etumukutenyak: (Ebola virus)
The FF made it safely to her mom's bedside, there to wait until things resolve. At MiL's age, given all her health issues, it's likely that resolution means passing on. One hopes things will resolve quickly, for the benefit of all in attendance.

Brady has been doing very well, to the amazement of the oncologists. His PCV continued to rise, and at the last check it was 29.9% (normal is 30-50). His appetite is much stronger, especially on the day after the steroid, which is alternating with the chemo. He's more playful again, and is visibly putting on weight.

Step-daughter-to-be has announced her pregnancy, so there's that.

Loki and Junie B continue to live well in the basement. Not much in the way of changes there..

Well, dang

Sep. 18th, 2013 03:24 pm
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
FG's mom is in hospital, not long for this world; nuptials postponed until FG returns from $OTHERCOUNTRY. Keep your fingers crossed for her safe travels...
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
We have achieved "marriage license". Wedding level unlocked!
Throw confetti in the afternoon of September 20th, y'all.
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
The FG has agreed to get married on September 20th.
etumukutenyak: (Nuclear night test)
Brady is showing signs of responding well to chemo. Last week, just before starting the drugs, he had a packed cell volume (measure of red blood cells) of 11%, which is way low. Dangerously low, actually. He'd dropped from 27% in June, to 21% at the first oncology visit, to 11% a week later. One week from that low, he has rebounded to 22% -- doubled in 7 days. Of the past 7 days, he's been on steroid for 7, and the chemo for 4 out of 6 days.

This is incredible.

They want to see how he does after a solid week of chemo. Since that's difficult with the present formulation of sticky capsules (stressful for the giver and givee, let me tell you), we'll see once we get the oral suspension which should arrive in the next 2-4 days. I think I'll skip tonight's dose, as he's just finished a stressful visit to the vet, and deserves a wee break.

Phew.

In other cat news, I discovered why Cleo is getting more plump: she's been breaking into the cat food containers and bags on her own. Silly cat. I put the large bag of dry food in the hall bath and closed the door. Let's see how long it takes for her to drop a pound now.

Loki and Junie B are much the same.

In dog news, we confirmed that it is Hercules who likes to bark. We've ordered a collar for prevention of barking, and once that gets here, we'll be training him to stop. This will please the FG who cannot sleep through barking.

In other news, the stuff that I can neither confirm nor deny continues apace. Paperwork is processed. Plans are made. The not-a-best-woman waits for firm details.

(Doubled! In one week! I was hoping for a modest increase, say to 15%...)

Update

Jul. 24th, 2013 09:15 pm
etumukutenyak: (Ebola virus)
It's been way too long, and I do apologize.

I'm not even going to look at the last post..::hangs head in shame::

Marilee's kitties continue to do well. Loki does not appear ill at all, and both of them are now comfortably ensconced in the basement, along with an old bed, an old dog bed, their cat beds, and plenty of sparkle toys.

Brady was recently diagnosed with cancer, myeloma. He has lost some weight, but is starting to regain it. Unfortunately, his red blood cell count is low and getting dangerously low, so we are starting him on steroid to see if we can push it back up. We were trying to avoid putting steroids in the treatment because of his history of upper respiratory infections, but the anemia is too dangerous now. I gave him an injection of steroid when we got home from the oncologist (yes, there is now such a thing! and very nice people they are..) and I went old school with it, mixing it into a half-ml of penicillin. Back in the day, when we walked uphill to our clinics, barefoot in the snow, we used to mix a combination antibiotic called Pen-Strep with a steroid, Dexamethasone, and inject it into our patients. It seemed to work, although no one really knew why we were adding a steroid to an antibiotic. The combination is no longer made, but I have penicillin and dexamethasone, so I figured it couldn't hurt.

The Son's bedroom is moved across the hall, to the former guest room. Since he doesn't spend much time here, I wanted to use the larger room as a guest room and office, and besides, the former guest room is still larger than his room at the Ex's house. I agreed to let him redecorate in any style, as long as it wasn't all-black; he settled on a Doctor Who theme, so I ordered a wallpaper mural of the TARDIS (inside view -- it's larger, after all). We'll get another poster for the door, which will be the outside of the TARDIS, of course.

The FG is repainting the former son's room into the new guest room -- he'd damaged the walls with holes and carvings and such, so I had to spackle and repaint. She has recently left her job, due to a toxic manager, and is in need of Something To Do, so there she is.

The dogs are their usual selves. Cleo is in danger of becoming even more plump, so I have to keep her away from Brady's food, which of course, he eats even more slowly due to his illness and lethargy. There are new medications that do wonders for the appetite, but he's still slower than she is.

