Sara is off for the rest of the week to make arrangement for the funeral, so Filipa comes to help with daycare today. It is great that she is able to help on such short notice. She makes it so easy for us by being so helpful, and the kids really like her.
Ayla texts me during the day. She wants to make macaroni and cheese for dinner. We will all go to Sara's house this evening to share it. I am going to bring over my photo collection, and we will go through them together to find some nice pictures of my father for the photo video collage that will be shown at his wake. Moving the photos proves to be a daunting task, the large container I have them in is not easily extracted from where it resides in the back of my closet. There are also so many of them, it is not really practical to bring them to another location.
I take several shoe boxes that are on the top of the bin and hope we find a few good ones.
We have a nice gathering, Sara, me, Steven, Tim, Kaileigh, Ayla and Chauncey. We are hoping my sister Jill will be arriving from Ohio sometime soon, before we need to leave.
The mac and cheese is so good, and everyone of us is hungry. We need to be sure we leave some for when Jill gets here.
After we eat, we start into the photo collection. We accumulate a small pile of pictures from a lopsided part of my dad's life. There are a few from when my mom and dad got married, a few from when my siblings and I were kids, and many from when my children were younger. My sister has found a small pile from her collection of photos. I know I have more, but it would take us hours to get through them, and it would have to be done at my house. We don't have that time right now.
As it gets later, I need to leave. I am tired. Kaileigh needs to drive back to Somerville, Ayla has to work in the morning. Jill has still not arrived, but hopefully I will see her and my nephew tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 17
Today I have an appointment with Dr. Lentricia. I am looking forward to going, because I have a few questions for him.
Alex and Kaileigh will watch the kids while I am at the doctors. It is so nice that Kaileigh is willing to come from Somerville to help out for such a short time.
My appointment happens to be at the same time that my siblings and my father's siblings will be meeting at the funeral home to make arrangements for the wake and funeral. I have decided to keep my doctor's appointment, since there will be so many people making those other plans. My sister Sara knows what my father expected to have for a funeral, I know that she will do what is best.
Steve and I drive to the doctor's office. The drive is not long, since it is just after rush hour. We don't have to wait too long before we get shown to an exam room, and soon we see Dr. Lentricia. Things look good, he is pleased that I am looking and feeling so well. I ask him if it is possible for the colon surgery I will be ready for soon, the one where he removes the mass in my colon and reconnects it, to be done at the same time as my liver operation. He tells me it can be done, but we would need to confer with the liver surgeon first. It will be up to him.
I also ask if he might have any insight as to why my ostomy bags don't always stay adhered to me. I offer my theory about a change in the flora on my skin or my sweat from the chemo, affecting the adhesive in some way, since it is usually fine except for a few days, the weekend after I am disconnected from the chemo. He tells me the chemo can affect the adhesive. At least now I know it is not the way I apply my bags, it is something that just need to be aware of.
He tells me that I can take iron supplements, since there has been a concern about my iron levels. It is interesting how disconnected knowledge seems to be in the different practices. My oncologist and oncology nurses are worried about a supplement making me constipated, and it's affect on my stoma. My surgeon says, sometimes people get constipated, even people who have stomas. If there is a problem, you can take a laxative. One doctor says no sit ups, the other says sit ups are fine, any exercise I want to do is fine. I know that no one knows everything, but it seems there should be a better flow of information.
In all, everything looks and sounds good, and I should return in three months, unless there is a surgery before then.
When I get back home, Kaileigh leaves, and Alex helps me until we get everyone down for naps. I will sing, he will read.
Before I start naps, I am craving a Klondike ice cream bar. While I eat it in secret in the kitchen, I realize this is not the best idea. My mouth is still pretty sensitive to the cold, and by the time I am done, my tongue feels fat and numb, as if I have had a shot of novacaine. When I start to sing, s comes out as th. I have lost my low notes too. This is not my best singing day.
Alex does much better, coaxing one of the children into falling asleep by reading quietly and stroking her hair. Soon after she falls asleep, he does too, a hazard of afternoon storytelling. The two look so sweet sitting on the couch, her little shoulder leaning into him, his head propped on top of hers. I cover them with a cozy blanket, and they both have a good nap.
Later in the day I talk to Sara and find out the arrangements for the funeral. The wake will be Friday afternoon, and the funeral Saturday, both in Cumberland. Following the church service there will be a military funeral at the Veteran's Cemetery in Exeter. This will be followed by a "time" at the club where my dad had so many friends.