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Concerned Citizen and a Serial Entrepreneur wrapped in a progressive democratic soul longing for us all to get along.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today is Monday, November 29th

Started out like any normal Monday...9:30 AM final walk through for the 1031 exchange which closes tomorrow and I decided to go see T at Dominican Hospital.  ahhh fate...  so, I was in his room when Dr. Deepa arrived and she wanted to check a few things first, but she thought that it would be advisable for T to leave.  He was stabilized, white cell count back up to 4.5 and he was hydrated... staying in the hospital any longer would just expose him to some very sick people so, we said YAY!!!  Let's go!!!  I knew it would take awhile so, I ran an errand and came back only to fatefully find a parking space in the back of the hospital...

Several hours later, the orders were still incomplete... I started checking and we noticed that there were an awful lot of helicopters buzzing the hospital and we kept hearing sirens... finally, a nurse informed us that the hospital was on lock down.  The story we heard was that a jail prisoner had come to the hospital for an MRI and when his shackles were removed for the MRI;  he over powered his female guard, took her gun and tazed her.  Then he escaped.  Of course, the fact that he was 6' 7, over 300 lbs. & dressed in a yellow jumpsuit should have pretty clearly identified him as a fugitive of some kind. .. don't ya think?   So, while this crazy guy went snooping around the neighborhood looking for a place to hide, we were a captive audience.  The sheriffs, cops and CHP were hunting their prey and we were stuck...  now why a lone woman was guarding this giant criminal is a very good question and why she'd unshackle this guy without back up is another good question...

We were finally able to leave the hospital about 4:00 PM because luckily our car was parked in the back of the hospital.  The entire front parking lot was a crime scene but we were finally free!!!  We headed home for some hot turkey open faced sandwiches by way of CVS pharmacy...armed with lomitil...  home at last!!!  What a day!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Today is Sunday, November 28th

Today started out with my thinking I had to be the momma bear again to protect the man I love.  Our experience with hospitals hasn't all been as positive as Stanford.  In Oct. of 1999, I learned what it meant to be an advocate for my man lost in the hospital system.  So, I lingered over my coffee and cereal, planning what I thought had to be done for Tracy's experience at Dominican.  I called Stanford and spoke with the Doctor on call.   I learned that there hadn't been any collaboration with Stanford and I was worried.  I wanted to be sure that T was being treated with 'kid gloves' and an eye towards keeping him on track for his continuing treatment.  The poor guy had had non-stop diarrhea for a week now... his tummy hurt and he deserved better.  So, I went to the hospital loaded for bear.  

I arrived and T said that he'd just seen Dr. Deepa and the oncologist.  They were still waiting for the very last results from the stool cultures for CDiff, the most virulent intestinal bug.  They wanted to delay any Immodium or Mylanta or anti-diarrheal until they knew what they were dealing with.  Makes perfect sense upon reflection, but I came in thinking that we'd lost valuable antibiotic treatment time in order to be ready for chemo...already delayed 2 weeks.  

So, I walked into T's room ready to battle the world and instead, my loving hurting husband told me to slow down, relax and listen.  Kind of like when we learned how to scuba dive... first thing we learned was  "Stop, Look, Action"... OK, it was time to use that philosophy and T was right...I was so ready for battle, I neglected to ask T what he thought.  This time around he was conscious and very much a part of the deal and man, I'm thankful for that.  So, the T man said, "Hold it!!!  Look. Listen."  I took a look at his face and realized that he had color and he was calm and he was breathing better and his ankles weren't as swollen... still not as 'dainty or as shapely' as normal, but he was making progress.  I wanted to scream but instead, I sat down and listened.  My honey doesn't have CDiff and I thank God!!!  His pneumonia is on the mend too.  The antibiotics were not helping his poor tummy.  Now hopefully, he'll heal and we'll get on to the next level...  I'm so glad!!!  He was given an anti- diarrheal, Mylanta and a Neupogen shot... full steam ahead!!!!  Thank you all for all your love and support!!!!  We're gonna get thru this!   

I picture a time where we're sitting on a beach in the sun...relaxed, tan & laughing... with Riley by our side....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today is Saturday, November 27th

AI YI YI!!!  Tracy had a terrible night.  I called Stanford at 8AM and spoke with Dr. Dunn again... I said, "I'm back"... my instructions were to get T to the nearest emergency room asap because he needed fluids quickly.  Scrambled eggs and toast, gathered up my laptop, book for T, crocheting and away we go...

We were at Dominican Hospital by 10:15 and in a room in the ER by 10:30... T's blood pressure was elevated and he was running a temperature.... after history was taken, T was put on an IV for fluids and multiple draws for tests, cat scan, EKG... when I pointed out that T's ankles were severely swollen,  T chided "usually he had such dainty ankles" ... T's white cell count was now .75 (how did that happen????) and the edict was that T would go by ambulance to Stanford.  

This is a nightmare that we can't seem to wake up from.... 

