Monday, October 23, 2017

Another month, Fall is coming

Fall is coming. It's slowly coming. October has been a remarkably warm month. Certain shrubs are blooming, as are the strawberry plants! It's been sunny and warm. Yesterday, I think we got hit by the tail end of a tropical storm, Brian, for about 15 minutes. It almost blew off the last of the leaves from the tree in front of the house. The trees in the back are still full of leaves. Paul mowed the lawn. He keeps hoping it's the last time until next year, but I think it's not over, yet.
It's a bit of a sad month. A friend from my tech writing days died last Wednesday. Today would have been her 66th birthday. We were born the same year. She had a very rough final year. Her diagnosis for cancer came on her return from summer vacation, last year. I hadn't seen her in years, but started visiting during her chemo. Since I don't hold a job any more, it was relatively easy for me to visit during the day when time just drags on and on. I got to know some places pretty well. Although the care at Hôpital Cochin was kind, the diagnosis (and subsequent treatment) were wrong; the convalescent hospital she was sent to after each chemo session was very nice and I love the neighborhood. (I remember when we were looking for a house, there.) Then she got another doctor to take a look and changed hospital. Hôpital Pompidou is way across Paris from me and it takes more than an hour to get there, even by RER and metro. But it looks like a good place to be, if you have to be in a hospital. This doctor operated, took the tumors out (13 kilos), which bought her some time and much greater comfort. Because he was able to get a better diagnosis, he also changed the chemo, so Spring and Summer were not nearly as horrible as last Fall and Winter. But that was it. After a short stay, again, at Pompidou, she was transferred to a palliative care hospital, still a bit of a trek to get to for me, but I always have a book to read. This Hôpital Cognac Jay, in the 15th, is, to me, extraordinary. It does not change the outcome, but the staff, both medical and para-medical are wonderful. The setting is not bad, either. There are two buildings with a big garden between them and plenty of areas to sit and chat. After all, some patients are mobile and being able to get outside is nice. As I said, earlier, the weather has been gorgeous. I am sad to lose a friend, glad that through visiting her I was able to make a new friend and reconnect with others, and relieved that she is no longer suffering. She was so frustrated during my last visit to her, a week before she died, unable to really communicate clearly.
I've become really lazy on the AARO front. I was discouraged about the US tax and banking issues; I don't seem to care anymore. I want out.

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