Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Tree is Down

The Christmas tree is down, thanks to Barbara and Cleta. And it's packed away thanks to Greg.

Barbara, Greg and I went to Roys for lunch and then came back here. Barbara and I started on the tree and Greg started hauling things to the basement I had packed up last night.

I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have all this help.

Cleta had a meeting this afternoon, but stopped by afterwards and dug right in. Of course, she is experienced, having done it last year!

Greg made many, many trips to the basement and some out to the shed to pack away everything.

I am so happy to have it down and stored. I love Christmas but once it's over I'm ready for everything to be put away. Greg said he will move the stand and plywood base for me tomorrow. I have one tree left to take down - the gold and copper tree, but that shouldn't take too long to do. We still have to store the white tree. It's the first year I've had it so it doesn't have a home yet.

I do not want to lay around looking at the Christmas stuff, so I'm so thankful for the help in getting it packed up and stored away. Barbara and Cleta worked hard, and Greg made many, many trips. I'm a fortunate girl to have such wonderful friends.
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One More Day

I spent the day preparing for surgery. I accomplished a bunch of things today for work and home - from getting a grant out the door to putting away Christmas things.

Aside from the main tree, I'd say I have about 90% of the Christmas stuff boxed up. Greg has been hauling it to the basement for me since lifting anything can cause the pain to start. My doc suggested it may be that the mass is shifting and hitting a nerve and that's what's causing pain. I just know the last time it hurt it was a direct result of picking up my suitcase so I'm loathe to lift anything that's more than a few pounds.

I've had many calls, emails, comments and notes today from folks regarding last night's blog entry. I'm so appreciative of everyone's kind words and encouragement. I bet more than one third of the people today have told me a story about themselves, or someone they knew, who had to have a mass removed. All were benign, and almost all grapefruit sized. I'm beginning to suspect that it must be at grapefruit sized when they're large enough to press on something so we can feel them.

Tomorrow Barbara is coming over to help me take down the tree. I'll be glad to have it all packed away. It's a big job. Last year Cleta and I did it in about 6 hours working steadily, so hopefully we'll be able to get it done tomorrow.

I called around today and found I can rent a hospital bed to have at home for recuperation and the cost (less than $200 a month) will go toward my insurance deductible. It's as if I'm not the first person to need this. Who knew? There's a system.

Now the question is if I want to recuperate in the living room or the sun porch or somewhere else. I'm guessing I won't need it too long, but I know I won't feel like climbing the steps to go to bed right away, so since I have to get something it might as well be a hospital bed that I can raise to a really comfortable height.

I'm really touched by people's concern and offers of help - everything from offers to come and stay at their homes while I recuperate to dozens of other things. I genuinely appreciate the generous offers, but I think I'll be more comfortable at my own house. I'm sure there will be things I need, but at this point I don't know exactly what they are. I'm hoping someone can be with Greg while the surgery is happening. I don't want him to be alone waiting.

When I went to bed last night I thought, "well, this will be the test... do I sleep or will I be awake all night worrying." I slept. Soundly. I'm feeling very optimistic that this is just a benign mass and not something to worry about long term. I hope that's the case.

Greg will be updating this blog during surgery, every time they tell him anything. So, you'll be able to keep track of things if you wish. When my brother, Jackie, had heart surgery last year I created a blog for him so everyone could keep track of things. It worked really well. So, I figure this blog will serve the purpose for everyone to keep track of my surgery.

I need to gather a bunch of books to read while I'm on the mend. If you have anything in mind, please let me know. Sharon got me a copy of "Water for Elephants" for Christmas and I loved that book. If you have suggestions, comment or email me at and lmk. I'm guessing my mind will be fully functioning before my body is and I can only watch so much daytime TV.
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