Hello, my friends. It’s time for some reflecting on life and reading in the month of August. It was another rather intense month, but flew by amazingly quickly. I’m proud to say that I actually finished reading two books during that month! Focusing on my reading has been a challenge with everything going on in our lives right now, but I decided to return to a much loved book, Persuasion, by Jane Austen, and just enjoy whatever reading time I could find. It was such a pleasure! The book and the simple act of reading! And then I ended up the month reading a book by another favorite author, Edith Nesbitt. The Story of the Treasure Seekers was a reminder of how childhood used to be a time of intense innocence and imagination.
The end of August also brings my favorite Fall reading challenge. Although I can hardly take on a bigger challenge than life itself right now, I’m going to join the Readers Imbibing Peril XVII challenge and read as much as time allows. I have a dear friend (a high school friend!) that loves the Fall and this kind of Fall reading, but he’s still a university professor and therefore doesn’t have the time to participate. But we both love Ray Bradbury, and he is inspiring me to read more of Bradbury’s stories and novels, so I’ve decided to make that my focus of my RIP reading this year!
On the home front, August brought another major change in our journey through cancer. Byron’s chemotherapy stopped working, just that quickly after 6 successful infusions. It was not unexpected but it was disappointing nonetheless. So he is now on hospice, and August was spent getting settled into that new reality, and focusing on finding the right combination of medications that would manage his pain more efficiently so that he can have some comfortable quality of life during this stage. We are so appreciative of our new hospice team! They work incredibly hard to manage his comfort care, and we feel very supported and cared for.
When I use the word “hospice,” I find that people assume that death is imminent. That’s what I always thought, too. But now we know that although hospice is “end of life care,” there’s a period of time before the final decline that can be much longer than anticipated. That’s where we are right now, this week — in the calm of pain management and improved quality of life. Byron is still able to care for himself and work on his home projects and his reading. Because he is quite disabled due to the cancer in his hip and pelvis, he requested a wheel chair from our hospice team, and so we are able to get out for early morning walks as often as we can now. Being outside and surrounded by beauty feeds our souls! Our daughter calls these cherished walks, our “Walk ‘n Roll” time.
I hope that you had a good August, my friends, and will have a book-filled and enjoyable September.