Coffee heat rising

Angels Are Singing

…and they sing Bach cantatas.

Our choir director offered to help out. The cupboard was about bare, and so I said it sure would be nice if someone could get me some groceries. I wanted some prepared food that I don’t have to put together — I’m just not up for cooking and so have about stopped eating, except for some ice cream that’s still in the freezer — but it needs to be low in sodium: a contradiction in terms.

When he made a run on Sprouts, he therefore read the labels on the frozen and canned foods and was startled to discover how much salt virtually all prepared foods contain. Result: he bought a fresh chicken and made a big pot of chicken soup for me!!!

How awesome is that?

More surgery scheduled for the crack of dawn tomorrow.

I don’t believe it’s going to take place. I  have a cold — came down with an awful sore throat late last week, and now have a miserable hacking cough. The temp is down to normal just now — five a.m., when your body is close to corpsehood anyway — but it’s been spiking up and down. Last night it was up around 100, high for me because my “normal” is well under 98.6. Impossible to know whether that’s from the cold or the breast infection. Probably a little of both.

Friday the incision split open, and it’s been oozing blood and icky stuff ever since. I tried to cover it with pads from CVS but that didn’t work — it just soaked right through my clothes. Looked like I was going to have to sleep on the tile floors to avoid ruining several hundred dollars worth of sheets, pillows, and blankets, to say nothing of the mattress.

But my son came to the rescue. He brought his buddy who’s a PA and now a third-year medical student. This excellent young man showed up with packages of surgical dressing and antiseptic detergent. He dressed the wound and taped down the surgical dressing so the gunk couldn’t get out.

So at least I was able to sleep in my bed.

I have no idea what the Mayo surgeon is going to do. This infection needs to be cleaned out and the incision resutured. It’s hard to imagine any anaesthetist would knock out a person who’s sitting there coughing her head off. About the best she’s going to be able to do, I imagine, is clean it out under a local and then have me come back for more gouging at a later date.

When I say there’s no end to this, I ain’t kidding.

Meanwhile, I sent the pup to my son’s house. I can no longer deal with two dogs, one of them an adolescent.

And, come to think of it, neither can Cassie.

That puppy has totally  beaten Cassie down. Pup is so dominant that she just thrashes Cassie, who’s taken to spending all her time hiding in the bathroom. Whenever she comes out, Ruby jumps all over her and bites at her.  Cassie can’t play with her toys, she can’t come out in front with me and chase Ball (because we can’t get out around the puppy), and I’ve been too sick to take either of them for a walk — which because of the broiling heat wouldn’t have been possible anyway until the past few days. Poor old dog’s coat was just sticky with puppy slobber. I can’t lift her into the tub to wash her, but did manage to brush her and brush her until all the loose hair came out, and with of it most of the crispy dog drool.

So I”ve made up my mind that Pup goes. I’ll ask my son if he would like to have her. In fact, I did so last night — he thinks I’m not in my right mind and refused. After the surgery is done, I’ll ask him again, and if he again declines, she’s going back to the breeder.


If I’d had any idea a locomotive was bearing down on me, the last thing I’d have done would’ve been to get a puppy.

Pup hasn’t had her rabies shots. When it was time for them, she was too sick to take rabies shots — the vets’ offices refused to administer them.  And for the past weeks I’ve been too sick and too preoccupied  to deal with it.

The sheer amount of money I’ve had to spend on that little dog boggles the brain. Latest cost was $850 to install a fence to keep her out of the pool area. But the vet bills! My god. I don’t even want to think about tallying them up.

Between the vets and the Mayo, my bank account is about cleaned out.  So, the plan to get a new car is now junk.

I called the mechanic and told him that thing has got to keep running for at least another two or three years (it’s 14 years old now…). He’s going to come and get it on Friday if I can’t drive it by then, and they’ll service it and try to shore it up against the tide of age.

I’d put off the regular service thinking that this summer I’d trade it in, so that’ll be another expensive bill.

One good thing: at the suggestion of a FaM reader, I did re-check the county’s rules about who qualifies for a property tax freeze. I’d thought my income was a couple of hundred dollars past the cut-off. But lo! They’ve raised the threshold! I’m just under the income limit!

You have to produce a utility bill to prove you’ve been in your house for two years. Of course, everyone has two years worth of utility bills laying around the house, right? So whenever I recover (if I do), I’ll have to get on the horn to Salt River Project, Southwest Gas, and the city water dept and try to persuade one of them to mail me a copy of a two- or three-year-old bill. Then, it’ll be another joust with bureaucracy.

