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April 10, 2000
a year ago

In Sickness

Highly efficient Liralen day, though I really should have been anything but efficient. I started the day feeling a little stuffed up and my throat was a little sore and it gradually got worse and worse and worse and...

First thing I had to do was fix a bug that was approved last night and merge it into all the streams. By the time I was done with that it was lunch time. There was also the nasty bug that Sudipto couldn't figure out, and while we hit John up for ideas, we couldn't really do anything about it until after noon.

Lunch was a welcome break. The whole group of us went to China Gourmet and got beef tendon, roast goose, scallion pancakes, General Tso's chicken, squid and stinky salt vegetables, and seafood hot and sour soup. The soup felt like heaven. Hot and thick and the spicyness actually cleared my nose for a bit. The scallion pancakes were chewy and savory with onions and a bit of salt, crisp on the edges and lovely and thick. That was really good food. And we found out that the lady that owned the place is going to open a new place on the 15th of April, in Louiseville. She said it would be bigger and better than this place, with more selection and real service. That should be really good to see and try.

It'll be the first authentic Chinese food place in the area if it does open and stay open. Bob and I are going to check it out on opening day, if we can, or John and I will just do the honors ourselves if Bob's in Seattle. It should be good.

After lunch Sudipto and I really tackled the bug and John pointed me at a starting place, and I had the complete debug setup. The problem was that the debug setup with the debug dlls couldn't really run any of the release executables as they would all run into the problem of trying to run the debug dlls with the wrong address for entry to the functions. So we limped along and found one problem where the code was unexpectedly attaching a string that was already on the strings in the configuration files. So Sudipto went and fixed all the strings, but then it still didn't work. I cludgeled my tired, aching brain.

By this time my nose was overflowing, I was aching all over, and I had a headache as well as the other cold symptoms. I racked through old code and tried to look for what might have changed. Finally both Sudipto and I just gave up. Five minutes later, Sudipto came over and told me he had found the second problem. One of the sections in the configuration file had been repeated!! The repeat was what was messing it up and without it everything worked, once the extra string was taken out. Wow.

So it got fixed. Five minutes before the review board was going to meet for the last time. It got approved, along with my last bug, and I only stuck around until 6, after I had slipped my second fix into all the streams. Sounds like letting fish go into various waters... but it feels a bit like that. Geoff was rather quiet support throughout all this, as I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and so he busied himself with stuff while I wasn't around and talked or held me when I wasn't so busy. I was so exhausted by the time I had everything done when John asked if he should bring my machine with us I tiredly wanted him to just leave it; but he also knew that, in the morning, if my machine was at home, I would have absolutely no reason to go into work. Period.

So he brought the machine home and I slumped in the car all the way home. I also thought, hey, All Pets hasn't called us at work, so maybe...

But there was a message on the machine at home, and it was the vet asking us to call him. John did the honors as I was just too tired, and he was willing. Looks like Fezzik has leukemia, a particular form of it that's definitely lodged in the lymph. If we hadn't found it, he would have died in the next two or three months and it would have looked like plain old age until we'd looked closer after he died. With treatment he might get nine months to a year, which means one last birthday party, at least. That would be good.

This means we wouldn't have blamed ourselves for what we could have done. This means we might have an extra half a year of him to enjoy. It also means that our two week vacation in May may well just be spent here, to have time with him, one way or another. Chemo will take a while and will be a bit costly, but we definitely have the money to support him and it, and it should do him good without doing any harm. And we'll have the time to do it right.

I still cried, of course.

Just too tired from the cold and everything else. Just cried until I couldn't anymore and then John made grilled cheese sandwiches and I made onion soup from frozen soup stuff, and with the food I felt a lot less depressed. Just very sick from the cold. My nose was running like crazy and my nose was rubbed raw by kleenex and my eyes hurt and my body hurt, but I felt, oddly, okay.

John was wonderful and took on the duties of calling all the family about Fezzik. He talked with my Dad for a bit about it and conveyed the news and a hugs to Fezzik. He talked with his Dad for a long, long while. At first about the news and then George sidtracked John for a long, long while with computer questions.

While John answered installation question, I took a can of sand and the coffee can with the Hell Money and joss outside with a lighter. The wind was blowing so fiercely on the side I picked that I couldn't light anything. So I went out the front door, with the mass of the mountains resting in the late twilight before me, and I lit joss and, bill by bill, burned more Hell Money and just went through things again. I figure they heard me last time, which is why we got to find out early. I might as well thank luck or chance or reality for the possibility of extra time with Fezzik as well as offer up the hope that things will work out.

I felt much more peaceful when I was done. Ritual sooths. And this seemed as good a time as any to pray and just run through everything again. I can see why Catholics do all their prayer beads, don't leave out anything. But it's nicer, for me, at least, to simply do and go through what I have to go through.

Painkillers, vitamin C, Affrin, and a melatonin before going to sleep, and I dreamed in poetry. That was interesting. Sadly, I forgot it all when I woke up at midnight to get a drink... then back into the deep, warm, soft well of sleep.

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