Western education 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

....... the mid week hump.....

..... brings its own series of bumps.... in the form of spine bone pain and spasms...

Tuesday July 16th....
It started out good and an hour into being up, the lower spine began to ache and then the muscles began to spasm in the lower back and upper thorax.  It felt like an electrical storm coursing through my back and every time I tried to straighten up the spasms would get worse.  I decided to give in and just lay draped over the ottoman in the living room much to the delight of the dogs who could now see eye-to-eye with me.  Chemo, like pregnancy, heightens all the senses and dog breathe, while normally noxious, takes on a whole new aroma.  My stomach turns as I point the dogs in any direction but my face!! LOL  Max and Mitchel are out at our friend's house cutting the lawn for her.  She is carrying her second baby and has strict orders not to do any lifting or hard work.  Max's phone keeps pocket dialing me... at least his phone knows I need assistance!!  I manage to arch my back to reduce the storm brewing in the lower extremities and walk upstairs on feet that often feel detached from the rest of me.  Sometimes they feel like I am walking on hot coals while other times they feel clammy and cold despite being dry and warm.... my feet feel gross!!!   I manage to cozy in to the bed or at least get as comfortable as possible... Max calls and I tell him I need him home....

Lydia has been picked up by our friend Pat this morning to head out to her family cottage for a sleepover with her daughter to celebrate her 11th birthday.  Pat hands over a signed poster by Chris Hadfield, her brother,  and the tears well up and pour over.  I am not a celebrity hound... just a geek who totally thinks Chris is the coolest Canadian to come along in a really long time!!!!!  His picture now proudly graces my front hallway.  Have a great time learning how to water ski Miss Lydia!!!  Her FB posting tells all her friends this week what an amazing summer it is turning out to be.  Mitchel will wholeheartedly agree with his major adventure behind him.

My neuropathy in my hands is getting worse - the numbness means that I can easily injure myself with little awareness that I have of them.  It is essential to now wear rubber gloves doing dishes and garden gloves while outside.  I need to keep busy but I also need to be keenly aware of what I am doing at all times. I have a number of mosquito bites on me and have applied 'After Bite' to each of them to prevent me from itching them.... open wounds do not heal and I notice one on the wrist of my left arm... the arm with edema.  I get out the first aid kit and will apply triple antibiotic cream 3 times a day to control any possible infection and keep a band aid on at all times.  Max inspects each bit and notes that yes, that one is one needing a close eye.

Wednesday July 17th
I wake up early with another crick in the left side of my neck and stretch it out to minimize the pain which eventually subsides... oh yeah, I woke up yesterday morning with the same crick.  I now have to dig around to find the lesion which has physically shrunk on the left side of my neck.. while I am relieved by this... I am now wondering where the cells are going??  My neck around the clavicle is still swollen but it doesn't feel like I am being choked anymore.

In typical fashion, my husband has spent his first few days helping friends and addressing items needing looking at in and around the house.  I have not seen him this relaxed since our last vacation....whenever that was??  This summer, he will sleep in, ride with friends when the tropical weather this week settles down, and just simply enjoy our lovely house and pool.  The air conditioner has not stopped running all week and with the humidex in the 40's and our pool in the 80's, why would we go anywhere?  I can not camp or go out during the heat of the day this summer so here we sit in paradise on the deck, having coffee and listening to the birds chirp, while my family sleeps upstairs.  I love the early morning hours..... alone and deep into my own thoughts.

I called my mother back early this morning.  Lately she is anything but smothering.... not like she ever was to begin with but she is having a hard time dealing with my second diagnosis in her own special way.  She doesn't call and something tells me because she wants to know as little as possible because to her, ignorance is bliss.  I make her laugh and connect in the only way I have ever been able to.... with my quirky sense of humour.  She asks if I have lost weight?  No mom, only my face has... the body still has to play catch up!!!  She giggles and we kiss each other over the phone.  I ask that she squeezes Dad for me when she visits with him tomorrow.  He doesn't recognize her anymore and she prays that he goes to sleep and passes over.  Her dementia is slowly creeping up on her as well and she often stutters or searches for words that simply escape her throughout our conversation.  She knows that I cannot visit with Dad right now... that long-term home is germy even at the best of times.  You would think that through all these hundreds of years and everything we know about illness, that they wouldn't have a system in place that allows windows to be open and sunshine to pour throughout the units...instead they live in crowded quarters with recycled air and fake plants....sigh.

I came across a poster while searching for something online from 'Preventative Disease'.  It says  "It is during the worst times of your life that you will get to see the true colors of the people who say they care for you".  Everyone deals with this diagnosis in their own personal way, with some in denial, some who flaunt it like it's a good thing and those of us who just accept it as it is and move forward.  While I have completely disconnected with a few uncaring members, I have been wonderfully surprised to have been graced with the reconnection of a dearly loved sister and her daughter.  Surrounding yourself with people who truly love and care for you makes your journey far easier.  Our life journey is too short to have to deal with those who only show up to put in an appearance and leave before the going gets tough.  If you are not close with a family member in a cancer journey, send flowers or a card just to let them know that you thought of them that day.... you will find a thank you back and maybe if you care deeply enough, an opening to a revewed relationship. 

Lydia arrives from the cottage in the late afternoon, just as I am completing my work day.  She has her own signed copy of Chris's pic and a bunch from Pat showing her on skiis!!  OMG she looks so grown up with her two pals enjoying the tropical weather by and on the water.  Yes she is having the time of her life.... BEST SUMMER EVER!!!

Tomorrow will bring friends from my school days out from Toronto to sit by the pool and visit.  I am so excited, I just can't wait!!!!!!  I will work until they arrive for a late lunch and then the afternoon will be ours to enjoy. 

I wish to dedicate this blog to all the family and friends who have shown my family how much they truly love and care for them.  To Patricia and Chelsea whom I adore and love so deeply... I am grateful for our renewed connection and to your loving support.  xoxoxoxoxo  To my husband, who has made a huge life change will now be able to support his family through being here at home where we need him the most.

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