Monday, April 19, 2021

Life is a symphony, or not

I'm not very good at multi-tasking, and since I'm involved with several things at once just now and trying to cope with them all simultaneously, my brain tends to get frazzled and wants to fight back by shutting down altogether. "Stop the world, I want to get off!" it cries, and not much gets accomplished when that happens.

I like to read one book at a time, so naturally I am reading two at present. Over a year ago when Mrs. RWP and I were visiting our daughter's family in Alabama, I noticed Sam's copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and asked if I could borrow it if he was through with it. He was, and I did. I read it when it was first published nearly sixty years ago and I thought it would be interesting to re-visit it now that I am past eighty. I laid it aside in a drawer when we returned home and didn't find it again until last week. The other book I have begun, which was sent to me over a year ago as well by my blogger friend Snowbrush out in Oregon, is The Long Loneliness, the autobiography, as the cover states, of "the legendary Catholic Social Activist" Dorothy Day, who was born in 1897 and died in 1980.

Since Mockingbird is fiction and Loneliness is non-fiction, I am hoping to navigate them more or less simultaneously, although literally simultaneously would be something of an impossibility.

My daughter, who began chemotheraphy for breast cancer two weeks ago today, lost much of her hair yesterday. Fortunately, the wig she had ordered arrived in Friday's mail. We had made the 3-1/2 hour drive over on Thursday to keep her company while her husband was teaching a class in Mississippi and we returned to north Georgia on Saturday afternoon. We had a good visit although she has already begun to experience some side effects from the chemo. Her next treatment is a week from today and will continue every three weeks until July, at which time the oncologist will assess the situation. That is on our mind at all times.

I am scheduled to receive injections in both eyes on Wednesday (intra-vitreous injections, they're called) for the macular degeneration that was first diagnosed in 2017. These injections typically occur every four to six weeks. Our son, who has been transporting us to these treatments, is without a vehicle at the moment. A deer ran out of the woods and collided with his car recently and the repair shop had to order replacement parts from Japan to repair some of the damage said deer caused. If his car is not ready today or tomorrow, I will need to make other arrangements. I can drive myself when only one eye is being treated but not when both eyes are being treated. Mrs. RWP doesn't drive any more. A neighbor who had been very helpful and more than willing to assist underwent surgery for anal cancer recently and is now wearing a colostomy bag, so though her spirit is willing, her flesh is weak. I am hoping to hear from my son soon so that I can ask the doctor's office to treat one eye only this week and make a follow--up appointment for the other eye for next week. This novel way of solving my dilemma also means that I will be required to pay two co-payments to the doctor instead of one.

Our little dog has decided to go on a hunger strike of sorts and is eating far less than usual. We have tried giving her dry kibble, kibble with goat's milk, and kibble with pumpkin puree, but it is anyone's guess from one day to the next whether she will eat her food. She was a little on the pudgy side anyway, so losing two pounds of her fifteen in the past month may not be a bad thing, but one tends to worry about one's furry pets.

I don't want to sound like a whiner, a complainer, a lily-livered low-life of a specimen of humanity who doesn't realize that lots of other people have far worse things to deal with, but neither am I ready to sing tra-la-la with Pollyanna and accept whatever comes my way as being the best of all possible worlds. (I have no idea whether Pollyanna sang tra-la-la, but it sounds good, doesn't it?)

Another Dorothy, Dorothy Parker. wrote the following:

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

In case you are wondering why I would include those particular lines in this post, you can find out by reading this.

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like a rough time for you all.
    I'm sorry that your daughter is having to go thru treatments. I hope she won't have too many side effects from the chemo. But I know it did her good to have you there for support. Maybe if there is something(a trip?a cruise?) that she can look forward to after she finishes treatment; it will make it a little easier to get thru the next few months.
    Glad your son wasn't hurt in the collision with the deer, and I hope he will be able to get his car fixed quickly.
    Hope your eye injections go well, and you are able to work out the transportation.
    Would your pup eat some canned dog food instead of kibble? Maybe her mouth is sore or something.
    Praying for you and your family.


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  2. Thank you, Kathy. One of Mrs. RWP’s ways of coping and putting everything into proper perspective is saying, “This too shall pass.”

    She is right, of course. I just handle things better when they don’t all come at us at the same time.

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  3. Firstly, I continue to hope that all goes well for your daughter. I will, of course, say the same for you. I fully understand the misery of macular degeneration.

    On the separate subject I have been called a Pollyanna on many occasions as a derogatory term. However my philosophy follows the Pollyanna's philosophy of life centring on what she called "The Glad Game," an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be. I don't think Pollyanna did accept whatever comes her way as being the best of all possible worlds. I seem to recall that that was Voltaire in Candide. He may have filched it from Leibniz though.

