Its 11:50 am
Looking outside at a grey,gloomy,dreary day. It rained pretty good last night into the early AM and the snow on the ground is almost all washed away.
I go to work in about 90 minutes....and Lori will be making another trip to Ann Arbor for her 3rd hydration therapy trip since her last chemo. The recovery time between chemo sessions is shrinking rapidly,it used to be the first 4-5 days were hell,then the 2nd week slowly getting better and the 3rd week....almost back to full strength.
Not so much anymore...its taken all 3 weeks this time to even start to feel better. The sinus infection/cold may have had some part in this but enough to warrant 3 hydrations? On top of this,Dr. Johnston is now on her own medical leave as she is pretty ill according to her nurse. We'll be handed off to Dr. Reynolds,who was present for Lori's operation at the U of M,he knows Lori's case very well. I don't feel we'll lose a step with Dr. J out of action. We just hope that she recovers quickly and will feel better.
We're trying to keep a even keel here....in fact we had a contractor that I have met through my job over last night to give us a estimate of our lighting project. We have 4 minor projects that we need done,two new light fixtures in the bathrooms.....
A complete rewiring job in a kitchen cabinets so our puck lights will work again,we bought new lights after the old ones burned out. But now the new ones really don't work the best and I think its the wiring so that will be looked at as well....
Lastly,we need a new thermostat controller,ours is very outdated and is at least 10 years old. I bought a new Honeywell model that be easy to program so we aren't facing high electrical bills. We have to keep the heat up a little higher because Lori gets cold so easy....
It feels good to be able to tackle a little project like this,we'll get this done and then aim to get the upstairs bathroom painted and some drywall work has to be addressed as well. Still have zero money saved up for a landscape/deck overhaul....even though both need it so very badly. But that is happens when a serious illness combined with a very long unemployment happens. Pennies are hard to come by....
Not complaining,we are very blessed,so many more have it much rougher then we do....
Read in the paper that the homelessness rate in Detroit is getting close to 20,000 people! That is out of a city of slightly over 700,000. These are not your typical warm city lazy asses like the kids in Los Angeles or the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco,the folks here are just in a wickedly awful way.
With Detroit facing a 327 million dollar hole,vital public safety dollars being cut to ribbons,public servants padding their own corrupt pockets,its so hard to see the bright lights that are attempting to shine through....but one small move might start the process,the feds are going to help start a Light Rail system here at last. Now I was living in San Jose when the Santa Clara County Transit started the Light Rail there. It too,started off slowly with a small 3.1 stretch from downtown San Jose to Great America. It ran a very limited time and only til 9 pm. It was free to ride at first as long as you had a ticket. As the Light Route expanded towards Los Gatos and Milpitas (where you could connect with the BART trains) ridership increased greatly as did the number of Light Rail cars.
It had its growing pains as well as accidents including a drunk man who fell between two cars and had his legs cut off,his body wasn't discovered until the next morning. Several auto-Light Rail collisions also happened but Santa County worked very hard at making safety the top goal and when I left for Michigan in '99,the Light Rail was booming and talks were undergoing on where the Light Rail would go next.
We are seeing the same thing here,a 3.1 mile stretch down historic Woodward Ave in downtown Detroit would be the first step. The same growing pains would be and will be experienced to be sure but the blueprint and footprint of earlier Light Rail systems can be studied in order to limit the same mistakes that hampered San Jose's Light Rail. It could the start of a real exciting time for downtown Detroit,a real game changer. I just hope for its own sake,they start a new transit authority as DDOT (Detroit Department of Transportation ) is one of the most poorly run city services. The new project would be D.O.A even for it gets off the ground if DDOT has anything to do with it.
But that still doesn't begin to cover the rising homelessness here...squatting here is running rampant and its only getting worse,seems like every week we are seeing/reading/hearing about a new strange squatting story on the local news. People renting out abandoned houses they don't own by running ads on Craigslist,people who own homes and lock them up until they decide what to do with them and coming across whole families who have moved in and are running illegal power to the homes...how you know these are very poor people is the fact they CAN'T leave Detroit even if they wanted too...they just don't have the resources to do so.
But squatters live a dangerous game,in the city hit hard by a slow,decaying fire department and the highest arson rate in the country,a house that may appear to be empty and abandoned and ripe for a arsonist may be in fact,housing a person or family just looking for a place to lay their heads.
One good thing about our past two winters,they have been incredibly mild compared to other years,just one decent snowstorm and maybe a few artic nights but otherwise the weather reminds me of California.
This helps reduce the risk of having people dying due to exposure and cold. How long this miracle will last is anyone's guess...hopefully long enough for the city to get a handle on its money woes and perhaps restore some services.
Its now Sunday night,11:43 pm
Gearing up mentally for the 5th chemo....we are getting worn down here,Lori is having problems keeping her food down and often is either throwing it back up or suffering from dry heaves. Pretty helpless feeling watching this and not being able to do a single thing but rub her back and make sure she can breathe.
I'm stress eating badly these days,I'm so nervous at night....I'm listening for every single cough or vomiting sound. I'm pretty worn out at the end of most days but still in this until we beat this once and for all.
Monday is labs and the doctor visit in Ann Arbor,I will be at work,Tuesday is chemo day,I'll be there until 3:30 pm then head to work,then off the next two days for Nulasta and hydration.
Lori has made me promise once we get past the 6th treatment that I take her out for a fun outing once her energy gets built back up...that is a promise I fully intend to keep.
Operation Repair went smoothly,we now have pretty new lighting in both bathrooms and a new thermostat that we can program. The local contractor we hired was such a lovely spirit and underbid the job by so much we didn't feel good about it. We gladly paid him more and when the lights we had bought for the upstairs were too big,he agreed to come back tonight and hang the replacements. He even did more then that,his wife baked us some fresh cranberries muffins! Just a great guy and I can't wait to refer him to some of our friends.
Next up is getting a better portal heater that we need in the living room....the one that I bought a few weeks ago turned out to be woefully underpowered by a long way.
This is NOT a good heater to get!
Okay,that is all I have for now....thank you all for dropping and reading my blog. And thanks for all the feedback from the last entry,I am glad folks took the time to actually read and comment.
I can't get over this blog has had over 5,107 hits so far....but I would love to see some new followers,so please take a few seconds and add yourself!
See you soon!
Just had to show this picture that Lisa Ann Walters posted,what a great shot! And if you get a chance to read her book,I highly recommend doing so....