Tuesday, December 18, 2012

reactivating the force field


I had a mostly wonderful day. I woke up a tiny bit pissy, as I reported on Facebook, and didn't feel like going to work out with Rachel. I took a warm shower, rubbed my bald head with Jojoba lotion from the Swedish Kontur, drank some coffee, and I changed my mind. The workout was great...all legs and abs...and Rachel is a lighthouse in a dark night.


We picked Alex up at noon and went to Whiskey River for lunch. He had a great time counting the squirrels and wild turkeys (birds not whiskey). We ordered ribs for our Christmas Eve dining pleasure. Alex wanted to win an Angry Birds stuffed toy in the machine which costs a dollar a time and almost never gives up a toy. I tried to explain the dumbness of gambling and made a deal with him that he couldn't melt down if we didn't win one. We didn't win and he wasn't upset. He said maybe next time. The gambler's creed.

I tried to take a nap to no avail. Sleep is elusive. Damn.

I signed up for an online cancer support group. The first post I wrote, I used the word hell, as in it's been a hell of a ride. They censored it to read: It's been a XXXX of a ride. What the fuck. People with cancer can't use the word hell?

We're watching the concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. So many good old rockers that I had to order (had to) a sweatshirt with 121212 on it. What the hell. I don't even wear sweatshirts. The power of the internet.


Eric Clapton is playing Crossroads, a song he first sang when he played with Cream back in the 60's. I would never remember that but my in-house musicologist came up with that factoid. That's almost 50 years ago and of course, my friends know that I couldn't come up with that fact either, having not only a bad memory but being very bad at math.

I woke up in the middle of the night and had to know about the nadir of my chemotherapy. I heard that term bandied about but I let that bird fly away...there was too much. Why do these things occur in the middle of the night? I had to get out all the chemo papers and read them in bed at 3 am. No wonder I have insomnia.

Here is my explanation. (Please refer to the disclaimer a few posts ago.) I have the chemo treatment which whacks not only the bad cells but some good ones because it is inanimate and doesn't know the difference. After the treatment, it goes about slaying all these cells, good and bad, until some point when my white count is at its lowest and it stops cooking. This is the nadir. The low point. After that, it picks up again until the next treatment. That is recovery. I think.


One thing I have learned about when bad things happen, powerful forces of community good and prayer rise up, surge up, and encircle the injured and pretty soon everyone is in the circle. Powerful forces bring everyone together.

I found a fellow on Facebook, through another friend, who has cancer. A very serious cancer for which he gets daily treatments until his white cell count says stop. In spite of his hardships, he writes lovely posts almost every day about his farm, egg coffee, biscuits, his old truck, his wood stove. They are works of joy in themselves, but then other people start writing about what he's said and how it fits in their own lives and they wish him well and express love and gratitude and it must feel like one of those old tent revivals in a way.

Yesterday the Fed Ex man came to the door with a package. He has been coming here for years and I don't know him personally but he's always very friendly. He asked about my health and welfare and I was a little surprised but then realized, ah, the chemo cap and the port bandage give it away. I was touched that he took a moment from his very busy day to talk to me. That's a Christmas elf.

We are awake early again. Gus is going to daycare for the morning and we're going off to do errands. You don't stop needing to buy coffee and milk and bread just because you're distracted. Maybe a distraction from a distraction is good, too.

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