Saturday, July 31, 2010

One last shot

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. -Ps 27:13

Can I just get through this month please?

Thursday I left work somewhat early; I wasn't feeling great. I had a fever spike to 101.6 during the night, and felt lousy all day Friday. Tired, achy, with fever coming and going.

My radiation sites were sore and I called the nurse line and couldn't make up my mind whether to go all the way down to that office, given that I had no energy and I had an appointment with my new primary care doc after lunch.

I was in tears at one point thinking "I just want to be DONE with all of this." I am tired of being sick; I want to feel better and get back to my life. Such a simple thing, but I am about at my limit, and believe me I understand that there are people with much more to deal with for much longer.

My new doctor didn't like the looks of things and did some bloodwork; she called me back at 9:30 to say that my counts weren't good and I probably have cellulitis. Do not google pictures of that on your phone while you are eating a snack, by the way.

She wanted me to go to the ER, to get IV antibiotics. Um, now? Yes. An ER at 10pm on a Friday night? Mr. Carly and I looked at each other and thought that sounded like the most fun EVER. Not. I was kicking myself for not going down to the oncology office IN THE DAYLIGHT.

He suggested I call my radiology oncologist's 24 hour number to see which hospital they recommended. On a Friday night. At 10 pm. When I had just been getting ready to go to SLEEP. So I called.

While I waited for the answering service to contact whoever was on call I started pulling out a few things I might need into a tote bag in case I ended up being admitted for an overnight "vacation". I was seriously dreading a long night ahead.

My favorite doctor in the group - the one that I normally see, he of the big blue eyes, called and cracked me up by announcing himself "hi, it's Todd." Lest you think I am completely smitten with him, my brother in law worked with him for quite a while and so he once remarked to a nurse that Mr. C and I are like family.

I told him my counts and he said Nooooooo you don't need to go to the ER tonight; I can call in a prescription to a 24 hour pharmacy. Ok, so at that point I would have to say I was a little bit smitten.

He said that if my WBC was below a 1 or if I was still in the middle of chemo I might have needed to go in, but he let me off the hook for now with instructions to call back if my fever got out of control.

I waited at home while Mr. C and my darling daughter went to fetch me some bigass Levaquin pills. Then I got to go to SLEEP in my own bed. Bonus.

So I am writing this from my couch, happily; I just woke up a little while with the help of my iphone and took some Tylenol and so far so good. Of course, now I'm wide awake. But the part about MY COUCH makes it ok.

Dear cancer, please leave me alone now. Kthanks.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sneaky droids

My boss sent me an email the other day asking me if I wanted to go out to lunch today. She is a contract employee like me, and doesn't have a corporate expense card to whip out for these occasions, so I really appreciated it.

Today I woke up not feeling great. Tired, achy, and so on. Almost like I had a touch of the flu. I made some toast and tea and dragged myself in.

It's been quieter in the office since we got rid of the new guy. He had started well after me, and didn't catch a clue to be as quiet as possible since six of us were sharing a workspace. He was taking cell phone calls literally all day long for a business he was running on the side. Noisy and obnoxious, and my droids and I couldn't stand him. We started to log his coming and goings and phonecalls and then we proved he lied on his timecard. Buh bye! Never piss of a bunch of geeks.

One of my coworkers is an EMT and he keeps an eye out for me. We had a conversation about his dad, who went through radiation, and how the effects can linger. He suggested that maybe it would be best for me to leave midafternoon, and take tomorrow off since I have a doctor appointment in the afternoon, and I was only going to be in the office about three hours anyway.

For me the last few treatments were a "boost" concentrated on the location of the tumors. I think they are catching up to me a bit. I didn't eat much yesterday, and I am supposed to be eating extra protein to help my body repair itself. I'm dragging.

So I stopped in to see my boss. One of my lunch friends was there and she kind of gave me a weird look (she's a project manager who works with us) and then she left. I was thinking about leaving then, but I chickened out.

I told my boss I'd probably leave early and then we talked about where to go for lunch. It was really quiet the rest of the morning and when I went to go meet her at lunchtime I didn't realize that no one seemed to be around.

She and I walked into the restaurant and there was a table filled with my entire team, grinning from ear to ear. They got me. They had all been sneaking out to get to the restaurant before me, and I hadn't even noticed. Gotta watch those droids!

