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October 18, 2005

Bring It On

I am happy to announce that we are ready for the second chemo treatment tomorrow. 

This morning after lugging myself around the Century Village circuit twice I took Cele to a morning optometrist appointment which took forever and was pleasantly uneventful.  We got home in time for lunch and a quick lie-down before Jeremy got home from another computer job (keep bringin' in the money honey) and we all three went off to Cele's second wig appointment. 

Cele had all her hair cut off at the salon today which is a big relief, as it has been shedding very quickly now and is always finding its way in Cele's throat.  Her wig was fitted to her hairless head and thinned out a little so it doesn't look like a Dynasty prop, and the result is fantastic.  It looks so natural, Jeremy was so amazed at how good it come out (it was good before but it looks much better now that it's been fitted and cut a little).  While we were at the salon Jeremy bought himself a new watch which has given him all kinds of joy, and after we were all done we walked around the centre and Cele had a spider (ice-cream soda for the Americans) and Jeremy had a chocolate milkshake.  Cele walked around the whole time without her walker, just leaning on Jeremy and I, and it was a very nice outing for us all.

On the way home we dropped by Cele's friend Annie's place as she was having difficulty connecting her printer.  After cursing Microsoft for an hour Jeremy gave up, but we managed to convince Cele to go and see In Her Shoes with Annie.  Jeremy and I took ourselves out for a nice romantic dinner at a Japanese restaurant, especially as he's flying back to West Hartford tomorrow morning.  I'm really going to miss having him to bounce off here, but he'll only be gone a week.  An hour after we got home Cele got back from her "date", they both loved the film and had a great time.  I'm so glad, because Cele won't be able to get out for about the next week as she'll be recovering from her next treatment.

So tomorrow I have a busy day, taking J to the airport and then sitting through the chemo with Gran.  And to top it off, there is a hurricane heading our way, expected to hit around the weekend.  Her name is Wilma.  I would love to know which name they have lined up for the hurricane after this one. 

October 16, 2005

A Good Day

Today was a great day.  I started off by half-running half-walking my way around Century Village, and then picked up a hair colour at Walgreens.  It's Clairol's Medium Brown Ash to be exact.  My hair's now a very dark brown, it looks almost brown-black, and I think it looks great!  It was just what I needed - a new hair-do.

Then I sat Grandma down in front of her bathroom cupboards and proceeded to haul out everything she had in there, line the floor of the cupboards and then throw out anything that was close to my age before putting it all back in there again.  It was lots of fun for me, and I think Grandma really enjoyed herself too.  Jeremy went out for another computer job in the afternoon so while he and Grandma were having late afternoon naps I did the grocery shopping, then cooked dinner.  It was a very productive day and exactly what we all needed.

Around 10pm Jeremy and I went for a walk outside under a nearly full moon.  It was so beautiful, the weather has finally cooled off so it's not constantly uncomfortable outside.  We walked through the golf course - you heard right, we did the unthinkable!  I had never actually walked on a golf course before and it was fun feeling the different grasses under my bare feet.  Jeremy explained to me the difference between the fairway, rough and the green, but I still don't understand why anyone would want to ruin a nice walk by carting a trolley of iron sticks behind them.  We found a tennis court which looked like it would be a lot of fun, if we ever get around to it. 

Eventually we decided not to vandalise the golf course or jump in the swimming pool in our clothes - or out of them - and we just went home to bed.  It was a good end to a good day.

October 15, 2005


Yesterday Jeremy and I had to give Grandma some news about one of her children who is very ill. We were the ones to tell her, hold her, listen to her, comfort her. Today we were supported Grandma as she processed everything. I have learned that grieving is a very important part of life. It is a necessary step before acceptance, which is a necessary step before peace. And the most beneficial thing anyone can do is to step back and let the grieving take its place. Somehow I see a beauty in this process. Somehow it is impossible for me to see the sadness, the wishes that things might be different, the anger and the frustration at life. Somehow all I can see is the beauty of life, without which the pain would not exist. Tears make me smile in gratitude of a mother's love, cries of anguish fill me with joy in appreciation for the kind of love which breaks a heart and the emptiness of loss reminds me of just how full life can be. Maybe that makes me weird, even insensitive. But that's just who I am. Life is continuing for us here and I have begun entering family history into a genealogy program which I purchased called Heredis. Our pace may have slowed down, but we are still living our lives, still laughing and still feeling. There would not be bitter without sweet, and there would not be grief without love.

October 14, 2005

Empty Tank

Today I'm exhausted.  I haven't been able to do anything all day.  As soon as I fold up the sofa-bed I'm unfolding it again.  I didn't even stand up before 1pm.  Lucky there's two of us here, J and I can take shifts.  This whole situation is exhausting.

October 13, 2005

Yom Kippur

Nothing like starting a new year with something you've never done before like... buying a wig.  Naturally, going in to the store I had the attitude of "Oh, I'm just with my grandmother", but as I looked at what they had to offer I have to admit I started to look at some of the luscious locks of hair they had on display, then look at my own reflection in the mirror, then back at the wigs.  I did get close to asking if I could try one on, but decided it was Cele's show after all.

We picked out a lovely wig for Grandma and that was another cancer hurdle passed.  Cele's hair is already starting to fall out so we got it none too soon.  We have decided against scarves as they generally make her look like a peasant gypsy, which is not becoming on an 85 year old;  I don't want to start sifting through my purse for a buck every time I look at my grandmother.

But in the midst of this change some things stay the same, and tonight we had a feast with all the trimmings to welcome Yom Kippur.  Jeremy and I are by now well established chefs, and we managed to fix a fine spread for Cele, Annie and Irving.  Jeremy took the head of the table and broke the bread in Grandpa's place, I sat at his right hand and Grandma at his left.  We then proceeded to stuff ourselves in a manner which was in no way appropriate to the solemnity of the evening.  What can I say, I'm a good cook.


October 12, 2005

Checking off the days

Today was a glance into the future of what it could be like when I retire.  So busy, but not really doing anything.  Spending four hours over dinner.  Getting stressed out about returning my library books.  A whole day full, but I didn't really achieve anything.  I know, I'm being too harsh on myself.

Today we bought flights for the three of us to fly to and from Connecticut for Thanksgiving.  Cele feels that she would be up for it, assuming that her side-effects remain the same as they have been.  I'm glad, I couldn't imagine Thanksgiving anywhere else.  And I'm glad that Cele feels she could make it.

Tomorrow begins Yom Kippur, the Jewish New Year, so we have bought a chicken, a red apple, a challi (bread).  Cele has told us how happy she is to have us with her for Yom Kippur, and it makes me good to think we can so easily make her feel joy by being here on her holiday.  And furthermore, she does not need us to go to the synagogue with her for her to feel joy, she just wants us here on the day that we offer remorse for the wrongs we have done over the last year and look to a clean slate ahead.

Speaking of which, I've been feeling a little antsy today about getting something figured out for the future.  I feel it slipping between my fingers and soon it will be but a hopefully dream I once had.  Looking over idealist.org again just reminded me of how difficult what we want to do really is. 

Maybe it'll never come through and I'll be in Century Village for a long time to come yet.  Maybe it's all over already.  Somehow I know that I'm going about it all the wrong way these days, being too logical and methodical about finding something so random and chaotic.

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