Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Part Four....Round Two....Done! (Almost)

Today Gerry had his last chemo treatment (for this, his fourth kind of chemo). He got it through IV Monday through yesterday (Thursday) along with lots of IV fluids. Today he just got the fluids. Tomorrow we have a home health nurse coming over to give him MORE fluids through his IV catheter, to hopefully help him NOT get sick as he did after the first round of this treatment. On a good note....his hemoglobin went up from 7.4 to 9.2. On the other hand, he gained 10 lbs (better appetite, drinking Gatorade and orange Crush soda) so now is blood pressure is high and he is back on BP meds. On the other hand....exhausted as he was, we went to the Yankee/Marlin exhibition baseball game tonight. This, and the tix for tomorrow's game (taking Mom along with us) were Gerry's  birthday present from me. I was so glad that he was able to go. We left after the top of the 7th inning - he was really tired. I was too, so I didn't mind leaving - and they lost anyway, 5 to 3. Hopefully he'll feel up to going to tomorrow's game, otherwise just Mom and I will go. On Monday we have two tix to the Mets/Marlins game (the Marlin's opening game of the season) and on Tuesday Gerry is taking his friend John.

I have off of work this week...YEA! It was planning day today so I went in and did work in my room. I still brought some home to do over the cards, attendance records, etc, but at least I don't have to talk to anyone under 4 feet if I don't want to (and right now, other than Avi, I don't!).

I LOVE My New "Toy"

My computer has been having small "issues" for the past few months, was time. After hemming and hawing and probably driving Alison nuts (I did, didn't I Alison?) I had a phone conference with son-in-law Michael and decided to get an iMac desktop computer. I had had trouble decided between a laptop and a desktop, so Michael went over the pros and cons with me and  helped me work out a desktop that was right for me (thanks, Mike). I bought it last Saturday, and the very next day it proved to be worth every cent that it cost me (and believe me, it wasn't cheap). Alison sat in front of HER iMac with Avi...and we chatted. Avi saw Gerry and said, "Papa!" and when I asked, pointing to myself, who I was, he said, "Mama" (that's grandma) and waved. He was so cute. We sang a song, read a book, and then....and then....Alison put him own and I FINALLY saw him walk...oh, he walks like a champ! Tomorrow my mom will be here and we'll try to hook up with them again so she can talk to Avi face to face. I love the built in camera with microphone. Alison and I video chat, and she is able to show me things she is sewing, fabric she uses, etc, and I have shown her things that I got to Avi. Oh....yes...the computer is great for other things, word processing, and more...but at the moment, who cares, when I can be video chatting with Alison and Avi!!! Becca bought a new laptop with a built in camera too. I can't wait until she sets hers up so we can do the video thing too!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Tragedy

Becca (my youngest child) called today with sad news. A friend of my son Adam was killed on Tuesday while riding his motorcycle. You can read about it here. Mario went to high school with Adam. He was a chubby, adorable, lovable guy. He and Adam would hang out at our house, fiddle with their cars, drink all our soda, and make me laugh. I had not seen him for several years, and then last summer my nephew Steven came for dinner. Afterward he and Adam went to a club that Adam sometimes worked at. Mario came out, gave me a big kiss and literally picked me up to hug me. He had slimmed down , looked great and was doing really well. His death was such a shock to me. That's two young men (the other was my tenant - see below). My heart breaks for this young man and my heart goes out to his parents. After work tomorrow I will go to the funeral home and pay my respects. I know I won't get through it dry-eyed. G-d ...enough already!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Chemo SUCKS!

My heart goes out to Gerry. He had 4 chemo treatments this week, Tuesday - Friday, 5+ hours each. Tomorrow he'll go to see the dr and will have an IV to flush his system. But yesterday he was feeling lousy....and today was worse. He was in bed all day (except this morning when he had coffee and cereal). He hasn't had a thing to eat since then, only cold water. He aches, is weak, gets dizzy, can't handle questions - the poor guy is really beaten down. Then a little while ago he got up and....threw up! At least that made him feel a bit better, but then he went back to bed. He is getting concerned because he just weighed himself and he's down to 186 lbs (when all this started he was up to 212 - overweight, but still a weight loss). Before this chemo started he was about 194, so he has lost 8 lbs in a week. He still has his belly but his arms, legs and chest are so much thinner. And this is just the beginning! He has to do another 4 days of chemo + one day of flush again in 3 weeks. We are going to Texas for his scans on the 22nd of April. At least in TX we get the results when we see the doctor the very next day. If this treatment doesn't do a thing for him I want to ask the doctor, "How much can you put him through (if it isn't going to work)?" It just hurts seeing him do beaten down. ARRGGGHH!!!! ......thanks for letting me vent!

He Said My Name!!!

Yesterday Alison called and had me on speaker phone. Here is how the conversation went:
Alison: Avi, Grandma's on the phone.
Avi: PAPA!
Me: Hi, Avi!
Alison: Avi - who lives with Papa?
Avi: MaaMa!