They bought me lunch and gave me a card and told me they'd been planning this for a while. I promised them that pretty soon I would stop slacking off and do more work. Love my geeks!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Normal isn't

Today I got up, went to work, then home for dinner. Now I am sitting on my porch. It's a cool summer evening and there are thunderstorms somewhere off in the distance.

Note the absence of waiting rooms and treatments in my day. Sweet.

It hasn't truly set in that I'm done, even though my chemo oncologist said "you can go back to your life" last week when I asked him if I could train for a 5k. (I didn't run today. Too hot. I'm tired and still a little burned from treatments; that will last a couple of weeks. But I don't have to GO THERE. )

Every day for the last eight months has pretty much been dominated by having cancer. Go to this appointment, go to that one. Recover from one part of the process and get ready for the next.

I don't have to go to the doctor for a whole MONTH, internets! Awesome.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leaving it behind

Today is my last radiation treatment. Shhhh. Don't tell the other people on facebook. I started a countdown to August first a while back, assuming I might have some hitch or misstep but surely I would be done w radiation by the end of this week. So Sunday will be about celebrating being lucky and happy to be alive and will be the anniversary duly noted, hopefully for many years to come.

Today will be it for treatments though. My adorable doctor with big blue eyes bid me a happy graduation yesterday and laughed at a funny story about my brother in law (who used to work with him. I don't just tell random stories ya know... Well not to my Dr at least...)

I brought this table to the waiting room as an offering... I asked first of course. They were delighted.

Now when other people sit and do puzzles, it won't be on two mini end tables pushed together with the puzzle falling in the gap.

I am trying to declutter my family room. I've been mentally rearranging it in my head over and over the past eight months while I have sat on my couch waiting go feel better. The table has to go, even though I think it's beautiful. We painted the fireplace white, and it looks awesome. More to come on all of that.

I wrote a little hidden message in sharpie on the bottom of the table. In tiny letters... I wrote something someone said to me, the day I got my diagnosis.

Happy, happy, fight.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Art - Birch


bark
Originally uploaded by carlyq80
This is my favorite image that I photographed today (I participated in something called the World Wide Photo Walk. There were only two other people who signed up to walk with me. Drew had agreed to be my assistant... but hey, you got to concentrate on your own pictures!) So my speech as walk leader was rather short and I forgot to say that flower photos don't win contests.

(That was advice given by a walk leader last year, who then chose a picture of a bee landing on a flower as his walk's winning photo. I had a great flower picture I didn't enter because of the snarky.)

It was rainy today and I was annoyed by that. Can't win them all. Overcast weather does cut down on glare, I can say that. Downtown Bennington is a little bit dreary. Lots of empty buildings. I'd like to win the lotto and go in there and turn the town on its ear, but step one would be to bring in a Starbucks and then the locals would REALLY hate me.

I dragged my family along. My daughter brought along her friend, who had never been to Vermont (we live less than an hour from Bennington). She bought a stuffed animal and tried to trick me by pretending that she had found a live kitten. I almost fell for it. That right there kind of sums up some of the more random parts of the day, but it was a nice break from the endless round of treatment visits.

I can't help but wonder if this image is the one I am most drawn to because I, too, am peeling. But that's a post for another day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

An uneasy truce

So. It's one of those "one step up and two steps back" situations, or is it the other way around?

I have an uneasy peace with the bald, which exists because I try not to look at it or think about it very much.

I got used to being in the wig. In part, because it kind of looked like my hair. It fooled a lot if people.

When I look at photos of the day I shaved my head, I look - to me - a little bit shell shocked. But the photos of the wig looked enough like I really did still have hair.

It sank in as time went by. I would catch sight of myself in the mirror at home and remember that my hair was gone. I wore the wig one or two times when it was HOT because I couldn't stand to have certain sets of people see me in bandannas.

Then I started with bandannas during my daily Starbucks stops ; getting used to people noticing. I worked up to going in there bareheaded. Trying not to look down immediately after catching someone's eye. Adults notice, blink, and look the other way to give you space. Kids don't. It makes me a little sad when I can see that I kind of scare a kid. Because unusual and different can be scary: the big eyes give it away. Then they reach for Mom's hand and the fault line through my heart splits a little bit wider. Only the earth doesn't swallow me up, and I stand there, waiting my turn in line.

If I am having good day and I say a cheerful "hi" with a smile, about half of the time a woman will say hi back. The ones that don't, I figure are distracted / bitches / or lost someone or I remind them of sadness or something they fear. So I know it's not personal. It's kind of unavoidable. And for the record, Starbucks barristas are pretty cool, usually. Very kind. And a venti iced classic black tea with a splash of lemonade gets me through the tiring drive down one highway, over another, and then back home.

