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    This is from Tom Cat today--the two cats:

    SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

    Comment


      I had wondered if Ralph is snowbound. I hope it doesn't get so bad that he and Marty can't get together.
      Virginia

      Comment


        No message came along with this and it's the first communication from him since the last one posted here (which was on January 6).
        SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

        Comment


          I sent this message:

          Have you been doing OK? Not snowed in, I hope?
          Tom Cat's reply (today):
          No, not snowed in. Having some light flurries right now. Enough to know to take it easy driving today. The back roads can be slippery in this weather.

          Marty & I have doctor appointments at 2 different hospitals around noon. They're still deciding how to treat his lung cancer, & how severe it is or isn't. Mine is a routine biweekly blood draw & inoculation.

          I'm doing okay, & never getting enough done, but that's always true. My mind wants me doing more, than my body can do. So, what's new in the world, aye?

          The state & hospitals here are still figuring out who & how they are going to inoculate everyone against COVID-19. The CEO of my hospital group says in the 1st phase they will inoculate hospital staff, & "those with privileges at our hospitals." I want to know how much you need to donate to become one of the privileged, aye? I'm getting to be a skeptic in my old age, aye? ... And then Wednesday we get the big roll-out in Washington, DC. Our Capitol has the largest military encampment since the War of 1812. You couldn't have written a book like this, or a screen play, 20 years back, & got it published.

          Stay safe & take care.





































































          SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

          Comment


            Take care of yourself....we have had an easy time of it here in western MA in terms of snow. One very big storm that melted within a couple of days. Recently we have had very heavy rain storms. My farm roads are muddy!
            Thanks for staying in touch.
            Linda
            Linda~~~~

            Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"..

            Comment


              ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

              I'm sorry, as I must have missed you mentioning that Marty has lung cancer. Now, I understand why he had fluid removed from his lungs.

              My husband, Jim, had Stage IV lung cancer, and he endured chemo, immunotherapy and radiation therapy for 3 1/2 years. Everyone is different, so I cannot recommend one treatment over another. They all carry risks, and they are all exhausting.

              Marty's treatment will be based upon the stage of the cancer, and whether there is metastasis to other organs or to the bone.

              The most effective treatment for Jim was Opdivo, which shrunk his tumor in half after one dose. Eventually, Opdivo (immunotherapy, via IV infusion) caused Jim's white blood cells to tank, and that was when he declined.

              My prayers are with Marty that he is in an early, easily treatable stage, and that he will receive excellent medical care as he travels this journey.

              My prayers are with you, Ralph, as you stand beside your lifelong friend on this journey, with a pot of coffee and some tasty breakfast morsels, memories, conversation, laughter, love. Your bond is strong.

              Oh, to be curled up next to your companion, warm with a coat of fur, the heater, a blanket, not a care in the world. Completely unaware of chaos, fearless, relaxed, at peace. This is what I saw in your photo of your cats sleeping together. Bliss.

              Healing, positive energy and prayers are on the way to you, Ralph and Marty. Be safe, be careful, and blessings upon you.

              agate ~

              As always, thank you for keeping us connected to Ralph.

              Love & Light,



              Rose

              *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
              Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

              Comment


                From Tom Cat (Wednesday):
                Joan, Lazarus, Rose, & who else might be out there----

                Glad to have spent most of the day watching a fine inauguration. We can breathe a little better now. I thought Amanda Gordon, poet laureate, was just great in her presentation. ...

                And now to getting inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccination. My friend Marty found out on one of his medical interviews that they were offering inoculations in town here, at a fire station. We called in, & have an appointment for a week from tomorrow. We'll be looking forward to that. A cold 6F this morning, but warming up again tomorrow. So doing okay. Hoping both cats sit on my legs tonight, & keep them warm.

                And virtual hugs to all of you. I want you all to know you really keep my spirits up, on these lonely, dreary, winter days. Take care.



                Maggie being entertained by a squirrel.




                SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                Comment


                  ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

                  We are privileged to share your life and experiences. We are all here to support each other, and you are one of us.

                  Great photo! Any chance that Maggie is wondering how she can chase away that squirrel? They are about the same size, I would guess, so probably not. But then, we had a stray cat, who was Queen of the Garden, and when our stray cocker spaniel entered the home, the Queen let her know that she was the Queen. The Queen cornered the dog in the yard and started pummeling her with her paws. No claws, just paws.

                  Jim intervened, and neither one of them were injured. But the dog knew that the cat was Alpha, except the dog lived inside, while the Queen slept in her garden.

                  In the end, they were best friends.

                  Marty should consult his oncologist, before having the vaccine. Everything I have read about the vaccines states that cancer patients should consult their physicians prior to being inoculated.

                  Also, have you consulted your physician about having the vaccine, Ralph? You want to be certain that it is safe for you, given your medical issues.

                  My prayers are with you and Marty.

                  agate ~

                  Thank you so much for keeping us connected to Ralph.

                  Love & Light,



                  Rose

                  *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free! s
                  Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

                  Comment


                    This is from Ralph this morning but was continued just now (see below):
                    Marty is still having a lot of tests, so they thought it okay for the shots. He has oncologist & pulmonary physicians giving him advice, plus an understanding GP who is keeping things in perspective. My GP & hematologist thought it okay for me too. That being the case we had our first dose of the Moderna vaccine.

