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Resuming Normal Life?

Seeing the caller ID on the ringing house phone, I could tell someone was calling from ORMC, however, I was surprised to learn who it was. "Gail, this is Dr. Serafimovska calling, are you alright?"
She, whose name is on my prescription for Flagyl, the nastiest tasting medicine you can ever imagine. But you've heard that complaint before, haven't you? I assure you, I'm not exaggerating in the least.

The true purpose of her call? She told me that she'd seen Bruce at the hospital, asking directions to the 10th floor, and was worried I'd returned. In truth, she probably wondered if she'd missed something, and who can blame her? She said she was scouring the hospital data base to see if I was re-admitted, and didn't see my name, but still decided to check. Assuring her I was managing okay at home, I told her the real reason Bruce was there, and it is not good.

Matt Stromberg is dying.

I suppose all of us who knew his history are not surprised, but gee whiz, we all hoped he'd be the rare case who would beat a recurrence of brain cancer. Turns out Matt was in the hospital at the same time as I, however, God bless him, he's still there, unable to walk, and tiring easily. I'd had a text from Angela on Saturday evening about him being back in the ER, unable to walk, but wasn't able to get back to her right away. I'd made some cookies for our Friday night dinner guests, and Saturday, dropped some off at the Strombergs for him, as he loves my cookies.
This was a new recipe, one from a Rachel Ray magazine, given to me by Jon and Alissa for Christmas. Red Velvet Crinkles sounded like a nice Valentine cookie to me, and it was pretty good, albeit, not nearly as pretty as red velvet cake, that's for sure!

Anyway, by the time I returned home from my 24 hours in the hospital (was it really that short??), I called her to get an update. It was then that I learned the cancer had metastasized down his spine with no real chance for recovery. She told me this sad news on their 7th anniversary. Need I say more?

Bruce had a nice visit with Matt yesterday afternoon, and his report was thus: Matt is still smiling. He's 47 years old, and not a nicer guy could you meet. Moving into the house that Mae and Charlie lived in for 30+ years, Matt was our son Matt's age. He set to work renovating, but it was not until Angela came into the picture that the renovating went into overdrive, and seriously, even in their new home, it has never stopped. And you thought I was bad?

We may have liked the cookies, but Matt, not so much. As soon as I'm able, I need to fulfill his request for chocolate chip cookies, which hopefully will be very soon!

As to the dinner I made for our guests, for the first time in my life, I purchased brussel sprouts to roast alongside cauliflower.
They seemed to like it, finishing off all of the bowl down to the dark bits! I, on the other hand, thought the dish may have benefited from a more liberal dousing of vinegar.

What else is new? This has been sorely tempting me, but I know better than to attempt chocolate just yet.
I don't know about your grocery store but our Publix went nuts for Valentines Day.
Heart overload!! These, of course, are photos I discovered on my camera once I was well enough to get out of bed, which I've been doing more of as the week progressed.

Before I forget: I stopped at  a garage sale, pre cdiff, finding in a bin of books,  a 1950 yearbook from FSU. How about this logo?
Flipping through, I came across a photo of Dr. Doak Campbell. Haven't heard of him before? You would if you'd gone to a FSU game--the stadium is named after him! He oversaw the transition from an all female college to co-ed and started the football team. My friend Karen Howard will get a kick out of this.

One reason I stayed in our room for so long is close access to the bathroom, however, on Saturday afternoon I thought I'd see how long I lasted in the living room. Turns out, a long time. Long enough to watch FOUR documentaries on Netflix, the first television I'd watched in a week. All of them very interesting. In order they are

Seriously, and I mean seriously, watch Muscle Shoals--simply an amazing story. In a crazy coincidence, Nancy also watched it on Saturday night, having taped it from PBS earlier. Still shaking my head over that!

For the record, I might just have the nicest friends and family there could ever be. Flowers, soup, cards, visits, emails, fb comments--you all have made this so much more bearable with your acts of kindness, I can't thank you enough. My illness is fading, sort of like this tulip:
and the truth is, I wish it were long gone, but I've got some days ahead of me still. Can you imagine how difficult this is for the likes of me? Can hardly sit still to save my life? Well, I've had to, and I can't say that I like it any better, but putting things into perspective (see above), helps. Dr. Parillo has given me the go ahead to stop the medication at 10 days, rather than 14, and I could NOT be more grateful. Let's hope he's right, and the bed looks like this during the day from now on!!!
Until we meet again....


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