My morning ritual at the hotel
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021
Anxiety is new to me. I don’t know where it is coming from. My prescriptions? My supplements? My last craniotomy? My golden-doodle’s anxiety? I simply do not know. What I do know is that I hate it. It’s all consuming. In certain environments I can escape it, which is how I know to my great relief (when I can actually grasp the thought through the slog of panic) that the panic is not legit.
I think the tumor is eating my words. This is crazy hard. I feel as if I am watching myself disappear.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
My days of late are centered around extinguishing my cancer while actively doing all of the “little” things required to prep for our exciting move to Indiana. My day starts while still on my back repeating positive affirmations in my mind (“it is a beautiful day,” “I am going to live at least until 100,”), when I groggily sit up, I reach for my five fiber pills that I placed in a clear Dixie Cup beside my bed the evening before. I then head downstairs to heat up the distilled water in our stainless steel electric tea kettle for my two cups of green tea: one for me and one for my best friend. I’m taking Andrew along on my health journey as he has to live to at least 100–as I refuse to live without him.
I am stronger today. Yesterday was hard. It was the third day with Andrew in Indiana while I stayed home to keep things simple for our sweet, easily stressed goldendoodle. Our dog, Mace, has Addison’s Disease. He is a challenge to travel with since he literally hates dogs (and other people outside our family) not to mention he is stronger than me (85 pounds of sheer muscle while I unfortunately am not sheer muscle).
Andrew is showering while I make the green tea, while our goldendoodle, Mace, stands with his big, black adorable wet nose patiently pressed against the blue back door asking to go out to pee. He does his business quickly as he knows I will have a special chicken wrapped rawhide waiting for him upon his return.
Friday February 26, 2021
I wonder if this is how my beloved grandpa Ernie felt when he was entering into dementia. He bought all sorts of books and cassettes on memory in an attempt to learn his way out of his failing memory.
Monday March 1, 2021
We left Minneapolis Saturday afternoon for Fort Wayne. The very first trip we took here we drove it all in one day which was not smart. Google Maps says 9 hours and 11 minutes, but I require a ridiculous amount of potty stops which practically doubles our driving time, so now we divide it evenly into a two day drive. On Sunday we looked at three properties. None of them were to our liking. Tomorrow, we look at one—the only one available that interests us currently. I am hopeful about it. The layout is just what I am looking for: main floor master, main floor office, main floor laundry, screened in porch, and an abundance of trees in the backyard. We looked at a house just down the street from this one. It sits directly on the golf course which would make for great entertainment for Mace and nerve-racking days for me with all of his disruptive, rage-filled dog cursing directed at the golfers. The neighborhood is safe and beautiful, ideal for walking. It reminds me of our Iowa neighborhood, but not quite at stunning. Plus, it is Andrew’s favorite neighborhood here in “The Fort,” as the locals call it. It’s only a 10 minute drive to his office.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Last year, on this date, I was at Oberlin Conservatory with Makaela. It was just the start of Covid, everyone was talking about it and there was slight anxiety in the air, but nobody truly saw what was to come. The very next week after I flew back home to Minneapolis, Makaela was driving home for the foreseeable future. It was the start of perhaps the craziest year this world has thrown at us. I started having terrible headaches shortly following Makaela’s arrival home. I mean really, really terrible. I would wake up at one a.m. in the morning in agonizing pain. I could not sleep through the pain. I would head downstairs to the main level and lay on our tiny loveseat cupping my head in my arms in shear misery: trying desperately to sleep. And, then, there was the killing of George Floyd. And then the riots started…
I almost died the weekend following George’s murder. I didn’t know I was dying. I just was. I don’t remember the ambulance or the medics in my house, nor the neighbors outside watching me being carried into the ambulance on a stretcher with the National Guard on each end of our block shielding the neighborhood from potential rioters. I wish I did remember them as it was a historical event: that I hope never happens again.
Saturday, March, 6 2021
We toured two beautiful houses today. One house sits on a 4 acre wooded lot in a neighborhood made up of 4 acre lots. This is a truly stunning neighborhood filled with gorgeous, unique houses situated 6 minutes outside of Fort Wayne proper. We could have chickens, bees, a large garden, but we don’t want that stuff anymore. We are attempting to simplify. The second house we had toured earlier in the week, and wanted to compare it and it is still is our favorite. It’s the one that sits on the golf course with the trees blocking the view for Mace. It feels homey. Large windows bring in the backyard’s trees. I adore trees. There are 3 showings of it this afternoon, maybe someone will make an offer and then we will take it from there. We will see how it goes!
It’s somewhat of a relief for me to be leaving Minneapolis. It is healing to be leaving the tragedy of last year behind: the year Andrew and I almost died. I never imagined myself in Indiana with its plain terrain, but it is close to my darling Makaela.
Andrew loves his work. It appears that the political divisiveness that started with the Trump administration has worked its way into the workplace, or else it’s an Indiana thing to be disrespectful to authority. Andrew has several hostile employees, but he is cleaning house. By this time next year, hopefully, they will be chugging away making beautiful boats effortlessly. (He had to clean house with Alumacraft also, and by the end of his time there it was his dream job). Andrew has a knack for structure and leadership. I know he will get the chaos under control.
Back to the almost dying part: I cannot remember anything from those two days. I was apparently conscious and talking, but, I have no memory of it. My brain was being smooshed into the right hemisphere by the massive tumor in my left-frontal lobe. Thus the cause of the headaches. The hospital put me on dexamethasone which saved my life and took down the swelling. I wish I had known that I was on it and that there is an alternative to dexamethasone that won’t drive your blood sugar through the roof (high glucose levels feed cancer). Ugh. What you don’t know is often what kills you. There are alternatives, like Boswellia Serrata, I just did not have the information.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Makaela experienced one of my grand-mal seizures when she was home over her winter break. It was her second time present for one. She heard the piercing scream that I apparently let out right before I start seizing. I never remember the scream. I collapsed directly outside her closed bedroom door. Thankfully, Andrew was there, so, Makaela was not needed to assist me. Unfortunately, it did affect her. She went into a state of shock, depression, and anxiety where we could not reach her—she couldn’t breathe. She went straight to Oberlin Conservatory after an insane summer of almost losing her mom, and wasn’t given time to process it all. My seizure was the trigger that released her pent-up stress and sadness. Two days later she was in the ER late at night diagnosed with anxiety. She was supposed to record with a pianist (who also attended Oberlin) for her camp auditions, but she could not pick up her violin. She went about 4 weeks without practicing. This is not just my diagnosis, but also my family’s. I am fighting and researching daily for a cure so I can be there for all of them. They are my reason to get up in the morning to keep on keeping on no matter how difficult the journey.
5 thoughts on “Goldmine”
Thinking of you everyday. How blessed you are to have your family. Keep up the fight and know that so many people love you. ❤️
Love you, Paula. ❤️
Much love to you and your family, dear Paula!❤️
So happy you have Andrew – and that you’re such solid support for each other. Life is hard without your people. I hope you’re here beyond 100.
Thank you so much for your support. ❤️