But it still sucks when I see that awkward glance. Today the bitchy little miss perfect who sits near me sort of sniffed down her nose at me in the bathroom. Kind of a thought cloud over her head that "I would never be caught dead in public with hair like that". She of the long, shiny fabulous hair that makes my heart ache. But apparently she HAS NO HEART because common compassion would dictate that when a chick who is obviously sick says hello to you in a ladies room when you walk in and stare at her, FUCKING SAY HELLO.
Again, she's bitchy, so I don't give her much weight, most days.

But I went to lunch today and this woman that I really do like was there. I havent seen her since I stopped wearing bandannas to work last week She's sweet, and I know it came from kindness, but she went overboard telling me how cute it is (my fuzzy head) and how much she likes it and I should keep it short and not color it.

The thing is, I don't want it to be lunch conversation. It's an elephant in the room for me all the time now. It made me really blue. I don't WANT it this short and everyone is sweet but I would still MUCH rather have it my old color and old cut. I guess that's why it stung. Don't praise it as a style choice because I really had no choice, and I am really just tired of wearing the wig and it's 90 degrees every day.

Don't try to convince me it's cute, because I will really never believe. I just want my own hair back, but I have to wait.

Fortunately, I seem to have the luxury of having time to plan on growing it back.

Dreams

I've had the dream before.

I'm at college on my first day and I can't find my schedule; I am late for class and I don't even know what class I should be in or where I should go. I'm frantic and floundering and doing stupid things, like washing my hair while a bus waits for me

I've had the dream when concerns simmered about a new phase or major event in my life approached. Anxiety about being ready and capable has processed itself in my subconscious, again and again over the course of my life.

This time it was different.

I dreamed that I was packing - to graduate from college and move on.

There was some sort of stupid television show or movie on, but I walked away from it and didn't care. I'm learning not to get all caught up in some people's little squabbles and drama. Not to worry about what certain people say. Noise in the background that I've learned to ignore and just get on with what's really important in life. Not that I'm really perfect at that... The tv WAS on, and I was still listening. ;-) I just wasn't letting it dominate my attention.

There were people in the dream, vague roommates and acquaintances, and I was interacting with them and hugging them and so on, but they weren't people I recognized from my "real" world. I assume that they were there to represent my medical people and fellow patients. People who I'm fond of but will be moving on from.

There was some sort of little wire box. It was empty. I'm not sure if it was for letters(old school with stamps and all that) or makeup. But it was empty. Wait- there were two. So maybe both. I could happily do without any more mail - no more bills. No more bad news. Pack up THAT mailbox please. As for the empty makeup holder, I guess that shows me not hiding how I look anymore, finally pretty much comfortable. (but I still DO want hair! I kept that container in the dream, sort of an "I will still need that" decision- I mean, I still want to look nice!)

So, this is what having to wake up at five a.m. gets me. An awareness that I really AM close to the end of this part of my life, and SO ready to move forward again.

How funny that the alarm clock woke me up before the end. And I'm not just talking about a dream, this morning. Cancer was the alarm clock. It woke me up, in many ways.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Aloe? Is anyone there?

I am mighty tired of using Aloe to keep my skin from crunching and blistering. What I'm tired of is actually the waiting around for it to dry...

I have about a week and a half to go but the official countdown is to august first so that I'm SURE I'll be done with radiation. My collarbone doesn't look great but suggests that I'm clumsy with a curling iron (which is funny because I have 1/8" of hair ... Are you with me, Internets?)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Charting my progress

This graph shows how I've been feeling... better every day. Taken on my iPhone and edited with photogene which I use on almost every photo to crop, straighten, adjust levels, etc.

I am so fortunate that my biggest challenge so far during my radiation treatments has been a small radiation burn on either side of my collar bone.

The fatigue is not bad and I was just debating going for a quick walk/ run before it gets too hot.

Yesterday I talked with the wife of a man I see at most of my radiation treatments. He gets the mask... If you need radiation to the head or neck, the techs make a custom mesh mask fittied to your face, and then for every treatment they... (deep breath)... fasten it to the table so that you don't move at all (the radiation needs to be aimed VERY precisely).