I ran home and returned in 40 min. with T's mask (he was now officially neutrapenic) and a bag with T's hospital needs...(underwear, iPod & speaker, razor, slippers, books, batteries etc.) and in my absence: 180 degree turn around... the doctors had decided that T would be admitted to Dominican.  I became momma bear... T hadn't eaten anything since breakfast... he had acid stomach... mylanta? he was thirsty... you want a stool sample ...give him something to eat or drink... so, apple juice and there you have it...  now his white cell count is .5  WTF???

So, finally I went to the cafeteria to get food for both of us.  The only thing that was available at 4:00PM was the salad bar... wouldn't work for neutrapenic Tracy so, I had tuna fish and went back to T's room.  He'd been given saltines and juice.  I left another message for food and T evicted me... I was crazed and went home to Riley, a hot bath, a weird movie, several glasses of wine and a phone call to T....Tracy was served a full dinner at 5:00 by the head nurse who T described as a very severe nun who proclaimed that it was unacceptable that he'd had to wait so long for food....YAHOO!!!!    ....soon, very soon...sleep... 

All is well and I miss my T man.... sleep tight...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today is Friday, November 26th

We awoke to a gorgeous clear day on the coast... my leg pains were gone and Tracy had had a night of light sweats with his stomach intact.  We decided to call Stanford, preemptively avoiding being scolded, to inform the doctors that Tracy had had some night sweats and that the antibiotics were tearing up his stomach.  I suggested that we separate the pills, one with breakfast and the other with dinner.  Dr. Dunn, the doctor on call, said she felt comfortable eliminating one of the super drugs and that has boded better for T today.  The blood culture isn't back yet and we feel it's a day of rest.

Off to the chiropractor, the library and Safeway to load up on liquids for T... root beer, ginger ale, 7-up and gatorade. 

I called my Aunt Etta, mom's twin sister who celebrated her 97th birthday yesterday.  She was full of good cheer.  Her voice is exactly like my mom's...they were identical although my mom was more petite... sometimes I imagine it is my mom again... I guess you never get over that yearning to hear their reassurances and that all encompassing feeling of unconditional love...

 Turkey sandwich for lunch and then, time for a nap for all...  Dinner was an open faced hot turkey, stuffing slathered with gravy sandwich, cranberry oozing out all over & T's favorite root beer to complete the perfect picture of serenity... we cuddled by the fireplace, reading while listening to our favorite jazz station until it was time to call it a night.... 

Thank you for a day of peace!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day, November 25th

Today I am thankful for family, friends, Tracy and Riley....energy, sunshine, rain and the prospects of the future with my honey feeling no pain...

I rolled out of bed with a game plan...21 lbs. of turkey in the oven and cooked so, that we'd eat by 1:30...  oh boy, that means work it!  So, oven set to 350 degrees, coffee maker perking away, juice downed with vitamins, food processor chopping up carrots, onions and celery for the bottom of the turkey pan and then, I just went for it... what the hey...stuffing...no recipe but there it was... waiting... cornbread croutons, celery, carrots, onions, cranberries, an orange, herbs...and butter... washed the turkey after I emptied out all the crevices (one year I actually forgot to take out the bag of giblets) and rubbed butter all over (ok so, I cheated but margarine just didn't seem right)  and left pats of butter under the skin and stuffed that baby.. this turkey wasn't going to be dry on my watch!  In the oven at 7:38 AM breast side up for 2 1/2 hours under foil...basting, basting, basting... as my kitchen started filling with smoke, I realized that this very large turkey was dribbling on the bottom of the oven and it was burning ...I am very thankful for the great exhaust fan we have at times like these...  so, I turned that turkey over and the smoke stopped and the aroma was tantalizing...,mmmm  .. meanwhile,   oatmeal for our breakfast, set the table and started the cranberry orange sauce...  stripped the bed cause T had a couple of night sweats and dressed.... everything was ready and Lila arrived with flowers and her world famous stuffing to go in the oven...wow!  She stayed for a couple minutes and then, Sue & Evelyn (our wonderful Riley loving neighbors who care for him when we can't), and the gorgeous girls, Carla & Hayley all arrived bearing mashed potatoes, salad, green beans & bacon, and homemade cookies, cranberry bread and cupcakes.  What a feast!!!    

I am truly thankful for a day of normalcy... thank you God!!  thank you my friends and thank you my family for all your loving support!!!

Sue, Evelyn, Tracy, Carla & Hayley

Hayley, Carla and me

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Catching up again Mon, Tues, Wed. Nov.22-24th

Monday was a blur.. lots of catch up plus cash for keys program worked beautifully for my new listing.  Poor gal hit a bad stretch... her mom had had a spinal cord accident in the Philippines where there isn't any health insurance and bribery is how things get taken care of.  Never realized that we had it sooo good!  T had held his own all day and after we ate dinner; I spent the evening working on getting my 1031 exchange back on track.

Tuesday,  after a largely sleepless night because I was uncomfortable with the deal we'd struck; I doubled down and finally, my client was satisfied and happy.  Hours of paperwork and then, she signed off her documents so, we will close by the 30th.  Unfortunately,  the Corralitos deal wasn't to be.  Sometimes there's just no way... still waiting to hear on Mike & Janet's home... at least it's in the system...that's a good thing!

