“All tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.”

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” ― Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch


We seem to be surrounded by Good Omens lately. Every time we hear that phrase “good omens” we can’t help but think of the nutty and wonderful book by that name. Although Sister Mary Loquacious of the Chattering Order misplaces the Antichrist and the Apocalypse is due this Saturday, it all works out in the end. And if all those mishaps, bungling and devious nonsense still bring the world to a happy ending, then good omens indeed. It certainly seems to fit!

As quickly as the harvest began, it was over… a few hours that first afternoon when we were hustled from Monter to North Shore and then a few hours more the following morning. This bumper crop heralded the start of next beginning. We were to wait for a call giving us the next part of the process. It’s like a scavenger hunt where the clues come one by one.

First clue… during the coming week, Rich will have a series of shots over three days that will help eliminate the expected mouth sores. Kepivance is supposed to coat the mucosa so that the high level chemo that Rich will receive his first week in the hospital will have less chance to affect the mouth, tongue and digestive tract with ulcerations. He can expect it to feel like he hasn’t brushed his teeth in days and his taste buds will have altered tastes. He’ll have another three shots after chemo is finished. But like all effects, this is expected to leave no residual issues. It’s always fascinating to look at the development of the meds that are being used. This particular one is a combination of human and E. coli DNA. So many beneficial poisons used to counteract the effects of the beneficial poisons!

These shots are the last bit of medical preparation before the entrance to the little hall of little rooms. On August 18, 1983 our daughter Emily came into this world and it’s been a party ever since. We find it auspicious that this year on the same day, Rich will be admitted to North Shore for the next stage of our journey. August 18, 2014 is the day of days. Such good omens! Excellent clue!

Our final push to get ready has been all but completed. All our indoor plants have been relegated to the upstairs since we’re staying on the main floor of the house for the duration. We decided to do the move now so that we can get used to it and the house won’t feel off when we return.

The little bedroom now has beds for two, so the recliner is in the living room and a TV is set up on the mantle. This gives Rich easy options to other places to relax in the house without having to maneuver any steps at all.

Some smaller items here and there have been moved up or downstairs or into cabinets or drawers to make it easier to keep things clean. We’ve done as much as we could to maintain the same feel in our home… we’ve just made some small adjustments that will serve us well. As time goes on, his world will expand but for now, we’ve got comfort and convenience on the main floor all set.

Next we needed to take a look at what to pack. At orientation they recommended wearing button down shirts or hospital gowns so that you can easily change clothes without worrying about the ever-present IV lines. To date, Henley shirts have been our go-to but they won’t do for this part of the game. There was little doubt in our minds how we were gonna go with this… Hawaiian shirts. Definitely. 21237_20140811_192537_displayEach day will be a celebration in an array of colors and patterns, all in silky fabrics to be easy to wear and sleep in. No hospital gowns or stuffy oxfords for us! What fun to flex our internet muscles and shop Ebay for some great vintage duds to deck out our One of Nine and add to our current collection.

Our chemo bag o’ tricks is filled with the necessary diversions and ever at the ready… no need to expand on that.

Our coming week will be filled with more of the future forbiddens… taking in a movie, visiting with groups of family and friends, restaurants, sushi. Windows open with cool night breezes. Whatever we can as we finish up our final bits and pieces to prepare.

And lastly, we’ll make sure we leave no tapes in our car. We’ve already a good library of Queen albums.

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