sarahsbeingfrank

Month: August, 2014

Funky Week

I’ve been in a funk this week.  Lots of things contributed and I felt all of them.  I had another herceptin infusion on Monday and it ramped my back pain up, fatigued me and made me feel poorly overall in a subtle way.  It wasn’t as bad as the first infusion, probably since it was a smaller dose.  My doctors are guessing that this will continue to diminish.  Fingers crossed they’re right.  One also stated that he thinks that it will back the cancer way off, my bones will grow back in and the pain will all but go away.  I was incredibly relieved to hear this and I’m going to believe him.  I have to.  Living with this pain and thinking that it’s indefinite is bit a soul crusher.

My medical oncologist wants to prescribe a drug that will speed the bone growth but it’s expensive and my insurance won’t pay for it.  I got some good advice from Dr. K on how to deal with them but I still don’t know that we’ll make it happen.  We’ll see if they think the cost of a potential bone fracture overrides the cost of paying for a drug to prevent it.  I’ve had to do battle with insurance companies before and it is not my idea of fun.  It can be a full time job and it’s already sucking up a lot of my time, not to mention what’s left of my lightly crushed soul.  I went through my medical bills for the week and figured out which ones have over-billed me and incorrectly billed me which was two out of five.  I’m debating writing a post on the financial cost of being diagnosed with cancer.  JUST diagnosed, not treated.  It is big business.

I finished radiation on my leg this week.  To me, it wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things.  It’s relatively painless and the people that administer it make it a pleasant experience.  The thought of intentionally shooting radiation into my body doesn’t thrill me but I guess neither does having cancer eating away at my bones.  And lungs.

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They swore that they tie everyone’s feet together, not just mine!

I started aqua therapy this week and it’s been great.  I enjoy it and I feel like it’s really doing me some good.  The Healthy Living Center has a PT Clinic and a therapy pool.  The pool has an underwater treadmill, a set of stairs, a deep corner and something that creates resistance like one of those small lap pools.  Since I have so many back issues, many created from limping and using a crutch, we’re working on that as much as my leg.  Walking without a limp for the first time in at least four months almost brought me to tears.  Being able to use my leg in ways that I couldn’t and to also start strengthening it feels like a step in getting myself back.  Do you know what it’s like to take a step in getting your self back when it’s been yanked from you and you have no idea where it’s gone or how to recover it?  I don’t know to what extent my leg and back will recover but I will work at it and knowing that I have a method to help me improve gives me hope that I CAN improve.  Having a gimpy leg and a back with pain that never completely goes away and limits my movements is as hard on my psyche as it as my body.

I’ve decided to go on disability at work and Friday was my last day.  I’ve been working from home but it just drains me.  I get stuck sitting and laying for hours at a time and the more I do that, the worse I feel and the pain increases.  The more I’m able to walk, ride my bike and just be active in general makes me feel better.  It’s always a spiral, upwards or downwards.  If I’m relatively immobile, I feel worse the next day.  If I’m able to ride my bike or be active in general, I feel better the next day.  It’s time to focus on taking care of myself.  It was a decision that made itself but it took a while to come to terms with it.  I’m relieved that I have the time to go to therapy, take naps, see people I love and enjoy, and spend my time doing whatever I need to do for myself.  I’m sad that it’s come to this.  I’m grateful I have this benefit to use.

Last night Kapler was in town from Denver and a group of us got together.  I almost didn’t go because my back pain was as bad as it’s ever been and I was cranky in general.  But, I took a shower and shaved my legs before I talked myself out of it so that meant I was going somewhere and seeing people, regardless.  Showering, shaving AND putting on makeup is going past the point of no return.  I will be seen!  I told myself I didn’t have to stay long and of course if I wanted to leave early, I had an excuse.  Because, cancer!  I was really glad I went.  These are friends that rarely get together anymore and they are wrong in all of the right ways.  My ribs hurt to laugh and they paid for it in a good way.  They hurt even worse this morning but it was worth it.  They are medicine for my soul and I know how precious that is.

Trish even wore the shirt her mom bought her at the state fair!  I guess I’ve been spelling genius wrong all of these years.

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It’s looking like today will be a day of solitude.  If I can wrangle my bike by myself, I’m going to ride and purge some demons.  They have been increasingly crowding my space and it’s time for them to go.  Fingers crossed they don’t put a stick in my spokes on their way out.

