When you go through the kind of year I've been having, dealing with the realities of a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatments, you learn so many things about yourself. It's been interesting for me to step out of myself to observe what I do when I'm counting down to disability. Many people suffering from a disability don't have any warning that it will strike. It just happens in a blink and they have to deal with the realities that ensue. These might include the inability to drive oneself to places; to manage household chores; to take care of the needs of your people or pets; or even perform the self care we take for granted and do mindlessly on auto pilot throughout most of our days. Really, how many of us think about brushing our teeth while we do it? My mind is usually drifting to a … 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...
Yesterday I had to endure what I would call an unpleasant dental procedure. One of my teeth had simply been worked on too many times to repair the now cracked filling and my dentist advised me to get a crown. I stifled my gut reaction - aaaah, no not that, not all of that painful drilling, PLEASE! - and accepted his advice. It was do it now, or do it at some indeterminate date in the future when the filling became damaged again. As I sat there clutching the arms of the dental chair, attempting to ignore the sound of the drill, it occurred to me that I was being silly. Dr. Ken knows me well enough after many dental procedures to make sure I'm thoroughly novocained before he brings a drill anywhere near my mouth. I was so numbed that I couldn't move my lips for about 6 hours yesterday. And what I realized as I gripped the chair was that it wasn't really hurting, it was simply my … [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...]