April 1, 2023

Well, friends...KK speaks, walks, and as of today...she bathes. There was a constant chorus of "oh my gawd" as Mr. Biceps and I assisted with her first shower and shampoo in a week. Her curls, scalp and bits are all fantastically squeaky clean!  CL is off being being father-of-the-bride at M & A's wedding shower, so AA and KK are napping and watching TED LASSO. I think the only April Fool's joke of the day is from MDA room service. I cannot for the life of me figure out what was in the salad dressing I sort of ate tonight. Much gratitude today!  

April 2, 2023

In the Tom Hanks film, BIG, Zoltar the carnival fortune telling machine, grants wishes--and a twelve-year-old Josh Baskin becomes big. I bring this up because (for years) I have always associated Zoltar the Magnificent with Zofran the nausea medicine. Zofran is a prime nausea drug for cancer patients and I found piles of it in my mom's bathroom after she died. Well, here's a private message to the scientist who invented Zofran:  thank you for continually granting KK's wish.  After a rough start to the day but finally staving off the nausea with the magic Zofran, KK had a fantastic visit from the plastics doc. He removed the Doppler gizmo, one of the neck drains, dressed the leg wound with a new Xeroform bandage, and praised the reduction in swelling, the flap, and the status of the leg. Then she and CL trekked around both pods multiple times without a walker! As I drove back to CC today for work and rehearsals, I was actually giddy as Zoltar the Magnificent had granted my wish today as well:  Let KK smile. And she did!  

April 3, 2023

Peace. Quiet. Calm.  Three words to describe the life of a discharged cancer patient. Exactly one week after Dr. V closed  the proverbial lid on her 11 hour surgery, KK evacuated her tiny little corner of the eleventh floor pod at MDA for a nearby hotel room with a king-size bed--a room without IV beeps; without Doppler pulses; without hourly vitals; without Mr. Biceps. Let the healing (and uninterrupted sleeping) begin!  Sssshhhhh!  

April 4, 2023

CL and DH are the A-Team members on call this week. They're busy calculating the times for tube feedings, drug intake, and juggling everything during assorted sleep schedules. KK is in great spirits--just don't say the word "drool" in her presence. (Or rather...in CL's presence.)  How she remembered I'll never know, (but I shouldn't be surprised)--but KK remembered to pack a Yarzheit candle for her post-surgical stay in Houston.  The four of us FaceTimed before sundown and lit our Yarzheit candles in memory of daddy's passing 10 years ago tomorrow. So much has happened in ten years--mom's cancer resurfacing, a pandemic, new employment, promotions, marriages, grandchildren, birthdays, hospice, hurricanes, and deaths of mom, MarySue, and Betty G. I spoke via email with my dad's bff today and I close with a missive from MM's email signature:

Forget yesterday, it has already forgotten you.

Don't sweat tomorrow as you haven't even met.

Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift........TODAY.  – Tatum Thatcher

April 5, 2023

Today's photo is all that needs to be said. --Shalom

April 6, 2023

I have noticed over the past few months that juggling professor responsibilities, directing a play, monitoring my mother-in-law on hospice, grading, gardening, doing our taxes, car maintenance, driving to and from hospitals, and keeping up with gym workouts is easiest if my entertainment soundtrack is one of streamed shows I've binged before: Downton Abbey, Rome, Ted Lasso, and of late...Band of Brothers. This morning as I was preparing for school and an early morning Zoom for Supervisors, the boys of Easy Company were defending their snow-covered enclave in Bastogne. In Episode 6, the storyline focuses not just on the soldiers fighting from their freezing foxholes, but on the medics doing their best  to scrounge up bandages, scissors, and plasma to keep wounded soldiers alive. There are multiple soldiers with arteries torn to shreds from shrapnel and exploded forestry--blood pulsing from wounds while dotting the carpet of white snow. Cut to MDA today when KK thought she was a member of Easy Company--nearly fainting while blood was shooting across the room as the sweet PA attempted to remove KK's leg drain. Oopsy...there was an artery nearby and it made its squirting self known. KK's BP dropped, the crash cart arrived, and the doctor was called--but all is well now. (Well, now that CL shoved a pitcher's worth of apple juice down her feeding tube.) (Our hero!) Seriously, she's doing okay...but in the event you find yourself in Bastogne during the winter or at MDA with an angry artery, give it pressure for 11 minutes.  And breathe!    

April 6, 2023 7:00 p.m.

The A-Team is thrilled that all drains are removed, some 40 or so staples have been excised, bags are being packed and KK and company are headed back to Austin for some birthday love with Athena. Though, how we get the birthday cake with sprinkles wedged into the feeding tube has yet to be solved. Scientists??? Anyone???

April 7,2023

She's home!

April 8, 2023

Happy Birthday, KK. Now that You are home and feeling better, AA gifts you control of your blog. Get some great rest today and some puppy love. When you're ready, it's all yours. Take an umbrella...it's raining!  

April 11,2023

Four magic words from a post-surgical check-up with Dr. G:  "THE CANCER IS OUT!"

KK here -- April 11, 2023 will always be a magical day for me, and the A Team.  Not only was the feeding tube removed and I tasted water, the NECTAR OF THE GODS,  for the first time in two weeks.  But, yes, Dr. G used those specific words, "THE CANCER IS OUT!"  What does that mean?  I appreciate Dr. G's analogy best, the cancer is a weed.  The weed has been pulled, but chemo/radiation is still necessary to work as weed killer.

April 20, 2023

KK here.  I have just spent the last nine days recovering and healing at HOME.  Little did we know that our Pembrook Trail remodel project that ran from March, 2021 -- January, 2022 was going to deliver such an incredible sanctuary for HEALING.  A huge shout out to my beloved designer S&S Designs and contractor, MEK Homes, for putting into action the Moroccan riad I'd dreamed of, to create such an oasis for recovery.

In this nine day window, I have slept, read, meditated, visited with friends and family, giggled with Ted Lasso, and received Athena love-- repeat.  

For at least another three months I will live on a liquid/soft food diet.  Couldn't be more grateful for friends and family delivering  flowers, soups and smoothies from Soup Peddler, Juiceland and Panera for me....and delicious home cooked meals for CL.  Thank you!

Just in the last 48 hours, I've started navigating without the boot and walking with and without a cane.

Tomorrow, as well as early next week, we return to Houston  for chemo/radiation prep.

The journey continues, but I'm grateful for the my current stage of recovery and having such a beautiful oasis to heal....and yes, water is still THE NECTAR OF THE GODS.