Swagger

I’d been eyeballing the fair and the weather for a week or so.  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel but decided I wanted to go if I thought I could crutch it.  I was ready to be around people for a while and the weather was in 70s.  Good enough.  Troy took me and we covered most of the grounds at about 2 miles per hour.  It’s the same spectacle it is every year.  It makes me think a giant Walmart flew overhead and poured it’s clientele into the grounds.  Many forms of life and lots of things to make you smirk, question, revolt and flat-out laugh.  Only one guy kicked my crutch out from underneath me.  I caught myself.  I didn’t even beat him with it!  Such restraint.  Five to six hours of crutching just about did my shoulder in.  I couldn’t even lift my arm hard enough to flip a stiff light switch when I was done.  

I am the Goat Whisperer.

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Or maybe they just like me for my tasty crutch.

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I came home to this.  Seemed appropriate.

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I woke up Sunday feeling surprisingly good.  I anticipated being completely wiped out.  I coerced Steve into picking me up and taking me out for a bike ride….more laps around Water Works Park.  His last ride was the previous weekend.  He crashed on his head during the race warmup due to a pedal coming off mid-stroke.  He then went on to win the 24 Hours of Cumming gravel race.  248 miles of hilly gravel in about 17 hours.  By Tuesday he was at the hospital getting checked out for a concussion.  Yep.  So, his next ride was with me doing easy laps around WWP.  In fact, I did one more than he did!  Technically I lapped him.  He’ll tell you he stopped to stretch out his legs.  Whatever.  I won!!!   

The premise of our afternoon sounded like the beginning of a bad joke.  So, a guy with a concussion and a chick that has cancer and is recovering from leg rod surgery go for a bike ride….  What could go wrong? Not too much.  This happened about three laps in.

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The last time a bird pooped on me was when I was going through cancer treatment ten years ago.  Right on my head.  This one managed to get both legs.  Don’t let the angle of the picture deceive you.  That crow had a steak dinner and the salad bar buffet the night before.  

When Steve and I parted ways on our last couple of laps, I attempted to stand up and give it a little gas.  I got about 100 yards down the road when I hit the next corner and sure enough, a car was coming at me, on my side, not paying any attention.  I screamed at him like my life depended on it.  Because it did.  He perked up at the last second and jerked back onto his side.  There was my interval.  That was the fastest my heart has beat in over a month.  I ended up with 17.3 miles and my leg felt really good the whole time; a little stronger.  It was challenged and the rods were talking to me but it was a noticeable improvement over my first ride.  I even got over 20 mph!  

I came home to Cindy cleaning my house and Dave making my bed.  I didn’t even have to trap them!  Dave and his dog, Thomas Jefferson, had come from out of town to visit.  Always good to see my long-time friend.  Once a year visits are no longer acceptable.  Again, the upside to this situation is the people who make time to help you and have fun with you.  I’m not above using this cancer thing to guilt my friends into spending time with me.  I play the Cancer Card early and often.   

My back pain has eased a bit in the last few days.  I even picked something up off of the floor…without screaming!  *GRIN* *Pumps fists in the air…ouch….puts left one down but shakes right one, one more time*  I’m not sure what I can attribute it to but I hope the trend continues.  I’m moving a little better overall.  I’m working the areas that I can with a foam roller and coercing people into rubbing various parts while they’re here.  (My mailman now throws my mail at my steps as he sprints by.)  My upper left quadrant is in a dead heat with my rib cage in the Pain Race.  I think I hear my shoulder whimper when I look at the crutch.  The Drunk Turtle is sobering up a bit but don’t worry, she’s still around.  

Today is my four week anniversary with my titanium hardware.  I bought it a new razor to celebrate.  I was able to shave clean over the incisions by my knee with no hesitation.  

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Porky Pigging it!  

I think I have the market cornered on crappy hospital bathroom selfies. You get what you pay for in this blog.  The extra markings and stickers are for the radiation.  I thought I was becoming an arts and crafts project while laying in the machine.  I still have the tattoos but they wanted some more landmarks.  300 centigray (cGy) a day for ten days.  Today was day 1.  

I have upgraded my Weeble Wobble Hobble to a White Girl Gangsta Swagger.  I guess I better practice my gang signs.  

Now, who’s going to rub my back? Arm? Neck? Shoulder? Gluteus medius?  Rubbers choice!

