Cancer and its treatments are making me deal with a variety of feelings, both physical and mental. One of them is dread. This last round of chemo has been tougher on me than the first, so now I’m trying not to dread Round 3 which is scheduled for Thursday. My mind can conjure up all kinds of tougher scenarios and does not look forward to any of them. But the truth is that I don’t know if any of them are real. I’m trying not to make assumptions or have expectations as to how this next round or the one after it will go. This round has been tougher in that the nausea lasted longer, the tiredness has been worse, and now I have a big ol’ mouth sore that has my lip swollen. It seems there’s always something, and I suppose that could well be the case for a while. But nothing has been unbearable, and for that I’m grateful.
There is a very positive side in that I’m getting lots of help from friends and family. I’ve had taxi service and food delivery and offers of help. A big help will be when my cousin from Cincinnati flies in this Wednesday to stay through Sunday and take me to chemo and be with me in the first few days after that. Then my sister will be coming down to be with me for the 4th and last round of chemo before my surgery, and she’ll stay a while. I’ll wait about a month from last chemo until surgery so that my body can recover some, and my sister will come back down for that.
Another big help was squirrel removal. A former student offered her husband’s services,. He came right out on Wednesday afternoon and took apart some of the duct work, enough to get close enough to poke the squirrel until it came out. The critter went through my basement and garage and into the back yard where it immediately dug up an acorn and started eating. I’m so grateful for the help – and for not having to hear the squirrel running through the duct work anymore!
I’m also seeing how much I once took for granted. Going to a restaurant and enjoying a meal. Being strong enough for a long walk or to ride my recumbent bike for a long time or to lift weights. Enjoying a cup of coffee. Mowing my yard. Meeting friends for long conversations. Actually, I used to be able to do nearly anything I wanted to do. There were few to no limitations. Now my existence is much more limited, but that’s not all bad since I’m now much more aware of how wonderful the little things are, like petting the cats or feeling the warm water of the shower on my skin or being able to sleep or hearing from friends and family on Facebook or in an email or an occasional phone call. I appreciate each one of you who has offered encouragement or help or who has brought a meal or run an errand or mowed my yard or has taken me somewhere or spent time with me or has said a prayer for me or has sent healing energy. I am truly grateful for every act of kindness. And I have no doubt that you are helping me to get through this cancer journey toward a time of being cancer-free and well. Thank you, each one of you. When I think of all of these kindnesses, I can feel much less dread and know that whatever comes up next, I have lots and lots of support.