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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

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Old 06-02-2022, 02:10 PM   #11
Rich Z
To add insult to injury, I had a heart attack this past Monday. I don't know how many people at the hospital told me I was extremely lucky to still be alive.

Just what I needed, to be placing more stress on Connie worrying about me.
Old 06-02-2022, 02:26 PM   #12
Oh my God, and I mean that prayerfully!! We've been praying for Connie and for you. We knew she was to have chemo on 1 June.

Are you at home, Rich?

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Old 06-02-2022, 02:32 PM   #13
I'm sorry, don't fret about answering that. It was an "in the moment" message. Wherever you are, I know that Connie is your first concern. She does, too. I wish I was close enough to be some physical help, but I know that you have friends nearby who are willing to do their best to make your lives easier. My hard learned lesson from times when we seriously needed help is, let them help.

We'll keep praying for you both.

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Old 06-02-2022, 08:56 PM   #14
Frank Pinello
Hang in there my friend...We’re all pulling for both of you to get over this hump.
Old 06-02-2022, 09:24 PM   #15
Rich Z
Originally Posted by Caryl View Post
Oh my God, and I mean that prayerfully!! We've been praying for Connie and for you. We knew she was to have chemo on 1 June.

Are you at home, Rich?

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I came home yesterday evening. Connie had to cancel her chemo on 06-01.

I have a stent in my right coronary artery (nearly 100% blocked). Need another one in my left artery (60% blocked), but that will be 5 to 6 weeks out. So my heart was dying on me.

Things have gone seriously downhill in our lives VERY recently.
Old 06-02-2022, 10:35 PM   #16
I've been reading your "Connie" thread on Fauna. You and Connie certainly have been faced with a lot of very serious, difficult challenges lately.

I don't know if this applies to you, but I know that when I had major health challenges, one of the hardest things for me to do was to accept help. I was so used to being the one who was giving the help, it was just so challenging to even admit that I was in a position where I wasn't handling everything with aplomb. So I said, "No, we don't need anything. " "I'm fine. " "Thanks, but that's not necessary. " Etc., etc., etc.

But my being stubborn deprived caring people of the chance to give. The most precious thing they wanted to give was their time. They really wanted to help, just as I had wanted to help others before. When I finally called our pastor and asked if there was any way somebody could bring dinner when we got home from the hospital the next day, he said, "Absolutely! We've just been waiting for you to ask!" He said they had been praying for the situation (which we knew) and that we'd let them help (which we didn't know, and were so humbled by). We were so grateful, I can't even say how much it meant. And they were so glad to do it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is just that I am praying for health and strength for Connie and for you. I also pray that you have people near who want to help (I'm confident of this). And I pray that you'll let them.

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Old 06-03-2022, 01:14 AM   #17
Rich Z
Yes, I understand what you are saying, and honestly we did have to ask for help when I was taken to the hospital in the ambulance. Connie is mostly healed from her surgery, but really shouldn't be driving much. So she did reach out for help. And we do have some friends here that have offered to do anything we need for help.

But here is the rub, that makes things different now. COVID-19. Connie and I both now have comorbidities that would make an infection rather serious. Probably deadly. Yeah, I know we are taking a chance with every visit to a doctor, oncology facility, hospital, etc., but those are inescapable realities that MUST be done. Connie has had her two sisters offer to come stay here to help out. One has recently been diagnosed with COVID, and it appears to be heavily saturated in the Delaware area when Connie's family is mostly located. Her other sister is closer, but she spends most days doing happy hour at a local bar, cuts people's hair for extra cash, and has no hesitation spending time with any of the locals. She would be a risk, to say the least.

One friend that has proven to be a godsend is the woman (Debbie) who owed the seafood market where Connie worked a couple of years part time. Connie didn't need the money, she just wanted a friend. And that family business apparently fits those shoes now. Debbie would do anything in the world for Connie and took her back and forth from the hospital while I was laid up there. But the wrinkle in all this is that Debbie and her husband at both cancer victims, and are having their own tough time with life right now. Just asking someone to put their own life on hold to help out us is like eating glass.

I don't know what the future is going to bring with Connie's continued chemo treatments. I am feeling fine now, but when I have part two of the stent insertion in 5 to 6 weeks, I know I'm going to be in the ICU at the hospital again for maybe a couple of days while they monitor for infection. We are going to try to time it such that Connie will hopefully be in a high water mark of coming out of any bad side effects from the chemo, but this is all new to us, so we don't have a clue about how to predict anything. And the way things are going, there sure could be yet another shoe or two yet to drop in our lives. And I thought 2021 was a crappy year......

And I have to be strong. No matter what. I am taking it easy right now to try to recover as quickly and completely as possible (and with the understanding I still have another artery partially blocked feeding blood to my heart), but when duty calls, I HAVE to answer. If I have to die trying to help Connie, then so be it.
Old 06-03-2022, 10:55 AM   #18
You're absolutely right, COVID-19 is a very serious risk and changes the equation significantly. Believe me, I did not mean in any way to minimize the very real way in which it has - and should have - altered the ways in which we interact with one another. People who are young and healthy, with no comorbidities have become seriously ill, have died. Even a mild case can lead to potentially disabling "long covid," organ damage and other awful possibilities.

I'm a person with comorbidities, too. I would never, never suggest that anyone take risks with covid, let alone anyone undergoing chemo and therefore immune suppressed. (Nor anyone who's celebrated Memorial Day in your inimitable fashion, Rich, but I know that you're more concerned about Connie's welfare.)

I am not in your situation, and I don't mean to presume. I'm sorry if I sounded that way. I meant that I hoped you'd be able to let others assist in low risk ways. People can still do things like no-contact grocery runs, perhaps other errands. There's been no evidence that covid is transferred via food, so accepting a prepared meal is safe. Help with outdoor tasks is also a real relief. Those who care should understand the need to keep your physical distance, and a request that everyone wears N95s or KN95s.

I'm glad that Connie is feeling stronger. And I'm glad that you are, too. Your devotion is truly a beautiful thing.

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Old 06-03-2022, 03:35 PM   #19
Rich Z
Oh no! Please don't feel I was calling you down on your suggestion! It was very appreciated, as honestly, if is very tough for both Connie and I to ask for help. We have never felt that we really needed to. We have always been very independent, but in a joint fashion. We just found that we can trust each other completely, and we work well together. So we just DO what needs to be done. I knew she would always be there for me, and she knew I would always be there for her.

But yes, things have changed. Quickly and dramatically. Point of the matter is that neither her nor I can maintain this place singularly if the other passes away. Trying to look that future square in the eye is VERY difficult to do.
Old 06-05-2022, 10:36 PM   #20
Rich Z
Connie has fluid surrounding her right lung again, so we are going to the hospital tomorrow to have it drained as an outpatient procedure. She is having such a tough time of this, and hasn't even had the worst of the chemo yet.

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