 

Rolling

Wednesday was a big day for me.  I’ve been working from home since my leg issues became debilitating but I went into the office that afternoon which was the first time since surgery.  I think everyone there is aware of what’s transpired so that makes for a unpredictable and potentially uncomfortable situation to walk (hobble) into.  Getting ready was tiring, getting around takes me at least twice as long and sitting in an hours-long meeting was uncomfortable but it was good to see my team.  I didn’t see many other folks and those I did were pleasant encounters.  I know how the gossip factory works.  I’m not very tolerant of it.  People huddling and whispering about me is unacceptable and they will find out firsthand.  Fortunately for all, no one had to find out how that would play out.  

I’ve been jonesing to ride a bike for weeks now and felt like it’s been feasible for several days.  I thought I’d ride this past Sunday but I was exhausted from all of the fun from the days previous.  Wednesday was the first day it worked and so it was.  Jana picked me and my bike up after setting the expectation of a slow ride on flat ground with a short duration.  How could she resist that kind of party?  We went down to Water Works Park and I struggled to get on my shoes and socks while she unloaded my bike.  I stood behind her SUV and stared at my bike.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to get on it but I was sure that I was.  

I maneuvered left and right, back and forth.  Finally, I grabbed her bike rack, she leaned my bike over and I was able to get a leg over.  That was all it took.  I was back in the saddle.  I got clipped in and slowly started my first loop.  My right leg immediately talked to me.  I was pushing it’s range of motion and it’s strength.  Looking down at it, I barely recognize it as my leg.  It’s lost so much muscle.  The left one has, too, but not to the extent of the right one.  I started out at 12 or 13 mph until I realized that I wasn’t giving my leg what it could handle.  I continued on for 10.5 miles and usually stuck between 14 and 17 mph.  By the time I was done, everything was talking to me.  My rear, my leg, my back, my shoulders, but in a good way.  I felt alive again.  My body seemed to appreciate being challenged in a way that wasn’t a lopsided hobble that further jacks up my torso and torches my shoulder or doing the Drunk Turtle getting dressed or out of bed.  The sun was out, the temps were mild, the grass, trees and water provided a scenic backdrop that I haven’t had for weeks and moving under my own volition felt…..normal.  I was happy.  

When I pulled the plug, Jana helped me back off the bike and she racked it while I struggled to get my shoes and socks back off.  We decided dinner on a patio was fitting and went to Exile.  We parked right by the full patio and I have to wonder what people thought as I hobbled out of the vehicle in cycling shorts and a crutch with bikes on the back of the SUV.  I caught a few people glance at my crutch, then my shorts, then my eyes.  Each got a big smirk from me.  

I was exhausted on Thursday.  I had a radiation replanning session for my leg.  We wanted to make sure surgery hadn’t skewed any of the initial tattoos and that everything still lined up as expected.  We also talked about my pain.  The all-over torso pain doesn’t seem to be from the cancer eating away at vertebrae since it’s so indiscriminate.  It could be a side effect of the herceptin, inactivity, lopsided motions, stress, something else completely or a combination or any of it.  We really don’t know.  For now, it’s still a wait, see and cross fingers situation.  In the meantime, I’m getting reacquainted with my foam roller.  It feels good but getting up and down off the floor is….a challenge.  

They weighed me as they always do and noted that I’d lost about 8 pounds since surgery.  I looked down and said that 5 of it came off of my right quadricep.  I’m pretty sure almost all of it is muscle.  Almost a month of spending the majority of time on your back will do that to a person.  I’m hopeful that my back will cooperate enough to let me ride and have better, increased movements.  The pain is wearing on me.   

On the bright side, my leg continues to improve.  I hobble around more and more inside the house without a crutch which I hope gives my shoulder a break, too.  My leg’s range of motion is increasing and hopefully I’ve lost all the strength I’m going to and I can start to rebuild it.  I’m tempted to put up a bike on a trainer in the house so I can hop on and ride anytime.  I just haven’t figured out how I’m going to get on it.  

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On The Road Again And Scattershots

Yesterday when I woke, my first whole thought was “I’m ready to drive a car”.  Nurse Jill and her family were going to scoop me up and take me to their place for dinner but I let her know I was going to drive to their house.  She insisted that her husband ride with me.  I’m not sure why but Kevin, I’d suggest taking a good look at your life insurance policies.  I was fine.  The toughest part is getting in and out of the car due to back issues.  The drive home was therapeutic.  Full moon, windows down, music loud and corners at speed.   My world just got bigger and in one aspect, faster.

