Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home Team, Conquering Heroes

The memorial weekend is over, and the home team (Michael, Shea, Kearney, Brad, Jovanna, me) can be considered victorious in every respect. The dinners at High Street had good food, pretty table settings, and were harmonious and pleasant events. The memorial itself was everything we’d hoped for. The speakers were perfect, the room was lovely and the food was great, even if the caterers did arrive more than an hour later than we expected. Kearney, especially, gave a nice talk. We’d catered for 40 and the quantity of food was fine even though we had 55 show up by the time it was all over. We’d had 46 RSVPs and I had figured we’d have enough food--and it still worked even with the last-minute overflow.

At the house, we had 15 people one night and 19 for dinner the next night. I ran out of energy a few times, but the home team stepped into every breach--and then some. My dad had left two enormous bottles of wine (methusalehs, or eight bottles of wine) in our basement, and we opened one for Saturday night’s dinner. That was special--we’ll save the other for use on what would have been his 100th birthday. With all hands on deck, we managed every event and everything was cleaned up and restored to “normal” by mid-afternoon on Sunday. Michael and I then slept for hours.

We’re seeking permission from the various speakers to post their segments of the memorial program on YouTube; we’re doing a dry run this evening with mine and will report on our success. We’ve done absolutely no editing beyond dividing into segments of the proper length and will be posting the ones for which we get permission. We’ll likely do editing and some refinement later for burning DVDs complete with the slideshow and the memories we collected on camera during lunch, but thought we’d give this a try for rapid sharing. Let me know if you want to see any of it.

The next two weeks are going to be hard. For that matter, all of April is going to be a challenge. The goal will be to keep pacing things at a maintainable, slow hare pace. Starting it all as depleted as I am today raises the stakes. We’re culling through the calendar and delaying or rearranging everything we can to to try achieve a rate that’s sustainable through the month. Plus, the six-month MRI is coming up. That will assess the re-occupation of the tumor void and early signs of tumor recurrence. By now, we're told, the brain will have reoccupied as much space as it ever will, which in turn apparently bears on later recovery/cognitive improvements. We’re interested to see what there is to see.

A new series of exercises in my PT is revealing some remaining balance issues: doing cross-over walks (one foot crossing over the other, going forward, backwards and sideways) with my head turned is stable with my head turned one direction, and completely unstable when I turn my head over the other shoulder. Having identified the severity of the difference means we can work on it in a more concentrated way--at least that’s the bright-side view. So that will be part of the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, we’re glad we got through the memorial week-end with our pride and dignity intact. We’re proud of the standard we hit and maintained, pleased with the graciousness of the many who came, and awfully, awfully glad it’s all over. We think it will make for interesting stories. Later. We’re holding our heads high.

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