Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 4


I'm plugging along with the radiation, thanks to my cadre of drivers who keep me on schedule ... winter weather adds some thrill to the trip upon occasion ... but all things considered, I can't complain too much. My skin is breaking down a little, but I was told that would happen. And being more and more tired.

However!!! I awoke this morning and decided to make it a "git 'r done" day ... load of laundry, washed hair, Canadian Brass on the stereo (Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Pachelbel etc), decided to treat myself to brownies. After all, I'm half done with radiation! Whomped up some mix, added walnuts (Sorry Hugh), preheated the oven ... and all of sudden kitchen fills with smoke, smoke alarm goes off .. I yell at the alarm "I SEE IT, I SEE IT", turn on the exhaust fan, open oven. Apparently and unbeknownst to me, last weeks' apple pie oozed over.

So now, down on my knees, scrubbing out the oven. Meanwhile brownies are calling to me. Since I have no adult supervision at this point, I pull out a spoon and sample the batter. (Sorry Laura) ... and it was good, so I ate some more. It's now in the pan, waiting for the oven to preheat (again).

I'm fostering a kitten. I think she's about 4 months old, and already in the week she's been here she's grown. It's been awhile since a baby anything lived here, and I find myself laughing at the funny things she does. After two days of being too terrified to do more than huddle in her basket, she now runs about the house as if she owns the joint. Now she purrs, louder than a motorboat. How is it we lose that sense of wonder we have as children, when everything is a toy, or to be explored. How do we end up as couch potatoes. Is it lack of environmental stimulation? Sheer laziness? or worse yet, boredom? She's good medicine for me at this point. I'd like to just curl up and sleep, but there are things to be done, and with a little more effort I can do them. My other three cats are asleep, and as I write this the little one is playing with the ribbon on my slippers.

I guess it all boils down to what motivates a person. While snoozing away the afternoon sounds grand, I know I'll feel more like I actually accomplished something if I press onward and try a little harder. I'm not suggesting you all go out and adopt little kittens, but I am suggesting that with a little bit of effort you too can find things to do. Even if you just tackle a pile of accumulated clutter, just one pile, and deal with it, you'll feel better. As I watch her, realizing the world is her oyster now, her enthusiasm rubs off on me. -->

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Week Two

Yesterday marked the first day of the second week of radiation. I can do this. I am continually amazed at life in a small town. Yes, everyone knows if you roll over at night, but help comes out of the woodwork when there's a problem. It's rather like the whole town survives as a networked entity, no one stands alone (unless you choose to).

And, yesterday my firstborn reached the age of 39!! Lord but THAT makes me feel old! Not really. I can't complain. My internist says I am "aging gracefully". Whatever that is!

I think my challenge to you is to look around you, at folks in your town. Is someone shut in? Could you take someone to the store to shop, or meet at someone's house to carry in said groceries? I time my shopping so I'm home when a friend of mine drives by on HIS way home ... and he lugs in the heavy stuff. Help make your town a tighter knit unity! -->

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day two ...

Radiation day two. I don't "glow in the dark" yet. The procedure was much faster today, as there was nothing extra they had to do. I assumed the position, and stared at the ceiling while the machine did its thing. Then off to Arby's for lunch.

And as of today, there is MUSIC in my house! I came across a used pair of kenwood components, two small speakers and now there is wonderful music! Up until now it was a boom box from Wal-Mart. Maybe it was a dumb thing to spend $75 on, but I know it will lift my spirits.

Music has always spoken to my soul, classical in particular. I cut my teeth on it I think. I think though each person loves a particular genre the end result is often the same, across cultures, races, and walks of life.

The other thing I did today was to take a special quilt with me to the radiation treatment. It was like having my dearest friend there with me.

I will get through this. I can do this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New beginnings ...

The year is in its infancy, but already there are new things on the horizon. For one, I cleaned off my desk. (don't laugh. that was a chore!) I have all new underwear. (You're laughing again). Really! I threw away all my old underwear New Year's Eve. Out with the old, in with the new. Picked out a new make-up. (I really like Mabelline's BB cream!) and that makes me feel prettier. Had a dinner date for New Year's Eve with a dear friend, and we both agreed we ought to do so more often. And today was the first of 35 radiation treatments for breast cancer.

Yup, you read right. The "unknown" I spoke of last turned out to be cancer, followed by two surgeries, and now radiation treatment. I will beat this, but I also reserve the right to have periodic emotional meltdowns. I am, after all, human. Due to the sophisticated mammography available now it was caught VERY early. I can't urge you enough if you are a female reader, or urge your female friends should you be male, to have this valuable screening.

And while nearly 100% survival rate is assured me, nothing reduces the initial trauma, shock of having words like cancer, oncology, radiation, etc put into your here-to-fore cancer free vocabulary. There were a few folks who said "It's not really cancer, you don't have to have a mastectomy", or "it's pre-cancer", ad nauseum. To the patient, it's still terrifyingly real. So, if a friend or co worker has to face this, NEVER EVER diminish what she is feeling.

In fact, you should never diminish anything someone else is feeling, as you have no accurate means of assessing said feelings. I have been reminded in the past few months, that while everyone reacts to things differently, the need for a strong shoulder to lean on remains the same. You will be the best friend, if you let him/her vent, and as the Arabic proverb goes, "gather in all of the harvest, keep the grain, and with a breath of kindness, blow away the chaff."

So, here is to all 2013 will bring us. Stand tall, take care of yourself, and be the kind of friend you want to have.