Tracy was down in the dumps... his ankles were very swollen and he had severe chills before we went to sleep.  We made a list of the things we needed to speak to the doctors about: hand cramps, shivering & trembling, swelling, treatment?  We took an early shower after dinner and got into bed.

Today, Nov. 24th is our 15th anniversary!  A memorable day for us... we'll have time to celebrate when we beat this thing...

We made it to the hospital in under an hour today. but it seemed like we kept taking one step forward and two steps back.  Dr. Michael Koontz took T through the discovery process.  Scolded again.  We should have called when T had the first bout of the chills... it's just that he's done that for years so, neither one of us thought to call.  So, the bad news is that T has pneumonia.  His white cell count is up to 20... not good....He had so many labs done today for all kinds of reasons and he was down.. T's now on two different mega doses of antibiotics which are really tough on the tummy so, they must be taken with food.  8 hours later we left Stanford's Cancer Center... Tracy had been poked, prodded, hydrated and warned that if the blood test came back positive (results in 24-48 hours) he'd have to be re-admitted.  So, finally we made it home by 7 PM.  Kombucha tea, chicken broth with rice and my T was asleep at last.  Lucky for us, Lila offered to make our stuffing for tomorrow cause I'm too tired to tackle it... tomorrow is another day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21st

What a storm!!!!  Poor Riley couldn't have snuggled any closer.  rolling thunder and lightning.. amazing that we never lost power!  I learned that my Sunnyvale trip wouldn't be happening and that was a good thing since mid-day brought sheets of rain and hail too...  I kept thinking about canceling my open house but since it was advertised, I went ahead & was totally soaked putting out the signs... and lo and behold, there was a steady stream of visitors & neighbors all afternoon.  The sun even came out as I met my clients to show them a Seacliff craftsman beauty...  

I had been checking on T all afternoon as I checked on the niners score... apparently the niners never showed up...  T was hanging in his slug station.. Gatorade, newspaper, TV remote, non-stop football, wrapped in Mom's handmade crocheted throw and Riley right by his side.  

T was not feeling great when I arrived home so, Kombucha green tea and some chicken broth and rice at least helped a little.  We may call the gastroenterologist in the morning... we'll see how he does.  

More paperwork and at long last sleep for the weary....  tomorrow is truly a new day!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday, November 20th

Today started out slow and easy...  I had nothing on my plate other than taking care of my honey and checking ongoing business until everything got complicated... the answer on the Corralitos home was delayed until Mon. evening;  the bid for work needed some added information; my listing was going to require a trip to S'vale on Sun. and Sarah & Jeff wanted to see 2 more coast homes on Sun.  So, Sunday will be a very complex day!

During all of this craziness,  Tracy was having a very bad day... just the smell of the eggs made him ill at lunch and it took tremendous coaxing for him to eat pastina in broth and tea this evening... so far so good... but it looks like an early night for us both...

Please keep us in your prayers!!!

Friday, November 19th

Friday started with a 9:00 meeting with my friend/client Lila and Willis Bailey, the contractor going over what needed to be bid for the home in escrow.  We had lost 10 days waiting for the original contractor’s bid.  Lots of phone calls later ...the good news is we have the bid and depending on negotiations, this 1031 exchange will close by 11/29th to preserve Lila’s mortgage rate lock.  Then, off to see Michael for my monthly update.... my caring stylist informed me that I’m losing my hair.... no stress here...
Meanwhile Tracy was still having stomach problems but insisted no appt with a gastroenterologist just yet.  T seems worse in some ways because food doesn’t appeal and he has a constant tummy ache.  Reality:  it’s only been since Wed. that we’ve restricted his dairy intake so, I imagine it will take a few days.
Soup for dinner and T and I managed to watch a funny movie and after our shower were in bed very early...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Catching up Wed. & Thurs. November 17th & 18th

