Friday, November 5, 2010

And So...

The weather is moving, the wind escorting it in from the north, and the trees are swishing in their old tired petticoats and the Spanish moss hanging from the oaks sways this way and that. The sun is coming out but the air is getting cooler, and it will be cold (for us) tonight. It's fifty-nine in my hallway right now and I could turn on the heater but it's too pretty out here on the porch to close myself in yet. I have on my ugly corduroy overalls and my ugly black cashmere sweater and I am warm enough. I can hear the leaves rustling, the birds twittering and the windchimes ringing, da-duh, da-duh, over and over again.
A rooster crows next door.

Home. I am home.
We went to Thomasville and I thought as we drove up that pretty highway from Monticello how pleasant it was to be in a car with two women I adore, passing fields and old houses, pecan groves and country stores. Such a simple thing, to drive down a road on a Friday morning, from Florida to Georgia with the sun shining through the cool, clear air.

Thomasville, Georgia is one of the prettiest little southern towns you'd ever want to see. One house after another of old Georgia pine, painted up and each one could be a picture on the wall. Oak trees everywhere, roses, too. And the people are just so damn nice. They talk real southern there. I mean REAL southern and you can tell which side of the tracks someone was raised on and you can tell where they shop from how they handle that accent.

The new cancer center there is a beautiful place and if people are nice in Thomasville generally, they are that to the tenth power there. They all already recognize Kathleen and seem to know what's going on with her. None of that confused boredom we kept finding in Tallahassee. None of the "I don't know why he told you that. It's not in your chart," bullshit.
Kathleen's new doctor really and truly does look like a miniature Antonio Bandaras. He is just darling with hair so black it shines blue. I'm not exaggerating, either.

He shook all our hands and he asked questions and I won't go into all the details but none of the scans from this week showed anything overt so he wanted to get a lung biopsy next week and see what that said and look at her path reports from Tallahassee (when they get around to sending them) and that he'd go from there with her chemo. That was the plan.

And they gave Kathleen some Vitamin B12 shots and something else to prepare her for her next chemos and they sent us on our way. We went to Lowe's because Kathleen has decided to paint her house and put down new flooring and she wanted to look at options.
Within half an hour, she had nailed down the type and pattern of flooring AND the three colors she likes and that is the sort of woman she is. She does not dilly-dally around with second guessing things. She was in a great mood, that girl, looking forward, always looking forward, not wasting any time. She's always been that way but cancer has made her even more so and I stand back in awe because buying a throw-rug for the kitchen can put me right over the edge.

We went to lunch and since both Judy and Kathleen ordered drinks, I got one too. A delicious Bloody Mary and as weird as it felt to drink in the middle of the day, it felt just right. We talked and we joked and we ate and we drank our drinks and then headed back to Kathleen's house. When we got there, the phone rang. It was Dr. Bandaras himself and he had gone back over the scans and seen a lymph node with cancer in it. This changed everything.
He wants to take the node out and do genomic testing on it and he feels that THIS will tell the story which will make his treatment options much more effective. So- this is good news. Perhaps the mystery will be solved.

What I loved about this doctor is that he is so obviously on the side of life. He told Kathleen that she is young and healthy and that he is going to be persistent and do his best and I believe him. He was not like her other doctor whom I believe is just flat burnt out and who seemed to be content with closing the book on her.
Plus, he's funny and cute and he laughs a lot, whereas the other doctor was always solemn and dour and wouldn't know a joke if it kicked him in the ass.

So. That is my report. I am sure that Kathleen will be writing hers tonight or soon, at least.
When I left her house, she and Judy were in good spirits and if I hadn't felt the need to come home and rest my cold, I would have stayed with them.

But I think I want to just snuggle down in the duck with my pillows and watch something mindless on the TV and
With Mr. Moon gone I don't need to worry about supper or laundry or any damn thing at all. I can eat almonds and prunes for dinner if I want or last night's leftover meatloaf. Whatever. Who cares?

So this is not funny or wise or anything at all but it's part of my life and as such, part of what I need to write because at the very end of it all, I write to keep track, to take note, to get out what is inside in this very safe and quiet way.


  1. Can you please, please, please write a book all filled with paragraphs like that first one? And can you get it published real soon so we can snuggle into a comfy old chair and read it when it's cold outside and warm inside and just smile because you take us somewhere else, just for a little bit?

    And I like those glass bottles swaying in the wind...

    P.S. I'm so glad your friend Kathleen found a good place and a better doctor. It can make all the difference... and she sounds amazing.

  2. Hehe, well I laughed out loud at the bit about the throw rug. Because yeah, I totally get that. Get some good sleep!

  3. So happy for all of this better care and better beverages.

  4. This is a wonderful post--beautiful writing, a snapshot of a brave woman and then home again.

    Thank you for sharing your truth with us.

  5. Aahh, but I beg to differ, this is all funny and wise and wonderful news. Another guy who knows his J.O.B.!! Two in one wee is a wonderful thing. I am having a very good feeling about this new cancer center.
    Snuggle down, Toots, and have a comfy cosy night.
    Bises, N2

  6. I have gotten so behind on all my favorite blogs!!!! A week goes by and I feel like I need a full day to read them all.
    So hear I am starting at the top and I am so relieved to hear that Kathleen went for a second opinion! Oh I hate to hear that they found some cancer in a lymph node yet it also makes me angry that the other Dr. didn't!
    Sounds like you all had a pleasant day in a lovely area that I wish I could drive to and see. I also would dearly love to see your oaks swishing in their tired old petticoats..what a description Ms. Moon.
    I will try to catch up now....days and days after you wrote..oh well....

  7. I meant two in one WEEK, of course. But two in one wee is kinda funny...

  8. Yes, to what everyone else said. Lovely words, lovely pictures you paint with them, good news for Kathleen, colder weather for us all. I'm looking forward to my comfy blanket too, as we dip below freezing again tonight.
    I'm with you, decision impaired about the littlest of things. People like Kathleen, who know what they want and know how to pick things that go together astound me.
    You may not think your writing is funny or wise, but it is that and more, much more. I'd put it into better words if I were able. I'm beginning to think the reason I write anything at all lately is just to help me remember, as nothing much sticks lately.
    I hope the time passes quickly and painlessly while you're home alone. It is kindof nice not having to worry about cooking or cleaning, just having cereal or whatnot for dinner, at least for a little while. Stay warm!

  9. Leslie- That would be so boring! Too much description...
    But thank you for all your words.

    SJ- I'm planning to. You too!

    Lisa- Me too, honey. Me too.

    Jeanne- Coming home is always sweet.

    N2- I thought about that myself- about how awesome it is when someone has curiosity and intelligence and cares whether they are a doctor or a tech specialist.

    Ellen- Maybe I'll try to get a little video of the trees in the wind soon. Really- it's probably good to find the cancer in the node. That way they can really find where it is coming from. Hopefully.

    Mel- I am thinking that this week will have moments of great peace and longing, too.

  10. Well, I guess the book would have to have SOME plot, but put in a lot of description too. Rawlings did it in Cross Creek, so well. Great characterization, great places, great ability to take the reader into her world.

  11. I am glad that Kathleen has someone who cares about her and wants to help her. Glad that you all had a good day.

  12. Whenever I read your posts, I could just as easily laugh as I could cry -- such is their beauty and humor and full-of-life-in-all-its-joy-and-despairness.

    Thank you for that gift, Ms. Moon -- for writing it all down so that we can read it.

  13. I am so glad that Kathleen has found a nice compassionate human being to be her doctor. Jackpot!

    Love you tons.


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