Sunday, April 30, 2017

First Cytoxin

Tuesday was the day for my visit to Father John at St. Mary’s and I did some exercising in the morning, some napping, and then got ready to go to St. Mary’s. Unfortunately I got bad news from Darbi that the Sissons are not going to let David and Laura use their road at all (they were hoping to be allowed to use it at high water) and Darbi also found out that the Corps of Engineers will not let anyone build a bridge across the North Fork even though the Sissons have one less than a half mile away. That is a stunner and it if holds true (which would mean I would be landlocked at high water) then the only way to sell the hollow is with access across the ford, so it would mean the buyer could only have access at low water (which certainly is most of the time). The hollow could serve as a hunting club or a weekend retreat but it would reduce the price by perhaps 70K, an enormous blow to my finances. I talked to Lou and Cathy and they were supportive but it was only after I called Darbi back to check out what she really thought I could sell it for as is that I was able to calm a bit. Darbi thought I could get 150,000 for it so after all the closing costs and commissions, I would be able to clear around 130,000, which would also me to pay off the equity line if I add in most of my AXA money. I wouldn’t have enough to pay Tracy completely off but I could give her a significant check and hope she would allow me to pay her off over the next few year. Darbi knows how really weak and anxious I am, particularly since I am just starting the first Cytoxan treatment tomorrow, so she is going to take the hollow off the market for two weeks to give me a chance to heal. I think that is a good idea. My visit to Father John was very comforting. I confessed the one sin I have never been able to confess and he said that Jesus forgives all sins and now I do feel much more comfortable. I told him about all the people who have spoken to me about Jesus recently and he felt that it is my search for Jesus that has brought him into my heart. After confession, he anointed me with the sacrament for the sick, and then gave me holy communion, which also made me feel closer to Jesus and to the community of believers. I will try to go to more masses as I get better because they do influence me. After my visit I drove to my office to change my will since my financial situation has changed so significantly. I got rid of all the beneficiaries on my TIAA account since the entire 362,000 has to go to various people and now with the uncertainly of the hollow I want a good bit of that money to be available to pay off the hollow (along with my insurance). Now if something happens to me and Tracy can’t sell the hollow at all, there will be enough money to pay off the equity line and still get at least 50,000. That is fair and I don’t want her to worry about it. When I got home, I went to bed around 10:30, setting 3 different alarms, but I didn’t sleep very well, checking the phone time regularly and then drifting off for a half hour or so. Finally it was time to get up and I had a veggie burger sandwich, brushed and flossed my teeth, had a cup of Earl Grey tea, and showered and dressed for the big day. I got to the hospital around 7:30, took my 5 mg valium, and signed in about 7:45. My wait in the emergency room was only for a few minutes before I was wheelchaired up to my private room, and then it was at least an hour and a half before Lorrie (who was very nice) put the iv in which didn’t hurt too much. She told me I might have to stay until after 8, which would be much longer that the 6-8 hours I had been originally told. I rested a lot, and had a nice chat with Claire about her house (going slowly but getting there), and her Baptist background and how she got a lot of comfort out of Jesus when she was in High School and had problems with her boy friend. After she left I got my anemia shot at around 2, got more blood drawn a little later, and read some more from the Iliad and from Crime and Punishment. My schedule is to see Trivedi in two weeks for another anemia shot and then if she okays it I will get a second treatment on May 24, a month away which is fine with me. It is now 4:35 and the day is going okay. Thankfully I have nothing planned for tomorrow and on Friday Meade picks up the lawn tractor and I should be able to cut the grass soon. Chelsea Lorrie Sandra. I finally got my last IV dose around 9 and was released at around 9:45. What a day but I survived. I slept pretty well with the help of the Valium, but struggled a bit to get up and finally got out of bed around nine. I am now off CellCept and I was told that I would be tired today. That didn’t exactly happen and I hope the trend will continue. I was able to do some trimming on the road and then walk up to the orchard once (first time in four days). It helped my breathing a little and then I went back home and had trouble falling asleep, so I did my knee exercises, 25 minutes