Seven down, one to go...

"The great thing about being hit over the head with a hammer, is that it's great when it stops"

Well, one thing leads to another. In fact, that's been happening in a positive way these past few weeks, as we've counted down the dread chemo treatments, until at this writing, there is but one more. After 15th July, no more three-hour sessions, no more Neulasta shots, no more nausea or bone pain or suchlike. Just peace for six weeks, and a welcome back to grundoon's lovely locks! The radiotherapy will start in the autumn - major problem there will be possible minor burns, and fatigue.

Christine has lost some weight, despite eating close to a normal diet (I'm a good cook, see?), and we're obviously hoping that will reverse soon. She's back at work part-time (working about 3/4 of her normal hours) and is generally in good spirits, if tired. My recommendation is never get cancer, it's not a Good Thing at all.

Update: Radiation starts mid-August. At least she's getting it over with.

The "Without Whoms"

It's been a tough few months, and we'd just like to offer some big thanks to a few people. Firstly, to Barbara, Chris's primary care physician (GP to the Brits), for the speed with which she got the wheels in motion. Secondly, Alicia and the surgical team who did such a sterling job of the mastectomy and portacath installation. Then there is the oncology team - Luko and of course the staff and nurses at the Sutter Infusion Center in Davis, most especially Lynn, Christine, Annie and Kim. Your cheerful and optimistic nature, sense of humour and personal attention go well beyond the call of duty.

There are relatives, friends and neighbours, too, including you noders. Please, take a bow, all of you. Mac, Stumpy and Katy, Koren and Rick, Pat and Steve, Bob, Tessie, Sam and Caroline, Jenny and David, David and Jane, Lisa, Jim and Julie, Greg and Christina, Therese, Mark and Maureen...the list goes on. Of the noders, Apatrix and gwenllian, momomom, borgo, doyle, siouxisie, shimmer and stupot, Albert Herring (and Mrs Herring!), andromache01, Heisenberg, princess_loulou (in fact, all the ninjagirls, britnoders...), The Debutante, teos, Lometa, Wiccanpiper. In no particular order, and apologies if I missed you out - good karma will be yours.

All this care means that Christine has an excellent chance of coming through, not just medically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually whole. We thank you and pray for all of you.

A House! A House! My Kingdom for a House!

In amongst all the medical issues and worries, our landlady recently announced that she was selling the house we rent. Damned good timing - we had 30 days' notice to quit, which hasn't given us much time to find a new place, especially given that the majority of new rentals only become available in September (this being a college town).

Thankfully, we've been able to find a new house about a quarter of a mile away, for about the same price, and will be signing the new lease tomorrow. The worst thing that we have to face now is the actual move - Christine has a lifetime's worth of stuff to pack and move (mine will now fit into two suitcases, thanks to the demise of my house in Nottingham) - but we may just hire movers and be done with it.

The other thing we will leave behind is Tessie's tomato plants. She'd just seen the first fruits from them, and will be disappointed when her favourite fails to survive the transplantation process. Ah well, such is life. She'll survive. Funny, she's like me in this respect - the tiny little disasters are the ones I rave over, like the dropped milk bottle. The major ones (like Chris's cancer diagnosis and so on) I take in my stride...

"Nothing of importance happened today"

Such was George III's alleged comment in his diary on 4th July, 1776 (news of the Declaration of Independence didn't actually reach England until 24th July).

My first Independence Day in the USA went without a hitch. Instead of walking up and down the high street, carrying a Union Flag and a replica musket, I was with my family in the Capay Valley, swimming in Sam and Caroline's pool, after which we went to see some fireworks. The natives were fairly friendly, even when I told them that we were going to reimpose the Monarchy and give away the Constitution ("given that you aren't using it").

It's another fine day in a strange land, which becomes less strange by the day. The temperature right now is 31°C (89°F), the high was 38°C (100°F). I had a small feeling of victory a month ago, when a Californian finally agreed with my comment that "it's hot today". Apparently this is just the beginning, though - temperatures in this part of the world can hit 41°C (105°F). But apparently, "it's a dry heat", which makes it all right.

Update: 7th July

The total and bloody awful irony of George's quotation has just hit me for six, on reading the news that there have been explosions (presumably bombings) in London. Heart in mouth, I await confirmation that no-one I know is in the "quite a large number of casualties" at Aldgate Tube Station.

As I know some dozens of people in London, my thoughts are with all of you britnoders- even if no-one is hurt, the damage to your peace of mind must be colossal. What passes for prayers in this heart, are with you all today. I remember the feeling of helplessness I had on September 11, 2001.

Of the London-based britnoders or visitors, these have been reported as being OK:

Not yet heard from:
Editors, feel free to update this list.

Update: 27th July

We're moving next Tuesday, 2nd August. Needless to say, once it's all over, it will be a big relief. Thanks for all your messages of support, once again!

(R) breast and (R) axilla - Caught in the medical machine - Going Amazonian - When the Breast Fairy Comes - So there we were, in Oncology, wishing for Star Trek technology - Weddings, and other Sundrie Diversions - Support the Amazons: A Dual-Function Ninjagirls Bakesale for Boobies - Seven Down, One to Go - 1950s technology meets 21st-century woman. - Getting better, but cancer SUCKS - An Open Letter to Macy's regarding Tits