Auckland, Monthly Updates, The Changing Seasons

What’s been happening? November 2021

It’s been a bittersweet month.

No, I’m not referring to the darkest of chocolates, just a mixed bag of all sorts.

One of the sweetest moments of all was moving. We’ve upped stakes and moved a kilometre down the road, well, I say down, by which I mean, turn left twice and turn right then another left and you will find us far more relaxed residing temporarily at the Cancer Society Domain Lodge.

What a relief, and I nearly cried when passing another guest as they greeted us with an eager tone to their voice, that unspoken enthusiasm of having another human to chat with that isn’t their supporter. Not that supporters aren’t outstanding in their own right. We all need a change of tempo and to partake in conversations from a different perspective. 

The Squire on a sunny Sunday morning – as you do.

During our first few days, we enjoyed our balcony for breakfast and beyond. Then had pleasant walks around the Lodge’s grounds, which surprisingly had a vegetable garden, a bird aviary, miniature golf, chairs galore and paths that meandered around raised garden beds.

It’s only a few metres away from Pukekawa/Domain Park, an oasis we have relished during the two-plus years of coming to Auckland for hospital appointments.

Time to exercise your toes, twinkle toes and forget your woes; enjoy a walk and bask in the morning glow. 

A splendid display of Renga renga/Arthropodium can be seen throughout the Auckland Domain
Trees – when aging is a good thing.
Pukekawa/Auckland Domain Trail – Lovers Path. There’s far more to this trail which I will write about in another post.
All action that morning, though I missed the flinging of arms and only managed to capture a more subdued group stretch

Making leaps and bounds

The Squire ready for action

This month signifies another step in the improving health of the Squire, and he is now accompanying me down the road and managing quite well within a 1-2 km radius on his good days. Proud of him? Yes, I am.

Our most rewarding morning walk of all was grabbing a takeaway coffee and plonking ourselves on a seat which we had all to ourselves. We watched the ducks, then the addition of an old dog swimming who did not want to vacant the pond no matter how encouraging it’s owner became, to observing the antics of the other park’s visitors. We spent an hour or so enjoying being a small part of the outside world, people watching. It’s also about making small steps back into the world of the living. Seems strange to write that, as we haven’t stopped breathing, have we? One of us just stepped back to heal with the other to support that healing.

Then there are the trivial things in life that can unravel the strongest of us all.

No haircut since the end of July.

This state of affairs has resulted in some creative snipping at odd hours of the day and early evening, usually resulting in squeals of horror when realising I didn’t have my glasses on and my minor OCD tendencies becoming frustratingly obvious. Enter my knight with shining steel blades ready for action. There is the question of a hand tremble due to the drugs though I trusted his mathematical mind to get it right even with the unpredictable arm movements. Between us, we conquered the very skilful task of being a home hairdresser.

Remember those bowl cut days?

The new television was a wonderful distraction.

My hair doesn’t feel so crooked compared to the sixties trend, though I’m optimistic, and do I mention declining eyesight?. All said, I can hold my head up reasonably straight without the need for a hat. Rest assured, I do own a few hats that I’m very rarely without because of our harsh sun, and there were sunnier days than not to get out and about. 

Summer has arrived.

“The Changing Seasons” – jointly hosted by Ju-Lyn (Touring My Backyard) and Brian (Bushboys World).

43 thoughts on “What’s been happening? November 2021”

    1. Whoops, apologies for missing your comment. It’s been a bit hectic the last week or so. It has it’s moments and the major factor is being close to medical people who know the medical procedures that’s been done to Les.

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  1. One’s accommodation can have such a significant impact – particularly for extended periods of time. I am so glad that you are enjoying your new lodgings, along with the company it brings.

    I am so glad to hear that The Squire is recuperating & rehabilitating so well – it’s all your companionship & encouragement!!!