“Life is just a bowl of obbleyocky with a stuffamoygin on the side”... Cenz used to repeat that a lot... 
We jammed packed Wednesday ... starting with fighting traffic all the way to Stanford (a 3 car accident on Hiway 1 & a 4 car on 85) turning an hour trip into two.  T had his labs and then, we went to see Bruno et al.  Dr. Vidal (gorgeous, jovial, fun loving smile, beautifully bald, light brown, medium height man) quizzed us on T’s progress and he was concerned over T’s distended stomach and swollen ankles as he admired T’s beret.  So, we related all the stuff of the last week as I asked what his white cell count was... I think I froze cause all of a sudden, I heard what sounded like 9 and I asked that he repeat what he’d said.  9!!!!!  Normal is 4-11; so imagine our shock!  We continued answering questions a little bit giddy... tired, spacey and happy but neither one of us asked much... then, Bruno arrived as always confident, suave and very cute... that’s when we heard REMISSION!!!!  OMG!!!  I think I went into full on deer in headlights mode... I heard what Bruno was saying but I forgot what to ask...Bruno was perturbed because altho’ we’d gotten the results he’d wanted; we had complicated the mission.  T had been eating dairy which was irritating his bowels and stomach. That would have to  delay the start of treatment until next Wed..  Bruno kept repeating, “It’s dietary!!!” & he probably wanted to add... you morons!!!
Timing is everything and T needs to stop all dairy intake to ward off the ill effects so, that the treatment can start... What is the treatment?  I haven’t a clue but we’re gonna find out next Wed.
So, with Bruno’s admonitions to stop eating any butter, cream cheese, cheese... anything from a cow... he encouraged Tracy to celebrate with meat, chicken, pasta etc... even a glass of wine (as Bruno said...” there’s no dairy in it” )... be careful around people... yes visitors.. no ill or exposed to illness visitors and a few at a time...
We walked out of the clinic... a little dazed and T went for an X-ray of his stomach.  Then we strolled over to the cafeteria and picked up some grilled chicken burgers, a root beer and ate while we listened to a wonderful Brazilian jazzy samba combo in the atrium.  
Off to Sunnyvale to check on my new listing and then, we fought the traffic coming home to our blessed oasis by the sea.
We were both exhausted... T was able to take a nap... I was over tired and couldn’t so, I sat with our drawerful of EOB’s (explanation of benefits) and bills and matched them all up.... Blue Shield at it’s best.... until T awoke a bit crabby and I blew cooking our dinner.  For the first time in perhaps 30 years, I undercooked the linguine and made a tasteless dish out of T’s comfort food... T was cranky and said “couldn’t you get it right?” and I replied that I was human and that was it for the night. I made sure he got a shower and his meds, but I was hurt and never said another word... After a mostly sleepless night for me, he apologized.  
Thurs. was another jammed packed day... I had my pearly whites cleaned first thing and proceeded to the office to process disclosures etc. and kill a few more trees (computers were ‘sposed to make us paperless... yah right!).  Then, Vicki and I tooled through the rest of our broker’s tour... we stopped at our favorite westside nursery during the lunch break just to see and smell some beautiful flowers and things.... and it made for an interesting mix of new listings and quite a day.  I finally went home after a couple more hours of paperwork and made dinner for my honey... grilled pork chops wrapped in bacon, couscous and yams  and made it a very early evening... I was in bed and asleep by 9:30 and ready for some wonderful dreams....  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Catching up Monday & Tuesday, November 15th & 16th

Monday was a blur... spoke with my Corralitos clients briefly about the offer we received Sunday evening and made a pact to see them upon our return late this afternoon.  Contacted several clients re new listings, Chiropractor and then, home for lunch with T.  Next stop, Stanford for the dreaded bone marrow biopsy...  I feel like the torturer at times... my hero T just plain didn’t want to go... I’ve lost count of how many bone marrow biopsies T has had but there is a scar for each and every one on his back side and nightmares to boot.  My brave husband survived the onslaught and we made our way home... My caring clients postponed our meeting until Tuesday @ 9:00AM (graciously postponing their Tues. trip departure by an hour)... we all agreed that the spirit was willing but I needed a break...
After dinner,  (still looking for suggestions cause T has totally lost his appetite) I put an offer together for Janet & Mike and emailed it to them and at long last, called it a night.
Tuesday... after breakfast with T....off to Corralitos where we put together a very clean counter offer... almost made it back for the end of our staff meeting... but luckily caught up with Lorraine for a few minutes for girl talk and some appetite stimulating snack recipes... back to the office to process Janet’s offer, the Corralitos counter and stay on top of the rest of my biz... 
My T is miserable... he’s been sick for several days now...aches and pains and cramps and loss of appetite... no fever thank God, but we’re hoping for good news tomorrow so, keep him in your prayers...the last time he felt this bad was several weeks ago, in the hospital and the culprit was his rising white cell count... and then he was released... that’s a good thing...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Today is Sunday, November 14th

Oh how wonderful it was to sleep an entire night!  We took a walk around the block this morning...masked T, Riley and I and returned home to French toast, juice and coffee.  What a beautiful morning and such a gorgeous clear day on the coast!!  The best antidote for depression...a walk on a glorious day in Rio Del Mar.
 I held an open house out in Corralitos this afternoon and it was very successful... it was one of those absolutely clear days and the view was spectacular all the way to Monterey!!! My clients tuned in the niners game for me and I caught most of the action in between visitors.  Everyone loved the home that viewed it and we received an offer this evening... I will meet with my clients tomorrow to go over it after we return from Stanford.  Tracy has another bone marrow biopsy Mon. afternoon.  Wed. will be results time.  T has had a Neupogen shot every day since Thurs.  Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers coming...
Thank you our friends for reading my blog.  Although I’d love to talk to all of you personally; it’s become impossible.  I have my hands full with Tracy’s care and feeding, keeping bedding & towels changed, clothes washed and trying to keep up with my business.  Tracy has priority but we are making room for business... it is my respite and it will keep us fiscally sound and mentally healthy.  The fact is every time someone calls and wants to know what’s going on, I’m forced to relive our ordeal again and again... it’s enough living it the first time...believe me.  I know you’d all like to help and you’re concerned but if you keep up with my blog that would be the biggest help of all.  
I’m peddling as fast as I can... and we’re gonna make it!!! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today is Saturday, November 13th

