Both figuratively and literally, this has been a roller coaster week. First thing was that we showed up for Raymond’s first radiation treatment, only to find out that his treatment schedule had been pushed back a week, so a 150 mile round trip for nothing. On Tuesday, we met with the pharmacist who is in charge of Raymond’s chemo, which will start at the same time as radiation. Things were looking up!
Then it seemed like the bottom dropped out. We got a call from the nursing home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, saying that Raymond had been taken to ER due to low oxygen levels. Duh! We’d been trying to tell them! A couple of hours later, they called back to say that he was doing better. So next morning when LeRoy got to the nursing home to see him, they said no, he was in the hospital at Las Cruces! So I guess “better” is relative, since he was in ICU on a ventilator. First they said he had an infection in his stomach feeding site, along with pneumonia, but antibiotics do wonders. The ICU at Memorial Hospital is filled with caring nurses and other providers, several of whom remembered him from his stay last month. By Thursday, he was greatly improved and the plan was at that point to release him to the nursing home on Saturday. They thought he should probably be okay to begin radiation and chemo as planned.
We were encouraged enough to decide to head for Colorado on Friday, just a day later than planned. We still haven’t heard from either Raymond or the nursing home to say that he is there but we’ve left messages. Surely we’ll hear more later today.
That’s when the literal ups and downs began. LeRoy had been debating about whether or not to go over Raton Pass, since Liberty pretty much faints at the sight of a mountain. Other bus friends said it wasn’t so bad, so we decided to go that way. Strategically, LeRoy planned to drive all the way to Raton, NM the first day so that we could begin the drive up the pass while both the engine and weather were cool. It’s unfortunate for buses (and the people who get stuck behind them) when road construction has to be done in the last mile before the summit! I drove the car behind LeRoy so it wouldn’t tax the engine too much and I think the lowest speed it got to was around 20. Once up that pass, we hooked back up in Trinidad, CO and it was easy going until Ute Pass west of Colorado Springs. We unhooked again and this time, I pulled the tow dolly with the Escape. I was beginning to wonder when I saw the speed drop to 18, but then the road leveled out and we got back up to speed.
After lunch at Woodland Park, we made it on to Golden Bell and into our site. Backing in last year was when we got a hole poked in the back corner of Liberty, but this time parking was uneventful. The ups and downs for last week over, we intend to rest up a bit before hitting the ground running with breakfast at the lodge at 7:30. We won’t be camp hosting these first few weeks, so we’re ready for whatever new adventure Charlotte, the volunteer coordinator, throws at us.