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  2. That lodge sounds like a lovely supportive environment for you both, it’s so good you were able to move there. And all the small signs of progress are great to hear about too, especially those walks enjoying nature – just what the two of you need I imagine.

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    1. Sarah, I think every place has unseen “feeling” to it, and for us, this place is a good temporary base, and we would’ve appreciated it even more at the beginning of Les’s treatment.

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    1. Eilene, there’s always one bitter pill to swallow amongst the sweet 😉 I absolutely love walking around the trees and bush areas; total bliss. Though I’m looking forward more to long beach walks when we get home.

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  3. I can only echo the positive hopes and wishes expressed by your followers above. You are both facing the future with the right attitude and all the good vibes I can send are racing across the ocean to you, to your lovely temporary home. I don’t think we have anything like that here, I have heard of ‘respite’ homes and ‘convalescent ‘ homes but nothing has anything like the grounds you talk about and show us in photos. How lovely is that one with the red bridge! As regards hair, you couldn’t make a worse job of yours than I did of mine during first lock-down. And combined with the fact that I cannot blow-dry my hair as my arms seem to have no connection to what my brain is telling them to to, I looked a freak! But we survived, and you know what. I discovered that looking well-groomed is overrated! So just relax as much as you can while you are there, and do just what is possible and what you want to do. Everything else can wait.

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    1. Apologies Maris, I thought I had replied to you. The photos are of the Auckland Domain which is across the road and part if the Lodge. I had a laugh regarding your comment that well-groomed is overrated. Thanks your comment, Maris.

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  4. YAY to progress!!! Your new digs looks pretty sweet also. I have not had a hair cut in a while, though I don’t have any style – it’s just long all over. It’s coming soon. The bowl cut reference made me laugh 🙂

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    1. Thanks very much, Janis. Paying out for a hairdresser isn’t the issue, they have been closed for months in Auckland and I haven’t even bothered to try and get into one as their regulars will have booked out December. I will just have grin and bear it until we return to Tauranga. No biggie there’s always hats 😉

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  5. Gorgeous photos Suzanne and your man is looking well. I understand what you mean about “It’s also about making small steps back into the world of the living.” When dealing with a serious illness / disease it takes over your life. It is good to see you both taking those tentative steps back into living. Love to you both xx

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    1. Thanks Jude for your understanding. There’s no surety yet that the cancer has gone until the specialist receives the bone marrow biopsy results. We shall celebrate then xx

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  6. I can always rely on you to put a positive spin on things, Suzanne. I’m quite often raggy headed and have the odd snip here and there myself. A silly aversion to hairdressers in my case. And I have to say, the Squire looks much better than I might have expected him to. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks Jo, though November had me feeling more blah not sad, mad or happy just blah. Writing in the hope to jolt me out of it, though I think the last few months are catching up on me. Yes, Les is doing well at the moment and has his not so good days.

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        1. Rope has slackened 😉 We do have a lovely relaxing spot at the moment and we appreciate it. By the way, you don’t moan it’s just expressing yourself and better out than staying in x

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  7. Hello Suzanne, it must be a great comfort to be residing closer to your husband’s treatment center. And, what a beautiful oasis it is! Nature to enjoy, people to converse with, and a husband who is healing – all positive things which contributed greatly to this uplifting post. Your comment, ‘the trivial things that can unravel the strongest of us all’ resonated with me as a reminder to maintain perspective. Many blessings.

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  8. Good to see progress being made. It’s just over a year since I had my auto transplant and although that didn’t work the trial I am now on for Glofitamab has produced a complete response. I was in Auckland Cancer Trial Centre yesterday getting my 11th dose. The wonders of modern science at work.

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    1. Great that you were able to get onto a drug trial and it’s working for you. Les had a allogeneic bone marrow transplant in September. Now it’s time to start reducing the cyclosporine and other drugs, how he reacts to this happening will determine how much longer we are in Auckland. I agree, the wonders of modern science as the advances with a bone marrow transplant process are incredible.

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