EJ, Danny, Tesla, and I walked to the mailbox. I didn’t run back up because I was so tired. Danny didn’t seem to mind. When we returned, EJ and I discussed what to do tomorrow. EJ has started working ten-hour days on Monday through Thursday and getting Friday off. We were going to drive down to the old house tomorrow, but we are expecting a delivery on Saturday so we have to stick around. We will drive down later on Saturday, pack more things, and then return on Sunday, I think. So tomorrow we are thinking about going to Menards. The rain runs down the hill and erodes our driveway so EJ wants to get some tile and then cover the driveway with gravel. While we are at Menards, I want to look at different types of inexpensive shelving for our library.

I was so tired that after EJ left for work, I tried to take a nap but I had barely fallen asleep when the new oncologist called to tell me that JJ’s blood tests came back clear. A good reason to be woke up. I considered trying again to nap, but I wasn’t able to get back to sleep. Oh well. I figured I’d just take the rest of the day off from unpacking, but I ended up doing a bit anyway.

JJ had to go to work an hour earlier so he got out an hour earlier. Although he was tired and stressed when he drove to work, he returned in high spirits because he had such a good day.

As for me, I’m going to go to bed early and hopefully Timmy will let me sleep.

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