Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

The answer to how gentle my email was comes early Monday morning.  One of my moms comes to drop off her child with tears in her eyes.  "I am so sorry Kathy," she says, and I realize I should have taken more time.

"It's all okay," I cheerfully tell her.  "Everything is going to be okay.  The success rate of my treatment is ninety percent."  I think to myself that I should have put that in the email.  In truth, I didn't know this number until late last night.  A friend had texted me and was wondering about my treatment.  When I checked the paper that Dr. Safran had written the notes on, it was right there.  It had never occurred to me to ask, since the doctor never indicated this was a dire situation as long as it was treated.

I told her it might not be easy, I may be nauseous and weak, but that I was going to do my best to get though this. My words and attitude cheered her.  I shouldn't have used the C word, I thought.

I made it through the early part of my day with no problem.  I cleaned, greeted all the children, helped with our craft, and went for a walk.  This is when I discovered how weak I had become.

On one of our walks, there is a tall fence that the children like to look over.  Usually, I can lift them up over my head so they can see what lies behind it.  Today it was not such a muscular feat as it was sheer will and lining bone up above bone. I realized that the tiredness I felt in my arms on Sunday was not from the position I had held them in, but because I have so little muscle tone left in my arms.  I went into the hospital, and my muscles disappeared.  I am stunned at how quickly this has happened. 

While making lunch, my visiting nurse comes, so Alex takes over and I go try to change my ostomy bag solo.  I try a different one, a two piece, and although I almost forget to put the adhisive on and spill the deoderant all over myself, I get kudos from Kim, who is my steady ostomy trainer.  I even get a good score on my solo Saturday change.

Of course after exerting all this energy I am hungry once again.  I go down to the kitchen to find a new loaf of olive bread!  Delighted at my good fortune, I slice off a few pieces and pour myself a glass of cranberry juice.  I have always loved cranberry juice, but did you know it can make your poop less odiforous?  I need all the help I can get there!

I later find out that Kaileigh had purchased two loaves of olive bread yesterday and hid one.  She instructed Alex to put it out for me after she left earlier this morning.

As I eat, I open some of the mail that was delivered. Information from Blue Cross.  What they will pay, what you may be billed. 

This is the first year that Steven and I have had insurance since he was laid off from working at Borders book store when they closed.  I was so glad that Obama Care passed, since upon turning 50 last year, I really felt I needed to get health insurance, it was just too unaffordable. As soon as we could, Steven and I signed up, getting the plan we could best afford.  The deductible was high, but it was better than nothing.  Somehow, this will all work out.

I had debated as I started to open this mail whether or not this was the best thing to do before napping.  Sometimes looking at bills gets me all stirred up, not relaxed. It turned out not to matter, I napped just fine.  After an hour and a half I woke up and debated going back downstairs.  It was almost three, I could work the rest of the day, but instead I decided to cancel the appointment for the doctor at the RWH cancer center.  I needed to find their phone number and started to make islands of paper on the bed.  Steve walked in and asked what I was doing.  He left the room and came back in less than a minute with the number I needed from their website.  Maybe I was procrastinating. 

I called and got a recording.  I pushed some buttons and left a message.  Appointment cancelled.  That was easy.

After that, I didn't feel like going back to work, and didn't go back downstairs until after all the kids were picked up.  Good thing I have understanding co-workers.

After dinner, Alex decides to come to the grocery store with me.  Steven reserves me a car, and picks it up for me. This is my first time driving in a few weeks. Alex jokes with me,"are you sure you can do it Mom?"  We make it to Stop and Shop with no problem.
We get everything we need and Alex loads all of the groceries into the car. When we get home, he unloads them all for me.  Once we put them all away, I am not so secretly wishing that Alex could return the zipcar for me. He doesn't have his license yet though, and although he knows how to drive, and is willing to bring the car back for me, I tell him I can't risk it.  I am not so secretly paranoid that zipcar can look in on who is driving their cars.  They can unlock and do some pretty interesting things at a long distance for your car, so looking in on you doesn't seem like it should be out of their range of cleverness.
The zipcar space is right beside CVS, and I have a twenty five percent off coupon.  I often miss out  on using them, so I suggest we stop in and get a discount.  I need waterproof tape for my new showering ritual, and the m&m's we use for cookies are cheapest at CVS.  Alex gets a pile of Cadbury fruit and nut bars for Filipa.  He is so sweet!

My arms are tired, so Alex carries all the bags home for me.

Once home, I retreat to my computer to answer some email.  I get ready for bed and write a bit in bed, when suddenly I am craving Oreos again.  I debate.  I just brushed my teeth, but I do need to drink more fluids, and a glass of milk with Oreos would go nicely.  I get up and pour a glass of milk and get four Oreos.  I even eat them in bed. Although I think about getting up and brushing my teeth again, I fall asleep.  I wake up a few hours later and wonder if Oreos at bedtime were a good idea.  I finally fall asleep again, teeth unbrushed the whole night through.


  1. Kathy, I am so glad to read the success rate for your treatment is 90%! That makes a big difference to know that. BUT, please don't feel bad about not writing it sooner or about not putting it in your email or about using the word cancer. You can't be responsible for everyone else's thoughts. Thanks for keeping us up to date!
    Nancy and the rest of Dooley clan

  2. Your success rate will be 100%!
    Love everyday, I devour your words. I just shared Steve's post. I am holding you in my thoughts. While at the farmers market Saturday, I looked for you, I can't wait to see you and hug you! Thank you for your honest and real words. Xo