                    ----------------------------------

                    Sorry, I got interrupted with a phone call & didn't get back.

                    Anyway we called in a week ago to the family health service in town. They gave us a time & date to come in a week later. That was this last Thursday. It is within the same building as our fire department.

                    We parked across the street, walked in, they took our names & birth dates. We filed out one short sheet, & we were sent in & got our shot. They gave us a card with the time & date of our next shot.

                    We sat down for the 15 minutes, had no adverse reactions, then left. It took us maybe a half hour over all.

                    It was the smoothest bureaucratic operation I've ever seen. They'll be doing about 250 shots a day, 3 days a week, until everyone in the county that wants an inoculation gets one. The county has only about 10,000 or so residents, & at least 3 inoculation sites. The state is making sure each site gets the shots they need the day before they'll be using them.

                    So that's it for now. Take care.





                    SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                    Comment


                      Ralph, good for you and Marty. I had my first shot Friday. It went smooth, but there were a number of desk scattered over a large building that I had to go to. There was no way for me to walk it, so they brought a wheelchair and a volunteer pushed me from place to place and didn't leave me until I was in the observation room. When they felt I was ready to go, they got someone else to push me back to the front door where my brother was going to meet me with the car.

                      I hope things go as smoothly with the second shot for you, Marty and me. They gave me pfizer. I would have taken either one. I actually would liked to have Moderna, but that's alright I got one shot of my vaccine down and one more to go. My brother drove me to a neighboring town about 26 miles. Not bad at all. He has an appointment for his first shot this coming Tuesday and he has to drive quite a bit further. I hope his goes as well.

                      I hope you are not too lonely in the snow and cold. I know it is harder to get out. I am sure having Marty and friendship helps both of you.
                      Virginia

                      Comment


                        From Tom Cat (Tuesday, February 2):

                        Wow! It's Tuesday already. Had 4 1/2-5 inches of snow Sunday. Spent 2 days on & off ATV plowing it & removing much with the lawn/tractor blower. The plow guy removed the bulk of it from the driveway. Still some to remove in the back of the house, & behind the outer garage & wood shed where I have much of the fire wood.

                        Had blood work & a hemoglobin shot Monday. A biweekly thing for one of the blood disorders. Today I take Marty to an Appleton hospital, 60 miles out, for more tests or procedures. Been helping him clear his 600-foot drive with my small plow. He has a blower, but some days he can barely get it up & down his drive.

                        Weather is a nice 24' out right now. Has been in the single digits in the early mornings. All kinds of birds, squirrels, & a few deer out. Oh, we have white-tailed deer only. Those of you out west I think have mainly, mule deer, yes? They're about 1/3 larger than white tail.

                        Now for a lighter note. For you that have cats, have you ever noticed that they frequently paw their water dish before taking a drink? That's because they see right through calm water. When they splash it, it ripples, & they can see to drink it. We have a cat fountain, since a cat in the past used to flip the water dish over every day. The fountain works fine, even if Smudge cat washes her head in it every day.

                        Take care.
                        SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                        Comment


                          Today would be Cat Dancer's birthday. She left us much too soon.

                          This message came from Tom Cat on Saturday:
                          Snow still keeping going, with taking lots of rests in between. Doing Marty's drive right now. We had 7 inches of snow over Thursday. I blew mine off, then Marty's. I need to plow & blow more today. Need to get in after an hour of blowing. The blow-back snow gets your face frosted up in 1/2 hour, & I have to get warmed up often. Brushing your clothes off before going inside, & cleaning the equipment off before parking it is as exhausting as the snow removal.

                          Marty's doctors told him no snow removal for him. He gets exhausted very easily. More on that later.

                          Take care.
                          SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                          Comment


                            ((((((Ralph)))))) ~

                            I'm thinking of you today on Cat's birthday, and sending prayers for peace and comfort, as well as strength to keep moving forward.

                            The snow removal is so arduous, and I can't imagine how you do all of this hard work.

                            You're a wonderful friend to Marty, as I'm sure he is to you. Any kind of exertion is exhausting and possibly dangerous for someone with cancer. I also send Marty healing, strengthening prayers.

                            Please be super careful and take extra good care of yourself.

                            agate ~

                            As always, thank you so much for keeping us connected with Ralph.

                            Love & Light,



                            Rose

                            *Virtual Hugs Are Germ-Free!
                            Mom to Jon, 49, & Michael, 32, born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease. Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Angel Jon received his wings in 2019. In 2020, Jim, their Dad, joined them.

                            Comment


                              The back yard on Friday morning:





                              And this one he describes as "Maggie on the couch waiting for me to lie down and pet her":



                              Message from Tom Cat, sent today:
                              Thanks for remembering Ann. I need to get out to get some flowers to put on Ann's urn, dancing cat marker. I'll probably do it tomorrow, when it's milder out. We had minus 15 this morning.

                              Hopefully these pictures came through. This is the third time I sent them.
                              SPMS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009. Glatiramer acetate since December 2020.

                              Comment


                                I guess Ralph is use to that kind of weather, but it is way too cold for him to be out much. Pretty and alert looking cat.
                                Virginia

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