While I was going through treatment for Lymphoma I made the decision that once I was in remission I would get a tattoo. The image I wanted was a Charles Schulz character named ‘Number Three’ who dances onstage in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. She’s one of a pair of twins (her sister is named,…
I do feel alone quite often, but that’s a function of my recovery. It’s hard to get out and socialize; moving is painful, I get so tired, and being in a crowd (even in a restaurant) seems to unsettle me in a new way. I don’t know if it’s because for 18 months I’ve essentially lived most of my life in a hospital room, a bedroom or my living room, but my Living with Loss group at Gilda’s Club (6-10 people) is about as large a group of people that I feel comfortable interacting with.
If it hadn’t been for SS survivor benefits, I would never have been able to attend college after my father died when I was 16. Ironically, the same is true for Paul Ryan, who has been one of the loudest voices against this benefit.
In fact, the benefit for child survivors of a deceased parent has changed, it used to continue while the child was in college, now it just ends at 18, making college just a dream for so many kids who have lost a parent and aren’t genius enough to earn scholarships.
WHINE ALERT Damn, I hurt. My back is sore, my legs are numb (which is oddly uncomfortable, you’d think that numb would be… numb?) and I’ve had nausea every morning these past 5 days. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear I was pregnant. Not really. Thanks, hysterectomy and advanced age… Andy’s leaving for…
Yesterday I had a visit with my oncologist and, his exact words (as he shook my hand) were, “Congratulations on surviving cancer…” The tumor in my spine is officially gone. I am in remission, and that is amazing news! From this point I have doctor visits ever 3 months, and a scan every 6 months. …
I don’t think I can actually go out into the snow, I slip and fall SO easily, but maybe Andy will bring me in a bowl of it and I can play around with that? I hope as it gets warmer my legs will grow stronger and I’ll be walking outside without a cane in the Springtime!
So although I am still light years from where I want to be, I do feel myself getting better every day, and that is almost ENTIRELY due to the hard work of Andy and our friends. (Of course, the doctors and nurses had something to do with it, I’m speaking pretty much about at-home help…)
I still can’t walk easily, my legs are numb and I almost fall all the time. Almost. That’s a very important word. I don’t get downstairs as often as I’d like due to balance and exhaustion issues, but I do what I can and I walk around upstairs quite a bit each day. The more I walk, the better my legs feel! I cannot WAIT for warmer weather so I can walk outside!!
In many states once you get outside of the city areas the highways have poetic names like “Highway M” or, “Highway Z” or, “Highway PP.” Every time Kathleen and I drive through Wisconsin we pass a sign that reads, “Hwy V” I have yet to be on top of my passenger duties enough to snap…
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.
So imagine my joy when, on Friday, Ellyn confessed to me that she’d booked a flight out to St. Paul and would be staying the weekend!! She also booked into an Air BnB, but – luckily – her host contacted her on Sat morning to tell her that she’d have to cancel the reservation, so Ellyn was free to stay here, in Max’s room!
It’s been SUCH a lovely weekend. A lovely, silly, boring, wonderful weekend! I’m not able to do much, and this weekend my exhaustion and nausea levels were pretty high, but Ellyn was cool with just SITTING on the sofa and watching cooking shows while we giggled and ate ice cream with Baileys.