of biking, watered the greenhouse and got rid of another wasp nest, washed all the dishes, did take a nap, then put away the food supplies, straightened out all the junk on the kitchen table, finished Crime and Punishment (just an incredible novel) and started Nostromo (also on the Modern Library top 100 list). I have also resolved to stop obsessing about selling the hollow and how much I can get. It isn’t helping me and going against my three principles: first, get better; second, sell the hollow; third, move into an apartment. I talked to Sam about getting a price to get all the insulation out from under the crawlspace and that really should be done soon. I am still thinking a lot about Jesus being in my heart now and I am continuing to read a chapter of the Bible at night. Even if my treatment doesn’t work, I feel that I am in the grace of God and that is clearly more important than any earthly things. I do think I had a little more energy today. I was going to drive into town but it looked like bad weather so I will stay here and watch some basketball and some of the NFL draft. Friday was an okay day but my energy level was not too good. I slept till around 8:30 and then was able to get the trimmer out and do most of the trimmer in the yard. I went down to meet Lonnie East at the gate and he drove up to pick up the lawn tractor and I should have that back next week. He stopped and prayed for me for my recovery and said he would ask his congregation to do the same. I did my knee exercises, and 30 minutes of biking so I hope that will help in my recovery. I tried to run out the old gas in the generator but I am going to have to get a siphon. I decided to drive into town to get the antibiotics I need for Sunday and Monday (teeth cleaning day) and mail the AXA check, the AEP bill, and two other checks. I also faxed in for an AXA withdrawal for 7K so I won’t have to be doing it again for a while. I drove home while it was still light and when I was ready to watch season six of Game of Thrones found out that I had bought the Blu Ray version so it is worthless. I slept pretty well again but I really had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I read some Nostromo, some of the Illiad, some of the Gospel of Matthew (some of it makes a lot of sense to me and other parts evade me). I watered the greenhouse and sprayed under the steps so the wasps or hornets don’t nest there. I fixed a hand mirror onto a pole and that should help me see what is going on with the wasps and hornets. The biggest shock I had was that when I went to say hello to Andy and his two friends who were going to camp tonight I notice that they had blocked the ford. I assume that means that they don’t want me to use the ford so that would be a big complication. I promised myself that I wouldn’t do any more figuring on the sale of the hollow but I did. If Darbi can’t sell it for at least 150,000 by the end of the contract in October, I will be pretty ;inched. If I can get 110,000 for it as a hunting and fishing retreat, I will not have a penny left over in my 403B but I should have enough to pay off my equity and move into an apartment. Rough times. My other option if I recover is to stay in the hollow as long as I can (perhaps even two more years, until June 19) and then I should be in asomewhat better financial position.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Two days to my first Cytoxan Treatment

I stayed home on Sunday because of the rain and not surprisingly the evening went very slowly even though I read quite a bit (I’m reading the Iliad from my Great Books collection and it is nothing like the movie Troy, the Bible, a chapter a day starting with Genesis and I can’t say I am getting much out of it but my search for faith in Jesus continues, Crime and Punishment, simply an amazing novel and one that I will be very sorry to finish), watching some of the NBA playoffs and I’ve gotten back in watching Game of Thrones and I am enjoying that quite a bit. I did some stationary biking, all my knee exercises, full set of weights and yoga. I hope that will help once the Cytoxan treatment begins on Wednesday. Darbi called and has some issues with a maintenance agreement on the right of way but when I spoke to her briefly today she said tomorrow she will go to the courthouse to figure things out. I have stopped all the asthma meds so that feels pretty good. Monday was another rainy day and I rested a lot, did more reading, rode the stationary bike for over twenty minutes, did all my knee exercises, and then decided to head into town to get out of the house for a few hours. 603 was closed but cars were riding around the cones so I did but I realized that I was going to have to drive home through Seneca Hollow or take a chance on a long road back. I stopped at Ruby Tuesday for salad bar and it was nice to eat a variety of veggies. I have been eating too much pasta and even though I eat a small salad from my greenhouse, it’s just lettuce. I hope things work with David and Laura, but I guess Darbi will just put the hollow back on the market. If I can’t get a decent price I am hoping once my health returns (I will be off the prednisone in July and my Cytoxan treatments should be well along by then), if I can stay in the hollow till February, then I start getting my full pay again and that should give me a couple thousand more a month. I will just have to see. I am going to go shopping for a few things after I finish my blog and then I want to get home before dark.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

