Monday, December 17, 2012

airing my minor complaints and sap warning


Because it's my blog, I get to decide on the content. I know my problems are not as bad as those some folks deal with but it's my life and I'm spellbound by it. Bad ass shit and all.

Saturday night, I had terrible bone pain from Neulasta. Terrible? Probably a 5 on that little smiley face pain scale they give you. Tylenol didn't help. Nothing helped. So I spent a whiny and restless night.

I woke up weepy in the morning. I haven't had many periods of weepy self-pity so I thought I could indulge myself. I cried on Regis's shoulder, I let a few tears run down my cheeks during The Nutcracker, and I wallowed in general misery most of the day.

I knew it was happening so I did implement some defensive moves. I invited Ella to spend the afternoon. We watched The Nutcracker, the really old one with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland. I had a glass of wine although the benefits of that are up for debate. Ella set up the Leopard Chair Cafe and served us fresh berries and hot chocolate. We got burgers from McDonald's for dinner and please God do not let us make that mistake again. It's probably been five years since we ate there and I don't think we need much more proof that there is little of nutritional value in a McDonald's hamburger and a lot of gut and taste destroying chemicals. Ugh ugh and double ugh.

Last night I slept better and we woke up at 4 ready to start the day. I'm not saying there won't be a nap in our future, but for now, two hours before daylight, things look good.

I read through the book they gave me called Chemotherapy and You. There's a day brightener for you. I know this does not make sense, but back when I had my surgery, I thought of this as a physical wound that would heal quickly and that I would be back to my merry ways. I told Rachel I would be back to work out in a week. Water off a duck's back, I thought. I'm strong. I'm cocky. No problem.

While I am in pretty good shape for an old gal, it has not been as easy as all of that. I don't think it's because I'm a bigger whiner than some, but because I have very few thoughts that get filtered out before they're written. If it flits through my brain, it comes out here.

So, I sit here in the pre-dawn hours reading about mouth sores, muscle and bone pain, dreaded infections, changes in vision, loss of appetite. What the hell. I did not sign up for this. This is not the ticket I bought. Not the bus I wanted to be on. Not the show I planned to see. Can you hear the sound of maniacal laughter?

As always, my disclaimer. My views are not necessarily the views of the establishment. No reference materials were used in the writing of this blog post. Do not use this information for any scholarly productions or even in a middle school report on cancer. Do not use this information for educational purposes. The complaints and the opinions are mine alone.

Ah, that felt good.

On to other things.

Our old friend and neighbor, Jim Hughes, died in a terrible car wreck on a viciously icy 169 last week. I knew him for years through school, his kids played with my kids, Deb is a good friend. In an instant, a bright and active man is gone.

School shooting has dominated the news which is one reason why I don't watch the news and only read it sparingly. I know it happened, I have a few details and that's all I want. It is unspeakably sad on so many levels.

My brother, Bruce, lost a grandbaby to SIDS a month ago. More unspeakable sadness.

My youngest brother, Steve, is in a hospice program, dying. More unspeakable sadness.

And everywhere it continues.

But. It's the way the world is or can be. Evil people. Sad accidents. Unspeakable acts of violence. My philosophy is that sad things will continue to go on forever and it's our job to look for good in the world. Like Mr. Roger's mom used to tell him, "Look for the helpers." It can't be all tragedy and illness and death. We have to be grateful for things. Maybe we even have to be grateful for the bad things that give us perspective on the good things.

"Gratitude"
Barbara Crooker

This week, the news of the world is bleak, another war
grinding on, and all these friends down with cancer,
or worse, a little something long term that they won’t die of
for twenty or thirty miserable years—
And here I live in a house of weathered brick, where a man
with silver hair still thinks I’m beautiful. How many times
have I forgotten to give thanks? The late day sun shines
through the pink wisteria with its green and white leaves
as if it were stained glass, there’s an old cherry tree
that one lucky Sunday bloomed with a rainbow:
cardinals, orioles, goldfinches, blue jays, indigo buntings,
and my garden has tiny lettuces just coming up,
so perfect they could make you cry: Green Towers,
Red Sails, Oak Leaf. For this is May, and the whole world
sings, gleams, as if it were basted in butter, and the air’s
sweet enough to send a diabetic into shock—
And at least today, all the parts of my body are working,
the sky’s clear as a china bowl, leaves murmur their leafy chatter,
finches percolate along. I’m doodling around this page,
know sorrow’s somewhere beyond the horizon, but still, I’m riffing
on the warm air, the wingbeats of my lungs that can take this all in,
flush the heart’s red peony, then send it back without effort or thought.
And the trees breathe in what we exhale, clap their green hands
in gratitude, bend to the sky.

Today, my list is thus. Good coffee. A sweet man in the recliner. A fluffy dog at my feet. Warmth from my faux fireplace. A family of cardinals who come to our feeder daily. Barbara Crooker's poems. Ella who wants her dad to rub my bald head for luck.

Life is good.

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