My heart aches for all of the masks I see just in this ONE treatment room. And my hat is off to M who is brave enough to get on that table 33 times. All I have to do is lie there with my arms over my head. And sleep.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tech savvy safety for those damn kids

Here are a few tidbits I'd like to share with you so we can all try to keep our kids out of trouble. Because it's summer and they're all sleeping until 11:00 a.m. and then causing all sorts of mayhem, while we are hard at work earning money to pay for their sweet sixteen birthday parties.

#1 Change your iTunes password TODAY. Consider taking your credit card information out of your profile for a little while. Or switch to buying gift cards.

While Apple has been putting the best spin on the iPhone 4's not sooo gooood antenna, hackers have been quietly stealing passwords and selling them, and the media just can't bear to cover TWO iStories at once. My friend got hit for HUNDREDS of dollars over the July 4th weekend. Gawker had a story about this a week or two ago. Apple won't care if your credit card info is fraudulently used, Moms. That will be up to you to sort out with the bank.

#2 Tell your kids NOT to put "we're going on vacation!" as their status on Facebook. Because nothing says "come steal all of my mother's jewelry and drink my father's booze" quite so clearly. You like the family jewels, right? Well, he won't let you near them if someone comes in and drinks all of his booze.

#3 Set up your Wii to stream movies from netflix over your wireless router, as a peace offering to the little darlings BUT *set parental controls* (just search for that phrase in the online help) or your kids will watch the Flavor Flav Roast long enough to see him get called a feece with teeth, or something equally horrible that you don't want them to repeat at Catholic school in the fall.

#4 Mention that texting to Canada is really, really expensive. Because it is, even with unlimited texting. Don't ask me who my boss's son was texting. It was $80 in one month or something crazy like that.

#5 Remind your kids that sexting is bad. On a completely unrelated topic, my radiology team joked after they drew circles on me(see my previous post) that they were taking pictures of me for medical records, but also for the Internet. And I may or may not have sent an actual photo of me to my sister (with headlights covered, thank you). She may or may not have replied that either a toddler got to me with a sharpie while I was "sleeping" or that someone drew a drunk stick man's face on me.

#6 I've also read that in airports, people smarter than me are setting up connections that look like the airport's free Wifi but actually run through their own laptops, to let themselves see everything you're doing. They can steal your important data and passwords, and not just the strange picture you're sexting to someone. Ahem. I'm sure there are stories about this on Snopes that will definitively answer whether this is true.

#7. Don't let your kids tell you that you need to buy the complete collection of DVDs of LOST to get the 12 new minutes the producers wouldn't give us in the 12 hour finale. It will be on the individual season 6 DVD set also, and I love you Hurley,...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is how I look now

So... today at my radiation appointment the technicians prepared me for the final frontier... I mean phase.

From now on I will no longer have radiation over the entire surface of... each... you're with me, aren't you?

For the remainder of my treatments the radiation will be targeted much more specifically to the incisions from my surgeries. So today the doctor supervised and techs drew on me. Seriously, my upper torso LOOKS LIKE THIS.

They used some form of permanent marker to make lovely circles, put an x in the middle of each, and marked the end of each incision with dots. Giant sloppy circles. It's REALLY charming.

By the way, yes, I glitter in the sunlight.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Puzzles

At my radiation oncologist's office there is always a puzzle laid out on the coffee table in the waiting room. This is the one that we just finished, and it's one of my favorites. Vegas, baby!

The puzzles serve as a steady distraction, if a patient is alone in the waiting room. No fretting about that walk past the big vault door. Lose yourself in finding the blue piece with a bit of white on one edge, and the minutes fly by.

They are also an icebreaker. We greet each other and marvel at how much got done after we left yesterday, or complain that we are STILL doing this one; we hunt for that elusive piece that will complete an entire area, or laugh at how some people can pick up a random piece and just KNOW where it goes.

It's very different from my chemo experience, where I never really saw the same people from one visit to the next.

In a crazy twist of fate, someone who used to be one of my higher up managers is there every day with her friend, another woman I knew from the bank. So our familiarity has drawn other people into the circle of conversations. We are a lively, rowdy bunch, having fun while we eradicate those last wicked little cells surgery and chemo may have left behind.

I'll never be able to look at a 1,000 piece puzzle again without thinking of the people I've spent the last few weeks with.

Whoopsie

This was supposed to be the photo for the Crazy Butterfly post

:::glares at iPhone :::

Crazy butterfly

I came home after radiation, stopping at my least favorite place, the supermarket. The clerk stuffed all my bread in one bag and it was like I never got any time away from that chore.

