This week, the geriatric cat peed all over the dining room rug, our Christmas tree fell over and smashed my new favorite ornament, and Rich found out he has to have chemotherapy. It's been a rough week. Trust me, I'm as frustrated as you are. With four damn litter boxes in a row, what would possess the cat to sleep on the chair in the dining room and only hop down long enough to pee at the base of the chair and then return to her perch? I'm sure she's been pooping in that room too, but the dogs are covering for her. So half the Flor tiles of our dining room rug are spread all over the back deck and I'm coming home each evening to sniff the dining room and monitor the stupid cat. And she's spry for her age so I can't put up baby gates to keep her in like I could Sarah the elder stateshound. So maybe we'll install storm doors on both of the entrances to our kitchen and close the cat up in there. That will look lovely.

Speaking of lovely, I'm hoping we found all the glitter and glass that exploded like a yuletide grenade all over our living room. We bought a tree that was thin on the back because it was both discounted and fit better in the corner of our room. But that apparently makes it off-center so a literal cat's breath is all it took to send it flying while Ian and Rich were sitting in the room Monday night. The tree has been returned to its station and tied to the bookcase behind it so that hopefully it will survive until Twelfth Night. My brand new octopus ornament can't say the same. He's more of a pointy, dangerous pentapus now.

We finally heard back from Dr. Hausner. He emailed at 4:59pm on Monday saying that we can't do the antibody treatment unless we get back the K-Ras evaluation (the one that no lab will agree to perform) to prove the cells aren't mutated. So his recommendation is either FOLFOX of XENOX as forms of chemotherapy.

When you tell people that you're supposed to get chemotherapy, they tend to gasp. At a minimum they get the Sad Eyes. I should tell people that Rich is going to a farm where he can run and play with other cancer patients to unburden their hearts.

What we've learned, though, is chemotherapy has many shades to it just like cancer does. Rich said that saying you have cancer is like asking someone "do you like pie?" Well, yeah, I think so, but that depends. It could be rhubarb pie which is disgusting (according to Rich) or it could be pumpkin pie which is the King of All Pies and Best Pie Ever (again, according to Rich). So being diagnosed with cancer is like being given a slice of pie. You just have to determine exactly what kind of pie it is and how much of it you should eat.

Chemotherapy is very similar in that I always assumed it involved looking like hell and losing all your hair and bringing a puke bucket with you most places you go. But then there are chemo treatments that are pills instead of IV drugs. And some of them have very mild side effects. So you could look fine and just feel a little "bleh" for a few months. We think that's the kind of chemo treatment plan Rich is in for, but we're still not quite sure.

I'm not interested in googling the chemicals Hausner mentioned. I don't want to hear about how it makes one person horribly constipated and another have confined to the bathroom diarrhea. We'll wait and see what an actual oncologist says. But that probably won't happen until 2013 at this point as Dr. Lee is still waiting for information from Hausner's office. We hope that will happen Friday but aren't holding our breath.

Rich laughing

In good news, Rich is back up to 220 pounds so he's shaved off the mountaineer beard and I have my husband back. He's in surprisingly good spirits which is probably what has afforded me the spare energy to be cranky. But I'm rallying for the holidays, I'm hoping to beat my annual Christmas cold I get every year and I wrapped the first presents of the season tonight. And soon, I'll try making some pumpkin pies for Christmas dinner.