Friday, November 28, 2008

My Thanksgiving

Yesterday morning was rough for me. The steroids from Monday's chemo had worn off and after eating my cereal, I retreated to my bed feeling terrible. The chemo is hard on my gut and the pain I experience is worse than any pain I felt from the no-longer-existing colon tumor. In addition, I just felt exhausted and crummy. My children are home and not being able to get out of bed and enjoy the morning with them upset me. Since being alive for the holidays is one of my triumphs, I at least want to enjoy them. Luckily, taking some extra medications and a nice hot shower helped me to rise out of my bed and to become upright on my perch in the family room where all of the action was. By noon, I was feeling much better. Being able to talk to my Mom, my brother, and his wife by phone from Montana further perked me up.

I did not want to miss out on Lucas and Kaley's annual tradition of making the cranberry orange relish. They have done this task together from the time they had to stand on chairs to accomplish it. As usual, cranberries hit the floor and Apolo grabbed them to munch down only to discover they taste quite terrible. Ah yes, seeing cranberries left by the dog on the area rug helped me feel even better. I was not missing out after all. And I managed to muster up enough energy to set my table with my china and real sliverware. Enjoying the look of the day was important to me since I knew the sense of taste would be lacking.

All of the cooking was done by Dave and Kaley. Listening to them bicker was also part of my entertainment. Giving orders and reminders from my couch perch was not helpful as they had everything under control down to the olives and pickles. Kaley wanted to do the turkey a la Alton Brown from the Food Channel. Dave made a fancy vegetable stock to brine the turkey for several hours. Kaley prepared and cooked the stuffing out of the bird as recommended by Brown. They then started the turkey at 500 degrees, turned it down but cooked it in half the time I usually do. I must admit, I make a terrific stuffed and roasted turkey so I was not completely comfortable turning over the reins. Since at this point in my chemo, food still tastes like sawdust, I couldn't tell how good everything was. All of the food looked fabulous and the turkey was moist but thoroughly cooked. Kaley even made me my own separate vegan pumpkin pie because I am continuing to avoid hard to digest dairy products. It was not bad as best I could tell. But, I do believe Dave decided the turkey brining was more trouble than it was worth.

The highlight, of course, was being around family and friends. Lucas and Magali and Kaley were here and we had a wonderful visit from one of Lucas' best friends, Beth and her beau, Cameron. I loved having them here and listening to Lucas and Beth talk about old high school times. I loved the advice Beth was giving to Kaley about graduate school, teaching little kids piano, and everything musical which I have no clue about. It was very calming to me. I do fear we may have kidnapped Beth so that the Sigars Thanksgiving feast may have been delayed, but I so thoroughly enjoyed Beth and Cameron's visit that I don't think I'll apologize to Chuck.

The result was a lovely Thanksgiving. At 10 AM yesterday, I did not think it would be possible. Leaving most of the dishes, we ended the day by watching "Some Like it Hot" starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis. The DVD was a gift to me from one of Dave's colleagues, Theo, to provide me with humor and entertainment. It was great and we all laughed at the old movie.

Yes, I am so thankful for my terrific husband and children. They are taking such good care of me.