Sunday, February 23, 2020

Dear Kids,
         Did I say spring was coming?  It was minus 6 Thursday morning.  Zero the next morning..  But we have hope.  I like to picture myself out in the yard, raking dirt and planting grass, and finishing my re-do of the sprinkling system.  And now that I’m well into my gentle chemo treatments, I have hope.  This is my infusion week, and I’ll wear the pump from Tuesday to Thursday, and my bad day will be Friday, but I don’t dread it any more.  I know I can get through it, and have a few good days after that.  Some people have asked me how we can tell if the chemo is doing any good.  I’ll be having CT scans every three months during the treatment, and they’ll show whether my tumors are growing, standing still, or shrinking.  I had a scan the end of January, so I’ll have the next one at the end of April.  I’ll let you know what we find out.
         Paul and Stefanie’s baby is due March 7, but if she comes as early as Josh did, it could be any day.  Maybe she’ll be a leap-baby!  (Macie missed it by just one day, 12 years ago.)  I just pray that she’ll be born safe and well.  We’re really lucky that nearly all our grandchildren have arrived with so few problems.  By the way, Stefanie’s nephew Oliver (on the other side) is doing well.  He’s home from the hospital now, weighing seven pounds, I think.  He weighed 1 lb 6 oz at birth.  Stefanie’s mom carries around one of the first diapers they put on him, and it looks to be about three inches long.  Too small for most dolls.  I still pray for Oliver every day, and I’m grateful that his life has been spared. 
         Dad and I are still working on cabin projects. We needed 16 new bolts so we could finish putting the bunkbeds back together, but Home Depot doesn’t carry them any more.  I bought my first bunkbed bolts 43 years ago, and my second set 17 years ago, with no problems.  The nice Home Depot lady recommended Fastenal, and we went to one of their shops, but they didn’t have them in stock.  We had to come home and order them online.  When they come, we can forge ahead.
         Meanwhile, most of you kids seem fine with partying at the cabin, no matter what.  I’m glad you’re all having fun there.Oh, by the way, we finally settled with the cabin restoration company, and we’re even getting a $1,000 refund, because we paid some of the plumbing bills ourselves.  Lots of people have asked how much it cost to rebuild the cabin.  The final amount was just under $80,000.
         We found out it was Bentley who fixed Dad’s Rubiks cube.  Last Sunday night we watched him mess it up and put it back together one more time.  His fingers were flying and the cube seemed to reassemble itself by magic. Go, Bentley!
         Life is good.  I love you all!  Mom

