Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anyone up for skeet shooting?

Steve

Yesterday's big event was the placement of a portacath (or Port-a-cath) so Gabrielle could get chemotherapy without having to get stuck with a needle every week.  It was supposed to be done the day before, but either the operating room couldn't accomodate her or there was no surgeon available to do the procedure.  On Monday late in the day, a harried Dr. Lerner bustled down the hall to introduce himself.  He is a vascular surgeon and had come directly from the airport, having just flown in from Milwaukee.  I like to think that Gabrielle is so special that they are flying specialists in to care for her.  I think he may have had other reasons for his Milwaukee trip, but that's beside the point.  He flew in for Gabrielle and that's good enough for me.

In the course of telling her about the procedure, he said that she had a choice between having it placed on right or left side just below the collar bone.  She didn't care, as long as it worked.  He asked her if she was right or left-handed, to which she replied "right".  It's not her fault she's not left-handed like me.  We can't all be special now, can we?  He helped her decide by asking her if she liked to shoot rifles, or something to that effect.  I'm not entirely clear as I was talking with someone else at the time.  I just heard words like "shoot" and "gun stock rubbing against the portacath".  That sealed if for her and she is now sporting it on the left, well out of the way.

I suppose it would be no fun to head out for a little friendly skeet shooting to hone those hand eye coordination skills and have the rifle butt keep pounding on the portacath.  Gabrielle laughed when asked if she was a hunter or liked to shoot.  No to both questions.  Although she is indeed excited that Cabela's now has a branch up north, she makes a beeline for the snowshoeing section when we go in there, not the camoflauge clothing that comes in oh so many styles.  Want to hide in a birch forest in winter?  In summer?  In a pine forest?  A swamp?  Have they got the clothing for you!  For the life of me, I cannot imagine why anyone would need camo underwear, but they've got it at Cabela's.  Feet get cold during those ice fishing jaunts?  Not any more:  heated camo socks, as if the darned carp hiding beneath two feet of a frozen lake really care what color your socks are. 

Still, I really admire Gabrielle's decision to have the portacath placed on the left side, "just in case".  There is somethign appealing about Gabrielle, in all her post hospital glory, going out to the shooting range and ordering up a box of skeet to shoot at.  Is it a round?  A box?  A flurry?  A bolus?  As is very clear, I am not a skeet shooter either and don't know what units they come in.  But if she does take up the sport, she'll no doubt take along a Sharpie and write "ovarian cancer" on each and every clay pigeon prior to having it launched.  There would be a lot of satisfaction in yelling "pull!"  And blasting the target to smithereens.

"Ah, but what if she misses?"  You might ask.  Hardly!  If you haven't already figured it out by now, Gabrielle is very competetive (in a fun way) and masters anything she has set her mind to.  Those stupid clay pigeons won't stand a chance in the sites of Gabrielle's rifle.  She would practice, practice, practice till she got it.  She would read books, watch DVD's and even start hanging out in the cafeteria of Cabela's seeking the advice of old time skeet shooters, while noshing on one of their tasty elk burgers, till she mastered the sport.  And ovarian cancer, likewise, will bow to Gabrielle's superior will, inner strength and vast array of weaponry she has to throw at it (including, but not limited to her vast network of friends, doctors, nurses, medicines, and the like). 

She does have a bit of history with guns.  Goes way back, when she was in high school, I believe.  Got a job at Fishing and Hunting News selling advertising or subscriptions (yes, aced that job too!).  We have a faded picture somewhere in the basement of her shooting at something with two admiring boys in tow.  Yep, that's Gabrielle.  Even back then, showing off for the guys.  And that's the last time she shot a firearm.  Till now.

But, she got the portacath placed just fine and is doing well.  Daniel stayed with her through the day yesterday.  Renee had night shift (lucky her).  She went on walks and is managing as best she can, as she is trying really hard to earn her very own Mr. Potato Head doll (no news on that front, as I am home now).  I am actually hopeful that she may be able to come home later today, but it's an outside chance.  Needs to have better pain and nausea control as well.

She remains in very good spirits and has been buoyed by the overwhelming show of support through your cards, notes, texts, e-mails, food (yes, she is eating now), prayers and visits (but check first).  Thank you all so much.

A final note to Daniel:  thank you for your very deep and uplifting entry yesterday.  Why should you be intimidated by our writing?  You take a back seat to nobody in the writing department.  Keep it up, DJ!  Looking forward to another post from you today.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Steve, Gabrielle, Renee and Daniel - Thank you so much for your updates on Gabrielle's progress as she travels this unexpected journey. It has been such an incredible blessing to witness the loving care and support that you have poured out on Gabrielle as you have walked beside her each step of the way, and to see how God has given each of you the strength to make this journey and at the same time experience His peace that passes understanding. You are all such a testimony of His love, and I will continue to hold you in my prayers. Steve, since your post on songs, I must admit I have had a hard time getting one in particular out of my mind, so with apologies to The Righteous Brothers, (and a secondary apology to Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards) I have been singing "You've lost that crummy cancer, wooooooooo that crummy cancer. You've lost that crummy cancer now it's gone, gone, gone, woooooooooooo." (See what you started!!) Anyway, blessings, prayers, and hugs to all of you! Mary N

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  2. Thanks for the updates! Gaby, keep on trucking! You are an inspiration to us all.

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  3. I'm sure Merle will be pleased to know that Gabrielle is set up sufficiently "just in case" she should decide to go hunting with him!

    I say offer her a delectable chocolate truffel - and she'll win that Potato Head likety split!

    Tell her I'm looking forward to visiting her AT HOME SOON! (But she's gotta get herself there, so when I arrive, she actually in the building!)

    I LOVE YOU BIG SIS. I'm thinking of you all the time ... which sorta make it hard to concentrate on work, lol...

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  4. Actually, Gabrielle last shot a gun outside of Pullman with Eric, me and thee, Steve... and she did quite well as I recall... she didn't choose the small .38 but the much larger 357 Magnum. For someone unaccustomed to firearms, I was thoroughly impressed as is the normal state of affairs for me. Much love, Xan

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