It was a big weekend for me.  I went to a wedding reception and a birthday party.  Both were a lot of fun. It was good to get out and see people, friends.  Getting ready for such events is exhausting.  It takes so much more time and effort to do daily activities.  It was worth it.  I factored in a nap on Sunday and that helped immensely.

I have to anticipate people’s behavior and reactions at these types of events.  I try to have replies ready for a variety of responses but I don’t predict everything.  I don’t want to make people uncomfortable unless they’re rude.  Then I’ll go straight for the bomb and let them squirm.  People get broken down into a few groups.

A – They know and are OK.

B – They know and aren’t OK.

C – They don’t know but will be OK when I tell them.

D – They don’t know and will not be OK when I tell them.

E –  Somewhere on the spectrum of any of the above.

I ran into all of these folks this weekend.  Usually I can handle it as I want to.  Sometimes I fumble.  The first question is usually why I’m on crutches and my answer is that I had rods put in my leg.  Very few will ask why.  If they do, I tell them I had a lytic lesion that ate away at my femur and compromised the bone.  50/50 chance that they will ask what the hell that means and if they do, I explain that I have cancer in my bones.  I’m not trying to keep anything from anyone but that is a lot to dump on someone in a casual conversation and they’re often stunned and speechless.  They then either continue questioning me or flee in search of someone else to ask the gory details.  That’s OK.  Some come back around and talk to me.  Some will avoid me forever.  Most of the time I can predict who will do what.  Those who talk to me often find out that I relay the humor about it because that’s how I see it.  A few people got to hear about my impersonation of a drunk turtle as I tried to get my pants on for the party.  As Dr. K says, there is a whole stand up routine in this cancer thing but I’m not sure how many are ready for it.  I think most that stick around and chat are pleasantly surprised at how the conversation plays out.

One encounter I found particularly amusing was a friend who kept asking me details of the surgery and then would shut his eyes and make enough noise that he couldn’t hear my reply.  He was so curious but couldn’t stand to hear the account!  It was nice to see the honesty in our exchange.  He cared and wanted to know but couldn’t stand to hear all about it.  There are probably others like him.  I’m glad he asked even if he couldn’t take it.

A few scatter scattershots from the last week…

Coffee + Rain = Hot laps around the inside of my house.

You can make a lot of people uncomfortable when you talk of your pain, even when it’s from 10 years ago.

People make comments on my writing; lots of comments, directly to me.  The overwhelming sentiment is that they’re surprised at my “ability”.  It seems as though I’ve done an effective job at perpetuating the notion that I’m rather illiterate.

Strangers stare at people using crutches and are not shy about it.

Mom, dad and I ventured to a store.  Mom is limping, dad has a scabbed up knee and a black eye the size a softball and I’m hobbling around on a crutch with visible incisions.  Zombie apocalypse, we are.

It speaks volumes about my friends that want to take my toilet seat for a spin.

My left shoulder is toast from this whole crutching thing.  I found out when I tried to wash my hair on Friday.  It makes doing your hair quite interesting when you can’t lift your hand past your chest.

When a friend can relieve some of the debilitating pain in your back, there are not enough thank yous to suffice.

I’m even impressing myself at what I can pack into my bra to carry around.

Knowing you have an event to go to over the weekend causes you to start planning your shower, shaving and overall preparing several days ahead of time and that is none too soon.

Back and rib pain are my constant companions.

If you wait until you have to go to the bathroom to get moving…

There is a subset of my friends who have found out firsthand what I mean when I say Porky Pigging it….shirt, no pants.

I suck at picking up things off the floor with my toes.  Especially knives.  ESPECIALLY knives.

When I have a pain or a twinge in any part of my body, I wonder if it’s the cancer about to disintegrate something new.

A bum leg at a party is a magnet for every klutz, kid and drink-spiller in the joint.

I’m down to one crutch and will hobble around short distances inside my house, unassisted.  Sometimes I drag my leg and pretend I’m Igor.

Up with the good, down with the bad.  I repeat it to myself every time I attempt stairs.  Not bad words to live by, either.

