Directions from my Mom to my sisters house:
Using all sorts of creative hand movements that only she can understand…”So you get on Highway 20 and go far past Rexburg till you see a building on this side of the road. The building is old or just being built and it might be blue. Or maybe gray…and it might be two story, but it’s on this side of the road. Now turn this way when you get there (and she motions with both hands like she’s pushing a matchbox car, but somehow shows a left and right turn) but if you miss it you can go this way but only after you have past some tall green things. Green…buildings. But that’s further. I think there is a sign but it’s before the turn somewhere by the green things then go this way. Then drive past the fields (even though there are nothing but fields out there!) and then you’ll see a…wait if you’d turned by the blue or gray wood house you would have turned this way and have to pass some hay bales but that’s next to a shed where as on the other one past the green things there is no shed . Anyway, turn left at the house that was a church and keep driving and they should be on that road.” At this point I look over at Jan who is as confused as ever and I say “ok, thanks Mommy, I’ll see you over there.” I called my sister and after about 10 words from her I know exactly where to go.
It’s always fun going to my sister’s place. She loves collecting things, including animals, and is really knowledgeable with medicinal plants. I always learn so much when I am with her.
The creatures worked hard outside, shoveling, organizing, cleaning and stacking things.
They loved helping, and at one point one of them said, ‘Mom, we’ve decided we like boat work more than farm work.’ It cracked me up. After scrubbing and cleaning for hours on a boat, one can simply fall overboard to cool off. In the dry Idaho heat they were just hot and tired. We will go back and help again soon.
When it was time, Jan and our sweet Momma and I left for the radiology appointment. Now we have 6 down and 4 to go. Afterward we met with the Radiation Oncologist so he could talk to us about how Jan is tolerating the treatments. He said that the increased shakiness, dizziness, loss of eyesight and nausea are most likely due to a combination of the steroid he’s on as well as the radiation.
After that we went to his Oncology appointment where Dr Adams spoke to us about the next treatment they want to try after radiation. Since Jan’s cancer will not respond to chemo, they are going to treat him with Yervoy. It is immunotherapy given as an intraveneous injection through IV. Each treatment will last 90 minutes and they will be once every 3 weeks for 12 weeks. The trick is that he has to be on the steroid for radiation but can’t be on it for immunotherapy, so starting now, I have to take about 10 days to wean him off the steroid so the next therapy can begin. Tonight he is thoroughly worn out and went to bed at 6pm. I will wake him for his shot and buffet of meds at 9pm and then he can continue to sleep the night away till 5am when I give him his next round. I love spending all this time with my wonderful brother. I love to make him laugh and I love loving him.
My Darling Danny received an email shortly after I said Goodnight to him last night, saying that he needed to fly his passengers to Borneo, and when I awoke this morning he was already there. Right now he is busy flying them to Singapore.
And so another day in our lives has come to an end. Out in the world, babies were born, people died, flowers grew, rivers flowed, families went on vacation, while others started new jobs, some were overjoyed and reached long term goals, while others felt like failures. While our own lives are all consuming and sometimes overwhelming, the truth is that we are all living as best we know how. This journey has taught me to be less judgmental, because each of our lives are real and valid and no one is less or more important than the other.