Saturday, March 1, 2014

How We Spent Our Week...

We're just poking our head up after nearly another week holed up at the University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC).  While Melinda's throat is improving to the point where she can eat solid food again, this last weekend she developed bad ear/head aches, and while waiting for a fluid infusion to improve her hydration last Monday, developed a fever and the Cancer Center decided to admit her.  Six days later she was released today - with no obvious cause for her head/ear pain, which she still has and which is little affected by the pain meds she is taking.  The fevers she was having have subsided, the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors at UAMC indicate no signs of ear or sinus infection, so she'll ride it out at home for now.  The good news, if any, is that they started up her 2-a-day chest radiation treatments this last Wednesday, so we're checking those off her calendar again, and she's down to the last week's worth this upcoming week, assuming no problems.  After another week off for recovery, they then plan 10 treatments (2 weeks) of whole-brain radiation so she'll be finished by the end of the month if there are no more setbacks.

After splitting my time between home chores, time with Melinda, and a couple hours at work every day, it feels good to be home again, looking at a normal schedule.  The big news in Tucson this weekend is the arrival of a honest-to-goodness storm for the first time in over 2 months.  The last measurable rain was on 20 December, and usually Winters are a secondary rainy season here.  But the normal weather patterns that brings that rain has brought California and us unseasonably warm temperatures and drought, and the eastern half of the country the "Polar Vortex" and the snowiest, coldest weather in decades.  As the storm clouds moved in yesterday, we had some spectacular cloud patterns, making me wish I had a camera with my comings and goings from UAMC.  Finally, upon our arrival at home late this afternoon I got out the camera and took a few shots.  In a run to the drug store, I saw an impressive display of what looked like Mammatus clouds.  By the time I got home, they had lost some of their rounded bottoms, but still looked impressive.  A 3-frame mosaic is shown at left.  A few minutes before sunset, it slipped into a clear spot in the west, and though we didn't have much rain falling at the time, there were a few rainbow segments to be seen, including the one at right against the Santa Catalina Mountains.  This is an HDR image - a combination of 3 slightly different exposures for better illumination.

Finally, just as the last rays of the sun left the sky, a few segments of the rainbow arc could be spotted from the back yard.  It literally faded as I watched, so this was the last of any rainbows.  There are still scattered storms west to LA, but whether they will make it across the desert to us remains uncertain.  Knock on wood, at least we'll be home, not in the hospital, to document it if we get more rain or photo ops!

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