I love the sheer obstinate nature of the number 13.  Friday, the 13th is generally a lucky day for me.  I don’t know whether it will work for me today...  
I never blogged yesterday... It was a full day.  I happily attended our monthly Board meeting at the Association... I felt like I contributed and that was a really good feeling...so different from the care giver role.  
I needed gas and I was energized.  Off to Costco... dog food, Ensure, apple juice, coffee and home to my honey... I’d pestered him while I was gone; asking if we needed peanut butter and such; but really just checking in.  Upon arrival;  I made lunch and decided to put those gorgeous eggplants into service. ..walla:  eggplant parmigiana...one for tonight and one for the freezer.   I only hope T can eat it.  
Right about cocktail hour;  Jim blew his horn and we, masked T, Riley & I, made the trip across the street.  T is a social being and he’s been sequestered for a month now... he decided to chance it.... when he was tired we went home.  I made fettucine with eggs and T ate a fair share... we showered and went to bed to watch a stupid movie and I instantly fell asleep... only to awake at 2:30AM  and nightmares I didn’t want to complete kept me reading until 5:30AM  changing T’s shirts to try and keep him dry.
Now it’s the 13th...   Changing sheets and towels and washing clothes, CVS for meds and home to try and get T to eat something... time for a funny movie....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today is Thursday, November 11th

Due to sheer tenacity and endless phone calls; Italian hard headed will and Janell's undaunting skill; we prevailed with Blue Shield today.  I picked up 8 Neupogen pre-loaded syringes ($655 per shot but free to us since we satisfied our huge deductible) at Walgreen's in Santa Cruz. BS (isn't that appropriate?) wouldn't allow for the shots to be administered at a Dr's office (too expensive); so we had to administer it ourselves.   Tracy gave himself the shot...thank God!  I have to turn the other way when they take my blood... can you imagine me trying to give T the shot?  Well he couldn't either.  So, he gave himself the shot in his stomach (the fatty area)... said he'd watched enough times to be able to do it himself...all is well...   

Tracy will prevail and we talked at length about the fact that we will share more... I don't have to do it all.  I love what I do and as long as it's a respite, it works.   What we can do is be smarter about everything.  I could have left T today at the hospital had I realized it would take 5 hours for the blood infusion... he was in good hands and slept thru it all.  Next time I'll ask.  

Working smarter, recruiting Janell for aid and taking the time to get what we need from Blue Shield (meaning spending whatever time it takes on the phone to get what we need) will net us help and peace of mind.  Since Tracy is still neutrapenic; the introduction of anyone else at home isn't worth the risk.  We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts... stay tuned we may need your help yet... right now send prayers and healing light... thank God we enjoy each others company and I know when to turn on a comedy for relief...exactly what I did when we got home today... tuned out the world and tuned in to some slapstick comedy... good for the soul.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today is Wednesday, November 10th

I met my client & her Contractor this morning at 8AM to go through the house and get an estimate for repairs.  It's a great home and will be a fine investment for my client.  When we were done, she gave me a homemade casserole and apple crisp for my honey...awwww, what a sweetie!

OK so yesterday's good news was Tracy didn't have the virulent bacterial infection... whatever it's called. The bad news today: his white cell count is back down to .5 or negligible... and the rest of his counts aren't so good either so, we mobilized... he was able to have his labs done at our GP's office this morning & later we were notified that he needed treatment.  Thank God, I had taken a break in between, a walk on the beach with Riley before the sh_t hit the fan...on the way home, my hound dog surprised a hen that had escaped it's pen and had wandered into a bush as we strolled down Cliff Dr...good thing Riley knows "Leave it!" cause that hen lived to see another day... Next, I received a call from Bruno's coordinator, Janelle, stating that Tracy needed blood immediately... so, many phone calls later, instead of having to rush to Stanford... we went to Dominican late this afternoon to type & set his blood and we will return tomorrow to get blood & hopefully, if Blue Shield approves, Neupogen, the white cell booster.  Tracy has had little or no appetite, has been sleeping around the clock and looks kinda pasty so, we kinda knew.. living in denial works too,,,but the good news is he'll be treated tomorrow.  I asked Janelle today if Tracy was released too early and why and she said it's the new world of treatment... hospitals and insurance co.'s call the shots....T's numbers were up so, he was out...  I know T would rather be home but it IS worrisome never the less.

Once again, Blue Shield is steering the decisions... calling the shots based on cost rather than the Dr. dictating the treatment.  There is something just SOOOO WRONG with this state of affairs... Now what exactly do we do about it???

