My goals are to stay put. To get through this thing in one place, mentally and physically. TO just BE HERE, to be present, and to GET THROUGH IT. I would give anything to run away, but that’s not possible, you cannot outrun cancer.
Part of staying put will be trying to keep my good numbers up; good platelet counts, good hemoglobin, just GOOD numbers. And to keep the bad numbers down; heart rate below 100.
Pain is such a game changer. It feels good to discuss it, but I also know how boring it must be to open my blog and read, “Pain, blah, blah, blah, PAIN!”
But that’s my reality today. Which is so weird after a few weeks of very good pain control. It also makes me wonder if the chemo pump drugs I’m on are having some kind of effect on my pain meds, perhaps undercutting them in some way..?
Yesterday Gerry, Andy and I went to “Chemo Class” and learned about things to watch out for during my chemo (which starts on Monday, Aug 20 – our 25th Wedding Anniversary…) and get details on the average Chemo day, tips on dealing with the nausea, etc. It was a good and helpful 40 minutes given…
I don’t know where the disconnect is, but I’m hoping that when I go back on Thursday for my “Chemo Class” I’ll get a better feeling about the place. After my meeting with my doc, when ALL I wanted to do was crawl home, write a bit, do some research and contemplate what I’d just been told, I had to spend an hour standing up, leaning on a high counter, while one of the receptionists scheduled appointments.
Making a woman with so much cancer pain stand at a reception desk for an hour scheduling simple appointments just seems cruel. At the least it seems they should have a dedicated scheduler on staff where a client can SIT DOWN with office staff and work through setting up appointments.
I don’t have a ton of pride, I’m more of a self-respect type of woman. The nurses at my various procedures are constantly trying to tie up my gown, or throw another robe on me, scandalized by my milky white rear end floating like a moon around my bed.
But I will cop to a certain pridefulness in front of my kids when I want to appear to be strong. Once Max is back at school, I think I’ll be able to relax the standards a bit, not hold myself up quite so high, and I’m glad he won’t be here every day to see my fight through the chemo. It’s a sad day when simply being CLOTHED is considered a high standard.
The plan at this point is for my dye assistant, Layla, to pick up some of the slack I am dropping during my recovery, and perhaps to do some specialty orders. We won’t be up to our old dye schedule for quite a while, but perhaps we can devise a new normal to allow us to continue to develop color ways, products and projects, while at the same time allowing Layla and Kathleen to have more creative input into the biz.
That part is HARD for me. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘control freak’, but my NAME is on the company (well, 4 letters of my name) and I feel an ownership of the creative side that I might not feel if we had just named our company, “Minnesota Nice Yarns” or something like that.
But peace wasn’t in her future, and — having been told that it would be perhaps 4 months or so before mom would be going into hospice — I left mom living with my brother Jimmy and his wife, Karen and went home for my own medical journey. I had all the support I needed, it was important that mom wasn’t part of that support. But I was scared, of course, and I don’t know if I was fully prepared for the ways a hysto would change a 40-year old woman’s life. But that’s a different story for a different blog post.
Just about 4 months to the day from returning home I received a call from my brother’s line. As I answered I just assumed, “Oh, that’s Jimmy calling to tell me that Mom’s condition has worsened and it’s time to begin thinking about palliative care.”
But it wasn’t. It was mom telling me that the previous evening Jimmy had passed away from a heart attack. At age 45. And it was exactly as heartbreaking for everyone as you would expect.
A belief is SUCH a personal thing. You cannot CHOOSE a belief, it is — by definition — what you BELIEVE. I think because of societal pressures, ease of social mobility, the need to just get along in a family and community, some folks DO choose to believe what their family has all believed before them. I choose not to.
My belief is simple; whatever god there is can be found in the action of a human helping another human, or helping make the world a better place. Period.
So pray for me, or don’t, but please don’t feel badly if I would rather put my trust in Minerva McGonagall over Mother Mary. Professor McGonagall is definitely more my jam.
The fact that I DID have this urge is frightening; obviously there was something inside of me that felt entirely overwhelmed and full of despair. But it was the Lyrica that crystallized those feelings, that made them solid and compelled me to act on them.
My mom used to say, “When you feel blue, take a walk or take a nap.” and I think right now I need the equivalent of a nice long walk every day. Maybe a nice, long walk down to the Jimmy Lee Recreation Center?