Friday, October 31, 2008

Sometime you just know God is looking out for you.

Today was my busy day. This morning I went to chemo for close to four hours. Then Julia and I went back to her house for a while. I have an appetite now so I ate a whole bowl of stew with crackers.

Then we went to radiation at the hospital. While I took my treatment, Julia went to see her sister-in-law Anne who was in the hospital. Anne is beloved by all. She had a heart transplant and was healthy for ten years. Then she suffered a major stroke and has been in bad shape since. Her kidneys have failed so she has to go to dialysis. She is in the hospital for some complication of that.

When I finished I went to find Anne and Julia. The hospital has just opened up a new major wing. It is huge. Anne is in the new wing. At her room a technician was checking her neck circulation with a machine. She said the family were in the waiting room. I walked around a while and finally found Anne' s sister Martha. She said Julia was gone to find me. I waited till she got back. The technician was still with Anne so Julia decided to go home.

After leaving Julia's I stopped at WalMart and bought a few things.

When I got home in my garage, I took the key out, took off my glasses, and reached for my purse. It wasn't there. I looked on the floor and by the seats. No purse. I searched among the bags in the back seat. No purse.

This was terrible. I went in and got information on the credit cards I would need to cancel. Then I left to go to WalMart.

On the way, I remembered something even worse. Last week I had once needed a nausea pill while I was away from home and another time I needed a pain pill. Julia said I needed to start carrying them with me. I thought so too so a bag of pill bottles was in my lost purse. It included a bottle of hydrocodone pain pills and a full bottle of morphine tablets.

At WalMart's parking lot I drove down the row I had parked on to the little cart parking area where I had left the cart. A cart boy was taking the carts. I asked him if he had found a purse. He said no but he would call customer service. He did and they said they had a purse turned in. This was looking better.

I went to customer service where the man asked me to describe it. I said it was maroon and black and had embroidered Faith in Action and James 2:22 on it. He asked my name and if the name would be inside. I said on lots of things.

He left and shortly came back with my purse. I looked inside and everything, money, credit cards, drugs, were there.

Who would have thought that? I wouldn't.

I asked who brought it in but he said they left no name.

I am trying to figure out if this was a sign to me from God. I don't know.

Of course,this is my sister Julia's worse nightmare. She dreams about loosing her purse and wakes up in a panic. She found that if her purse was near to her, she had fewer dreams. At first she just kept it in the room with her. But the dreams progressed so she kept it by her bed. Now the purse is IN the bed with her.

I am glad this happened to me and not Julia. I hope I don't begin having lost purse nightmares.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday was my birthday. I was 65.

The day started with a delivery of balloons from the florest. Beth had ordered maroom and white balloons but the ones sent were blue and orange. Looked like Florida to me. However, I have enjoyed them anyway. Beth also sent me a card she had made with a choice of activities for me to do the next time I go to Florida. I could choose a boat trip, a helicopter ride above St. Augustine, or parasailing. If I am feeling good when I go, I think I will chose the parasailing.

The Ruckers stayed late in Nashville because it was fall festival at the elementary sc hool. This is the last year the triplets will be at Nolensville school. Next year they move up to the middle school which isn't very far away but seems like it.

They got here about 4 o'clock. My gift was a Christian purse. It WAS maroon. It was embroidered with Faith in ACtion and James 2:22.

Mybrother John and sister-in-law Charlotte gave me a party. All five of my brothers and sisters were there, including sister June from Arkansas. Also lots of nieces and nephews.

Supper was wonderful. We had barbecue, baked beans, green bean casserole, green stuff, corn on the cob, three cakes and a pie, all delicious.

I am easy to buy for in one way so people know that anything maroon is good for me. I got maroon hat, scarf, neck pillow, and throw. Also three books, a white hat.

It was a great birthday.

I am now on Medicare and my billfold is heavier.

I cannot believe this but I have changed my password and gotten into this account. Wow.