Listening to the President's commissioned bipartisan council on how to eliminate the deficit is downright frightening!!!  Cut medicare, social security and raise the retirement age and eliminate the tax breaks for the middle class?  WTF???  This country is leaning so far to the right it's blowing my mind!!!  Why did our President commission this council in the first place?  Who didn't expect this outcome when Alan Simpson is one of the leaders?  Come on... these are basic Democratic principles and yet, we also learned today that the White House is now also leaning towards extending our stay in Afghanistan until 2014!!! WTF????  I'm frustrated and terribly annoyed... Timing is everything...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today is Tuesday, November 9th

OK so, I'm entitled to some low days and this was one of them for me... pressures got to me... good news is I went to my office meeting this morning and then, worked from home.  I finally got to curl up with T late this afternoon, actually I joined my boys, T & Riley...... I spoke with Stanford several times and was able to arrange for T to have his labs done here at our GP's office tomorrow instead of going back to Stanford again this week... Yay!!  We do return to Stanford on Mon. for T's next bone marrow biopsy and then, an appointment with Bruno on Wed... that's enough...

What's worried me for days and finally,  the best news:  we've been given a breath of fresh air!  T does not have the deadly infection... he is fighting something but the tests done clarified that it wasn't that horrible CPD?  He's having a low day too, hardly ate anything for dinner but that's understandable too... Zeva and the Good Wife and sleep... for tomorrow is another day....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Today is Monday, November 8th

My honey is truly alive today!  We awoke this morning with Riley prodding us to get out of bed and start this day... Unbelievable!  For the first time in weeks, Tracy slept all night without sweating through his clothes... we both had a solid night's sleep... T seems to be better... he hasn't had diarrhea for a day and a half, no vomiting and no fever either!!!  So, first thing this morning... mask, warm-ups and flip-flops for Tracy, even tho' I protested... Riley led the way for a 3 bag stroll around the block... T loved being outside in the early morning sun and the coast loves him back!!!   Back for a breakfast of French toast and both newspapers and then,  a little snooze for my honey.  I left for the chiropractor, a quick stop at Trader Joe's and on to meet my client at 2:00.  T told me he had no intention of answering the phone; so, I didn't try... he had Kara's soup to heat for lunch and I looked forward to seeing him for dinner... Tracy is back... I do believe whatever they throw at him...virulent chemo, tests, biopsies...whatever... he's here to stay... he's even starting to eat stuff...I came home from the office at 6:00 and he was heating some pot stickers to eat... my incorrigible, obstinately wonderful and slightly crazy man is back!!!  When we go to Stanford on Wed.; we hope to hear that T's infection is over... we can only hope....

BTW:  Thank you all for your calls, cards, emails, dinner offers and generosity of spirit... we've had wine, baguettes, crackers & cheese, sunflowers (T's favorite), flowers, cards, jelly beans left at our front door..  YOU are our family and we thank you one and all!!!!  Gotta go... the dryer is done and T is watching "Cops"  instead of dubya... makes sense to me....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blue Shield Part dieux

Do they ever get it?  Or is it that they hope that we'll finally just give up?

I spent a very frustrating Friday afternoon trying to ascertain why, who and what Blue Shield group had been continually calling Tracy, identifying themselves as a Case Manager for T.  For several weeks, they'd left a few garbled messages for Tracy, as if they were calling from a cell phone.  Since T was in the hospital ( and Blue Shield certainly should be aware of that!!!!), I ignored the calls.  Then, finally, I answered the phone on Fri.  She said "Hello, Ms. Tracy McAvoy"  I said yes and then, I realized that she thought she was speaking to Tracy.  I corrected her and explained that no, I was in fact, his wife.  She ( I never did get her name) insisted that she had to speak to Tracy, who was napping.   She continued to say that her purpose was to see if Tracy needed any additional help or care... so, I proceeded to say that we certainly could use some help; in fact household help (she actually said they could assist with that) since I am a Realtor and have to work in order to pay their premiums.  She said she had to speak to Tracy and I explained that I was authorized to speak for T and the stupid cow replied that she had no such authorization.  As I protested that I'd faxed a five page document about 3 weeks ago to Blue Shield and that, if given her fax line; I'd be happy to fax it to her immediately..... the line went dead...  I waited for a call back which never came.  After I'd fed my honey a late lunch and eaten something myself... I called the main Customer Service line for Blue Shield.  I asked about how I could contact this mysterious Case Manager and the Customer Service person had no idea what I was talking about.  She claimed I'd called Blue Shield last Tues. (which I most certainly did not); I asked to speak to her Manager and only after leaving me on terminal hold for 20 min. did she claim her Manager was in a meeting and the mysterious Case Manager could be a vendor trying to contact us.  Long story short.... no answers and no apparent help!!!!  and the elusive Case Manager has not called us back... can't wait for that to happen!!!!  Blue Shield there will be another day!!!

