1. Cas, Byrdman, Don K., and I piled into Cas' truck around 9:30 this morning and rocketed over to Missoula to visit Goose.
In one of my recent updates, I made an error and now I'll correct it.
I thought I heard Janice or Keith say the episode when Kirk got out of bed, fell, couldn't get up, and went by ambulance to the hospital happened on Thursday, April 18th.
I got that wrong.
It happened on Saturday, April 20th.
Here's what I experienced today.
When we walked into his room, Goose was in bed, not like Saturday when he was sitting up. Since Saturday, he'd received nearly two more days of chemotherapy and the treatment is taking a toll on him. Today he was more tired and weaker than he was Saturday.
That said, he was awake and alert for the entire time Cas, Byrdman, Don K, and I were with him, answering our questions and telling us what happened that landed him in the hospital. He made us laugh with the way he told us about the ambulance crew in St. Regis taking him out of the house in a kitchen chair. He also made a few other really funny comments. Both times I've joined with friends to visit Kirk, guys have been really positive, not only expressing love, but promising him fishing trips and rounds of golf when he gets better.
Before we went in his room, a nurse had asked us to keep our visit brief, that Kirk needed to rest, but, once with him, we all lost track of time and couldn't pull ourselves away. We were with him for at least 45 minutes, I'd say. (I definitely lost track of time.) No medical staff objected. A nurse came in to change some IVs and take some readings and she nimbly and pleasantly worked around us at his bedside.
Several people have expressed their certainty to me that our visit today must have lifted Goose's spirits.
It sure did.
Janice told us that Kirk knew we were coming and throughout the morning he asked Janice when we were going to arrive and he perked up visibly when we got there and was very appreciative as we left.
We huddled with Janice for a while before we left. She told us that by about Wednesday or Thursday, the heavy doses of chemo are going to exhaust Goose and mightily compromise his immune system, leaving him very vulnerable to infection. She thinks by this time he'll be asleep most of the time and that visitation will be very limited.
Janice told us that she will hate to do it, but that she might have to put her foot down and keep visitors away later in the week.
It's not clear to me how long this period of exhaustion and vulnerability will last, but Janice will keep me posted and any time she updates me, I'll get the word out regarding what I've learned.
Cas, Byrdman, Don K, and I agreed on the trip back to Kellogg that Kirk is a battler -- always has been. We agreed that what lies ahead sounds rough, really rough. It's difficult to see our friend whom we've known most our life so ill. At the same time, it was encouraging that today (Monday, April 29), despite his fatigue and weakened condition, he was lucid, witty, aware, and conversational.
Janice and their children are nearby. He always has a family member in the room or in the waiting room or minutes away. A family member sleeps in his room every night. Friends and family are dedicated to helping him through this. All of us who have suffered serious illness or injury know that having loved ones right there with us is strengthening, encouraging, uplifting, and healing.
2. Back in Kellogg, I popped myself a little bowl of popcorn, drank a couple cans of seltzer water, and took a nap in the living room chair. Soon, I heard voices outside the house. The lawn crew arrived and they efficiently mowed the lawns and did other clean up. Ethan also oversaw the wetting down of the lawns and then he fertilized them.
3. I found out Christy and Everett had a slow trip over Thompson Pass into Thompson Falls thanks to road work being done, but that they arrived at Quinn's Resort and were resting and getting ready for dinner. I texted Carol and made sure it was all right if Charly stayed with her until the lawn crew was finished I went to the store. It was.
With Charly back home and the groceries put away, I retired for a while into the Vizio room and watched more brilliant acting and commentary in another episode of Playing Shakespeare, this one focused on the challenges of set speeches and soliloquies. I went to bed early and didn't quite finish the episode.