This morning I get to church early to shop at the Girl Effect sale. This raises money to help girls in developing countries gain access to education. There are so many beautiful things to consider for Christmas gifts here. I make progress with my shopping, and feel good that I have supported a worthy cause.
As I walk with the children to chapel this morning, my feet feel swollen and fizzy. This must be from all the dancing I did last night. I feel like I am waddling across the floor, my feet tender and unstable. I make it though the morning with no other problems until it is time to leave. My feet are throbbing now. Alex has come to pick me up, I walk slowly out to the car. I am feeling fragile and aged.
When we arrive home, my other visiting nurse, Summer, is at the door ringing the bell. I have made it back just in time. She unhooks me, freeing me from my backpack. Even though I have had this pump and backpack twice a month for three days for the past five months, I still forget it is attached to me and try to walk away from it at least once a day. It is a bother to have to dress around it, pump going through my clothing first, then me, and to have it on, then take it off and put it on again every time I add a layer of clothing. I have started wearing it in the car, because this is often where I forget I have it, and leave the pack on the floor as I start to get out, only to be reminded by the tug to the port near my shoulder I have forgotten to pick it up. It is a small, but nagging thing. It grumbles every few seconds as the medicine is delivered to my veins. I need to be aware of where it is all the time, so I don't pull on my port. I have become very good at sleeping on my back, checking to see where my line is before I turn on my side, and remembering in the dark of the night that I need to carry this baggage into the bathroom with me when I go. At one point I thought I had come up with a good substitute to the backpack, a hoodie pocket. This only works if the hoodie has a spacious pocket, which many of my hoodies lack. It may seem at this point it is not worth complaining about, but I am getting tired of it.
Francis stops by to visit just as I finish my lunch. She has found some tea for me with a picture of a fox on the box! Such a thoughtful gift. We sit and visit for a little while, Francis sipping tea, and me finishing the hot cocoa I had been working on before she rang the doorbell.
Having friends stop by for a quick visit has been one of the sweetest gifts this cancer odyssey has given me. Normally I am so busy, and seldom home to enjoy random visits, but I love when people just drop in. They may stay only ten minutes, sometimes more, but each visit is this little cozy point of contact that is precious and appreciated.
I find out later in the day that my Grandma Boyd, my father's mother, passed away early this morning. She was 92.
My nephew Brian comes to play with the children at daycare. It is fun to have him visit, and nice to have a place he can come and have some fun. It gives my sister Jill the opportunity to get a few things done without help from a four year old, which she seldom has the chance to do in Ohio.
Today we are starting to work on gifts for our parents. We are painting bowls which we will later fill with some kind of tasty treat. I love to see how each child mixes their paints and dabs color on their project. They are all as unique and beautiful as the child who has created it.
It is forecast to rain all week, so we want to get out for a nice long walk today. We take a candy walk to get everyone on board with this idea, and get a red or green m&m when we reach each corner together. We look for new holiday decorations that have been set out over the weekend, and see a few snowflakes falling from the sky.
Kaileigh comes down later in the day so we can go together to visit with a friend who is in the hospital. Ayla, Chauncey and I stopped by to visit last night, and Kaileigh wants to come with me tonight. I had been planning on going out to eat with my happiness friends to celebrate the holidays, but cancel.
There is as nor'easter coming, meaning rain most of the day. It is not too cold out, so we manage to go for a rain walk around the block today. Somehow, we don't get too wet.
This evening I know there are not going to be too many people at knitting, so I decide to cancel. Between the weather and the number of knitters who can't make it, I don't think anyone will be too upset. My friend is still in the hospital, so Ayla go to visit. Things are looking better, tomorrow he will be heading home.
When I get back to my house, I check the basement for water. Occasionally when there is a nor'easter we get a little water down there, just a small stream running from the west to the east. I had checked before I left and all was dry, so I am totally unprepared for what I find when I open the basement door. There must be two inches of water at the bottom of the stairs! Steve and I start in right away cleaning it up, he vacuums, I start throwing away books and papers that have been saturated with water. We can't figure out where the water has come in from.
I help out until eleven thirty and go to bed, Steve is determined to stop when he empties the wet vac twenty times. He empties it at least thirty before he gets to bed.
I get up at six and start straightening. As soon as Sara arrives I descend into the basement to continue the cleanup. I only get a little done before Steve hears me and comes down to help. I go back upstairs to help bake cookies.
My niece Julia is coming by to stay with us today. She has been having a rough time at home, and needs a little time away. Since all of our spare rooms are filled at the moment, we put an air mattress in the upstairs hallway. This is where Josh and Kaileigh sleep when they stay in Providence. It is tight, but we make it cozy with blankets and pillows. She should be comfortable here.
Grandma Boyd's wake is tonight. It is at the same funeral home my dad's wake was held at. It is nice to see all of the Boyd relatives again, the second time this week. The circumstances could be better though.
My aunt tells me that grandma passed early Sunday morning, after Sara's party. She was with family, at home and surrounded by people who knew and loved her. What a beautiful ending to a life that was filled with family, good humor and loving family and friends.
When I get home, I go down into the basement to get more cleaning done. Steve takes a pile of wet clothes to the laundromat. On his way there, he forgets about the huge pot hole on the side road and drives through it. Just as he reaches the laundromat, the tire goes flat. A tow truck comes to take the car away, but he still needs a ride home. My niece comes to his rescue, and picks him up. What a day.