The first draft of Cat Skinner is finished and the work of revision has begun. It’s going slowly, but serves as a refuge for me to focus on the story in a new way and think about nothing else for a few hours at a time.
I’ve been doing a lot of driving to transport my sister to doctor appointments and serve as her advocate with doctors and the nursing staff at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Burien and at the Wesley Homes Health Center in Des Moines.
Since my last post in April, LaReta’s health has declined. She’s gone through radiation in an effort to reduce tumors close to her spine and is on a regimen of shots for cancer which has metastasized into her bones. Her oncologist said, “There is no cure, only treatment.”
Unfortunately, the treatment has not eased her pain or chronic nausea which is the worst he’s ever seen – and he’s been in the cancer business a long time. In an effort to find out what’s causing the extreme nausea aside from radiation, chemo therapy and pain pills, he’s ordered a brain scan for next week.
The story of Webster Warren Bateman (the Cat Skinner) is also the story of my sister, LaReta, when she was three years old. I’m hoping and praying she’ll find some comfort at age 80, in her last days. She already knows I’ve changed the title to LaReta’s Cat Skinner, A Story of Love and Loss in the 1930’s. Right now, her story is one of love from her family and our sense of loss at the prospect of her passing.