Friday, July 10, 2009

What Rick Did on His Summer Vacation (from the tabletop diary)

In answer to questions from many of you, Rick is between courses of treatment right now. He starts up again after his next doctor's appointment on the 22nd of July.
He has been feeling pretty good since he hasn't been getting the treatments, and if all looks good on the 22nd, he'll have three more treatments. I don't know what comes after that.
You will learn that Rick's dad, Mark, has a medical situation shaping up. Read on for details. Rick does not mention, but I think it's interesting, that Mark now has a tattoo in his abdomen.
Rick mentions moving, and we will be moving, back to our house, which has not sold in almost two years.
Now, here's Ricky:

July 9, 2009 – Thursday
July 4th kicked off an explosive period, predictably enough. Loop editor Ed Swan is going on vacation and needed two submissions in a row for the paper, so Mary and I were kept busy writing and drawing through the middle of the week to have our contributions for both deadlines ready by the 7th, which we did, miraculously enough.
This was also our first week of having Allysan stay with us for the week while school was out – a nice switch for all but it added to the busy-ness of the period. The whole reason for my taking this week off was to be totally free of work responsibility so we could spend time with John and Julie Blakemore, and daughter Sarah, arriving from Australia and Ireland, respectively, also on the 7th. Or maybe it was Monday, the 6th.
At any rate, John & Julie came over for the day Tuesday morning and Sarah arrived later in the afternoon. A joyous reunion after too long of an absence!
Wednesday, J. & J. were occupied most of the day at the Social Security office over town at 9th and Lenora, working out the details of John's social security allotment from Uncle Sam – a complexity since he's an American citizen as well as an official Aussie. While they were occupied with that, Sarah came over and spent part of the day with us, catching up on everything that's occupied her life as an adult. The last time I saw her she was about 3 feet tall so there was a lot of ground to cover.
Likewise, in the midst of all this, the Quartermaster Heights “water system” blew a leak in its sub-standard piping. With no water meters on the system and the pipes consisting of untraceable sub-standard styrene, we had no clue as to where to start looking. Some of the older residents recalled that the last time this happened it was due to the sub-standard piping in our (i.e., Reva's) house.
A quick check revealed that the repairs made under the house then were (guess what) sub-standard, and dripping but plainly not the leak we were looking for this time.
Harley and I spent two days walking around the neighborhood consulting the sub-standard pipe map until Harley found it in a ditch, coming out from under a large tree. Apparently it had been leaking minimally since the day the pipes had been put in and the leak had fed the tree which wrapped its roots around the abundant water source until the combined weight of the tree and the roots' stranglehold crushed the pipe. Before the leak could be repaired the tree had to be cut down and the massive root ball cut away.
This has been quite a vacation.
We got to spend a nice day with John and Julie over here. We packed up this afternoon (Thursday) with Allysan in attendance and hiked the beach at Lisabeula, which I forgot how to spell. We got home shortly before Gregg Rechtin arrived and we polished off no less than three complete pizzas with grapes and strawberries on the side.
That almost completes the major events of the week to date, except for:
Dad Tuel called this evening with the results of his latest colonoscopy. He has a miniscule tumor, almost microscopic but nonetheless malignant, in his transverse colon. So far, his doctor believes it can be removed by laparoscopic surgery, and he's going back in tomorrow to set a date for its exorcism. He'll try to call back tomorrow night with further information.
Geez! What a year this has been so far, at least medically. Very challenging.

July 10th, 2009, Friday
Dad's surgery is set for July 31st, the earliest date they could arrange. His doctor said if he'd come in for the colonoscopy a few days earlier, they probably could have removed it (the tumor) this week.
Hmm. July 31st is looking like an impacted period of time. I'm going on call the day after I return to work next Monday. We start the move back to Beulah Park on Saturday, August 1.
My next date with Swedish is the 22nd, the day after I come off call and my next day starting on call will be August 4th, shortly after the move starts and Dad goes in for surgery.
While Mary took JD to work (4 p.m. to midnight) Allysan wanted to go take a dunk in the pool and while she was splashing around, John, Julie, and Sarah dropped by for a last visit before continuing their journey on to see Bruce and Hugh – their last stop on their world wide excursion. Oh, it's hard to say good-bye. We wanted to go with them!