contract on the hollow signed

I think my computer is not working right again so this will be for the past few days. On Friday I was able to do a good bit of exercise, trimming a little of the trail, walking up to the orchard twice from where the orchard road steepens, doing my knee exercises, riding the stationary bike for 20 minutes, doing most of my weights and actually practicing the piano a little. I decided not to go into town since I was too tired, and that worked out very well. Saturday was an interesting day as Darbi contacted me and said she had an offer from the young couple who loved the hollow. If all goes well (and a number of things could pose some problems), I should be able to clear around 200K, which would allow me to pay off my equity line and pay off Tracy with having to take too much out of my AXA money, and that would be very good. There have been 7 buyers interested, and four were coming out this week, but Darbi thinks the contract I signed when I met her in my office this afternoon is a very reasonable one and now I won’t have to show the house unless things fall apart. Darbi thinks there is a good chance the sale will go through. Right now I am very weak and I have to rest for a couple of hours after I do anything. I hope the shot I should be getting this week to help with the anemia will help my energy some and that the IV Cytoxan treatment on Wednesday will start showing effects in two weeks or so. Time is so slow right now but I am trying to stay as positive as I can. I am still reading the Bible, and thinking about my relationship to Jesus, and wherever I can get spiritual support to get me through this worst time in my life I will try to use it as honestly and as heartfully as I can. I have heard stories of people living with lupus for 20 years but right now I would be glad for a few more years of health.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

IV treatment to start next wednesday

Another catchup. Monday was an okay day, long and slow, hoping to see Trivedi on Tuesday. I got to see her at four and she adjusted a few things with my meds and told me she is going to try to set up my first Cytoxan treatment next week, and that if it works I should start to feel better in a couple of weeks. She is also going to schedule me for an anemia shot and that should also help. The first young couple Darbi brought out really liked the property and she says they are going to put in a bid (I don’t have too high of expectations). Dougie called on Wednesday and we had a long talk about Jesus (he has had Jesus in his heart since he was a child). He was going to come out on Thursday with a builder friend and he hinted there could be some negotiation from the 180K price. He invited me to come to church with his female partner on Sunday at 10:30 but today (Thursday) Darbi texted me and said she is having people out on Saturday at 1 and Sunday at 10:30 and 1 so I told him I would try to come the following week. He is a very good man and I am thankful for his support right now. In prep for Dougie’s visit I decided to cut the grass but the lawnmower wouldn’t start so I had to push it half way to the gate so the Meade people can pick it up next Friday. Then the light went out in the bathroom and my remote needed batteries but at least the house is nice and clean and pushing that lawn tractor was a lot of work so I got my exercise in pushing it and walking back to the truck. After that I napped but Dougie called and said he couldn’t come today but that’s okay. Then I showered and headed into Olive Garden for Maddie’s birthday dinner and that was fun to see all the Gallos. Lou’s back must really be bothering him since he had to get up every few minutes. Claire seemed to be doing pretty well and I really hope Wake Forest will turn out to be a good experience for her and Maddie. Maddie’s department graduation is o the 13th and I am going to try to go. To get a good seat at the Lane Stadium event you are supposed to get there at 7:30 and the event doesn’t start until 2:30, which seems crazy. I called Sam Shoop to thank him for talking with me and I have set up an appointment with Father John at St. Mary’s to discuss confession and other things. I emailed Kerie and she emailed me back a long email and says that her congregation is including me in their prayers and I am thankful for that. I bought a large print Bible and I am reading a little in that each night. Time is very slow but the 5 mg valium has really helped me sleep and that is crucial.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