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  4. Graham, thank you for your kind thoughts toward the Brag family.

    I am aware of the Voltaire/Candide connection and didn’t mean to imply that it was Pollyanna-ish. I certainly could have been clearer, but in my defense please note that I said “AND accept”, not “WHO accepted”.

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    1. I can't even spell my own name (Brague) correctly when using a smartphone. Eternal vigilance is the price of owning one.

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    2. I saw 'Brague' not 'Brag' because I expected to see 'Brague'. The mind is a funny place. I fully accept there is a difference between 'and' and 'who'. However I think the nuance is still there for the man on the back of the Clapham Omnibus (a reference which I think I am correct in saying you have used in the past). I do enjoy your precise use of words.

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  5. I understand the multi-tasking problem. I used to do it all the time but since I've gotten older I find it's a real problem. You have a lot hitting you at once with your daughter's chemotherapy, your eye appointment and concern for transportation and now you have worries about your little dog too. That is too much to deal with at once! When things get over-whelming I sometimes find the "Let Go, Let God" thought helps. I hope you and Mrs. RWP are able to take a little time each day to just relax and be kind to yourselves. You deserve it. I know it is not easy having a loved one with cancer.

    I had a small dog one time that stopped eating and it turned out he had tonsillitis and he had to have his tonsils out! I hope your dog gets his appetite back soon. I know that can be worrying.

    Please know your daughter and your family have my continued prayers. I hope she doesn't have too many bad effects from the chemo.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie.. Your comments always make a great deal of sense and show that you read the whole post.

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  6. Still holding you and yours in my heart.

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    1. Sue, still very much appreciative. So much so that ‘thank you’ hardly seems adequate.

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  7. More of my best wishes to your daughter. We'll hope for good news from her doctor.

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  8. Emma, thank you! A good report is what all of us are hoping for. It’s going to take some time, however, and I wish the process could be speeded up.

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  9. I do hope all goes well for you, and especially your daughter and your neighbour.
    I'm a multi-Tasker.

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    1. David, thank you. I am under no illusion that my own situation is anywhere near as serious as my daughter’s or my neighbor’s.

      Re your last sentence, very clever. So how many alternate personalities do you have exactly?

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  10. These things often all seem to come at once, I feel for your daughter and the family too, I've had to get wigs after chemo too and it's both surreal and trying, but you get on with it because you have to. And your eyes! Spatz's mum has those injections for the same reason every three weeks and has done for almost a year now and they have halted the oncoming loss of sight that was inevitable without some intervention, so take heart, it's not the best, but numb eyeballs is quite an interesting feeling, I've had them, I could feel them swivelling round in my head. I bet that's cheered you up no end, hahahaha. It should help is where I was going with that.

    Your poor weepup, if only they could talk, I mean we'd get annoyed about all the biscuit and cat questions but they could at least tell us where it hurts or what they're feeling when ill. Rosie has Pacreatitis and it took ages to get the diagnosis, I hope you find a solution soon.

    Much love to you, Mrs Rhymes, the clan and the pup. X

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    1. M/ST/RE, how fascinating that when the initials of your name and blog monikers are juxtaposed they can be pronounced‘mystery’ or ‘mastery’....be that as it may, thank you for your comments. Our daughter has amazed us with the positive attitude she displays and the strength she exhibits to one and all walking on this journey so far. My eye injections are now at six-week intervals and the fourth medicine seems to be working best to stabilize my eyes. First the doctor tried Avastin, then Lucentis, then Eylea, and now Beovu. I am grateful that my loss of vision is no worse than it is. As for our dog, my son suggested we buy new food and keep it in the bag it came in rather than transferring it to a sealed plastic container. We are hoping this will make her appetite return.. I will try to remember to keep you posted here on the blog. Than you again for your concern.

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  11. Sometimes there are just too many things to be managed. I don't like those times at all, it's one of the reasons I choose to live life in the low lane.
    This will pass.
    One foot at a time!

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    1. kylie, one foot at a time can feel interminably (is that even a word?) slow. It seems to take forever. But you are right. It will pass eventually. At least we bloggers can talk to each other in the meantime!

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  12. Very best of healing vibes to you and your family, RWP, as you juggle with various overlapping trials of life. Like London buses, they do tend to come in convoy...

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  13. Penny, thank you for your very kind wishes, and kudos to you for associating my various overlapping trials with another commenter’s mention of the proverbial and not-so-proverbial Clapham Omnibus. See also my next post for more on that subject.

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  14. Penny, thank you for your very kind wishes, and kudos to you for associating my various overlapping trials with another commenter’s mention of the proverbial and not-so-proverbial Clapham Omnibus. See also my next post for more on that subject.

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<b>In which the author attempts to write a villanelle </b>

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