St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Margo--Abandoned by her Family

For the past 2 weeks, Margo has been on her own at our main home in SE MN while Scott and I are drowning in maple sap here at the WI cabin.  She insisted we should go do syrup and she would be fine on her own. 

We keep in touch by phone, email, and facebook, so after the phone visit tonight, an update on Margo's ongoing breast cancer therapy.  

When you hear a drug advertisement on TV, the healthy person who needs his droop improved is shown smiling, healthy and obviously having wonderful results with the medicine.  Then the announcer starts fast-talking and rattles off the 100 terrible side effects that might happen to some people who take it.  

Margo seems to be the kind of person who gets all the side effects!  When she went through chemo, twice things went wrong and she ended up in the hospital.   One in 500 people that have an MRI have a problem with the contrast fluid they inject into your arm.  Sure enough, Margo got that side effect and 9 months later still has to have her left hand and arm wrapped with elastic at night and a special elastic sleeve and glove during the daytime.  

Well, after her radical mastectomy the skin flap that covered the removed breast area is not cooperating in attaching to the chest wall. So, a month and a half later, she still has a drainage tube in and has to go in for a treatment to get this fixed.  It is not serious, but a real nuisance and may delay the start of radiation.  

Today was another treatment. She went in with her next door neighbor Nancy who had chemo today, both riding with another neighbor who volunteered to take them.   The treatment took a couple of hours (they inject some alcohol into the tube between the skin flap and chest wall, leave it in for 15 (?) minutes and then remove it.  That is supposed to hurry the skin attaching tightly.  Personally, I wonder if a few well placed staples might do the trick.    

She complained tonight that she was running out of ice cream and cold slaw.  Of course she can drive the 3 miles into Pine Island and get it, but over the winter with either Scott or me there to do every single thing for her, she has gotten spoiled rotten! I think she may order it UPS.  

We plan to pull the taps on Saturday and scrub the buckets and put everything away and then one or both of us will be back to take on our nursing roles again.  We plan to bring 20 gallons of unfinished syrup along so Margo can feel needed and productive again as she boils and bottles it all.  We really need to get her out of goofing off mode and back to feeling guilty about all the work she isn't doing!