I have re-signed up for the fitness center at work, and have high hopes of losing a few more pounds myself. If it works, I'll get Cleo in there too.

Update

Mar. 26th, 2013 10:02 pm
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
I figured I'd save everybody's eyes and refrain from posting repetitively each day: "Loki slowly came over for some petting and food; Junie remains hidden". Until this morning! Junie poked her head out from under the bed, and then realized I hadn't finished exiting, so I got The Stare.

Loki is now waiting out in the open when I come in -- no more hiding -- and still nervous about the petting, but also looking forward to it.

He's got a lump on the side of his face -- can't feel it for long enough to know whether it's a mat, or a lump, and not sure where exactly it is, so I will have to box him for a trip to the cat vet soon. Otherwise he seems healthy!
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
A holiday I've not celebrated in 36 years, but I understand quite a lot of folks do.

Loki was out faster this morning, but Junie still hides. Food is being et, and litter box is being used, so I'll just leave them be. He got a fair amount of petting while I sat there with him.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Thursday, saw and petted Loki once in the am; all food eaten at every meal. He came catapulting (sorry) out of hiding when I rattled the bag of cat treats. Tonight, Sonny confirmed the presence of two sets of gleaming eyes under his bed, so Junie has used the wormhole in both directions.

This morning I sat in the room for a bit; long enough for Loki to travel across me twice, groom himself and be petted, then plop himself on top of the futon couch. He's a good kitty.

More pictures anon.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
Still no sign of Junie B. I am piqued by the possibility of a small wormhole in my son's bedroom: it would explain a LOT. Loki continues to hide under the bed. I didn't push anything tonight, just sat and talked to him while he reclined. I could see that some food had been eaten, so I refreshed the plates with gooshy food and left.
etumukutenyak: ("Dammit)
And yonder light didst break the -- sorry, sorry.

Loki eventually crawled out from under the bed to sniff my finger, then realize he'd met me yesterday and got some skritches along with gooshy food. Junie B, however, was nowhere to be found. Clearly, she's got herself an AWESOME hiding place, which is probably inside the box spring. Since she ate well last night, I'm not too worried about her. Loki wandered past me, used the litter box, wandered back, and alternated between skittish and friendly. I took several pictures of him, and here's one you can see:

photo
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
They were both hiding under the bed. I made eye contact with Loki (thanks to the gleam off the back of his eyes), talked to them for a bit, and left fresh foods.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Well, tonight I found them hiding in the closet, which was not surprising as it's a nice closed quiet space perfect for traumatized kitties. I petted both of them (!!) and Loki began exploring the room, while Junie decided that I did know how to pet her after all. However, once he got out of sight, Loki forgot who I was and ran from me. Junie got a good brushing, lots of petting, quite a bit of gooshy food, and was a happy cat. She flopped at my knees, purring.

Progress!


ETA: Some of the tuna did get sucked up by one or both hongry kittehs. Nobody was up for playing with the sparkly balls. The alligator is still downstairs, and was found by a very interested Brady, who dug into the bag to find this Interesting Thing. Unfortunately, he left as soon as I got my camera ready for action. All I managed was a picture of a dog nose near the bag.

Day One

Mar. 11th, 2013 01:45 pm
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
This morning, very little food actually eaten overnight. They're still under the bed when I come in, although they have used the litter box. Poor kitties! It's not unusual for cats to hide for several days, particularly after a trauma like this. Keep your fingers crossed.
etumukutenyak: ("Dammit)
They are currently hiding under the bed in my son's bedroom, and will shortly dine on tuna, with a side of catnip and fresh water. I'll post about them as often as possible, hopefully with pictures!
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
One of Judaism's central tenets is to do good for others, especially without expecting any reward or recognition for doing so. Marilee was one of those Good People, even after all that she had suffered herself. Her strength and compassion made her a dear friend to many people across fandom.

Rest well, Marilee. Dance again, through the infinite universe.
etumukutenyak: (Gromit puzzled)
Well. You know how it's been more than three years since the Ex packed up and left? And how I've been cleaning up the house since she left, sacrificing time and labor to separate out trash, recycle, and the few actual important things along the way? And how I thought I was done with that?

Not only am I not done yet, HELL NO I AIN'T DONE yet. There's the one little room in the basement, where I put a whole bunch of my bookcases and my locking file cabinet (with my comics, make a note of this, [livejournal.com profile] i_calql8, but I haven't rediscovered the keys yet), and I didn't think there was all that much of hers in there.

