Sunday, February 21, 2010

Round Two!

Yesterday started Dad W's second round of chemo/radiation. They put in the chemo beads yesterday morning. They'll sit around and do their job for about two weeks, whereupon we go back and toss in the radiation beads.

This round is looking like it's going to be rougher than round 1. First of all, Dad W's condition has slipped somewhat since the first round, primarily due to being snowed in a lot, and a subsequent lack of motion on his part. If the weather is nice, I can sometimes get him to go out to the Y, or to walk a few hundred yards up and down the street (It really doesn't take much to count as "exercise" for him right now. Taking a shower is downright aerobic.), but if the weather is bad, getting him to move inside the house is pretty much a write off. Secondly, he's reacting more badly to both the procedure (they kept him overnight this time as he was vomiting and nearly aspirated a couple of times), and then to the chemo itself - he's been on pain medication most of today, when last time he needed barely any.

In ways both funny and alarming, Dad is also showing signs of intermittent confusion. Most of the time he's perfectly well oriented, but sometimes not so much. For example, earlier in the week he woke me up at 5am, demanding to know when I was going to start cooking dinner. He had woken up, and thought it was 5pm. I got him oriented and back to sleep, only to have him repeat the scene almost exactly twice more in the next two hours. I'm not sure if this is a reaction to the treatment, to the cancer, or something else (I know the procrit he's on can cause TIA's for example).

Poor Rob is a wreck right now. He flew in from his month out of country (he worked 24 of the 28 days he was down there, averaging 12 hour days), and arrived Thursday afternoon, only to have to get up at 4:30am to get Dad off to the hospital. Now the plant here is having internecine wars over who gets first dibs on him to fix their stuff. The curse of competency strikes again. OTOH, unless the plant is threatening to blow up, they will leave him alone tomorrow, or I will have something to say about it (to them, not to him). They lived without him for 28 days, they can survive long enough for him to have a day off.

I have survived my six weeks of being acting organist at church. R is back now, which is good, since I've blown straight through my entire repertoire. Last week we had a short notice (though not exactly unexpected, the lady was triple digits old) funeral, and I had to figure out how to hack my way through Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring in four days. I am quite possibly prouder of making it through that piece acceptably, if not exactly in grand style, than I am of the other six weeks. I put in more than twenty hours of practice in four days, very nearly getting snowed in at church one night, when it started snowing just as I arrived to start practice - which would have been a rude shock to Dad and the kids when they woke up in the morning. When R gave me my assignments for my next lesson, he handed me a new piece with the following comment "Don't expect to have this down in a week, or even a month. This will be about a year-long project - it's about as hard as Jesu, Joy." Which just made my jaw hit the floor. Jesu, Joy is a year long project piece? And I just played it from scratch in four days? Holy crap!

In karate news, I'm finally getting back to practice regularly - between the snow and the family obligations, I didn't get in much in January. I've passed Chatanyara no Sai to Sensei's satisfaction (if not mine, it still feels very choppy to me), and he's started teaching me Urashi Bo. I have very mixed feelings about Urashi - on the one hand, it's a bo kata and I do love my bo. It's also got a lot of cat stance with a forward block, and that's one of my best stance/move combinations, making this an potentially excellent competition kata for me. On the other hand, it's an inherently choppy kata, without a smooth flow even when performed by the people who are acknowledged to be great at it, which I don't much care for. We'll have to see how I feel about it when I'm not stopping every other move to remember what comes next.

Also congratulations, Bill, on your orange belt in jiu-jitsu! I know I already told you on the phone, but thought it deserved reiterating here.


Michele said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Becky said...

I'd be interested in seeing what your Urashi Bo looks like, and if it's any different from ours. I'd always felt ours was smooth and flowing--as much as Tokumine Bo was.

Felicia said...

Wow, PB - lots going on in your neck of the woods. Sending hugs from across the miles for your FIL and your family...

Congrats on getting through the piece and for returning to karate. Sometimes life makes it tough to train, but even with all you have on your plate, you haven't let it stop you. Keep on movin' darlin'!

Perpetual Beginner said...

Thanks Michele & Felicia. Hugs gratefully accepted! Dad is still running rough, but he's starting to feel better, and is contemplating trying to go get a haircut tomorrow, which would be a big improvement over today, when he never even made it downstairs.

Becky - I'd be very interested to see your Urashi Bo as well. Ours has several parts early on (I can't speak to the later bits yet) where you make a side shot, followed by a sweeping block off the same side, necessitating a quick repositioning of the bo back to the original side. I can't figure any way to make that flow well (quick and strong, yes, smooth, no), and even the lady in our demo video (Sensei Lisa from Memphis, can't remember her last name), who has won competitions repeatedly with it, looks fairly choppy to my eyes.

wh44 said...

Thanks for the congrats! My sensei gave me his old orange belt, since he didn't have any yet. He said I may keep it, too! :-)

Becky said...

Now, I'll have to try to remember how it goes...It's been a long time since I've done Urashi.