Saturday & Sunday November 6th & 7th

I missed blogging yesterday... What a day!  At Tracy’s request, I made French toast (mmmm)  for breakfast and then, pulled us together for a trip to Stanford.  It was heavy duty chemo time for T.  Iris, the Irish tormentor, played with T’s sardonic wit for awhile and suggested Mylanta for his upset stomach.  I ran downstairs to the pharmacy and T downed some for some immediate relief.  Meanwhile, I set up appointment times for my clients to view properties from 3 PM on.  T tolerated the changing of the dressing on his PICC line and the chemo reasonably well.  When it was over, my hero and I took the elevator downstairs, retrieved our chariot and traveled towards home.  We were both relieved and T closed his eyes and snoozed awhile.
We stopped at Costco before we got home...for the staples we needed:  doggie treats, kleenex, coffee, creamer, Immodium etc.... T patiently slept with his mask on until we got home... I unloaded the car; grabbed my paperwork and went to the office to meet my punctual clients at 3PM.  Sarah & Jeff are looking for a second home and haven’t decided on exactly what besides an ocean view.  So, we went to Pajaro Dunes first and viewed a condo at Shorebirds and at Pelican Point.  Then, we went to Pleasure Point where we drove through a few neighborhoods and viewed one home.  Next stop, we viewed one home in Seacliff and my listing in Rio Del Mar.  Now Sarah & Jeff will have to decide whether ocean front at Shorebirds or a home in Seacliff or Rio Del Mar is the answer.  Time will tell and we made it all before sunset....
I headed home after a very long day & Linda invited me for dinner and some respite.  T had already fed himself and encouraged me to take a break... and I did.  A few glasses of red, some dinner and home to shower and bed...with my loves... T & Riley..
Thank God for Tracy!!!  He fixed my laptop a few days ago.... I had dropped it twice while in T’s hospital room and everything had ceased working... I couldn’t access Quicken, Word or print anything...  so my hubby undented ? the two corners; loaded Quicken Essentials 2011 and got my laptop back screaming again ....thank God for my frustrated engineer!!!
So today, Sunday, I stripped the bed, loaded the washer & after we shared breakfast this morning  (I made scrambled eggs and  T made pancakes) mmmmm... I got to work on our finances... yay Quicken works and how! and while I finally figured it all out... T watched football and snoozed a little and we listened to the gentle rain...
I’m finally done with my paperwork... I’ve read all inspections for the home in escrow prior to an appt with the buyer tomorrow; read the newspaper and finally feel like I’ve caught up...  Now it’s time to relax after I figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner.... love to all and to all a good night...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today is Friday, November 5th

I'm torn.  I have this overwhelming responsibility. I take it very seriously.  T had a terrible night and after helping him initially; I finally fell asleep.  I missed the rest out of total exhaustion.  I'm wrestling with the idea that he needs to be in the cocoon of the hospital where if he has a bad nite; he will be tended to; cared for; medicated, given fluids; where a Doctor is on call 24/7.  I’m scared that I will do something or not do something that could endanger T.  I’m scared.  
OK  I’ve talked it over with Tracy.  He wants to be here at home and we can do this... organization is key.  Being aware and able to function quickly will make this situation work.  I’m working on a routine.  Strip the bed and add the towels to a wash first thing.  The coffee pot is loaded and waiting for the  start button to be depressed.  The juice (eliminated o.j yesterday... too acidic & tainted by assoc...heehee) his favorite, cranberry is always waiting.  Refill the water bottles and the pitcher constantly and last night, I made bread in the bread machine... (we were out and it’s simple and easy and no other hands touch it but mine)...  T insists on his cream cheese on the toast and OK; he gets it BUT we just eliminated that too.  Then, it’s simple meals that tend towards bland.  Any suggestions are welcome....
So, yesterday I toured all the new listings in Santa Cruz County with my friend and Realtor, Marilyn.  It was a respite away from the pressure and it did my soul good.  Afterwards, I met with my clients and we put together an offer on a gorgeous plot of land and a little farm house in Prunedale. 
 Food for my soul!
I missed our fund raising event of the year for the Housing Authority last evening...” A Taste of Santa Cruz”... I was torn between feeding my hubby and as a Director on the Board at our Association, helping at the event... Tracy won out.  When he’s stronger,  I’ll fulfill my responsibility as a board member as I have in the past and thankfully be happy to in the future... it’s the present I’m dealing with... and Tracy wins every time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not Done Yet!!!

I can't help but wonder what the Democrats were thinking.  It seems like nobody has been listening... the heart of this country elected Obama because they wanted change...they’re tired of the gridlock... the lack of compromise between two diametrically opposed parties... and so, the tea party was born... they opposed everything and they were very loud and present about it.  The fact that Obama never made a point of the fact that it was Bush’s bail out to begin with was a huge error.  The fact that as the bailout unfolded while Obama’s administration took office; there weren’t any restraints put on the banks as to how to use those bail out funds was an even larger misstep.  Obama expected them to do the right thing... use the funds to bail out the mortgage holders, keep people in their homes.  Instead, the banks bought other banks, invested in other countries and basically, ignored the very people who insured that they would stay in business. Then, we bailed out Wall St... again without any stipulations as to how to use those bail out funds... and what we saw was Wall St. paying themselves huge bonuses for failed performance and nothing that could possibly satisfy a real investment by this country.  Too big to fail... I don’t know... isn’t that why anti-trust laws were enacted?  So, this dilemma has been talked about ad nauseum... but did anyone “get it”?  
The tea party was born out of frustration and fueled by the Koch bros. and other controversial yet under the radar groups who have an outrageous agenda.  They have been plotting for years and seeding what sounds like innocuous educational and political groups to do their dirty work... they have funded all kinds of slanted research groups and polls and talking heads to divert the energy of the masses.... they have reaped what they have sown and they’re not done...  You think O’Donnell was a laughable spectacle... watch closely... there’s plenty more to come....  this election portends lots more spectacles that aren’t so laughable...  
I say to hell with compromise... slam thru some legislation that makes sense and the Republicans be damned for filibustering... stop catering to the uncompromising and do the right thing!!!  Does anyone think that a bill that ensures that grandma isn’t abused is a bad thing?.  Push it through right now with this lame duck Congress... don’t let anyone stop meaningful change... Next year is a new year and we still have time to show what we’re made of.