anoter catchup

Thursday had its ups and downs. I took my hike up to the orchard twice and felt almost normal on the way back down. Ground ivy, chickweed, the cherries and apples flowering, trilliums and bluebells and the wild geranium along with spring beauties. I talked to Claire Hall and she was very supportive. I also talked to Kelly and she was also very supportive. I also talked to Jenny and she was very tender and supportive. Then Gyorgyi called to invite me to lunch we met at Mellow Mushroom and had a good chat. After that I went to get my blood drawn but my veins were too hard from the hospital stay and Valarie couldn’t draw any blood despite trying 4 different times so I have to come back tomorrow, not at all what I planned. I took a brief nap in the truck in the front seat and then I rested again when I got the Radford to post my blog. I saw Tim Poland and chatted with him and then saw Don Secreast and his wife and chatted with them. I am down and if this keeps up I may ask Rob to give me something to help my mood particularly in the evening. Time seems so slow but the good thing is I am five days out of the hospital and I am so hopeful that I can get on the new treatment soon and that it will help. Friday turned out to be an interesting day. I didn’t need to use my nebulizer on Thursday night. However I did get the prednisone obsessiveness going so I didn’t sleep that well. In the morning I called Rob’s office to see him about how panicky I am getting (about the treatment, selling the house for a reasonable price, moving, returning to teaching) and I felt good that I would get to see him. I took my double hike to the orchard, and did my knee exercises and then headed in for my 1:30 appointment. Rob was very supportive, telling me it was the prednisone that was making me so jittery and he prescribed me valium to take twice a day if I need it (5 mg per dose). He also was very positive about my recovery and thought that I should be feeling much better in a month. I then went in to Valarie to get my bloodwork (and fortunately unlike Thursday’s visit where she couldn’t draw any blood despite sticking me 4 times, she was able to draw on the first try, partly because I was really hydrated today). I drove home, patched the two holes in the orchard shed, went back and did a little more work around the house and watering the greenhouse. I drove in to town around 7 and then decided to drive out to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, just really to take a look and perhaps gain some comfort from the visit but as I got there the parking lot was crowded and “The Veneration of the Cross” was just starting and I went in and was very moved by the ceremony. I felt real comfort having all the believers around me and the singing was also very comforting. I think I will try getting more involved as Sam Shoop and Kerie have suggested. Nature has always been so important to me but right now I think having more spirituality in my life would be a good thing. I hope I am not being a hypocrite but it is the hardest time of my life and I will try to be as honest as I can be with what I am doing. Then I went to dinner at Panera, writing Lou a response to his kind email and then I headed to Walmart for a few supplies. I then drove home, watched some TV and then the big test. I took the valium at 11:45 and went to bed at 12:15 and did without the nebulizer and as the valium kicked in I felt much more relaxed and the next thing I knew it was after 9 and I had slept through the night. Wonderful. On Saturday I did my two and a quarter hike to the orchard and trimming perhaps 6 feet of the road. I struggled with each step up but on the way down it was much easier. I got back and napped some then did some more straightening around the house, ate my first full salad from my greenhouse, then shaved and showered, and headed into town around 7:30. I stopped at Panera but after changing my reservation for my September trip (I am giving up Yellowstone and Banff and going straight to visit Dave and then spend 4 days in places like Zion and Bryce and maybe Arches). I really hope I will be healthy enough to make the trip, especially since I would really like to see Dave. I am glad I cut out the earlier part of the trip (I already cut out my two other trips to New York and to Bar Harbor) since I am worried about what I will get for the hollow (It is now listed on MLS and Zillow at 249K) but I don’t really expect to get that much. If I can pay Tracy off, pay off the equity line and still have perhaps 10K left in my AXA account after the sale, I can live with that. I may mean that I have to teach an extra semester but that should be doable. The last time I talked to Dave (and Rob agreed) he suggested renting and I talked to someone at Hethwood and the total cost of a one bedroom with a den (along with