It's a little bit rainy, but I'm sitting on the porch and laughing at this crazy ass butterfly... It has been swooping around my deck area in circles for ten minutes now and finally landed on the gutter.

Yo, butterfly ... Stop throwing yourself at my screen windows.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home stretch

I am entering the home stretch of my radiation treatment - for the next two weeks I have appointments at 3:30 every day. After this Friday to radiation field goes down to just the incision sites, so that will give my itchy sore skin a break too.

On the way home I was plotting simply eating the rest of the maple cream with a spoon, when I remembered I had some snack cup sized portions of diced peaches, and biscuit mix. Not as good as real fresh peaches, but not a bad idea!

I did a very scientific process of making a batch of batter, adding the peaches, then adding more mix until it looked right.

Baked until they looked done - as i said, very scientific. Drizzled lots of maple cream over the warm biscuits.

Yum yum yum. Awesome.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dinner

Yum, I so happy that it is summer and food tastes good again...

This

This is a lovely nonstick grill pan.

This was in my cupboard, neatly put away by my child.

This probably came out of the dishwasher.

This is NOT clean, at all.

This is why I will eat so much maple cream tonight,....

Yum

Pioneer Woman's cookbook has been on my coffee table since right before I got sick. Today we got peaches at the farmer's market and I made PW's peach crisp with maple cream.

Oh. My.

I could eat the whole batch of cream. Just give me a box of Graham crackers and go away.

This shows the peaches with only about 1/3 of the crumble mix. Can't wait to have this later!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And just like that

I am a runner again. This is a shirt I bought at the Susan B. Komen run a couple of years ago. I put it on today and did a very easy beginner's run of 2/3 walking. Just one minute "bursts" of a gentle jog here and there, with iPod and water bottle. It's in the low 70's and breezy and overcast so this was perfect running weather.

It's pretty much the only pink ribbon I can tolerate. You might not understand if you haven't been sick, but it's too close for comfort to see that ribbon sometimes.

It tends to be a visual reminder of that first panicky wave of "I have cancer?!" and feelings bubble up about "Why is it always on my mind... and now there are cute ribbons in my face too, should I manage to forget for a minute." A tangible thing to focus my hatred of the disease upon, ...and anger at the frustration of having to interrupt my life for the past six, no, seven months and letting this dictate my agenda to me despite things I'd rather be doing.

It's just a little pink ribbon. I know how much good it does, truly. That's why I bought the shirt when I was healthy. Because of the ribbon, I went to Look Good Feel Better, and I did and I do... I just wish we didn't need pink ribbons and that breast cancer had never knocked on my door.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hi ho

I'm really over this whole "off to work I go" thing. A bunch of us at lunch were wondering why some angry feminists we never even met screwed up our deal of being able to sit home all day and watch soap operas and wear our pearls and stuff.

But it was just that kind of day. Short work weeks seem to torture us somehow, don't they? And one coworker flapping his wings... or gums... can make ripples of annoyance that spread outward, and then people waste more time complaining about him keeping them from concentrating on their work, and then the annoyed become annoying. Managers have to deal with keeping the peace on the playground.

Corporate America is highly overrated.

Why have I not won the lottery yet? It's something like $72 million right now.
Time to go to sleep dreaming of how I would spend that!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thank yous

In chronological order, I think:

