Saturday, July 19, 2014
I awaken and think about how my body is feeling. I have a very faint pain in my lower abdomen. When I put my hand over where I think the pain is, I realize it is the lower part of my colon. I imagine it is that mass, angrily trying to resist the chemo. "Shrink!" the medicine orders the mass. "Never!" it shouts back, even as it contracts ever so slightly. "You will shrink," I chime in, "and your friends in my liver too!" I hope this is helping, I am willing it to.
After this conversation with my cancer, I decide to go for a bike ride. I dress in running capris, tee shirt, sweat shirt and gloves. It is in the sixty's this morning, an average temperature for this time of year according to the weather person.
Normally if I run, my rule is under forty eight, wear a jacket, under fifty eight, take a hoodie, anything over that and in time, I'll be warm. As I ride down my hill, I wonder how I will make it through the fall. I am already cold. Everyone else is wearing tank tops and shorts, and I am feeling pins and needles through my gloves. Tomorrow I will try mittens over my gloves.
I would like to say the ride is easy, but it is not. It takes me half an hour to circle the Boulevard once.
I am slow and tired, but at least my fingers have warmed up. This is a good thing. When I get back to my house, I do a few stretches. They are not very good stretches, but it feels good to be doing them.
I garden until the sun is getting too strong. I have had to change my gardening gloves twice, because the dew has made them damp and this makes my fingers hurt. I have put on an extra pair of gloves to keep them warm.
I need to clean up and change to go grocery shopping. Just as I am beginning, I hear a knock on the door. It is Steve's Dad and his wife Jan. They have stopped by for a sneak attack. They visit with Kaileigh and I for a while, Alex is at work, and Steve is out cleaning up an empty lot in Elmwood, and then off to a peace rally. We have a nice visit, and make tentative plans for dinner tomorrow.
Once I get cleaned and changed, Kaileigh and I head out to Stop and Shop. Fortunately, today I have remembered to bring a sweatshirt as well as my gloves. I really need all this clothing in there today. With the first piece of fruit I pick up, I need to cover my fingers. It is nice to have Kaileigh along to be my hands today. The cold items would be difficult to tolerate picking up, the frozen, impossible.
We head home and put away the groceries. We have lunch and are about to head out again when Steven gets home. He tells us about his day so far. When he is done, we have just enough time to run out to Staples before his mother is going to stop by.
We get back just before our visitors. Kaileigh sets to work making some spinach ricotta pie for dinner. Steven and I have a nice visit with his Mom and Ed. They have brought us a big container of chicken soup from the West Valley Inn, and a nice loaf of bread. Everything smells delicious.
Ayla stops by after work with a chocolate mousse cake from Pastiche. She just misses her grandparents.
Kaileigh, Ayla and I head out again to pick up Alex, do a Whole Foods shop, and pick up the printing I have left at Staples. By the time we get back, Dan, Dave and Walter are over to pick Steven up for their Saturday night get together. We invite them to join us for dinner, and we share our soup, bread, pie and salad with them. It is a nice gathering.
I cannot eat too much. Even though I am not nauseous, thanks to my Psi bands, I am not very hungry. I make myself eat a bowl of soup but have no problem eating the cake.
Sunday, July 20th
I get up and ride my bike again today. It is a little warmer out than yesterday, but my fingers still get tingly. I forgot my gloves, so I alternate hoodie pockets to keep my hands warm. I need to get better at remembering these things. The ride seems easier today, I am hoping that by next week I can go around more than once.
I garden and get ready for church. Kaileigh gets ready to back to New York. She will be moving to Somerville, Massachusetts in a week and a half, so I won't see her again until the move. She needs to go home and help Josh pack up their apartment and tie up loose ends. I give her a big hug before she leaves.
At church I help out with the childcare, and proudly wear my backpack. It is out of the way, and the kids don't even seem to notice it.
When I get back home, I find that Steven has already warmed up some of the leftover soup for me for lunch. Before I get to eat it, my chemo visiting nurse, Sandy, comes by around twelve thirty to unhook me. She puts on a mask and gloves before she handles the pump with the empty medicine bag in it. This is a little disconcerting. Once she unbandages and unhooks me, everything goes into a medical hazard bag. I need to return all of this to the hospital on my next visit for disposal. This is a little disturbing.
Almost as soon as the chemo gets unhooked, I get tired. I can't wait to take a nap. I start to get crampy again. I thought the cramps last time were from the miralax, but it turns out it was from the chemo. We decide to cancel plans to meet with Steven's Dad for dinner. I need to rest.
I go to sleep, and Steven goes to the laundromat. When he gets back, I am still asleep. He puts all of the laundry away very quietly. When I wake up, I wonder who is creeping around the house. I am glad to discover it is Steven.
Shortly after I wake up, there is a loud knock on my front door. I open it to find one of my younger friends that live on my street standing there. She is almost ten, and has been stopping by regularly with sweet gifts for me from her family; hand made cards, cookies, flowers. Today she has brought me a box full of cherries, a chocolate bar and a card with a gift card in it to Whole Foods. It is from her family and another who lives down the street. It is so very nice, and my little friend is just adorable. She makes me smile. The cherries have arrived just in time. I have been craving them, and though I have some in the fridge, I can't eat them until they get to room temperature. These are plump, deep red and warm, just perfect.
Later in the day my friend Lisa stops by. We have a very nice visit. She brings me a water bottle filled with chocolate. I am not sure which thing I needed more, besides the visit. The chocolate is delicious, and the water bottle has foxes all over it that are wearing eyeglasses. They remind me of Lisa's daughter, who it turns out, thought I needed this bottle. Since I need to drink ten glasses of water a day, I think she was right. I did need this bottle. And the chocolate.
I take a shower this evening, and for the first time in weeks, I don't need to wrap anything in plastic. The incision from my port is healed, and I can take my bag off before I shower and put a new one on after. It seems like such a luxury, and really, I guess it is. I get out of the shower feeling squeaky clean. So nice!