Challenges of life…Never easy…Often unexpected…

Last night, we took granddaughter Madighan to her weekly karate class. It was fun watching her and four boys in the same age group, learning the moves presented by Sensei Luiz.

Today, I spent the day at the cancer center at Park Nicollet Frauenshuh Cancer Center at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park with my daughter-in-law Camille. She has stage three colon cancer which we were apprised of a few months ago.

This heartbreaking news for the mother of three of our grandchildren and wife of son Greg had prompted us to come to Minnesota without an outgoing flight and a level of uncertainty as to how long we’d stay. 

Our original plan was to stay for two weeks but now we’ve extended it to three weeks based on circumstances and would have stayed longer except for the fact I am grossly allergic to cats which causes severe asthma. Greg and Camille have Morty, an adorable cat.

I am unable to spend more than a few hours at their house each day and thus, we’ve decided we’ll be leaving Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day which is the best time to fly out to avoid the holiday rush on either end.

We feel sad to be leaving early but have no choice since I am hardly in a position to be having breathing problems at this point, or for that matter, at any point.

When we lived here seven years ago I’d only spend a few hours at their home while visiting. More often, they came to visit us or we did activities out and about. Now with winter fast approaching, snow on the ground and bitterly cold weather, outdoor activities aren’t practical.

We’re spending as much time as possible with the grandkids and their parents, enjoying everything we’re doing together. Oftentimes, Tom and I are separated spending time with our respective families.

As for dear Camille, she is doing as well as anyone could under these dreadful circumstances. Her strength and attitude are exceptional, not surprisingly, and we have all the hope and anticipation she will recover from this frightening disease.

Her family and friends have lovingly and helpfully rallied around her and she is in good hands with lots of love, support, and prayers. I hadn’t mentioned this in a prior post since I wanted to ensure she was comfortable with my doing so.

Today, while we spent several hours in the private chemo suite, we had a good chance to talk and she agreed that my writing about her condition would be fine especially since she’d posted a few comments on Facebook with periodic updates for her family and friends to see.

There are no words anyone can say to a cancer patient or their family to ease the worry and concern during this painful and difficult process. Having been faced with my own mortality this past year, made us both all the more compassionate and understanding of the emotional upheaval of dealing with a potentially life-threatening condition.  

Although we have to leave Minnesota, we’ll be in close touch with Camille’s progress and continue to pray for a positive outcome. She has a long way to go with her many upcoming treatments and eventual surgery but our thoughts will always be with her.

At the moment, I am sitting in a Perkins Restaurant working on today’s post. At 4:45 pm, son Greg will pick me up to attend the bake sale at the kid’s school for which we’d made tons of Rocky Road Bars we placed in pretty holiday tins for tonight’s event. 

It was quite a job, putting together all those containers with over 200 bars but it’s for a good cause for the Agamim Charter School fundraiser. We all got involved in the process and ultimately I made it through the hours of baking and standing on my feet. My only issue was the difficulty in breathing due to the cat.

Baking for hours was something I hadn’t done since last Thanksgiving when I made eight pumpkin pies in the 102F (40C) heat and humidity in Marloth Park when I classified my day as a “Pumpkin Pie Hell.” See the link here.

The awful heat had a huge impact on the made-from-scratch dough, almost impossible to roll in the awful weather but somehow I made it through the day. The pies didn’t look as good as they tasted, so said our holiday dinner guests!

We would have loved to stay in Minnesota for Thanksgiving dinner but there were limited non-stop flights available and that particular day offered the best options. We’ll arrive in Henderson, Nevada in the early evening and possibly go out for dinner thereafter.

That’s it for today, folks! Tomorrow’s another day.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 11, 2018:
This morning, Tom stood next to Ms. Bushbuck to prevent kudus from stealing her share of pellets. For more photos, please click here.

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