electricity, cable and internet) would be about 1200 whereas if I purchased a 250K house in Lion’s Gate, for instance, the cost would be around 1800 (1450 mortgage and taxes plus perhaps 200 for the homeowners, plus 150 for electricity, cable and internet) so even with the 2000 I would get back on the interest payments, it would sill cost me probably 400 more a month and that may be very needed money. I went over to O’Charley’s for dinner and though the internet wasn’t working I sent Lou an very friendly email on my phone and wrote extensively on my blog. Easter Sunday was an okay day, with the highlight being my attendance at the 12:00 mass at St. Mary’s. It was pretty crowded and they did a couple of baptisms during it. I was moved by the ceremony and I tried to focus on Jesus and what Catholic faith means. Sam Schoop says I have to search for such belief and I really am trying. If this faith can help me through this horrible time, then I hope I can continue to follow it. My parents were devout Catholics and I think they received much from their faith. I slept okay after taking a 5 mg valium but I did cough some through the night, though I didn’t have to use any albuterol. I did my knee exercises and my weights (just three sets) and then showered and dressed for church. After church I drove over to Copper Croft and I liked it. It’s near a bus stop and the Food Lion is about a mile away. I drove down to the bike trail and finally got my bike off after almost two months of not using it. I just drove for about twenty minutes and I was a little wobbly but it felt good to be able to bike even for that short time. I drove along Stroubles Creek and saw how the restoration was going. After that I drove home and was exhausted but couldn’t get to sleep so I took 2.5 mg of valium and in a few minutes I was able to get a decent nap. When I awoke I did a laundry, listened to more of the papal mass, and did a number of things around the house. I do feel better the cleaner I am getting it and I hope Darbi will be bringing someone out soon to look at it. I got a nice text with pictures of Kelly and Lucia and that made me feel better. I also texted with Cathy and I am going to have lunch with them on Thursday and then I will go out with them on Saturday to celebrate Maddie’s birthday. I haven’t heard back from the very friendly email I sent Lou yesterday and I hope he will respond at some point. I can’t wait to see Trivedi on Tuesday. I just talked to Gloria to wish her a happy easter and she was very kind and agreed that it was the prednisone that is making me so anxious, and mentioned how crazy Bryana got when she was on it. I

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In the hospital for 4 days and now out for 5

I may have lost my recent entries so I will start again. On Wednesday, Rob and Trivedi agreed that I should start the cytoxin as soon as possible so I closed down the house, watered the green house real well and then packed my bag for the hospital. They couldn’t get me a direct room so I had to go through the emergency room and ended up waiting there for almost 5 hours before they could get me into an er examining room. The bed was tiny but finally they were able to transfer me to another er room with at least a TV. Finally after 26 hours in the er, I was able to get to a regular shared room on one of the units. They drew blood four times and gave me lots of medications through the intravenous because they were worried about pneumonia. They said that I couldn’t start the new treatment for two weeks after getting better. They did think I might get out on Saturday. The rest of Wednesday was okay except that when I went to bed at around midnight, totally exhausted, a nurse came in at 2 waking me up to draw blood (I later learned that that can be done up to 7 am). I did get back to sleep but that disruption was unnecessary. The four walks I took during the day helped. On Thursday they did an echocardiogram and that was fine as was my earlier ekg and my chest x-ray. They took lots of blood and I did some walks and watched the first round of the masters and details from the tomahawk missle attack on Syria, which I agree with after Hassad’s chemical attack killing women and children. Friday was boring and I got the news that I might have an infection in my blood and that I was going to have to stay at least till Monday, very disappointing news. I was pretty down but fortunately Claire came to visit and I had a good and very emotional chat with her. She thinks selling the hollow is the right thing, as I really do. I told her I was feeling very trapped and cried a little here and there. I want to sell the hollow first and then I will decide on whether to buy a small new house or rent. I also spoke about having to cut back on my travels and that I really need to teach till December 18. We talked about her and Luke working on their new house and she shared a couple of stories about her manipulative mother-in-law. It really helped to be