Some of you know...some of you don't...the reason for the looonnnggggg gap between posts here. My last post was January 6th! On January 11th I was diagnosed with Stage 1B endo-cervical cancer.
January was spent riding an emotional roller coaster and getting every test known to mankind. By February it was determined that, while it had not metastasized, it was an "aggressively growing" tumor that, obviously, required immediate treatment. Chemo and radiation started in February and lasted until the first part of May.
I actually fared quite well in that I didn't barf once (thank you, modern medicine!) and my hair thinned but did not all fall out. I did lose my sense of taste for everything except sweets, which sucked because I'm not normally a sweet-eater. But since that's all I could taste, that's all I wanted to eat. Probably because of that, I only lost 10 pounds during treatment. Darn it!
Although I haven't gotten the final "all-clear" from the docs yet, we anticipate it will be so, so for my birthday Koby and Brooke made me tumor cakes.
And here's a pic of some of the awesome chocolate-covered strawberries I made as thank you gifts for my doctors nurses:
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE TIME OFF
I've been off work since the first week of February, and am still. Being a generally active/productive person, I went into this thinking the side-effects of treatment would be so minimal it would amount to a vacation from work. Yeah, I'd nap now and then, but mostly I would take advantage of the time to catch up on all those home improvement projects that have been sitting on my whiteboard for months and years. Ha!
While I did make a decision about kitchen flooring, it hasn't been ordered. I still haven't made a final decision about color for the kitchen and dining room walls. My shower, which has been in sore need of a complete overhaul since I bought the place in 1987, remains status quo. The gate still needs to be replaced, the back yard still yearns for paving, and the pond still has a leak. Oh yeah, and I totally forgot to write the great American novel.
Recuperation has mainly consisted of getting lots of sleep. I've read nearly a book a week. I also watched as a close friend of ours rebuilt our rotting patio roof while Steve assisted. That was exhausting for me. I also got to enjoy a weekend with my besty, Debbi!
B.E.B. IS SMARTER NOW
My favorite daughter-in-law
THE DERVISH WHIRLS
Last weekend Steve and I went to Joel's for a visit. It was all too quick, as all our visits are, and I'm looking forward to Joel coming up on the train in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, we have Landon. We brought him back with us just for the fun of it and so "Gamma" as well as Uncle Koby and Auntie Brooke could have some quality time with the kid before Gamma has to go back to work July 5th.
Landon, now two and a half, is getting lots and lots of words, some of which are actually intelligible. I hope to record him while he's here, as I recorded Joel and Koby when they were toddlers.
Landon is almost constantly in motion. The picture above represents the only time he holds still: when he's watching a Toy Story movie (aka "toy-oy-oy-oy-oy"). I'll post more pics of him in the coming days.
Gamma feels exhausted and has realized she may not be fully recuperated.
And now, a footnote relative to a NY Times article I heard about on NPR yesterday...
Six Things You Should Never Say to a Friend (or Relative or Colleague) Who’s Sick. And Four Things You Can Always Say
So at the risk of offending some well-meaning people, as Bruce Feiler says in his own rant, I'd like to add a few DON'Ts of my own:
- "I can't tell you how horrible I feel for not having come to visit you!"
Trust me, I feel horrible enough. I don't care or need to hear how horrible you feel for not having assuaged your own guilt over ____ (fill in the blank).
- "You need to get a handle on this whole depression thing. Buck up!"
Screw you and the happy horse you rode in on. I'll be depressed if I want to. Unless I'm in the fetal position in the back corner of my closet, trying to open a vein with a bobby pin and drooling out of one side of my mouth, leave me alone. Sometimes I need to cry, and I don't have the energy to concern myself with how uncomfortable that may make you.
- "This may not be the only time you'll go through this."
Seriously?? This one defies explanation.
- "When you're finished with all this, let me tell you....."
Whatever the issue is that you're dealing with, I'm sure it's of paramount importance to you but it pales in comparison to what's happening in my own universe. I really don't have any room for your stuff in here. Really. I don't want to hear it.