  • thank you to the lady who walked into the first floor bathroom as I was about to put the wig on to go upstairs. She told me I didn't need it, it's too hot today (over 100* around here) and when I started to cry she asked if she could give me a hug, and then talked to me until I felt better, and told me where she worked in case I needed to talk again
  • thank you to "the cool kids" who took me into their club at lunch a few months ago, and have been watching over me like mother hens... and, uh, roosters. Today they complimented my "doo rag" / bandanna, which has dragonflies all over it, and then decided I needed a biker name if I am going to wear bandannas to work like a biker chick. They will now be calling me Margarita, and I need to remember to answer to that.
  • thank you Starbucks, for overpriced ice teas with a splash of lemonade on a hot day, because that little "treat" makes going to radiation a little bit more bearable every day, and by the way your tiny donuts with pink icing are not bad either
  • thank you to the eye doctor's assistant who will be squeezing in an appointment for me this week so that I can try to find out what that weird bubble is on the white of my eye.
  • thank you to the technicians who noticed me crying when they came back into the room to reposition the machine for the second pass, and asked what was wrong, which made me cry more... but they actually did want to do whatever they could for me. She commiserated with me when I explained about a conversation I'd had on the way there, that "Oh, (people) can be quite upsetting sometimes." He told me that actually, when he tattooed me, each dot was a design... you just have to look with a magnifying glass to see a rose, a star, etc... they're just dots... but he got me kleenex and made me laugh and didn't sigh about needing to finish the treatment
  • thank you to my doctor, who is kind of hot actually, but I can't contemplate that because I have to flash him at regular intervals, because he encourages me at every visit about how well my treatments are going, and he told me today that I probably won't need a PET scan, and explained why, just as patiently as he answers all of my other random questions.
  • thank you to my friend, who listened to me cry AGAIN today about my stupid bald head and my nails that are peeling off, and when I said "I just want to be normal again" said that it was difficult to refrain from the obvious joke, but seeing as I have cancer and all, would not tell me I was never normal
  • thank you to P, who understands that whole deal that made me cry on the table and didn't say "hey, at least you didn't fall asleep today". Come on, I know you were thinking it.
  • thank you to my children, who do dishes and laundry, so I don't have to. Wait. They still don't know I have a blog. Nevermind.
thank you, thank you. I am so lucky, to have so many people be kind to me, in the midst of all this dreck.

Another iPhone shot

This one is called "It's hot and I'm thirsty again"....

Venti iced classic black tea with a splash of lemonade and one pump of sugar syrup. Gone in the blink of an eye on this hot, hot day.

Inspired by my online photo class assignment, but not shot with my "real" camera.

As they say, sometimes the best camera is one you have with you. I used an app called CinemaFX to transform the image to the "Egyptian gold"en glow you see here. The app has a definite Twilight flair, as at least two of the styles/ themes relate to vampires... but I like it. You can instantly preview your original shot with all of the styles, select the one you like, and adjust the level of the change before applying.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Star Spangled Banner

I watched Archuletta sing a forgettable cover of our anthem just now, and had to pull up Whitney on YouTube to show the young whippersnappers what a real singer used to be able to do with that song.

Still gives me goosebumps....all these years later. Here it is on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h9NN5FhJ7I&feature=youtube_gdata

In other news, our grilling was a flaming sort of fail tonight but a least no bombs burst in air... Or propane tanks.

Chocolate covered cherries are salvaging my mood...

Sunday art - traditions

Third time trying to post this... Three strikes you're out, blogger.

My wonderful friend sent me a gift certificate to enroll in a class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. Today's assignment was to capture how I spend my fourth and the traditional things we associate with it.

For me the fourth of July weekend wouldn't be complete without going up to the sweltering hot choir loft to perform this song with Bette and Stanley. I love that the music cost only fifteen cents... Everything about this piece of music says "America" to me.

Thanks again A !

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Separation anxiety

My eyelashes have almost all fallen out.
My eyebrows are rapidly falling out too.

Now, parts of three of my fingernails have separated from the nail bed, so I've had to clip them because they catch on things otherwise.

I am SO discouraged. I have been done with chemo for almost EIGHT weeks and I feel like it's getting worse instead of better. And I just want to BE better. I want so badly to be done, to be free of all of these aftershocks. To take a shower without missing my hair. To look in the mirror, without sighing and reminding myself that it's what's on the inside that counts. To walk through the market without having to decide whether to be too hot in the wig, quirky in a print scarf, or very conspicuously fuzzy bald. I'm tired of noticing people notice me.

Tired of having people walk into the ladies room while I am moving the wig from side to side, making a futile attempt to make it sit more comfortably. Or worse, they walk in while I have it off, and I am rubbing the indentations it leaves on my head. It's juuuuust tight enough to leave marks, no matter what I do. (I'm thinking of feeding it to a paper shredder, at the end of this, by the way....) So they don't know what to do or say, and they say nothing.

This is Threat Level Yellow. We've passed the point of music cheering me up. I'm going to have to watch The Hangover, because it's the only thing that I think will make me laugh right now. Sitting here crying isn't going to grow these nails back. Stupid chemo.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

My weekend plans

...are something like this.

Ok, well, not really. But, relaxing on the porch, doing some art,
grilling some ribs...

I may or may not go down to see fireworks. Finding the parking at the
festival running all day may be a deterrent.

Enjoy your holiday... Wear a helmet, don't let your kids blow their
little fingers off, and kiss a soldier to say Thanks.