Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Atlanta - the first month

Well, it's a month. Since I wrote that last bit, so much has happened. The children have started school and are now used to the system with the bus and finding their classroom once they arrive at school. Timetables, rosters, PE days, science lab days, library days, photos days are all scheduled and there are papers all over the kitchen as reminders.

We have visited the wonderful aquarium here and the Coke Museum, of course, as Atlanta is the home of Coca Cola.

The day's routine begins with getting the kids off to school,on the bus by 7.24am. Fortunately I don't have to do that, so rise at a more leisurely time. At first I was going out for a walk around the neighborhood each day, but the pain in my left leg increased when I did that - even though I had bought the most beautiful pair of hot pink joggers to pound the pavements in

So I had to alter my daily exercise routine and start going to the pool each day to do some laps Very pleasant as I have the community pool all to myself and sometimes spend a few hours there swimming, sleeping, listening to my music and reading.

I've been in touch with my pain management guru, by email, and he has altered my medication so that the pain is not so severe. We haven't quite got the formula right yet, so am still going to the pool rather than pounding the pavement.

I've had a couple of other health lapses as well. Three weeks ago I woke to severe abdominal pain and vomiting. After half a day of this Nikki insisted she take me to a hospital, so we went off to the ER at Northside Hospital. after and X-ray and a CT scan I was admitted with a possible blocked bowel and had to stay overnight - nil-by-mouth, with drips in my arm and very pleasant nurses seeing to my every need. By morning my system was looking and behaving much better and I was given permission to go home after lunch if I could remain stable after fluid-only breakfast and lunch. That happened fortunately, so Nikki brought me back home after lunch on the first day of school for the children. I was so sorry not to see them off on the bus or meet them on the first day. Anyway there have been many bus send offs and arrivals since then.

They close the pool after this weekend and I'm not ready to get back into those pink joggers yet, so not sure what I will do for some exercise. I haven't been able to do much these last couple of days either as I have been severely constipated, caused by the additional pain killing drugs, and have had fierce abdominal pain again. As none of us wants me to have another hospital visit, I have been on fluids only for the past two days, and following advice from my oncologist at home via a Skype call, I am taking a daily tonic to soften the bowel contents and also administering a daily enema. Not pleasant, but having the right effect. This needs to continue indefinitely.

The reason I am including all this grisly detail here is because I use this blog as an ongoing record of my health journey. Sorry if it's a bit unpleasant.

Life goes on in the Moffitt household, as it does in most. It's just lovely being here with them, and having them with me when I'm not in such good shape.

It's currently 9.30pm on Wednesday 29 August and all is quiet. We are expecting the delivery of a new lounge on Friday!

Terrie - for now

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My time in Vancouver

In my last entry I totally omitted the time I spent in Vancouver with my sister, Leigh, and her husband, Bob. Very remiss of me, not the least reason being that they very generously gave me their bed while they slept on a blow-up mattress on the living room floor.

Although they live in Calgary, they have a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, and they choose to spend the whole summer there.

It was wonderful to see them again! To see their Vancouver environment and to do some Vancouver things with them. While I was there we saw a Matisse exhibition at the local art gallery. Matisse was a mystery to me until then, art connoisseur that I'm not, and I really enjoyed this visit and his paintings.

Leigh also arranged for me to see a Chinese acupuncturist, for which I was grateful. my Chinese Herbal doctor, Dr.Chen, had suggested that I seek acupuncture when I can as 3 months is a long time to be without treatment. I had also seen a practitioner in Hamburg while I was there.

Leigh and I visited Granville Island one day, going across on the cute little ferry from the mainland. Then we walked back to the mainland. The weather was quite mild, so Leigh and I went out for a bike ride one day-see pic below. We had intended to do it more than once, but ran put of time and good weather.

We also had a wonderful family dinner with Bob's sister, Evelyn, and his brother, Tom and Tom's wife, Jenny.

We strolled along the beachfront during the pleasant evenings and generally had a great, summery, quiet time.

My visit there was also a chance to see Leigh's middle son and his family. Scott and Sarah now have 3 sons and it was great to meet with them and spend time getting to know the little boys. Sarah's parents also invited us for a beautiful dinner in their new home in North Vancouver.

From Vancouver I flew to Atlanta, via Chicago, and started my lengthy stay with Nikki and her family.

Right now, it's 10.38pm in Atlanta on Tuesday 21 August.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A quick photo trip now that I can add pics

Nikki has helped me find a way to add photos to my blog using the iPad, so here you go.....

This is a pic of the suitcase full of the drugs I had to leave home with. Amazingly no country, at any airport entry, questioned me about the amount of drugs I was carrying.

In Hamburg at the Rathaus (Town Hall) which, according to my guide, has more rooms than Buckingham Palace.

Still in Hamburg. This is the view from the kitchen window at the back of the apartment where we were staying. Very pleasant. Right outside the front door was the option of a punnet of fresh strawberries or a delicious ice cream - or both of course.

So many Smart cars in Hamburg, and their drivers use a very innovative way to park!

Sue and I were on a walking tour that was in German only. Towards the end we had had enough, so sneaked away for tea and cake in a rose-covered courtyard.

And now I'm in Lalinde, France, with Wilna. This is the view from my room in the chateau.

And a view looking the other way.

My friend, Wilna, as we arrive at a nearby village to view their 14July celebrations. The blue and white paper flowers are made by the people who live in the village during the winter months in preparation for this summer celebration.

We actually drove on to Bergerac for their fireworks and had pizza while we watched them.

Lalinde village square with locals and visitors enjoying the sun and coffee.

Wilna at the front door of the chateau on the day I was leaving. She drove me to Bordeaux to catch the train to Paris.

And she took one of me at the same time!

On our way to Bordeaux we stopped for lunch at the beautiful and ancient St. Emillion.

And now I am in Atlanta, Georgia with Nikki and Sam, Zeke and Willow staying in their great bog new house in Roswell. A considerable dent has been made in the drugs bag, but there are still 7 weeks to go!

One night last week I fell in the bathroom and banged my right side against the side of the bath. Had to call Nikki to help get me up and wasn't too sure what damage I had done. Being on pain killers has its advantages and disadvantages. However it's now almost a week since it happened, and although I have been very stiff and it's been difficult to move from one position to another, today I'm not feeling so stiff, the sore spots are still there but it's obviously getting better.

As the family moved into the house on the same day I arrived, there have been lots of boxes all over the house, lots of unpacking and still lots more to be done.

The children start school next week and Nikki has been flat out getting all documentation and medical records sorted so that everything is correct and they will be allowed in the front door on day 1. This week there are some familiarization sessions including a test run on the school bus. There is a school bus stop just a few houses from here and they need to be there by 7am, so it's an early start. Never mind, like most kids they are up early very day!

The house in Georgia.

Right now it's 1.40pm on Monday 6 August and we are about to take the children to the local library.

Location:I'm in Atlanta, Georgia now