I am now engaged in a seven weeks regimen of chemo and radiation. I go to radiation five times a week and to chemo once a week. I started last week.

The radiation treatment is given at the hospital. It is very brief, taking only about 20 minutes from the time I go in till I come out the door.

I go to one of those big rooms with machines. I take off my wig and lie down on a table with a plastic holder for my head. Then the technician puts my mask on. This mask was custom made to fit my face tightly. It is used to make sure I don't move my head. They put the mask over my face and then buckle the edges to the table. I just lie there while the machines whirr and move around. Usually my nose starts to itch but I can't scratch it. I feel absolutely nothing as this is going on.

Then it is over and I leave. I understand the side effects happen about four weeks in. I dread that but Charlie Sparrow didn't seem to have too hard a time with his.

On Thursday I go to chemo just as I did previously.

My sister Julia drives me to to all these appointments. What a blessing she is to me. We do have a little disagreement almost every day. She lives in Jackson itself where I take the treatments. I live in Henderson about 10 miles away.

She always wants to come pick me up and I insist on driving myself to Jackson. I have let her come get me a couple of times. However, she does so much for me I don't want her to do more than necessary.

Other family members continue to care for me. My sister Janice came down this afternoon and cleaned and vacuumed. Then later she sent my niece Denee down with my supper.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday, October 1

A very big day for me, medical finance wise, as today I go from private insurance to Medicare. I have worked hard on this and think I have my ducks in a row. However, it was much harder than I thought it would be. I can see lots of scope for fraud and just plain mistakes being made.

There are so many plans for Medi-gap and drug coverage insurance that it seems impossible for an average person to be sure they are getting the correct ones to cover their needs

For the Medi-gap I went with a plan connected to the the Mississippi state retirees system.. I think they may be a healthier group than normal and thus the cost will be less. Also they cover overseas care.

For the drug benefit, I went with the medium AARP plan. This one I know for sure is not the cheapest or best choice. But I was desperate and thought this would suffice for now. I can change in December.

Right now I am feeling better than I have felt in six weeks or so. I am coming off a bad week as I was very sick Wednesday through Saturday. Then Saturday night I started feeling better. I started calling people because I wanted to be with them. Thank goodness for Carol and Richard Henderson. I watched the last hour and a half of the LSU-Mississippi State game with them on the phone. Of course, in this game we were for opposite sides. I think the 24 points State scored was terrific and I am proud of them.

Richard continues to improve. With glasses he has 20-20 vision in one eye but has very limited vision in the other. He hopes he gets a new retina for that eye and that they put in a sac for lens. But he is grateful for the vision he has considering the catastrophic damage done to his eyes

Yesterday was chemo day. Julia and I both have learned to enjoy these days. She enjoys the freedom it gives her to indulge herself and just relax. I enjoy knowing I am doing something to aid my recovery.

Next week may be my last chemo session. Depending on what the Ole Miss doctor says, I may be referred to the surgeon at Vanderbilt. Julia and I sat by the window yesterday and his SUV with Ole Miss front plate was facing us in the parking lot. yikes.

Beth arrived last night. She flew into Nashville and rented a car to get here. It is one of those cute little boxy subcompacts but she doesn't like it. I went out to look; it is a PT Cruiser.

It is wonderful to have her here. Saturday Anne and family visit. These are my best times.

I like for other people to visit, too. A 30 minute visit would really brighten my day.

Beth has a long to-do list but she enjoys being busy and then she enjoys just really lazying around.

Thanks to Julia, I did find a pharmacy that could fill the prescription for my pain killer medicine. There is a compounding pharmacy in north Jackson that will do it. Beth and I will go pick it up today. He says insurance may not cover it but the regular medicine is very cheap so I hope the extra will not put it out of reach.

Right now I am in almost no pain. Occasionally I take two ibuprofen tablets but I can't remember when I last took the prescription stuff. However, I take great comfort in having it there if I need it and would be in distress if I didn't have it. I don't know if that is called dependency or not.

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