Monday morning, Lois and I drove to University Hospital in Iowa City. The surgeon, Dr Wilkinson, checked the incision and they removed the staples. He was very pleased with how Lois is recovering and gaining strength. We did talk with Dr Wilkinson about what future options we might face. He talked about it from his view point as a surgeon but urged us not to reach any conclusions until we meet with the oncologist, Dr. Halfdanarson, on June 11. Dr Wilkinson expressed serious concern about the tumors in the liver. Waiting to learn all the options is difficult. We were back home in Hedrick shortly after noon.
Lois is resting and napping a lot during the day; eating small meals every 2-3 hours; and walking more everyday. Tuesday she even ventured downstairs a couple of times and today her activity level continues to increase although she is taking more naps, too. Lois enjoys phone calls and visits and we are both enjoying the food so many wonderful people are sharing with us.
Tuesday morning the 3rd, we woke to a severe thunderstorm which dumped three inches of rain in less than an hour and, for the first time in the four years we’ve lived here, the sewer backed up. It started slowly and I was able to get everything off the floor except some flattened boxes behind the freezer. By 10 am 75% of the lower level had at least three inches of water and there were four other men helping try to deal with the flood. At one point there were two pumps that were brought in trying to keep ahead of the rising water. By 1 pm the standing water was gone leaving a lot of soaked carpet on the concrete floor.
A carpet cleaning service spent an hour sucking 260 gallons of water out of the carpet and floor. About the same time, they started working on the sewer line trying to figure out how and why it got blocked. Using a power snake, they discovered a blockage about eighty feet from the sewer access. It took several tries over two hours but they were able to break through and drains started running freely again.
I spent all day Tuesday and all day today trying to deal with the mess and figure out how to put things back in place without allowing them to touch the floor. The carpet has to come up even if we can get it dried out because of the bacteria in the water. I looked at the carpet in a closet and discovered it has a foam backing which is glued to the floor and in won’t even peal up – it disintegrates. I learned that it will take a special chemical to get the carpet up and deal with the remains of the padding.
Hopefully in the morning I can get my office functioning again. Fortunately none of the books in the library were damaged – yet. I’m worried about mildew in the air and have a fan and a dehumidifier running in that room. I don’t look forward to having to move all the books in order to replace the carpet. One of the components that made this so difficult is that much of the stuff from my Mom’s apartment, which we vacated in April, was in the spare bedroom. So I’m being forced to sort all of that quickly.
It’s been a tough time: February, the tragic death of Evyn Gentry; March, Mom fell and broke her neck and the subsequent surgery; April, vacating Mom’s apartment and moving her to a nursing home; May, discovering Lois has advanced cancer and yet didn’t show any symptoms until May 18. Now a flooded basement. I’m tired.