12 October 2010

The Scream

When I look back it was the scream that confirmed to me that something was wrong and would never change. That trying would never be good enough.

Life is a trip. One moment it's spring and all of the seasons are spread before you. There's such an innocence to spring, a feeling of hope and the knowing that one can do anything they put their mind to. You jump in mud puddles just to see how it feels, you find a treasure trove of mosses in the woods and bring them home to plant in your "garden". You peak under last year's leaves looking for the signs that spring has arrived, hepaticas blooming, lady slippers poking their way through the earth. Spring seems never ending until you feel the heat and hear the scream.

Suddenly it's summer and the hints of warmth you felt in spring now surround you like a blanket. You're free of childhood, able to make decisions based on the heart. You can play grown up, drink coffee with your friends, start a family, go to college and plan for the future. You have all the time in the world to plant your gardens, mow your lawns, buy your house because after all this feeling will continue forever, right? Only until you suddenly hear the scream. Then innocence is gone.

It's autumn now, a time of preparing for falling leaves, hibernation and death of what was once so vibrant and alive. You think you're prepared for the losses as you've had so many fruitful days before. You know it can not last. Yet you hope to hang onto the leaves, the thick grasses of summer, the flowers and the gentle breezes. You hope that if you can only coddle life a little bit longer that you'll be able to hang on to it .... all the while ignoring the rising voices in the background.

So this is where I find myself, having survived illness and sad losses, having to regroup for the future and whatever it might hold. I've so enjoyed the newness of spring, the warmth of summer and even the changes of autumn. And from now on I'm going to ignore the scream

11 October 2010

Maggie's Birthday

Nine years ago today my first grandchild, Megan Amelia Olive, was born. We didn't know the sex of the baby before she was born so it was with even greater anticipation with which we awaited her arrival. After waiting for what seemed an inordinate amount of time that morning I snuck into the recovery room to see my daughter and her first child. I remember how tiny Maggie looked at the time, all pink and wrinkly. Now she reminds me that in 7 years she'll be able to drive. Where does the time go?

Happy ninth birthday my Maggie. I love you so very much.


10 October 2010

And so life goes on ....

You go Carol! I finally got my password issues resolved and am ready to dive into blogging again.

When we last left our heroine she was on the road to recovery from a slight touch of breast cancer. So much has happened in the meanwhile that it will be difficult to relate everything, but I shall try.

First moi. I am well. When I first completed my radiation course and went back to work I was overwhelmingly tired. I found it difficult to process even little things. Imagine the look on the face of the NYSDOH inspector who asked me the first day I was back on the job .... "So, there's a fire on the unit. What would you do? What are the steps?" "Uhm, .... see that window behind you there Joe? I'd be out it in a flash." I'm so thinking that's not the answer he was searching for. Thank goodness for the ability to laugh and my chemo cap. I do believe "Joe" realized quickly that I wasn't dealing with a full deck. Now my patients would fare better as I would call a code red, evacuate the building laterally while manning the command post on the floor. Ok, I'd probably hit the window, just like I said.

et on the heels of all of my becoming well again came great sadness. In late May, after years of chronic illness and pain I lost my mother. Actually, she's not lost at all but rather fills every empty space in my heart. Mom was an elegant, beautiful lady who'd spent her last 15 years in and out of hospitals and bravely faced her passing as she faced her life. Now she is the warm breezes which surround me in the summer and the cooler breezes which lift the coloured leaves to the skies. I miss you mom, so very much.

With such changes as I've faced come changes in what one is willing to put up with in life. I now find that relationships have changed, the need to listen to babble and nonsense is no longer a requirement and that I can pick and choose with whom I want to share my life. It's been a freeing feeling, no longer wondering what words might set off a reaction, trying to be supportive without being an enabler. Freedom is more than an other word for nothing left to loose ....

And it is during these times of change and growth that I have also found confidence in a new relationship. We are only in the beginning stages of rediscovering and will have to make decisions as time goes along ... who moves, who is willing to try something new. After what this past year has presented to me and how I feel coming out on the other side, I think things will work themselves out and all will be okay.

23 January 2010

It does appear as though I'm gonna live

that's the latest word from here. I feel so much better, so much more like myself I could cry with joy. Last night I gave it up around 2030 and headed off to bed. I was tired of fighting the "Darn, I'm tired feeling." And when I awoke this a.m. at 0430 I felt great. So I will take advantage of this day and run up to the yarn shop in Tivoli just because I can. Yea, me!

22 January 2010

What do I do now?

Not a bad day, all in all. Tried to see just how much I could do and I managed to make some headway here at the ranch. The house is clean, the clothes are washed and put away, I have fresh linen on the bed and the dogs have been walked. I'm still feeling weak and tired but I try to remember that might just be because all of my rapidly dividing cells are being killed off by the chemo. So my body is working overtime. Funny, it doesn't look it.

So the question as always is do I now go back to work tomorrow? I know it will exhaust me, at least I think I do. Then why can't I just call in? Why do I feel like I'm letting people down by not going to work? Why do I even care? As a caregiver shouldn't I prioritize caring for myself? And yet I hesitate.

Just paged one of my nursing buddies to see how work is today. We shall see ....

21 January 2010

so as the day progresses

I find myself in the same state. I decided to head up to the bank and then go get a few things at the grocery store which proved to be a lot of work. I can not for the life of me understand why I thought this chemo thing gonna be an easy job. In my mind I truly thought you get the drugs one day, the next day ain't so bad, the following not great and then I would be all better until 3 weeks later when we started all over again. So the purpose of these blog enteries is to remind me of what this journey is truly like, not to wallow. I want to be able to look back in years to come and be grateful for what 'making it to the other side' truly means.

My brother stopped by this morning with flowers, a card and chocolates from himself and Tina. How terribly sweet. It's a testament to just how crappy I feel that I actually have chocolates laying around in the house which have not even been opened, much less eaten. He stayed for a short time and then was on his way.

Shortly after I returned from Rhinebeck Mary showed up with Italian ice. OMG what a brilliant idea. It feels so good doing down my throat which is now sore, as is my tongue. We took the dogs over to the golf course to let them run and get some exercise (and get me some, also). It's an absolutely beautiful day with blue skies and a warm sun, in the upper 30's. Too nice a day to stay indoors and feel sorry for oneself. That is the one thing I don't want to master.

So now to make some soup, fold some clothes (?) and rest. May today be the turnaround day.

Happy 60th anniversary Mom and Dad!

Well I did say I was interested in what the experience would be like

and again I awake this morning feeling rather well. The dogs had me up at 0430 so I turned on the light in the bedroom which allows Emmie to play. She thinks we're all up and ready to go at that point and Rory and I just roll over and go back to bed. Silly pooch.

Drug myself out of bed around 0730 and made some hot rice cereal without which I don't believe I'd still be alive. It's been my life blood. I'm making myself drink lots of water to keep my mouth wet and to try and stave off thrush. My mouth was all yucky this morning and that's the last thing I need.

So off to the showers and then getting some light cleaning done. Sheets need to be changed. And I need to settle with some knitting. This has turned out to be much more difficult than I thought. I really thought that I could go to work, just sort of keep on truckin' like nothing was really happening. I guess I was mistaken. It's real.