Time to Make the Lemonade

My nativity set that I keep adding to every year

There are just those times in your life when it feels like everything wants to suck the joy out of every breath you breathe.

The unimportant parts – sewer problems, and the estimate on a relining that really needs to be done sooner rather than later before the roots collapse a part of the old clay pipes – 15k.  We may be able to break this up into two chunks, but 8-10k really has to be done soon.

Dentist visit.  I was the 7th pregnancy and 6th baby born from my mom in 7 years.  I had teensy amounts calcium and crap teeth prone to problem.  Like you replace rooms in your house (at about that cost), I have put what is about the price of two medium-priced cars in my mouth, and now the dentist says for the last bit, he wants another car paid for, but something small and economical, between 10k and 20k.

Let’s see.  My mom is coming down for Christmas, but we have to watch the two potential COVID exposures from family members. I have not seen her since June, and I desperately need to hug her, but won’t risk her health.  I know she’s had Covid, but no one seems certain how long you get immunity for!

Me and my n ephew when he was a baby and I was 17.

Then last week my oldest and wisest nephew got the news that he has lung cancer.   He is one of the happiest, most charming people I know.  He got all the goodness and warmth of his mother and the sense of humor and delivery of his dad (my brother who died a few years ago). He draws people to  him, he is easy to talk to, easy to laugh with, and he’s a really wonderful human being.

With everything else, I was prepared for the worst news when I talked to him this morning, and it was – stage 4. He is 45.  But then!  This shining ray of hope.  It turns out that the cancer he has CAN be treated with this ridiculously expensive drug that has a 85% effective rate, but only 2% of the population have the genetic markers that it works on, and those people tend to be women of Asian descent.  My nephew is not even remotely a woman or have any Asian blood in him. But lo and behold, his oncologist was shocked, he has the right genetic markers.

He also has no health insurance, but the drug company has been really generous with giving the drug to people without health insurance, so the doctor told him once again, he was lucky.

So that one thing is a brightly burning hope that he will live a longer life, maybe a lot longer or long enough for some other treatment to come along that will give him back all of his life.

And that’s the dollop of sugar that landed in my little serving of bitter, sewers, teeth and dirt.

Perfume-wise, that pushes my nose right into all of my new favorite snuggly scents.  Blessedly a new BDK sample pack came with an order, so I have plenty of Rouge Smoking now – well, plenty is another 2 ml spray, which might get me through this week! My MFK BR 540 is getting burned through, and I’m rotating in some other old favorites that bring me peace, like Hermessence Vetiver Tonka.

  • Maya says:

    Sending strong and good wishes that everything works out positively!
    You may be able to hug your mother. I have read recently that they think immunity lasts at least 7 months and possibly much longer. After all, the vaccine is doing artificially what the body does naturally when you get COVID and they don’t say you have to get a shot every few months.

  • Kathleen says:

    Best wishes for your nephew responding to the medication and getting well. Enjoy your visit with you Mom and hug her tight. This year has left so many wondering how it could get worse; family makes it so much better. I also was standing in the wrong line when God was giving out good teeth. Never-ending dental work for me despite doing everything right.
    Best wishes for all the good things Christmas brings.

  • Ariel says:


    That’s a lot at once. Wishing you unexpected goodness each and every day.

  • Dina C. says:

    Wow Patty, that is a heavy load of burdens. Prayers that your nephew can get that life-saving medicine and that his body responds to it favorably. I’m so sorry about your sewers and expensive teeth. We had a year like that in 1995. It really DOES suck the joy out of life. All you can do is keep marching forward knowing that this too shall pass.

  • Jennifer S says:

    I always wonder why these things all have to happen at the same time. If they’re gonna happen, why can’t they be spaced out evenly??
    You could also be the mother of this six year old who racked up 16,000 dollars playing video games on her iPad. She didn’t know about the parental controls, hmmm, and Apple says it is not budging in refusing to reimburse her.
    Glad to hear your nephews good news. He sounds like a wonderful person!

  • cbsutcliffe says:

    Glad your clouds have SOME silver linings. Hears to hoping for many more to peek through!

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    Wonderful news for your nephew, please keep us posted! Sorry to hear of your septic woes. Our septic guy told us that the system in our yard is undersized and is a ticking problem already past his predicted failure date, the issue is there is nowhere left to locate a new one due–ugh, what next. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family!

  • Queen-Cupcake says:

    Prayers for your nephew, Patty! This is a dark time for a lot of folk. I hope that your mom’s visit goes well and you find some peace. Sorry about the spendy teeth. It’s always something, isn’t it? Peace and love to all. XOXOX

  • Cinnamon says:

    I wish your nephew well — sending hopeful vibes. Looks like way too much to be going on with. Here’s to it all working its way through without too much stress and costing far less than quoted.

  • Neva says:

    Oh, what a story…! Will 2020 ever end? I hope the new year will bring more happy news.
    I’m so glad that your nephew gets the chance to live longer and hopefully healthy. Stay strong and don’t worry about your Mum. I bet she appreciates the hugs most of all.

  • Portia says:

    Oh Patty,
    Hugs, hugs and more hugs.
    Your perfume game is strong though, even through the roughest patches.
    Portia xx

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I’m sending healthy happy thoughts toward you and your teeth and your lovely nephew. He sounds like a wonderful person. You’re fortunate to have such a family!

  • Tara C says:

    Well that’s a whole lot of cr*p! But a bit of hope at the end for your nephew. May the drug work wonders for him! Sending you hugs and happy holiday wishes!

  • Musette says:

    OMG! I am SO happy to hear that your nephew has those options!! So happy for him, so happy for you and all your family. xoxox