Wednesday, September 8, 2021

An eventful week (part 1)

It has been an eventful week, and I'm not referring to Afghanistan. I'm talking closer to home.

On Monday our son-in-law spent the night at our house because he was going to be teaching a class in Milton, Georgia, on Tuesday. He brought a beautiful bouquet of roses and mums to Mrs. RWP, as well as the makings for the dinner he wanted to cook for us. It included venison, sweet potatoes, rice pilaf, and cherry cheesecake. Needless to say, he is one in a million.

Yesterday (Tuesday) our daughter received her eighth chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. There will be 18 treatments in all, and since they occur three weeks apart, they will last until next April. Since her husband was here in Georgia teaching a class, an old college roommate of hers drove her to Birmingham for the chemo session. Our son-in-law returned to Alabama Tuesday evening after teaching his class.

Today (Wednesday) our daughter is undergoing surgery as I am writing this sentence. She chose a "lumpectomy" rather than


It is now several hours later. I was interrupted by a knock at the door. It was our oldest grandson, the one who is getting married in 39 days, who had arrived to drive Mrs. RWP and me to another of the week's events, an appointment with the retina specialist to get intra-vitreous injections in both of my eyes. I began getting these injections four years ago. The procedure remains the same, but the contents of the syringe have changed several times. First the doctor tried Avastin, then changed to Lucentis, then changed it again to Eyelea, and finally (I hope it is finally) changed it again to my current medication, Beovu, which seems to have produced the best results in stabilizing my macular degeneration. Blindness is usually the result if macular degerstion cannot be stabilized. So off we went to the doctor's office. We stopped at Zaxby's afterwards for lunch, and now we are back at home again.

The reason Mrs. RWP and I were not able to be with our daughter and son-in-law today was my eye treatment. We will be making the four-hour drive over to their part of Alabama tomorrow morning (Thursday, another eventful day).

So as I was saying before our grandson knocked on the door, our daughter chose to have a "lumpectomy" rather than either a single or double mastectomy because it was the least-invasive of the three procedures and had the shortest recovery time. The surgeon left the decision entirely up to her, telling her that her decision would not affect her prognosis, which was excellent, at all. When she decided on the lumpectomy he told her he was glad she chose that option because he was not generally a fan of amputation of body parts. It would have been nice if he had shared that with her beforehand but he did not want to sway her in any way. I wonder what he would have said if she had chosen one of the other options.

Our son-in-law sent us this text in mid-morning: "Angela is out of surgery and heading towards recovery. They got all the tissue they needed and the lymph nodes that they removed (3) were negative. They will have a final pathology report in a couple of weeks, but are not expecting any cancer based on the test today."

At 12:30 he texted, "We are on the way home!"

The next step is that radiation starts in about four weeks.

When they turned into their driveway, they found this from the school system that employs Angela as a primary school principal:


  1. I wish your daughter well and hope for a full recovery for her. My daughter has had only two chemo treatments so far. Surgery is still a ways away.

  2. I wish her well and hope for a full recovery for her. My daughter will have her third chemo treatment this week. Her surgery is a ways away.

  3. Just before I opened your page I thought of your daughter and wondered if you might soon update us. How's that for synchronicity?

    The results of the pathology are wonderful, cause for celebration! And how lovely to know the school community are behind her.

    You must have done a few things right in your life to have people supporting you from all over.

    1. kylie, a great many are celebrating today and so many prayers have been answered. Everyone seems drawn to Angela. She is a remarkable person. Her oncologist calls her his “rock star”. And I’m not biased at all!

  4. It's good to hear about your daughter and especially good to hear the surgery went well. How nice it is for her to get such support from the people at the school where she works!

    It must be difficult for you to have to get those injections on a regular basis but thank goodness they are helping you. I've known several people with macular degeneration but they did not all have to get the injections. I guess there must be different types of it? I hope yours continues to stabilize.

    1. Bonnie, as I said to kylie, I’m ot biased (yeah, right) but I think the school system knows it has a special treasure in Angela.

      The injections are difficult to contemplate but the reality isn’t all that bad because they give you several “numbing drops” beforehand. Still, I am usually uncomfortable for the rest of the day each time I get the injections. By the time the next morning everything is fine again. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Dry doesn’t require the injections. I had one eye of each type for three years but since last year both eyes are now the wet type.

  5. Leaving aside for the moment your macular degeneration it really is good to read an uplifting post and the whole tenor of your post was optimistic.

    As I've mentioned before my Dad had macular degeneration but no treatment (he was in his 90s) and I really hope that the latest treatment give you relief and stops the degeneration.

  6. Graham, I tend to be naturally pessimistic, and it is surprisingly pleasant to have a spell of optimism. Long may it wave!

    AMD (the A is for age-related) is not pleasant at all. It is considered incurable so there is no relief really. I think by “stabilizing” they mean “slow down its progression as much as we can”. I am thankful for the treatment that is now available but I can’t say that I look forward to it with eagerness. The alternative is definitely worse.

    1. So not as good as it might be hoped. I'm sorry to hear that.

  7. I am so pleased that Angela's prognosis is excellent but it is as if she is running an arduous steeplechase to get to the finishing line. Every member of your family sounds lovely and decent. You and Ellie are truly blessed.

  8. Neil, wow! You have left two very nice comments in a row (in the American sense, not in the British sense, so that’s a good thing)! Having become a grandfather has had a salutary effect on your interaction with others. Please convey our thanks to Phoebe.

    Re our being truly blessed, yes we are.


<b>This one's for kylie</b>

Below is one example of the many Type 2 hymns "swirling in the nether parts of my brain" (as Neil Theasby aka Yorkshire Pudding sa...