Thursday, January 15, 2015

never look away

She never looks away from truth and beauty.
  it is a formidable struggle for her.
  too tenacious and dauntless to hide.
Truth holds reign in her heart
We are her loyal subjects.
we follow her wisdom
 which plagues her steps
delicate, tender and exposed
she holds the secrets and 
we wait for them to be revealed.

Monday, January 12, 2015

chemo days

This is a picture of some other cancer patients at the local infusion lab. I was here yesterday receiving more toxins in my bloodstream. It is interesting to meet the other cancer patients.  Sometimes I shut it all out and put a movie on the i pad or play with my phone. Other times I try to engage and I can for awhile but as they continue to go over detail after detail of their disease and treatment I tend to start feeling sick.   The chemo nurse just gave me meds so I won't feel sick. I am waiting for the blessed relief of them to kick in. Well this post was a lot longer but some technology went awry and I don't think I have the energy to recreate it. Suffice it to say, chemo days are exhausting but today I feel better.

Oh, I also thought of some blessings (see I am trying).  First the steroids I have to take make all the joints of this old body stop hurting.  Also I have never been closer to my husband or my sister. They are there for me every second of the day.  Crisis breeds intimacy....or something like that. And the support of family and friends has been astounding. What would I do without them? 

My horoscope today said I should use everything and everyone whether I think they are wise or not as a classroom. Ask questions. Use this time to learn.  I'll try.  Of course I have asked why many times but I don't think that's the right question for me.  Maybe I should just try to be an observant student and watch and see what secrets the universe holds for me and those I love. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

small victories

I finished a knitted hat today. I know that doesn't seem like much. A veteran knitter like my daughter-in-law would have finished it in an hour. It took me almost 8 months.  And this hat is full of multiple errors and goofs. But the thing is it is seen a lot of family drama. I started this hat in May when I went to Florida to help take care of my parents. It has seen illness, it has seen death, it has seen the crumbling of lives and then watched them be rebuilt. This little cap has been through my diagnosis, surgeries and treatments. It has been through all the tragedies and crisis our family has lived through this summer and fall.  It is a symbol of the strength of our family, and the weaknesses too. I think often of what we have lost but I want to find the blessings and gifts that loss can give. I am still looking...

Update:  not a bad week after returning to chemo on Monday. Some rough days but better days too. And so we go on...

Friday, January 2, 2015

tmi (avoid reading if you don't want gory details)

A friend suggested a cancer diary to help me through this illness. I think cancer diaries have been done by hundreds of cancer patients (or thousands) and I didn't want to be that cliche. But when you have cancer it kind of becomes your life so today that's what I'm writing about. 


 I mentioned fear in an earlier blog post. My fear is more under control though even when I don't think I'm all that anxious my mind and body show symptoms that I am still quite fearful of the unknown. I guess that's normal. But I see other patients at the chemo lab that are so positive and happy (perky, almost). I am not that kind of person. I have wondered if I should become more like that though I don't think it would work for me. However, I do think I need to have more love,faith, hope, grace, gratitude, strength, patience, positivity, belief, etc which are all better than perkiness aren't they? I think a lot about religion and spirituality but we won't go there today. I don't want to offend any religious people. But I pray and try to believe... 

 After one month of chemo I developed a severe infection in one of my ports. I was unable to continue chemo treatments as we worked to clear this infection. I had two ports. One was the usual IV port that most have and the second was called an intraperitoneal port that delivered chemotherapy poisons directly to the peritoneal lining. But because of the infection it was removed. I was trying to be aggressive as possible against this cancer. Unfortunately I will not continue with the second port because they don't want to take a chance of another infection by putting it back in. I ended up in the hospital for more surgery (some without anesthesia because there wasn't time due to the severity of the problem) Because of all that I now have two open wounds on my stomach that must be left open until they heal. We change the dressing three times a day and watch carefully for healing or signs of returning infection. Paul is kind, generous and patient as he has the onerous job of changing the dressings and answering my daily questions about the progress of the healing. My sister visited last month and let me squeeze her hand when the process was much more painful. She, in her generous, kind way has helped us in so many ways. My friend Agnes takes me places, rubs my feet and multitude of other gifts to calm and support me. Wallace has come to sit with me for hours to help me keep my mind away from the fear. My daughter and granddaughter visit and help and bring joy to my life. I have friends who send thoughts and prayers and food and love. I am grateful for all of them.

 I, however, am not grateful for the disease. Some have suggested to be grateful for everything because of the lessons and/or blessings it can bring to your life. I'm not there yet. But next week I return to chemo and we will hope it goes smoothly. I would like to avoid any more life threatening complications. I want to work toward getting my life back. Or even a different life than I had before...just not the one I have now.