I've now taken out a large number of boxes of papers from the past twenty to thirty years, most of it to be recycled; some shredded, and one small box plus a bag of stuff from forty years ago. Anyone want to guess how many boxes of recycle crap I have? It's a number between 1 and 100. Winner gets the satisfaction of being correct...

I still have to lug these boxes to the recycle bin for pickup, along with the plastic recycle that needs to go, and the trash.

However, I did find two boxes that hold my books, which reminds me: [livejournal.com profile] hawkwing_lb, I found the books I wanted to send to you, and now some mailers as well, so I should be getting those in the post to you.

And in other, non-Ex news (I do have a life after all), I took the FG to the nearest slopes for skiing on Sunday. She's been cooped up indoors for weeks, what with her frozen shoulder, a bad cold, and the two-weeks-of-horror that she has every quarter; she needed to get out and exercise. So we went, and she skiied, and I took a lesson in downhill skiing. It was a very good deal: for $90, I got a lift ticket, rental skis, poles, and boots, plus a 90 minute lesson in a class. As it turned out, there were only four of us, and the instructor was really good. Having had the experience on cross-country skis helped me, and I fell only twice. But! I skiied down a mountain! OK, the bunny slope, and really really slowly, but I didn't fall after I got off the chair lift (and fell right then, that was the second fall, but the chair pushed me, I swear). I liked it well enough to pay for the other really good deal: at the end of the lesson, the instructor handed out discount cards, for a season pass that's for beginners. For $45, I get the very next trip completely free -- lift, rental, and lesson; after that, I get 40% off lift ticket and rental equipment, but I get the lessons free. This is good for all the rest of this season. I believe we'll be skiing a lot this season.

The FG is so happy. Tired, but happy.

More anon.

The Lurgy

Jan. 23rd, 2013 02:14 am
etumukutenyak: (Ebola virus)
All around me, folks are battling various versions of the cold, so when the "sore throat" began yesterday, and the nasal congestion today, I figured I had what everyone else did.

Then tonight, getting ready for bed, I noticed that suddenly I was chilly -- a rare occurrence during The Change -- and muscles ached, deeply. That's an indicator of fever, so I quickly checked my temp: normal. Still, I took some ibuprofen and dressed for bed, warmly. I shivered under the covers for at least 45 minutes, but managed to fall asleep, albeit briefly.

Because then I woke burning, so hot, argh; reached for the thermometer and rechecked. Sure enough, fever! I peeled everything off, including the cats, who seemed to think I was there to generate more heat for them. For the next hour or more I glowed like a furnace. All I could think was, "At least it's a dry heat".

A dry heat, you know? It's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Whatever that means, I'm glad I got my flu vaccine back in October. Whichever virus this is, if it's a flu, I'll bounce back sooner and feel less lousy overall. In the meantime, I think I'm starting to cycle into another chill, so I'd better get dressed again. Crap.
etumukutenyak: ("Dammit)
From Twitter:
Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint
If only the first victim, Adam Lanza's mother, had been a gun owner, she could have stopped this before it started.
etumukutenyak: (Setting sun behind church)
So, I got a CPAP last month, to treat mild sleep apnea. One night (two weeks ago), I put it on and fell asleep, as one does. In a few hours I awoke, with an odd complication: I must have inadvertently blocked the outflow from the mask, resulting in an overpressure within my respiratory tract, and ended up with a lovely pharyngitis as well as lots of air within the GI, where it does not belong.

I call it pharyngitis now, but that night all I knew was suddenly I could not swallow. My throat was so edematous that nothing moved properly. I was just barely able to take my blood pressure medication, which contains a diuretic, and I waited. As the hours passed, I cautiously took liquids.

For a week, I took only liquids. Last week, I added in very soft scrambled eggs. I found that I could consume "solids" if I chased each bite with liquids; otherwise the solids stuck at the back of the tongue and went no further. This resulted in mild panic, as that is right above the glottis, where food is not meant to be. Each meal was thus a study in controlled panic, with muchly masticated foods and large quantities of liquids.

Yes, I've lost weight on this diet. I don't recommend it, though.

It's now two weeks, and I am still mainly on a full liquid diet -- my blender is pureeing many tasty things -- although I can eat soft foods, particularly those with sauces; pasta; eggs; cheese, and the like. Meals are slightly less panic-inducing, but always mindful.

I haven't used the CPAP since then, and my FG doesn't want me to use it at all. I will try it again once I'm back to normal, and I do expect to heal; I can see and feel the continued healing.

On the other hand, the Ex has civilly dined with me and the FG twice now. Even though she claims to have a new girlfriend, I don't really see the connection -- however, I never look a gift horse, etc.; anything that distracts her is good enough for me.

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