Wish I’d known that earlier. Property taxes were lowered during the Recession-That-Was-Not-a-Depression, and if I’d wangled a freeze then, I wouldn’t be shelling out over two grand a year for the privilege of living in my paid-off home.

{sigh} I think this is about the roughest patch I’ve ever been through — since my mother died of cancer, anyway. Certainly beggars the divorce and beggars getting laid off the job. But I can’t complain. Much, much worse things could happen. All you have to do is look to the left and look to the right to find people who are in a worse predicament than yours.

11 thoughts on “Angels Are Singing”

  1. Once again, thank goodness for your son! Your choir director is pretty cool, too.
    As for Ruby, I don’t know how you and Cassie have tolerated her for as long as you have. Even before you were dealing with your health issue, she was driving you crazy as well as costing you money.
    I hope they can at least clean out the infection tomorrow. Good luck.

    • Well…heh heh heh… The nature of a puppy is to drive you crazy. That’s what they do. Besides, she was certainly a lot less crazy-making than the late great German shepherd, a.k.a. the Thousand-Dollar-a-Day dog. She doesn’t dig, she doesn’t chew furniture, she doesn’t drag you down the street, she doesn’t try to bring down passing cars by the oil pan, she doesn’t try to rid the earth of other dogs, she doesn’t spend her idle hours plotting ways to kill the UPS guy, and she has yet to steal a steak off the kitchen counter. Pretty tame, I’d say. 😆

  2. I realize you are under enormous pressures right now, but I hope you won’t make a decision about Ruby for some time yet. She will grow out of her puppyhood soon and can be trained out of some of her bad behaviors…….when you are feeling much better, of course.

    I just hate to see a dog who thinks she has found her forever home have to start all over again. I hope your son can keep her for a few weeks to help you out.

    • It would be ideal if he would keep her. He’s talked about getting a companion for Charley, and those two love each other. Problem with Cassie is two females. I knew better than to get a female…the breeder advised a male…but oohhhh no. One reaps what one’s stupidity sows.

      But if he does keep her — at this point I intend simply not to make any move to take her back, and see what happens — if he does, then he ends up with a walking vet bill, thanks to the pup’s chronic health issues. Which of course he can’t afford. Neither can I, come to think of it.

      There’s no end in sight for this surgery business. Even if I go for a simple mastectomy, it’s not just a matter of lobbing off your boob and sending you on your way. There will be complications like lymphedema, the likelihood that another growth will arise in the other breast and I’ll have to go through all this again, the higher possibility of further infection since I’ve already got an infection in there, and on and on. If I’m “lucky” (heh!) and tomorrow she succeeds in getting clear margins, then I’ll have to deal with radiation therapy, which brings a whole new set of headaches and horrors.

      I’m already past being able to cope, and given that this is likely to go on for a very long time, it’s pretty clear that coping is no longer part of my future.

  3. Funny ….you are certainly “up to your eyeballs in alligators”…I can not imagine any doctor operating on you with the symptoms you describe. This has been a crazy ride….cancer surgery even though they claim you don’t have cancer…and antibiotics to fight an infection that the surgeon swears is not infected…Man how you keep from putting your hands on someone…I have no idea. I don’t see the Docs operating but I can see them putting in a “drain” when they change the dressing in your breast and sending you home to recover a bit before a plan of action is decided on. BUT what do I know? Great news about the “tax break”, pretty sure if you explain the situation to the power company they will provide a report for the powers that be. Good luck tommorrow … Hang tough!!!

    • In general, wariness of exactly this sort of thing is why I STAY AWAY from doctors and don’t let them do a lot of fishing expeditions…uhm, screening tests on me. And sincerely, I do wish when Dr. C had told me to go in for a routine mammogram, I had run in the opposite direction…especially since this particular “precancer” is famously known for very, very, VERY rarely turning into an invasive cancer. Once sucked in, though, I couldn’t see a sensible way out.

  4. [expletives] Augh! This is just bogglingly awful and I wish I could shake those doctors of yours – what have they *done*??

    I really hope your son can manage Ruby for a while… the vet bill bit is definitely a concern (it’s why we ended up with Seamus instead of asking someone to adopt him…).

    • Turns out she forgets her housetraining when she gets to his house. She’s been covering his floors with pee and poop. Sooo….don’t think she’s gonna be welcome there.

      I’m afraid she’s going to end up back with the breeder. I’m well past my limit for things I can handle, and a puppy that’s making the older dog (and original Dog Owner of the Funny Farm!) miserable is way, way beyond the pale.

      • Damn. I’m sure it’s to do with the transition and all but I understand – you’ve got way too much on your plate right now. Cassie came first and she shouldn’t be made miserable after all this time. I wish I could lend a hand with that 🙁

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