Monthly Archives: July 2012

Treatment #4

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I was able to have the fourth chemo treatment last Friday. The infection that has plagued me since I started chemo is still with me. I will be on long-term antibiotics during the rest of my treatments. That was discouraging news for me. My sister came and spent several days with me cooking, cleaning, gardening, nursing my fragile body and always lifting my spirits with her presence. I truly do not know how I would survive those few days after chemo without her. Very few people have the ability to sit in silence with me and be comfortable.   When I hurt, she hurts.  Glenda is an attachment of my own heart.I have never felt her love more deeply for me than through this illness. She would do anything for me and I for her.

Eating is once again an issue. The food still tastes salty and scratchy going down my throat. Eating requires a  conscious effort.  It is also an effort keeping my spirits up.

Todd joined Glenda and I for dinner last night and it was so comforting having him with me. His visit was a bright spot in my week. Over the weekend he participated in a 100 mile mountain bike race in Bend, OR completing the event in 11 hours 6 minutes. It was a grueling event biking over narrow, rocky mountain passes. The area was familiar to him because he  and his dad snowmobiled there often. He seemed to enjoy the competition and he loves the area. One more check off his bucket list of challenges he wants to meet.

 

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My Right Hand

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When Lolly and I were first married, he complained about my driving. As much as this wife hates to admit when her husband is correct; Iwill. I am not a great driver. I can barely see over the steering wheel. Lolly would not let me drive the farm trucks because I wasn’t tall enough to engage the clutch without hunkering down low in the seat. From that vantage point you can’t see over the steering wheel. It never bothered me much as I really  hate  (Maxton says that is a dirty word) really dislike driving. Paige tells me that I barely meet the requirement of  “not” needing a booster seat.  We laugh. My husband always drove. I preferred to be the passenger. However, the last few years of his life the roles were reversed. The poor man had to go everywhere with me as his chauffeur. I know that I frightened him at times and he was quick to express that. However, when I drove he held my right hand is his left. For a long time after he passed away, I would fling my hand over the console expecting it to be held. Years went by before I quit expecting that but I missed his physical touch of holding my hand. Oddly enough since the discovery of my cancer I have once again desired my hand to be held.

 

Recently several different friends have sent me this scripture; “For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your RIGHT HAND and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

This verse in my own Bible was highlighted years ago. It was quoted in the devotional book that Paige gave me at Christmas. Again in another book Drew and Debra gave me and I re-read that same scripture again today in a book Debbie and Jeni gave to me. I am hearing impaired but I am also slow to grasp certain concepts about God sometimes. Cancer is as much as emotional disease as it is a physical one. Fear is one thing every person diagnosed with cancer experiences at one time or another and it resurfaces often. Today however, it is finally sinking in and I am getting it; I need not fear. I am not alone and my right hand is being held again. Thankfully, God repeats and repeats and repeats again until I get it.

Happy July 4th

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I am half way through the rough treatment of chemo. I always have such mixed emotions; wanting to have the treatment just to get it over with and yet dreading the side effects. I have never tackled anything so physically challenging as chemo in my lifetime. With each treatment I have battled a separate infection. The doctor has suggested a long term antibiotic and I am not pleased with that.There are so many meds coursing through my body. It blows my mind how the body can process all of it. Once again my sister, Glenda has come to stay with me. Todd took me to chemo this time. Kristy and the boys surprised me later with lunch. Ethan and Lance crawled into the bed with me and we shared our lunch while the chemo dripped slowly into my port. I don’t know what I would do without my sister and my family. Each treatment she leaves her own home and comes to tend to my needs. The love we share is phenomenal. She tries so hard to fix food that is palatable to me but nothing really hits the spot. My face is full and quite round from the drugs but I have been able to maintain my weight this time. The salty taste has returned although not as bad as before. My teeth ache and once again I cannot sleep even with the sleeping pills. I will go to Paige’s home for a couple of days and allow my sister to return to her own house. I wonder how people without my support group manage to get through all of this.

July 4th was the last time Lolly was outdoors before he died. Our house stood on a hill and we had a magnificent view. We often would have our own fireworks display and half of Roswell could watch as we lit one big display after another. We recalled the times we set the hillside on fire and called “bucket brigade” to all who were present to man the shovels, hoses and buckets of water. We were prepared for fire and we extinguished plenty of them. From our advantage point on the hill we could see the surrounding towns fireworks and we didn’t have to deal with the crowds or traffic. The east patio was Lolly’s favorite place to sit and look out on the lush farm ground that lay below us. We lit citronella candles and stayed outside until he was too exhausted to sit any longer the last 4th of July he was with us. He did not want to go inside. We had one other 4th of July fireworks party after Lolly died but it wasn’t quite the same without him. I can never think of the 4th without memories of the “good times” upon the hill. I miss that place. Happy Independence Day, America.