able to talk so freely with her. She said she would try to visit on Sunday. Maddie enjoyed Wake Forest and Cathy is going to visit tomorrow I hope. I also watched the second round of the masters and did several walks. I worked on my blog some and then around 10 tried to read some Crime and Punishment out in the empty visiitors’ room but my eyes quickly tired and I went back to my room to watch TV. Matt, who has been a wonderful person to me, chatting about my condition, telling me I am going to get well, joking with me, got me my last meds, and I then turned off the TV and started to go to bed. However, my roommate’s beeper started double beeping every ten minutes or so and kept waking me up. After about 6 or 7 times I pressed the call button for Matt and he came and said the noise was from my roommate’s mask not being on right and he fixed it. I was upset that I hadn’t been able to get to sleep and just as I was drifting off again, a nurse came in to take my vital signs after I thought they were going to finally leave me alone to get some so needed sleep. I panicked and said that they had to let me alone, that I was totally upset, that I didn’t think I was going to make it, that I had to sleep to heal. I was crying and coughing and Matt tried to comfort me and then said he would try to get me something to calm me down and he did, a 2.5 mg valium. I took it and begged him to let me sleep till at least 3, 4 being better and he said he was do his best to make sure that I got at least 3 hours of sleep. Obviously he did because no one bothered me till 4 and I awoke feeling much better. I got blood drawn about 5 and the woman who did it said to me, when I said that I finally got to sleep some, that you don’t sleep in hospitals. Later I went over my whole hospital stay with Matt and he admitted I had done nothing wrong, that I had been polite (except with Alex on Wednesday when I got nervous about not being able to use my lidocaine (which came from my last hospital stay here)during my first blood draw) and cooperative. He said he would have some one come talk to me about the situation and said he would do his best to make sure I could get some sleep tonight and tomorrow night. I do feel okay now after talking with him and writing up my blog so I have a solid record of what went on. I talked to Dr. Pant in the morning and I got a little excited with him as I told my story but he agreed to put me on a more regular blood pressure schedule and to try to make sure no one bothered me from midnight till at least four. I talked to the little woman doctor and she was friendly and I told her most of my story and she seemed sympathetic. The good news is that I may get out tomorrow and that would be a blessing. I took several walks and during my last one I felt stronger and my breathing was better. In fact, I have only had one nebulizer today (although I hope to get a second before I go to bed). I had a nice chat with Matt about the hollow and he fly fishes the new in a kayak. Sharon I had a nice visit with Cathy and Claire and Maddie and Maddie had a good time at Wake and they think they found a good apartment for the girls. The rest of Saturday went okay with some walks and hoping for me to get out tomorrow. Matt set it up that no one would bother me after midnight and that allowed me to sleep pretty well. I was worried that I would have to have blood drawn before I fell asleep but no one came and I didn’t say anything. In the morning I was anxious about getting home and getting blood drawn and when I finally asked they said I would have to have it drawn before they could release me so I took half a valium and 25 minutes later I had my last blood draw and then the Dr. Pant came and told me I could be released and went over what was going to happen with my meds and treatment. Claire had come to visit around 11:15 and we had a nice chat and she showed me pictures of the work they were doing on the new house. I started packing my stuff and about 1:30 they took me in the wheelchair to my trip and I was out of the hospital. I cried for a few seconds then started driving toward Radford, slowly, feeling rather tentative but glad to be out of the hospital. I passed RU and then drove on to look at one of the houses on Darbi’s list and it was perfectly okay with a garage in the back but very close to the other houses. I then drove over to Walmart to get my meds and some supplies and then I headed home very slowly. When I got to the gate I was choked up, glad to be there but again with this very temporary feel to it as if it might not last long. I stopped at a patch of bluebells near my gate and took several photos and sent one to Kate, then drove to the house. I unloaded a few things, watched some of the Masters, put things away feeling good about my energy level and my breathing. I went out and watered the greenhouse, which did fine while I was away, then went out on the porch with a cup of tea and noticed how swollen my ankle was so I put a compression