YEA - he is definitely saying GRANDMA (or his version of it). He calls his mommy Eema, and it sounds more like um-ma, and Alison admitted that Maama is for grandma! Way to go Avi!!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Paying Respects

Today I visited Stuart's parents who were sitting shiva. Shiva, for those who do not know, is for Jewish people, a period of mourning following a death. I had intended to stop by for about 30 minutes but I ended up staying for 90. His parents are very nice people, as is his older brother , who was here from Virginia. They showed me a DVD that the funeral home had made from pictures of Stuart. It was so touching to see him from newborn through adulthood, and sad to see him looking so happy in each one when we knew that down inside he was troubled. What was the most difficult, I told his parents, is that I am a mom, and this tragedy makes me think of my own child. Not my girls, but my son. He is doing just fine now and has been for some time. He has a good job and a lovely girlfriend and is living happily (I think) in NYC. I say I think because he is not speaking to me (again) since October, over something truly small and insignificant. But - that's my son! He has his own issues. I have just always worried about him a little more than the girls. For some reason, since he was about 4 years old, I had felt that he would not be around for years to come. I don't feel that strongly about that anymore, but I still worry (hey, all mom's do, don't we?). And having gone through Stuart's death and seeing his parents loss just hits home. They spent many years worrying about him, fearing that something like this would happen. It's a parent's worst nightmare to lose a child. I can stand my son's estrangement (for this is his choice which I have no control over), but as long as he is alive and well, no matter where, I can sleep at night.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

SURPRISE - but not a good one!

As Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." After the wonderful party, we were so tired. I laid on the couch for awhile, unwilling to do a thing. Gerry complained to me that Stuart, our tenant, had left the light on in the cottage (in our backyard that we rent to him) all Friday night into Saturday night and Gerry had a hard time sleeping (it shines right into our bedroom door). I went over and knocked but got no answer. I saw his cat, the A/C was on and his car in the driveway so I figured that he was sleeping in the bedroom. About an hour later I called but go no answer. Exhausted, I went into be around 9:45 PM. Gerry was about to come in too but the light was still bothering him so he went back to complain. He knocked - no answer. He walked around looking into the windows (most of the blinds were up) - no answer. So, as landlord, he got the key and went in - and found Stuart DEAD on the bathroom floor. He was fully dressed, curled up and...his face was black! Gerry came in and told me - well, THAT woke me up. We called the police immediately. They arrived soon after and went into the cottage. They told us that he had been dead for about 24 hours. The detective asked if Stuart was a black or white man - the blood had all settled in his face and caused him to look so dark (he was white). It was so sad. He was about 37 yrs old, a quiet, nice guy. He watched our dogs when we went away, put out the garbage for collection, even came over for Superbowl Sunday. But he had his issues, demons, whatever. It was concluded that he died of an accidental overdose ala Heath Ledger. His parents came the next day. I felt so bad for them but I think they may have been kind of waiting for this to happen. We talked, had a cry together, and then they left. They took a few small items and said the rest was ours to do with as we wanted. Gerry and I had talked it over and decided not to rent the cottage out anymore, for now (we had actually come to this decision awhile ago). We are going to fix it up a bit (new flooring, furniture, paint a bit) and have it available for family and friends who want to visit. Frankly, if/when Gerry becomes sicker, it will be great to have for those coming to visit.


After two days of running here and there (after work) the big day had come - Gerry's 60th birthday surprise party. That morning I had more running to do....I worked out, got waxed, came home to shower, ran to Costco to pick up (way too much )food, and went to set up the room. When I got there, my cousin's wonderful husband Ray had already set up the room and decorated it - thank goodness, because I was already exhausted. Then he told me that we had parking spaces where I thought there were none, so I proceeded to call the guests to tell them and doncha know....they were on their way, due to arrive 30 minutes ahead of schedule. I ran to change for the party and came back to find the room half filled with guests (not a big room, only 30 people expected, but still...more than I wanted that early).

Getting Gerry there was another challenge. We never know how he will feel as he had been having pain, feeling tired, etc. His friend Dave was staying with us for a few days so I left it to him, but Gerry has a strong will and no one can direct what he does. So I hoped for the best! I called him around 1:30, when everyone was at the party. I had hoped Gerry would come at 2. He said he was busy on the computer and would arrive in about an hour, so I just said that he needed to be there before my cousin Ann (who the party was supposedly for). Around 2:15 one of our guests was outside and saw Gerry's car. I went out to meet him and Dave and to move my car to give them the spot. I ran back in and we got ready. Dave came in next - Gerry was retrieving his hat from the car. came Gerry and we yelled SURPRISE!!! Boy, was it ever!!! He stopped in the doorway, looked at us and walked out. I ran out and found him by the gate, crying...he was very overwhelmed. He came in and began greeting everyone and cried now and then, especially when he saw his former boss who he likes a lot. We had a wonderful time, the food was EXCELLENT!!!!! and Gerry was very, very happy!