I wake up and I am still sore. It is painful to raise my arm, but if I lie still I am okay. From upstairs I can smell the roses my friend Cathy left on my doorstep last night. They are from her garden and fill the house with their lovely scent. I breathe deep and let the scent sooth my spirit.
I dropped my friends David and Ellen at the airport on Friday morning, and now have their car for the next two weeks. I had been planning on driving myself around today, but the car is a standard, and my right arm is sore, so I realize this will not be a good idea. My friend Elizabeth was going to come for a visit this morning, so I ask her if we could do some errands while we visit. We stop by Home Depot and Lowe's, so I can get a new faucet. My old one has been leaking since the spring, and Ray, my super plumber, says he can't repair it any more. I need to get a new one. I find one similar to my old one, but in a brushed aluminum finish.
We go to Stop and Shop together too, and wonder why we don't combine shopping and visiting more often. It is nice. I make us some sandwiches for lunch, and find out that we both will eat a tomato in a sandwich that someone else makes for us, but if we make one for ourselves, we would rather eat it plain. Elizabeth and I have known each other since our children were young, and we never knew this about each other. It makes me laugh to discover this after all these years.
Brett stops by to say hello. These Saturday visits from friends have never been a common occurrence, but are becoming one. We sit in the living room and have a nice, uninterrupted conversation. Usually when she comes by there are several children here, sometimes even one of her own. This is a nice chance to catch up with each other and what is going on in our lives.
I tell Brett of my impending dilemma. I am about to run out of ostomy bags very soon, and I am not sure what I am going to do. The company that is going to be sending them to me shipped them out on Thursday, and said it will take five to seven days to receive them. I managed to get one at the hospital yesterday, but I doubt it is going to last until my order comes in. Her husband Dave, is a doctor, so she thinks he might be able to get me one. I am quite relieved. My dwindling supply was making me very anxious.
Steve and I stop by a birthday celebration for my friend Anna later in the day. There is pizza, salad and cake from Pastiche. A lovely dinner, shared with friends. It turns out I am too full to eat the cake, so Anna sends some home with me. This might make a delicious breakfast in the morning.
Sunday, June 13
The bandage from my port is a small white gauze rectangle . I no longer need to wrap my arm for my picc line, but I have been instructed not to get my port bandage wet. I am once again covering myself with saran wrap. I choose some clothes, wearing what has become my new uniform; a swingy, short dress with capri leggings. I add a sweater to help hide the port bandage.
It is sunny and warm today, and I won't have chemo until this Friday. My tongue is not sore, the cold sensitivity is no longer affecting my throat, and it is almost all gone from my fingertips. When Steve picks me up after church, we decide to go to Del's.
By the time we get home, I am starting to feel tired. The port installation has knocked me back into a napping routine. When I wake up I find a text from Elizabeth. She has some biryani she would like to drop by for dinner. What a lovely surprise! She had told me she was going to make some for me soon, but I wasn't expecting it today. Elizabeth is a wonderful cook, and makes the most delicious Indian food. My whole family has grown up with and loves her cooking. I text Ayla about my good fortune, and she makes plans to come by for dinner.
After we enjoy our biryani, Ayla takes me to Whole Foods to finish my shopping for the week. I run into some friends, Kate and Amy who check in with me to see how I am feeling. Kate suggests some alternative therapies to me, to help with my chemo side effects. I tell her I will consider them.
While Ayla and I are waiting for Alex to finish work, we hang out in the Whole Body Aisle to pass a few minutes. I find a scarf to cover my port bandages and cushion it from children resting their heads on my shoulder. I also find something called Psi Bands. They look like wrist watch bands with little knobs that press into the acupressure points on your wrists. They claim to alleviate nausea associated with pregnancy, motion sickness, and chemotherapy. I have some nausea pills that I can take, but they have side effects. I decide to get the bands and see how they work after my next treatment. Here is my first alternative treatment.
This note is from present time: I have asked Steve to post two photos of me he took at Del's on this day. One I am really fine with, but the other I really don't like at all. I wanted a photo of my port bandage, and this is the only one I have. When I first saw this picture, I buried my head in Steven's shoulder. I look so thin, and frail and old. Maybe I look my age, my problem is I don't feel as old as I look. Maybe it is because I am so thin at this point, and when I gain back some weight, some of these things will smooth out. I don't believe this though. I want to be the graceful woman who says, I am getting older, I have earned these lines on my face, and I am proud. It turns out that that is not who I am though, and that I am a little vain, and it makes me sad.
In the end, I will say, so what, what does it matter? I don't have to look at this face all day. I have a magic mirror in my bathroom where these things don't show as well, and if I don't wear my glasses, I won't see them. And if I smile, the world will smile with me... and my wrinkles won't show so much.