Western education 2013

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

.... chemo round 2 week 1

.... I am in a cloud and am struggling just to get the eggs cracked into the pan... the bile is creeping up to the top of the larynx and is causing discomfort and I take a drink of water to quell the heat. I need to eat something but minutes after eating, the heat picks up quickly and the discomfort of 48 hours of this with little relief is tugging at my nerves. Not even Pepto or Tums helps with this. My senses are all on line and working well - bright lights bother my eyes, even looking at the computer causes squinting, smell - I could smell adhesive tape heating up in the oven the other night (it was on the wax paper but was missed when placed into the oven) when heating the tacos long before the kids could and the cheese Doritos Lydia was eating last night was making my stomach churn and she had to go wash before coming into the room. Amazing that all the senses except the brain are on high alert....

I cannot go to Art Therapy because driving my car would be dangerous to others and with the bright sunlight - no option but to stay at home. I am trying to write a memorial for my friend but find it difficult to conjure up memories from a fuzzy head... reading is also causing its own source of frustration. I have resigned myself to staying at home and crawl back into bed, gobbled down a Pepto and close my eyes. It would be easy to fall into a depression - bar the thought I flip over and fall asleep. Dinner comes by way of Pam M. and I am shocked and giddy when I realize that the cravings for scalloped potatoes and Ham have revealed themselves in her crock pot as a one-pot supper. I am in heaven and dinner is gobbled up by everyone. Thank you so much girl for one heck of a spectacular dinner and to Sue who so generously paid for the ingredients. The children really enjoyed the home-baked pumpkin pie that was included in the meal by Janice P. The chocolate chip cookies are also very good but am not sure who baked them!! I have a bunch of dishware to go back with Pam and lots of hugs and grateful thanks later... my supper Angel is off home!!

Wednesday 18, November 2009 Happy Birthday Oma!!! I know you are traveling somewhere at this point but you have been on my mind all day!! Max and I miss you and GrandDad and hope to see you soon!! We will celebrate when you come back.

Mandi is a wonderful friend and such an angel.... I cannot drive today and she has come to take me to Wellspring on her way to an appointment and will pick me up just in time for lunch. I am feeling really off-center and my insides feel hideous but I know that the sunshine, some company and a class I have been looking forward to for over a month is calling to me. 'Look Good, Feel Better' is a free class complete with an amazing collection of make-up and assorted creams to help you get your day started and a group of wonderful ladies who volunteer their time to teach us the essentials in skin care and make-up application for the lady taking Chemo. With a half dozen of us collected and our products displayed around our make-up stations, our guide selects a beautiful young woman Christy from our group whom she will use as a model. She has a lovely face and sparkling eyes and her youth is reflected in a smooth complexion. Her short hair looks like mine did a few weeks ago and I laugh when she tells me that she has done the same thing I have - cut it before it becomes a nuisance!! She is engaging and sweet and I like her immediately. Her friend sits at the end of the desk and you can see how much she cares and admires Christy and proudly announces that she is her best friend. The lady next to me is not so lucky... she has travelled a ways from Chatham and lives alone - she lets me know that she is not like Christy and I and just feels alone and that she can't do it. I wrap my arms around her and let her know that there is hope. This journey has many pitfalls and I am relieved that she has asked at least if there is any support groups in her area. Vicky is here from my Art Therapy group and I like her effervescent personality and her easy going nature. Although she did not lose her hair, this is still a great course for her to take and she is happy for the company around her. The lady next to her is elderly and wants to talk about the edema in her legs and later the volunteers in the program direct me to her to help her out - I have edema in my arm and it is mild enough that I have not worn my sleeve in a few days.... that was not such a wise choice as I note the slight swelling in the upper arm. Christy is full of fun and enjoys her 'spa' day while the rest of us muddle through the steps with assistance. In the end, we all look fabulous and have smiles on our faces!! We all now have color in our face and chat like old friends over coffee and tea at a little over an hour in the program. On our return, it is wig time and I volunteer to be the model. The wigs all look pretty good and I have fun looking at all the different looks.... amazing the impact of a simple head of hair!! As the program winds down, I speak with the elderly woman and give my email address to Christy. If there is any information I can share, she knows she can contact me anytime. One thing I have learned in this journey - the more information you can get.... the easier the path!!

Time to go and Mandi is waiting for me to go to lunch. I value our time together and am blessed for our friendship. Thank you Mandi for being there for me!! xoxoxo Love you girl!! Dinner tonight is hand delivered by Steve W. and it is a fabulous and divine Bratwurst sausage stew!! A very european dish and one that is very similar to the comfort meals of my childhood.

Thursday 19 November..... dragging my rear out of bed.... only after realizing that I can hear the clock radio which has likely been trying to wake me up for the better part of 30 minutes. My lids are heavy and I can just make out the outline of Mitchel in the doorway. I manage to find my way to the bathroom and I feel the first lurch of my stomach and return to the tums bottle beside my bed. I am bent and determined to get to Yoga this morning regardless!! The brain fog is starting to lift as I yank on my yoga pants and a loose top.... later in class, one of the girls will ask if I have lost weight. I don't think so but then I remember the 5 pounds that I have lost so far and make a mental note (useless endeavor) to weigh myself later. Freedom reigns as the kids head out the door and I grab my keys to go for a drive - I am behind the wheel for the first time in a week!! Yoga is great as always and a time for me to connect the gap between the physical and spiritual self - gave up on the mental part weeks ago :). It is also a time to touch base with the women who want to socialize and talk about things that are key to us. I take the time to talk about the amazing supper club. One of the ladies is a grandma and tells of the teens who live near her retirement home that made her a 'build-a-bear' to help her to feel better. Tears come easily for all of us in our close-knit group and we are all grateful for the special people in our world.

Dinner is served by Mandi and the family once more gets excited at another surprise meal. Chicken and fries fill everyone's belly and the treat that came with dinner is well received by all - thank you to Janice Mills for the homemade candy apples with the lovely name tags and a special thank you from Eryn who was amazed and touched that there was an apple marked with her name as well!!

Chemo fallout and a quick rise in temper has Max and I at odds.... neither one of us realizes until later that this is almost exactly the same time frame as the last blow-out. I realize that keeping the blog and reviewing it will save us from this on our next round and we write it on the calender for all of us to see!! The toxic chemicals do more than kill newly forming cells... it's as if the mind revolts after being put through the chemo fog of the days before and retaliates.... no advance warning signs other than the past experiences. Disaster sorted, discussed with all family members and everyone is on the same page. Life goes on and I spend an hour playing with Lydia before bed.

Another crisis crops up and Max and Will are off to pick up Eryn..... she will be staying the night with us again. I hug her when she walks in the door, Max moves Lydia to the upper bunk in Mitch's room and she surveys us with sleepy eyes and an impish grin. Hugs and kisses and she is back to sleep. Mitch rolls over for a hug and a kiss. Nighty night. Lydia's room now becomes Eryn's and she gets fresh sheets and a warm blanket and a night without worry.

Thank you to everyone this week for the supper club and all the well wishes. Sending out a Happy Birthday to Keri and my mother-in-law - may your special day be filled with great surprises.

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