Apr 30

Surfacing.  It feels good to come back and to have the use of all my senses again.  While the chemo works, the rest of me has to work really hard to focus.  On anything.  I kind of see the world in tunnel-vision.  I can do it, almost any of my “normal” stuff, but I have to work whole a lot harder to do it.  And then I need a nap.  A really, really big nap. Today, I surfaced.  It seems like I should pick up where I left off, but I don’t.  There are days that ticked by on the calendar, and we’re out of bread.  Brad has to work but wait-what-about-the-weekend.  I did laundry today and washed clothes that the girls’ wore, and I don’t remember seeing them wear those clothes.  That’s weird.  Today, I took a nap, and woke up after an hour feeling fairly refreshed.  I think, “Golly, that was efficient.”  It’s a weird new normal that I operate in.  Maren loves Phenom’s house so much that she turned down an ice cream date with me to go there today.  So, yes, Phenom is better than ice cream, and Maren’s Mommy tank is full.  So grateful.  Brad and I talked about how my cancer is good for he and Greta; Greta even chooses him over me on occasion, which thrills both of us.  I am breathing in deep and doing my Mom jobs and my cancer jobs: it’s all part of taking care of me.  Today I am being restored.  Refined. I choose to see the good in the process.  Today, I feel loved.  In.  So.  Many....

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Apr 27

I’m here.  I’m chock full of anti-nausea meds, steroids, antibiotics, painkillers, and chemo drugs.  Seriously, praise the Lord for modern medicine; I shudder to think of my situation if these interventions and treatments did not exist.  The side effects, mostly feeling like I have the flu, are totally tolerable.  I’m told medicines that control chemo side effects have come a looong way in the last decade.  A big part of my tolerance comes, I think, because unlike the real flu, we knew it was coming.  We are fortunate to be able to send M & G to our favorite Phenom’s house today.  My husband is loving me big with that gift.  I am sitting in my bed, alone.  (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but it’s actually relaxing and good for my soul.)  Pre-cancer, my mommy sick days were few and far between.  Thankfully, I do not have to drag myself around the house doing the mundane, striving to be Fun Mommy.  Today, I am weak.  And that’s okay.  I get to rest.  I think about how blessed I am and I center my heart. I’m learning my attitude on chemo days is not exactly what my family, nurses, and friends expect to be.  I get a lot of: Shaking heads and sad face. “I’m so sad you have to do this.” “It’s hard to watch you go through chemo.” “Keep your chin up.” I appreciate all those sentiments (I really do, I get it), but it’s not at all how I feel about chemo.  What’s weird to me is that I *love* chemo days.  I’m bubbly in the oncology office; I brought a bouquet of Thirty-One key fobs (gifted to me by a sweet friend) with thank-you notes for the fabulous nurses in the office.  It’s a way to offer a small thanks for their career choice in oncology and their weekly kindnesses to me.  Think about that.  I have a euphoric high knowing that there are some heavy duty toxic chemicals racing around devouring my cancer.  Can you read that and not grin?  Because I’m grinning. “Stay strong.” “Go chemo go!” “Jesus, help the chemo to spare the healthy cells.” “I’m praying for you.” “You touched me and here’s...

