Saturday, September 13, 2008

An Update and Departure from Automobiles

I will post the finale of this family's car issues in the next few days. It is amazing how much an inanimate object such as a car becomes such a huge part of our lives. I remember my Dad used to call our Ford Falcon station wagon, "Betsy" back in the 60's. We have not given our vehicles human names but the way they control many aspects of our day to day existence, we should. But at the moment, I think I will vent a little. Cancer is hard so I am asking a booster dose of all of your thoughts and prayers. I get chemo every two weeks on Mondays. Monday is again the day after tomorrow when I go in and start the process over again.

At the beginning, they told me the first week after chemo I would recover giving me the second week to have a fairly normal life. This hasn't been the case. Pretty much everyday I spend enduring and tolerating and overcoming the effects. In the afternoons, I perk up enough to get some things done around the house and to walk the dog. At times, even these activities take a great effort. Often, I make my bed in the mornings just to keep me from the temptation of crawling under the covers. Other mornings, I am curled up in bed after breakfast, before my shower and after my shower. I try never to retreat to my bed in the afternoons.

Food is still a struggle but I have not resorted to marijuana. Obtaining marijuana and using it seems complicated. I do not want to risk any of my friends getting into trouble. I wouldn't want to smoke it which means we'd need a vaporizer from someplace. My weight is steady and that seems to be the most important issue medically. Eating for me is a necessity like the chemo. I do it because I have to and nothing really tastes wonderful to me---except sometimes French toast with maple syrup. My snack of choice is the pretzel. When I was pregnant, it was Wheat Thins. Pretzels help with the late afternoon nauseousness.

A few days ago I was wondering again if I could get through all of this to the other side. I have been through six chemos and probably I have at least six left. It just seems so daunting and I have had some tears about all of it. But my Mom says that compared to her first visits, I am tremendously better. She is right. I am driving again and walking Apolo alone my 1.7m route. I am doing wash, emptying the dishwasher, and vacuuming up dog hair (and my hair). In July, I was not able to do any of these things. I remember trying to walk around the back yard in those days and that was all I could manage.

It is just that now that I have had a sample of my previous life, I want it all back. Desperately, I want to not be sick and to feel normal again. I know the chemo is working. I can feel it. But it is hard--so so hard.

I believe in the power of prayer and I have felt it. You who know me and even those who do not have lifted me up. So I am just asking for a little booster here mid way through all of this. In all that I read, there is constant reference to God's Peace which transcends all human understanding. This is what we all strive for--not just Janet, cancer patient, but all of us.

I thank you all and wish you all God's Peace.