Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chemo and Christmas, Part 1

My last infusion of Round 1 of the latest attempt at chemotherapy, this time with Avastin, was on the 4th of December. Just prior to that, on the 1st, I had an office visit with Dr. Amatruda. I was almost set to throw in the towel on this latest bit of chemo, but before I got to it, he had talked me into continuing at least a second round and then seeing what a scan might show us. I did my best to schedule this second round to straddle Christmas in hopes of making the best of the time. My first trip to the Chair of Lengthy Naps was on Dec. 21.

Brooke, now 15, has issues. Lots and lots of issues. But something made her decide that she hates Coon Rapids High School and the only solution was to give up on it. Her behavior around here has been, to put it nicely, not all that stress-free for either Angie or me. So her choice to try school back in Mandan and return to living with her dad was agreed upon. But we had one last chaotic weekend before loading her up for our journey to Bismarck for Christmas.

My nephew Michael chose to fly round-trip from Seattle to Minneapolis, and to join us when we went to Bismarck. At first we weren't sure how to go about this, as 5 people and all the stuff in just Angie's Trailblazer would have been a tight pack. But since the summer Angie had wanted me to take my pickup to Bismarck so we could return a day bed back to Angie's folks (another story involving Brooke, wouldn't you know). So the idea hit me that perhaps Michael could drive the Silverado with the bed and other things now that Brooke would be taking back.

Michael got in on Friday the 18th and spent the weekend with us here. On Monday he took me to and picked me up from my chemo appointment. And then things got a little rough for me. We needed to pack up the truck to head out on Tuesday. I'm generally worn out and try to rest after chemo, but this wasn't really an option this time. We got the bed loaded on my truck and started packing the Trailblazer. I thought Brooke had brought all of her bags downstairs, and it didn't look too bad. We all needed rest, and tried to hit the hay at a reasonable hour to start the next day.

And then Tuesday came. Brooke had more and more and more things in her room; it was like a clown car when final loading time came. So packing everything in took a lot more time than expected and more work than I was physically ready to handle. And when we were finally packed up, at a late-starting time of about 10am -- nearly guaranteeing that we would not get to Bismarck in daylight -- Angie couldn't start her Trailblazer. The battery was dead.

We managed to get if jump-started, but Angie was about ready to go through the roof. She wanted a new battery on the spot. I really couldn't argue given what had happened, and that her "car" (as I still call it) is now over 5 years old and has a lot of accessories inside. Plus I was in no shape to argue with Angie; standing was almost becoming an issue.

We went to Pep Boys and got a new battery installed. And I think we were finally able to head out of town about noon. I went with Michael in my truck and we followed Angie and the girls. There was a bit of soap opera drama going on in all of this as well, but this post is looking like it will be long enough already.

We made it to Bismarck fine but a bit late in the evening. I was very worn out, though.

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