If I ask you to come over and help me make my bed that means you will be making my bed.  And probably loading/unloading my dishwasher, sweeping my floor, taking out my trash, bringing in my mail, picking knives up off the ground and maybe cleaning up a few drops of blood.

When strangers ask me what happened, I tell them I got bit by a shark.  And then I show them.  No arguments.

I think I can kick someone hard enough to leave a mark again.

 

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Monday Infusion, Stitches OUT, Tuesday Gifts

I woke up pooped on Monday and I’d earned it.  Sunday consisted of Other Sarah taking me to get a pedicure, spectating at some bike races with Jana and then Jill Hill and Ryan and their kids made a wonderful summer dinner at my place.  It was a fun, exhausting day and I felt it.

Monday morning I talked with my local oncologist and we decided that I would start the herceptin ASAP.  That afternoon I headed to the cancer center to get the infusion.  Their computer system was down and Kim and I sat in the full waiting room and got caught up.  Forty five minutes later, they called my name.

I entered the chemo room, a beige room full of mostly pale, tired, weak looking patients and a few nurses wandering around in bright pink tops.  Twelve chemo recliners, all occupied but one.  Nine women, two men.  Most are bald with something soft to cover their scalps.  A few have blankets.  Some snooze.  All are hooked up to IVs and drip bags with the exception of the people that are just here to “hold hands”.  There are six of them.  Half of the people getting chemo have large bottles of soda from which they’re drinking.  Our vinyl recliners are lined up to face each as if we’re preparing for some sort of pathetic match of Red Rover.  People are mostly quiet and I can hear a faint TV in the background along with the incessant beeping of the infusion machines.

My back hurts.  I’m not sure why.  I don’t know if I’ve thrown my sacroiliac out (I can’t imagine how with all of the off-center limping, twisting and wrenching to move and attempts at carrying stuff), if the cancer has eaten away at enough of something that part of my back has given way or something else.  It feels like a screwdriver is being stabbed into my lower right back during certain movements, sometimes just slight movements will cause a shooting pain and a wince.  It has far surpassed my leg for pain and the only reason I’m still taking acetaminophen.  It takes some excruciating squirming to get out of bed and if something drops on the floor, it may as well have dropped into a black hole, at least until someone comes to rescue it/me.  But my leg is improving every day…I’m almost ready to kick people again!

The nurse asked if this was my first chemo.  Nope.  Just my first time in this facility.  I’m tired.  I have other things to do today.  I’ve been here an hour and they haven’t started the infusion yet.

I started taking the tamoxifen, an oral medication, on Monday, too.  The herceptin, which is an infusion and why I’m in the chemo room, is considered “generally well tolerated”.  It has side effects but not some of the typical havoc-wreaking chemo side effects such as losing my hair.  I guess “generally well tolerated” means that I can have heart damage and that I need to have an echocardiogram every quarter to monitor potential damage.  If we see evidence that this drug is backing off the cancer, I’ll take it indefinitely.  I can look forward to this infusion every three weeks for the rest of my life or until it’s ineffective.

I recognize the chemo the woman across from me is getting; adriamycin, aka The Red Devil.  It’s given by “push” injection during a chemo infusion since it’s so thick.  The nurse slowly, manually depresses the plunger to send the thick, bright red drug into her vein.  I remember it well; how it made me feel, ten years ago, as it entered my blood stream and flowed all through me, how it took me down.  How I felt like crawling into bed, face down, and crying and sleeping until I could just pass through all the days until it ended.  How it drove me to the edge physically, mentally and emotionally.  My oncologist at the time told me “Never forget we’re trying to kill you.”  Nope, I couldn’t. They took me to the edge and held me there.  None of my senses could escape it.  The chemo burns, from my fingers all the way up my arm, burnt from the inside out; purple, swollen to twice the size and blistered.  The infection in my mouth that felt like I’d had boiling water poured in it and down my throat.  And then the steroid mouthwash to “help” it.  You could see evidence of it, burnt, all the way through to my cheeks.  Food tasted weird.  Things smelled bad.  My eyesight got worse with the steroids that accompanied the chemo, not to mention the heart palpitations.  My fingertips started to get neuropathy.  It damaged my heart with every dose; permanent scar tissue.  I looked gray and bald and sick and unrecognizable to myself and most others.  It is an unnerving feeling looking in the mirror and not recognizing the creepy looking stranger staring back at you.  The prevalent look of fear and pity in other’s eyes.  That was the worst.  I couldn’t escape it.  I could see it in the eyes of people who pulled up next to me in cars; their expressions would go dark.  I could see it in a mother’s eyes in line at the grocery store as she pulled her children closer while not taking her eyes off me. I could see it in loved ones’ eyes as they simultaneously sensed my potential encroaching death and their own mortality.  They didn’t always know it but they were scared of me, they were scared of the death that I was wearing as a cloak.  I could sense their immediate relief as they got away from me.  They felt compelled to be nice to me but for some, that was driven by their sense of “thank god that isn’t me”.  I made it through that time.  At least I thought I did.  10 years was a safe number, right?  I guess my oncologist that said “I’ll never consider you cured, just in the clear for now.” was right on the money.