sock on and sat for at least twenty minutes before headed down to the pasture to send out some texts with the bluebell picture and keeping my legs up in the air and then watching the moon rise before I headed back up to the house. I did a little more straightening out and then shaved and showered. I got very cold for some reason and the house temp is close to 80 but I want to be warm. I have prayed many times today to get healthy and I hope nature and whatever other higher powers are out there will keep me on the road to recovery. Monday was a hard day. I had a slow morning with almost no energy and I was feeling negative and with very little hope of recovery. Trapped is the best word. But later I got some energy and did my knee exercises, rode the stationary bike for 15 minutes, and did one set of weights. I straightened up the house some more and that feels better. Earlier I drove down to the pasture to check out the pellet gun and it was working fine. I took a short nap and then headed into town to get rid of the garbage I had left in my truck while I was in the hospital, and then headed to the Gallos. I showed them how to use the pellet gun and Lou practiced a little and hit a soda can with it. Then we waited and the groundhog did show up and eventually I got three shots at it and the third time it didn’t come back out of its hole so I may have hit it the last time. Lou and I had a very good talk and then Cathy joined and I became very emotional, and I told them my fears that I am not going to make it, but they were both very positive and on leaving Lou and I hugged while I cried and I hugged Cathy and cried and thanked them for their friendship. I drove home slowly, stopping at McDonalds for a southwest salad and then home where I did a little more straightening out and watching TV. Tuesday was an easier day. I was able to do three sets of weights, trim the road to the orchard a little, then I walked up to the orchard and that felt good. My breathing felt better and I coughed just a few times. I also did my knee exercises and did more work around the house. I talked to Darbi and she agreed to come out tomorrow so I could sign the realtor contract with her. She needed the survey and the easement so I decided to drive to my office to get them. After picking up all the Reese Hollow stuff I headed to Panera for soup and salad and then to Walmart for supplies. Getting home late was helpful as I had less time to stay awake and brood. Wednesday was also a little better. Sam came out to do the pest control and we had a long talk about Jesus. I mentioned my roommate in the hospital and how I spoke with him about Jesus and also about my helping Kerie out and how she is praying for me. Sam said he was praying for me also and he said I should search to find Jesus. I told him about my shamanic studies and my vision quests and how I had never had a real spiritual enlightenment (no visions or power animals) but that my faith had always been in nature. He was very kind (he is a pastor of a Pentecostal Church) and I gave him a signed copy of my Neversink book. Maddie emailed me to see how I was doing and I told her that I was doing better and that each step on my hike was on the path to recovery (I hope). Darbi came out and I gave her a lot of stuff and she will start listing the hollow later this week at 249K to start. She stayed for over 2 hours and I was totally exhausted when she finally left. She took pictures inside and out and thought the hollow was a lovely place and that she thought she could sell it reasonably quickly. I emailed Craig to update him on my health and that I am selling the hollow because it is too hard to live out here. He was friendly and wished my well. I got a call from Jenny and tried to call her back but didn’t get her and I left a message with Kelly to call me back. I am pretty lonely and down right now but I have to push on and hope my health gets better. Thursday had its ups and downs. I took my hike up to the orchard twice and felt almost normal on the way back down. Ground ivy, chickweed, the cherries and apples flowering, trilliums and bluebells and the wild geranium along with spring beauties. I talked to Claire Hall and she was very supportive. I also talked to Kelly and she was also very supportive. I also talked to Jenny and she was very tender and supportive. Then Gyorgyi called to invite me to lunch we met at Mellow Mushroom and had a good chat. After that I went to get my blood drawn but my veins were too hard from the hospital stay and Valarie couldn’t draw any blood despite trying 4 different times so I have to come back tomorrow, not at all what I planned. I took a brief nap in the truck in the front seat and then I rested again when I got the Radford to post my blog. I saw Tim Poland and chatted with him and then saw Don Secreast and his wife and chatted with them. I am down and if this keeps up I may ask Rob to give me something to help my mood particularly in the evening. Time seems so slow but the good thing is I am five days out of the hospital and I am so hopeful that I can get on the new treatment soon and that it will help.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

