It’s been a while my friends. I think I clambed up after I wrote about my butt fissures and then realized people were reading it. The fact that anyone is reading any of this kind of gives me the willies. I could spend a lot of time meta-communicating about how weird it is to have an audience read what is essentially my diary.
I just completed my fifth of eight treatments so I’m officially over the halfway through chemo mark. I’m feeling all over the place physically and mentally. The accumulation is taking an effect and every treatment seems to get harder, but different. New side effects pop up and the old side effects overstay their welcome. I am operating at about a 40% energy level on average. Some days slightly better and some days are worse. I see how this is an isolated period of time, and I’m in it and the hours are long. I’m sure I will look back on this chemo trip as a blip in hareless time. It is a hard time but also a special time when I am open and receptive to the help of others. Being bald has opened up an opportunity for strangers to reach out to me with kind gestures, a knowing nod, holding the door, asking questions or sharing stories of their experiences with cancer.
The thing that remains consistent is the outpouring of support and love. I’m traditionally terrible at sending thank you notes and it seems impossible now. I hope y’all know how thankful I am.
Thank you for the daily notes, the cards, anonymous postcards, text messages, voicemails, Facebook and blog comments, and the prayers. These make me smile and lift me up. Thank you for continuously reaching out to our family.
Thank you for the gift packages of cozy sweaters, fancy hats, bath salts, monster slippers, yoga pants, hats with fake hair and my initials, play dough for the kids, flowers, art, binders of cancer notes, books of all kinds, boob shaped hard candies from France, hats, personalized blanket, Ganesh, giant bottles of hand sanitizer. These are making my life more enjoyable, and who doesn’t love the thrill of opening a gift?
Thank you to friends, parents of friends, neighbors, chefs, and strangers that have delivered food and smoothies. I’m not always up for a meal but the 3 other mouths in my house are always hungry. When you are naseaus and fatigued with no appetite it is especially hard to make dinner for your family. And delicious meals keep showing up!
Thank you to anyone who makes my kids smile. I don’t know what we would do without our nanny Becca who goes above and beyond every day. We are so lucky to have 4 grandparents and 4 siblings that live nearby and scoop the kids up for an hour or a 4 day trip. My friends that spend the night when Sean is out of town, take them to the zoo or the park when I’m stuck in bed. On one hand it’s hard to accept that I need to outsource the role of parenting- but the kids are surrounded by love and they are happy to go off on new adventures. My sweet husband has tripple duty, especially in the morning, when the 3 year old, the 1 year old, and the 35 year old babies are all hungry and snotty and need help getting dressed. Oti’s precious Montessori school has been flexible with our changing needs and the teachers are always asking what they can do for us, as if molding him into a good human isn’t enough.
Thank you to my team of healers- my medical doctors, my non-traditional care-givers, the ones that help strengthen my body and spirit. I have some kind of an appointment almost every single day. I have a strong and competent team around me that treats me with compassion and expertise.
Thank you to the visitors- the ones that have come, the ones planning to come, the ones that are waiting on the green light from me. Last week I was in the dumpster physically and mentally- I was getting an IV in bed- and in walks a college bestie, and I lept out of bed in shock and didn’t go back in the dumpster until 3 days later after I dropped her at the airport. Mackenzie lives in Denver with three boys 5, 3, and 4 months old. On her 3 day break from her kids she bathed and fed mine and kept them laughing while I watched from the couch with tears of gratitude. This act of love reminded me how important it is to show up for people. Before I had kids I was better at this. I was a friend who showed up- even if I didn’t know what to say or do. I want to become that again as soon as I can. This year and this time is selfishly devoted to healing myself and taking care of my family with whatever I have left. I’m desperately looking forward to the time when I can pour more of myself into the world and onto others.
Let this be a reminder that all of these gestures, the grand ones and the flash of a text message are all helping me. To know that I’m supported and loved helps hold me up in this fight. It helps our family cope. It is keeping us all smiling.
People always ask what they can do for us and I try to delegate but I rarely know what to say. Looks like y’all know better than I do what to do in these tough times. I’m currently and eternally grateful for every.little.thing