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Dear Kids,
         I did another round of chemo this week, and it went even better than last time.  Even on my “bad” day I was able to play the piano for a few minutes, read a little bit, and even sew some buttonholes on a pajama top I was making. I’ve got this!  I know it’s because of your prayers for me, and the prayers of your kids, and so many other good people.  I might not live a really long life, but I’m confident now I’ll have more time.
         Yesterday Dad and I went back to the cabin to work on putting the bunk beds back together.  We had to find the pieces that really fit together, instead of the random arrangement the restoration people used.  Since this was my chemo week I didn’t have much energy, but I was able to help hold up pieces for Dad to slip in the bolts.  We have to buy a lot of new bolts because the restoration people stripped so many of the old ones with their power drivers.  The project is coming along, but it’s slow.  By the way, did anybody leave a game at the cabin called “Klask?”  It has some kind of magnetic table, I think.  It’s too large to keep on the game shelves, so if nobody claims it, I’ll send it to the DI.
         How does a cat with no claws dig holes in a roll of toilet paper?  Sonia does it, but I can’t figure out how.  She especially likes brand new rolls, installed and ready for use.  Maybe I’ll try spraying each new roll with febreze.  It saved our Christmas tree from her!
         Dad gave me a rubik’s cube for Christmas, but I gave it back to him, because I wasn’t willing to go through that long learning curve.  I did it back in 1982, when I was expecting Donna,  those last few weeks before she was born.  I sat for hours reading the directions and figuring it out.  When I had it, I could do it in a couple of minutes, and the neighborhood kids brought me their rubik’s cubes to put back together.  (Which I always could, unless they had cheated by moving the stickers.)  Anyway, Dad’s been struggling with it.  He downloaded directions, and printed them, but with his black and white printer, which did him no good.  His cube was sitting out on his desk Sunday night, and later on, after our visitors had gone, he saw that it had been put back together.  Obviously that was one of our brilliant grandchildren!  Thanks to whichever of your kids did it!
         Life is good!  Spring is coming!  Love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dear Kids,
         Dad and I have had a fun weekend.  Friday night Vanessa and her kids stayed over, before their ski day yesterday at Deer Valley.  I marveled when they carried in all their gear, each of them taking care of his own stuff.  I got out the pumpkin cookies and biscuits and milk, and we had fun talking, while Scout and Sonia tried to be the center of attention.  Earlier in the evening, while I was mixing up the biscuits, they sat on barstools  watching me, just like a couple of children.  Eventually Scout leaned over and bit Sonia, and that started a big fight.  Just like children.
         Yesterday morning Vanessa and her kids took off to ski, and Dad and I took off for the cabin.  This is my “good week,” (in between chemo,) and I had a little energy, so I hoped to get some work done there.  I hoped we could straighten out the bunk beds in the Kokopelli room.  When I made them 18 years ago, in the carport of our old house, I numbered and lettered every inside corner, so that when I took them to the cabin I could put them back together just the same.  But when the fire restoration people put them back together, they obviously didn’t pay any attention to my system.  So one bunkbed was leaning, some had bolts sticking way out, and in other places the bolts didn’t even come out far enough to have a nut on them.  Dad said the only thing was to take them apart again and try to put them together right.  So that was our Saturday project, only we didn’t get very far.  Everything about the cabin is taking way longer than it should, but still, we’re making progress.
         Yesterday afternoon we drove to Layton to get together with Paul and Stefanie and the Riebens, which we love to do.  Stefanie had fixed a delicious lunch of stuffed shells, and there was one corner of the pan with no sauce, for Josh and me. We always have a great time there.   Dad and I took some of our tools so we could show Paul how you cut off the bottom of a door, if it doesn’t clear the carpet.  It was a bathroom door that I had been noticing for a long time, and it was fun to finally take care of it. While I was chatting with Paul later, we were talking about the new temples in Orem and Taylorsville, and he said his firm, Forsgren Engineering, is the contracted engineering firm for Taylorsville city.  That means they’ll do the site plan for the temple.  Maybe Paul will get to work on it!
         Tomorrow I start another infusion of chemo, Monday to Wednesday this time.  So Thursday will be my bad day.  I’m glad I at least know what to plan for. Thanks again for all your prayers.
         Love, Mom

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Dear Kids,
         This is day five since they started my chemo pump, and it’s gone better than I ever hoped.  Even on the worst day, Friday, I was able to watch movies and read a little bit.  I’ve been able to eat, which has helped me pull out of it faster.  Yesterday I even went for a short walk, with my trekking poles, and Dad watching over me.  It was a glorious bright afternoon, and I walked down to the corner and a short way along Hilltop.  I’m elated to know I can do this.  Thank you for all your prayers.  I know it’s made a big difference.  I can feel a huge wave of support carrying me along.
         The kitties have been my constant companions, especially Scout.  I can’t say I like having him jump into my lap and knead me with his giant paws, and sometimes I have to push him away, but he’s trying to do his part.  Sonia curls up next to me in the recliner.  I’m glad for their support and sympathy.  I’ve had a lot of wonderful messages on my phone from people wishing me well.  That’s the only good thing about having cancer–you find out how nice people are.
         I guess you all saw the post from Sharon about submitting her application to the University of Maryland School of Nursing.  We’re so happy that she’s come this far!  I know all of us are praying for her to be accepted.  She’ll certainly make a wonderful nurse.
         My brain is really dull from the chemo and I can’t think of anything more to write.
         I love you all!  Thanks again for your prayers!  Mom