Today is Thursday, November 4th

Today is Thursday... I awoke for the first time in days with a plan.  I will become extremely organized... 24 hour care is unrelenting... I wonder if Tracy was released into my care because he was ready or Blue Shield said “ENOUGH” ...probably as Tracy says “ a combination of both”  in any case... he’s my baby now and that is at times overwhelming...  Yesterday, after a sleepless night while T was fighting a fever; we traveled to Stanford for a 7:30 AM appt.... OMG!  We hit traffic all the way...it took about 15 min. just to go from the 17 connector to 85 without an HOV lane... I don’t know how people cope on a daily basis.... anyway, Tracy wasn’t feeling well and I was just managing... T had major stomach cramps & diarrhea by the time we hit Stanford... so, valet parking was a God send and T made it to the bathroom unblemished.  Bruno & company revealed what we feared.  T had contracted a major infection in his intestine CPD?  a virulent pest and another course of antibiotics was prescribed.... anything that would relieve T’s pain would be heaven sent...  So, after admonishments:  everything T wears or touches must be washed, bed linens & towels changed daily, absolutely bland food.. no dairy, spice, carbs or fiber (which basically eliminates anything with any taste)... we headed back home to bed with me shaking my head the whole way to stay awake...  we crawled into our unchanged bed with Riley and slept until T’s stomach was growling... he wanted scrambled eggs so, fluffy ‘no-salt’ salted semi-soft eggs with toast were served up... with as much juice and water as possible... he ate and drank mass quantities of liquids and at last, I was satisfied...the simply gorgeous sunset and the sound of the high surf quieted our souls...  his temperature was just a little higher than norm for the next few hours and we were wishing and hoping the pain would go away... dinner was plain white soft long grained rice with soy...T wouldn’t eat the broccoli or carrots but T seemed to keep it down; I changed the bed linens and towels after we shared the shower and watched some mindless TV...  his temp was  under 100.3 and that’s all I cared about.... it’s funny how life can be reduced down to the simple things that matter.
This morning we awoke to a gorgeous sunrise and T has no pain!!!   It’s all working! I’m off to tour the newest listings while T rests with Riley by his side...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today is Tuesday, November 2nd

Tracy leaving his Stanford room

Michael giving T a new 'do'

Michael & T

The last two days have been a blur.  Yesterday we eased into our day...  we slept in our bed with Riley and awoke to a new day.  We had a great day to look forward to together... Thank you Mike Detrich for coming so quickly to reseat & seal the toilet that T had knocked off its base during the night... I had turned to Tracy and asked him whom to call and he'd said wryly... me... but not this time..... don't know what we would have done without you, Mike....

 After a trip to my chiropractor,  I came home to have lunch with T and then, met with the dog whisperer and company to strategize our deal and then, home to meet our hair stylist and friend, Michael Bardo.  Tracy’s painful locks are no more... except for a curly strand I saved....
We ate dinner and watched the last game of the World Series... the amazing win of the World Champion Giants over the Texas Rangers!!!!
Tracy & Riley
Today I overslept, fed Tracy breakfast and took off running... after my sales meeting, I VOTED, back to eat lunch with T and off to Watsonville to show some wonderful homes in the Adult Village... picked up our rents and home to find my T chatting with the neighbors... he was sitting on the outside staircase sans shoes, mask or hat.... my defiant, obstinate, stubborn and quite wonderful hubby... 
We go back to Stanford tomorrow morning for a 7:30 AM chemo session and 10:30 AM appointment with Bruno & co.  Stay tuned... 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, November 1st

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives....we choose each and every minute wisely consciously ... carpe diem... but don’t neglect or ignore the lessons of yesterday or we’re doomed to repeat them.
Tracy, my love has returned home.  He promises to whine and complain until I silence him...heehee.... no actually, we’re so thankful that he’s back!!!  It was an amazing day of victories... first, the Doctors released our man with their blessing... Science is our friend... Tracy must return to Stanford twice a week for the foreseeable future for outpatient chemo and a bone marrow biopsy next Sat.  Admonitions:   Semi- isolation; wear a mask; 13-18 glasses of liquids daily; meds; lots of rest; eat well; no rugby.  We can do that!
The Niners won!!!  They beat the Broncos in London!!!  Our 2nd victory!!!  This portends great things for the third victory....
The Giants pitched a shut out!!!!!  
Giants 4 - Rangers 0
What an amazing day!!!  Thank you all for your love and support! 
Vote with your heart tomorrow!  Take a good long look at your choices and choose wisely.... 
We are all in this together!!!!