I decided to pop in here while my energy levels are on a rebound to give you a brief update. Are you sick of hearing about this cancer business yet, because I know that I am! It's the illness that keeps on giving, and giving... ugh. It's been 9 weeks since my surgery and I'm adjusting to the new normal - my new temporary "under construction" body which won't be completed for many months. What's the new normal you might ask? Well, on the plus side I don't need to wear those medieval torture garments more commonly referred to as underwire bras, or any kind of bra for that matter! I may have given them up for life, which is a very good thing. On the negative side, there's this weird numb feeling in my chest and armpit area and there's no way to tell whether it will change over time. Some … Read More...
Since the beginning of this month I've been teaching a Zentangle® class on Monday evenings, right at the time when I'd normally be cooking dinner. As I mentioned that week, it's required a new strategy to get dinner on the table once I returned home from class feeling tired and hungry, and without the patience or time to cook anything that required much effort or even a recipe, unless it could be prepared entirely in advance. At first point Annie volunteered to make dinner Monday nights since she's home for the summer but, unfortunately (for me at least), she has had work hours on Mondays and needs to decompress for a few hours before working on her summer class. Plus, if preparing dinner is tiring for me after teaching, I wouldn't expect her to have the energy and focus to cook after her work shift. There's always a standing offer from Joe to bring home dinner on the nights that I … Read More...
Life used to be very structured when our family was younger. I really enjoyed that. Structure is dependable, predictable, reliable, and comforting. My zodiac sign is Cancer, the crab, and those words are happy words for Cancers when it comes to their family and home. It's a funny thing though, kids insist on growing up and, very slowly, the structure begins to crumble around the edges. Slowly, ever so slowly after school activities chip away at a carefully planned day. Then college pulls a birdie from the nest for weeks at a time. Oh, and then friends and boyfriends complicate my carefully nurtured, desperately protected structure, and before you know it, life resembles unpredictable chaos much more than structured coziness. I plan delicious dinners, like the Southwestern Skirt Steak with Cheese Grits you see above, assuming everyone will be home to enjoy it together. The day … [Read More...]
Checking my last blog post, it appears that the last time I wrote was nearly two months ago. Where does the time go? I'll tell you where. It's been lost in the swirling, foggy mists of my chemo brain. Before I began chemotherapy last November, I read up as much as I could on the nastiness I was about to experience. I wanted to be prepared, but nothing really can prepare you for the experience. First, while some side effects are probably universal for each drug, each person will experience it a little differently. For example, I heard a lot about women on chemo craving sweets. Well, sweet things have become the last thing I want because those tastebuds are the most damaged. Don't misunderstand me, my brain still craves desserts and sweets, but experience has taught me that it's not worth the trouble. Similarly, I read about Chemo Brain, but I didn't fully understand it until it … [Read More...]
Yesterday I received my second chemo treatment and the time was reduced down to 5 hours instead of the 7 spent during my first treatment. I guess I'm taking it well, or as well as chemo can be taken. The side effects are in full force now, including losing my tastebuds and my hair. You know, the ordinary things that we generally think about like what do we want to eat for our next meal and is it a good or bad hair day. But I will elaborate on both of those topics in a future post. For now, I just want to say that I was as busy as a person could possibly be for those five hours. People often think I'll be bored to tears sitting there but not me! I'm now experienced enough (it only takes one treatment to figure out a lot) to come prepared. And yesterday I brought my Kindle with a new book; my lap desk; my Zentangle® supplies and Diva Challenge; as well my iPad to attack my lengthy … [Read More...]