Today I decide I am going to take an early morning walk. I get up at 5:30, pull on my new yoga pants and tee shirt. I feel like I look good. I think you can’t even see my bag. I pull on my hoodie, grab my ipod and I’m ready to go. The zipper on my hoodie is broken but I figure this is no problem, I can put my hands in my pockets and hold it closed.
The day is beautiful. It feels a little cool to me, but I am hoping that as I move I will warm up. I amble along, enjoying the sights of the early morning and exchange a hello with each person I pass.
Things are going fine, until my upper arms start to ache from holding my hoodie closed. “Really?” I think. I am barely two blocks from my house. I take my hands out of my pockets and walk unzippered for a couple of minutes. Not so good, I am cold. I put my hands back in my pockets. This turns out to be a workout for my arms.
I am listening to Elizabeth Mitchell. She is a childrens artist, but she has such a beautiful voice. I pretend that I am listening to learn new songs to sing with the kids, but I never really learn the words. I just like to listen.
I am getting tired, but it feels good. I head back to my street, and climb my hill. I go inside and sit down. I am amazed at how quickly you can slow down, lose muscle. It has only been a couple of weeks since this whole thing started, but my arms and legs feel so weak. I start chemo in nine days, but I decide will try to do what I can to get stronger.
I have the first bowl of cereal and blueberries I have had in weeks. It is delicious.
Steve, Alex and I go for a drive around nine. While we are out we see an antique fire engine. This reminds us that we had read about a fire engine show in Johnston today. We decide to go.
We go by the house to see if Kaileigh wants to come, but she is not home. She has gone off to Seven Stars to buy a loaf of olive bread. I had purchased some yesterday, but never got to have a piece before it disappeared, so I am very happy. I get first dibs on the bread today and have four slices with butter.
We go to see the antique fire apparatus, walking slowly through the show. I am feeling tired already, and everyone lets me set the pace. The trucks are shiny and look very cool. Some are restored and look brand new while others are very beat up and showing their age.
There is a chainsaw artist noisily carving a firefighter out of a tree stump, a remote controlled mini engine with a dalmation driver, a fireman’s marching band, food and firefighter memorabilia for sale.
Of all the things we see, the all around favorite is a pumper truck. There is one with a mysterious silver orb in front of it that looks magical. Somehow the orb sucks water in and shoots it out of a hose. It is pretty cool.
Since it is summer, and this is RI, of course there is a Del’s truck at the event. Everyone wants one but me. Today, I need Oreos.
On the way home we make a special stop at the grocery store just for Oreos. I open them and eat a few in the car. When we get home, I have a bowl of fruit and yogurt, something I am not supposed to be eating just yet, but feel it is something my body needs. By the time I am finished, I am so tired. I go upstairs and take a nap.
When I wake up, I hear voices outside. I look out my window to see Julie and David walking down the street. I call out the window and hurry downstairs. They have arrived back from camping just a short time ago, and Josh is going to give David a ride to Boston to catch a flight back to Denver. I am glad I awoke in time for a visit.
Julie and David want to know how I am doing and want to hear of my week. David checks out my treatment plan and seems to approve.
They tell me of their camping adventure, and about a beautiful wall hanging Josh and Kaileigh got to take home this year. It was crafted some years ago at camp, and each year it goes home with a different family that has been experiencing some sort of difficulty in their lives.
Josh unwraps it to show me. It turns out to be three wall hangings made of squares, each representing something from camp that the creator of the square finds special. It is a loving reminder that friends will be with you in spirit and thinking of you through difficult times that may lie ahead.
Later in the day, we eat a quick dinner so we can see “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” With the whole family there, we take up almost an entire row of theater seats. It is fun to watch a movie like this early in the day, with lots of small children in the audience. Steve and I laugh at the reaction of the younger kids during funny or intense parts of the movie, remembering how our own kids did the same when they were young. We watch the movie right through the end of the credits, and all agree it was a good movie.
When I get home, I so want to go to bed, but realize I still need to let people know about my treatment plan. There are so many people from different places in my life, an email seems to be the best way to do this. I start in, but is hard to pick the right words to convey how I am feeling. I want people to know what is going on, but I don’t want them to worry.
In the midst of my writing, there is a knock on the door. My sisters, Sara and Jill and my nephew Brian have come to visit. We talk for a while, and I notice that the sun has gone down. Yesterday was the summer solstice, and I know it must be getting late. My sisters leave and I get back to my computer.
I hope that my email explains my situation in a clear but gentle way. I can’t write or think any more though, I am tired and need to go to bed. I send it off.