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Bald on the run

Apr 26

Did you see me this morning?  I was the bald one running through our neighborhood.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I’m exercising because I want to be strong.  I dropped the girls off at Phenom’s house.  By the way, Maren was again clamboring all morning to get there already, and there were no tears from Greta at drop-off.  Praise the Lord!  I did strength exercises in my family room and then went for a run with no stroller.  Pre-cancer, a kid-free work-out was one of my greatest luxuries.  Now, being strong is part of my job description, so it’s bumped higher on the priority list. I started off wearing a running hat, but I got hot. Some girls are too polite to sweat: they dab their forehead for effect, they can go straight from working out to social events and no one is the wiser.  Me?  I’m a sweat monger.  There is nothing polite about it.  I also turn bright pink because of my fair complexion.  So, yes, this morning I was the pink, very sweaty woman who jogged by your house.  And I was hot (obviously, I’m talking temperature here, not sexiness).  So, the choices were to either stay hot, take my t-shirt off and run in my sports bra (ha–yea right!), or take off the hat.  So, I took off my hat for the last mile.  I am proud of myself for being out there running in the first place.  I’m not embarrassed or shy; I’m just bald. I go bald a lot.  My family sees me bald all the time; people tell me I have a very nice head shape.  All of my neighbors have seen me bald: playing with the girls on the back patio or getting the mail.  I frequently answer the door bald (and surprise the visitor!)  If I’m wearing a scarf, Maren will often come over and take it off, saying “I like you like this Mom.”  Last night we were rushing out the door for Maren’s soccer game, and when I pulled up to the field I realized: I have no hat.  Oooops.  I looked around the car and assessed my choices: go bald, tie Greta’s burp cloth on my head, tie a...

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Apr 25

I’m all about expectations.  I plan.  I anticipate.  Brad knows this.  He knows that he should tell me that he’ll be home at 6:30 and then he can dazzle me when he shows up at 6:05.  To tell me he’ll be home at 6:00 and to show up at 6:05… well, let’s just say I’m not dazzled. We put date nights on the calendar for two reasons: one, so they happen.  And, two, so that I can anticipate a fun night with my man.  I enjoy the anticipation of special events almost as much as the event itself.  Last weekend, we planned a date night and I am so excited.  We are going somewhere and we are going to talk.  (That sounds ridiculous, but you have to understand that we have young kids.  It is hard to leave the house and impossible to have a conversation longer than forty-seven seconds.)  We want to talk about things that we want to do this summer: places we want to take the girls, friends we want to invite to our home, activities that are family and budget friendly.  He suggested planning out what (local) trips we might take this year, and brainstorming our next big vacation.  We both love travel and adventure.  Our list of places to see and things to do is epic.  I want to know: when will I next have my toes in the ocean?  Long term: when should we take our girls to Mammoth Cave, to Mackinac Island, to Bryce Canyon and beyond?  I love that this is our date.  We’re not going to dinner and a movie.  We’re dreaming, we’re hoping, we’re planning, we’re...

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Apr 24

*If you know me in real life and have contacted me recently, know that I love you.  I am behind and I am busy, but I love you.  I know I don’t need to apologize because I have cancer, but cancer hasn’t done much for me in the ‘being a good friend’ department.  And you matter enough to me for me to say it here. I am busy.  Part of it is real life busy: washing Greta’s tray three times per day, making the bed, answering the phone, digging out the bottomless pit of emails, doing laundry, packing and unpacking Maren’s backpack, planning meals, shopping.  It all just goes on: for all of us.  I am not alone in this, I know.  So, that is what I’ve been up to.  I’m doing normal things like going on Maren’s field trip (to the pizza place–isn’t preschool awesome?) and changing over Greta’s wardrobe to the next clothing size.  I am engaging in this new life; I’ve never been passive about anything.  I am busy. The other part of my busy is cancer busy.  I am wading through the mountain of new things that require attention: medical bills, gifts, correspondence re: cancer, medical literature, blogging, thank you notes, books, and more.  I am trying to prioritize what to do with what little time I can devote to these tasks.  There is so much to deal with I get overwhelmed at times.  As I sift through the cancer piles, I am asking myself: am I (are we) doing everything I can to fight against this disease? Spiritually, I trust God in this, and have since Day 1.  This alone is a blessing from Him.  I am praying and I am meditating on scripture.  Friends have sent me verses that I have posted on my mirror.  I am on more prayer lists than I know about.  Family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, people who don’t pray; all of them are praying for me.  Wow.  Everyday, I tune in, I pray, I ask, I thank, I believe.  Check. Emotionally, I made my plan to Do Today Well.  It took me a couple of weeks to quell the volcano that is my emotional tank, but I feel I landed in...

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