When life hands you lemons…..

….make lemonade or preferably add them to a G&T.

Well it just has, but no matter how much lemonade or gin I drink it won’t change the situation or make it better.

We had survived the five long and difficult years when the AP was living with us, then we were planning how we would spend our time and Covid-19 came along. No problem we said, lockdown is similar to the years living with the AP except we didn’t have to cope with her intransigence. We came out of it all a little wary but determined to get more out of our latter years and then, wham! A curved ball came out of the blue and left us shell shocked.

The LSO has cancer, not any old cancer but a rather rare one, he has a tumour in his tongue. He’s never smoked, never been a heavy drinker but has enjoyed his real ales and equally fine wines, isn’t overweight and thanks to the two Jack Russells is pretty fit for someone of 76 years of age.

So how did this happen? The consultant says its basically the luck of the draw!

Well, all I can say is thank goodness the LSO is not a gambler.

It has changed our lives completely. The operation was a demanding twelve hours, during which the tumour was removed and the tongue rebuilt using flesh from his thigh then it was ICU for 5 days before a move to a HDU specialising in Head and Neck for a further 2 weeks. During these challenging months the LSO inevitably lost weight but did a good job of recovering, even on a liquid diet, gaining three quarters of a stone from leaving hospital until the Radiotherapy began. Then 3 weeks in, having had 15 sessions, the side effects began to appear. By the end of the 30 sessions he was suffering from severe burning and pain in his mouth, tongue and throat making eating and swallowing incredibly difficult, leading to further weight loss. Morphine has had little effect on the pain so Fentanyl patches were added for further relief. These too had little effect so it was suggested by the radiologist that these be doubled every three days. That was last night and things do seem ever so slightly better.

Apparently the side effects keep ramping up after the treatment ends though for how long no one knows because everyone reacts differently to this brutal treatment.

Where do we go from here? Well we can only go forwards and handle the situation with grace, positivity and remember that humour is a great healer. Although at the moment the LSO is struggling and I feel weary, utterly exhausted and just a little battered and just hope we can both find the laughter we have enjoyed as a couple for 58 years returning to buoy us up.

….and the AP? still sailing on at 104 years of age.

Tempus Fugit.

To say time flies is an understatement. As I get older it is speeding up and the more I pack into my day the faster it goes. Just to throw in a useful bit of information; the expression comes from book 3 of Virgil’s Georgics, (a ‘georgic’ for those interested, is a book dealing with agriculture or rural topics) where it appears as ‘fugit inreparabile tempus’ which translated as: ‘it escapes, irretrievable time’.

How immensely true that is, we cannot have back what has gone!

It’s a while since I posted and that is partly due to the disastrous meeting with the AP at the Care Home. It was a gloriously sunny day so we were able to meet outside which we felt was a bonus but we were wrong. She had just eaten her lunch and started moaning from the moment the care assistant wheeled her out. The meal was not good, although she couldn’t remember what it was, the sun was too bright although she was in the shade and there was no proper greeting or interest in anything other than herself and what the AP felt she needed. I was referred to as ‘she’ throughout the 30 minutes and the LSO was greeted with enthusiasm and told it was lovely to see him. The conversation moved swiftly on to how she needed money and why was I handling her affairs anyway when she could do them herself. The LSO gently told her that she was incapable of handling her own affairs and had been for many years. It was all very uncomfortable because she continued to be rude and unpleasant and I felt the old angst rising as a knot inside and knew we needed to depart before something was said that could never be taken back.

So it is a return to the weekly phone call when the AP is positive, almost friendly and reasonably pleasant to talk to, in fact it would appear she herself prefers things this way which is fine by me and far less upsetting.

But back to the speed at which time is passing. I have almost completed my first sunset painting and have decided to do some much smaller images of skies as a project but have sidetracked myself with the complexities of sourdough. Some years ago I attempted to make this wondrous bread but failed miserably producing a large number of doorstops; not for me I decided and went back to normal bread making with yeast. The LSO started making it and had much more success, producing beautiful, well risen and airy boules with the required holes but that all stopped when the AP who was living with us then complained that the bread was too chewy and tough.

Recently I bought Vanessa Kimbell’s ‘Ten Minute Sourdough’ and started from scratch making my own starter and what a joy it has been; success at last. There is something hugely satisfying and zen-like about bread making in general which calms and nurtures the soul.

On the subject of success, my weight loss has continued with a few blips along the way but is much slower than I had hoped. Could that have something to do with the sourdough bread? Indeed I had thought I would have achieved my goal at least by Christmas but I am having to accept that it will be a much longer journey than originally anticipated. I am not letting this get me down but I do need to plan better. I have a tendency to wing it with food; looking in the freezer and fridge in the morning, asking the LSO what he fancies and making snap decisions using what is available. Not perhaps the best way to do things, so now I need to think ahead to get to my first target which will be three stone off and I am a tantalising 5 pounds away from that, then a mere 14 pounds to go afterwards.

Stagger Onwards Rejoicing.

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