Thursday, March 15, 2007


Okay, I have much to update on the medical side, but I just have to tell this story first. This is that rich moment I mentioned in last Saturday's post - a lot of frustration came to a head for me.

I am losing some mobility in my left leg from the radiation on my hip bone. I don't really care, since my bone scan came back clear, and there's no sign of cancer. Since I'm on the steroids, I don't have any pain right now, but I've got pain meds as a back up when I'm off the steroids. If you watch the TV show, House, I sort of limp around like him and use a cane some. (If you don't watch House, you should. It's one of the best shows on TV. I'm totally hooked.) I even have a handicap sticker now for the car. What's really funny is we'll go someplace that has ten handicap places out front, and Robert will still park in the closest non-handicap place. And I'm like, park in the friggin' handicap spot - after all I've been through!

Things have really melted out in Ouray snow-wise, except of course, our front yard and the path to the car. I can get around town except for the first twenty feet outsdie my front door. It's slick, icy, on a hill, and I'm just terrified of falling. So last week, I had to come and go from the back door which we never use. It took me an hour to even find a key to that door, but I did find it.

So anyway, we had this major shopping expedition in Grand Junction last Friday after having chemo. We did Office Depot, PetSmart, Target, Vitamin Cottage, Michael's MJ Design, JoAnn's, Great Harvest Bread Company, and City Market (grocery store). Here I am "Miss Shop Local" hitting all the big box stores hoping I wouldn't run into anyone from Ouray, but hey, we'd already spent the gas money to get there. (We were back in GJ last Tuesday, and I shopped at several cool, independent places, which I'll report on later.) So many times after chemo Robert will say, do you want to stop here or there, and I'll say, let's just go home, I'm tired. Besides, we can get that stuff at home. I do usually have him stop for a dip cone at DQ.

So we had all this stuff to carry in on Friday night from the car. I just can't negotiate the yard, and I was feeling too impatient to have Robert back up the neighbor's driveway to go in the back door. Robert's telling me, don't worry, just let me get everything. I said I'll get the eggs - they're light. I was feeling so frustrated that I couldn't just grab bags and go up the hill as usual. I stomped up the neighbor's driveway and decided to cut across the deep snow in our yard on a lateral traverse. Well, the snow is knee deep, very stiff, and crunchy. It grabbed me and I just went over forward. I thought, Oh God, there go the eggs. It's all I have to handle, and I'm going to blow it. And in one of those slow motion kind of moments, the eggs went flying out of my arms. I thought they'll land in the snow and sink. But no, the surface of the snow is so hard, they went sliding down the hill. I thought, "Oh shit, they're organic and they cost an extra dollar." But the package for organic eggs has like these two double plastic layers, and they sledded down the hill and stopped. They didn't break.

Somehow, this made me feel like maybe I'm going to live longer than we all thought. I thought to myself, quit waiting to die, Caroline.

So I'm on steroids and I'm just going ninety miles an hour. I'm sure I'm driving people crazy, but I tell them I'm on drugs, and I'm not offended if they tell me I'm acting weird. It's kind of fun to go around a be the village idiot. My hands shake and sometimes I have the worst gas in the world, but I've decided this is no reason to just stay home in bed.

I met with two students from the film class today and we're going to start on a film to play at my funeral. I decided to start my planning funeral as I have too many control issues to let someone else do it. I figure if I'm ready, it won't happen. We've got the headstone thing done. I'll be doing a whole post on the plans later on. I AM SO JAZZED ABOUT DOING THIS FILM THING WITH THE SCHOOL! Thank you Nancy Nixon.

Last Sunday night we went to Tom & Linda Tyler's house for dinner. Jim & Chandriee Davis were in town from Estes Park and staying there. Jim used to work at the bookstore, and Chandriee & I worked at First National Bank together plus overlapped some at the Pinon Restaurant. (It's a small-town thing - you have these people you end up working with at different places.) Remind to tell you about setting my bangs on fire at the Pinon doing bananas foster.

Tuesday night, after another long day in GJ to see the doctor, we managed to go to the Elks and watch my team bowl. I've had to give up bowling for now, but I might be able to do it on an adaptive basis later on. (Or this leg thing may go away altogether - we don't know yet.) My team with Linda Tyler was bowling her husband's team with Tom Tyler. Plus Tom's team now has Warren Ruby, Ray Markey, and Phil Martinez - what a hoot. Bobby Morss has replaced me on The Harem. Thanks Bobby! You're a good fit for the girls.

Tonight, I did the silent auction for a joint fundraiser for the Mountain Rescue Team and the Museum. So last night, I stayed late at the bookstore late doing some cleaning and pulling some dead inventory for the auction. I put on the Beatles new Love CD from the Cirque de Soliel show (which is awesome) and cranked it up. I had this wonderful woman shopping in the store named Rudi, and we had fun talking. There's nothing like good music to get stuff done and some good girl conversation to boot.

Tonight, at the fundraiser, the crowd indulged me and let me auction some things at the verbal auction, and tell few stories. We were at the Western Hotel which used to house the Buen Tiempo, a very popular Mexican Restaurant where I moonlighted one winter (while I was City Treasurer!). I told you I was a workaholic.

I told a story about the night I had the whole back room at the Buen with like a 16-top, 10-top, 8 top, 6-top, and about ten other tables with no less than four at each. It was a Thursday night in the winter and we got slammed with a skeleton crew. No busser, rookie hostess, one bartender, manager's night off, second back-room waitress was a no-show. The waitress from the bar said you're on your own. Talk about dying and going to waitress hell. I thought, I can cry and give bad service, or smile and give bad service. So I smiled. I told people that we were in a crisis situation. I said get your shit together and be ready, cause I won't be back to your table for about 15 - 30 minutes. Nobody left, but I had a bunch of drink orders get cancelled.

Main Street is really full of gravel and dust currently which is driving us shop-owners nuts. Since Main Street is actually Highway 550, CDOT should maintain it, but they never do the sweeping. I keep telling my City Councilman husband will you please get Public Works to sweep the street. It looks like hell and someone could slip on the gravel. The street sweeper is broken at the City, and they're trying to get another town to come do it one day. I'm thinking that since I'm on steroids I'm just gonna go do it myself!

So I'm just up here in Colorado having a grand old time. I may have cancer, but I'm very happy. Life is good. I'm not leaving this earth until I'm ready. I've been talking to my liver, and I think I've got her on my side. (I've named my liver Luvera after a very special person in my life.) And I've been cussing those tumors out and told them they're not welcome anymore.

Thanks for keeping me alive with your prayers. Based on what the doctors tell me sometimes, that must be why I'm still here.

Sincerely, Caroline

P.S . The verbal auction brought in most the money, although we got about $300 on the silent auction. I feel good about that.

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Workmaniac I think is a better term for you. You have done so many things - - great. Keep doing more.