November 17, 2003

Monday update

From Elizabeth:

I just had a nice chat with Maddy. She's still sleeping very
poorly and is quite tired as a result. She doesn't want to
take sleeping pills because that would be simply one more
loss of control.

She sounded moderately strong today. She has times--from a
few minutes to longer--when "my brain goes away." Because
of that she hasn't been able to log on or use her cellphone.
Occasionally she doesn't answer her phone for the same reason.
With all the chemicals running through her system, it's
remarkable she is doing as well as she is.

For the same "foggy" reason, she sometimes doesn't feel like
having visitors. Becca, she especially apologized for not being
up to seeing you a couple of times, and she very much appreciates
your stopping by.

She asked how many people have RSVPed for Becca's Thanksgiving

Maddy is currently getting chemo every day, but she hasn't
had nausea for several days (HOORAY!), and has not yet lost
any hair, to her oncologist's surprise. Also, she reported with
glee that she is not scheduled for any type of transfusion today.

She saw her first hospital bill today. The only item she specifically
mentioned was more than $3,000 just to insert the brain shunt.
For such a comparatively short procedure, that does seem a
tad high. I asked about her insurance, and she said it was covering
all this nicely.

Alice, she particularly wanted me to thank you again for your
knitting, and she apologizes for not being able to send you

Another piece of very good news is that Maddy is "eating like a
horse." While we talked I scrolled through the website for
Goodwoods British Market. I ordered anything she said she liked,
and it turned out to be a very large order indeed. I also
called customer service and asked them to send today what they
could and ship the rest later. I explained it was for a hospital
patient, and they were sympathetic and assured me at least
part would go out today.

None of this is to lessen what others might want to send. Will,
she particularly liked the digestive biscuits you sent. The items
she especially is fond of are clotted cream (but it *must* be of
the pasturized variety), mini battenburgs, dark chocolates, and
blackcurrant anything. I've sent at least one of each of these
treats, but I'm sure she'd appreciate more.

The only thing she asked for that I couldn't send is
crumpets. Goodwoods carries only frozen crumpets, and there is a
5-lb minimum on frozen shipments. Are crumpets always served
toasted? If so, maybe we should send her a little toaster.

I did send her a nice, automatic-shutoff tea kettle for heating
tea water. Also included were a pretty tea cup for one, and some PG
Tips and Tetley tea bags. Those teas are not flavored. I think
Maddy likes some flavored (Earl Grey?), but we didn't get around
to discussing that. I'll ask tomorrow.

Maddy has lost her glasses and can't read her Palm Pilot. I said
I'd send her some reading glasses. When I asked what strength,
she said, "Double." Does anyone know the numerical value of that?
Reading glasses come in 1.5, 1.75, 2, 2.25, etc. Is double 2.0,
or would that be too logical?

She also asked that the Maddy Fund add minutes to her cell phone,
which I'll do this afternoon.

Maddy is awed and moved by the fact that the Maddy Fund is
currently over $3,000.

She asked me to give everyone her love and appreciation, and to say
she's sorry she isn't able to log on and send email herself.


Posted by ptomblin at November 17, 2003 02:18 PM

I very much appreciate those of you close to Maddy who are taking such loving care. She has quite an army of friends. You are the best medicine.

Posted by: bernie at November 17, 2003 07:34 PM

You appear to be a thoughtful, energetic, organized and extraordinarily good friend to Maddy. I am sure everyone of us-who rely on the blog for the bulk of our information and updates-would like to extend our thanks to you not only for keeping us in the loop but for taking such tender, thoughtful and comprehensive care of Maddy. I, for one, send my heartfelt thanks to you and am glad that, if we from far away can't or aren't often there enough, you are a constant companion and help.

Thank you Elizabeth

Ruthie (Canada)

Posted by: Ruth at November 17, 2003 04:43 PM
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