“Do you have a port or do I have to poke you?”  You have to poke me.  Let’s get this party started.  I asked what was in the cocktail besides the herceptin, as I always do, and evidently a thirty minute infusion of Benadryl comes with it.  Can’t I just take that orally?  Not the first time.  You can discuss with your doctor after that.

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Two hours later, I was alone in the room and ready to be unhooked from my beeping machine.

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Kim was waiting to shuttle me back home and even had a present for me!  I guess the comment about wearing a swimsuit coverup for four days prompted her to buy me another outfit…a little coverup dress that zips up the front and has pockets.  Perfect!  Now I don’t have to step into it or shove my phone in my bra.  And I’m up to three outfits!

As soon as I arrived home, I had another “appointment”.  Since Nurse Jill deserted me for vacation (the nerve!), she set it up for another medical pro to come over and remove my stitches.  Thankfully, he’s as effective and wacky as she is and he took care of them in short order with hardly any screaming or eye gouging on my part.  He also said I didn’t need to take off ALL of my clothes for him to remove the stitches but I insisted I didn’t want anything to get in his way.  Thanks, Marc!

As soon as he left, Nancy showed up to bring me dinner….Canadian walleye caught by her on her family vacation along with fresh veggies.  Another spectacular meal and great company.  As soon as she cleaned up the kitchen and packaged the leftovers, she was on her way and I crawled into bed.  I was spent and my back needed to find some relief.

Tuesday morning brought a visit from Heather and Lisa, after they fired the appropriate warning shot, with a cup of coffee for me.  Lisa crashed her bike in the State Criterium Championships on Sunday, went down hard on her right leg and then went on to win the race.  Incredible.  She crawled into the lounge chair next to me and I noticed she was moving almost as exactly as I was, very precariously with the right leg.  I gave her my fancy-schmancy ice pack and some dressings but I really should’ve loaned her Nurse Jill’s swimsuit coverup.  That thing is the bomb for beaten up thighs!  It was good to see them and hear of Heather’s upcoming wedding plans.  She also offered for me to ride the tandem with her fiancé, Rich.  Sounds like a good idea to me…what could go wrong?

Troy stopped by to check on me and my lawn and Jana dropped off some goodies and took care of a few things that are difficult for me.  Cindy checked in to see what she could do.  One of my neighbors reached out to me as she sensed something was amiss.  She just happens to be a former oncology nurse.  Again, I am so fortunate.  Lots of people who care, lots to make sure things are OK.  Now, who’s going to clean my toilets?  I’m not even going to mention the shower until that person is safely trapped in my house…

Speaking of toilets, Jana came back this afternoon with a present for me.  A raised toilet seat!  My back issues have complicated the simplest of things.   I’ve never been so excited to see a toilet seat! I took it for a test drive.  Thumbs up!

Here’s a picture taken right before the bionic leg to wipe that last image out of your head.

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Now I’m off for a walk…up and down the sidewalk.  Maybe twice!   We’ll see how many kids I can shake my crutch at…

 

Thoughts – Good, Bad, Ugly, Scattered

I fantasize about rolling over on my right side.

The rods in my leg feel like I’m being jabbed with nails in my bones when I walk.

I may be getting too comfortable with bed head.

Wearing Nurse Jill’s swimsuit coverup for 4 days in a row is completely acceptable.

