Thursday, January 22, 2015


This has been an interesting couple of weeks.

It's been like the weather; a dump of snow, then a melt, then a bunch of sunny days and back to winter.
I love the view from the English department

There is something about Ponderosa Pine trees in the snow

I'm not so good at the phone phocus

Mmmm, winter!

This is my new "I Love Winter" necklace. 

Before Christmas, G went to the doctor because his voice was cutting out. He was snoring so loud I could hear him from downstairs. Sometimes, it felt like something was stuck in his throat.

When I say "he went to the doctor", I mean that he doesn't really do that unless he feels it's necessary. But he went. She sent him to a specialist, an otolaryngologist. He took a look; stuck a doohickey (sorry for the technical term) down his nose and took a peek. Said "that needs to come out."

Wait, what? What needs to come out? Huh?

Some sort of growth. A burst polyp.  You can get polyps in lots of place on your body. Colon, nose, throat, places like that. This one nestled on top of Gs vocal chords.

The Oto said this needs to come out now; G said "Let's wait until after Christmas".  He scheduled the surgery for the second week of January.

While Christmas was fun and traveling is exciting, I had a low-level worry the whole time. Like when you know there's a sliver stuck in your toe or something. Can't do anything about it but you always know it's there and try not to worry.

The surgery was really efficient. We arrived at the outpatient surgery center at 7; we left at 10. G had never had a surgery before. He said the hardest part was getting the IV put in. That man. The doctor told me that the polyp was larger than he thought and that in a week we'd know if it was malignant of benign.

Anyway, thus began three days of no talking and another week of low-level worry. I tried to teach him a little bit of sign language but G figured that I'm good at context clues and lip reading and that for the rest he could trace letters in the air or text me.  Sometimes this was hilarious and effective. Sometimes this was hilarious and frustrating.  Sometimes I just made up stuff he would never say, like "Don't you think it's time we bought a farm in the country", and "Seriously, can you make me a well-done steak?"

He lived. He ate popsicles.  He had to stay home for those three days and while I was at work, on the first damn day, he drove himself to McDonalds and wrote a note for a caramel frappe.  What the ham sandwich?!!

I went to his boss and explained that while he could be at work Thursday and Friday of last week, he couldn't talk. It wasn't a problem. When he went back to work, G reports that he used an entire pack of post-it notes answering questions.  They were not yes or not questions, apparently. And his boss doesn't exactly use email.

So on Dr. King's birthday (which I usually write about but this year I suck), we went back for the test results.


But then the sun came out and it was 51 degrees.

<3 nbsp="" td="">
Confession: I don't have a "low" level setting for worrying. It's sort of my hobby and preoccupation. I like to pretend that I don't worry about things. However, once I set my mind to it, I can worry about just about anything.

Like Eleanor, the sweetest kitty and my best little friend of 18 years, who does have cancer.

I have a full blood panel done on her every 6 months. In May, all was clear. In November, it showed on the CBC.

I am sorry, readers. I just didn't know how to tell you.

She's doing ok, really. Doesn't eat very much. throws up more often. I give her medicine to stimulate her appetite and suppress the vomiting, though it will shorten her lifespan. This could take months or a year or just a few weeks.

When we went to Europe, she stayed with my friend Joy. Joy asked if I wanted to know during the trip if Eleanor died. Yes. Yes, of course I wanted to know that very instant. G was not in favor of this. But no, I couldn't have gone a day without worrying that this day it had happened and I didn't know.  It would have ruined the trip for me.  So Joy promised to tell me and sent me picture after picture of Eleanor, with her daughter, with her, eating, and sleeping on her heating pad. Yes, I sent the heating pad and that wonderful and afghan along to comfort her.  And I set up with my vet that if she needed any kitty health care, she would have it.

This is an exercise in not worrying for me. I don't know the source of the cancer and I'm not going to. I don't want to put her through a bunch of tests. It's not like she is healthy enough for them to remove a growth or even put her under anesthetic. And when the time comes, I'm going to see if the vet will come to the house to help her through those final, awful hours rather than taking her out of the comfort of home.

Until then, I am awakened every morning to what I term "aggressive snuggling".  Eleanor still gets around well and can navigate the stairs.  She sleeps on the bed and wakes me up by purring, then laying on the pillow with me and napping a bit.  Then she puts her face by mine.  Then I pet her. Then she nudges me with her head until I either keep petting her or get up to give her food and/or water. Personally, I think she's using cancer to get into more mischief and get away with it.  Now she'll sit beside me in the kitchen and head butt me until I feed her. She used to get squirted with water if she was a pest. Now I just can't. And somehow,
I'm going to need you to feed me some tuna. By hand.
G is not buying it. Yes, he adores Eleanor. Yes, he will pet her all day and clean up vomit and make a run to the grocery store for me to get cans of the particular food that she's into (while ignoring the 90 other flavors in the pantry).  But when she's bad, she still gets a little squirt of water. I know this because when I told him about her condition, I proclaimed announced that from here on out, she wouldn't ever get into trouble again, he may have quietly chuffed. I didn't hear that part because emotions. But last week, I was petting the sweetest kitty in the world and telling her how awesome she is, and noticed her fur was wet. "Did you give Eleanor a drink?"
"In a sense."
"She scratched on the bathroom door. She got squirted."
"She's well enough to be a bad cat; she's well enough to pay the consequences."

But I'm still going to worry.


  1. I'm so sorry about Eleanor. What a wonderful life you continue to provide for her. We understand the Circle of Life, but we don't have to like it.

  2. First of all, I'm glad for you both that the polyp was benign. Second, I understand very well that niggling feeling when you are waiting to find out about what's gonna happen when the doctor gives you news like that and then it has to be put off for a bit and you can't really forget about it even when you're having a good time. (Very long sentence.)
    I sympathize with you about Eleanor. My dog is very old and so feeble now.