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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Perfect Tree

Missing you all and needing to say that I wish I had the energy to write more often.  I am still sleeping 12 to 15 hours per day.  I had the pleasure of getting a short respite with family over the past few weeks and some interesting new things happened while I was there. 

It is worth noting that my Avastin dosage has increased because I continue to gain weight.  (The weight gain is an entirely separate post, too complex to even discuss.) Ha!  

Anyways, I was walking on the kitchen floor and heard a cracking sound in my left foot.  The popping sound that accompanied a sudden surge of pain and inability to bear weight on said foot sent me to the ER.  I had only been there an hour!  Ha.  I am now wearing a big walking boot and do have a fracture in my left foot.  

Then for two days non-stop I was bedridden with terrible nausea and an evil headache.  What???  I am  on vacation.  

We missed the local tree lighting ceremony with all the holiday extras.  I felt terrible for my aunt. Instead of us walking around the town relishing in holiday cheer she was busy taking care of me.  I love my aunt so much.  I plan to visit next year for a do-over.

Then, yes there is still more, I had to go to the ER a second time because I had unexplained chest pain, neck pain and pain with shortness of breath.  Geeeeeze leweeeeze!

They treated me as if I was having a cardiac issue or embolism.  This has never happened before.  I was panicky to say the least.  When it first happened the noise of the TV was hard to bear and I could not turn my head.  The pain along my neck was on both sides, intense and sharp.

I was given a nitroglycerin patch, IV Lorazapam and some sort of blood thinner. The ER staff and physician were incredibly polite and efficient. They drew labs for cardiac enzymes, checked my legs and chest for blood clots and admitted me for overnight observation. They drew two more enzyme labs over the course of my stay and performed a stress test on my heart. I was very impressed and am so grateful for receiving such a complete cardiac work up. 

After all of THAT, my heart is in good shape, thank you dear Lord.  

What the cause of this mysterious chest episode was, I do not know. If it happens again then I will be referred to a cardiologist, per my PCP.

So this is where we get to the "perfect tree" part.  I return from my vacation exhausted, sleep 23 hours, and sadly realize that I can't get my Christmas tree without help.

I was delighted and thankful to find two ladies who selected, transported and set up a tree for me. To honor my mom, who passed away last November, I wanted to purchase my Christmas tree from Swanson's Nursery.  Swansons was her favorite nursery, such a beautiful place.

My Christmas tree is the perfect tree.  It represents real life.  The curved trunk, uneven branches, the way it appears as if it might just topple over at any moment.  I checked, it is secured tightly to the stand. It will never look balanced and even.  My tree this year is not a calming tree. It symbolizes unexpectedness and awkwardess, sufferig and loss, yet displays beauty and joy.

My Christmas tree is telling me to stay alert.  It is also taking forever to decorate.  As I write this post I am yet to hang the ornaments I received after mom died.  The box is here, it is the last box of ornaments to hang.  

I will do that tomorrow and post a photo when I am done.

As we embrace these next few weeks of holiday joy, from all cultures and religions, I pray you find your spirit renewed.  I will be blogging soon with more Christmas cheer.....I hope.

Merry Christmas



  1. dear Denise,

    oh, my what a time you have had! I am so sorry it all came crashing down while you were on vacation. but I hear such gratitude and optimism in your voice - you are amazing! your tree is beautiful, and I love the attributes you've singled out and what they stand for. truly, truly inspiring. I know it might be a bit emotional, hanging the ornaments you inherited from your dear Mom. they will be such a lovely finishing touch and I hope as you hang them you feel her presence and her love surrounding you. cry if you need to, along with having both sad and happy memories of Christmases past. I will be thinking of you...

    ...with much love,

    Karen OXO

    1. Dear Karen,
      So wonderful to hear from you again. I guess I try to look for ways to not only provide information, but give some relevance, if at all possible. The tree that was selected sort of came to me by design.

      I am going to post the finished tree for fun with a Christmas message soon.

      I pray that you find yourself with loving people, family and friends, at your side. I know you will be missing your husband. Somehow he will comfort you and make you laugh and smile.

      Merry Christmas to you....


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