things are not getting better

This is a catchup to Monday the 27th, a week later than my last blog. I saw Rob today and he thought that I didn’t have pneumonia but that the flu could hang around for weeks. I have now had it just over two weeks and I am getting pretty depressed. I think my asthma has returned and Rob agreed so he is prescribed two new inhalers to try to get the asthma under control. I will see him again on Friday and he is hoping to see some improvement by then. He also okayed me to do some light exercise and to try to clear my lungs as much as possible. I did my knee exercises for the first time since I saw the ER doctor on Thursday and I am going to try to do some light biking later. I was angry with Rob on the phone but I apologized when I saw him. He said the prednisone does that but if I don’t get better soon he may put me back on 60 mg of prednisone to control the asthma. I am very tired, still coughing but I am getting some sleep after I take some cough suppressant and do the nebulizer. This is not the toughest time of my life (cancer and chemo was) but it is getting harder and harder. I talked to Rosemary and she was supportive. She said I signed up for summer school but I know I didn’t but what is the point of arguing. My kayak friend got the bear today and loved it. This is Thursday the 30th and the day has started out okay. My breathing is not the best but I have only laken two puffs of the Albuterol in the early morning. After a cup of coffee I forced myself to take a hike to my first resting place just past the big white pine. I made it down in one shot but coming back was rough with at least eight to ten stops and some coughing up stuff. My lungs did feel clearer after the hike. I saw rue anemone, star chickweed, ground ivy, cl toothwort, and blood root. I did the same hike yesterday and also my knee exercises, and twenty minutes of biking. Yesterday I went into town for supplies and a fast food dinner of baked potato and a cod sandwich. Today I am going to stay at home since my meds won’t be ready till tomorrow and I have to go in to see Rob at 2. If I can just get the asthma under control and a little more time from the Influenza A I think I will start to really recover. This is Sunday, the second, and my treatment will be changing this week. Rob and Trivedi agreed that the CellCept is not working and they will be switching me to another more traditional drug next week and I will also be getting some meds to help with my energy problems, which have gotten more and more severe (yesterday it took me two hours just to get off the couch). Rob somewhat reluctantly agreed yesterday that I could go back on 60 mg of prednisone and while it didn’t seem to do much last night, after I took 40 mg this morning (I had been taking 20) my energy level seemed better and I did my knee exercises and a lot of things around the house. I am even hoping to take a walk later. I certainly cannot continue to live at this energy level. That would be like living as an invalid. My kayak friend suggested I move into town for a while but the amount of time and energy, plus not knowing how long it would be, plus the expense, just doesn’t make sense right now. After I get a new treatment plan and the first dose of the new meds for energy will be the right time to think about other options. The redbuds are starting up so my ride to Kroger to get supplies was nice. This morning I am looking at the redbuds starting up by the solar panels. If I can just get my energy up to a reasonable level (60 percent from its present 20 percent) I could work through the asthma. One problem that certainly will not affect me till January is teaching again. Right now there is no way I could teach but after doing a lot of figuring, I need to teach until December 2018, my original plan. I will just have to see how things go and if I start teaching in the Spring of 18 and I can’t do it, I will have to go on sick leave again. It is Monday the third and I had an okay day. I did most of my knee exercises, then napped then took a walk down to the first stump. Bluebells are flowering and the trilliums have started. I head titmice and a Louisiana water thrush. I drove in to Rob’s office for my urine sample then picked up some supplies, then had a healthy drive through dinner at Panera. I had Claire Hall come by and I gave her the rest of my gift for her new house. Gabes texted and I should talk to him tomorrow. I talked to Danny Sisson and he seemed unlikely to buy the hollow at the 230K price I gave him, even though he didn’t completely rule it out. I told him I would get back to him in 6 months. I talked to Darbi and she is going to see if there is any interest in the hollow. My energy level was not as good as yesterday so I think the prednisone is losing a bit of its kick.