My lounge chair on the patio is just two hops out of my back door and I often scooch out there first thing to catch the sunrise in whatever I happen to have on due to the cumbersomeness of getting fully dressed.  I have big, black hornets that like to swarm the back door when it gets warm.  I do a weird little dance with my crutch as I try to get past them and back into the house.  Sometimes it takes several minutes.  Today I looked up and saw my neighbor watching me with a confused/disturbed look.  I waved.  He retreated into his house.

Everyone wants to see my incisions.  Right?

I find myself waiting for Nurse Jill to come back and shave my legs even though I could probably do it myself by now.

Showering on one leg is a learned skill.  I feel like there should be applause when I’m done.

When Robb Wolf says he will do anything he can for you on the same day his wife has a baby, you cry.

Waking me up is an offense punishable by at least one blow of the Pink Cane.

You really appreciate a cup of coffee when it takes you 20+ minutes to make it.

I will always be stunned at the callous, invasive questions people ask my parents; the insensitivity of people who barely know them, simply gossips who are curious about the sordid details and no genuine compassion for them.  I have no time for those people but they better never cross my path.

My 83 year old father fell down on a sidewalk by the town square this week and looks like he got beat up.  This breaks my heart.  My mother is having significant pain in her knee and it’s going to need to be addressed soon.  I need to take care of them.

It took less than two weeks for my quad to turn to jelly due to lack of use.

It’s pretty cool to have your friends bring the world to you when you can’t easily get out to experience it on your own.

Situations like this bring out people’s true character.  Some have already faded away.  Many more have bloomed like beautiful flowers.

The doctors are flat out wrong when they say I’ll be taking narcotics for a month and won’t drive for six weeks, amongst other things.  Already proven.  As Dr. K said, they do not know me.

Never underestimate the power of a good haircut and style by someone who knows what she’s doing.  Hell, never underestimate the power of simply having hair.

My back aches almost all the time.  Anything that engages it is painful.

I’m pretty self-absorbed for the time being but that doesn’t mean I stopped caring about everyone else.  I just require additional focus to, you know, save my own life.  For the time being.

I’m looking forward to rolling out the BMW and getting some moto-therapy.  Soon.

One friend had a baby this week, another lost his father.  Life and death are always around us, book ends.  Humor is the filling in the middle.  And food.  Occasionally booze.  Hopefully some bike rides soon, too.  Sunrises and sunsets.  Whatever filling we choose, I guess.

Walking, or crutching as I call it, quite slowly up and down the sidewalk in front of my house has enabled me to take notice of all sorts of detail I’d previously never seen; the gifts in slowing down.

I wonder if the state fair has hover rounds with turbo.

It amazes me that so many think nothing of chemotherapy and narcotics with their huge downsides and toxicity but get their panties in a bunch when it comes to medical marijuana.  We have a long way to go with the education of the public on these topics.  C’mon people.  This is a no-brainer.

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

Sleeping with windows open at the end of July in Iowa, comfortably, is a new experience for me.  The little things.

We parked in the handicapped parking space for the first time yesterday, due to my own needs.  It’s a weird feeling…a relief and also rather sad.

My mother doesn’t remember everything I tell her and sometimes remembers incorrectly.  I hate it that I sometimes lose my patience with her. My frustration comes out in the wrong way with the people I love the most.

There are multiple times a day when I look up and halfway expect a laugh track to play.

“Whine on your own time.”  Even before I knew my expected life timeline got squished, I had no time for bitching, especially about problems that most people in the world would kill to have.  This has not changed.  This is a Pink Cane worthy offense, maybe even two blows.

The intuitiveness and compassion of dogs continues to amaze me.

I’m ready to ride a bike.  I think it will be easier than walking.  Now to figure out how to carry a crutch on my bike.  Or just not stop?

I can be raw, graphic, mine humor from dark places and otherwise quite real, kind of like life.  If you have not previously realized this, consider yourself warned.  I make no apologies.

I expect people to be as real with me as I am with them.  I can take it.  I need it.  If you think I want anything sugar-coated, you do not know me.

I’ve had a distinct lack of “noise” in my life since all of this started five weeks ago….no TV, no music, until today.  Today it is loud.  Testing-the-limits-of-my-speakers loud.  It can’t get loud enough.

No matter what’s going on with you, no matter how bad you think you have it, it can always be worse and someone else is currently dealing with those circumstances.

Kindness goes a long way.

Humor is good medicine.

People that offer both are invaluable.  Tie them up and keep them in your basement for safe keeping.

 

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