It is a crisp, autumn morning. The temperature is 51 degrees, the sun is coming out, and the leaves are turning, bit by bit. The "Frost is on the pumpkin" . Our lily is still in full bloom, and every time I look out my kitchen window, I see it standing guard in our yard. I love this time of year. I told Butch that I would love to take him for a ride to see the foliage, but, we need to pick a good day - we'll see what happens in the next day or so. They brought the oxygen yesterday , about 5:00, and it is helping him already. We have the compressor here in the computer room (actually, it makes quite a bit of noise), along with hose to reach almost everywhere on this main floor, and they brought some portable tanks for when we go out. Butch was VERY logy yesterday, and I am hoping the oxygen will help him to perk up a bit.
Hospice will be coming Thursday morning to have the papers signed, and begin to take care of us. Butch made the decision on Monday, and we called then and set it up. He recognized that he was failing a bit, and that their services would provide a level of comfort and security that would be very welcome. As I said before, if he improves in the future, he can go off again - the nurse who came last week (Susan) said people go on and off all the time. We are both comfortable with this decision. We will learn more about what to expect on Thursday.
I don't know if I ever told you about the parasites? Well, in researching CC, I discovered that there is a group of people seeking help from the veterans because it seems that Vietnam veterans are getting CC in large numbers, because they ingested parasites from the water supply in Vietnam. The parasites died, but damaged their bile ducts so that now - 30 or 40 years later, they are getting bile duct cancer, which is very rare here, far more common in Vietnam and surrounding countries. Do you know what Butch did in Vietnam? He was a Medical specialist, testing the water supplies for parasites. I have a picture of him, in the Lab there, with the water bottles and equipment - no gloves, nothing. Anyway, I am working on the paperwork to submit to the veterans for a claim. I went to the Owego Veterans on Friday and they are helping me with this. They contacted Buffalo, and have told me what to do to expedite this claim. The thing of it is, the government is aware of this, and they have chosen not to issue some sort of public service announcement to veterans - warning them to get their bile ducts checked. It could have saved Butch's - and how many others - lives, but they have chosen to be silent - you see, if the veterans die, it won't cost them any money (you have to be alive to file a claim), and - the almighty dollar reigns. So, I am going to try to shake things up a bit - at the very least, cause them some trouble!
I am going to make banana bread this morning - actually - blueberry -banana bread. Carolyn gave me a recipe, and it is delicious. I will try to tempt Butch, but - he probably won't eat it. It is the thing that just drives me crazy (well - more crazy than I already am!) about this whole situation. I understand logically that the cancer itself makes people nauseous, and food unappealing (it changes the body chemistry, so that the tastes and smells are different) , but I CAN'T get it through my fat head that he is unable to overcome that, since he knows that his life depends on eating and drinking. He is eating smaller and smaller amounts each day, and it is not enough to sustain him. Even with the bene-calory and the ensure, he probably is not getting over 1200 calories a day. It just drives me to distraction. The nutritionist from home health came out the other day and gave me some suggestions, and I am trying some new foods. I had been trying to tempt him with chocolate, and it turns out that he hates chocolate now! Thursday Carolyn is bringing us a lemon meringue pie - he asked for it, and hopefully, he will eat some. Whenever I feel low, baking always helps - it cheers me up a bit. Problem is, all those calories that Butch needs so bad - I don't need at all!
I thank God every day for the blessings of my life. At least we live in a time when we have the services of hospice available, and so many friends and family to help us through this time . At least today, there is adequate pain medication available so that people don't have to suffer as they did in former days. At least I know that they are working on a cure, and that someday , there will be a world without cancer. Imagine - I still have my parents - what a comfort! I talk to my Mom every day, PLUS I have Mellie, Alex and Sam (uh-oh - I better mention Glenn or I will be in trouble). I have a job I have always loved in which to bury myself when I return to work, and great friends and co-workers (and bosses) there waiting for me. We have our church community holding us up in prayer, and offering friendship. We do feel that we are surrounded by love. Butch and I have had a great marriage, and there are not many regrets here. The 11th of November is our 13th wedding anniversary. And lastly - I can't forget Flashy!