Sugar free

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Thursday’s chemo knocked me on my butt. They returned me to the extra strength dose I had been getting initially. In case I failed to mention it..the reason for this is that I developed some pain in my ribs. The pain was consistent with where the tests show I have cancer. So it isn’t new pain, new “can”, its pain from and existing area. My oncologist thought it best to return to the standard dose. And here I am knocked out. I was able to beat back the nausea a bit but the “fatigue” was really intense. I slept all day Thursday after chemo. And I slept all day Friday after acupuncture.

My acupuncture helped my insides stop shaking. It made the nausea go away. It helped me feel less despondent. But alas the chemo coma was in full effect. By Saturday though I had more of a clear head. I was able to take care of Clay, Kelly, the house. All of which seemed a bit in need. Kelly was amazing on my sick days but he was very happy to relinquish the role of primary caretaker and housekeeper. Not so fast there guy…I planned his day off with a fun filled activity for him and the boys…clean out the basement. And amongst the sounds of frustration and annoyance that floated up the stairs I think they really bonded. Bailey escaped the chore with a sleepover. But according to Kelly she was the prime offender of “just throwing stuff down there”. Now I am left with the task of sorting through 15 bags of clothing with her to figure out what we keep and what is for the thrift store. No more clothing for Bailey.

I gave up sugar for Lent. It is going pretty good. I was able to resist the lure of a tray of brownies with some Mochi ( a sugar free rice snack that you heat and eat, It puffs up and has a sweet and chewy/crispy consistency.) Anyway, I have had less and less cravings as the days have go by, only three or four so far. I have a long way to go. I also gave up shopping. I am allowed to buy food. That’s all. I am avoiding all websites that I used to browse as they are ultimately for purchasing cute things for my children, or me, or Kelly. I hope no one I know has a birthday. If you want anything I will have to make it and I am not a crafty person. You will get a macaroni necklace! That’s it. 40 days no shopping and no sugar. I feel closer to God all ready.

I guess I haven’t mentioned it in a while but I have continued to lose weight since my surgery. I have lost a total of 41 lbs since the day of mastectomy. I have lost 30 lbs since 11/24/2007. Honestly, I have just been eating much smaller portions than I used to. I drink almost 2 gallons of water a day. Which I think gives me a constant feeling of fullness. I do not get a lot of exercise but I do work out physical therapy twice a week. I have only missed one of those appointments. My weight change has helped my left arm, which is swollen with lymphedema. My physical therapist, Nicki, says it is getting smaller. I am wearing my unattractive sleeve nearly everyday. I notice that it keeps the arm from swelling. Especially if I do housework or pick up Clay. My cool Lymphedivas (www.lymphedivas.com) sleeve I save for when we go out. Most people think it is a fashion statement which is fine with me.

I have an interest in what others think of me. I maintain a bit of punk rock I don’t give a crap attitude as well, but sometimes I do wonder what people think when I am out in the world. When I was bald every stranger seemed to give me the pity face. They “knew” I had cancer. I hid in my house. I did not want to be seen. Now my hair has grown in. Strangers tell me they like my hair cut. My breasts are gone. I am totally flat chested. I thought everyone who saw me would think that I had a mastectomy. But they don’t. They think I am as flat chested as Olive Oil. Which is not as bad as you might think. People seem to look me in the eye more than they used to. I have actually run into people who did not know I was sick and several minutes in our conversation I point to my chest and it still seems to take them a second to understand that my boobs are gone. Ultimately, I appreciate the fact that my cancer is on the inside. I do not look like I am on chemo. I do not look like anything. I can be invisible if I want to. No one in the Target to give me the sad face.

It is hard for me to remember the time when I was not processing all this stuff. I think I will be on chemo forever. It has been 9 months. In some ways it is much less depressing than it used to be. I do not wake up in the morning with my first thought being you have cancer. I do not think about dying all the time. Most of the time I fall into the pattern of living. Living a normal happy life with my friends and family. And like anyone with a long term illness I talk about my medication and treatment. But I notice that now my friends talk more about them. When I was first diagnosed I was so overwhelmed and so were my friends and family. No one knew what to say. I punctuated every conversation with my experience. Now I do not feel the need to do this. Well except for here I suppose. Much of the time I am content to listen to others describe their lives. I feel like a stay at home mom. I talk about the baby’s development. I run errands. It is almost normal.

*On Sunday evening I had to make good with the macaroni necklace threat. It was in fact our lovely friend Ms. Duffey’s birthday. And  since she is so good to us I could not let the day pass without acknowledging her. So the twins and I made her a necklace made with penne pasta and decorated with a few sharpie markers. I bought a cake ( falls within the food category) but I also felt a lovely hydrangea and card were in order. I think I need to keep praying about the shopping thing. Oh well it was worth it. Anyway…Happy Birthday Eileen!!!

3 Responses to “Sugar free”

  1. WhyMommy says:

    I love this, and I look forward to the new normal as well. Thanks for showing me it can be done!

    PS The Wellness Community has fabulous gentle yoga that is great for a workout on your good days or just relaxation on the hard ones. I think you have one in Philadelphia; if not, just call the local yoga center and ask if they have a gentle yoga or a teacher willing to modify poses as needed. I think you’ll find some help getting to the right class. It’s been a powerful experience for me and really helped me on the road to healing.

  2. joshua says:

    no sugar? you’re sweet enough already

  3. Emily says:

    I am so glad to read that your basement is messy. Saturday night I had a dream that I was going to help do your families laundry in your basement, Alec had just set up a new washing machine. Well as I looked around your extremely clean and organized basement (you had plastic bags folded) i freaked out, there was no way I would wash your laundry the right way!

    I am glad you are feeling normal and that your basement is getting cleaned.

    P.S I never did your laundry in my dream but would be glad to help with that if you need.